Scientific Research

Addiction

For over 100 years Doctors of Chiropractic have said that subluxation causes the body to lose its ability to adapt to the enviroment and that adjustments restore the bodies natural ability to adapt. However, our detracters have always held that we can’t prove this tenent. Today’s research clearly demonstrates how Chiropractic adjustments help people that have lost their ability to properly adapt to the environment. People who are addicted to the use of recreational drugs will go through an often painful process of withdrawal when they stop using. This withdrawal process is the primary reason an addict will fall out of addiction treatment program and begin using again. The withdrawal process is a clear indication of a body that is not properly adapting to a changing environment.

Chiropractic helps in treatment of addicts

From the March 29, 2001 issue of the Miami Herald comes a story of how chiropractic care is helping those in a Miami drug addiction program. The story starts by explaining that patients in a residential drug-addiction program who received chiropractic care designed to realign their vertebrae completed the treatment program at a remarkable 100 percent rate.

Ninety-eight patients at Miami’s Exodus drug-treatment program participated in the study that was featured in a Journal of Nature magazine called “Molecular Psychiatry”. The study also reported that the patients involved in the study at the treatment center who received chiropractic care made fewer visits to a nurses’ station and showed significant decreases in anxiety.

Dr. Jay Holder, medical director of the Exodus program and the chiropractor who conducted the study said, “Completing a 28- to 30-day program greatly enhances an addict’s chances of staying clean, but nationally only 72 percent of participants make it all the way through such programs.” Holder went on to say, “This correction of what chiropractors call subluxation results in a sense of well-being that allows patients to benefit more thoroughly from the group therapy and medical care of addiction treatment.” “Chiropractic does not treat addiction — it does not treat any disease,” Holder said. “We’re allowing those things that treat addiction to be embraced more thoroughly.”

The participants were divided into three groups. One group got the regular regime of addiction care. The second group got “sham” (these patient’s think they have received an adjustment but they have not) adjustments, while the third group got actual chiropractic adjustments to correct subluxations. The group with the regular care and the sham chiropractic had a completion rate in the program of only 74% and 56%. The group that received the chiropractic care to correct subluxations showed a completion rate of 100%. The implications of completion of a drug treatment program are very important to preventing addicts from returning to drugs.

Allergies

Long Term Remission and Alleviation of Symptoms in Allergy and Crohn’s Disease Patients Following Spinal Adjustment for Reduction of Vertebral Subluxations

Background: An association between visceral disease and immune dysfunction from sympathetic segmental disturbances secondary to vertebral subluxation has been put forward by chiropractic, osteopathic and medical practitioners. We report on the positive results of a controlled study using chiropractic adjustments to reduce subluxations in patients with Crohn’s disease and allergies. We also discuss possible mechanisms for the relationship between visceral and immune dysfunction and subluxation.

Methods: We divided 57 Crohn’s disease patients into two groups. A treatment group consisting of 17 patients and a control group consisting of 34 patients. 6 patients were excluded from the study because of their symptoms, progress and changes in blood test values and because vertebral subluxations were present only in the lumbar region. With all patients continuing their present medication, we subjected the treatment group of 17 patients to spinal adjustment in order to reduce the vertebral subluxations in the thoracic and lumbar regions and compared them with the 34 patients who did not receive spinal adjustments.

Results: Of the 17 patients who received spinal adjustments,

12 showed long-term and stable remission of their symptoms and 9 experienced an alleviation effect. We found that vertebral subluxation is a common and characteristic finding in patients with allergies and Crohn’s disease.

Conclusion: According to the results of this study the possibility may be considered that chronic nerve compression secondary to vertebral subluxation in the thoracic and lumbar regions had a significant effect on the immune function of these allergy and Crohn’s disease patients. It is further postulated that this nerve compression leads to a chronic functional disorder having a significant effect on digestion, absorption of nutrients and liquids, conveyance of food as well as various other functions of the digestive tract extending to excretion.

A New Approach to the Upper Cervical Adjusting Procedure: Part I. Kessinger RC, Bonita, DV. Chiropractic Research Journal 2000 SPR Vol. 7(1) Pgs. 14-32

Patient was a 27-year-old man with chronic sinusitis, headaches, nervousness, and insomnia. His examination revealed an atlas subluxation. Patient received upper cervical adjustments over a period of 3 months. The patient demonstrated correction of their upper cervical subluxation via pre and post Blair protracto x-ray views, spinal thermography, and pelvic balance leg length equality examinations. Patient reported a 50% reduction in frequency and intensity of all symptoms at 3 weeks and at 3 months reported he had been symptom free for 4 consecutive weeks.

The types and frequencies of nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. Leboeuf-Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Nov/Dec 1999:22(9) 559-64.

In this paper the authors asked, “How frequently [do] patients report nonmusculoskeletal symptomatic improvements and [what are] the types of such reactions that patients believe to be associated with chiropractic.”

Twenty consecutive patients from 87 Swedish chiropractors answered questionnaires on return visits. A total of 1,504 questionnaires were completed and returned. Twenty-three per cent of patients reported improvement in nonmusculoskeletal symptoms, including:

  • Easier to breathe (98 patients)
  • Improved digestive function (92)
  • Clearer/better/sharper vision (49)
  • Improved circulation (34)
  • Less ringing in the ears (10)
  • Acne/eczema better (8)
  • Dysmenorrhoea better (7)
  • Asthma/allergies better (6)
  • Sense of smell heightened (3)
  • Reduced blood pressure (2)
  • Numbness in tongue gone (1)
  • Hiccups gone (1)
  • Menses function returned (1)
  • Cough disappeared (1)
  • Double vision disappeared (1)
  • Tunnel vision disappeared (1)
  • Less nausea (1)

Orbital sinusitis. McCarthy, R ICPA Newsletter July/August 1997.

This is the case study of “a four year old boy with headaches, vomiting, nasal drip and decreased appetite was being treated with large doses of antibiotics. Past history revealed a fall on his head at age two from a height of 4 feet.

“Chiropractic analysis revealed a left cervical rotation with retrolisthesis and rotation of C2. He was seen 2 times per week for six months. The results were excellent. No more headaches, vomiting or nasal drip. In addition, his attitude and appetite dramatically improved.” Chiropractic adjustment in the management of visceral conditions: a critical appraisal. Jamison JR, McEwen AP, Thomas SJ. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1992; 15:171-180.

This was a survey of chiropractors in Australia. More than 50% of the chiropractors stated that asthma responds to chiropractic adjustments; more than 25% felt that chiropractic adjustments could benefit patients with dysmenorrhea, indigestion, constipation, migraine and sinusitis.

Diagnosis and treatment of TMJ, head, neck and asthmatic symptoms in children. Gillespie BR, Barnes JF, J of Craniomandibular Practice. Oct. 1990, Vol 8, No. 4.

From the abstract: “Pathologic strain patterns in the soft tissues can be a primary cause of headaches, neck aches, throat infections, ear infections, sinus congestion, and asthma.”

A comparative study of the health status of children raised under the health care models of chiropractic and allopathic medicine. Van Breda, WM and JM. Journal of Chiropractic Research Summer 1989. Children under chiropractic had less use of medications, including antibiotics, and suffered from less ear infections. Characteristics of 217 children attending a chiropractic college teaching clinic. Nyiendo J. Olsen E. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1988; 11(2):78084.

The authors found that pediatric patients at Western States Chiropractic College public clinic commonly had complaints of ear-infection, sinus problems, allergy, bedwetting, respiratory problems, and gastro-intestinal problems. Complete or substantial improvement of their chief complaint had been noted in 61.6% of pediatric patients while 60.6% received “maximum” level of improvement. Only 56.7% of adult patients received “maximum” level of improvement.

Structural normalization in infants and children with particular reference to disturbances of the CNS. Woods RH Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 1973, 72:P.903-908.

Post-traumatic epilepsy, allergic problems, and dizziness have been relieved by cranial manipulation.

Asthma

An Impairment Rating Analysis Of Asthmatic Children Under Chiropractic Care

A self-reported asthma-related impairment study was conducted on 81 children under chiropractic care.

The intent of this study was to quantify self-reported changes in impairment experienced by the pediatric asthmatic subjects, before and after a two month period under chiropractic care. Practitioners, representing a general range of six different approaches to vertebral subluxation correction, administered a specifically designed asthma impairment questionnaire at the appropriate intervals. Subjects were categorized into two groups; 1–10 years and 11–17 years.

Parents/guardians completed questionnaires for the younger group, while the older subjects self-reported their perceptions of impairment. Significantly lower impairment rating scores (improvement) were reported for 90.1% of subjects 60 days after chiropractic care when compared to the pre-chiropractic scores (p < 0.05) with an effect size of 0.96. As well, there were no significant differences across the age groups based on parent/guardian versus self rated scores. Girls reported higher (less improvement) before and after care compared to boys, although significant decreases in impairment ratings were reported for each gender. This suggested a greater clinical effect for boys which was supported by effect sizes ranging from 1.2 for boys compared to 0.75 for girls. Additionally, 25 of 81 subjects (30.9%) chose to voluntarily decrease their dosage of medication by an average of 66.5% while under chiropractic care. Moreover, information collected from patients revealed that among 24 patients reporting asthma “attacks” in the 30 day period prior to the study, the number of “attacks” decreased significantly by an average of 44.9% (p <.05). Based on the data obtained in this study, it was concluded that chiropractic care, for correction of vertebral subluxation, is a safe nonpharmacologic health care approach which may also be associated with significant decreases in asthma related impairment as well as a decreased incidence of asthmatic “attacks.” The findings suggest that chiropractic care should be further investigated relative to providing the most efficacious care management regimen for pediatric asthmatics.

Asthma Study Shows Chiropractic Benefits

From the November / December 2000 issue of Today’s Chiropractic, comes a study report on Asthma. The article notes that approximately 14 Americans die each day from asthma. Asthma is only one of three diseases that has shown an increasing death rate in recent years, up 58% since 1979. Presently estimates say that 17 million Americans suffer from the disease making it the most common and costly illness in the United States.

today, costing over $13 billion annually. Presently, asthma causes more hospitalizations of children than any other childhood disease.

In the study, 47 patients were observed for a two year period. These patients had all been medically diagnosed with persistent asthma ranging from mild persistent in 11 cases, moderate persistent in 28 cases, to severe persistent in 8 cases. The care rendered consisted of specific chiropractic adjustments. The range of visits was from 14 to 44, with the average being 26 during the study period. Most patients in the study began care at a rate of 3 visits per week with this frequency being reduced after 4 to 8 initial weeks.

The patient results were very good with all 47 of the study patients showing a marked improvement ranging from 87 to 100 percent. Patient observed improvement was measured by both improvement in their symptoms as well as a decrease in their usage of acute asthma attack medication. Even more impressive was that all of the patients in the study reported maintaining their improvement after a two-year follow up.

Asthma Study on Benefits of Chiropractic

Asthma has become a large health concern for children in recent years. Over the past 20 years the incidence of asthma has doubled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 1998, approximately 17,299,000 people in the United States, or 6.4% of the population, with cases among very young children up 160%. As reported in the June 16, 1999 issue of JAMA, the CDC also noted that between 1980 and 1994, the number of people self-reporting asthma grew 75%.

In a study conducted in 1996 by the Michigan Chiropractic Council (MCC), a panel of doctors performed an out-come assessment study to test the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness of chiropractic care on children with asthma. The high demand of parents seeking alternative care for pediatric asthma was shown by the overwhelming interest in the study. More than 500 parents called the MCC seeking to get their child involved in the chiropractic study.

The study, which took place during May and June of 1996, examined the chiropractic effectiveness in correcting the cause of asthma in patients from birth to age 17. The average age of the participant was 10 years. “After 30 days of chiropractic health care, patients averaged only one attack, whereas prior to the study they were experiencing more than four attacks,” said MCC Dr. Bob Graham, who directed the study. “Medications, which can be costly, were decreased by nearly 70 percent. Finally, patient satisfaction was rated 8.5 on a scale of 10.” More than 70 chiropractors from 62 cities in Michigan studied more than 80 children suffering from asthma.

Autism

Chiropractic treatment has transformed the life of Max Willson and his parents. Christina Hopkinson reports

Quentin Willson is not an obvious advocate of alternative medicine. This is the man, after all, who came to prominence as a presenter on that bastion of blokes, Top Gear, and named his daughters Mercedes and Mini. He admits that until two and a half years ago, the most alternative potion he had ever taken was a vitamin C tablet. But after his taking his son Max to see a chiropractor, he has become one of the treatment’s most evangelical exponents. “I’m startled by the difference in Max before and after chiropractic,” he says. “He has gone from being labeled autistic and needing a classroom assistant to becoming an active and feisty seven-year-old in mainstream education.”

Max was born in April, 1998 after a very difficult labor. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck as well as being knotted and, due to his heart rate slowing, he had to be delivered quickly. To add to his wife’s distress, Quentin was six hours late for the delivery. “I was stuck in the floods on the M40 with no mobile reception. Michaela thought I was dead.”

Quentin and Michaela soon noticed that Max was not developing in the same way that his elder sister Mercedes had done, seven years previously. His eyes didn’t focus, while his hand movements were more unco-ordinated that those of his contemporaries. But it was when Max went into education at four that they began to seek help. “You never want to admit to yourself that you’ve got a backward child,” he says, “but it was clear that he was very, very behind. He couldn’t concentrate, was hyperactive and demanding.” Every childhood hurdle was twice as difficult as it had been for his sister – he wore nappies until he was four, was impossible to wean from the bottle and had never slept through the night. Family outings such as visiting a restaurant or friends’ houses were impossible.

The Wilson’s consulted both state and private health professionals to try to discover what was wrong with their son and were given diagnoses including dyspraxia and dyslexia. They even began to think that Max was autistic as he demonstrated symptoms that are often associated with the disorder: he walked on tiptoes, had an obsession with soft clothes and didn’t like labels next to his skin.

They were at the point of putting Max on Ritalin, the drug that is used to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, when they had an “almost surreal” revelation. Quentin went to pick Max up from a birthday party where “he’d done his usual trick of sitting underneath the table for two hours”. There, he met a mother who had been observing Max for the previous hour. She said that she thought his skeleton was out of alignment and that he should see the chiropractor she had used, Deirdre Edwards, who practices in Stratford Upon Avon, near to the Willsons’ home.

Chiropractic is a form of complementary medicine that uses manual spine manipulation to correct alignment and improve the function of the nervous system. Deirdre Edwards practices a type called McTimoney, which takes a holistic approach in examining not only spinal and skeletal misalignments, but also the patient’s general wellbeing and quality of life. Though deeply sceptical, the Willsons felt that they had nothing to lose in crossing yet another treatment off their list.

Deirdre remembers Michaela Willson coming into her practice with an air of resignation and exhaustion, while Max wreaked havoc in the waiting room. Deirdre put him through a range of assessments and discovered that he was delayed in several areas.

A feather touching his skin caused him to say “ouch”, and he had no sense of smell. He couldn’t stand on one leg or follow simple instructions. His eyes twitched involuntarily, he made facial grimaces, had staccato speech and licked his lips continually. But she did manage to make eye contact, which suggested to her that he didn’t have severe autism.

Once she had checked that it was safe to give chiropractic help, Deirdre began to palpate his body. “There are seven bones in the neck,” she says, “and four of his were severely misaligned, affecting the natural balance throughout the rest of his body. Even a lay person would have been able to see that Max had muscular build-up on the left side of his neck, so that it looked like he’d been lifting weights.”

Deirdre believes that this misalignment was strangling his neural cord so that Max “was twisted in such a way that the cord could not transfer messages down the body. He was lucky to be walking.” This over-firing of his nervous system was, she says, interfering with his ability to learn, in turn compromising his immune system and lead to the continual colds and throat infections that he suffered. The Willsons remember the treatment not hurting Max at all. “It was just flicking the bones around his neck and shoulders,” says Quentin, but that night, Max slept continuously until morning for the first time since his birth, nearly five years before. Deirdre continued to see Max about once a week for the first month, and then every 10 to 14 days. His speech, eating and abilities quickly improved to the point where he now only visits her once a month.

The Willsons are thrilled.

“He sleeps like a log and has lost all that weirdness,” says Quentin. “He no longer has a classroom assistant and we’ve taken him out of his second genteel preparatory school with five children in the class and put him into a little village state school where he’s flourishing. He’s still a bit behind because he effectively missed out on a couple of years of education, but you can reason with him and he’s reading and writing and it’s amazing. I can only put this down to the chiropractic.”

They are so convinced by the benefits of chiropractic that Quentin is determined to spread the word. “This is the unimpeachable testimony of a man who did not believe in it. We have to raise awareness, because it worked so thoroughly for my son and changed his life and ours. If I can help just one child that’s going through what we went through, then that’s my reward.”

Case Report: autism, otitis media. Khorshid K. ICA Review Fall 2001

This is the case of Victoria, a 3-year-old girl diagnosed with autism, who also suffered from serous otitis media and hearing difficulty. The girl had speech and communication deficits and was considered to be at 9-12 month level of development. An ENT specialist suggested tubes in the ears.

She was placed under chiropractic care. Within 3 weeks of her first chiropractic adjustment, there was complete resolution of her otitis media. It was noticed that her tantrums increased after drinking milk therefore a gluten and casein free diet was implemented and this brought about “terrific” cognitive and emotional improvement, social skills, language and reasoning skills.

Lawrence’ Story: autism and cerebral palsy. In-line with Oklahaven Children’s Chiropractic Center (newsletter), Spring 2001, Oklahoma City, OK.

Six-year-old Lawrence was diagnosed with autism and cerebral palsy.

After beginning chiropractic care “Lawrence became more aware of the people around him and his surroundings. He took his first independent steps while receiving intensive treatments. He now walks 50 or 60 feet on his own, changing direction and standing still as necessary. He is also beginning to feed himself..His fine and gross motor skills have improved immensely and he has a range of different sounds he is making including experimenting with words.”

Chiropractic care and behavior in autistic children. Aguilar AL, Grostic JD, Pfleger B. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 5 No. 1, 2000

This is one of the more ambitious projects regarding chiropractic and autism. Twenty-six randomly selected autistic children received nine months of upper cervical specific care. During this period they had four examinations during which their behavior and neurological response was monitored. Autism rating scales used were Childhood Autism Rating Scale and Modified Autism Behavior Checklist. (Orthospinology upper cervical chiropractic technique which is hypothesized to remove interference from the spinal cord and brainstem was employed as the chiropractic technique.)

The changes in children under chiropractic care included:

Children going off all medication (i.e.Ritalin, Dexadrine)

Improved bladder control

Improved digestion

Starting to speak/ speech improved

Decreased ear infections

Chronic colds stopped or decreased

Improved sleep

Improved eye/vision

Improved behavior

Five children enrolled for the first time in full time inclusion classroom settings.

Heather’ Story. Barnes T. in Kentuckiana Children’s Center Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review Sept/Oct 2000.

Heather was diagnosed with autism and mild mental retardation. Her ability to walk began to deteriorate about the sixth or seventh grade. She frequently picked at her skin and had sores and scabs on her arms and legs. Her sleep patterns were erratic and she had large mood swings and tantrums. She had been seen by many orthopedists and neurologists and no cause for her condition could be found.

After Heather’s first chiropractic adjustment she was able to take some steps on her own. Additionally, the sores on her arms and legs began to heal and she started sleeping through the night. She continues her chiropractic care. Case report: autism and chronic otitis media. Warner SP and Warner TM. Today’s Chiropractic. May/June 1999 This is the case report of a three and a half year-old girl with autism. She was non-verbal, had compulsive disorders, daily rituals, exhibited head banging and would become violent.

Within one month after beginning chiropractic care, her parents and teacher noticed a 30% improvement socially. After one year of care, an 80% improvement was noticed. Her head banging and other rituals diminished by 50% with less violent behavior. She had chronic serous otitis media and had been on antibiotics for one year. Within a one-week period after her first adjustment, antibiotic use stopped due to a 70% improvement in her otitis media. Autism, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, strabismus and illness susceptibility: a case study in chiropractic management. Amalu WC. Today’s Chiropractic. Sept/Oct 1998. Pp. 32-47.

Back Pain

Chronic spinal pain – a randomized clinical trial comparing medication, acupuncture and spinal manipulation. Giles LGF, Muller R. Spine 2003;28:1490-1503.

Three groups of patients with back pain were given a nine week course of care using medicine, acupuncture or chiropractic care. The results showed a significantly higher number of satisfied chiropractic patients. The 40 medical patients were given two anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and the pain killer Celebrex T, Viox T or paracetamol. 18 dropped out early because the drugs either didn’t help or caused side effects. Of the 22 who completed the study only two found relief. Out of 32 patients who tried acupuncture 10 dropped out early because they weren’t being helped. Of the rest 3 reported pain relief.

Out of 33 chiropractic patients eight dropped out because they weren’t being helped. Of the rest nine reported pain relief. Is low back pain part of a general health pattern or is it a separate and distinctive entity?A critical literature review of co-morbidity with low back pain.

Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Manniche CJ Manipulative Physiol Ther May 2003 . Vol 26 . No. 4

This review paper (literature search) goal is to see if there is co-morbidity or other health problems in people with persistent lower back pain. Twenty-three papers were reviewed. All “showed positive associations to all disorders investigated (headache/migraine, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease, general health, and others) with the exception of diabetes.”

The conclusion states: “The literature leaves no doubt that diseases cluster in some individuals and that low back pain is part of this pattern. However, the nature of the relationship between low back pain and other disorders is still unclear.” Unfortunately the authors did not investigate whether the most important findings chiropractors could locate, the vertebral subluxation complex, was a factor. The presence of VSC may clarify the relationship between lower back pain and visceral etc. disorders.

The course of low back pain in a general population. Results from a 5-year prospective study Hestbaek L, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. May 2003; Vol. 26, No. 4. In this study, more than one third of people who experienced LBP in the previous year did so for more than 30 days. Forty percent of those still had LBP 1 and 5 years later, and 9% were pain free in year 5. LBP rarely seems to be self-limiting but merely presents with periodic attacks and temporary remissions. Chronic low back pain: a study of the effects of manipulation under anesthesia. Nicholas F. Palmieri, NF Smoyak S Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics October 2002 . Volume 25 . Number 8

The objective of this project was to evaluate the efficacy of using self-reported questionnaires to study manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) for patients with chronic low back pain. Self-reported outcome assessment instruments were used to evaluate changes in patients receiving MUA versus those not receiving MUA.

A total of 87 subjects from two ambulatory surgical centers and 2 chiropractic clinics participated in this study. The intervention group consisted of 38 patients and the nonintervention (control) group consisted of 49 patients.

Patients in the intervention group received MUA. Patients in the nonintervention group received traditional chiropractic treatment.

In this sample of patients with chronic low back pain, self-reported outcomes improved after the procedure and at follow-up evaluation. There was more improvement reported in the intervention group than the nonintervention group. This study supports the need for large-scale studies on MUA. It also revealed that self-reported outcome assessments are easily administered and a dependable method to study MUA.

Upper cervical management of a patient with neuromusculoskeletal and visceral complaints. McCoy M. Today’s Chiropractic May/June 2001. P. 46-47.

This is the case of a 65-year-old man who began to have symptoms of lower extremity pain and parasthesias, ambulatory problems, urinary difficulties (having to urinate every half hour) and visual problems after back surgery which fused his thoracolumbar segments. Patient also had gout which affected his right big toe and fingers, ankles, elbows and fingers. He was on Indocin for the gout. He was also on medication for high blood pressure and wore glasses for reading.

Twice as a child he suffered from head trauma. One time he fell over a railing and landed on top of his head.

The patient reported that during the evening of his first adjustment he experienced shock-like sensations bilaterally into his arms and legs. He also reported chills, a fever, and coldness in his hands, sweats, and an increase in frequency of urination, gluteal muscle soreness and loss of appetite. By the next morning the symptoms resolved.

Patient had twenty chiropractic visits over a 5 month period. By the time of the seventh visit he did not need an adjustment. The numbness and tingling along the right side of his body were gone and he was walking better. His legs felt stronger and he was not using his cane much. Sitting and standing were less troublesome.

He reports a decrease in frequency of urination to only a few times a day and that he doesn’t need his glasses for reading anymore.

Blood Pressure

Latest findings show Chiropractic can help reduce blood pressure

More than 3.6 million Australians over the age of 25 have high blood pressure or are on medication for the condition, but findings recently released by the Chiropractors’ association of Australia indicate there is a non-drug alternative that can lower abnormal blood pressure in healthy bodies by 7.8% – 13%.

The latest findings published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol, 24,No.2,by Dr Gary Knutson DC., show chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck can lower systolic blood pressure almost immediately.

According to Dr Laurie Tassell, National Spokesperson for the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, a chiropractic pilot study involving 80 people found there is a relationship between the upper neck vertebrae and the body’s natural blood pressure control reflexes.

“With gentle chiropractic adjustment to the upper neck, blood pressure can be lowered, with good results measured for older patients in particular,” he said.

Traditionally the causes of blood pressure, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, have been linked to excess weight, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, dietary salt intake and nutrition patterns with low intake of fruit and vegetables and a high intake of saturated fat.

Data from the 1999-2000 study of general practice activity in Australia shows that high blood pressure is the most common problem managed by general practitioners, accounting for 6% of all problems managed.

“This is where the results of our finding are significant, because chiropractic spinal adjustments may be able to reduce a patient’s blood pressure and in conjunction with visits to their local GP, the level of prescribed drugs may be significantly reduced,” said Dr Tassell.

A report by the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study found that in 1999-2000, more than 3.6million Australians over the age of 25 had high blood pressure, which equates to 31% of men and 26% of women.

“These chiropractic research findings and the affect of high blood pressure on the Australian population provide a good foundation to recommend further studies involving larger groups for more detailed testing,” said Dr Tassell.

Further to this the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia hope to conduct further studies to identify direct connections between joint problems and muscle tension, and its effects on the nerve reflexes.

“The benefit of chiropractic care is that it is a drugless, painless, and surgically free approach to good health, with the goal of helping allow the body to function and repair itself,” said Dr Tassell.

Chiropractic management of a hypertensive patient: a case study. Plaugher G. Bachman TR.

A case study of a 38 year old male presented with a complaint of hypertension of 14 years duration and side effects of medication (minipress and Corgard) which included bloating sensations, depression ,fatigue and impotency. Chiropractic analysis revealed vertebral subluxation complex at levels Cervical 6-7,Thoracic 3-4,and 7-8 motion units (vertabrae). After three visits the patient’s M.D. stopped the Minipress and reduced the Corgard. After six adjustments corgard was reduced again. All medications were stopped after seven adjustments. Medication side effects had abated as well. After 18 months patients blood pressure remained at normal levels. High blood pressure is something many people suffer from and yet, in most cases the cause is unknown.

Case studies showing changes in blood pressure after Chiropractic care are becoming more and more abundant. Although not a treatment for any disease Chiropractic is designed to maximize life and boost the bodies recuperative powers. Chiropractic teaches us to remove all interferences with body function (subluxation) and to seek out more natural, conservative methods before submitting to more radical (drug and surgical) approaches. Exercise, rest and emotional care, along with a healthy spine and nervous system are all vital for optimal health and well – being. Explore them all.

“While results cannot be predicted for a particular hypertensive patient, a therapeutic trial of chiropractic co-management would seem to be warranted, especially when dysfunction is identified in relevant spinal areas. Proper lifestyle advice and medical care should be concurrent with a regime of adjusting. The authors advise close monitoring of blood pressure for all chiropractic patients on anti-hypertensive medication…the combined effects of the adjustment and the medication might drive a patient’s blood pressure below normal.” From Weber M. and Masarsky C, Eds. Neurological Fitness Vol.2 No.3 April 1993.

The types and frequencies of nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. Leboeuf -Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Nov/Dec 1999:22(9) 559-64. “How frequently [do] patients report nonmusculoskeletal symptomatic improvements and [what are] the types of such reactions that patients believe to be associated with chiropractic.”

Twenty consecutive patients from 87 Swedish chiropractors answered questionnaires on return visits. A total of 1,504 questionnaires were completed and returned. Twenty-three per cent of patients reported improvement in nonmusculoskeletal symptoms, including:

  • Easier to breathe (98 patients)
  • Improved digestive function (92)
  • Clearer/better/sharper vision (49)
  • Improved circulation (34)
  • Less ringing in the ears (10)
  • Acne/eczema better (8)
  • Dysmenorrhoea better (7)
  • Asthma/allergies better (6)
  • Sense of smell heightened (3)
  • Reduced blood pressure (2)
  • Numbness in tongue gone (1)
  • Hiccups gone (1)
  • Menses function returned (1)
  • Cough disappeared (1)
  • Double vision disappeared (1)
  • Tunnel vision disappeared (1)
  • Less nausea (1)

The effect of cranial adjusting on hypertension: a case report. Connelly DM, Rasmussen SA Chiropractic Technique, May 1998; 10(2):75-78. This paper describes the experiences of three hypertensive patients who underwent chiropractic sacrooccipital cranial technique. One was a 73 year-old woman with a blood pressure of 170/100. Immediately following chiropractic care it was 120/78 and over the next few months measured 140/72.

The second patient was a 41 year-old woman with a blood pressure of 170/95. With cranial care it dropped to an average of 147/90. She was instructed to remove her dental plate at night and a couple of times during the day and her blood pressure dropped to 130/90. The third patient was a 74 year-old male on blood pressure medication who presented a blood pressure of 140/100. After a series of adjustments he was told by his MDs to reduce and eliminate medications. He presented with a blood pressure of 130/80 on his last visit. Randomized clinical trial of chiropractic adjustments and brief massage treatment for essential hypertension: A pilot study. Plaugher G, Meker W, Shelsy A, Lotun K, Jansen R., Conf Proc Chiro Cent Found 1995; Jul: 366-367. An effect of sacro occipital technique on blood pressure. Unger J, Sweat S, Flanagan S, Chudowski S. Proceedings of the International Conference on Spinal Manipulation. 1993 A/M. P. 87.

A single chiropractic intervention can bring about a significant reduction in blood pressure in a hypertensive group of subjects. Not only was the reduction in systolic blood pressure statistically significant; more important was the clinical significance of this effect. Chiropractic management of a hypertensive patient: a case study. Plaugher G, Bachman TR. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics accepted for publication 1993. A 38-year-old male complaining of hypertension of 14 years duration was suffering from the side effects of medication (Minipress T and Corgard T ): bloating sensations, depression, fatigue, and impotency.

Chiropractic analysis revealed vertebral subluxation complex at levels C6-7, T3-4, and T7-8.

After three visits, patient’s M.D. stopped the Minipress T and reduced the Corgard T After ix adjustments, Corgard T was reduced again. All medications were stopped after seven adjustments. Medication side effects had abated as well. After 18 months, patient’s blood pressure remained at normal levels. Hypertension and the atlas subluxation complex. Goodman R. Chiropractic: J of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. Vol 8 No. 2, July 1992. Pp. 30-32.

Carpal Tunnel

Today just about everyone can be affected, but particularly people involved in occupations or leisure activities that require repetitive use of the hands and wrists (i.e., office, skilled labor jobs, tennis, golf or even knitting). Medical doctors commonly prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, which prove ineffective in most patients and cause adverse side effects in others.

The double crush syndrome is a compression neuropathy characterized by affecting two areas along the same nerve, one usually distant from the other. A growing number of researchers have suggested a correlation between some peripheral neuropathies like carpal tunnel syndrome and cervical nerve root compression another. The nerve is “crushed” or irritated in the spine, “priming” the more distal areas of the nerve for dysfunction when that part is stressed by the second “crush”).

Autonomic dysfunction in idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome Verghese J, Galanopoulou AS, Herskovitz S, Muscle Nerve 2000 Aug;23(8):1209-13

This is the study of 76 patients with CTS (in 139 limbs). Autonomic symptoms were reported in 76 limbs (47 patients). Of these, 59% consisted of swelling of the fingers, 39% dry palms, 33% Raynaud’s phenomenon, and 32% blanching of the hand. Sympathetic skin response (SSR) had a sensitivity/specificity ratio of 34/89% in CTS with autonomic symptoms. The presence of autonomic disturbances was significantly associated with female gender but not age, duration of disease, or clinical severity in a binary logistic regression model.

It appears that autonomic disturbances are common (55%) in CTS, occurring with increasing severity of electrophysiologic findings.

Conservative chiropractic care of cervicobrachialgia Glick DM, Chiropr Res J, 1989; 1(3):49-52 Cervicobrachialgia, also known as “brachial neuritis” or “brachial neuralgia” involves neck and arm pain that can be described as “sharp,” “stabbing,” or “aching,” with acute sudden onset. The pain is in the shoulder blade, the side of the neck and may continue through the upper arm.

This is the case of a 42 year-old woman diagnosed with the above condition who had suffered a fall skiing during the prior week when symptoms began. Upper cervical x-rays revealed the atlas to be displaced laterally to the right and rotated anterior on that side. The patient was adjusted upper cervically by hand. Immediately following the first adjustment the patient reported noticeable relief in symptoms. 48 hours later she received a second adjustment. Three days later she was checked again and did not need an adjustment. Comparative efficacy of conservative medical and chiropractic treatments for carpal tunnel syndrome: a randomized clinical trial. Davis PT, Hulbert JR, Kassak KM, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, June 1998, vol.21/no.5, pp317-26.

This study showed that chiropractic was as effective as medical treatment in reducing symptoms of CTS. Chiropractic care included spinal adjustments, and in addition, ultrasound over the carpal tunnel and the use of nighttime wrist supports. Clinical commentary: pathogenesis of cumulative trauma disorders. MacKinnon S. Journal of Hand Surgery, Sept. 1994, 873-883.

In a study of 64 patients with repetitive stress disorders of whom 34 had wrist surgery, wrist pain or discomfort was not the only symptom the patients complained of. Most patients had multiple problems, especially muscle imbalance. The high failure rate of surgery causes the author to rethink the cause of CTS: “Unnatural postures for extended periods creating pressure on the nerves in the neck, leading to neurological and other symptoms…even when extremity surgery improves the peripheral symptoms such as numbness in the hands, other associated problems like neck stiffness and shoulder pain persist.”

The double crush in nerve entrapment syndromes. Upton, ARM, McComas AJ. Lancet 2:329, 1973.

67% to 75% of patients who had carpal tunnel syndrome or ulnar neuropathy also had spine nerve root irritation.

Impaired axoplasmic transport and the double crush syndrome: food for chiropractic thought. Czaplak S, Clinical Chiropractic Jan. 1993 p.8-9.

The author writes: “Chiropractic has an extensive anecdotal history of patients being relieved of classic carpal tunnel symptoms with spinal adjustments and/or cervical tractioning only.”

Carpal tunnel syndrome as an expression of muscular dysfunction in the neck. Skubick DL, Clasby R, Donaldson CCS et al. J Occup Rehabil 3:31-44, 1993.

In this study of 18 patients it was concluded that carpal tunnel syndrome can occur from increased forearm flexor activity caused by muscle dysfunction in the neck.

Colic

The National Health Service in Ballerup (Copenhagen, Denmark) conducted a study involving 50 infants with diagnoses infantile colic. Half of the group was given the drug dimethicon while the other half was given chiropractic care. In this study nine of the 25 taking the drug dropped out of the study because the infants were getting worse. These infants were then not counted in the final results which would have shown a worse result for the drug than published.

Even with the removal from the tabulations of the infants who got worst using the drug, the results showed a significant improvement in the group that were under chiropractic care. By days 4 to 7 of the study, the infants remaining in the drug group had reduced their hours of crying by only one hour while the entire chiropractic group had reduced crying hours by an average of 2.4 hours. The results after 8 to 10 day into the study continued to show the drug therapy infants at a one hour improvement while the chiropractic group further improved to 2.7 hours less of crying. The researchers noted that the removal from the study of the infants that got worse from the drug made the results from the drug look better than they actually were.

Chiropractic Care Conquers Colic

The above title appeared in the December 1998 issue of Country Living’s Healthy Living, beginning on page 53. The article details the concerns of a mom whose new baby was suffering from colic. The article featured the mother’s account of the situation starting from her initial phone call to the pediatrician. “When I phoned my doctor to ask if he thought it was safe (to see a chiropractor), he was ambivalent: Chiropractic would neither harm nor help. He told me that if it was colic, it would run its course in three months.”

After this advice, her next stop was to take the child to the chiropractor. She recalled that the first visit was an extended one with a lot of time spent caring for the child and the parents. Following the first adjustment, the child seemed to be more reactive and colicky, but she followed the instructions given her by the chiropractor and the baby calmed right down. “We had five more sessions with the chiropractor. Each lasted 20 minutes and Lucy (the infant!) really seemed to enjoy them. It completely changed what was fast becoming a nightmare. I’d like to recommend to everyone with a colicky infant see a chiropractor. It certainly worked for us.”

Infantile Colic

Probably one of the most frustrating situations new parents find themselves in is having to deal with a child that is suffering from colic. For these parents a recent study conducted in South Africa offers some good news. In a study by Mercer and Cook, thirty infants who had been diagnosed medically with colic were randomly divided into two groups. One group received chiropractic care while the other group did not. All infants in this study were newborn to 8 weeks old and had been diagnosed with colic by a pediatrician. For the purposes of this study, the infants in the chiropractic group received care for a two-week period with a maximum of six adjustments. The results of the study were very impressive. In the group that received chiropractic care, there was complete resolution of symptoms in 93% of the infants within the two-week period. Even more impressive was that in a follow up survey performed one month later, none of the infants had experienced a reoccurrence of problems from colic. The chiropractic care rendered in this study was spinal adjusting.

Differential compliance instrument in the treatment of infantile colic: A report of two cases Leach RA, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics January 2002, Volume 25, Number 1

Case 1: A 6-week-old female infant crying almost continuously since birth, which the mother described as often “violent screaming,” had steadily gotten worse. She slept only 3 hours a night and had 15 minutes of rest 3 or 4 times per day from brief periods of feeding or riding in a car.

Her pediatrician diagnosed the infant with infantile colic, and the mother brought the infant for chiropractic evaluation after a nurse suggested that adjustments might help.

[Diagnosis of] T8 segmental dysfunction was made on the basis of the mother’s statements and observation of the child’s behaviors since entering the clinic. After a single adjustment the child rested for 11 hours during the following 24-hour period and slept for 9 uninterrupted hours during the night. The infant awakened smiling and laughing.
Case 2: A 9-week-old male infant had infantile colic. The mother had been taking Lorazepam T, Paxil T, Zyprexa T, and Wellbutrin T for the first 4 months of her pregnancy until she discovered she was pregnant. At that time she discontinued all medications except Zyprexa, which she continued throughout her pregnancy.

Child was diagnosed with acid reflux as a result of crying day and night; unrelieved by normal parenting behaviors, and Zantac T was prescribed. On entrance to the office 3 weeks later, the parents stated the crying had progressed to about 14 hours per day in spite of these interventions.

After 4 consecutive daily adjustments crying was reduced to 7 hours, uninterrupted sleep increased to 5 hours (from 3 hours before care), and total sleep in a 24-hour period increased to 13 hours (from 5 hours before care).

After 9 adjustments over 2 weeks, the infant was crying an average of only 2 hours per day, was sleeping 5 hours per night and averaging 14 hours of total sleep per day. The baby no longer screamed but smiled and remained awake without crying for long periods and responded appropriately to normal parenting efforts. On subsequent consultation with the pediatrician, all medications were discontinued except Benadryl T as needed. However, the mother occasionally gave the infant Mylicon T on occasion. Colicky behaviors, such as inconsolable crying and clenching of fists, did not return.

Digestive Problems

Researchers Discover Possible Link Between Crohn’s Disease and Spinal Problems
According to a recent study, researchers in Japan say there is a possible link between Crohn’s disease and interference to the nervous system from spinal misalignments.

The research was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research and grew out of a previous study involving more than 3,000 patients with allergic diseases and over 1,000 non-allergic patients. It focused on the relationship between immune function, spinal displacements called vertebral subluxations, and how reducing those displacements resulted in improvement, and in some cases complete remission, of symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the small intestine but it can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. The inflammation causes pain and makes the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.

There are many theories about what causes Crohn’s disease but none has been proven. The most popular theory is that the body’s immune system reacts to a virus or a bacterium by causing ongoing inflammation in the intestine.

Treatment for Crohn’s disease includes corticosteroids to control inflammation but while these drugs are considered the most effective for active Crohn’s disease, they can cause serious side effects, including greater susceptibility to infection. Immune suppressing drugs are also used to treat Crohn’s disease.

According to Dr. Yasuhiko Takeda, a chiropractor and lead author of the study: “This is why it is so important to develop other means of dealing with this terrible disease. If we can find treatments that enhance the function of the immune and nervous systems perhaps we can help millions of people with this disease without the harmful side effects of drugs.”

Beginning in 1992, the focus of Takeda’s research has been on the relationship between subluxation, allergic disease, asthma, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disorder and ulcerative colitis. He became interested in this after observing common patterns of spinal distortions and subluxation in patients presenting with these problems. He observed that many of these people got better following chiropractic care. This convinced him that chiropractic care was the answer to these health problems and that he needed to look into it in more detail.

As Takeda pointed out, “Allergic diseases are a large group of disorders that include: pollinosis, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis, hay fever, bronchial asthma, drug allergies, Crohn’s disease and inflammatory bowel disease to name a few. In Japan alone these diseases affect tens of millions of people. It affects their quality of life in terms of physical strength, immune deficiency, and autonomic imbalance. It doesn’t stop there as it affects their social well-being, schoolwork and on the job productivity. You must also consider the terrible side effects of the steroid medications and immunosuppresants that are given to treat these patients.”

While the results are exciting, more research is needed, according to Dr. Matthew McCoy, Editor of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. “Clearly the results of Dr. Takeda’s study are something to be excited about and they are not surprising considering other research that shows improved immune and nervous system function following chiropractic care,” stated Dr. McCoy.

Chiropractors correct misalignments and related problems of the spine that interfere with how the nerves work. These problems in the spine are called vertebral subluxations and can be corrected by chiropractors with painless adjustments to the affected spinal bones.

Ear Infections

In the October 1998 issue of the Ladies Home Journal appeared an article entitled, “Chiropractic Adjustments for Chronic Ear Infections.” This article reviewed several studies showing the effectiveness of chiropractic care for preventing re-occurring ear infections known as Otitis Media or OM.

According to the article, reoccurring ear infections account for over 35% of all pediatrician visits in the United States. Sometimes these infections are due to bacteria and sometimes these are due to a virus. The most common medical care for this situation has been antibiotics, even though antibiotics have no effect on viruses. While the article mentions that the antibiotic may be effective in an acute bacterial infection, they do nothing to stop repeat infections. Research and statistics is now showing that repeated use of antibiotics is contributing to future infections by creating drug-resistant infections. The surgical approach has met with little long term results as the “tubes” placed in children’s ears often come out and usually require a child to be put under general anesthesia to do the surgery.

The article in the Ladies Home Journal states, “Chiropractic care is thought to prevent recurrent infections by correcting misalignments (called subluxations) and allowing normal fluid drainage from the middle ear.” What the article took special note of was that 6 months after the chiropractic care was given to the children in the study, 80 percent had not suffered a recurrence of ear infections.

In closing the article did make a profound statement. They made a recommendation to parents on this subject. “If your child is between ear infections and his doctor suggests ear-tube surgery, ask if you can try chiropractic treatment first.” While we agree with that sentiment, we suggest you not wait for a period between episodes, and you don’t have to “ask” permission from any other doctor to seek chiropractic care. As the sneaker company said, “just do it!”

“Chiropractic Care of 401 Children with Otitis Media: A Pilot Study”. Found in the March 1998 edition of Alternative Therapies and authored by Fallon and Edelman.

Conclusion:

“There is a strong correlation between chiropractic adjustment and the resolution of otitis media for the children in this study, which can serve as a starting point from which those in the chiropractic profession can examine their role.”

By the age of three, over two thirds of all children have had one or more episodes of otitis media or middle ear infection. There are numerous problems with antibiotic usage for children with ear infections such as: allergic reactions, GI upset, destruction of the gut’s intestinal flora leading to yeast proliferation and antibiotic resistance. Tubes in the ears have a 98% recurrence of infection within two months while 25% of those with tubes suffer from hearing loss years later.

The use of osteopathic manipulative treatment as adjuvant therapy in children with recurrent acute otitis media, Mills, MV; Henley, CE, Barnes, LLB et al. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2003;157:861-866.

57 patients 6 months to 6 years old with 3 episodes of acute otitis media (AOM) in the previous 6 months, or 4 in the previous year were placed randomly into 2 groups: one receiving routine pediatric care (32), the other receiving routine care plus osteopathic manipulative treatment (25).

The osteopathic patients had fewer episodes of AOM, fewer surgical procedures, and more surgery-free months and more normal tympanograms. No adverse reactions were reported.

This study suggest osteopathic manipulations may prevent or decrease surgical intervention or antibiotic overuse with children with AOM.

Fibromyalgia

What is FMS according to medical science? FMS is a chronic (i.e. long standing) condition. The patient has muscular pain and tenderness throughout the body and frequently other symptoms like sleep disturbances, fatigue, hearing disturbances, muscle twitches, cold extremities, headaches & migraines, TMJ syndrome and blurred vision. For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia to be concluded, although fibromyalgia can be over diagnosed [1], the patient must exhibit tenderness in a minimum of 11 of 18 pre-defined points on the body (see figures). Have a good look at the location of these points, as I think that along with other evidence they provide a pointer to a possible cause of FMS.

Although the exact cause of FMS has apparently not been discovered and there are various research theories including poor nutrition, stress factors, alterations in the pattern of sleep and changes in neuroendocrine transmitters (serotonin, substance P, growth hormone and cortisol) a common theme which appears to emerge throughout the research is that of poor posture, cervical spine dysfunction and degeneration in the spinal joints.

Hiemeyer et al[2] for example, examined 40 patients with FMS and noted the relationship between posture and tender points. They discuss disappearance of tenderness at a number of the tender point sites following correction of posture and conclude; “flexed posture could be an important factor in generalized muscular pain, and posture therefore should be an essential part of the clinical examination of patients with FMS.”

Muller et al[3] state “In fibromyalgia as well as in low back pain we frequently find disturbances of the posture of vertebral column clinically and radiologically.” Further Buskila et al[4] examined two groups of patients, a control group (59) consisting of patients with leg fractures and a study group (102) with a neck injuries. “FMS was diagnosed in 21.6% of people with neck injuries versus 1.7% of those in the control group” and further “FMS was 13 times more frequent following a neck injury than following a lower extremity injury” and “almost all symptoms were more common and severe in the group with the neck injury”.

Schnur[5] conducted a review of the record of 61 patients with primary fibromaylgia syndrome (PFS) and found “in over 50% of examined patients diagnostic details referred to chronic lumbar and cervical spine syndromes” and chronic lumbar and cervical spine syndromes pre-dispose the person to development of PFS.

A study by Ambrogio et al[6] is interesting if only for the finding that “from a patient’s perspective, neck support is an important part of a comprehensive physiotherapy program.” Thus FMS patients, in a small study, indicate that to have some support for their necks was important to them. This is another pointer, I assert, to the cervical spine being heavily involved in the origin of FMS. In fact, I believe, like others before me, that it is highly likely that a subluxation at the level of the atlas is the causal factor in the generation of FMS, and patients should be checked by professional precision upper cervical chiropractors. Such subluxations not only initiate pain in the neck, head, and shoulders, but also have been shown to directly cause postural distortions[7].

A study by Larsson R, Oberg PA, Larsson SE[8] is interesting because the authors propose “chronic neck pain may increase the transmitter activity of neuropeptides in the upper cervical medulla causing impairment of blood flow in the local muscle” and conclude “an impaired regulation of the microcirculation in the local muscle is of central importance in chronic trapezius myalgia, causing nioceptive pain.” This study, these two studies[9],[10] and many other studies by Larsson et al, show patients with neck and shoulder pain as having reduced blood flow through these painful muscles, further exacerbating the pain. I assert that if your “head is not on straight”, your cervical and shoulder muscles fight to maintain your head erect. These spasms I believe cause the neck, back and shoulder pain associated with FMS. Further atrophy (wasting) of these muscles due most probably to reduced blood flow just compounds the painful problem.

Could it be that an upper cervical subluxation uncorrected over a long period directly causes FMS? Let’s look at Dr Daniel Clark’s (www.uppercervicalillustrations.com) graphic opposite. (Reprinted with permission from Daniel O. Clark, D.C.)

This is what is known in upper cervical chiropractic circles to occur to the body/skeleton when one sustains an atlas subluxation. Now look at the location of the tender points in the previous diagrams. I contend that if you overlay those tender points over this diagram, the tender points will correlate highly to muscle tension caused by the misaligned skeleton. The neck, shoulder, pelvis and knees are all affected by the upper cervical subluxation. The 10 tender points to the top of the body (front and rear) could be caused by the muscles straining to hold the head perpendicular. The others may be due to the unlevel pelvis and corresponding functional short leg. Now think about the earlier references to poor posture and cervical spine disorders in those people with FMS. Is there a connection? I think so.

Not many therapies appear to be successful at alleviating FMS symptoms. One study by Freidman and Nelson[11] does discuss some success with some individuals using “ice water circulating through hollow metal tubes” which was delivered “intraorally for 15 minutes in the posterior maxillary area”. According to the authors, 9 out of 12 patients had “reduced cervical pain perception” and electromyography revealed less upper trapezius signal, or lessening of pain in the trapezius muscles. The authors suggest a “strong trigemino-cervical relationship to neck pain and headache.” There’s that reference to neck (cervical) pain again!

If an upper cervical subluxation is responsible for postural changes, neck pain and the development of FMS as I suggest then upper cervical chiropractic may have a role to play in the treatment of FMS patients.

Like conventional treatment studies however, there haven’t been a lot of studies which demonstrate the efficacy of a chiropractic treatment for FMS, but if you read the chiropractic studies the results appear to be quite favorable.

A study by Blunt, Rajwani and Guerriero[12] of 21 patients consisted of a utilizing “chiropractic spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy and passive stretching” and the results indicated that “chiropractic management improved patients’ cervical and lumbar ranges of motion .. and reported pain levels”. A study by Hains[13] combining spinal manipulation and ischemic compression found results of “statistically significant lessening of pain intensity and corresponding improvement in quality of sleep and fatigue levels.” Hains and Hains conclude that the “study suggests a potential role for chiropractic care in the management of fibromyalgia”.

In a study of 23 patients with fibromyalgia by Amalu[14] he states “The most common medical treatments for FMS and CFS can include one or more of the following: tricyclic antidepressants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, gentle stretching, low impact exercises, stress reduction, counseling, and lidocaine injections with or without hydrocortisone”. It is not uncommon for FMS or CFS patients themselves to try many treatments including but not limited to physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, mainstream chiropractic, osteopathy, medications and exercise with little to no improvement. As a result of pursuit of these multiple therapies it is also a common for patients to doubt the efficacy of yet another treatment like upper cervical chiropractic.

However, you will note that Amalu’s “treatment consisted solely of corrections to aberrant arthrokinematic function of the occipito-atlanto-axial complex.” In other words treatment to correct dysfunction of the upper cervical spine [C0(skull)-C1(atlas)-C2(axis)]. He uses an upper cervical chiropractic method of adjusting known as Applied Upper Cervical Biomechanics (International Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association-IUCCA) in combination with paraspinal infrared scans to measure the stabilization of the upper cervical joint complex and hence effectiveness of the adjustment.

Amalu found “Upon stabilizing the upper cervical spine .. improvement in the symptomatic profile of both FMS and CFS was 92-100% (VAS[15]) for all 23 patients. Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is mentioned because invariably FMS patients are also diagnosed with CFS. Read the entire case for the patient outcomes.

In conclusion Amalu states “The body of literature detailing the upper cervical spine’s role in affecting global physiology is substantial. Further research into this area of the spine, combined with objective monitoring of neurophysiology, may reveal that chiropractic does indeed offer a consistent conservative solution for patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.”

Headaches

In the September 2001 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physio logical Therapeutics was a report on the effectiveness of chiropractic care, specifically labeled “SMT” in the study, for patients with chronic headaches. The data for this report was gathered from nine trials involving 683 patients with chronic headache.

In this study chiropractic adjustments (termed SMT in the study) were compared to massage and medications for short term relief of up to six weeks after a month of care. The question of long term health benefits was not addressed. Results showed that the chiropractic group did better than the massage group. The group that received medication also showed relief however; the rate of side effects for the medication group was considerably higher than the chiropractic group. This difference gave a decidedly large advantage to chiropractic over the medication.

According to the report, the financial cost of headaches is great, with billions of dollars spent annually for lost productivity and treatment. The study also noted that medical practitioners have commonly treated people affected with headaches. Recently however, they are increasingly turning to non-medical or alternative therapies for relief. A recent study from Harvard University by Dr. Eisenberg reported that one of the most common alternative practitioners sought out for the treatment of headaches was the chiropractor. This study confirms what most chiropractors and their patients have already known, that chiropractic is one of the most effective avenues of health for headache sufferers.

Vectored upper cervical manipulation for chronic sleep bruxism, headache and cervical spine pain in a child. Knutson, G.J, Manipulative Physiol Ther Vol 26 No. 6 July/August 2003.

This is the case of a six-year-old who had chronic sleep bruxism (causing abnormal tooth wear), morning headaches and cervical spine (neck) pain.

Adjustments to the upper cervical spine using the atlas transverse process as the contact point. There was “complete relief” of her chronic symptoms along with elimination of abnormal joint and structural problems.

Occipital headaches stemming from the lateral atlanto-axial (C1-2) joint. Aprill C, Axinn MJ, Bogduk N. Cephalalgia 2002 Feb;22(1):15-22

The lateral atlanto-axial joints (C1-2) are capable of causing pain in the occiput, but few clinical studies have validated this source of occipital headache.. Patients presenting with occipital pain underwent diagnostic blocks of their lateral atlanto-axial joints if they demonstrated clinical features presumptively suggestive of a C1-2 origin for their pain. Of 34 patients investigated, 21 obtained complete relief of their headache following diagnostic blocks, indicating that a C1-2 source of occipital pain is not rare. [21/34 = 62%]. The clinical features used to select patients for blocks, however, had a positive predictive value of only 60%.

A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. Tuchin PJ, Pollard H, Bonello R. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Feb. 2000:23(2), PP.91-5.

This was a six month study of 127 migraine sufferers half of whom had diversified chiropractic adjustments. The other half was the control group. Subjects in the manipulation group demonstrated statistically significant improvement in migraine frequency, headache duration, disability and medication use. 22% of those undergoing chiropractic care reported more than 90% reduction in migraines after two months. About 50% reported significant improvement in severity of migraine episodes.

Evidence report: behavioral and physical treatments for tension type and cervicogenic headache. McCrocy D and Gray R Duke University. 2001.

This report from Duke University compares the effectiveness of drug and other therapies for the most common type of headache – the cervicogenic headache. The report stated that chiropractic is more effective for headache (both in frequency and severity) than other soft tissue therapies and that chiropractic is superior to drug therapy, providing markedly superior long-term results.

Encephalgia/Migraine. Bofshever, H. International Chiropractic Pediatric Newsletter Jan/Feb 2000

A ten year-old girl with chronic, severe migraine (6 times a week for the past 3 years) was unable to go to school due to the severity of her condition. She was treated at a Children’s Hospital by a neurologist.

Chiropractic examination revealed VSC at C1/C2. The patient’s headaches improved following her 3rd adjustment (one week) at which time she stopped using PeriactinT Syrup (prescribed by her pediatrician). By the third week she was back in school and started dance classes for the first time in 2 years, “and actually began to smile again.” She was leading a normal and healthy life for a child her age by the end of the 5th visit.

The anatomic basis for the effectiveness of chiropractic spinal manipulation in treating headache. Hack, GD Abstracts from the 15th annual upper cervical spine conference Nov. 21-22, 1998. CRJ, Vol. VI, No. 1, Spring 1999.

This paper is by the same doctor who led the team that discovered a musculo-ligamentous relationship between the cervical spine (neck) and the dura mater (covering of the brain stem). The author writes:

An increasing body of literature relates headaches to pathology affecting the cervical spine and a number of clinical trials have demonstrated that chiropractic spinal manipulation directed at the neck is valuable for managing headache.

Mobilization of the Spine. Grieve GP (1984) Churchill Livingston, London/New York, 4th edition, 22-23.

All those experienced in manipulation can report numerous examples of migrainous headaches, disequilibrium (vertigo), subjective visual disturbances, feelings of retro-orbital pressure, dysphagia, dysphonia, heaviness of a limb, extra segmental paraesthesia. Restriction of respiratory excursion, abdominal nausea and the cold sciatic leg being relieved by manual or mechanical treatment of the vertebral column.

Unconventional medicine in the United States, Eisenberg, DM et al., NEJM 28 May 1993. Pp.246-252.

Twenty-seven percent of Americans who visit alternative health care providers do so for headache relief.

The efficacy of spinal manipulation, amitriptyline and the combination of both therapies for prophylaxis of migraine headache. Nelson CF, Bronfort G, Evans R, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, October 1998: Vol. 21, No. 8, pp 511-19.

This study compared the relative effectiveness of treating migraines with chiropractic care, the anti-depressant/anti-anxiety drug amitriptyline (brand name Elavil); and with a combination of both the drug therapy and chiropractic care.

Patients who received only chiropractic showed significant improvement, on a par with those given the powerful prescription drug (though without the side effects). The headache index, from a diary kept by each patient, showed chiropractic to have reduced the severity and frequency of headaches as well or better than the combined therapy or amitriptyline alone at each stage of the study.

Spectrum of pathophysiological disorders in cervicogenic headache and its therapeutic indications. Martelletti P, LaTour D, Giacovazzo M Journal of the Neuromusculoskeletal System 1995; 3:182-7.

Patients were diagnosed with cervicogenic headache (headache arising from neck structures) and received chiropractic care. The patients reported improvement.

Immune System

Enhanced Phagocytic Cell respiratory Burst Induced by Spinal Manipulation. JMPT 1991:14:399-408.

This study was designed to measure the effect that a Chiropractic adjustment has on the immune system. Blood was taken from each of the patients 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the adjustment. These results were compared to patient’s blood test who received a sham (pretend) adjustment. The immune response from subjects who received the adjustment was significantly higher after than before treatment, and significantly higher than the response from the sham subjects.

Patients who come in with colds, sore throats, sinus congestion and stomach viruses often remark that their recovery seems to be accelerated by the chiropractic adjustment. Recent scientific developments now lend support to the idea that Chiropractic correction of the subluxation can aid the immune responses of the body by reducing nerve interference.

This is one of the most exciting areas of chiropractic. More and more research is pointing to an immune system enhancement effect of the spinal adjustment.

The effects of chiropractic on the immune system: a review of the literature. Allen JM, Chiropractic Journal of Australia, 1993; 23:132-135.

This is a summary of recent research implying a connection between chiropractic adjustments and immunocompetence. The literature suggests that the nervous system plays a role in the modulation of the immune response and that chiropractic adjustments influence T and B lymphocyte numbers, natural killer cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity and plasma endorphin levels. The few studies attempting to measure the effect of chiropractic or manipulative treatment on the immune response are reviewed.

The anatomical and physiological connections between the immune system and the nervous system suggest that the nervous system plays a role in the modulation of the immune response.

Noradrenergic sympathetic neural interactions with the immune system: structure and function. Felton, D.L., Felton, S.Y., Bellinger, D.L., et al. Immunol Rev 100:225-260, 1987.

This is one of a growing number of papers by researchers in the field of psychoneuroimmunology exploring the relationship between the nervous system and the immune system. Potential mechanisms of action are discussed.

A comparative study of the health status of children raised under the health care models of chiropractic and allopathic medicine. Van Breda, Wendy M. and Juan M. Journal of Chiropractic Research Summer 1989.

Children under chiropractic had less use of medications, including antibiotics.

An overview of neuroimmunomodulation and a possible correlation with musculoskeletal system function. Fidelibus J. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 12:4, 1989.

Receptors for neuromodulators and neurohormones have been identified on human T-lymphocytes. It is believed that the immune system can communicate with the nervous system using neuromodulators and neurohormones secreted by lymphocytes.

Chronic hyperemesis in two siblings with AIDS. Fallon, J Int’l Chiropractic Association Review Summer 2002.

Two male siblings ages 4 and 6 with “HIV infections” and “full-blown AIDS.”

Both boys suffered from severe hyperemesis (vomiting) associated with a hyperactive gag reflex and were on a liquid diet: the six-year-old by mouth and the 4-year-old by gastric tube. The 6-year-old had a viral load of 1,200 and was on a regime of antiviral drugs. His 4-year-old brother, with a viral load of 1,000,000 was on a cocktail of HIV medications (after the monotherapy failed).

The 4-year-old had a history of chronic ear infections and the 6-year-old had severe learning disabilities. Both boys needed a walker or bilateral canes. The older boy had uncontrollable dribbling.

Spinal examination of the 4-year-old revealed subluxations at occiput/atlas, C1, C4, T4, T9 and Tl2. Spinal examination of the 6-year-old revealed subluxations at C1, T1, T8 and AS of the right ileum.

Adjustments of the subluxated segments were begun; each boy was initially seen 2 times a week for three weeks.

Within three weeks of initial care the older boy could walk better, he was able to use only one cane instead of two, he ate solid food for the first time since birth, his chronic drooling stopped as did his gagging and vomiting. However, if he went longer than 30 days without an adjustment his gag reflex returned as well as the uncontrolled vomiting.

The younger boy was able to stop the gastric feeding and take liquid food orally, his vomiting reduced and his chronic ear infections ceased. In a few months he was able to eat solid food. His viral load dropped from 1,000,000 to 5! As long as he was adjusted 1-2 times per month, his vomiting did not return.

Chiropractic treatment and antibody levels. Alcorn, S. Journal of the Australian Chiropractic Association. 1977.

This paper reported increased levels of immunoglobulins in the blood serum of three patients under chiropractic care. A fourth patient did not respond to care.

The author speculates the vertebral subluxation complex (VSC) acts as a stressor, which causes increased secretion of cortical from the adrenal cortex. If cortisol levels exceed optimum levels, immunoglobulin secretion would be inhibited.

Enhanced phagocytic cell respiratory burst induced by spinal manipulation: potential role of substance P. Brennan PC, Kokjohn DC, Killinger CL et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol. 14 No 7 Sept 1991 p 399-408.

An interesting property of phagocytic cells (polymorphonuclear neutrophils or PMNs and monocytes in this study) is put to use in this study, that is, they emit light during phagocytosis (called “respiratory burst”).

Using 67 male and 32 female volunteers, blood was taken 15 minutes before and after subjects had a sham manipulation, a thoracic spine manipulation or a soft tissue manipulation.

More light was emitted from monocytes and PMNs after spinal manipulation than from the sham or soft tissue work. Substance P (SP) is a neurotransmitter released from the dorsal root ganglion and its plasma level was elevated after the manipulation. SP appears to be able to prime phagocytes for enhanced respiratory burst.

From the discussion: “Thus the data provided evidence that spinal manipulation elicits viscerosomatic responses; specifically, our study shows that manipulation affects cells involved in inflammatory and immune responses, at least over the short term.”

Enhanced neutrophil respiratory burst as a biological marker for manipulation forces: duration of the effect and association with substance P and tumor necrosis factor. Brennan PC, Triano JJ, McGregor M et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol. 15 no. 2 Feb.1992. P. 83-89.

This paper builds upon the one above. Using blood collected from 27 males and 19 females after a manipulation of the thoracic spine, the plasma levels of substance P (SP) and respiratory burst response of PMLNs was found to be higher 15 minutes after manipulation than from blood collected 15 minutes before or 30 and 45 minutes after manipulation. In addition to priming PMNs for enhanced respiratory burst (RB), SP also stimulates production of mononuclear cell tumor necrosis factor (TNF). Mononuclear cells are also primed for enhanced endotoxin-stimulated TNF production after manipulation.

From the discussion:

The data presented confirm and extend our previous reports that a high-velocity, low-amplitude thrust to the thoracic spine primes PMN for an enhanced respiratory burst in response to a particulate challenge. Spinal manipulation also primes mononuclear cells for enhanced endotoxin stimulated TNF production…this has not been previously reported…. Thus these data further support the notion that spinal manipulation elicits viscerosomatic responses….”

The effect of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy on salivary cortisol levels. Tuchin PJ. Journal of Australasian Chiropractic and Osteopathy, July 1998; 7(2), pp. 86-92.

This is the study of six males and three females who had their baseline cortisol levels established and then received two-weeks of care (4 adjustments) follow by a two-week post adjustment period. Saliva samples were analysed and results showed reduction or no increase of salivary cortisol suggesting that chiropractic care had a measurable calming, physically soothing and restorative effect. Immunologic correlates of reduced spinal mobility: preliminary observations in a dog model. Brennan PC, Kokjohn K, Triano JJ et al. In: Proceeding of the 1991 International Conference on Spinal Manipulation, FCER; 118-121.

The posterior facet joints of four beagles were surgically fused at L1/L2 and L2/L3 by injecting a sealant. T11/12 and T12/13 joints were fused on two of the beagles. Four beagles were used as controls.

The respiratory burst (RB) of the polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) were depressed in the dogs who underwent the surgical fusion in contrast to the 4 dogs who had a sham surgical fusion. The results of this study suggest that spinal joint fixation results in immunosupression.

Infertility

Successful In Vitro Fertilization in a Poor Responder While Under Network Spinal Analysis Care: A Case Report Senzon SA, J Vertebral Subluxation Research September 14, 2003, pp 1-6.

This case report describes the successful in vitro fertilization (IVF) of a 34 year old female who had one previous aborted In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) attempt prior to Network Spinal Analysis (NSA) care that was attempted due to her partner’s azoospermia.

The patient had been treated medically Mircette (birth control pills), Lupron (a gonadotropin releasing hormone agonist), and Gonal-F (a recombinant FSH). The IVF was cancelled due to poor response. The patient commenced regular NSA care and her body chemistry responded positively so that the next IVF was successful and was followed by a successful pregnancy. The patient is still under NSA care, and is now in her second trimester with normal fetal heart sounds.

The resolution of chronic colitis with chiropractic care leading to increased fertility Blum, CR J Vertebral Subluxation Research August 31, 2003, p 1-5.

A 32-year-old female presented at my office for chiropractic care of her chronic colitis and did not disclose her condition of infertility during the course of care at this office. There appears to be some relationship between chiropractic care and relief of some visceral conditions relating to the colon and female reproductive organs. Chiropractic care including Sacro Occipital Technique (SOT), chiropractic manipulative reflex technique (CMRT), and category one block placement and protocol were employed. The patient had her chronic condition of colitis relieved and relatively simultaneously became pregnant after giving up on allopathic fertility treatments that she had undergone for 7 years.

Case Study Reduction of Vertebral Subluxation using Torque Release Technique with Changes in Fertility: Two Case Reports J Vertebral Subluxation Research Anderson-Peacock E., July 19, 2003, pp 1-6.

Two women had been deemed medically infertile and artificial insemination was being considered. Upon presentation, complete chiropractic evaluations were performed which detected spinal subluxations. Torque Release Technique Protocols were utilized for both evaluation and application of care. Adjustments were performed with an instrument, the Integrator, to improve spinal-neural integrity. During the course of chiropractic care both women were able to conceive. Although chiropractic care is not a treatment for infertility, it is postulated that improvement of spinal neural integrity through specific chiropractic adjustments may have contributed to improved homeostasis and physiological adaptation thus allowing the body to express a greater level of health as an outcome.

Insult, interference and infertility: an overview of chiropractic research. Behrendt, M. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research May 2, 2003, p. 1-8.

This paper reviews 14 retrospective articles involving 15 women aged 22-65. Eleven had no history of pregnancy, nine had previous treatment for infertility, four were undergoing infertility treatments when starting chiropractic care and had a “poor responder undergoing multiple cycles of IVF” (in-vitro fertilization).

Chiropractic care’s successful outcomes are discussed and the various adjusting techniques used are reviewed. /

Below is the story of a California woman who was given a 5 percent chance of ever becoming pregnant, even with vitro procedures, and who became pregnant after chiropractic adjustments.

A Spine Tingling Affair .The Monterey County Herald, Match 1998 Section D Page 1.

Did you hear the one about the woman who went to the chiropractor and got pregnant?

Really, all Karen Bulch wanted was a little neck-and-shoulders adjustment.

But a month after wandering into chiropractor Mark Kimes’ Salina office, the 44-year-old Monterey woman was with child, something she had unsuccessfully been trying to accomplish for 4 ½ years.

Kimes told her it might happen. And if it did, he said it would be within the first few months.

As Dr. Kimes was doing the neck/shoulders/complete personal history examination, he noticed a subluxation in Bulch’s lower back. He wasn’t sure, but Kimes thought after correcting the subluxation that the restored nerve flow may return her ability to become fertile. “I’ve been in practice for 12 years and I’ve seen it happen with many women,” he said.

Manipulative Therapy in Rehabilitation of the Locomotor System, 2nd ed. Lewit K (1991), Butterworth-Heineman, Ltd. Oxford.

“There is growing evidence that female infertility may be attributable to pelvic dysfunction.”

The author quotes a randomized, controlled trial by Volejnikova and Krupicka (1992) in the journal Manuelle Medizin where 34% of the women in the treatment group became pregnant within months compared to 8% in the control group. After the study ended the women in the control group were given spinal care and a further 27% of them became pregnant.

Fertility via the back door. Davidson, M What Doctors Don’t Tell You. March 2001 Vol. 11 No. 12 p.12.

“A couple had lost their third child in a tragic accident and wanted another child to complete their family. They had been trying without success for three years. The woman, who was 38, [initially] received a chiropractic adjustment; her husband was adjusted a few months later. Within 12 months, they had a fine healthy child.”

Menstrual Health

The female sex organs all need a healthy nerve supply from the spinal cord to function properly. Is Chiropractic able to help me with PMS?

Yes! Many women who have suffered from a wide variety of pain, PMS, bladder, bowel cramps; sexual dysfunctions, including infertility, have all discovered the natural benefits of chiropractic. The spine protects the nerve system that controls the reproductive system and endocrine system (hormones), which is vital for optimal function. If there is subluxation (nerve interference) affecting the relationship between the spine and nerve system, this may impact on the function of the organs. Chiropractors remove nerve interference which restores the optimal function to the reproductive system.

Thompson, P.R.,Fisher, B.L., Carpenter, P.A. et al. Effectiveness of spinal manipulative therapy in a treatment of primary dysmenorrheal: A pilot study. JMPT, 1979, 2,pp.140-145

Liebel, N.A. & Butler, L.M. A chiropractic approach to the treatment of dysmenorrheal. JMPT 1990,13 pp. 101-106

Stude, D.E. The management of symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. JMPT, 1991, 14, pp.209-216

Premenstrual Syndrome and Chiropractic

A positive report was published in the November / December 1999 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics concerning the effects of chiropractic on the symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome.

The study was completed on 25 women. Estimates of the prevalence of this condition vary depending on criteria. This study estimated that between 10% and 20% of reproductive age women have severe symptoms associated with this condition. The study included chiropractic adjustments for a ten-day period prior to the beginning of the subjects’cycle.

The women were asked to monitor their symptoms and rate them with a score using “0″ = none to “3″ = severe. The results showed a reduction in symptoms from between 42% and 32% for the group that received chiropractic for only a short time. These findings are encouraging the researchers concluded, “results support the hypothesis that the symptoms associated with PMS can be reduced by chiropractic.

The efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome: a case series study. Walsh, MJ, Chandaraj S, Pulos BI Chiropractic Journal of Australia 24:122-6.

This study demonstrated significant improvement of symptoms in women suffering from pre-menstrual syndrome. To compare a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial on the efficacy of chiropractic therapy on premenstrual syndrome was undertaken.

Walsh MJ, Polus BI Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1999;22(9):582-585.

This is a study of 25 subjects suffering from PMS. Sixteen of the patients received chiropractic care and nine received ‘placebo treatment.

A little over half the women in the study reported “significant” improvement in symptom levels after chiropractic care.

The frequency of positive common spinal clinical examination findings in a sample of premenstrual syndrome sufferers. Walsh, M, Polus B. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol. 22, number 4. May 1999.

This was a study of 54 subjects with diagnosed premenstrual syndrome (PMS) who were compared with non-PMS controls carried out at RMIT teaching clinics in Australia.

The PMS group showed a higher incidence of spinal dysfunction as compared to the control group. The PMS group had more cervical, thoracic and low back tenderness, scored higher in Neck Disability Index, low back testing weakness and low back orthopaedic testing.

Premenstrual syndrome: a clinical update for the chiropractor. Walsh MJ. Chiropractic Journal of Australia. June 1993; 23(2): 48-53.

From the paper:

A holistic chiropractic management regime offers the possibility of a safe, effective method of reducing many of the symptoms of PMS.

Chiropractic approach to premenstrual syndrome. Wittler NA. Chiropractic: The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. 1992; (8): 22-29.

Eleven women with histories of PMS symptoms that had occurred regularly for more than 4 months were given chiropractic spinal adjustments. The care continued through four menstrual cycles and consisted of 5-7 spinal adjustments per month.

The subjects were given questionnaires at the beginning and end of the care. They evaluated changes in irritability and mood swings, tension, ineffectiveness, lack of motor coordination, mental/cognitive functioning, eating habits, variations in sexual drive and activity, overall physical symptoms, and social impairment.

The subjects reported improvement in all ten categories with the greatest improvement of symptoms relating to variations in sexual drive (70.7%), social impairment (64.5%), and mood swings (60.8%). The overall average improvement in all symptom categories was 44.2%.

The management of symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. Stude DE. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1991; 14:209-216.

Management of a single case of PMS revealed alleviation of low back pain, abdominal bloating, breast tenderness and cardiac palpitations. “Patient did report pursuing other medical treatment alternatives in the past, without subjective improvement.”

Vertebral subluxation and premenstrual tension syndrome: a case study. Hubbs EC. Research Forum, 1986; Summer: 100 -102.

This is the case of a 28 year-old female with a chronic history of low back pain and symptoms of premenstrual syndrome consisting of intermittent cramping for 24 hours prior to and during early menstrual flow, depression, bloating, agitation, and nervous eating.

After chiropractic spinal adjustments to L1 her premenstrual cramping went from 24 hours to 30 minutes. In addition, her lumbar pain ceased.

Neck Pain

Cervical mobilization: concurrent effects on pain, sympathetic nervous system activity and motor activity. Sterling M, Jull G, Wright A. Man Ther (Manual Medicine) 2001;6(2):72-81.

In this paper, 30 patients with middle or lower neck (cervical) pain had “spinal manipulative therapy” (SMT) and their pain reduced after care.

Spinal care was found to have a pain fighting effect (“a hypoalgesic effect) as pain thresholds increased. It was also found that the sympathetic nervous system, which affects the functions of the internal organs, was affected: The authors wrote: “The treatment technique also produced a sympathoexcitatory effect with an increase in skin conductance and a decrease in skin temperature.”

Chiropractic treatment of post surgical neck syndrome utilizing mechanical force manually assisted short-lever spinal adjustments. Polkinghorn B and Colloca CJ Manipulative Physiol Ther November/December 2001. Vol 24 No. 9. This is the case of a 35-year-old female who, after having neck surgery two separate times (a discectomy at C3/4 and a fusion at C5/6) suffered from chronic neck pain for over 5 years.

She had originally undergone the surgeries to resolve neck pain. Her surgeon suggested a third surgery but she decided on chiropractic care. Within 30 days of chiropractic care all her chronic pain and muscle spasm resolved. A follow-up two years later revealed no recurrences of her previous chronic problem. Chronic spinal pain syndromes: a clinical pilot trial comparing acupuncture, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), and spinal manipulation. Giles LG, Muller R. J Manipulative Physiol Ther July/August 1999:22(6), pp.376-81.

Seventy seven patients were divided into three groups. One group received needle acupuncture, one group an NSAID and one group chiropractic care. They were followed up after 30 days. Spinal care was the only intervention to achieve a statistically significant improvement. Patients receiving chiropractic care demonstrated a 30.7% reduction in Oswestry scores and a 25% reduction in neck disability index scores, a 50% reduction for low back pain, 46% reduction for upper back pain and 33% reduction for neck pain. Acupuncture and NSAIDS provided no significant improvement. Manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine. Hurwitz EL, Aker PD et al. Spine, 1996;21(15):1746-1760.

In this review of research, the authors concluded that for those suffering from chronic neck pain, chiropractic adjustments are more effective than any other approach. Chiropractic treatment of cervical radiculopathy caused by a herniated cervical disc. Brouillette DL, Gurske, DT. Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, Feb 1994; 17(2): 119-123.

This is the case study of a 60-year-old woman with a MRI documented herniated cervical disc.

Symptoms included deep, constant, burning ache in the left arm, and severe neck and left shoulder pain. Under chiropractic care the patient’s pain and numbness disappeared and her grip-strength returned to normal within 5 months. Cervical spondylotic radiculopathy treated with the Meric technique: a case report. Gemmell, HA. Chiropractic Technique, Feb 1994; 6(1): 14-16.

This is the case of an annular disc protrusion with nerve root compression at level C-5 of a 69-year-old white male.

From the abstract:

Patient exhibited toothache-like pain over the left upper trapezius and deltoid muscles with an absent biceps reflex, decreased sensation to pinprick in the C5 dermatome, and a weak deltoid muscle. The patient was successfully treated over 26 days with eight treatments using Meric adjustments and supportive therapy. He remained pain free, without neurological signs, at the 4-month follow-up. Soft tissue injuries of the cervical spine: a 15-year follow-up. Squires B, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. J of Bone and Joint Surgery (British Edition), 1996; (70B), pp955-57. Ten and fifteen years after the original accident, some patients continue to complain of neck pain, back pain, headaches and/or dizziness.

This is the study of 40 patients with a whiplash injury assessed an average of 15.5 years after the injury.

This shows us that whiplash symptoms may remain for years without resolution. The most common complaint was neck pain, followed by back pain, headaches and dizziness. Psychological disturbances were seen in 52% of the patients. Between 10 and 15 years after their initial injuries, only 18% of the patients demonstrated significant improvement. Twenty-eight percent showed deterioration.

Brain SPECT findings in late whiplash syndrome. Otte A, Mueller-Brand J, Fierz L. Lancet 1995; 345:1512-13.

Why do people with neck pain and whiplash sometimes suffer vision, hearing and personality disturbances? A study using a new technology shows that such patients have decreased blood flow in certain brain areas and that pain irritation from the upper neck appears to affect the blood supply to the brain.

Using technetium-99m hexanethylproplyrnrsminroxime single photon emission computerized tomography (SPECT), they found that six of seven patients with nontraumatic cervical pain had parieto-occipital hypoperfusion. In 24 patients confirmed by independent observers to be suffering from cognitive disturbances after whiplash injury, all had parieto-occipital hypoperfusion compared with 15 normal control subjects.

Manipulation and mobilization of the cervical spine: a systematic review of the literature. Hurwitz EL, Aker PD, Adam AH, Meeker WC, Shekelle PG. Spine 1996; 21:1746-60.

This was an analysis of the medical literature from 1966 to 1996 regarding cervical spine manipulation for neck pain and headache. Data was summarized and randomized controlled clinical trials were critically appraised. Cervical spinal adjustments were found superior to other therapies (muscle relaxants and medical care) for neck and headache. Chiropractic provided chronic neck pain patients with superior results when compared with acupuncture and drugs.

Pregnancy

It is a common observation that birthing seems to be more comfortable for women who were under chiropractic care during pregnancy. The following studies mention how common spinal problems are resolved during pregnancy (up to 90%) and best of all how Chiropractic is safe, effective and most of all a drug free approach which is ideally suited for the health and well being of both mother and child.

The role of chiropractic in pregnancy. Vallone S. Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review Summer 2002. p 47-51.

“By encouraging regular chiropractic and maternal self care (which includes good nutrition, regular stretching and exercise and stress management) we can improve our patient’s probability of a successful natural delivery.”

Complementary and alternative medicine in pregnancy: a survey of North Carolina certified nurse-midwives. Allaire AD, Moos WK, Wells SR. Obstet Gynecol 2000;95(1):19-23.

In this survey of 82 certified nurse-midwives, 93.9% reported that they recommended patients to alternative health care providers. 57.3% said they referred women to chiropractors.

Follow-up of patients with low back pain during pregnancy. Brynhildsen J, Hansson A, Persson A, Hammar M. In: Obstetrics & Gynecology, Feb 1998; 91(2): 182-6.

Women with severe low back pain during pregnancy have an extremely high risk for experiencing a new episode of more severe low back pain during future pregnancies and when not pregnant.

Note: According to revised guidelines from the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vaginal delivery should be routine in women who previously underwent cesarean section birth, Journal Of The American Osteopathic Association, Feb.1989, Vol.89 No.2, p.164.

An effective drug-free approach to premature contractions. Phillips C. ICA Review Oct. 1998.

Dr. Carol Phillips has done an amazing job of integrating chiropractic with CranioSacral T therapy to develop a number of techniques to help women in labor and pregnancy. Using simple procedures, she teaches healthcare providers unique methods of helping their pregnant patients and young children.

She writes:

”What is it about chiropractic care and pregnancy? Why do so many women who receive care during pregnancy always ask us, ” How in the world do other women get through pregnancy without adjustments?”

This paper presents a simple procedure that doctors can teach spouses and birth assistants in order to prevent and correct “one of the most serious complaints associated with imbalance – premature contractions.”

Back Labor: a possible solution for a painful situation. Phillips C. ICA Review July/August 1997.

From 50-75% of pregnant women experience the acute, severe, low back pain that is categorized as back labor. Dr. Phillips writes: “many first time mothers mistakenly think back labor is what childbirth is supposed to feel like. Let me assure you IT IS NOT.” Dr. Phillips offers a biomechanical approach to back labor. Dr. Phillips states, “Back labor is not a very common finding in patients who have received chiropractic and craniosacral therapy throughout pregnancy.”

Dr. Phillips offers approaches that will help the baby turn so as to prevent back labor and methods that a chiropractor, labor companion or any birth attendant may use to help a woman in labor relax the pelvis, reduce pelvic tension and permit a back labor presentation to turn the baby to a more natural position for delivery.

Hypolumbarlordosis: a predisposing factor for preeclampsia. Kanayama N. Maradny EE, Kajiwara Y. et al. European Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Biology, 1997;75: 115-121.

About 1 in 200 pregnant women suffer from preeclampsia with hypertension and albuminaria (protein in urine) and which can lead to seizures, coma and death. No one knows what causes it.

The authors studied pregnant women to see if there was a relationship between their spinal shape, particularly the lumbar (lower back) spinal shape and preeclampsia. It was revealed that women with decreased lumbar spine curves had more preeclampsia. Interestingly, they also found that patients with reduced lumbar curves had decreased blood flow to the iliac artery than normal pregnant women.

Case history: premature labor. Cohen Eddy, D.C., F.I.C.A. Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 1 No. 4 May 1995.

A chiropractor’s wife experienced premature labor at 32 weeks of gestation. She was also diagnosed with severe endometriosis resulting in inflammation of the ovaries and was informed that she would never be able to become pregnant and recommendation for treatment was laparoscopic surgery.

Patient refused treatment. She went to a hospital where the M.D.s wished to inject oxytocin to stop her contractions. The author writes:

“While at the hospital, the patient’s husband adjusted her. The intensity of the contractions decreased somewhat. However the contractions maintained the same frequency of every five minutes.” She was adjusted C-2, using the toggle recoil technique. Contractions reduced markedly and then discontinued completely “Patient then continued with weekly adjustments until the occurrence of labor and delivery at 40 weeks gestation, with no complications. The patient’s newborn infant was checked and adjusted 20 hours after the birth.”

Some preterm labor may have a neurologic condition that responds to correcting/reducing vertebral subluxation complex. Chiropractic and prenatal reference manual. Peet, JB, The Baby Adjusters, Inc. 1992. Shelburne, VT.

The effects of chiropractic treatment on pregnancy and labor: a comprehensive study. Fallon J. Proceedings of the world chiropractic congress. 1991; 24-31.

The hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy can change the shape of the spinal curves and overall posture which can affect organ systems.

In this study Dr. Fallon describes her work with 65 women who received chiropractic care from at least the tenth week of pregnancy through labor and delivery. These women experienced mean labor times significantly reduced compared to controls.

Women who were primagravidae (first pregnancy) who received chiropractic care averaged 24% shorter labor times than average for primagravidae women.

Women who were multiparous (had had at least one child prior) averaged 39% shorter labor times versus controls.

Adjustive procedures for the pregnant chiropractic patient. Esch S., Zachman Z. Chiropractic Technique. May 1991; 3(2): 66-71.

This is a discussion of the technique and modifications needed to facilitate spinal adjustments for the pregnant patient. The authors used pillows under the abdomen and flexed the knees while prone to reduce stress on the low back.

Sciatica

Non-operative treatments for sciatica: a pilot study for a randomized clinical trial. Bronfort G, Evans RL, Anderson AV et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics October 2000, Vol. 23 No. 8.

This is a prospective, observer-blinded, pilot randomized clinical trial of 20 patients aged 20-65 with low back-related leg pain. Patients were divided into three groups. One group was given medical care, one group chiropractic care and one group steroid injections. All groups showed substantial improvement at the end of the 12 week study.

Lack of effectiveness of bed rest for sciatica. Patrick CAJ, Vroomen MD, Marc CTFM, et al. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1999;340:418-423.

Many medical doctors prescribe bed rest for sciatica, yet according to the authors: “For low back pain, bed rest has traditionally been considered effective, although there is little objective data to support this view. In recent years evidence of the ineffectiveness of bed rest for low back pain has accumulated, but bed rest continues to still be widely used for treatment of sciatica.”

From the conclusion: “Among patients with symptoms and signs of a lumbosacral radicular syndrome, bed rest is not a more effective therapy than watchful waiting.”

From Mobilization of the Spine (1984) by Grieve GP Churchill Livingston, London/New York, 4th edition, 22-23.

“All those experienced in manipulation can report numerous examples of migrainous headaches, disequilibrium (vertigo), subjective visual disturbances, feelings of retro-orbital pressure, dysphagia, dysphonia, heaviness of a limb, extra segmental paraesthesia, restriction of respiratory excursion, abdominal nausea and the cold sciatic leg being relieved by manual or mechanical treatment of the vertebral column.”

Low force chiropractic care of two patients with sciatic neuropathy and lumbar disc herniation. Richards GL et al. Am J Chiro Med Mar 1990;3(1):25-32.

From the abstract:

Two patients with sciatic neuropathy and confirmed disc herniation were treated with low force treatment regimen consisting of Activator instrument adjusting, pelvic blocking, high voltage galvanic current and exercises. Follow-up CAT scans in the first case (revealed) complete absence of disc herniation. The second case follow up scan revealed the continued presence of a silent disc bulge at the L3-4 level and partial decrease in a herniation at the L4-5 level. The bulge appeared to have shifted away from the nerve root. Both patients’ pain levels decreased from severe to minimal. The patients regained the ability to stand, sit and walk for longer periods without discomfort; lifting tasks also became easier. The patients were able to return to full work capacity at three and nine months respectively.

Whiplash

Long term damage to the spine and head is especially common in auto accidents. Doctors of chiropractic have for years recognized the need for neuro-structural integrity in these areas and that most victims of automobile injuries do not fully recover under medical care; they may continue to have problems for years after the accident. This is especially the case of those who have whiplash and concussion injuries. This of course underscores the need for chiropractic care for accident victims. New medical terms acknowledging the chronicity and incomplete healing of accident victims have recently arisen. The terms used are: Postconcussion Syndrome (PCS), Whiplash Syndrome (WS), Post Whiplash Syndrome (PWS), Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (MTBI), and mild head injury (MHI).

The chiropractic profession owes a debt to Arthur Croft, DC of San Diego, California who taught of, and researched the need for the caring of patients who had the above conditions years before these conditions were acknowledged in the medical literature.

The detection and management of pediatric whiplash injuries. Ben Eliyahhu, DJ Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic & Pediatrics, Oct. 1993, Palm Springs, CA, November 1993, Palm Beach, Florida.

This paper presents case studies on the detection and management of pediatric whiplash injuries.

Case Study #1

A six-year-old female was involved in a rear end collision while sitting in the front seat. She and her mother were taken to the hospital where the mother was examined, x-rayed, collared and released. The child was briefly examined, the mother was told that the child was okay and was discharged. The child complained to the mother of headaches and neck stiffness, was taken to the pediatrician who said the child was fine. The complaints persisted and the mother brought the child to the chiropractor. Infrared thermography scans disclosed abnormalities of the head, neck and upper extremities. Radiographs revealed ligamentous instability, cervical subluxations and myospasm. The mother said that the child began to experience “black-outs” and a neurologist diagnosed Petit Mal seizures. The child improved under medical and chiropractic care and often said that the adjustment gave her the greatest relief and she would often ask her mother to bring her to the chiropractor.

Case Study #2

An eight year-old boy was involved in an auto accident and complained that his leg and head hurt. Doctors in the emergency room said he was fine. Infrared thermography scans of the child revealed abnormalities due to vertebral subluxations and spinal biomechanical insult. Post adjustment scans showed a return to normal and correlated to the child’s symptomatic improvement.

A symptomatic classification of whiplash injury and the implications for treatment. Khan S, Cook J, Gargan M. Bannister G The Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine 21[1] 1999.

The goal of this paper was “to determine which patients with chronic whiplash will benefit from chiropractic treatment.” 93 patients were interviewed in “structured telephone interviews.”

From the conclusion: “Whiplash injuries are common. Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment in chronic cases.”

A multiple parameter assessment of whiplash injury patients undergoing subluxation based chiropractic care: a retrospective study. McCoy HG and McCoy M. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research Vol 1, No 3, 1997 Pp. 51-61.

From the Abstract:

A retrospective study was conducted of 57 subjects who had experienced an acceleration/deceleration (whiplash) injury.. With subluxation-based chiropractic care, the subject population showed significant increases in cervical flexion and extension, muscle strength, and a decrease in the neck pain disability index. Atlas/axis and Jackson’s angles varied inversely from presentation to MCI (maximum chiropractic improvement). Longer durations of care were correlated with the lower ratios (fewer adjustments/week), while shorter durations of care to reach MCI were correlated to higher ratios (average adjustments/week).

Post whiplash syndrome. Bogduk, N. Australian Family Physician Vol. 23, No. 12 December 1994 Pp. 2303-2307.

This article, from one of the world’s leading anatomists and cervical spine researchers is an excellent paper for the study of whiplash. His observation of the limitations of the medical approach to whiplash: “The treatment of whiplash is based on fashion and faith” (p.2306) underlies the importance of using chiropractic first before resorting to drugs and surgery. In discussing the “core of patients who do not recover”, Professor Bogduk describes medicine’s failure to help these people as the fault of a “system that denies the problem discourages research and puts the blame for the problem on the patients.” (P. 2307).

From the introduction:

Whiplash is a poorly understood problem that attracts accusations of malingering and compensation neurosis. Recent research has revealed a variety of occult lesions that can be responsible for the chronic pain and suffering after whiplash; however, appropriate diagnostic techniques are still either lacking or not widely used. While there are reasonable options for acute management there is no proven therapy for the chronic situation.

Course of attention and memory after common whiplash: a two-year prospective study with age, education and gender pair-matched patients. Di Stefano G and Radanov BP Acta Neurol Scand 1995; 91: 346-352).

Comment: Some studies have documented attention deficits in symptomatic whiplash patients as well as memory loss while other studies have not. This paper reviews the value of the studies done by others in this field and found them to have designs that were “insufficient.” The chiropractic interest in this subject is more than that of the neuromusculoskeletal condition of whiplash, but of the brain function that is affected by presumed subluxations of the cervical spine. This work should be read in concert with Gorman’s and Zhang’s papers in the Improved Brain Function section of this report.

From the abstract:

Attentional functional and memory of common whiplash patients were evaluated during the first two years after experiencing injury….All (117) patients had a similar socioeconomic background, all being injured in automobile accidents and fully covered by insurance plans. Two years following initial trauma, 21 patients remained symptomatic.

When compared with matched controls, the 21 symptomatic patients had no memory impairment but did have attention functional (difficult of follow-up of tasks with divided attention).

Late outcome of mild head injury: results from a controlled postal survey. Bohnen N, Vanzutphen W, Twijnstra A et al. Brain Injury 8(8): 701-708, 1994.

In this study, a postal questionnaire was sent to a population of (mild head injury) MHI patients 1 to 5 years post accident and a control group to measure subjective and psychological complaints, distresses and discomforts often mentioned by MHI patients. Interestingly, the distresses and symptoms of the MHI group were indistinguishable from the non-MHI, however the MHI group’s symptoms were significantly more severe.

The conclusion from the abstract was interesting: “The results support the hypothesis that MHI may not ever be completely reversible.”

Post-traumatic headache. Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinica. Neuroscience 6(3): 229-236, 1994.

From the abstract:

The authors review post-traumatic headache (PTH). The most common symptom following head injury, PTH is paradoxically most severe after mild head injury. Although most cases resolve within 6-12 months, many patients have protracted or even permanent headache. Because PTH generally has no objective findings, it is often controversial whether the symptom is “real,” “psychogenic,” or “fabricated.” Despite persisting beliefs by physicians, attorneys, and insurers that PTH resolves upon legal settlement, recent studies have shown that “permanent” PTH is usually present several years after a legal settlement. Often PTH affects family life, recreation, and employment. Patients require education and support as well as appropriate evaluation and treatment.

Stress

How Big of a Role Does Stress Play in Your Overall Level of Health?
Chiropractic understands that stress, whether it be physical, chemical or emotional in nature. Stress affects the body’s ability to properly function and leads to poor health from the affects of subluxation. More and more research keeps piling up to support this concept, but the short and long-term effects of stress and subluxation are hardly ever addressed by the modern medical system. The medical community is not about to accept the theory that there is one cause for all disease (i.e. stress and subluxation). This is contrary to every major medical premise. Yet this is exactly what happened in 1964 when Hans Selye, M.D. was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine!

In the 1950’s, Dr. Selye studied the effect of stress on the human body and presented his work to the world in the concept of the “General Adaptation Syndrome,” for which he won the 1964 Nobel Prize. This was a revolutionary concept of mental and physical illness and it was, at the time, acclaimed as the most important and far-reaching idea in the history of medicine…that STRESS is the cause of all disease.

In his book, “The Stress of Life,” Selye described how, as a medical student, he first noticed that the early signs of many illnesses were identical—loss of energy and appetite, generalized aches and pains, and so on. He wondered why these vague symptoms were taken for granted by his instructors. Years of research gradually led him to realize that these commonly related symptoms were actually part of a pattern, the arousing of the body’s resistance to a stress-causing agent. It did not matter whether the stressor came from a mechanical, chemical, nutritional, biological, or even emotional source. The body always reacted in an identical manner.

According to Selye, the body produces an alarm reaction to any form of stress that threatens its well-being. Unless the stress is unusually strong, we are not even aware of the body’s response. This initial alarm reaction is followed by a period of adaptation to the stress, or compensation, if the stress continues unabated. This process will continue until the body’s vital energy is exhausted and symptoms become apparent. It is at this point that the patient usually seeks help but usually from an over-the-counter remedy at the pharmacy, not in a doctor’s office. If the symptoms continue and the body’s ability to maintain normal function becomes more exhausted, professional help must be sought. For most problems, the process is a slow and a gradual slide into a disease that can be measured and eventually named. The diseased person then becomes, we are told, the exclusive property of the medical and insurance communities.

I do not have a problem with disease and degeneration coming under the medical umbrella. That is what medical professionals are trained to deal with. I do have difficulty with the concept of their ability to recognize disease before a pathological process can be identified. The truth is, the patient must be diseased (quantified and qualified) before medicine can hope to be effective. Otherwise, it is just guesswork. Chiropractic can be applied to anyone to improve the overall health of the individual, regardless if symptoms are present or not. In this respect, chiropractic is a universal health care option, whereas medicine is limited to treating disease rather than restoring health. There is a HUGE difference.

Every diseased patient has already gone through the periods of stress, alarm, reaction, adaptation or compensation, and exhaustion BEFORE the disease was named and specific therapy begun. During this period of time, whether a specific disease has been identified or not – a chiropractor using a careful case history and examination can identify the stress, assist in its removal, and correct the most damaging effect of stress on the bodies normal function – the subluxation. In this way, disease can be prevented and an enormous service rendered to humanity, through a service no medicine is able to provide – the adjustment.

Dr. Selye’s book says, “Apparently, disease is not just suffering, but a fight to maintain the homeostatic balance of our tissues, despite damage. Could all of this vagueness be translated into the precise terms of modern medical science? Could it point a way to explore whether or not there is some non-specific defence system built into our body, a mechanism to fight any kind of disease?”

Chiropractic deals with this inborn defence system, and complements the body’s inherent ability to heal itself when there is no interference to the function of the nervous system.