The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published the results of a case study on November 2, 2020, documenting the recovery of an elderly man who was suffering with hyper frequent nightly bowel movements being helped by chiropractic.
The study begins by noting that there are many different types of bowel issues that all fall under the general category of “functional gastrointestinal disorders” (FGID). These include inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and diverticulitis. In many of these conditions, no real pathology can be medically found. For this reason, the variety of problems in this group are often chalked up to lifestyle issues or stress.
In this case, a 98-year-old man presented himself to a chiropractic office for help with his frequent nighttime bowel movements. He reported that he would have to get out of bed 8-9 times each night to have a bowel movement. The problem would begin about an hour after he retired to his bed. This problem seemed to be progressively getting worse over the past two years. He reports, however, that he does not have this issue during the day. He also noted that he has not had any falls or injuries associated with this problem. He felt he was under moderate stress.
A chiropractic examination was performed that involved a spinal and postural analysis, thermal scans, as well as spinal x-rays. The findings showed multiple postural anomalies and spinal degeneration was seen on the x-rays. From these findings, a plan for specific chiropractic care that was age appropriate was started.
The study recorded that after one month of care, the elderly man reported resolution of his abnormally occurring nighttime frequent bowel movements. After a year of care, a re-examination was performed with x-rays. Most of the objective findings had improved including the thermal scans. The neck x-rays, however, showed a continued progression of spinal disc degeneration in the man’s neck. This one x-ray finding did not negatively detract from the other improved finding of the examination, or from the man’s symptomatic improvement.
In the study discussion area, the authors describe in detail how the nervous system has an effect on the digestive tract and bowels. They cite numerous studies and research that show the connection of how chiropractic’s positive effect on the nerve system could have a positive effect on bowel function.
In their conclusion the authors note, “In conclusion, this case study shows improvement in reducing the frequency of a patients IBD with chiropractic care.” They recommend a larger study be done to help understand the effect of chiropractic on this issue. “A larger sample size, with random control trials with subsequent systematic reviews would be the optimal model for future research studies in order to determine if chiropractic management would be an effective treatment for a condition such as nocturnal overactive bowel movements.”
On December 3, 2020, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study documenting the improvement of a patient under chiropractic care who had significant lower spine degeneration with spondylolisthesis.
The study authors define the condition by saying, “Spondylolisthesis occurs when a vertebra is displaced anteriorly or posteriorly in respect to the vertebra below.” In essence, this condition is when a vertebrae, typically in the lower spine, shifts significantly forward over the vertebrae below. The degenerative form of spondylolisthesis commonly occurs in people in their upper 60s or more, with studies showing that upwards of 42% of those age 60 to 69 will have degenerative spondylolisthesis.
There are several types of spondylolisthesis and the major concern of this condition is that, if severe enough, it can narrow the spinal canal and put pressure on the spinal cord causing neurological problems. Spondylolisthesis is measured by drawing a line along the edge of the vertebrae on a side view of the x-ray.
In this case, a 63-year old female bodybuilder sought chiropractic care for severe lower back pain. The woman rated her lower back pain as 10 out of 10 on the scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the most severe. The woman had a history of having had treatment for her pain with multiple injections, medications, and over the counter pain pills. She had also previously had right hip replacement.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included thermographic heat reading along the spine, a surface EMG scan, and spinal x-rays. Based upon the findings, the woman was given a chiropractic care plan of three visits per week for a ten-week period.
Follow-up x-rays were taken after 10 weeks that showed a 67.2-74.2% improvement in several vertebrae, and a 136.8% improvement in the position of another. The woman reported that her pain had improved dramatically, going from 10 out of 10, down to just 2 out of 10. She also reported an improvement in her weight training noting being able to leg press 60 more pounds, up from 200 lb. to 260 pounds, since starting chiropractic care.
The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on November 16, 2020, documenting chiropractic helping a 7-week-old infant with multiple health issues. These problems included acid reflux, problems with swallowing, difficulty sleeping, problems with latching, spitting up after feeding, gas and a superior gaze.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus). This backwash (acid reflux) can irritate the lining of your esophagus.”
This authors of this study report that in the pediatric population, GERD occurs in approximately 67% of infants before the age of four months, and decreases to 21% by six months of age. This problem can further cause eating problems and frequent vomiting which can lead to slow weight gain and respiratory issues. In most cases, this problem will self-resolve by the age of 12 months.
In this case, a seven-week-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother. The baby was suffering with acid reflux and difficulty latching. His mother also reported that her son had a left head tilt, and an upward gaze. She also noticed that her baby had painful swallowing, was spitting up his food, and had trouble sleeping. The infant’s problems started four week earlier. Two weeks before seeking chiropractic, his mother took him to a medical doctor who diagnosed the boy with GERD and prescribed a medication to treat his problem.
Upon initial inspection, the baby boy appeared to be under-weight and had an upward gaze. An age appropriate chiropractic examination revealed the presence of vertebral subluxations. With this information and the approval of the boy’s mother, specific chiropractic pediatric adjustments were started.
After the first adjustment, the boy had an appointment with his pediatrician who commented that the boy had returned to normal weight and seemed free of any symptoms from GERD. The MD also noticed that the boy was holding his head up straight instead of tilting to one side, and the boy could lie on his belly without discomfort.
The boy’s mother also reported that her baby’s appetite had increased, and he was not fussing or crying after each meal. It was also observed that the boy was sleeping much better. After just two adjustments during 10 days of chiropractic care, the pediatrician reduced the baby’s prescribed medication and ultimately discontinued it altogether after three weeks of chiropractic care.
In their conclusion, the authors summed up this case by saying, “The case of a 7-week-old male diagnosed with GERD and a history of birth trauma, poor sleeping and feeding habits was presented. Significant improvements were observed following the introduction of chiropractic care.” They continued, “The resolution of these health challenges after two adjustments suggests there is a possible connection between them and vertebral subluxation.”
The Journal of Primary Care & Community Health published in Volume II:1-6 of their journal and accepted on August 5, 2020, a study that showed chiropractic care ranked better that a multidisciplinary pain team in the care of chronic spinal pain.
In explaining the background for this study, the authors state, “Chronic spinal pain is one of the most common diseases in the United States. Underserved patients are most affected, and disproportionately may use opioid medications as they lack access to other therapies.” The authors go on to say, “In the United States, 20.4% (50.0 million) adults suffer from chronic pain, and 8.0% (19.6 million) of U.S. adults have high-impact chronic pain (chronic pain limiting life and work activities).”
Lower back pain in the most common spinal pain and causes the most years of disability globally. Neck pain ranks fourth in years of disability. It is also reported that those that live in poorer communities are more likely to have disability from spinal pain than those in more affluent areas.
This study was conducted in a healthcare center in St. Louis, Missouri. In that center, two types of care were given to patients with chronic pain. One type of care was given by a multidisciplinary chronic pain team, and the other type of care was chiropractic care. The team rendering multidisciplinary chronic pain care consisted of a primary care physician (PCP), a behavioral health consultant, a clinical nurse, and a clinical pharmacist. The chiropractic care was given by faculty professors and students from Logan University, a chiropractic college in Chesterfield, Missouri.
Patients entering the study were referred to either type of care or both, based on the patient’s preference and recommendation of their provider. The pain team care was largely reimbursed by insurance while the chiropractic was paid by the patients. A “PDQ” (Pain Disability Questionnaire) was used to measure the results of the participants in each of the groups.
There were 20 participants who received chiropractic care and 12 who were treated by the pain team. The study itself was scheduled to run for a longer period of time with more participants but was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The results of those who were able to complete the study showed that the chiropractic group had significantly more improvement that the pain team group after care was rendered by the respective groups.
The authors reported in their study that, “… enrollment in the chiropractic team (P = .01) were associated with a larger improvement in PDQ after intervention.” They noted that chiropractic care should be included in healthcare centers to make it easier for those in underserved areas to receive chiropractic care.