What is Scoliosis?
A typical spine is a straight, vertical line; in comparison to a spine with scoliosis where the spine has a horizontal curvature. Approximately 2% of Americans at age 16 have scoliosis. Less than 0.1% have spinal curves measuring greater than 40 degrees, which is the point at which surgery becomes a consideration.
What Causes Scoliosis?
Overall, girls are more likely to be affected by Scoliosis than boys. Scoliosis can be caused by a couple of different factors, including birth defect of bones, muscles or nerves. Trauma, like a car accident may result in scoliosis. The most common type of scoliosis, idiopathic scoliosis, has no specific identifiable cause. There are many theories, but none have been found to be conclusive. There is, however, strong evidence that idiopathic scoliosis is inherited.
The curve int he spine causes stress and pressure on:
-spinal discs and facet joints
-muscles and ligaments
Jonathan Chung D.C. and Bryan Salminen D.C. did a case study on the reduction in Scoliosis in a 10 Year-Old Female Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care and published their findings in the journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health.
Clinical Features:A 10 year old female presented to a chiropractic practice with a chief complaint of scoliosis, a 35 degree curve in her lower back.
Intervention and Outcomes: Six upper cervical adjustments were delivered over a period of 11 visits and 25 weeks. A 10 degree reduction in scoliotic curve was found and confirmed by an independent medical radiologist.
Conclusion:The upper cervical subluxation may be a contributing factor to idiopathic scoliosis. Reduction of the subluxation with specific vectored correction may help reduce curvatures in the thoracic and lumbar spine. More research is warranted investigating the effects of upper cervical care and idiopathic scoliosis.
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What is Asthma?
Asthma is a disease of diffuse airway inflammation caused by a variety of triggering stimuli. When you have an asthma attack, spasms of the muscles around the airways, inflammation and swelling of the airways, and excessive amounts of mucus contribute to airway narrowing. This makes airway resistance increase and the work of breathing more difficult, causing shortness of breath, cough, and wheezing.
What Causes Asthma?
No one really knows what causes asthma. The causes of asthma triggers and symptoms can vary for different people. It’s important to understand the many asthma triggers. Once you identify and reduce exposure to the specific triggers or causes of asthma, you can take an active role in controlling your asthma and reducing the frequency of asthma attacks.
-Coughing (especially at night)
-Shortness of breath
-Chest tightness, pain or pressure
Heather Davis, D.C. and Amy Byrley, D.C. did a case study on Correction of Subluxation and Alleviation of Asthma Symptoms in a Pediatric Patient and published their findings in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic.
Clinical Features:A two-year-old male suffering from asthma, chronic colds, and respiratory issues since birth was presented by his mother for chiropractic evaluation and possible care. At the time of initial examination the patient was taking two medications, Flovent and Singulair, daily.
Interventions and Outcomes:The patient was cared for using specific, low-force adjustments with the Activator adjusting instrument to address areas of vertebral subluxation in the cervical, thoracic and lumbosacral spine. Within approximately two weeks (4 adjustments) the patient’s mother reported improvement in the boy’s condition.
Conclusion: This case report reviews the benefit a young boy suffering from asthma experienced while undergoing chiropractic care. It is recommended that further investigation be conducted on this subject with large clinical trials.
What is Depression?
Depressive disorders are characterized by sadness severe enough or persistent enough to interfere with function and sometimes by decreased interest or pleasure in activities. Exact cause is unknown but probably involves heredity, changes in neurotransmitter levels, altered neuroendocrine function, and psychosocial factors. Diagnosis is based on history.
What Causes Depression?
Depressive disorders occur at any age but typically develop during the mid-teens, 20s, or 30s. In primary care settings, as many as 30% of patients report depressive symptoms, but less than 10% have major depression.
-Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
-Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
-Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
-Reduced sex drive
-Insomnia or excessive sleeping, fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
-Changes in appetite
-Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
-Indecisiveness, easy to distract and decreased concentration
Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care as a Complementary Strategy for Depression
Lauren Roth PsyD, Diane Zelman PhD, Lauren Clum DC, Justin Roth DC
Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research
Clinical Features: This case study of 6 adults with mild to moderate depression symptoms based on pre-treatment and presence of upper cervical subluxation. Participants received upper cervical specific chiropractic care. Participants completed the Symptom Checklist-90-Revised (SCL-90-R) pre- and post-treatment, and completed depression measures weekly throughout treatment. A numeric chiropractic care outcome measure tracked stability and effectiveness of weekly chiropractic visits. A post-treatment interview conducted by a psychology researcher evaluated subjective effectiveness and effects.
Intervention and Outcome: Five of six patients completed all 12 recommended chiropractic visits. Four of five study completers expressed satisfaction with the outcome and that they would recommend similar care to others with depression. Participants also reported decrease in muscle tension and pain and increase in mental clarity and physical energy.
Conclusion: The results provide tentative support for the effectiveness of upper cervical chiropractic care for depression symptoms. Follow-up research should use randomized controlled blind study.
The Merck Manual (eighteenth edition), www.mayoclinic.com, www.uppercervicalsubluxation.com
What is a Migraine?
A migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine symptoms can last for a couple of hours to days.
What Causes Migraines?
No one knows the exact reason for migraines. There are a couple know contributors including genetics and environmental factors. It is also thought that migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with nerve. Migraines affect 18% women and 6% of men in the US. It is common for migraines to start during adolescence and will substance after the age of 50.
-Throbbing or a pulsing sensation of the head
-Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
Moses Bernard DC, Joel Alcantara DC, and G. Stanford Pierce DC publish a case study on how upper cervical chiropractic helps with migraines in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research.
Clinical Features: A 16-year-old female presented with a chief complaint of migraine since kindergarten. Magnetic resonance imaging, computer axial tomography scans of the cranium and a dental consultation were unremarkable. The frequency of migraine attacks occurred 1-2 times per week, lasting approximately 2-3 hours per episode.
Intervention and Outcome: The patient was cared for with the Upper Cervical Chiropractic adjustment to address atlas subluxation. The patient attended a total of 16 visits in a period of one year and received 5 corrections to the atlas. Ongoing care resulted in independence from the use of medications and abatement of migraine attacks to 2-4 per month of mild intensity.
Conclusion: The care of an adolescent with chronic migraines with Upper Cervical Chiropractic was presented. This case report provides supporting evidence that patients with migraines may benefit from this type of chiropractic care.
What is TMJ?
Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) coordinates the movement of the jaw. The timing of the left and right side of the joint are synchronized by muscles and the trigeminal nerve. The trigeminal nerve also gives sensation and function to the rest of the face, including tongue, sinus, palate, eyes, teeth, and lips.
What Causes TMJ?
TMJ Dysfunction is most commonly caused by damage to the joint itself. Damage to the joint can be from direct trauma like a car accident or indirect trauma like clenching your teeth repeatedly. Another, not so commonly addressed link to TMJ Dysfunction is upper neck and nervous system trauma.
Clicking or popping of the joint
Pain with or without chewing
Locking of the jaw
Facial and or neck painHeadaches
Beth Forgosh, DC, Stéphane Provencher, DC and Charles L. Blum, DC did a case study on TMJ Dysfunction Affects the Sucking Reflex in a 2-Month-Old Female Infant.
Clinical features: A 2-month-old underweight female presented with nutritive sucking function since birth as reported by her mother. Complications developed when labor failed to progress. According to the mother the child was taken to the osteopath “to address underdevelopment of cranial structures/jaw.” The mother had a good experience with the osteopath, but her lactation consultant recommended she seek chiropractic care since the baby was not sucking strongly enough, was underweight, and she had to continue supplementing the infant’s feeding with formula.
Outcome and Interventions: Treatment was guided by visual assessment of asymmetry, palpation of increased muscle tension or asymmetry, regions of sensitivity involving muscle testing. Visual analysis of the patient revealed a head tilt, left sided flattening of the skull, orbital dimension (small left eye), and flattened left ear. The patient’s history of weak sucking directed investigation into valuations of TMJ related structures and their possible contribution to the patient’s symptoms.
Results: Within minutes following initial treatment, the child’s sucking strength improved significantly. Mom described the sucking as strong and direct for the first time ever. At the follow-up office visit, the mother reported that the baby no longer exhibited preference for right-side breast, and was nursing equally on both sides.
What is Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s Disease is considered a chronic and progressive disorder of the central nervous system and characterized by gradual loss of brain control over the body. In the United States, around 50,000 new cases of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) are diagnosed each year, adding to the one million people who currently have it.
What Causes Parkinson’s Disease?
Parkinson’s disease is caused by the progressive impairment or deterioration of neurons in the brain. This area of the brain is in charge of communication between the brain and coordinating muscle movement. When functioning normally, these neurons produce a vital brain chemical known as dopamine. A lack of dopamine results in abnormal nerve functioning, causing a loss in the ability to control body movements.
Tremor or trembling
Steve Landry TRP, DC did a case studt on Upper Cervical Chiropractic Management of a Patient with Parkinson’s Disease and published his findings in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research.
Clinical Features: A 63-year-old man was diagnosed with Idiopathic Parkinson’s disease after a twitch developed in his right hand at rest. Other findings included loss of energy, anxiety and localized middle back pain.
Intervention and Outcomes: Upper cervical care adjustments were used over a 4 week period using x-ray procedures, and analysis, skin temperature differential (pattern) analysis. Adjustments were delivered to the Atlas vertebra. The patient experienced significant improvements in his quality of life and subjective intake during upper cervical care. The patient also showed considerable improvements in the overall bodily pain, active and passive cervical range of motion, postural correction and better quality of sleep following the cessation of his restless leg syndrome.
Conclusions: We conclude that improvement of the Atlas alignment is associated with reduction of most of his Parkinson’s symptoms. Symptoms including decrease in frequency and intensity of his middle back pain, improvement in his quality of life and improvement in his motor functions.
What is Vertigo?
Vertigo is a subtype of dizziness in which a person inappropriately experiences the perception of motion (usually a spinning motion) due to dysfunction of the sensor system.
What Causes Vertigo?
The position of your head and body in space is sensed by the inner ear nerves and structures. Vertigo is often caused by problems with these nerves and structures.
-Difficulties standing or walking-Sensation of disorientation or motion
-Abnormal eye movements
David D. Kelly, BSc Chiro, BSc and Kelly Holt, BSc (Chiro), PGDipHSc did a case study on Resolution of Vertigo, Migraines and Neck Pain in a 12 Year Old Boy Receiving Chiropractic Care and published their findings in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health.
Clinical Features: A twelve year old boy with a long history of routine, recurrent dizziness, chronic neck pain and migraines presented for chiropractic care. These symptoms resulted in him being absent from school more than half of the time for the previous seven years.
Interventions and Outcomes: The patient received chiropractic adjustments for the reduction of vertebral subluxations over a twelve month period. The initial frequency of care was three chiropractic visits per week for four weeks. Visit frequency was then gradually reduced over the next 12 months to one visit per month. Besides the chiropractic adjustments the patient was also advised to perform cervical stretches (lateral flexion, rotation and flexion/extension) twice daily. After the first week of chiropractic care the patient reported a cessation of his headaches and neck ache. His vertigo attacks decreased in frequency and became less severe, then ceased altogether. His attendance improved dramatically at school and dropped from 223 half days absent the previous year to 56 half days absent for the 12 months after beginning chiropractic care.
Conclusion: This case report describes a child who reported a cessation in symptoms of vertigo, neck pain and headaches after beginning chiropractic care. There are a growing number of case reports that suggest chiropractic care may be beneficial for patients suffering from vertigo. Further study is required to investigate the role chiropractors may play in caring for people with vertigo.
What is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)?
Chronic fatigue syndrome is a complicated disorder. It’s defined as severe, disabling fatigue without demonstrable muscle weakness. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn’t improve with rest alone.
What Causes Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?
The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories, ranging from viral infections to psychological stress. Some experts believe chronic fatigue syndrome might be triggered by a combination of factors. There’s no single test to confirm a diagnosis of CFS.
-Loss of memory or concentration
-Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or armpits
-Unexplained muscle pain
-Pain that moves from one joint to another without swelling or redness
-Headache of a new type, pattern or severity
-Extreme exhaustion lasting more than 24 hours after physical or mental exercise
H. Charles Woodfield, BS Pharmacy, D.C. and Marshall Dickholtz, Sr., D.C., FICA did a case study on the Quality of Life Improvement in Patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and published their findings in the journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research.
Introduction: Treatment focuses on alleviation of symptoms and improving a patient’s quality of life. The primary objective was to observe and record changes in health related quality of life, before and after an atlas correction.
Methods: Nineteen subjects diagnosed as having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) according to the 1994 Center of Disease Control (CDC) diagnostic criteria were studied. Patients who were fatigued six or more months and who met four or more diagnostic criteria were evaluated for study inclusion. Data and study administration were conducted using a practice based research protocol. Patients were monitored for a period of six months to insure atlas alignment was maintained and then retested with the outcomes measures.
Results: End of the study by revealed a significant increase in the quality of life.
Conclusion: This chiropractic procedure may contribute to an improved quality of life in some subjects with CFS as demonstrated in this study. The study was limited by the lack of a control group and that care was provided by only one practitioner.
What is Autism?
Autism is a general terms for a complex disorders of brain development. This disorder is characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
What Causes Autism?
Scientists have identified a number of rare gene changes, or mutations, associated with autism. A small number of these are sufficient to cause autism by themselves. Most cases of autism appear to be caused by a combination of autism risk genes and environmental factors influencing early brain development. They include advanced parental age at time of conception (both mom and dad), maternal illness during pregnancy and certain difficulties during birth, particularly those involving periods of oxygen deprivation to the baby’s brain.
Symptoms start at the age of one and always by the age of three.
- Lack of attachment
- Inability to cuddle or to form reciprocal relationships
- Avoidance of eye gaze
- Resistance to change and intense attachment to familiar objects
- Speech and language problems
Tai A. Scelfo D.C. and Patricia L. Chelenyak D.C. did a case study on Resolution of Autistic Symptoms in a Child Undergoing Chiropractic Care to Correct Vertebral Subluxations and published it in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health.
Clinical Features: A 9-year-old boy with chronic ear infections, difficulty with social interactions, and impairment of communication presented for chiropractic care. The child was first diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), and later, diagnosed with Autism.
Interventions: Diversified and toggle-recoil techniques were utilized in this case study. A nutritionist also administered digestive enzymes as part of care. Signs of improved social skills were apparent after the fourth visit, along with language development acknowledged on the seventh visit. The parent also reduced use of medication.
Conclusions: Through the correction of vertebral subluxation, significant improvements were noted by parent and doctor. Further studies need to be conducted to demonstrate that the correction of subluxation correlates with increased functioning of the autistic child.