The October 4, 2017, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study documenting the resolution, under chiropractic care, of a patient suffering from anxiety, depression, insomnia, scoliosis and cluster headaches, who also had an opioid addiction.
This study begins by noting that anxiety is one of the most commonly diagnosed psychiatric disorders, affecting 18.1% of the population. Anxiety disorders are often diagnosed with other disorders such as depression and substance abuse. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition – Text Revision, there is 12 different diagnoses that fall under the general heading of anxiety disorders.
The typical medical treatments for anxiety involve drugs. The problems and side effects with such medications are well documented, as is their highly addictive nature. For these reasons, and because there can be significant withdrawal issues, many of these drugs are not recommended for long term use.
In this case, a 21-year-old man presented himself to a chiropractor for a variety of issues. The man was suffering from cluster headaches, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. At that time, he was also recovering from treatment for substance abuse of opioid painkillers. He reported that he had been suffering with his issues for the prior 14 months.
The patient reported that medication seemed to reduce his symptoms. However with medication, he rated his headaches as a 10 out of 10 with 10 being the most severe. He also rated his anxiety as a 10 out of 10, and he rated his insomnia issues as 10 out of 10 when not treated with medications. Due to his complaints and his treatment for opioid addiction, the man had dropped out of college 11 months earlier.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, range of motion, and spinal x-rays. The x-rays showed a loss of normal curvatures in the side views of the neck and mid back of the man’s spine. It was also noted that a scoliosis was present when viewed on the front-to-back x-rays. From these findings, it was determined that subluxations were present. The man was started on a series of specific chiropractic adjustments to address his subluxations. After a specific time period, a reassessment and follow-up x-rays were done to monitor the progress.
The follow-up x-rays taken showed a 24% improvement in the neck curvature, and a 10 degree improvement in his scoliosis. Over time, all x-rays showed improvements in the various improper curvatures seen on the original x-rays.
The study reports that one month after starting chiropractic care, the man had improved to the point where he was able to restart college. After 12 months of care, he reported being off all headache medication. He also stated that his anxiety and insomnia had drastically improved to the point where he was able to lower his medications. The report noted that after 20 months of regular chiropractic care, the patient was off all medications except for small amounts of anxiety medication as needed.
In their conclusion, the study authors wrote, “Subluxation-based chiropractic care played a role in the resolution of the patient’s complaints. The patient was able to stop all medications and leads a productive life symptom free.” The study reported that the changes in this man’s life were profound enough that he enrolled in chiropractic college 20 months after starting chiropractic care himself.