August 2023

  • Blood Pressure Values Improved Under Chiropractic Care - A Case Study
  • Severe Difficulty Swallowing Resolved Under Chiropractic Care
  • Breathing Difficulties Improved in Post-COVID Patients With Chiropractic Care
  • Sleep Apnea Helped by Chiropractic Care and Nutritional Changes

Blood Pressure Values Improved Under Chiropractic Care - A Case Study

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a case study on August 4, 2023, documenting the improvement in hypertension of an elderly patient receiving chiropractic care.

The authors of the study begin by noting that "Hypertension is the most common primary diagnosis in the United States and a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease." They further note that "Approximately 77.9 million people, or 1 out of every 3 people have high blood pressure in the U.S."

Under normal function, the human body should be able to control blood pressure using internal mechanisms. The authors explain the situation when the body is no longer controlling blood pressure normally. "Patients experiencing high blood pressure have in one way or another exhausted their natural internal controls. The human body has regulatory mechanisms in place to control blood pressure ensuring proper blood flow to all organs and tissues."

In this case, a 77-year-old woman decided to go to the chiropractor. The woman had previously been diagnosed with hypertension. She was on medication for five years but was still having difficulty controlling her blood pressure. The woman reported that she was involved in a car accident 25 years earlier but suffered no injuries. She also stated that she had polio and spinal meningitis in 1952.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, spinal palpation, leg length measurements, weight distribution and cervical spine x-ray. The purpose of the examination was to determine if subluxation was present in the upper cervical spine. Previous research has linked subluxations in the upper neck to blood pressure issues. From this examination and x-ray, it was determined that subluxation was present in the top bone of the neck, known as the atlas.

Specific forms of chiropractic care were started to correct the subluxation. On each chiropractic visit, a determination was made about the presence of subluxation and the need for an adjustment. The patient kept a daily journal of her blood pressure, and her blood pressure was monitored on each chiropractic visit. The study reports that as the womanís care continued, she was able to realize a 12% reduction in systolic blood pressure reading and 13% reduction in diastolic reading. The study notes that the woman continued her chiropractic care and was able to discontinue one of her blood pressure medications while still maintaining a lowered blood pressure.

In the authorsí discussion and conclusions, they stated, "Evidence within the chiropractic literature supports the positive effects of the chiropractic adjustment on hypertension." They further say, "The 77-year-old patient who experienced such a dramatic decrease in her blood pressure is a powerful example of how hypertensive patients could benefit from chiropractic care."

Severe Difficulty Swallowing Resolved Under Chiropractic Care

On May 5, 2023, the Journal of Medicine and Life published the results of a case study documenting the successful resolution of a patient who was suffering with severe difficulty swallowing and had not gotten any help from medical care. When the swallowing difficulty is coming from muscles in the throat and neck, it is known as cervicogenic dysphagia.

The author of this study defines this condition by saying "Cervicogenic dysphagia is characterized by difficulty swallowing caused by musculoskeletal and/or neural dysfunction in the cervical spine." He notes that about 3% of the general population, and about 20% of people over 50 are affected by dysphasia. He describes two possible mechanisms that can create cervicogenic dysphagia. One mechanism is postural, where the position of the neck creates problems with swallowing. The second mechanism involves the nervous system, where the neck can interfere with nerve system signals that affect swallowing.

In this case, a 48-year-old man sought out chiropractic care for help with his swallowing problems. The manís history revealed that he had a history of some neck pain and tightness for the past 5 years, but his swallowing difficulties only started 8 months prior to seeking chiropractic help. At first, the man reported a "a grabbing sensation" in his throat, but he did not experience any pain associated with this feeling.

Over time, his problem worsened. He later described the feeling as food being stuck in his throat when eating. Eventually, he was unable to swallow any dry food, such as cake or bread. He was medically diagnosed as dysphagia associated with an anxiety disorder by a hospital psychiatry department. Medical treatment was physiotherapy and medications.

After three months of medical care, his condition continued to get worse. Over time, he was only able to eat chopped noodles and oatmeal and was unable to dine out at any restaurant. This problem severely impacted his quality of life and caused him to lose over 20 pounds in 5 months.

Eventually, his dysphasia got so severe that he was unable to consume thick liquids and sometimes even choked on his saliva during swallowing. He was then admitted to the hospital where a battery of tests found no pathologies and he was placed on a diet of oatmeal. After two additional months of seeing no results medically, the man researched online and decided to try chiropractic.

A chiropractic examination with x-rays was performed and chiropractic care was started. By the third week of chiropractic care, the man reported that his symptoms had gradually improved. At this point, he was now able to eat lunch with his colleagues. By the fourth week of care, his breakfast meals could now include eggs and toast. By the eight week of chiropractic care, the man reported that he was able to eat steak for his dinner. He was eventually able to discontinue all medications that he was taking for his problem.

In giving an overview, the author summed up this patientís case by stating, "This case report describes a 48-year-old man who complained of difficulty swallowing for 8 months. The patient had a history of neck pain and tightness in the upper trapezius region during office work. His symptoms gradually worsened, and he eventually could not swallow any dry food. Despite multiple consultations and treatments, his condition did not improve until he sought chiropractic therapy."

Breathing Difficulties Improved in Post-COVID Patients With Chiropractic Care

The Biomedical Journal of Scientific & Technical Research published the results of a study on February 9, 2023, that showed that people who previously had COVID-19 and were still suffering from difficulty breathing, called dyspnea, improved while under chiropractic care. The authors of this study begin by explaining "Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an acute respiratory infection caused by the potentially serious coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, with high transmissibility and global distribution."

The world is well familiar with the global pandemic that we have lived through. There has been more news generated on this health issue than on any other in modern history. Coupled with the vast amount of information, there has been a lot of disinformation and conspiracy associated with this event. Often it has become difficult to discern what is based in science, from what is logical hypothesis, or from what is false conspiracy stories.

Legitimate discussions on COVID-19 should be encouraged but should be based on science. To this end, this case series study offers a view of helping people who have suffered with COVID and have had lingering breathing issues associated with their infection. People who have continued to suffer have been said to have "post-acute covid-19 syndrome" or "long COVID."

In this study, three patients suffering with breathing difficulties (dyspnea) after COVID each received four weeks of chiropractic care. To rule out outside factors, all patients were instructed before the beginning of the study not to change their daily routine or medications during the study. Before each chiropractic visit, each patient was tested to measure their blood pressure, heart rate, and respiratory rate and volume. These were then compared to the same tests after each visit as well as after four weeks. To make the test more consistent, all chiropractic adjustments were given using a chiropractic adjusting instrument.

The results of this study showed that each of the measured tests improved for all three patients. Heart rate, blood pressure and respiratory rates all improved due to chiropractic care. Most notably was that the inhalation and exhalation volumes improved showing that breathing had become easier in all the patients after chiropractic care.

In the authors discussion, they summed up the results by saying, "The results of this study with patients in the post-covid phase showed promise. Patients after four weeks of treatment with the manipulation instrumental, eight sessions, reported less dyspnea and consequently less fatigue." They continued, "All vital signs after four weeks improved, as did maximal inspiratory and expiratory pressures. The sleep and quality of life tests and questionnaires obtained a very satisfactory score in comparison with the score obtained before chiropractic instrumental manipulation."

Sleep Apnea Helped by Chiropractic Care and Nutritional Changes

On June 22, 2023, the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine published the results of a case study showing that chiropractic care, in conjunction with dietary changes, significantly helped a patient who was suffering with severe sleep apnea.

The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a branch of the National Institute of Health, describes sleep apnea as "Sleep apnea is a common condition in which your breathing stops and restarts many times while you sleep. This can prevent your body from getting enough oxygen."

There are two types of sleep apnea. The less common type, known as "central sleep apnea," is when the brain fails to send signals needed to breathe properly during sleep. The much more common form of sleep apnea is known as "obstructive sleep apnea (OSA)".

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, "Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is characterized by episodes of complete collapse of the airway or partial collapse with an associated decrease in oxygen saturation or arousal from sleep. This disturbance results in fragmented, nonrestorative sleep. OSA has significant implications for cardiovascular health, mental illness, quality of life, and driving safety." It is estimated that 18 million Americans have sleep apnea.

In this case study, a 42-year-old man presented himself for chiropractic care. At that time, he was suffering with obstructive sleep apnea with snoring. The man was diagnosed over five years earlier with OSA and had been using a CPAP machine, which he disliked using, for the past five years. A CPAP machine is designed to take in room air, filter and pressurize the air, then delivers it through a tube into a mask. The continuous flow of air is supposed to prevent the patientís tongue, uvula and soft palate from shifting therefore stabilizing breathing and improving overall sleep quality.

Prior to chiropractic care, the man was averaging 55.4 breathing events per hour during his sleep. An examination was performed, and the man was started on chiropractic care in addition to specific mouth exercises and dietary changes designed to help him lose weight. The man was on a regular routine of his care for 90 days, after which a re-evaluation was performed to check his progress.

At the conclusion of the 90 days, the study reports that his OSA events had decreased during his sleep to only 3.4 events per hour. Additionally, the study also reports that the manís posture had improved and he had lost 40 pounds.