Pain with No Medical Cause Helped by Chiropractic

What is Conversion Disorder? Can Chiropractic Help?

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on March 9, 2017, describing a patient who was having severe pain with no medical reason being found. The patient was referred to a psychiatrist but instead went to a chiropractor where she found relief.

Pain with No Medical Cause Helped by Chiropractic Austin TX Chiropractor Help Personal Injury Car Accident Truck Collision Pain Attorney LOP Insurance PIPThe study begins by pointing out that throughout the history of chiropractic, many patients who found help under chiropractic were prior medical failures. The authors stated, “In more than a century of the chiropractic profession, anecdotes and testimonials are replete with describing the success of chiropractic care in patients with a history of non-responsiveness to medical care.”

In many cases where no medical reason for pain can be found, the patient is often sent for psychiatric evaluation and told they have conditions such as conversion disorder or hysteria, or simply told that their problem is “all in your head.” The patient in this case study fits this category.

In this case, a 16-year-old girl went to the chiropractor with her parents consent. Two days earlier, she had suffered an injury while throwing a discus. She reported that she heard and felt a “rip” upon release of the discus. She immediately felt a severe stabbing burning pain across her shoulders and lower neck. She rated the pain as a 10 out of 10 using a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the worst pain. Within 40 minutes, she reported that her left arm went numb and weak.

No chiropractic care was rendered at the time of her first visit and the girl went to an orthopedic specialist for further evaluation. She remained in a hospital for 8 days during which time an orthopedic evaluation was performed. This included an MRI which showed no findings. Because the the orthopedic tests did not find a reason for her pain, and because she had a past history of depression, the girl was discharged from the hospital and referred to a psychiatrist for evaluation. After 11 additional days, she returned to the chiropractor and chiropractic care was started.

Following her first chiropractic adjustment, the girl reported a 50% increased muscle strength within 1 hour of her visit. By her 4th visit, she reported that she had regained normal use of her left arm. However, she continued to experience neck pain and stiffness. By the sixth visit, her pain was gone and her full range of motion had returned.

Approximately 5 months later, the girl reported another injury after being hit on the head with a basketball. From this injury, she started to experience some of her initial symptoms, but not as severe. After one adjustment, the girl reported a complete recovery from her symptoms.

In their conclusion, the authors summed up this case by saying, “This case report described the successful chiropractic care of a teenager with vertebral subluxations and signs and symptoms not congruent with objective outcome measures. Such patients may benefit from chiropractic care despite the lack of positive medical testing to inform medical 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. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.


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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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Bilateral Sciatica Helped with Chiropractic According to Study

What is Sciatica? Can Chiropractic Care Help Sciatica?

On September 22, 2016, a study was published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documenting chiropractic helping a patient with bilateral sciatica. Sciatica is a term that means pain down the sciatic nerves which run on each side from the buttocks down the back of the leg to the foot.

bilateral-sciatica-helped-with-chiropractic-according-to-study-austin-tx-best-chiropractor-office-reviews-google-yelpThe sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body. It is actually comprised of fibers from several nerve roots exiting from several levels of the spine. In addition to pain, sciatica can also involve weakness, numbness, or a loss of motor control down the leg. Sciatica usually involves some type of mechanical compression on the sciatic nerve or the sources of the sciatic nerve.

According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, 70% of the population in industrialized countries will suffer back pain at some time. It is estimated that between 13 to 40% of the public will suffer from sciatica at some time in their lives. Annually, it is estimated that between 1 and 5% of the population deals with this issue in a given year.

In this case, a 77-year-old man went to the chiropractor. The man was suffering from bilateral sciatica which started a year earlier after a car accident. The pain was so severe that the man was unable to walk more than four steps. In addition to the sciatica, the patient was suffering from diabetes, depression, and constipation.

A chiropractic examination was performed on the man which included range of motion, palpation, infrared paraspinal thermal scans, spinal x-rays, and motion x-rays. The man’s range of motion was limited due to pain, and palpation showed areas of tenderness over the pelvis at the origin of the sciatic nerve. From the examination and x-ray findings, a determination was made that subluxations were present in the patient’s spine.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were given to address the subluxations found to be present. After a month and a half, totaling eleven visits, a re-examination was performed. At that time, the man reported that his sciatica had been significantly reduced. He also reported that he was able to walk for a longer distance than before. His range of motion was also greatly improved.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, “Sciatica and other lumbar radicular syndromes are painful conditions that can cause significant disability to a patient.” They also noted that specific chiropractic care for the reduction of vertebral subluxations can have a positive effect on bilateral sciatica symptomatology.

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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Breathing and Strength Problems Improved in Multiple Sclerosis Patient with Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Help Multiple Sclerosis? Can Chiropractic Improve Immune Function?

A case study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on August 18, 2016, showed how chiropractic helped improve the quality of life for a patient with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by showing improvement in breathing and muscle strength.

breathing-and-strength-problems-improved-in-multiple-sclerosis-patient-with-chiropractic-austin-tx-chiropractor-local-best-doctor-reviews-starsThe study begins by defining MS by saying, “Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, degenerative disease of the nervous system that is demyelinating and inflammatory in nature and is characterized by patchy sclerosis of the central nervous system (CNS).” They note that MS affects 400,000 people in the United States and over 2 million people worldwide. Half of those with MS also experience depression, and almost all patients with MS have a shortened life expectancy.

Some of the symptoms associated with MS can include numbness in the extremities, fatigue, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, vision loss, blurred vision, loss of coordination, gait alteration, seizures, mood swings, depression, tremors, impaired bladder control, and loss of sphincter control. Medical care for MS is geared around helping patients with the symptoms, as there is no known medical care available for the condition itself.

In this case, a 58-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care. She was confined to a wheelchair and had been diagnosed with MS. Her history shows that she was suffering with constant, severe, throbbing pain in her left hip for 6 years. Additionally she reported suffering from neck pain, neck stiffness, wrist pain, irritability, constipation, sinus problems, cold feet, cold hands, tension, dry skin, heat and cold intolerances, tingling sensation in her arms, shoulder pain, shortness of breath, depression, and difficulty urinating.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual and postural inspection, spinal x-rays, and thermographic studies to check for heat variations. In addition her respiratory volume levels were checked and her hand grip strength was measured.

Specific chiropractic care was begun to address the subluxations determined to be present in the woman’s spine. Care was rendered over a 10 week period consisting of 30 total visits. After this period, a re-evaluation was performed.

The re-evaluation x-rays showed a notable spinal improvement. Additionally, the woman’s respiratory volume had measurably improved. Her grip strength also improved, with her left-hand grip strength improving from 2.8 lbs to 12 lbs, and her right-hand grip strength improved from 3.0 lbs to 8.0 lbs.

The results of this study were consistent with other studies of MS patients under chiropractic care. The authors cited several other studies showing chiropractic helping patients with MS. In one reported study, researchers found that 90.9% of MS patients in that study showed symptomatic improvement and no further progression in the MS disease process while under chiropractic care.

In explaining a possible mechanism for why MS patients can be helped by chiropractic, the authors stated, “A properly functioning immune system will prevent MS development or can even initiate healing within the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to restore immune system integrity to a normal state.”

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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Erb’s-Duchenne Palsy Resolved with Chiropractic: Case Study

In the January 21, 2016, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a published case study of a baby girl suffering with Erb’s-Duchenne Palsy who completely recovered under chiropractic care. Erb’s-Duchenne Palsy is also known as Brachial plexus palsy or simply Erb’s Palsy.

Erb's-Duchenne Palsy Resolved with Chiropractic - Chiropractor Austin TX Pediatric babies baby kids childrenAccording WebMD, “Brachial plexus palsy, also known as Erb’s palsy, is a paralysis or weakness of the arm caused by an injury to one or more nerves that control and supply the muscles of the shoulder and upper extremities (upper brachial plexus). It is more commonly seen in newborns (neonates) and is often the result of a difficult delivery.”

The authors of the study report that most of the cases of Erb’s Palsy are medically managed with either physiotherapy or surgery. The results of this care show that 30% recovered with minimal defects by six months of age, while 55% had moderate residual deficits by 12 months, and 15% had long-term significant handicaps.

In this case, a 5-month-old infant diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy was brought in for chiropractic evaluation. The mother reported a difficult delivery lasting 12 hours. She mentioned that during delivery the head and shoulders “got stuck.” Therefore, a vacuum extraction was performed. Immediately after birth, it was noticed that the infant had a diminished range of motion in her right arm and a diagnosis of Erb’s Palsy was made, and physiotherapy recommended. The therapy was not successful in helping the infant.

The chiropractic examination confirmed the severe lack of motion and care was initiated for correction of subluxations found in the infant girl’s spine. Specially modified chiropractic adjustments were used due to the infant’s size, age, and condition.

On the second visit, a slight improvement was noted in the range of motion of the infant’s arm. By the third visit, the change was even more noticeable and was confirmed by the physiotherapist who pointed out the improvement to the parents. By the seventh visit, the infant’s range of motion was much improved and the infant was observed using her right arm to reach for toys. On the ninth visit, the infant girl no longer had any noticeable difference in the range of motion between her right and left arm and was able to use both normally. A follow-up examination weeks later continued to show total recovery from her Erb’s Palsy.

In their conclusion the researchers stated, “This case chronicles the care and subsequent resolution of Erb-Duchenne Palsy in a five-month-old female with chiropractic care. This case report suggests that chiropractic care may benefit infants with Erb-Duchenne Palsy.”

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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Hypothyroidism Improved Under Chiropractic Care – A Case Study

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on December 10, 2015, documenting chiropractic helping a patient suffering hypothyroidism. WebMD describe this condition by saying, “Hypothyroidism, also called underactive thyroid disease, is a common disorder. With hypothyroidism, your thyroid gland does not make enough thyroid hormone.”

Hypothyroidism Improved Under Chiropractic Care - Austin-TX-Chiropractor-celebrity-downtown-300x200The study notes that hypothyroidism is the number one endocrinological condition seen world-wide. People with hypothyroidism can typically experience joint pain, cold intolerance, constipation, depression, difficulty concentrating, dry skin, fatigue, hair thinning, hair loss, memory impairment, muscle pain, weakness and weight gain. Medical treatment of this condition is typically medications given to replace the hormone not being produced by the thyroid.

This case involved a 44-year-old woman who went to the chiropractor for primary complaints of pain in the upper back and between the shoulders. These problems seemed to be the result of an automobile accident she was involved in 23 years prior. The accident was a severe head-on collision which resulted in loss of consciousness and some amnesia. She was taking a thyroid medication for her thyroid problem.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included postural inspection, palpation, surface EMG, thermography, and spinal x-rays. The results of the examination showed a loss of the normal neck curvature and the presence of subluxations. Specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of three visits per week for a month after which the frequency of visits was reduced.

After one month of care, the patient came into the chiropractor’s office with her teeth chattering, her hands shaking, and the signs of tremors. The chiropractor suggested that the woman return to her endocrinologist to be retested for her thyroid issue. The results of that testing showed that her thyroid had regained enough function that the endocrinologist recommended a reduction in the woman’s medication.

At the six month point of her care, the patient showed significant functional and structural improvements, and her neck curvature returned to a near normal forward curvature. In their conclusion, the authors reported that chiropractic, “…treatment regimen is shown to be effective in reducing vertebral subluxation as well as improve cervical curve in a 44-year-old patient with hypothyroidism. The reduction in signs and symptoms of VSC (vertebral subluxation complex), in this case, correlated to a reduction in hypothyroid symptoms and an overall increase in thyroid function.”

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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