January 2022

  • Low Back Pain and Sciatic for 23 Years Helped by Chiropractic
  • Chiropractic Helps Dogs with Knee Problems in Case Studies
  • Survey Shows Young Adults More Willing to Choose Chiropractic Care
  • TMJ Pain Helped by Chiropractic Care

Low Back Pain and Sciatic for 23 Years Helped by Chiropractic

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a case study on December 13, 2021, documenting the improvement of lower back pain and sciatica in a patient who had been suffering for 23 years. 

The study begins by pointing out that between 70% and 85% of all people will have back pain at some point. Additionally, each year somewhere between 15% and 45% of the population will have back pain. In those younger than 45 years of age, low back pain is the most common cause of limitation of activity. It is also the second most frequent reason for visits to a doctor, the third most common cause of surgical procedures, and the 5th most common reason for admissions to a hospital.

Lower back pain is a problem that frequently re-occurs. It is estimated that 85% of those that suffer with lower back pain and recover will have it again at some future time. When lower back pain is combined with sciatic pain, the recovery is typically slower.

According to the Mayo Clinic’s website. "Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve, which branches from your lower back through your hips and buttocks and down each leg. Typically, sciatica affects only one side of your body."

In this case, a woman sought out chiropractic care to see if she could get help for her lower back pain. The pain had occurred six months earlier from weightlifting. She also reported that she had been suffering with sciatic pain of unknown origin for 23 years and she was now having trouble sleeping due to the pain. Her pain was rated as a 7 out of 10 with 10 being the worst.

A chiropractic examination revealed postural abnormalities as well as restricted range of motion in both the woman’s neck and lower back. Spinal palpation showed multiple areas of tenderness and spinal misalignments.  Thermographic heat studies of the spine and specific spinal x-rays were also performed.

From the examination and x-rays, it was determined that subluxations were present in the woman’s spine. With this information, a series of specific chiropractic adjustments were started on a regular schedule. As the care plan progress, it was noted that the patient was improving quicker than expected and therefore the care plan was reduced.

During the first re-examination, it was reported that the woman’s pain had reduced from a 7 out of 10 down to a 1 out of 10. She was also able to begin resuming her weightlifting and regular daily activities.

The authors summed up the results of this case by stating in their conclusion, "The patient reported on in this study experienced improvement in her back pain, sciatic and quality of life following chiropractic care."


Chiropractic Helps Dogs with Knee Problems in Case Studies

Many chiropractors and dog lovers have reported that their furry friends were helped by chiropractic. Now, in a recent study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on December 27. 2021, comes two cases of dogs who had bilateral luxating patellas and were helped by chiropractic.

This case study begins by explaining what a luxated patella is on a dog. "The patella, or 'kneecap,' is normally located in a groove on the end of the femur just above the stifle (knee). The term luxating means 'out of place' or 'dislocated'. Therefore, a luxating patella is a kneecap that moves out of its normal location." They note that this is a common orthopedic problem for dogs.

In the first case, a 1-year-old male Sheltie/Aussie mix was brought to the chiropractor because the dog had a history of bilateral luxating patellas which was confirmed on x-ray by the veterinarian. The owner said that the dog’s kneecap would get out of place several times a day causing the dog to run on only three legs. The veterinarian recommended surgery for the problem, but the dog owner decided to see if chiropractic could help.

After a spinal examination, it was determined that spinal subluxations were present, and the dog was given specific adjustments. Over the next several visits, the owner reported that the dog’s knees improved to where the dog was eventually not having any knee problems and could jump off the couch without issue.

In the second case, a 5-year-old female Husky was also having veterinarian confirmed bilateral luxating patella problems causing the knee to "pop out" several times a day. As with the first case, an examination revealed the presence of vertebral subluxations in the spine and pelvis of the dog.  Specific canine appropriate adjustments were given to address the spinal subluxations.

The dog in this case progressed slower than the first case, but the improvement was steady until eventually the dog no longer had knee problems and was able to play normally without issues. The study reported that the owners of the dog could take her on walks without any problems and the dog could play hard in her yard as well as in doggie day care without any signs of a limp.

In the discussion portion of the study, the authors explain subluxations in dogs by stating, "Chiropractic addresses vertebral subluxations in the spine and skeletal system via the chiropractic adjustment. A subluxation, in terms of animal chiropractic, is defined as a shift in the normal structure of one vertebra compared to those above and below, causing a biomechanical change that can interfere with the proper function of the nervous system." It is the change in the biomechanics of the dog’s spine, along with restoring proper nerve function to the animal’s legs, that allowed the dogs to heal and return to normal.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "The demand for complementary and alternative veterinary medicine is increasing among animal owners. This case series provides supporting evidence that the use of conservative chiropractic care to find and adjust subluxations may be beneficial to canines experiencing luxating patellas."

Survey Shows Young Adults More Willing to Choose Chiropractic Care

The title above is from a November 16, 2021, release published by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, (F4CP) reporting on a survey that puts chiropractic in a positive light.  

The F4CP statement begins by noting, "More than half (53%) of young adults (ages 18-32) would be more willing to choose a doctor of chiropractic (DC) for treatment of neck or back pain instead of a medical doctor, such as a primary care doctor or an orthopedist, according to a recent survey of over 2,000 U.S. adults conducted online by The Harris Poll and commissioned by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a nonprofit dedicated to informing and educating the general public about the value of chiropractic care."

One of the questions that was asked was, "If you were experiencing neck or back pain, would you be more willing to see a doctor of chiropractic (DC) or a medical doctor (e.g., primary care physician or orthopedist) for treatment?"

In responding to that question, the survey did note that age was a factor in the decision to see a chiropractor. Respondents ages 18-24, in the "Gen Z" group chose chiropractic 54% of the time. Those age 25-32, known as "Millennials" chose chiropractic 52% of the time. This is in contrast to the older "Baby Boomers" ages 57-75 who on 35% of the time said they would choose a chiropractor.

There was also a difference seen with employment status. Employed Americans would choose a chiropractor about half the time (48%) compared to 39% for those Americans who were unemployed.

There was also a regional difference in who would see a chiropractor with a higher percentage of those living in the western U.S. (49%) preferring a chiropractor to just 40% of adults who live in the northeastern part of the country.

In response to the survey, Dr. Sherry McAllister, a chiropractor and president of F4CP commented. "After more than two decades of the nation's opioid crisis, it is not surprising that younger Americans would choose effective, drug-free and non-invasive chiropractic care to manage neck and back pain and avoid risky and costly surgical approaches." She continued, "Not only is chiropractic care safer, but research has shown time and again that patients of all ages who visit a DC have fewer opioid prescriptions and less usage."

Although it is impressive to see that younger Americans prefer chiropractic for issues such as back and neck pain, recent prior studies go beyond this, showing that younger adults in general are leaning more toward holistic and wellness healthcare in general.

"We are very encouraged to see our youth seeking natural, drug-free care first," said Dr. McAllister. "Hopefully, the awareness of the effective, long-term pain relief and mobility benefits of chiropractic care will continue throughout their life not only to relieve neck and back pain, but also to focus on holistic wellness."

In concluding her remarks on the survey, Dr. McAllister states, "As healthcare continues to evolve toward less-invasive, more holistic care methods focused on wellness versus illness, chiropractic care is well-positioned to continue this growth trend as a firstline care choice of workers across the U.S. and the world."

TMJ Pain Helped by Chiropractic Care

On December 1, 2021, an article was published in the Australian Spinal Research Foundation's journal covering the case of a young girl who was suffering with TMJ being helped by chiropractic. The original case study was published on March 5, 2021, in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic.

The foundation's article begins by explaining, "One of the beauties of chiropractic is that, in some cases, it provides a drug-free, surgery-free health care option. However, usually when we think of this, we think of back and neck pain. A new case report published in the Journal of Contemporary Chiropractic has brought a new option to the fore – chiropractic co-management of an acute jaw injury."

In this case, a 12-year-old girl was injured during a volleyball match. The study reports that the girl received a strike to the right side of her jaw. Immediately following the injury, the girl experienced severe pain where she had been hit and over her left TMJ. The pain was so severe that the girl was unable to open her mouth, and she was taken to a dentist where panoramic dental x-rays were performed. A CT scan was later performed and ruled out any fracture.

The dental care the girl was given included ibuprofen and physical therapy. This helped the right side of her jaw. However, her left side continued to get worse. She was unable to open her mouth enough to eat solid food and could not smile, yawn or brush her teeth. The girl rated her pain as 8 out of 10 with 10 being the worst. The injury was severe enough that surgical intervention was unavoidable. However, to help with the significant pain, the girl’s oral surgeon referred her to a chiropractor.

A chiropractic examination was performed which showed the presence of vertebral subluxations. From the findings, chiropractic care was started. Progression was steady with the girl’s pain reducing from 8/10 down to a 4/10 after two weeks. She could still only open her mouth slightly and could take in liquids and soft food.

After her oral surgery, chiropractic care was continued. Two weeks after her surgery, re-examinations were performed by both the girl’s oral surgeon and her chiropractor. Both doctors confirmed that the girl had improved, had no pain or swelling and was able to open her mouth normally. She was then able to engage in normal activities.

The article seems to have summed up the results of this case study by stating, "In this case, surgery could not be avoided, but chiropractic care in the lead up to surgery and post-surgery appears to have offered much in terms of pain and swelling management, and recovery from surgery."