Severe Neck Pain, Anterior Head Positioning and Spondylolisthesis Helped with Chiropractic

What is Spondylolisthesis? Can Chiropractic Care Help Degenerative Pain?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 7, 2016, reporting on chiropractic helping a woman suffering with severe neck pain, neck stiffness, and pain in the upper back associated with spondylolisthesis in her neck.

severe-neck-pain-anterior-head-positioning-and-spondylolisthesis-helped-with-chiropractic-austin-tx-chiropractor-back-pain-help-fast-best-reviews-nextdoor-app-yelp-google-facebookOn the website WebMD, spondylolisthesis is defined as “…a condition in which one bone in your back (vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine (lumbosacral area). In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed. This can cause back pain and numbness or weakness in one or both legs.”

The authors of this study further describe this condition as it relates to the neck by stating, “Spondylolisthesis of the spine refers to an anterior or posterior displacement of vertebrae relative to the vertebrae below. In the cervical spine, anterior or posterior vertebral displacement typically results from degenerative or traumatic causes.” This form of spondylolisthesis is known as degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis (DCS).

In this case, a 52-year-old woman suffering from neck pain, neck stiffness, and thoracic pain went to the chiropractor seeking relief. The woman reported that she experienced the pain frequently. She described the pain as severe, resulting in a tense and swelling sensation in her lower neck and upper back areas.

X-rays of the woman’s neck showed that the fourth vertebrae in her neck (C4) had moved significantly forward over the top of the fifth neck vertebrae (C5). Additionally, her C6 vertebrae had also move forward over her C7 neck vertebrae. The x-rays also showed that, overall, the woman’s head was significantly forward of a normal head position.

Based on the x-rays and a chiropractic examination, specific chiropractic care was started. After 30 visits, a re-evaluation was performed. This new examination with x-rays showed that the woman’s spondylolisthesis had been measurably reduced in both areas of her neck. Additionally, her overall head position had greatly improved. Due to these positive changes, the woman reported a complete resolution in her pain, stiffness, tension, and swelling.

In explaining how the mechanism for spondylolisthesis occurs, the authors of the study stated, “Abnormal posture, translational instability of vertebral segments, and abnormal facet angles have all been found to be predisposing factors for cervical degeneration and spondylolisthesis. These physiological changes can result in altered biomechanics leading to increased stress on the intervertebral discs and joints of the spine.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Motion and Pain Improved with Chiropractic in 75-Year-Old Man

Do Chiropractors Adjust Elderly People? How Old Are Chiropractic Patients?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on September 12, 2016, documenting the progress of an elderly man with limited motion being helped with chiropractic. Mobility is a primary concern for the elderly and has a direct effect on the overall quality of seniors’ lives.

motion-and-pain-improved-with-chiropractic-in-75-year-old-man-austin-tx-chiropractor-nextdoor-reviewsThe study begins by noting that the population of older people is growing rapidly worldwide. It is estimated that by the year 2050, people over the age of 60 will represent 21.1% of the worlds population with numbers greater than 2 billion.

The author of the study reviewed other studies involving chiropractic and motion in the elderly. In summarizing these studies he noted, “In recent studies chiropractic care, primarily focused on the correction of vertebral subluxation, has been shown to positively impact the older adults’ ability to remain independent, perform activities of daily living, and to be able to participate in life on many different levels, including physical and social functioning.”

In this case, a 75-year-old man with a 20-year history of low back and neck pain went to a chiropractor. Due to his age, he believed he may not be able to improve and may have to “learn to live with it.” His history revealed that 48 years ago, the man had fallen over 22 feet down a sewage pit.

The man reported exhibiting discomfort while sitting and standing. His physical activity was curtailed to walking only short distances due to his pain and stiffness. His pain had gotten to the point where, over the prior four weeks before seeking chiropractic care, he had started taking over the counter pain medication. During the examination, the man rated his physical health as 4/10 and mental health as 7/10.

The examination showed that the man carried his head forward while also having an increased hunched-type curve in his middle back. His spinal range of motion was limited in most all directions. Thermography and surface EMG studies also showed problem areas in the man’s spine.

Chiropractic care was begun at the rate of two visits per month. The study stated that after the sixth visit, the man reported increased flexibility and was able to walk for longer distances than before. On the seventh visit, the man commented, “It is important for me to be able to bend forward and move my head, I can do that easier now,” He also commented, “I’ve noticed my posture is more upright and not bent forward.”

As a result, the man’s self rating of his health improved from a 4/10 to an 8/10, and his mental health improved from 7/10 to 8/10. Additional improvements included increased range of motion in all of his movements, and he was able to discontinue his over-the-counter pain medication.

In his conclusion the author wrote, “Chiropractic care to correct vertebral subluxation was associated with improvements in the patient’s presenting musculoskeletal complaints and resultant quality of life.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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