Ringing in the Ears Helped by Chiropractic - A Case Study
The title above comes from a case study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on May 30, 2023. This report describes the case of a patient under chiropractic care and documents the successfull resolution of tinnitus.
The National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders described tinnitus on their website by saying, "Tinnitus (pronounced tih-NITE-us or TIN-uh-tus) is the perception of sound that does not have an external source, so other people cannot hear it. Tinnitus is commonly described as a ringing sound, but some people hear other types of sounds, such as roaring or buzzing. Tinnitus is common, with surveys estimating that 10 to 25% of adults have it."
Tinnitus is more common in the population over 55 years where it is estimated that 30% have the condition. Although the medical community lists the cause of tinnitus as unknown, there have been studies that show that it can be associated with certain risk factors. According to some studies, 22% of tinnitus cases were in individuals who had prolonged loud noise exposure. In 17% of cases, the person had some kind of a head or neck injury, and in 10% of the cases, the individuals had suffered a previous ear infection.
In this case, a 55-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor to see if he could get help with his tinnitus. The man had seen a neurologist who conducted an MRI but could not offer any help. It was the neurologist who referred the patient to a chiropractor.
Six months previously, the man had tripped and fallen, hitting his head on a door frame. The fall caused his neck to bend to the side causing neck pain as well. He stated that the tinnitus was constant, and he rated it as 6 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. Prior to the fall, the man reported that he did have some slight ringing in his ears, which he self-rated as 1 out of 10, but that the fall made it much worse.
A chiropractic examination showed a decrease in the manís range of neck motion as well as multiple mal-positioned spinal vertebrae. Spinal x-rays were taken and confirmed the presence of subluxations in the manís spine. Based upon this information, chiropractic care was started.
The study documents that immediately after the manís first adjustment, he reported an immediate decrease in neck pain and a total elimination of his ringing in the ears which lasted several hours. Upon subsequent adjustments, the man noted a continual decrease in his neck pain and the relief from the ringing would last longer. As chiropractic care continued, the man reported that his neck pain was resolved, and he would only occasionally have some minor ringing which he rated as a 1 out of 10.
The authors of this case summed up their conclusions by stating, "In this case study the patient exhibited a positive response that could indicate that there is an association between cervical subluxation and tinnitus. With the presence of trauma induced subluxation, chiropractic care could prove to be beneficial in the reduction of tinnitus in patients. With 20.7% of the general population experiencing tinnitus, it is important to address the possible causes and treatment."
Helped by Chiropractic
The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published the results of a case study on May 16, 2023, documenting chiropractic helping a young girl who was suffering with Reactive Arthritis (ReA) and a host of associated pain issues.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), "Reactive arthritis, as the name suggests, occurs in reaction to somethingóin this case, an infection. The condition is triggered by a bacterial infection in the digestive or urinary tract or the genitals, but arthritis symptoms typically do not set in until after you have recovered from the infection." The NIAMSís website continues by explaining that "The symptoms often clear up on their own within a few weeks or months, but they may become chronic (long-lasting) in some people."
In this case, a 10-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor to see if she could get help with her neck and upper back pain. The neck and back pain occurred in episodes and were very restrictive. When she was not in pain, the girl was very active and enjoyed rock climbing two days per week. The girl had been diagnosed with Reactive Arthritis (ReA) at three years old following a high fever due to an upper respiratory infection. After the infection, the girls started suffering with symptoms of chronic arthritis.
Since being diagnosed with ReA, the girls would experience recurring fatigue, neck, back, leg, arm, feet and hand pain, stiffness, and disability every three to four weeks. Occasionally, she would have a severe episode that would cause her to "freeze up" where she would be unable to move. One such severe episode while swimming almost resulted in the girl drowning. When in pain, she would have difficulty walking, putting on her clothes, playing, and would even be forced to crawl up stairs.
A chiropractic examination and x-rays revealed significant vertebral subluxations in the cervical and lumbar spine. With this information, a regime of specific chiropractic care was initiated to correct the subluxations.
The results of the chiropractic care for this girl were life changing. As care progressed, the girl became free of a her ReA symptoms and was able to resume a normal active life. In a follow-up three years later, the study reports that the girl was still free of her ReA pain and was "enjoying her life, able to perform activities of daily living without limitation, free of pain and disability."
The authors of the study explained how correcting subluxation would help a case such as this as well as others with a wide variety of health issues. "Chiropractic vitalistic philosophy was born of the idea that a vertebral subluxation as a deviation of a vertebra from its normal position with respect to the adjacent vertebrae and that this vertebral misalignment can cause neurological interference, preventing the body from functioning optimally. The goal of chiropractic care is to correct vertebral subluxations, thereby removing neurological interference the allow the body to heal and function without impedance."
Patient with Wide Variety of Health Issues Including Back Pain,
Depression and Erectile Dysfunction
The second quarter 2023 issue of the Asia-Pacific Chiropractic Journal published a case study of a patient helped by chiropractic who was suffering with a wide variety of health issues for a number of years.
This study documents the case of a 42-year-old man who went to the chiropractor primarily to see if chiropractic could help his long-standing back problems. He was a bricklayer and the pain in his lower back, buttocks and legs was so severe that it was limiting his ability to do his job. Prior MRI and CT scans had confirmed the presence of a disc herniation.
Upon further inquiry into his history, it was discovered that the man also suffered from a variety of other traumas and health issues. These issues included neck pain, hip pain, sleep problems and erectile dysfunction. He had been involved in several auto accidents and suffered the stress of seeing a co-worker die due to a work accident. With the additional stressors in his life, as well as recently having experienced the death of his father, the man also had problems with anxiety, alcoholism, and depression.
A chiropractic examination showed several postural and orthopedic positive indicators. Based upon the examination, chiropractic care was started utilizing a variety of specific techniques. Due to the severity of his pain and disability, the man was seen initially five times per week.
At the four-week update of his care, the man reported some improvement in various parts of his body as he stated that he was generally able to move around better. After 8 weeks of care, he reported a decrease in the pain in his legs and back. He was able to decrease his pain medication which resulted in him being able to sleep better.
At the 12-week mark, the man reported that he was breathing easier, moving around better, had a significant reduction in pain and had improved with is erectile dysfunction issues. He noted that his sense of humor had returned, and he was more engaged with the people at his work.
The self-reported improvements noted by the man in this case were also supported by examination findings that showed improvements in posture, neurological testing, x-rays and clinical evaluations.
In the study discussion, the authors wrote, "A degree of pain control was achieved in the context of what was almost certainly going to be a surgical case. However, the return of reproductive function and the reduction in medication intake indicates a system returning to normal. Patient self-reports regarding mood and antidepressant usage, as well as anecdotal (observational) data by the Chiropractor indicate a significant improvement in mental health and coping."
Shown to Correct a Reversed Neck Curvature
The Journal of Physical Therapy Science published the results of a case study on May 1, 2023, documenting chiropractic care causing the correction of a neck curvature in a patient. Loss or reversal of neck curvature has been linked to many health issues.
When seen from the side, a human neck x-ray should show a rounded curvature forward. A reversal of the normal curvature is known as a cervical kyphosis and has been linked to a variety of short and long-term health issues including headaches, neck pain, and radiating pain into the shoulders and arms.
Cervical kyphosis does not always cause symptoms. The authors of this study point out that many people have reversal of the normal neck curve without having any symptoms at all. However, they note that the lack of a proper forward curvature does put unusual load stresses on the neck and spine and can, in time, lead to other neck problems and spinal disc degeneration.
In this case, a 24-year-old woman sought out chiropractic care due to having discomfort in her right shoulder. She reported that she had injured the shoulder years earlier. She rated the pain as only a 1.5 out of a possible 10 in severity.
On examination, the woman had no unusual findings, and her range of neck motion was within normal. A cervical x-ray of the side of the womanís neck showed a complete reversal of the neck curve. Based on the findings, specific chiropractic procedures were started to work toward correction of the woman neck curvature.
After 17 weeks of care, new neck x-rays were taken that showed the neck was now beginning to curve in the proper direction. This dramatic change was maintained throughout the patient care. Three years after the care was rendered, the woman had another x-ray taken which showed that the correction was still present, but that some loss of the correction was noted.
The authors emphasized that this case demonstrates the value of preventative chiropractic care when it comes to neck curvature. They point out that although this woman had almost no symptoms, problems from her neck curvature were on the horizon. They demonstrated this issue by presenting a series of neck x-rays with similar finding who did not receive chiropractic care. Years later the newer x-rays showed that person now had spinal degeneration due to the incorrect neck curvature.
The authors explained this issue by saying, "It is clear and evident that spine misalignment, particularly gross deviations, set the precedence for biomechanical deterioration over time. Further, it is easier to correct smaller spine deformities than larger deformities. Thus, for these reasons, it is important to diagnose spine misalignments early (e.g. perform posture and spine screening) and to treat spine deformities at the earliest recognition (while a patient is asymptomatic/presymptomatic); as goes the saying, 'An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cureí."