A case study published on December 29, 2019, in the journal Clinical Medicine Insights: Case Reports, documented the care of a woman suffering with neck pain and difficulty swallowing who was helped by chiropractic. This case study was conducted at the New York Chiropractic & Physiotherapy Centre, New York Medical Group, in Hong Kong, China.
According to the Merck Manual, “Dysphagia is difficulty swallowing. The condition results from impeded transport of liquids, solids, or both from the pharynx to the stomach.”
The authors of the study point out that “Dysphagia is frequently seen in geriatric individuals, occurring in approximately 15% of the elderly population due to normal changes in the mechanism of swallowing function.” They note that the danger is that dysphagia can lead to other health issues. “The main concern is mortality due to aspiration-induced pneumonia, dehydration, and malnutrition.”
In this case, a 70-year-old woman suffering from neck stiffness and swallowing problems presented herself for chiropractic care. Her history reported that she had been having difficulty swallowing solid food for the past three years. Over the past year the problem became worse as the woman reported that she often choked even when trying to swallow liquids.
The woman had a battery of medical test which found nothing more than a weak pharynx. She had been receiving weekly speech therapy for the past two months as well as weekly acupuncture treatments for the previous four months. None of these approaches seemed to help much. Because she did not see any results, and her condition was getting progressively worse, she sought chiropractic care for her issues as well as neck pain she was now suffering with.
A chiropractic examination and spinal x-rays were performed. The results showed some degeneration of the vertebrae in the woman’s neck along with subluxation. Chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxation along with some strengthening exercises.
The study records that after three chiropractic sessions in the first week, the woman reported that her neck stiffness and swallowing problems were mostly resolved. Follow-up x-rays were taken after two months of care which showed positional improvements in the woman’s spine. Six months after the start of care, the woman reported “…no symptoms of dysphagia and was able to take in normal diets without choking or choking sensation.”