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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Mood, Posture, and Balance Improved in Older Patient Under Chiropractic Care: A Case Study

Can Chiropractic Care Affect Mood? How Does Chiropractic Improve My Health?

A case study published on May 21, 2015, in the the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented chiropractic helping an elderly man suffering from severe postural issues, mild depression, low back pain, balance problems, and constant fatigue. This case study was reported from a chiropractic practice in Auckland, New Zealand.

Mood, Posture, and Balance Improved in Older Patient Under Chiropractic Care - Austin TX ChiropractorThe authors begin by explaining that, “Posture is the relative position of the body at any one moment, and the position of every joint in the spine has an effect on the position of every other joint.” They further explain that normal posture requires the least amount of energy to remain upright. Abnormal posture requires more energy from the muscles and places more stress on the joints supporting the posture.

As noted in the study, postural abnormalities can not only cause biomechanical stress on the spine, but can have a negative effect on the nervous system. This is known as subluxation. To further explain subluxation, the authors include the Association of Chiropractic Colleges’ definition of subluxation, “A complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.”

This case involved a 72-year-old man who went to a chiropractor in a private practice in Auckland, New Zealand. The study notes that he suffered with difficulty in walking due to balance disturbances, low back pain radiating down into the hips and thighs, perpetual tiredness, and a mildly depressed mood and state of mind. He was also taking heart and blood pressure medication for the past 10 years.

A case history and chiropractic examination was performed which included surface electromyography (sEMG) scans, and a postural analysis. Then, chiropractic care was started with the goal of reducing the man’s subluxations.

The study notes that the man noticed the biggest initial changes during the second and third weeks of his care. He reported that he had increased energy, felt steadier with increased balance, and was feeling happier overall with a more positive outlook on life. By the 6th week of care, the man reported that he could stand straighter, and had decreased pain levels with activity. He stated that he wanted to go out for longer walks with his wife, and felt more social with a general positive increase in his mood.

The authors summed up this case in their conclusion by stating, “While under chiropractic care, improvements in both self-reported subjective and objective measures were noted in a patient with severe postural alterations, low back pain, balance disturbances, perpetual tiredness and a mildly depressive state of mind. These improvements include overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the patient.”

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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The Growing Role of Doctors of Chiropractic in Corporate On-Site Clinics

Can Chiropractic Care Help Employees Stay Well? Can Chiropractic Care Reduce Healthcare Costs?

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress issued a release on May 21, 2015, with the headline, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Publishes Landmark Position Paper, Highlights the Growing Role of Doctors of Chiropractic in On-site Corporate Health Clinics.

The Growing Role of Doctors of Chiropractic in Corporate On-Site Clinics - Austin TX ChiropractorAccording to F4CP release, this paper, “…reviews current industry trends, and articulates the role of chiropractic care to optimize clinical and financial management of neuro-musculoskeletal conditions among workforce populations.”

The paper discussed the benefits corporations gain by having on-site chiropractic care available for their employees. Co-author Dr. William Updyke explains, “For many companies, neuro-musculoskeletal complaints are the top reason employees consult a health care provider. Evidence confirms that chiropractic care is an obvious primary treatment approach that is ideal within on-site corporate health clinics. Furthermore, chiropractic offers hands-on treatment and healthy lifestyle advice to help employees stay well, a growing interest of employers.”

One such company, Cisco, already has found the benefits of chiropractic care in their corporate health clinic. “At Cisco’s LifeConnections’ Health Center, having doctors of chiropractic working closely with the medical team has helped reduce our musculoskeletal spending, and patients consistently give high patient satisfaction scores,” says Katelyn Johnson, Integrated Health manager for Cisco. “The integrated care team of chiropractors, acupuncturists, and physical therapists is critical to achieve our Patient Centered Medical Home model.”

The paper notes that corporate health clinics are growing at a rate of 15-20 percent per year. Laura Carabello, F4CP advisor, and paper co-author, added, “Employers are wise to hire the right mix of providers – those who provide cost-effective, quality care. As the sector gains sophistication, I expect chiropractic will become a well-respected service offered at most on-site clinics.”

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), a not-for-profit organization is dedicated to raising awareness about the value of chiropractic care. The F4CP informs and educates the general public about the many benefits associated with chiropractic care. To learn more about the Foundation, please visit

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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Seizures Gone, Behavior, and Cognitive Development Improved with Chiropractic

Does Chiropractic Care Help Seizures? Can Children See A Chiropractor?

On May 14, 2015, a study was published in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documenting the case of a toddler suffering from seizures, behavioral disturbances, and developmental delay, being helped by chiropractic.

Seizures Gone, Behavior, and Cognitive Development Improved with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorIn this case, a 2-year-old boy suffering from seizures was brought to the chiropractor. The history noted that 1 year and 4 months prior, the boy fell about three feet hitting the back of his head on a wooden deck. The boy immediately started having a seizure and his parents took him to the emergency room. His head was treated for the laceration with 4 staples. X-rays were taken and no fracture was found. No neurological tests were performed at that time and the child was prescribed pain medication for his pain.

After a few days, the child’s seizures got worse. Because of this, his parents brought him in for a further medical evaluation where electroencephalogram (EEG) studies were performed both while he was sleeping and awake. The boy’s sleeping EEG did not show any problems but the one done while he was awake showed activity consistent with seizures. Next, an MRI and CT scan were performed, but neither of these found any medically detectable abnormality.

The boy was prescribed anti-seizure medication, which was ineffective. The child’s seizures continued to worsen over time. He worsened to the point where he was experiencing an average of 3 seizures per week and occasionally up to 3 seizures per day. As a result of his problems, his parents noticed that their son became overly aggressive, combative, angry and generally uncooperative. They also noticed developmental delays in their son’s language, including his ability to form sentences.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, thermal scans of the neck, and specific spinal x-rays. The authors stated that the purpose of the chiropractic examination was to see if a subluxation was present at the level of the first cervical vertebrae. Based on the examination, it was determined that a subluxation was present at the top of the boy’s neck and specific chiropractic adjustments were begun.

After the first adjustment, the boy’s parents reported an increase in their son’s seizures. However, after subsequent visits, the seizures began to decrease in frequency. The number of seizures continued to decrease until they were completely gone by 51 days after the initial chiropractic adjustment. At approximately 2.5 months after the beginning of care, the boy was taken off all anti-seizure medication.

The boy had one minor seizure three months later, but with continued chiropractic check-ups, the child remained seizure free thereafter. His parents also reported that his behavioral issues and other problems were also resolved.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “This case is one example of how chiropractic care may be helpful in bringing balance back to a child’s nervous system. Though this is only one example, it adds to the ever growing number of case studies that have shown chiropractic care to be effective in helping to control seizures in children and in other non-musculoskeletal conditions.”

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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Professional Baseball Player Back in the Game with Chiropractic

Do Professional Athletes Use Chiropractors? Can Chiropractic Help Major League Baseball Pitchers?

USA Today published a story on May 8, 2015, with the headline, “Nats star Strasburg feels better after visiting chiropractor.” The story starts by reporting that Stephen Strasburg, a pitcher for the Washington Nationals baseball team, was feeling much better and able to play again after he visited a chiropractor.

Professional Baseball Player Back in the Game with Chiropractic - Stephen Strasburg - Austin TX Celebrity ChiropractorStephen Strasburg was an overall number one Major League Baseball draft pick of the Washington Nationals back in 2009. He made the National League all-star team in 2012. Strasburg is known for speed and pitches an average fastball of 94.7 mph. April of 2012 was the best month of his career to date when he was named National League pitcher of the month. In that month, he accumulated an NL-best 34 strikeouts and second-best 1.13 ERA. He totaled 6 walks and did not give up a home run.

The story reports that Strasburg was pitching on the previous Tuesday evening when he left the game due to what his coach called an “alignment issue under his shoulder blade.” Strasburg went to a chiropractor the next day.

Strasburg described the results as immediate. “It was instant,” Strasburg said. “After he felt around for a little bit, felt what was different from the other side, just got it all out of there. So, night and day. I feel good right now, so just going to keep trying to improve and get better,” he said. “But at the same time, I’m feeling pretty good right now.”

The next day in a article, Strasburg further explained, “The issue that I had was corrected within 45 minutes of seeing the chiropractor. Ever since then, it hasn’t been an issue.”

Two days after seeing the chiropractor, Strasburg was cleared to start practice again. He reported that his practices went well. “I feel good. It feels good playing catch,” Strasburg said. “Just going to throw a bullpen tomorrow and go on from there.”

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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Uncontrollable Muscle Movements, Jerks, and Tics Gone after Chiropractic Care

What Is Functional Movement Disorder? How Does Chiropractic Help The Nervous System?

From the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research comes a case study published on April 9, 2015, documenting a case of a patient with Functional Movement Disorder (FMD) being helped with chiropractic. The study authors define FMD by stating, “A FMD is described as abnormal movement or positioning of the body due to the nervous system not working properly, but not due to any underlying neurological disease.”

Uncontrollable Muscle Movements, Jerks, and Tics Gone after Chiropractic Care - Austin TX ChiropractorFMDs are not uncommon, accounting for over 16% of patients who get referred to neurology clinics. Due to the absence of an underlying pathology, medical care for patients with these conditions is often a challenge.  Because of the lack of a medical explanation in many of these cases, some medical experts suggest that the causes of these issues is psychological in nature.

In this case, a 36-year-old woman went to the chiropractor suffering from uncontrollable body shakes (hyperkinesia) with tics and uncontrollable muscle jerks. The woman’s problems began 5 months earlier during a time when she reported a high level of work stress. Her condition had gotten so severe that she was unable to work at the time of her visit to the chiropractor. Her history revealed that she was also suffering from anxiety and chronic neck pain.

The woman consulted a medical doctor who referred her to a neurologist. After not finding a medically known physical cause, the neurologist referred the woman to a psychiatrist, suspecting that her problems were psychological in origin. The patient decided not to see a psychiatrist and began chiropractic care instead. She did not follow up with the neurologist after his referral.

The patient began chiropractic care and was seeing visible progress by the eight week of her care. By the 20th week of care, all her symptoms of FMD were gone and she had returned to normal. Additionally, she reported that her secondary complaints of anxiety and chronic neck pain had also corrected.

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.

Disc Height Improved with Chiropractic: Case Study

What Is A Slipped Disc? Can Chiropractic Care Help Disc Degeneration?

Spinal disc degeneration is medically thought to be non-reversible and permanent. However, a documented case study published on April 13, 2015, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research showed increased disc spaces on a patient due to chiropractic care. Intervetebral discs are important pads between each of the vertebrae that allow movement and absorb shock.  Discs are firmly attached to the edges of the vertebrae and therefore can not “slip” which is a common misconception.

Disc Height Improved with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorMRI studies show that when discs begin to degenerate there is a loss of water in the center of the disc known as the nucleus. The goal of care for a person with disc degeneration is to re-hydrate the disc.

In this study, a 59-year-old man suffering from lower back pain, went to the chiropractor. His pain also radiated down into the back of his thigh. His lower back had caused problems for 20 years, but had progressively gotten worse over the previous 6 months. His history showed a number of falls and accidents over the last 20 years or so.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included palpation, range of motion, surface EMG, heart rate variability, thermography, and spinal x-rays. The results of the x-rays showed phase two spinal degeneration and curvature changes. From these tests, it was determined that subluxations were present in multiple locations and chiropractic care was begun.

During the course of chiropractic care, the patient noticed considerable improvement in his symptoms.  After four months of care, he reported a complete recovery from his back pain as well as reporting that he was not getting as many colds as before the chiropractic care

Additional re-evaluations were performed and improvement was noticed in all the test results. Follow-up x-rays showed an improvement in the man’s spinal curvatures with multiple areas of his spine starting to correct toward more normal curves. The man’s disc heights were measured on both his initial and follow-up x-rays. The dates on the x-rays were blocked out so the examiner would not know if he or she was looking at the first or second set of x-rays. The comparison, after the measurements were made, showed that the patient’s second set of x-rays had a measurable increase in disc height at several levels of his spine.

The increase in disc height shows evidence of regeneration of the intervertebral disc. In their conclusion the authors wrote, “The patient reported a complete remittance of low back pain concomitant with increased disc height at multiple levels and improved autonomic 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.

Chiropractic Adjustments Better Than Self-Manipulation: Study Shows

Is It Okay To “Crack” My Own Back? Can I Adjust Myself?

A common question from patients in a chiropractic office is, “Can I adjust myself?”  A study published on April 22, 2015, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research demonstrates that self-manipulation of the spine is not as effective as a specifically given chiropractic adjustment.

The study begins by pointing out that forms of spinal manipulation have been used in the treatment of lower back pain by many different types of practitioners. The study authors stated the purpose of the study by saying, “It is hypothesized that self-manipulation of the lumbar spine, without the utilization of an experienced practitioner, can result in therapeutic benefits but can also cause instability and chronic low back pain.”

Chiropractic Adjustments Better Than Self-Manipulation - Austin TX ChiropractorThe authors report that prior to this study there have been no scientific studies showing that self-manipulation is either beneficial or harmful. They note that there has been much research on the benefits of spinal manipulation for those suffering from back pain. The difficulty in a study of self-manipulation is that there is a wide variety of variables in self-rendered care of any kind.

In the specific case documented for this study, a 17-year-old boy came to the chiropractor suffering from chronic lower back pain that he had been experiencing for over a year. The boy was very active in sports and his problem may have coincided with a weightlifting injury he sustained near the time his problems started to appear.
The boy was treated with pain medications and injections, but these provided little help.  As a result, he resorted to self-manipulation of his lumbar spine. Multiple times per day, the boy would twist his body to create tension in his lumbar spine resulting in a popping sound in his lower back. This procedure seemed to create some relief and an increased range of motion. He would perform this self-manipulation as frequently as every 20-30 minutes every day in order to get relief.


Upon going to the chiropractor, the boy was instructed to discontinue the self-manipulation. A chiropractic examination with x-rays was performed to evaluate the boy’s condition. The examination did show that several segments of the boy’s lower spine was less movable than normal, while the entire area of the spine was more movable than normal. This was probably the result of the self-manipulation.

Chiropractic care was begun at the rate of 3 visits per week for 3 months. Adjustments were given to the areas of the boy’s spine that were less movable. The results reported in the study showed that the boy improved significantly from the chiropractic care with a reduction in his back pain. Additionally, there was an increased  stability of his spine due to the chiropractic care without the self-manipulation.

In their conclusion the authors wrote that specific chiropractic adjustments are different from self-manipulation in several ways including safety, specificity, and effectiveness. They note that while self-manipulation can produce similar popping sounds in the spine, the effects of a specific, “…chiropractic adjustment cannot be reproduced without the expertise of a skilled practitioner.”

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.

A Visit to the Chiropractor Could Improve Your Sex Life

Can Chiropractic Care Improve My Sex Life? How Does Chiropractic Care Help With Sexual Function?

The headline above is from an article published on April 15, 2015, in Shape magazine. The article begins by noting that most people do not come into a chiropractor’s office specifically for sexual issues, but many report improvements in that area after care has begun.

Dr. Jason Helfrich, a chiropractor in Colorado, commented in the article, “People come in with back pain, but after adjustments, they come back and tell me their sex life is so much better.” He explains, “It’s no surprise to us—it’s amazing what the body will do when you take away the pressure on the nervous system.”

A Visit to the Chiropractor Could Improve Your Sex Life - Austin TX ChiropractorThe article goes on to explain that what chiropractors do is to correct “subluxations.”  Every function of your body is controlled by the nervous system. It is therefore essential that the messages traveling from the brain to the parts of your body can do so without any interference.

A subluxation is when one of more of the spinal vertebrae become misaligned and cause pressure or irritation on nerves resulting in interference to the normal nerve function. Interference to normal nerve function from subluxations can cause parts of your body to either experience pain or to not function properly. Dr. Helfrich points out in the article that, “Every chiropractor’s goal is to remove these subluxations, since they can both cause pain and impede feeling.”

The Shape article explains two mechanisms where subluxations can have an effect on sex life. The first involves the lumbar or lower back region. Subluxations in this area can not only cause lower back pain but interference to those nerves can also affect function and blood flow to the sex organs.

But lower back subluxations are not the only area that can affect sexual function. The article also points out that the top of the neck can have a large role in this as well. The first two vertebrae in the neck are located right below the brain stem. Subluxations in this area can affect hormonal functions as well.

“Libido and fertility require a delicate balance of estrogen, progesterone, and other hormones, many of which are released in the upper cervical and neck area,” explains Dr. Helfrich. He concludes the article by stating, We want to improve people’s health, and health is about living life as its intended. Having a great sex life is huge part of that.”

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.

2015 Masters Tournament Winner, Jordan Spieth, Credits Chiropractic Care for Good Health and Peak Performance

Do Professional Athletes Use Chiropractic? Can Chiropractic Care Help My Golf Game?

On April 12, 2015, Jordan Spieth became the second youngest golfer to ever win the Masters Tournament. Spieth did it by tying the Masters record with 18 under par.  After his win, Spieth thanked several people including his chiropractor.

2015 Masters Tournament Winner, Jordan Spieth, Credits Chiropractic Care for Good Health and Peak Performance - Austin TX Celebrity ChiropractorThe Foundation for Chiropractic Progress issued a release on May 4, 2015, with the headline above and and stated, “Following a record-breaking win at the 2015 Masters Tournament, 21-year-old Jordan Spieth recognized those who significantly contributed to his victory, including his doctor of chiropractic Troy Van Biezen, Dallas, Texas. Since the age of 14, Spieth has relied upon chiropractic care to prevent injuries as well as optimize overall health and athletic performance.”

The Star Tribune reported in an  article on April 13, 2015, that Spieth made a home video when he was just 14-years-old, stating that he would one day win the Masters. His boyhood proclamation would have to wait until he was 21 to become a reality.

In thanking his chiropractor, Spieth commented, “Dr. Van Biezen is an important member of my team and, thanks to his care, my all-time dream of winning the Masters Tournament has now become a reality.” Dr. Van Biezen currently travels full-time with Spieth and several other professional golfers, providing chiropractic care as regularly as once or twice per day. 

Dr. Van Biezen noted that 4 out of 5 golfers will experience some form of back pain from the repeated motion of the sport. Van Biezen commented on Spieth’s determination to win the Masters, “Since a very young age, Jordan has aspired to win the Masters and has since applied great discipline to achieve this goal. Many athletes, and especially golfers, understand the significance to spinal and pelvic motion to functional performance.” 

“Jordan finds that an individualized chiropractic care plan including prevention and recovery-focused techniques is essential for maintaining good health and a competitive edge,” stated Dr. Van Biezen. “Regular chiropractic care helps to alleviate back pain and greatly improve an athlete’s game.” Dr. Van Biezen, goes on to say “Back pain is the most common complaint among golfers, but isn’t the only pain experienced. Neck, shoulder, elbow and hip pain are also common complaints among golfers of all ages. Regular chiropractic care offers an effective non-pharmacologic solution for golfers seeking to rid themselves of pain and properly prepare for a successful and enjoyable game.”

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.