Published in the December 12, 2019, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research is a case study documenting the improvement of a stroke victim in motor strength and balance after undergoing chiropractic care.
The study begins by noting that there are two categories of causes of stroke – ischemic and hemorrhagic. A hemorrhagic caused stroke means that there was a rupture in a blood vessel supplying blood to the brain. An ischemic caused stroke, which is far more common accounting for over 80% of all strokes, is when there is an occlusion in a blood vessel that feeds a part of the brain.
The study reports that it is estimated that 17 million people suffer a stroke each year world-wide. As a result, approximately 5 million of these people suffer long-lasting physical disabilities following their stroke. They report, “One of the most commonly occurring and long-lasting physical deficits following a strokes is hemiparesis, which can impair limb movement and function and an individual’s ability to stand, balance or walk.”
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list several facts about stroke in the U.S. which include that “Every year, more than 795,000 people in the United States have a stroke. About 610,000 of these are first or new strokes.” Additionally, “Stroke kills about 140,000 Americans each year—that’s 1 out of every 20 deaths. Stroke costs the United States an estimated $34 billion each year. This total includes the cost of health care services, medicines to treat stroke, and missed days of work.”
In this case, a non-smoker 40-year-old man was suffering with right-sided lower limb weakness following an ischemic stroke seven years ago, presented himself to a chiropractor. After his stroke, the man received eight months of rehabilitation and Botox therapy to try to help reduce muscle tension. After his therapy, the man still suffered with lower back and right leg weakness. He remained active and continued to go to the gym regularly.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, palpation, as well as Surface EMG (sEMG) and thermography studies. The determination from these tests was that there were multiple areas of vertebral subluxations present in the man’s spine. A series of specific chiropractic adjustments were then started to address the subluxations.
The study states that on his third chiropractic visit, the man reported being aware of greater strength in his right leg, which continued throughout his care. As care continued, he also reported that his balance had improved. On his ninth visit, the man reported that his leg strength had improved to the point that he was able increase the weight he was using in his leg exercises.
In their discussion, the authors of the study stated, “This case documents a course of chiropractic care associated with the improvement in residual lower limb motor weakness and balance in a 40-year-old male who had experienced an ischemic stroke 7-years prior. Chiropractic care focused on the assessment and correction of vertebral subluxation.” The authors further concluded, “This case provides supporting evidence that stroke survivors may benefit from chiropractic care.”