Dr Merri's Blog

Earaches and Infection Gone and Ear Tube Surgery Canceled Due to Chiropractic

Posted: January 21, 2020
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

In the September 9, 2019, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health appears a case study that documents how chiropractic helped a young girl who was suffering with ear infections recover and avoid scheduled ear tube surgery.

Otitis media is the technical name for an ear infection. According to the Mayo Clinic, "An ear infection (sometimes called acute otitis media) is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. Children are more likely than adults to get ear infections."

This study begins by the authors reporting that acute otitis media (AOM), is a common disorder with 23% of children will have experienced this condition by year one. Most of the cases of AOM are observed ages at 6 to 12 months. Not too long ago, common medical treatment of AOM was to give the child ongoing antibiotics in an attempt to prevent further infections. More recently, the quick antibiotic approach has been less common in favor of managing the pain and monitoring the problem in the hope that the problem self-resolves.

In a growing effort to reduce the usage of drugs by children, many parents have turned to other forms of care or treatment for their children suffering with otitis media. The study reports, "A popular option and highly utilized alternative care approach for children is chiropractic."

In this case, a 3-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother for a chiropractic consultation and possible care. The girl had been suffering with chronic ear infections. According to her mother, the girl's ear infections were made worse by a cold or the flu. The child had been through multiple rounds of antibiotics. Each time antibiotics were used, the ear infections would appear to clear up but then return again after the therapy was discontinued. At the time of the chiropractic examination the little girl was scheduled for tympanostomy ventilation tube surgery.

Upon examination, it was noted that the girl was suffering with infections in both ears and was visibly in pain as she appeared agitated and was continually grabbing at her ears. In addition to inspection of the ears, a spinal examination was performed which included both static palpation and light motion of the girl's spine. From the examination it was determined that subluxations were present in the girl's spine.

With the permission of the girl's mother, specific forms of age appropriate chiropractic adjustment were begun. The girl was scheduled for ear tube surgery two weeks after the start of her chiropractic care. Due to the results from her receiving chiropractic care in those two weeks, her medical doctor cancelled the ear tube surgery because the infection had cleared.

The study records the response of the girl's mother by stating, "Given the response of the patient to chiropractic care, the patient’s mother elected to have her child attend chiropractic care on a wellness basis. The child continues to receive chiropractic care on a wellness basis and has not experienced another bout of OM (otitis media)."


Resolution of Intention Tremor Following Chiropractic in an Infant

Posted: January 6, 2020
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on February 25, 2019, documenting chiropractic bringing about the resolution of intention tremors in an infant.

In describing what a intention tremor is, the authors of the study stated, "Kinetic tremor is a type of action tremor which is typically perceived while a limb is actually moving. If the movement is part of a goal-directed behavior, the tremor is termed an intention tremor; otherwise it is called a simple kinetic tremor."

When a person is suffering from intension tremors, the tremors seem to get worse as the person is getting closer to their target. For instance, if a person with intension tremors is trying to touch their nose, the tremor gets worse as their hand gets closer to their nose.

In this case, a 20-month-old boy was brought to a chiropractic clinic by his parents. The boy's mother reported that her son’s tremors occurred when reaching for toys or while eating dinner. She also reported that her son was speech delayed for which he had an appointment for a speech-hearing evaluation two weeks from his initial visit to the chiropractor.

The history revealed that the mother had a difficult birth with significant medical intervention. Additionally, the mother could only breastfeed her son for a week due to lack of milk production. Other than his birth, the boy’s development seemed within normal, and there were no issues with allergies or colic.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural inspection, static and motion spinal palpation, spinal ranges of motion, and thermographic heat studies along the spine. From the findings of the examination, it was determined that subluxations were present. Age specific chiropractic adjustments were started to address the subluxations detected with the examination.

The outcome of the care documented in this study showed that, at the time of a re-evaluation seven weeks into the chiropractic care, the objective findings including the thermographic heat studies showed vast improvements. Additionally, the boy's parents reported that using a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being no improvement and 10 being total resolution of all problems, they rated their son as a 9 out of 10 at that point.

The boy's parents noted that their son's overall quality of life, behavior, attention, activity levels, co-ordination, appetite and other symptoms had improved significantly. He also demonstrated higher energy levels and a reduced frequency of colds or infections. In less than two months after starting chiropractic care, the boy was able to speak in three word sentences.

"Chiropractic care focuses on the detection and treatment of the vertebral subluxation by interaction with the spinal cord," stated the researchers in their conclusion. They continued, "This case provides an instance in which multiple symptoms of cerebellar dysfunction in a pediatric patient have improved because of the application of chiropractic care."


Resolution of Sleep Disorder in an Infant Undergoing Chiropractic Care

Posted: January 2, 2020
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on July 22, 2019, documenting the chiropractic resolution of sleeping issues in a baby who developed sleeping problems after previously having been able to sleep through the night.

This study begins with the authors noting the importance of the proper amount of sleep in children. "It’s acknowledged that when children are lacking sleep, their physical, emotional, cognitive and social development are negatively affected and can impair both the parent and child’s daytime functioning." They also report that "…longer sleep duration was generally associated with better body composition, emotional regulation, and growth in children aged 0 to 4 years."

In this case, a 7-month-old baby girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl’s mother stated that her daughter was previously sleeping 9-10 hours throughout the night but recently was currently only sleeping a maximum of 2-3 hours at a time throughout the day. It was also noticed that the girl had difficulties turning her head to the right.

During the examination, it was noticed that the girl was mostly calm throughout the process except when the chiropractor was examining the girl’s neck. Upon touching the neck, the girl became agitated, started fussing, and was grabbing at the doctor’s hands. It was obvious from the palpation examination that the neck area was sensitive and tender to the baby girl, particularly in her upper neck. The motion in this upper neck area was also restricted. No other part of the baby’s spine was sensitive or restricted. A determination was made that subluxations were present.

With consent, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were given to the baby girl’s spine to address the subluxations. The documented results of the care showed that after the first visit, the girl was immediately able to sleep 9-10 hours through the night without issues. After the second visit, her mother reported that the girl had more energy and a better disposition. Her mother also noticed better range of motion in her neck and reported that her baby girl was less fussy.

In the discussion in the study, the authors note that chiropractic for children is generally thought of as being for musculoskeletal issues. "Of the practitioner-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, chiropractic has been found to be highly utilized by parents for their children. Use of chiropractic services have been to address physical complaints of mainly neuromusculoskeletal origin, the co-morbidities of childhood and wellness care." They also note that more parents are bringing children to the chiropractor for issues outside of the musculoskeletal types. "This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in infants with disordered sleep as a primary or secondary presenting complaint."


Back Pain Helped by Chiropractic After Failed Low Back Surgery

Posted: December 30, 2019
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

A case study published on January 17, 2019, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the improvement with chiropractic of a patient with scoliosis and lower back pain who previously had failed lower back surgery.

The study begins by explaining that "Scoliosis is a structural three-dimensional deformity of the spine defined by a lateral curvature of more than 10 degrees." In people above the age of 50, the prevalence of scoliosis is somewhere between 6 and 32% of that population. In adults with scoliosis, it is not uncommon to see back pain, muscle fatigue, degenerative changes, and spinal stenosis.

The study points out that spinal problems in the aging population is of increasing concern and has become more of a financial burden. "Chronic low back pain due to degenerative spine disease is an increasing concern in the aging US population and imposes a large economic burden on society. In the last decade, the Medicare costs of treating adult spinal deformity (ASD), including scoliosis, have increased more than 16-fold, from $56 million to more than $958 million."

In this case, a 62-year-old woman presented herself to the chiropractor after being referred by her massage therapist. The woman was suffering with chronic lower back pain for the past 20 years. At the time of her chiropractic consultation, she was severe to the point of being antalgic and leaning to the right.

The woman’s history included two prior spinal surgeries. The first spinal surgery was 20 years prior where her L5 disc was removed. Her second surgery was 13 years prior for an L5-S1 fusion in which titanium screws were put in through the entire L5-S1 joint space. Both surgeries were unsuccessful as the woman continued to suffer from her issues.

The woman described her pain as being across her lower back and going down into her left leg and foot. She rated the pain as a 7 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. She reported that her pain increased upon standing, sitting, walking or lying down longer than 20 minutes. Her health history also included current and past symptoms of fatigue, migraine headaches, poor posture, arthritis, sciatica, sleep problems, swelling of the ankles, and loss of short-term memory. She was currently taking 13 different medications for her various issues.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, static and motion spinal palpation, thermographic paraspinal heat studies, and spinal x-rays. In addition to the many individual conditions that the woman had been diagnosed with and medically treated for, the chiropractor determined that subluxations were present and could be addressed with specific forms of chiropractic care.

During her chiropractic care, several follow-up examinations were performed to objectively evaluate her progress. In each of these examinations, the tests showed that she was improving when compared to the initial testing. The woman reported improvement in her ability to sleep and a reduction in low back pain. She also reported improvement in her overall quality of life. A follow-up on her condition three years later showed that she continued to show an improvement in her quality of life and she was able to modify and discontinue her medications.

In the study discussion, the authors summed up the benefits of chiropractic by explaining, "Chiropractic is a health care profession that focuses on the musculoskeletal and nervous system, and the disorders that affects these systems whether they are internal or external. Chiropractors optimizes the nervous system function by removing interference to the nervous system via adjustments of vertebral subluxations. The removal of these interferences allow the brain and the body to communicate effectively allowing for an increase in health and well-being including increased movement and overall improved quality of life this is essential in all age groups but particularly in those over the age of 60 as they are more susceptible to impaired functions."


Child with Bowel Problems Helped by Chiropractic

Posted: December 16, 2019
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on January 24, 2019, documenting the improvement with chiropractic of a young girl who had been suffering with irregular bowel movements.

If a child is 4-years-old or older, and has already been potty trained but still soils his or her pants with stools, the term for this condition is encopresis. By the age of four, children should be able to control themselves enough to not have this issue occur except under rare or extreme circumstances. Medical treatment for encopresis typically involves medications, some behavioral modifications, and dietary changes.

It is estimated that approximately 1-2% of children under the age of ten suffer from encopresis. Boys are much more commonly affected by this condition with 80-90% of all cases being in males.

In this case, a 9-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor for an evaluation of an issue not related to encopresis. It seems the girl's gymnastics coach had observed that her hips were uneven. The girl's health history included having asthma, for which she had received allergy shots. She also had suffered for elbow dislocations before she was 4-years-old. Additionally, her history did record that she was suffering with irregular bowel movements. She was taking 4 Colace pills per day to regulate her bowels. It was later revealed that she was having accidents where she would soil herself and her clothing.

A chiropractic examination with spinal x-rays was performed. From the examination, it was determined that there were multiple areas of vertebral subluxation in the girl's spine, affecting her nervous system. Based upon the findings of the examination and x-rays, specific age-appropriate chiropractic adjustments were used to address the subluxations.

During the course of chiropractic care, gradual improvements were seen with the girl's regularity of bowel movements and with the incontinence she was experiencing. After one month of care, it was reported that the girl was virtually "accident free." Beyond the one-month point of her care, the girl was no longer having accidents and was able to sleep in normal panties for the first time ever. After a two month follow-up, there was no longer any reports of the problem and the girl was leading the life of a normal 9-year-old.

In their discussion about the mechanism of how chiropractic could help this girl's case the authors wrote, "Chiropractic adjustments act as a physical means to correct vertebral subluxations and reduce dysfunction in the body." They continued, "When this dysfunction is removed and musculoskeletal stresses are reduced, afferent input to the central nervous system is regulated, decreasing the sympathetic hyperactivity. This mechanism may be attributed to how chiropractic adjustments help alleviate fecal incontinence in this case study."


Resolution of Post-traumatic Epilepsy, Headaches & Dizziness Following Chiropractic

Posted: December 5, 2019
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a case study on March 4, 2019, documenting the resolution of posttraumatic epilepsy following a traumatic brain injury. Posttraumatic epilepsy is when seizures occur for longer than a week in a person who has suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The study notes that posttraumatic epilepsy may be as common as 13.8% of people who suffer a traumatic brain injury, depending on the severity of the trauma to the brain. They report that the risk of seizure immediately after an injury is slight, but over time that risk increases until the five-year mark when the risk then starts to decrease. Of those that develop seizures after a traumatic brain injury, 86% can be classified as posttraumatic epilepsy.

Men are more likely to develop posttraumatic epilepsy then women. It is estimated that about half of all people with posttraumatic epilepsy will only experience three or fewer seizures and then go into spontaneous remission. Of all cases of epilepsy, posttraumatic epilepsy makes up less than 10% of that total.

In this case, a 19-year-old man brought himself to the chiropractor six months after suffering a head trauma. The injury occurred when he was struck on his head by a 12 pound fully loaded nail gun that had fallen off a roof. Immediately, he was rushed to the hospital bleeding, confused, and disoriented.

CT scans and radiographs taken at that time were negative for fracture or internal bleeding. Subsequently, over the next six months, MRIs, electroencephalograms (EEG), and neurologic exams all were negative. As time passed, he developed progressive dizziness, headaches, and at times stuttering and mental fogginess. He was prescribed several medications for his symptoms. Despite all the negative tests, and medications he was given, by six months after the injury, the man was suffering multiple seizures each day.

A chiropractic evaluation was performed which included a postural analysis, palpation, spinal thermal heat readings, and spinal x-rays. The results of the examination revealed that subluxation was present in the top bone of the neck, known as the atlas. Specific chiropractic adjustments were then started to address this subluxation.

Almost immediately after starting chiropractic care, the man's seizure frequency and duration began to reduce. In the first month of care, the man only experienced four seizures compared to an average of 2-3 seizures he was having per day prior to chiropractic.

Two years later, the man was going to the chiropractor infrequently and was only suffering occasional headaches and dizziness. A later follow-up ten years after he started chiropractic care reported that the man no longer suffered from any seizures.

In the discussion for this study, the authors reviewed additional research regarding epilepsy and chiropractic. They noted, "Several case reports and literature reviews demonstrate improvement in patients with epilepsy under chiropractic care, specifically of the upper cervical type." They continued, "A trend among the case reports was upper cervical chiropractic care being beneficial for patients with epilepsy."


 

 


Resolution of Anxiety, Depression and Decreased Medication with Chiropractic

Posted: November 4, 2019
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt
 

Resolution of Anxiety, Depression and Decreased Medication with Chiropractic

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."


Improvement in Post-Concussion Syndrome Under Chiropractic Care

Posted: September 30, 2019
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case series on August 19, 2019, documenting the improvement under chiropractic care of two patients who were suffering from Post-Concussion Syndrome. Neither of the two patients described in this case series had their health complaints until after having head trauma.

The study author begins by describing concussion. "Concussion is a form of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) that is described as a head trauma resulting in disorientation, impaired or loss of consciousness lasting 30 minutes or less in combination with a number of unspecific neurological and cognitive symptoms."

In the first case, a 16-year-old girl went to a chiropractor. Her chief health issues were dizziness, ringing in the ears, headaches, and brain fog for 3 months following a concussion injury. The girl reported that her symptoms began after she fell from a horse and struck her head on the ground. Immediately after the fall, she was taken to the ER but was discharged after a CT Scan ruled out intracranial bleeding. Two months after her fall, she was still missing school and she was unable to read or study for more than 20 minutes. She was also suffering from severe headaches which affected her activities.

The second case in this series involved a 30-year-old woman who was suffering with chronic migraine headache and vertigo following an automobile accident. After the accident, she was taken to the ER and was diagnosed with a concussion and cervical sprain injury. Since her accident, she was suffering with daily migraine headaches and dizziness.

Both of these patients underwent a chiropractic examination and spinal x-rays. Based upon the analysis of the findings, it was determined that both had various forms of subluxation and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were performed.

In the case of the 16-year-old, she reported continual improvement. After the 5th week of care, she reported a 60% improvement in dizziness, 100% improvement in headaches, and 60% improvement in concentration.

In the second case, the 30-year-old woman reported that she noticed relief starting just after her first adjustment. By the 12 visit, she reported an 80% improvement in headache intensity and that she no longer suffered with dizziness. She also noted that the frequency of the migraines had drastically reduced.

In their conclusion the author wrote, "The preceding case series describes the improvement in 2 female patients with post-concussion syndrome utilizing (chiropractic.)"


Resolution of Sleep Disorder in Infant following Chiropractic Care

Posted: September 24, 2019
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published the results of a case study on July 22, 2019, documenting the chiropractic resolution of sleeping issues in a baby who developed sleeping problems after previously having been able to sleep through the night.

This study begins with the authors noting the importance of the proper amount of sleep in children. "It’s acknowledged that when children are lacking sleep, their physical, emotional, cognitive and social development are negatively affected and can impair both the parent and child’s daytime functioning." They also report that "longer sleep duration was generally associated with better body composition, emotional regulation, and growth in children aged 0 to 4 years."

In this case, a 7-month-old baby girl was brought to the chiropractor by her mother. The girl’s mother stated that her daughter was previously sleeping 9-10 hours throughout the night but recently was currently only sleeping a maximum of 2-3 hours at a time throughout the day. It was also noticed that the girl had difficulties turning her head to the right.

During the examination, it was noticed that the girl was mostly calm throughout the process except when the chiropractor was examining the girl’s neck. Upon touching the neck, the girl became agitated, started fussing, and was grabbing at the doctor’s hands. It was obvious from the palpation examination that the neck area was sensitive and tender to the baby girl, particularly in her upper neck. The motion in this upper neck area was also restricted. No other part of the baby’s spine was sensitive or restricted. A determination was made that subluxations were present.

With consent, specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were given to the baby girl’s spine to address the subluxations. The documented results of the care showed that after the first visit, the girl was immediately able to sleep 9-10 hours through the night without issues. After the second visit, her mother reported that the girl had more energy and a better disposition. Her mother also noticed better range of motion in her neck and reported that her baby girl was less fussy.

In the discussion in the study, the authors note that chiropractic for children is generally thought of as being for musculoskeletal issues. "Of the practitioner-based complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies, chiropractic has been found to be highly utilized by parents for their children. Use of chiropractic services have been to address physical complaints of mainly neuromusculoskeletal origin, the co-morbidities of childhood and wellness care." They also note that more parents are bringing children to the chiropractor for issues outside of the musculoskeletal types. "This case report provides supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in infants with disordered sleep as a primary or secondary presenting complaint."


Opioid Usage and Deaths Decrease with Chiropractic Care

Posted: September 12, 2019
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in May 2019 reported on the results of a broad study in Canada to see how chiropractic care could affect the usage of opioids in patients suffering from chronic pain. The study titled; "System Dynamics to Investigate Opioid Use and Chiropractic Care for Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain" looked at health care records from 2000 to 2015 to see what effect the usage of chiropractic would have on chronic pain patients who were, or would be using opioids to treat their pain.

This study was put together using a large volume of data from other studies and information from governmental sources. The authors of the study noted that people suffering with musculoskeletal pain, particularly chronic lower back pain, were one of the main groups who would most likely be using opioids for the pain and therefore be most at risk for opioid addiction. The researchers then used currently available data in Canada and the U.S. to forecast what effect an increase in chiropractic would have on opioid usage and addiction.

The study created three categories of population study. The first was people who had chronic pain and were first seeking care from either an MD or a chiropractor. The second group were those under medical care with opioids who then added chiropractic to their care for pain. The third group were those who were already opioid dependent or addicted, and then were adding chiropractic care.

Using data currently available, the researchers were able to project the effect adding chiropractic would have on each of the three groups. The results of this projection would be used to create a model for a large-scale clinical trial which could be used on actual patient populations. Short of actually having such a study, this study gives as close a view of results of chiropractic care affecting opioid usage as is available from current data.

The results of their study showed that in each of the three groups, the introduction of chiropractic for patients with chronic pain had not only a benefit for the patient's pain issues, but also had a statistical positive reduction on the usage and dependency of opioid for those patients.

In the group that sought chiropractic early, the researchers were able to show that there would be a decrease in people ever using opioids and therefore a decrease in both addiction and deaths. In the group that was already using opioids but was not yet dependent, the researchers also showed a decrease usage of the opioids with an accompanied decrease in addictions and deaths. In the group that was already addicted to opioids, there was less of statistical reduction in opioid related problems, but the number was still significant enough to show benefits for those individuals.

Even though the results of this study were projections of possible effects, the data showed that the number of people who would become addicted is reduced when chiropractic care is either introduced early or during patient care for pain. This also would cause a decrease in the related deaths from opioids.

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