March 2015


Trigeminal Neuralgia Helped with Chiropractic - Case Study

A study in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published on February 23, 2015, documents the case of a boy suffering trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia being helped with chiropractic care. The Mayo Clinic website defines this condition by writting, "Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, which carries sensation from your face to your brain."

The study reports that both trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia are characterized by episodes of sharp and sometimes extreme pain in the face. They also note that approximately 4-5 per 100,000 people suffer with this condition per year. That number increases with age, rising to 20 per 100,000 people per year after the age of 60. Trigeminal neuralgia is the more common of the two conditions and can be triggered by a very slight stimulus. Attacks can be started by such normal activities as swallowing, chewing, coughing, sneezing, speaking, yawning, touching the neck or ear, and certain tastes, as well.

In this case, a 10-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor with a diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia. He had been suffering with spontaneous episodes of extreme facial, ear, neck, and chest pain which began 4 months prior to his chiropractic visit. In addition, the boy was also suffering from headaches, constipation, ear, neck, and chest pain, and a specific learning disability that affected his ability to write. It was reported that things as slight as wind or changes in elevation could trigger his pain. Under medical care, he had been prescribed a number of different medications, all of which did not offer any relief.

A chiropractic examination was conducted which included palpation of the spine, a leg length analysis, postural analysis, surface electromyography, and specific neck spinal x-rays. The results showed postural abnormalities consistent with spinal subluxations. Additionally, tender areas were found in the boy's neck on palpation, and the x-rays were positive for malpositioning of the upper bones in the neck.

Based on the findings, a specific chiropractic adjustment was given to the boy. A post-adjustment x-ray was performed and confirmed an immediate positive change in the positioning of the upper neck bones. Chiropractic care was continued to address the boy's subluxations.

The results were dramatic. The study noted that five days after the initial chiropractic adjustment, the boy was pain free and no longer experienced any of his previous symptoms. The boy's mother was so pleased that she started and published a blog documenting her son's recovery. Additionally, the objective analytical exam procedures verified the boy's improvement from correction of his subluxations. The boy remained symptom-free for several years which continued through the writing of this case report.

In their conclusion, the study authors summed up the results by saying, "This was a case where the patient, who was diagnosed with both trigeminal and glossopharyngeal neuralgia, reported initial relief of symptoms associated with the disease, and soon after, complete remission."

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NIH Report Says Spinal Manipulation Unlikely to Cause Stroke

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 15, 2015.

The NIH report, first published January 15, 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 theUnited 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 DartmouthCollege 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."

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Escaping Epilepsy: Man Credits Chiropractic Care with Stopping Seizures

The title above is from a feel-good story published on February 14, 2015, in the Rapid City Journal of South Dakota. The story, written by Christopher Smith, chronicles the life of Robert Renner, an 89-year-old man whose life has been drastically different due to chiropractic care.

According to the article, as a young man, Renner suffered from terrible grand-mal seizures that often left him unconscious and in spasm. During this 11-year period. Renner's quality of life deteriorated due to his seizures. Then, in 1947, friends of Renner saw a sign that said that chiropractic could help with neurological problems. His friends spoke with a doctor who suggested he go to the Palmer School of Chiropractic inDavenport, Iowa.

DD Palmer discovered chiropractic in 1895 in Davenport. He established a school there which his son, Dr. BJ Palmer, developed into a world famous college and healthcare facility. However, in 1947, chiropractic was still relatively unknown and not well accepted. In spite of any skepticism, Renner's grandfather came up with $1500.00 to send his grandson from their home in northernNorth Dakota to the Palmer clinic in Iowa.

The rest, as they say, is history. He reports in the article that he has not had a single seizure since. "After 11 years of epilepsy, I was at the clinic for four weeks in October of 1947," Renner recalls. "I had attacks usually three times a week; I'd chewed my tongue so bad I could only eat cold soup. At the clinic they took x-rays of my back and spine three times a day to see my improvement. When I left, they showed me the first x-ray and where the problem was in my first vertebrae, and how it improved each day. And I haven’t had any signs of epilepsy since."

Not only does Renner credit chiropractic for the elimination of his seizures, but he also states that regular chiropractic care has kept him headache free for 40 years. "Chiropractic work saved my life," he said. "Over the years as I've moved around, I’ve had 13 or 14 different doctors. It's marvelous what they can do for people."

Dr. Stephen Gullikson, from Rapid City, is Renner's current chiropractor and explained in the article how chiropractic works. "The nervous system controls 100 percent of our body’s functions, from hair growth to toenails. My job is to remove interference from the nervous system, so when you do that with the adjustments we do through chiropractic care, many types of symptoms that people come in with are helped along the way."

Dr. Gullikson continued, "If the nervous system has interference because of a misalignment of the back compressing a nerve, problems can arise wherever that nerve goes," he said. "So when I work with patients, I can see many different results on things they might not have even told me about. My goal is really to help people get well without drugs or surgery."

It obviously does not take much convincing to get Robert Renner to be excited about chiropractic care. He intends to continue chiropractic care for the rest of his life. Renner concluded, "I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for the doctors that have helped me, and the Lord guiding me."

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Chronic Shoulder Pain Resolved with Chiropractic in Elderly Woman

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.

In 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.

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Infant Twins with Breastfeeding and Gastrointestinal Problems Helped with Chiropractic

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 10, 2015, documenting the improvement of infant twins with a variety of health issues being helped by chiropractic. The study showed that the infants had been suffering with chronic reflux, breastfeeding difficulties, irritability, excessive crying, plagiocephaly, and scaphocephaly.

Plagiocephaly and scaphocephaly are conditions in infants where the head is misshaped in various ways. This usually happens from complications during the birth process or from force during the delivery process. The study authors report that recent estimates say that, "...2.6% of births are complicated by some type of birth trauma. The resulting injuries are comprehensive (i.e. injuries to the nervous system, organs, etc) and of interest in this case report, injuries to the craniofacial region and spine resulting in plagiocephaly, facial asymmetry and altered functionality."

This case study reports on seven-month-old fraternal twin boys who were brought to the chiropractor by their mother. The baby boys were suffering from chronic acid reflux and difficulty feeding since birth. The history noted that at 33 weeks into the woman's pregnancy, the amnionic membrane of one twin ruptured which resulted in an emergency Caesarean section. This premature birth resulted in both twins being in a special care unit for three weeks after birth.

The mother attempted to breastfeed the infants for the first three months but problems led to a change to formula by the fourth month. The infants reflux and irritability continued and medical attempts to help these problems were unsuccessful.

A chiropractic examination including a spinal analysis was performed on the infants to determine the need for chiropractic care. Based on the examination and the finding of subluxations, chiropractic care was begun with the approval of the twin's mother.

After eight weeks of care, the mother reported that her twin's reflux had decreased in severity and that her sons were much more settled and would feed much easier. After 16 weeks, the infants' problems had resolved and it was noted that their head shapes had returned to near normal.

The authors commented in their summary, "Complaints associated with birth trauma including deformational plagiocephaly, breastfeeding difficulties and general irritability improved in seven month old twin boys while they were receiving chiropractic care."

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FDA Warns on Drugs to Treat Low Testosterone Levels in Men

The above headline comes from a March 3, 2015, article in the Wall Street Journal. This article, as well as several others on this subject, reported on an FDA Drug Safety Communication issued on March 3, 2015, warning about the use of "testosterone products for low testosterone due to aging."

In the opening of their safety warning, the release states, "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions that prescription testosterone products are approved only for men who have low testosterone levels caused by certain medical conditions."

Recently, pharmaceutical companies have been advertising testosterone drugs for aging men that they have marketed as "Low T." This advertising is in spite of the fact that it is normal for testosterone levels to fall as men get older.

The FDA warning points out that these drugs were never approved for this type of usage and were strictly intended for medical conditions that create a decrease in testosterone. The report says; "Testosterone is FDA-approved as replacement therapy only for men who have low testosterone levels due to disorders of the testicles, pituitary gland, or brain that cause a condition called hypogonadism."

The market for selling testosterone prescriptions in the U.S. is very lucrative, with sales exceeding $2 billion in 2013 alone. In the warning, the FDA recognizes that these drugs are being sold for uses not intended. "FDA has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging. The benefits and safety of this use have not been established."

The Wall Street Journal article points out that the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in November 2013 showing that men treated with testosterone had a 30% increased risk of death, heart attack, or ischemic stroke compared with those who didn't take the drug.

In an NPR article on the same day, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, founder of, the Public Citizen's Health Research Group, criticized the FDA for not issuing a stronger warning sooner. He noted that the Canadian government acted months sooner, thus limiting the amount of testosterone prescriptions and the amount of harm done. He commented, "In the seven and a half months since the Canadian action, approximately 4 million prescriptions have been filled in the U.S." He continued, "Had the FDA made this announcement last summer when the Canadian government acted, it would have reduced the number of U.S. prescriptions for and damage from testosterone, a medication of questionable effectiveness for a large proportion of users and one that increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.".

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