Reduction of Blood Pressure in a Patient Receiving Chiropractic Care

Can Chiropractic Care Reduce High Blood Pressure?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study with a review of pertinent literature on March 6, 2017, documenting the positive effect chiropractic has on people with hypertension. The study defines hypertension as a systolic blood pressure of greater than 140 mm Hg or a diastolic blood pressure greater than 90 mm Hg.

Reduction of Blood Pressure in a Patient Receiving Chiropractic Care Austin TX Chiropractor for HBP Better Function of Body Nervous System Best Reviews on Yelp Google NextdoorTreatment of hypertension is one of the most expensive components of medical care in the U.S., costing a total of $50 billion in the year 2009. Upwards of 78 million Americans are being treated for hypertension. According to the study, it is estimated that by the year 2030, the cost as a result of hypertension and related illness will reach $343 billion per year. It is estimated that 30.5% of men and 28.5% of women are hypertensive.

Hypertension itself is not the major concern. Of more concern are the health issues that come from long term hypertension which can be serious or even deadly. In reporting data on years of life lost due to related condition from hypertension, the study states, “…related diseases in 2010 was estimated at: 7.2 million as a result of ischemic heart disease, 1.9 million as a result of stroke, and 2.2 million as a result of the combination of chronic kidney disease, other cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, and hypertensive heart disease.”

In this case, a 50-year-old man went to the chiropractor with no health complaint other than hypertension. He had been diagnosed with hypertension 24 years prior. His only other history concern was resolved back and neck pain 5 years earlier. He was previously taking a hypertensive medication which he self-discontinued due to his observation that it was not working. He had previously been under chiropractic care and was seeking care on this occasion for wellness purposes.

A chiropractic and general examination was performed on the man. At the time of the examination, his blood pressure measured 155/100 mm Hg. Additional findings of the examination showed a restricted cervical range of motion. Thermography and spinal palpation also showed spinal areas of concern that led to the diagnosis of multiple subluxation in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.

The man began receiving chiropractic adjustments at the rate of one per week. Blood pressure was measured before and after the chiropractic adjustments to record any changes. Palpation and thermography were also performed regularly to access progress of care.

The study reports that there was an average 8.39 mm Hg drop in systolic and 3.56 mm Hg drop in diastolic blood pressure measured pre- and post-adjustment over the course of the chiropractic care.

The study authors reported on the literature available on the subject of blood pressure related to chiropractic and related care. They found that there were 40 articles in the current literature under the umbrella of chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulative therapy, and osteopathic manipulation’s effects on blood pressure. They point out that the variety of research on chiropractic and blood pressure makes it difficult to make specific statements related to the type of chiropractic care best suited to affect blood pressure. However, they were able to conclude that “Results from these studies are largely varied as well with studies suggesting the chiropractic as effective in managing hypertension as the use of a two-drug combination therapy.”

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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Patient with Neck Pain and History of Neck Surgery Helped with Chiropractic

What is a Carotid Endarterectomy? Can Chiropractic Care Help Stroke Surgeries?

A case study published in the September 2016 issue of the Journal of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists reported on a case of an elderly man with neck pain and a history of carotid artery surgery being helped by chiropractic.

patient-with-neck-pain-and-history-of-neck-surgery-helped-with-chiropractic-austin-tx-chiropractor-help-near-me-best-reviewsThe article begins by noting that nearly 140,000 people die each year in the U.S. from stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death behind heart attack and cancer. One of the leading causes of stroke is carotid artery disease. This is when plaque builds up in the carotid arteries and can prevent blood flow to the head. One medical procedure that looks to address this issue is called carotid endarterectomy (CEA).

On the Society for Vascular Surgery‘s website, Dr. Lori C. Pounds describes the procedure by saying, “A carotid endarterectomy is a surgical procedure to open or clean the carotid artery with the goal of stroke prevention.” It is estimated that 100,000 of these CEA procedures were performed in 2010.

In this case, an 83-year-old man sought care from a chiropractor. The man was suffering from right neck pain and an associated soft tender mass in the area. The pain began about a year and a half before he went to the chiropractor. There was no history of trauma or an accident as the trigger to his pain. His history revealed that he had undergone CEA surgery just less that three years earlier.

The man described his neck pain as a soreness which he rated as a 2 to 3 out of 10 in intensity, with 10 being the worst. He was taking prescription acetaminophen every 6 hours as needed for his pain. Two months before visiting the chiropractor, a computed tomography study showed cervical degeneration of his spine.

After a thorough examination, chiropractic care was started which included specific adjustments. The study reports that by the third visit, the man reported his pain to have reduced to a rate of 1 to 2 out of 10. By the following visit, he reported that he was pain free. At one point after that, the man did report a small re-occurrence of his pain which was quickly eliminated. Since that point, he has not had any neck pain.

In the study’s discussion, the authors note that, “Post-surgical pain is a common problem with a high degree of morbidity and a high overall cost effect.” They noted that this case demonstrated an effective approach to care for this case of an elderly man with pain who has had CEA surgery.

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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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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Chiropractic Safety Documented by Study

What is a Cervical Artery Dissection? Do Chiropractors Cause Strokes?

On May 30, 2016, the the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study titled, “Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation.” The researchers evaluated the evidence related to chiropractic manipulation and the form of stroke known as CAD. They found no causation.

Chiropractic Safety Documented by Study - Austin ATX Car Accident Truck Injury for Neck Whiplash Back PainOn a number of occasions, chiropractors have claimed that a smear campaign was being waged on their profession by baseless claims that chiropractic could cause strokes. This study looked at the actual scientific evidence to see if there was a causal relationship shown anywhere in the scientific data.

The study points out that there have been a number of case studies of patients who had CAD strokes following a chiropractic adjustment. However, this alone does not mean that the CAD was a result of the adjustment. As an example, there were probably also a number of people who have had car accidents at some point after a chiropractic adjustment. This would not mean that the chiropractic care caused the auto accident.

The researchers looked at the raw data to see what real scientific evidence there was for the claims. As the researchers stated, “We sought to examine the strength of evidence related to this question by performing a systematic review, meta-analysis, and evaluation of the body of evidence as a whole.”

Researchers did extensive searches for any references to chiropractic care and stroke. In so doing, they found 253 articles on the subject. Of these 77 articles were non-relevant and excluded. The remaining studies were reviewed for the strength of the evidence and the methodology leading to the results. Some studies showed no relationship with chiropractic and stroke, while some studies suggested that the risk was due to the condition that the patient had prior to the chiropractic care. In these studies, the stroke risk was the same, regardless if the patient went to a chiropractor or a medical doctor.

After reviewing all available studies, the researchers concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that chiropractic caused stoke. “We found no evidence for a causal link between chiropractic care and CAD.” They further explained the impact of their findings by noting, “This is a significant finding because belief in a causal link is not uncommon, and such a belief may have significant adverse effects such as numerous episodes of litigation.”

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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Diet Sodas Linked to Increase in Belly Fat

Is Diet Soda Better For Me? Does Diet Soda Make You Fat?

CBS News ran a story with the above title on March 17, 2015. The story was based on research published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society on March 17, 2015, showing that drinking diet soda actually causes an increase in waist size in seniors, and places them at risk for a number of adverse health conditions.

Diet Sodas Linked to Increase in Belly Fat - Austin TX ChiropractorStudy author Sharon Fowler, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, commented in the CBS article saying, “We’re being naive if we only look at the number of calories in the label. People may be sabotaging their own health if they use diet sodas to protect themselves from gaining weight.”

The study showed that the more diet soda someone consumes, the more likely they are to increase their waist size. Diet soda was also shown to contribute to greater risk of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular diseases. Metabolic syndrome is a combination of risk factors that can lead to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

The study named the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging (SALSA), looked at 749 Mexican and European-Americans who were aged 65 and older. Researchers monitored diet soda intake, waist circumference, height, and weight over a 10 year period on the subjects. The results showed an increase in waist circumference among diet soda drinkers, that was almost triple that among seniors who did not drink diet sodas.

Science Daily also carried the story and quoted author Sharon Fowler saying, “Our study seeks to fill the age gap by exploring the adverse health effects of diet soda intake in individuals 65 years of age and older. The burden of metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease, along with healthcare costs, is great in the ever-increasing senior population.” She concluded, “The SALSA study shows that increasing diet soda intake was associated with escalating abdominal obesity, which may increase cardiometabolic risk in older adults.”

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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Chronic Shoulder Pain Resolved with Chiropractic in Elderly Woman

Do Chiropractors Help Shoulder Pain? Can Chiropractic Help Chronic Pain?

A case study published on February 19, 2015, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reports on an elderly woman suffering from chronic shoulder pain being helped by chiropractic care. The authors of the study begin by pointing out that chronic pain in the elderly is a very common occurrence, ranking 6th as a health burden.

According to the study, chronic pain affects between 25 and 76 percent of the elderly living in the general community.  Estimates rise to between 83 and 93 percent for those elderly living in residential care.  Common care for pain among the elderly is medication. However, there is increasing concern that the elderly population is being overmedicated. Estimates from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics show that 88.4% of the population over 60 is on a prescription medication.

Chronic Shoulder Pain Resolved with Chiropractic in Elderly Woman | Austin TX ChiropractorIn this case, a 73-year-old woman came to a teaching chiropractic clinic with a primary complaint of left shoulder pain. She was also suffering with a variety of other health issues and symptoms including high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, a hiatal hernia, acid reflux, and arthritis. Additionally, she had a history of a stroke.

Her problems were progressively getting worse. They affecting her to the point were she was unable to work as an artist, thus forcing her to give up painting figures or making ornaments. She reported that she was taking Tylenol which only gave her minor temporary relief.

An visual examination was performed that showed that the woman carried her head very far forward of the normal upright position. Additionally, she has an excessive roundness in her upper back that is sometimes referred to as a hunchback. Spinal palpation showed multiple areas of increased sensitivity. The woman’s range of spinal motion was also reduced in a number of areas.

From the examination results, it was determined that the woman had “nerve root irritation” (subluxation) in her neck. This finding was later confirmed by an MRI which also showed mild to moderate degenerative changes in her spine. With these findings, chiropractic adjustments were begun.

On the woman’s second visit, a day after having received her first adjustment, the woman stated she felt, “100% improvement since yesterday’s treatment. There is no burning at all in my neck or shoulder.” By the woman’s 7th visit she stated that she only had pain or burning “once in a while.”

The study records that at one time during her chiropractic care, the woman was told by her medical doctor that she should get a shot in her neck and stay away from the chiropractor. To this the woman responded to her MD that she felt his recommendations were a “stupid idea” and she did not want any invasive procedures or drugs.

If you or someone you know is suffering with chronic pain, chiropractic care may be able to help. Call our office at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson today.

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NIH Report Says Spinal Manipulation Unlikely to Cause Stroke

Does Chiropractic Care Cause Strokes? Is Chiropractic Dangerous?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a report stating that chiropractic care is unlikely to cause stroke as some opponents of chiropractic care have asserted. The report was based on a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics on January 14, 2015.

Spinal Manipulation Unlikely to Cause Stroke | Austin TX ChiropractorThe NIH report, first published January 14, and updated on March 3, 2015, starts by stating, “An analysis of Medicare claims data from older Americans who sought care for neck pain from chiropractors suggests that cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke.” This newest study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence that shows that chiropractic care is safe and does not increase the risk of stroke. The NIH report further noted, “This is the first population-based study in the United States to examine the risk of stroke after spinal manipulation and the first such study on older adults.”

The study was conducted by researchers from Dartmouth College and the Southern California University of Health Sciences and was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. The authors note that this study research plan was reviewed and approved by the Dartmouth College Committee for Protection of Human Subjects.

Researchers reviewed 1.1 million Medicare claims from 2006 through 2008. Cases included in the data were all Medicare patients ages 66 to 99 who had a diagnosis of neck pain and who had visited either a chiropractor or a medical doctor for that condition.  The researchers then checked the records to see how many of these patients had suffered a stroke within 7 days or within 30 days of their visit to either provider.

The results of this study showed that the rate of vertebrobasilar stroke, the type of stoke some had tried to suggest was associated with chiropractic adjustments, is extremely rare. The researchers noted that when reviewing the data for all types of strokes, there was no statistical risk shown when comparing Medicare patients who went to medical doctors or chiropractors for the complaint of neck pain.

In their conclusion, the researchers noted how small the risk of stroke was for seniors under chiropractic care and summed up the results by saying, “Chiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.”

Dr. Michael McLean, a practicing chiropractor and president of the International Chiropractors Association commented, “For many years, there have been opponents to chiropractic who have tried to falsely claim that chiropractic is dangerous. The facts show that chiropractic is the safest form of healthcare available.” Dr. McLean further noted, “While no procedure in healthcare is 100 percent risk free, this well-done large study should finally put to rest any speculation that chiropractic care creates an increased risk for stroke.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from having your nervous system functioning without interference, please call our office at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.

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