December 2006


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Vertigo Helped With Chiropractic According to Study

A research report from the November 8, 2006 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research shows the benefits of chiropractic care for patients suffering from vertigo. In this study 60 patients who were diagnosed by their medical physicians as having various forms of vertigo, received chiropractic care and the results were documented and published.

Vertigo is a condition characterized by dizziness with a sensation of spinning.  Because of the feeling of movement or rotation, many sufferers also feel nausea and can experience lightheadedness and balance problems.  The diagnosis of vertigo is typically based on the symptoms of the patients as there are not specific lab tests and the patients may have a variety of situations that seem to be related.  In this study, the nervous system was looked to for a causal relationship.

Of the 60 patients in this study, 56 reported having some form of physical trauma prior to the onset of their vertigo. Of these 25 had reported having automobile accidents, 16 had suffered a sports injury including skiing, bicycling, or horseback riding, and 6 slipped and fell on ice.  It was noted that all of these individual's suffered trauma to either their head or neck area.

Upon initial examinations of the subjects, it was reported that vertebral subluxations were found in all 60 patients. Analysis procedures using paraspinal digital infrared imaging and laser-aligned radiography, were performed in order to have a consistent means of measuring subluxation findings and progress of correction.

Specific chiropractic care for the correction of subluxations was rendered to all 60 subjects in this study. The results showed that all of the patients in this study responded positively to the chiropractic care. The time frame for the responses varied from between one and 6 months.  Of the original 60 patients, 48 were totally symptom free within six months. The remaining 12 patients had also shown good improvement by either decreases in severity or frequency in episodes of vertigo.

In the conclusion, the author of the study noted, "A causal link between trauma-induced upper cervical (neck) injury and the onset of vertigo appears to exist. Correcting the injury to the upper cervical spine through the use of IUCCA protocol (a form of chiropractic care) appears to improve and/or reverse vertigo disorders."



Surgery No Better for Sciatica Than Waiting

The above comes from a study published in the November 22/29, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, (JAMA).  The study was also reported on in an Association Press (AP) story of November 22, 2006. The report comes from two large US government funded studies on patients suffering from sciatica.

In this study 472 patients with an average age of 42 were assigned to either have surgery or watchful waiting. However, many of the patients assigned to one of the two groups switched groups and decided to go against the group they were assigned to.  However these subjects were still followed for 2 years to see how they responded from whichever group they ultimately wound up in.  Those that had the surgery were compared to those that did not for both bodily pain and physical function. 

The study shows that patients who have been diagnosed with herniated disks creating sciatica had "no clear-cut reason to choose an operation over other treatment."  According to the researchers in this study patients who suffered from these problems showed significant improvement over two years time regardless of whether they had back surgery or not.

Dr. James Weinstein of Dartmouth Medical School and lead author of the study suggested that based on the findings of this study patients should choose whether they want to get the surgery or not based on their own desires. He stated.  "If you don't want the risk of surgery, you can do watchful waiting."

The article notes that about 250,000 Americans go under the knife for herniated disks each year.  However, they also report that an equal number choose not to have surgery, which costs $6000 on average, and instead choose other types of care.



My Bag Is Killing Me

The above headline comes from an article in the December 7, 2006 New York Times and describes a growing concern that women's bags are growing bigger and creating more spinal problems.  The article interviews several experts who seem to agree that women's bags are getting heavier and therefore putting more pressure on their spines.

Dr. Karen Erickson, a chiropractor who has a private practice in New York City and also serves as a spokeswoman for the American Chiropractic Association, stated, "In the last year or so, I’ve been seeing the same kinds of issues with adult women that I’m used to seeing with kids who carry heavy backpacks on one shoulder. They’re experiencing neck pain, not just while they’re carrying their purses, but all the time. A lot of women even get bad headaches.”  She also reported, "Lately, when a patient comes in complaining of these symptoms, I walk over and pick up her purse. Without fail, it weighs a ton."

Dr. Marta Callotta, a chiropractor in Long Beach, California, who was also interviewed for the article, said that she advises patients to clean out their purses once a week.  She added, "At the end of the day, handbags are one of the biggest culprits for back pain right now.  For a year patients have been coming in to me with these giant purses and complaints of soreness. This will keep happening until the trend dies down.”

Dr. Erickson, the chiropractor in Manhattan recommends that women who insist on carrying oversized or overweight bags should alternate the shoulders they carry the bag on.  She also suggested that women may want to consider carrying the bag in the middle.  However, she noted this suggestion may not be so popular. "It’s not exactly glamorous, but if at the end of a long day you find your shoulders aching, slip the bag off and carry it in front of your body with both arms like it’s an infant,"



Breast-Feeding Linked to Resilience Against Psychosocial Stress in Children

Children who are breast fed cope better with stress such as the divorce of their parents.  This according to a study published in the August 2006 issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood. This study goes beyond the physical benefits of breast feeding and shows that breast feeding also helps a child deal with stress later in their childhood.

The study was conducted by looking at information collected at birth and at ages 5 and 10 years for 8958 subjects born in one week in 1970 and living in Great Britain.  The researchers asked the teachers of these children questions and used a scientific method to measure the children's responses to stress based on their teachers' observations.

Of the total number of 8958 children, 5672 were not breast fed.  The researchers then looked at the total population of these children and noted those whose parents had gotten separated or divorced. They then calculated the stress response in those who were initially breast fed against those who were not breast fed.

The results showed that those children who had been breast fed, and who had gone through the stress of having their parents break-up showed more resilience in that situation. Researchers were able to determine that breast fed children showed a 7% reduction in anxiety over those that were not breast fed.

The research was also reported on November 28, 2006 in Medscape Medical News. In that report study author, S. M. Montgomery, MD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, stated, "The benefits of breast feeding are well recognized, and this study indicates that it may be associated with lower levels of anxiety among children who have had the potentially stressful experience of parental divorce,” the authors further concluded. “Research into the mediating factors underlying the resilience indicated by breast feeding should focus on exposures and associations related to early rather than prolonged breast feeding."



Chiropractic Helps Blood Sugar Level in Diabetes Case Study

A case study published in the December 7, 2006 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, followed a case of a 48-year-old man who had undergone recent blood and urine tests that indicated the early onset of diabetes mellitus as confirmed by his medical physician.

This patient sought chiropractic care to see if non-medical care could assist him and prevent the need for injectable insulin. The author of this report noted that there had been several previous studies that showed varied degrees of success for several non-medical therapies used for patients with diabetes mellitus.  Such therapies included vitamin therapy, exercise and acupuncture.

In this case the patient received chiropractic care for the correction of subluxations.  Additionally he implemented nutritional changes which included increased protein intake and specific nutritional supplementation.  He also engaged in a program of exercise.

Within one month of the initiation of chiropractic care the indicators used to monitor corrections of subluxations showed improvement.  In conjunction with this the patient's medical physician noted that the patient's blood and urine sugar levels were also balanced.  He continued to have his condition monitored and it was determined that he would not need insulin at that time, or in the immediate future if his condition continued to maintain itself.

The author of the study made it clear that chiropractic care is not the treatment of diabetes or any condition, when he stated that chiropractic, "does not look to treat any condition such as diabetes mellitus,"  However, he did point out that a significant contribution could be made to the health of diabetes sufferers if chiropractic were added to care. He concluded, "If chiropractic care can offer assistance in treatment of 5% of the diabetic conditions commonly presented to health care providers this alone could offer significant life style enhancement for those patients positively influenced."



Horse Chiropractors Gaining Popularity

A feature story appearing in the November 29, 2006 online "sacbee.com", the online news version of the Sacramento Bee from California, reports on the increased acceptance and usage of chiropractic care for horses. Chelsea Phua - sacbee.com staff writer and author of the article reports on a chiropractor, Dr. Troy Stevens as he works on Desertt Fyre, a 12 year old white gelding Arabian horse. (pictured right in a photo from sacbee.com by Jay Mather)

The article describes the care rendered to the horse and the increased acceptance of chiropractic for horses.  Nancy Fisher, the owner of Fyre's noted that his stride was short a few weeks before the chiropractic care. She then noticed that after a visit from Dr. Stevens, her horse had fuller strides and was returning to his normal gait.

The article reports that according to the  American Veterinary Chiropractic Association (AVCA), there are 568 certified animal chiropractors world-wide, of which 49 are in California. AVCA Executive Director Leslie Means states, "Horse trainers and owners say the profession is becoming more popular, especially with owners and trainers of performance horses."

Jim Edwards, a judge for the American Quarter Horse Association gave one reason that chiropractic has gained in popularity in equestrian events.  He states, "If you go to a big show and compete, you want to feel everything is right with your horse so you can get the best performance you can get with a horse."  He continued, "A well-adjusted horse in a show would be able to walk, trot or lope gracefully, or make a tight turn around a barrel without knocking it over. They would also be able to compete well in races, rodeos and other equestrian events."



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