July 2006


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Cerebral Palsy Helped With Chiropractic Care, Four Case Studies

Four documented case studies were published in the June 21, 2006 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research.  In each of these case studies the children were previously diagnosed with cerebral palsy secondary to birth trauma. Additionally each of these children were found to have the presence of vertebral subluxations as detected by objective testing. 

Chiropractic care was given to each of the children with the objective of correcting or reducing the detected vertebral subluxations. The mothers and or care providers of each of these children monitored changes in activities of daily living and observed their quality of life.  They noted that after one month of chiropractic care, all four children showed improvement in activities of daily living including mobility, feeding, and postural control.

The first case study was of an 8 year old female presenting with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy secondary to birth trauma who was also prone to seizures.  She also suffered from tremors of her arms and legs, frequent urination and had visual problems as well as poor posture. Her previous medical treatment consisted of physical therapy procedures including massage and acupuncture. 

Over a 9 week period this child received a total of 22 chiropractic adjustments. Following chiropractic care, the parents reported that she could sit better and was able to walk upright without anyone's help. She also gained the ability to walk up stairs on her own. She was able to use her left arm and hand better, especially
when feeding herself.  She was able to walk steadier and more confident, and was less "limp."  Her parents also noted that her overall coordination improved and they reported an increase in energy and that her emotional state improved. They also noted that she was less fatigued and needed less sleep, and the tremors lessened in severity.

Similarly each of the children also showed improvements. One 7 year old boy who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy also suffered from seizures. His parents reported that as an infant he did not move much and that he seemed to lack any emotion. He also did not start to crawl until he was 11 months old and did not walk until he was almost 5 years old.  Additionally, this unfortunate child suffered from frequent colds, numbness and pain in the arms and legs, seizures, nasal bleeding, throat pain, hoarseness of the voice, pain in the gums and teeth, rhinitis, extremity tremors, pain in the feet, and anemia. He had trouble sleeping, difficulty communicating, concentrating and working in school.

After the initiation of chiropractic care, his parents reported that he became more stable while standing and walking, had greater mobility and better balance of the upper part of the body.  Additionally, he was able to walk longer distances before tiring. His abilities in school improved and his sleeping problems resolved. They reported that his appetite, communication and emotional state improved.

The other two children in this study also showed improvements that included improved changes in their coordination, gait improvements, better sleeping and appetite.  Additionally, changes in posture and mental attitude were also noted.

The authors note that all of these improvements correlated with objective findings of reductions of subluxations during chiropractic care. In their conclusions they state, "These reports are consistent with widespread anecdotal reports of similar types of improvements and are consistent with other case reports in the literature. Given the significance of such types of improvements in the lives of these children the authors call for more extensive investigation of the effects of subluxation analysis and correction in children suffering from cerebral palsy."



Increased Activity Lowers Death Risk In Seniors

A research study published in the July 12, 2006 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), shows that daily activity can have a positive impact on life expectancy in older adults.  It was previously known that exercise had a positive effect on life expectancy.  This study also shows that those who are active in their daily routine, even non-exercise activities, are also getting positive benefits. 

This study, conducted by Todd M. Manini, Ph.D., and his colleagues of the National Institute on Aging, in Bethesda, Md., was designed to determine the association of what the researchers called "free-living activity energy expenditure" and death rates.  The study looked at a group of 302 high-functioning, community-dwelling seniors ranging in age from 70 to 82.

In this study the researchers measured energy expenditure over a two week period using sophisticated processes of tracking certain isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen as eliminated from the body as carbon dioxide.  This process then determined the amount of energy expenditure and therefore the activity of the individual.  The 302 participants were followed on average for just over 6 years. Over this period of time 55 participants (18.2 percent) died. The researchers then compared the activity levels of all participants to see if there was a correlation between death rates and activity levels.

The results showed that after adjusting for other factors, higher levels of activity energy expenditure and physical activity were indeed associated with a lower risk of death.  When the researchers categorized activity levels of the participants into three groups they found that risk of death was only 12.1 percent in the group with the highest level of activity energy expenditure.  The group in the middle third, relative to activity level, had a 17.6 percent risk of death. However, the group in the bottom third level of activity had a  24.7 percent risk of death.  Statistically, this meant that those with the highest level of activity had a 69 percent better chance of survival than those with the lowest activity.

The authors of this study commented, "Our study suggests that any activity energy expenditure in older adults can help lower mortality risks.  They continued, "Efforts to increase or maintain free-living activity energy expenditure will likely improve the health of older adults."  In the study they concluded, "Objectively measured free-living activity energy expenditure was strongly associated with lower risk of mortality in healthy older adults. Simply expending energy through any activity may influence survival in older adults."



Fighter Pilot Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

A documented case study published in the July 4, 2006 issue of the Australian research journal, Chiropractic & Osteopathy, follows the recovery of a fighter pilot who was helped to get back in the air with chiropractic care.  In this case a 36-year-old male USMC F/A-18 aviator instructor with 15 years of flying experience had experienced a severe episode of acute lower back pain.  He did note a history of lower back pain but did not recall any specific traumatic incident that initiated this pain episode.

When this problem hit he immediately went to his squadron flight surgeon, who prescribed pain medications and confined him to quarters, thus grounding him from flight. The pain got worse thus landing him in the hospital the next day where he remained for 24 hours. After his hospital stay he was confined to quarters for 72 hours and then cleared to fly but sent for consultation to neurosurgery and physical therapy.

As a result of these consultations and examinations the pilot was given anti-inflammatory medication, physical therapy, acupuncture, osteopathic treatment and exercise. The patient experienced some relief but was still in significant pain.  He was finally referred to a chiropractor for evaluation.

By this point the pilot had been suffering with his pain for 4 months which he described as an intense spasm in his lower back.  He reported his pain was consistently worse in the morning and that it would take him up to 10 minutes to get out of bed due to the stiffness and pain.  He had to discontinue his regular Marine Corps fitness training, and he reported that it would take as long as 15 minutes to get out of the jet and climb to the ground after flying.  On many occasions he had himself removed from flight duty due to the pain.

By the 5th visit to the chiropractor the patient reported that there was no longer any sharp muscle spasm. He still did experience some stiffness but he was able to return to regular flying status and he had discontinued taking any medications. The patient had 15 chiropractic office visits where he received care over a 26 week period and continued to show improvement.

The case study notes that at a follow-up visit 1 month after his last chiropractic visit he was pain free and had full function. He was flying multiple training missions per week including high G flights and sorties of several hours in duration and had passed his required physical fitness test the prior week with no pain.




Children May Not Need Antibiotics for Acute Infective Conjunctivitis

The above headline appeared in a June 24, 2005 article from the online Medscape from WebMD.  This article was based on the findings of a new study published in the June 22, 2006 British research journal, The Lancet.

In this study 326 children with a diagnosis of conjunctivitis ranging from age 6 months to 12 years were randomly selected from medical practices in the UK.  These children were separated into two groups.  One group received eye drops of the antibiotic chloramphenicol, while the other group got placebo eye drops.  Neither the doctors nor the patients knew whether they were getting the placebo or the real antibiotic.

The children were re-examined at day 7 and a follow up was done 6 weeks later. Eye swabs were collected for bacterial and viral analysis. The results of the study on day seven showed that of the 155 children in the placebo group, 128 of them, or 83% were listed as cured.  This compared to 140 being listed as cured of the 162 children, representing 86%, in the group that actually got the antibiotic chloramphenicol. The difference noted is statistically insignificant, therefore researchers noted no real difference between the two groups.

In the 6 week follow up researchers found that further conjunctivitis episodes occurred in seven children (4%) receiving chloramphenicol and in five children (3%) receiving placebo. They also found that any additional adverse events occurred at a similar rate in both groups.

Lead author Peter W. Rose, from the University of Oxford, England commented, "We have shown that symptoms resolve without antibiotics in most children with acute infective conjunctivitis.  The health economic argument against antibiotic prescription for acute conjunctivitis is compelling."

The conclusion and recommendations of the authors were, "Parents should be encouraged to cleanse their children's eyes if an antibiotic is not prescribed. Parents should be encouraged to treat children themselves without medical consultation, unless their child develops unusual symptoms or the symptoms persist for more than a week."



Recommended Amounts of Tylenol Might Lead to Liver Damage

An Associated Press story published on July 5, 2006 reports on a new study that raises concern over even the recommended maximum usage of the common pain killer. The original study published in the July 5, 2006 Journal of the American Medical Association, (JAMA), looked at 145 healthy adults in 2 US inpatient clinical pharmacology units.

The subjects were divided into three groups. One group took 4 grams of Tylenol, equivalent to eight extra-strength Tylenol tablets, each day for two weeks.  A second group took Tylenol combined with an opioid painkiller.  A third group consisting of 39 individuals were given dummy pills (placebo) that they assumed were Tylenol.

The results showed that there was no evidence of any liver damage in the group that took the dummy pills.  However in the group that took the actual Tylenol the results were dramatically different.  When testing those in the Tylenol group, nearly 40 percent showed abnormal test results that would signal liver damage.  The researchers found that thirty-nine percent of the patients taking acetaminophen alone or in combination with another drug saw their liver enzymes increase to more than three times the upper limit of normal.

Study co-author, Dr. Neil Kaplowitz of the University of Southern California, responded, "I would urge the public not to exceed four grams a day. This is a drug that has a rather narrow safety window."  Another co-author, Dr. Paul Watkins of the University of North Carolina, said, "Our jaws dropped when we got the data. It doesn't have anything to do with the opiate. It's good ol', garden-variety acetaminophen."

After seeing the research, Dr. William Lee of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, who was not involved in the research commented, "This study shows that even taking the amount on the package can be a problem for some people."




Horses Performance Enhanced With Chiropractic

From the June 19, 2006 issue of the Thoroughbred Times comes an article by a veterinarian, Sean Redman, D.V.M. who uses chiropractic on the horses he cares for.  He starts off by explaining, "The theory behind chiropractic therapy is that proper function of the musculoskeletal system allows the rest of the body, particularly the nervous system, to function properly as well. When this happens, the body is able to heal itself, fight disease, and maintain optimal health."

The author notes that there is no formal training in veterinary school for chiropractic care.  However, now there are two organizations that offer such training. Both the International Veterinary Chiropractic Association and the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association regulate certification of doctors in the field of animal chiropractic.

In his article, Dr. Redman explains the goal of chiropractic for horses as follows, "The goal of the adjustment is to restore normal mobility to the joint, thereby stimulating normal neurological reflexes and reducing pain and muscle spasm. In this way, chiropractic therapy treats the nervous system by way of the musculoskeletal system in a conservative and noninvasive manner that enhances the body's innate healing capacity."

The article also noted some signs that may be present when a horse has vertebral subluxations. They include horses that pin their ears when ridden, pull constantly on one rein, have difficulty picking up a lead or changing leads, avoid standing squarely on all limbs; or have difficulty standing for the farrier or for other procedures.



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