Meniere’s Disease Resolved with Chiropractic: A Case Study

What is Meniere’s Disease? Can Chiropractic Care Help Inner Ear Disorders?

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study on January 9, 2017, documenting the resolution of symptoms in a patient suffering from Meniere’s Disease. The American Hearing Loss Foundation defines this condition as, “Meniere’s Disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, and fluctuating hearing loss.”

's Disease Resolved with Chiropractic - Dizzy Austin Chiropractor Best Reviews Yelp Google Facebook Nextdoor AppSymptoms of Meniere’s Disease include vertigo (dizziness), tinnitus (ringing in ears), feeling of fullness in the affected ear, loss of balance, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Estimates are that about 0.2% of the U.S. population, or about 615,000 suffer from this condition. Meniere’s is most common between the ages of 30 and 60 years. The symptoms can occur all at once or individually. Intermittent episodes can last anywhere from minutes to hours with varying intensity.

In this case, a 45-year-old man went to the chiropractor to see if he could be helped with his previously diagnosed condition of Meniere’s Disease. The man reported suffering from unpredictable episodes of fullness of the ear, tinnitus, and vertigo. He was taking Valium to try to control his symptoms. He reported that he would go a few months without symptoms but then they would return. He had been in two car accidents ten to fifteen years prior which he claimed caused a “pinched nerve” in his neck.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a combination of x-rays, postural analysis, leg length measurements, manual palpation and thermography. From the findings, it was determined that subluxation was present in his upper neck. Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun to address the subluxation.

On the 24th visit, a re-examination was performed. At that time, the patient reported that his condition had improved 85% since starting chiropractic care. The patient noted that his quality of life had dramatically improved and he stated, “My most serious issues, vertigo and hearing loss, have been eliminated or drastically reduced.”

His secondary complaints of tinnitus and ear fullness had also improved, but were still minimally present and fluctuated from time to time. He remained under care to continue to improve. Follow-up x-rays confirmed an improvement in the subluxations noted on the first x-rays.

In the study’s conclusion, the authors gave an overview of the results by stating, “This case report outlines the subluxation based chiropractic care of a 45-year-old male suffering from Meniere’s disease following five months of care and twenty-four visits. The patient reported an 85% improvement of his condition with his primary complaints being completely eliminated or significantly reduced while his secondary complaints greatly improved.”

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. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.


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Stroke Risks While Under Chiropractic Care; No Evidence For Causation

With the recent headlines of chiropractic manipulation allegedly causing stroke we have listed some recent and relevant meta-analysis studies that have been done on this topic.  Below is a summary of the conclusions of some recent studies as well as a more in depth overview of the topic.

  • We found no significant association between exposure to chiropractic care and the risk of VBA stroke. We conclude that manipulation is an unlikely cause of VBA stroke. The positive association between PCP visits and VBA stroke is most likely due to patient decisions to seek care for the symptoms (headache and neck pain) of arterial dissection. We further conclude that using chiropractic visits as a measure of exposure to manipulation may result in unreliable estimates of the strength of association with the occurrence of VBA stroke. http://chiromt.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12998-015-0063-x

stroke-risks-while-under-chiropractic-care-no-evidence-for-causation-austin-tx-chiropractor

According to the American Heart Association (2010), a stroke “…is a disease that affects the arteries leading to and within the brain. It is the No. 3 cause of death in the United States, behind diseases of the heart and cancer. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel that carries oxygen and nutrients to the brain is either blocked by a clot or bursts. When that happens, part of the brain cannot get the blood (and oxygen) it needs, so it starts to die…Stroke can be caused either by a clot obstructing the flow of blood to the brain (called an ischemic stroke) or by a blood vessel rupturing and preventing blood flow to the brain (called a hemorrhagic stroke)…The brain is an extremely complex organ that controls various body functions. If a stroke occurs and blood flow can’t reach the region that controls a particular body function, a stroke will ensue, then that part of the body won’t work as it should” (http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp).

The AHA (2010) also posts signs and symptoms of an impending stroke. These include numbness or weakness of one side of the face, sudden confusion, difficulty speaking or understanding, problems seeing out of one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination, and severe and sudden headaches with no known cause.

The blood supply to the brain is provided through the vertebral arteries and the carotid arteries. Problems in any of these arteries can result in the development of a thrombus (clot) or an embolism. If the thrombus is large enough it can occlude the normal blood flow. If an embolism occurs, it can move through the circulation into the brain and occlude blood flow. Either way, a stroke can be the result of these situations. One of the unique characteristics of strokes of this nature is that they can involve neck pain and headache.

Many patients will seek chiropractor care for neck pain and headaches. In the great majority of cases, the pain involved is not related to a stroke. However, on occasion, it may be. When the pain is related to a stroke, some of these patients developed a full range of stroke symptoms. Over the years, reports in the popular press and the scientific literature have suggested or stated outright that in patients who experience a stroke following chiropractic care, the stroke was caused by the chiropractor! We now know that this is very unlikely to be the case. What is far more likely is that the patient developed a thrombus or embolism in their vertebral arteries, producing neck pain and headache. This person sought health care for the pain. Whether they saw a chiropractor or their medical provider, they would progress on to a stroke at virtually the same rate. While the argument that the chiropractor caused the problem is convenient, the science indicates that it is in all likelihood a mistake to draw such a conclusion.

In 2008, Cassidy, Boyle, Côté, He, Hogg-Johnson, Silver, and Bondy  studied the occurrence of this problem in the province of Ontario over a nine year period with a database representing almost 110 million person-years (12.2 million people, studied over 9 years equals 110 million person-years). The purpose of this study was to investigate if an association between chiropractic care and vertebral basilar artery stroke exceeded the association between medical primary care providers and vertebral basilar artery stroke. The premise was that if there was a greater association between chiropractic care and this stroke then one could logically say there was a cause and effect relationship between chiropractic care and this problem. There was no greater likelihood of a patient experiencing a stroke following a visit to his/her chiropractor than there was after a visit to his/her primary care physician. The results were conclusive; there was no greater association between manipulation (chiropractic adjustments) and ischemic stroke or TIA’s (transient ischemic attacks).

The research did conclude that overall, 4% of stroke victims had visited a chiropractor within 30 days of their strokes, while 53% of the stroke cases had visited their medical primary care providers within the same time frame. The authors offer the perspective that because neck pain is associated with some stroke, patients visit their doctors prior to the development of a full-blown stroke scenario. Cassidy et al. (2008) noted, “Because the association between chiropractic visits and [vertebral basilar artery] stroke is not greater than the association between PCP [medical primary care providers] visits and [vertebral basilar] stroke, there is no excess risk of [vertebral basilar] stroke from chiropractic care” (p. S180). In fact, the incident of chiropractic vs. medical care was substantially lower in certain situations based upon the data.

In 2010, Murphy considered the argument that a chiropractic manipulation could cause stroke and concluded, “…if this is a possibility, it would have to be considered so rare that a case-control and case crossover study covering over 109,000,000 person-years failed to detect it” (http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/18/1/22). He also reports that “… in 20% of cases of [vertebral artery dissection and stroke] the individual does not have neck pain or headache and in a very small percentage of vertebral artery dissections can occur in a person who has no symptoms of any kind. Thus, in cases in which an asymptomatic individual experiences [vertebral artery dissection and stroke] after [chiropractic manipulation] it is not clear whether manipulation was a cause or contributing factor to the dissection or whether the patient had an asymptomatic arterial dissection prior to the chiropractic visit” (Murphy, 2010, http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/18/1/22). He concluded his report with the following, “…current evidence indicates that [vertebral artery dissection and stroke] is not a ‘complication to [chiropractic manipulation]’ per se. That is, the weight of the evidence suggests that [chiropractic manipulation] is not a cause of [vertebral artery dissection and stroke]…” (Murphy, 2010, http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/18/1/22).

The real issue is not whether chiropractic or medical primary care causes stroke, as the research conclusively refutes this, but rather it is an issue of public awareness and perception. The argument must shift to the real issue of protecting the public and making people aware of the importance of recognizing risk factors and of getting immediate care to avoid long term disability or death.

Murphy (2010) offers the following advice, “…engage in a public health campaign to educate the public about the warning signs and symptoms of this uncommon but potentially devastating disorder…public education materials regarding stroke in general are available from organizations such as the American Stroke Association

 

(http://www.strokeassociation.org/presenter.jhtml?identifier=3030387 accessed 1 April 2010) the National Stroke Association

(http://www.stroke.org/site/PageServer?pagename=HOME accessed 1 April 2010) the British Stroke Association

(http://www.stroke.org.uk/information/index.html accessed 22 May 2010), the Heart and Stroke Association of Canada

(http:/ / www.heartandstroke.com/ site/ c.ikIQLcMWJtE/ b.2796497/ k.BF8B/ Home.htm?src=home accessed 22 May 2010) and the National Stroke Foundation – Australia

(http://www.strokefoundation.com.au/ accessed 22 May 2010)…” (http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/18/1/22).

References:
1. American Heart Association, Inc. (2010). About stroke. Retrieved from http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/About-stroke_UCM_308529_SubHomePage.jsp
2. American Heart Association, Inc. (2010). Warning signs. Retrieved from http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/WarningSigns/Warning-Signs_UCM_308528_SubHomePage.jsp
3. American Heart Association, Inc. (2010). Ischemic (clots). Retrieved from http://www.strokeassociation.org/STROKEORG/AboutStroke/TypesofStroke/IschemicClots/Ischemic-Clots_UCM_310939_Article.jsp
4. Cassidy, J. D., Boyle, E., Côté, P., He, Y., Hogg-Johnson, S., Silver, F. L., & Bondy, S. J. (2008). Risk of vertebrobasilar stroke and chiropractic care: Results of a population-based case-control and case-crossover study. Spine, 33(45), S176-S183.
5. Murphy, D. R. (2010). Current understanding of the relationship between cervical manipulation and stroke: What does it mean for the chiropractic profession?Chiorpractic & Osteopathy, 18(22),
http://www.chiroandosteo.com/content/18/1/22

Written by Gerard Clum DC, Past President, Life Chiropractic College West & Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

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Parkinson’s Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Help Parkinson’s Disease? How Does Chiropractic Care Slow or Stop the Progression of Parkinson’s?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on June 1, 2015, documenting a case of a patient with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) being helped over the course of a decade to have an improved quality of life. The authors noted the purpose of this study saying, “In this case study we will add to the small but growing body of evidence that reports on the association between chiropractic care and PD.”

Parkinson's Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorAccording to the WebMD website, “Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Parkinson’s disease symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.” The authors of this study add that PD affects about one percent of the population over the age of 65.

“PD has a major effect on the quality of life of patients, who gradually lose autonomy and cognitive function. The decline in quality of life proceeds at a rate that is five to seven times faster than the average yearly decline caused by normal aging in individuals without the disease,” state the study authors.

In this study, a 63-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking relief from his lower back pain. He was also suffering with tremors in his right arm for five years and had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years prior. He was on a daily medication for his Parkinson’s. The case history showed that the man’s main complaints related to his PD were tremors in the right hand, gait disturbances in the left leg mainly caused by foot drop, and trouble walking with a loss of balance.

A chiropractic examination was performed including spinal range of motion, neurological and orthopedic tests, and spinal x-rays. The results led to the determination that subluxations of the spine were present. Based on these findings a specific series of chiropractic adjustments were begun.

The patient initially was seen 3 times per week for the first month. After the initial 12 visits the frequency of care was reduced to once per week. The man continued his chiropractic care for another 10 years before the writing of this study.

After 10 years, the now 73-year-old man reported that his PD symptoms had not worsened, but had actually improved since he started chiropractic care. He noted that the tremor in his right hand was not present as often and had not spread to any other part of his body. He reported that he was able to return to playing badminton more easily due to improvements in balance and an improved range of motion.

The study authors point out that this study and others they reviewed showed that some patients with PD had a slow down or stopping of the progression of their disease. They point out this is contrary to medical care alone which can treat the symptoms but does not seem to have any effect on the progression of PD.

“The aim of chiropractic care is to enhance nervous system function so the body is better able to heal itself. In contrast, the medical treatment of Parkinson’s relies on external input,” note the study authors. “The findings in our case study support previous literature which has examined the symptomatic progression, quality of life and neurological function of PD patients under chiropractic care.”

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.


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