July 2023

  • Blackouts, Daily Vomiting and Headaches Helped by Chiropractic
  • Pigeon Toe Walking Resolved Under Chiropractic
  • Veteran with Myofascial Pain Helped by Chiropractic - A Case Study
  • Infertility Resolved Under Chiropractic Care

Blackouts, Daily Vomiting and Headaches Helped by Chiropractic

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a case study on July 3, 2023, that documented the successful chiropractic care of a patient who was suffering with  blackouts, daily vomiting and headaches. Black-outs are sometimes called "drop attacks". These can be caused by many factors including a headache that surges to an extreme pain causing a loss of consciousness.

In this case, a 23-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking help with a variety of issues. The young man, a cook, had chief complaints of headaches and back pain which had both been present for the past 5 years. He rated his lower back pain as a 4 out of 10, with ten being the worst. The back pain would occasionally rise to an 8 out of 10 level.

The man described his headaches as "stabbing pain" with an average pain severity of 5 out of 10.  His headaches would cause daily nausea and vomiting. However, he reported that weekly, his headaches would surge to 10 out of 10 causing him to vomit and black out.    

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis and leg length measurements, along with spinal x-rays of the man's neck. The x-rays showed that the top bone in the man's neck, known as the "atlas", was malpositioned. The determination was made the the atlas vertebrae was subluxated.

Specific forms of chiropractic care were started to correct the atlas subluxation. After the first adjustment, the man reported that he began to feel symptomatic relief. After each subsequent adjustment, he reported continued improvement.

After a month of chiropractic care, the man reported that he was no longer having blackouts and his headache frequency at that point had decreased by 2/3rds. He was no longer vomiting from his headaches and reported a 90% reduction in back pain, an 80% decrease in body pain, and a 50% decrease in dizziness at that point.

The researchers suggested that the subluxation was causing a change in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) flow. Motion MRI studies have shown that many people who had had some sort of accident have a reduction or interuption in the normal CSF flow. According to the National Institutes of Health, "Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, shown in blue) is made by tissue that lines the ventricles (hollow spaces) in the brain. It flows in and around the brain and spinal cord to help cushion them from injury and provide nutrients." 

This study's researchers explained this case by explaining that a subluxation of the atlas can alter the flow of CSF. This alteration has been show to be linked with a variety of significant health challenges. They further explain, "...it has been demonstrated that a different patient with almost the same amount of atlas misalignment had CSF flow impairment in the posterior portion of the spinal cord, which resulted in increased intracranial pressure." 

Pigeon Toe Walking Resolved Under Chiropractic

The third-quarter issue of the 2023 Asian-Pacific Chiropractic Journal published a study that documented a case of pigeon toe walking being corrected under chiropractic care. Pigeon toe walking, also known as in-toeing, is when a personís feet point inward instead of straight forward or slightly outward.

According to the researchers in this study, "Pigeon-toe or in-towing is a relatively common condition in childhood causing the toes to point inward or feet to excessively internally rotate when standing or walking. While this condition usually resolves as the child ages it does appear to affect a childís gait, causing repetitive falls. Sometimes a childís self-esteem may also be adversely affected by this condition."

Common medical care for in-toe walking is watchful waiting. No care is usually medically rendered in the anticipation that the child will grow out of the condition in a few years. Some more severe cases are sometimes referred to an orthopedist for bracing. In many cases, parents choose not to just wait and turn to alternative forms of care such as chiropractic.

In this case, a 2Ĺ-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother in the hopes that the child could receive help with her in-toeing walking. Her mother was concerned because she reported that her daughter would often trip over her own feet and fall.

Other than the in-toe walking, the little girl was very healthy. She would normally eat healthy organic food and snacks given to her by her mother. The girlís history showed no serious illness or history of surgeries. She was not on any medications and had not had any serious traumatic events or accidents other than the multiple minor falls from tripping.

A chiropractic examination was performed as best as could be because the child was a bit apprehensive and uncooperative. The examination did verify the inward turned feet and showed the presence of subluxations in the spine. Age and size appropriate specific chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxations.

The study reports that by the third chiropractic visit, the girl was walking with one foot straight. By the fourth visit, it was observed that both feet mostly straight when the girl was walking, and her problem was mainly resolved.

In the conclusion of this study the authors commented, "This case may demonstrate a conservative, effective treatment for a subset of children presenting with in-toeing ~ particularly when watching and waiting is not preferred and the childís gait, repetitive falls, and self-esteem are being adversely affected by this condition."

Veteran with Myofascial Pain Helped by Chiropractic - A Case Study

The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association published the results of a case study in their April 2023 issue that documented the improvement of a patient suffering with myofascial pain who had been diagnosed with Hirayama disease.

As described on the National Library of Medicineís website, "Hirayama disease, a rare neurological disease, is characterized by insidious unilateral or bilateral muscular atrophy and weakness of the forearmsÖ" This condition is also known as distal bimelic amyotrophy, and is rare but occurs more frequently in males. This condition typically causes muscular atrophy and weakness of the forearms and hands.

In this case, a 30-year-old U.S. veteran was referred by a Veterans Health Administration (VHA) physical medicine and rehabilitation physician to a VHA chiropractic clinic for neck pain and upper back tension. His history revealed that ten years ago, he began suffering with neck pain and hand weakness that limited his ability to complete his service duties. His condition got worse over the next two years until he finally had to be medically discharged from military. A neurosurgeon determined that the man was not a candidate for surgery and recommended conservative care. For the next eight years the veteranís care consisted of physical medicine, a rehabilitation physician, psychologists, and occupational therapists.

Upon his first visit to the chiropractor, the manís symptoms included neck and upper back pain which he rated as a 4 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. He also reported bilateral upper extremity weakness, atrophy, and muscle fatigue which was made worse by aerobic activity and cold weather. He also reported that he had a "clumsiness of his hands" and would commonly drop things and had a loss of dexterity.

After an examination, chiropractic care and specific exercises were started. After several weeks of care, the man reported that he had felt moderate improvement. He reported that his pain had gone from a 4 out of 10 down to zero. Additionally, his neck disability had improved from a 28% disability, down to just 10% as measured by the numeric pain rating scale. The study reports that the man experienced an improvement in his quality of life and there were no adverse reactions or events from his chiropractic care.

In response to this study, Dr. Robert Braile, a chiropractor for over 45 years and past president of the International Chiropractors Association, commented, "People with rare and serious conditions should be encouraged to seek chiropractic care." Dr. Braile further explains, "Itís not that chiropractic treats those types of conditions, but rather that chiropractic removed interference from the bodyís nervous system thus allowing the patient own amazing healing abilities to address a wide variety of health problems."

Infertility Resolved Under Chiropractic Care

The Asian-Pacific Chiropractic Journal published the results of a case study in their third quarter 2023 issue that documented the successful resolution of infertility from chiropractic care. The authors of the study explain infertility by saying, "Infertility is broadly described as a condition of the reproductive system in which there is an inability to conceive or an inability to carry a pregnancy to term after one year of unprotected intercourse."

Infertility is a common problem. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, "In the United States, among married women aged 15 to 49 years with no prior births, about 1 in 5 (19%) are unable to get pregnant after one year of trying (infertility). Also, about 1 in 4 (26%) women in this group have difficulty getting pregnant or carrying a pregnancy to term."

In this case, a 28-year-old woman went to a chiropractor to see if she could get help for her infertility. She reported that she had a history of chronic stress, a poor metabolism with weight control issues, and difficulty sleeping which would cause her to wake up stiff and tired. The woman owned a salon and was having issues with anxiety, neck stiffness, shoulder pain and lower back pain. Her medical history noted that both her and her husband had undergone fertility testing, but she was still unable to conceive.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, spinal palpation, digital thermography, surface EMG, Heart Rate Variability and spinal x-rays. From this examination, it was determined that spinal subluxations were present.

Specific forms of chiropractic care were started at the rate of two visits per week with the goal of correction of subluxation. As the study authors stated, "Clinical care aims were targeted at improving neuro-spinal function through the reduction and correction of vertebral subluxations."

A re-evaluation was performed after 12 visits. At that time, the patient reported that she had pain relief, improved stamina, energy, and attitude. She also noted that she had an improved appetite control, as well as clearer skin. Most importantly, the woman reported that as of the time of her re-evaluation, she and her partner were now expecting a baby.

In explaining how chiropractic care can help with fertility, the authors stated, "Fertility is a process that requires the proper function of the female reproductive system as well as hormonal regulation, all of which may be impacted by stress and subluxation. Given that the autonomic nervous system governs organ function, and the parasympathetic/sympathetic balance impacts hormones, it is feasible that chiropractic care and the reduction of subluxations may have contributed to an improvement in function that allowed a viable pregnancy to be achieved and maintained."