The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a case study on October 29, 2018, documenting the resolution of a woman’s hot flashes under chiropractic care. Hot flashes are the most common condition of women who are entering menopause.
According to the Mayo Clinic’s website, “Hot flashes are sudden feelings of warmth, which are usually most intense over the face, neck and chest. Your skin might redden, as if you’re blushing. Hot flashes can also cause sweating, and if you lose too much body heat, you might feel chilled afterward. Although other medical conditions can cause them, hot flashes most commonly are due to menopause — the time when menstrual periods become irregular and eventually stop.”
Hot flashes are not a life-threatening condition, but they are an annoyance and can be severe enough to disturb a woman’s daily life. The authors explain, “Hot flashes do not typically cause any health concerns, but may interrupt sleep, and can impact the general health and well-being of some women, but the risks are minimal. The most concerning impact of hot flashes is the discomfort they bring to women and the sudden onset at inconvenient times and places. Hot flashes usually cause a heated or warm sensation throughout the core, chest, face, neck, and head along with sweating and possibly chills directly afterwards and can last anywhere from a half minute up to 10 or sometimes 15 minutes.”
In this case, a 57-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care. Her primary reason for seeking chiropractic was several weeks of right-sided sciatic pain, along with low back pain and pain between her shoulders. Ten years earlier, she had been involved in an automobile accident in which her car was rear-ended resulting in temporary neck pain. In addition to her pain symptoms that brought her to the chiropractor, it was reported that she was also suffering with hot flashes.
A chiropractic examination involving palpation, range of motion, posture analysis and x-rays was performed. From the examination, it was determined that subluxation was present and specific forms of chiropractic care were started.
The results of the study only reported on the first six weeks of her care, which is when a re-evaluation was performed. Results beyond the first six weeks were not included in this study. At the time of her re-evaluation, the woman made three specific comments regarding her progress. She reported that her “leg numbness improved”, her “leg muscle spasms improved” and she had “no hot flashes for the last 2 weeks.” At that point, she rated herself at about 50% improvement for the symptoms that brought her to the chiropractor.
The authors of the study summed up the case by stating, “This was a case where the patient had been experiencing approximately 10 hot flashes per day while simultaneously suffering from sciatic pain and low back pain. The hot flashes this patient was experiencing completely resolved after four weeks of care and the sciatic pain improved 50% in six weeks.”
The headline above comes from a July 9, 2018, article on HealthDay, and is based on a study published the same day in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The Mayo Clinic Proceedings study is titled “Physician Burnout, Well-being, and Work Unit Safety Grades in Relationship to Reported Medical Errors” and listed the study objective as “To evaluate physician burnout, well-being, and work unit safety grades in relationship to perceived major medical errors.”
An ABC News article, also on the same day, reported that according to the Institute of Medicine, medical errors account for between 100,000 to 200,000 deaths per year. They define burnout as emotional exhaustion or depersonalization and note that it occurs in more than half of the over 6600 doctor’s surveyed.
Lead study author Dr. Daniel Tawfik, an instructor in pediatric critical care at Stanford University’s School of Medicine stated, “Burnout is a reversible work-related syndrome characterized by emotional exhaustion and/or cynicism, often featuring decreased effectiveness.” He added, “Although not unique to physicians, it is particularly common in occupations like medicine that feature high levels of stress and intense interactions with people.”
In this study, researchers stated that they, “…conducted a population-based survey of US physicians in active practice regarding burnout, fatigue, suicidal ideation, work unit safety grade, and recent medical errors.” Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine collected data from an anonymous survey of 6,686 physicians who were in practice and responded to the survey. The doctors were asked to complete questionnaires that included questions about their levels of burnout, well-being, fatigue and symptoms of depression. They were also asked to grade the safety of their workplace and anonymously give information on any major medical errors they may have made.
The results of the study were shocking. Over 10% of the responding doctors claimed they had made a major medical error in the past three months, with 1 in 20 of these errors being fatal. The study itself reported, “Of 6695 responding physicians in active practice, 6586 provided information on the areas of interest: 3574 (54.3%) reported symptoms of burnout, 2163 (32.8%) reported excessive fatigue, and 427 (6.5%) reported recent suicidal ideation, with 255 of 6563 (3.9%) reporting a poor or failing patient safety grade in their primary work area and 691 of 6586 (10.5%) reporting a major medical error in the prior 3 months.”
The medical errors that can occur from medical burnout are not insignificant. Dr. Tawfik noted that, “When a physician is experiencing burnout, a wide range of adverse events may occur. In our study, the most common errors were errors in medical judgment, errors in diagnosing illness, and technical mistakes during procedures.”
In their conclusion, the study authors acknowledge the problem and call for a solution. “In this large national study, physician burnout, fatigue, and work unit safety grades were independently associated with major medical errors. Interventions to reduce rates of medical errors must address both physician well-being and work unit safety.”
In 1975 Ronald Pero, PhD., chief of cancer prevention research at New York’s Preventive Medicine Institute and professor of medicine in Environmental Health at New York University began developing scientifically valid ways to estimate individual susceptibility to various chronic diseases. Pero and his colleagues found strong evidence that susceptibility to cancer could be gauged by the activities of various enzymes involved in metabolic and genetic changes due to exposure to carcinogenic or “mutagenic” chemicals. An individual’s immune system responsiveness, or immune competence, “was also directly linked to certain DNA-repairing enzymes,” which provided an objective way to assess disease susceptibility. Lack of those enzymes,” Pero said, “definitely limits not only your lifespan, but also your ability to resist serious disease consequence.”
Pero was also fascinated by various hormones synergistic relationship with other cancer-inducing agents to promote disease. For example, thyroid hormones affect the early phases inducing of radiation and chemically induced cancer. If the thyroid produces too much of either thyroxine or thyroid-stimulating hormone, cancer risk greatly increases. Since the nervous system regulates hormonal balances, it too can influence susceptibility to cancer, particularly lymphomas and lymphatic leukemias. This connection led Pero to consider chiropractic as a potential alternative for reducing the risk of immune breakdown and disease.
In the 1986 Pero collaborated with Joseph Flesia, D.C., chairman of the board of directors for the Chiropractic Basic Science Research Foundation, Inc. With a hefty grant from CBSRF, they began a research project at the University of Lund in Lund, Sweden. Using Pero’s test to gauge resistance to hazardous environmental chemicals, they hypothesized that people with cancer would have a suppressed immune response to such toxic burden, while healthy people and people receiving chiropractic care should have a relatively enhanced response.
Measuring 107 individuals who had received long-term chiropractic care, Pero’s team turned up some surprising findings. All chiropractic patients were “genetically normal” – that is, they had no obvious genetic reasons for increased resistance or susceptibility to disease. Any difference, therefore, had to be accounted for by environmental or therapeutic factors. The chiropractic patients also had 200 percent greater immune competence than people who had not received chiropractic, and 400 percent greater immune competence than the people with cancer or other serious diseases. Surprisingly, despite a wide range of ages in this study, the immune-competence did not show any decline with age, it was uniform for the entire group.
Pero concluded that “chiropractic may optimize whatever genetic abilities you have” so that your can fully resist serious disease. “I’m very excited to see that without chemical intervention…this particular group of patients under chiropractic care did show a very improved response, “he told CBSRF. “These changes occur from chiropractic treatment.”
Seleno, Pfleger, Grostic et al., The effects of upper cervical adjustments on CD 4 Counts of HIV positive patients. CRJ 3 (1)
The Journal of Chiropractic Education published the results of a study on August 1, 2018, that looked at the reasons that people over the age of 65 most sought out chiropractic care. The study was conducted at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic (NZCC) intern training center. The authors of this study begin by defining the aging process. “Aging is a nonreversible fact of life that results in an eventual decline in the total capacity of various organs and systems, decreasing the body’s ability to adapt to the stresses of the environment.” They note that the world’s population is getting older with 8.5% of the population being older than age 65, which translated out to 617 million senior citizens world-wide. It is expected that by the year 2050, there will be 1.6 billion people over 65 years of age representing 17% of the total world population. An increase in the likelihood of injury as well as additional health challenges for an aging population means a large increase strain on the world-wide healthcare systems. Less expensive alternatives such as chiropractic could represent an area that could help with the issues of an aging population. In this study, files were reviewed for patients at the NZCC intern training center who were over the age of 65 when they first started chiropractic care at that facility. Information from the file must have included the patient’s chief complaint for which they started chiropractic care. From a total of 3513 active patients at the clinic at the time of the study, 100 patients (2.8%) met the criteria and were eligible for inclusion into this study. The youngest patient in the study was 65-years-old and the oldest was 88-years-old when they started chiropractic. The average age of patients in the study as 69.5 years. There were slightly more women than men in this study. According to the study, there were eight categories of chief complaints for which these patients sought chiropractic care. The most common reason that seniors looked to chiropractic in this study was lower back pain, with 45% listing this as their chief complaint. Of these patients, 28% sought chiropractic on their own and 17% sought chiropractic based upon a referral. Neck pain was the second most common reason for seniors to seek chiropractic with 21% listing this as their chief complaint. Of these, only 4% did so because of a referral while the rest sought chiropractic on their own. The third most common reason that seniors sought chiropractic care, representing 14% of the study participants, was for wellness care. These patients had no specific chief complaint or symptom that drew them to seek out chiropractic. It can be assumed that these patients were looking for preventative care and the benefits inherent in the drugless approach of chiropractic. Other chief problems that brought seniors to chiropractic in this study included lower extremity pain (5%), upper extremity pain (3%), balance (4%), hip pain (3%), and a variety of other issues such as headaches, groin pain, and visceral conditions each representing 1% of those seeking chiropractic. Portions of the finding in this study were similar to other studies performed in both New Zealand and in the United States and Mexico. The one main differences between the studies conducted in New Zealand, and the ones in the U.S. and Mexico was that the percentage of seniors seeking chiropractic for wellness purposes in New Zealand was much higher than studies conducted in the U.S. or Mexico. With this one difference being noted between this study and those outside New Zealand, the study authors were able to conclude that, “In general, older patient characteristics and their chief complaints at our clinic appear similar to those of other chiropractic colleges studying all age groups.”