The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 12, 2018, documenting the care of a woman with a clinical diagnosis of depression and anxiety being helped by chiropractic.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), "Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) is characterized by persistent and excessive worry about a number of different things." This condition is twice as likely to affect women than men and is most common in middle age. It is estimated that this condition may affect up to 18% of the population in the U.S. alone, which represents about 40 million people.
There are several symptoms that have been associated with GAD including a feeling of restlessness or on edge, being easily fatigued, having difficulty concentrating, the feeling of your mind going blank, irritability, muscle tension and sleep disturbances.
Panic attacks are many times associated with GAD and are sudden in onset. To be classified as having a panic attack, a person must be having at least four specific symptoms from a list of 13 symptoms associated with the attack. These symptoms include heart palpitations, sweating, trembling or shaking, shortness of breath, feelings of choking, chest discomfort or pain, nausea, dizziness, or feeling faint, hot flashes or chills, numbness or tingling, and a fear of dying.
Depression is described by this study as, "depressed mood most of the day, diminished interest or pleasure in activities throughout the day, significant weight loss, insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day, psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day, fatigue or loss of energy approximately every day, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt every day, diminished ability to think or indecisiveness nearly every day, and recurrent thoughts of death."
In this case, a 30-year-old woman went to a chiropractor seeking help for anxiety, panic attacks, and depression. She had been suffering with these conditions for 8 years and was being treated medically with a variety of medications. She reported that she felt she needed to take her medication "too often lately".
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, thermography, and spinal x-rays. From the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of four visits per week.
After two weeks of chiropractic care, the woman reported that she had a decrease in frequency of panic attacks, from seven times per week down to less than one per week. She also reported that she was sleeping better and noticed an increase in her energy.
After four months of care, the woman stated that she no longer suffered from depression or anxiety. She stated that she had an increased quality of life due to the ability to be happy as well as her increase in energy. As time and her chiropractic care continued, the patient reported that she was able to get off all her medications for anxiety and depression.
In the conclusion of this study, the authors wrote, "The patient involved in this case study states that she had no anxiety or depression after four months of chiropractic care on subjective patient progression forms. After long term care of two years, the patient ceased all medication for anxiety and depression. The results obtained in this case study shows positive improvement in mental health when chiropractic care was implemented."