Dr Merri's Blog

Chiropractic Helps Patient with Depression, Insomnia, Premenstrual Syndrome and Headaches

Posted: October 16, 2017
By: MEREDITH OUDT
 

Chiropractic Helps Patient with Depression, Insomnia, Premenstrual Syndrome and Headaches

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 21, 2016, documenting a patient suffering from depression, insomnia, and premenstrual syndrome improving under chiropractic care for the correction of vertebral subluxations.

The study begins by noting that according to some studies, depression is one of the most common mental disorders affecting about 16% of the general population. This issue is about twice as common in women as in men. The authors list the symptoms associated with depression as including "...long-lasting depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities that were once enjoyed, decreased energy, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, feelings of helplessness, feelings of guilt, feelings of anxiety, difficulty concentrating, difficulty making decisions, insomnia, early-morning awakening or oversleeping, weight loss or weight gain, recurrent thoughts of death and or suicide."

Typical medical treatment involving drugs is estimated to be only effective in lessening symptoms in half of the cases. The study also reports that about half of those with depression seek some type of non-medical care in the form of complementary and alternative medicine. The most common reasons people state they seek non-medical care was dissatisfaction with medical care, especially severe medication side-effects, and the safety of alternative care.

In this case, a 27-year-old woman suffering with the chief complaints of depression, insomnia, severe effects from premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and headaches went to a chiropractor in hopes of finding help. In addition to her primary complaints, she also reported that she occasionally suffered from dizziness, mood swings, buzzing in ears, stiff neck, constipation, menstrual pain, irritability, back pain, urinary problems, nervousness, upset stomach, cold feet, and heartburn.

A chiropractic examination was performed that consisted of a posture analysis, complaints-related subjective questionnaires, autonomic nerve system activity analysis, surface electromyography (sEMG) and thermal scan. From this examination, a determination was made that multiple subluxations were present in the woman's spine. Specific forms of chiropractic care were started to address the subluxations.

After three months of care, a reassessment was performed that showed many of the original examination findings had improved. Additionally the patient reported improvement in her symptoms noting that her depression, sleep issues, PMS, headaches, and digestive issues had all significantly improved.

In their discussion, the authors of the study explained, "Although there are many approaches for depression, chiropractic is considered a viable management option. The major motivating factors behind the use of chiropractic care is its safety and its natural, health-oriented approach." They summed up the results this woman received in this case by stating, "The patient's overall health was not optimal, quality of life and well-being was decreased. After three months of chiropractic care, the patient’s depression-related symptoms significantly decreased and the patient reported an increase in overall health, well-being and quality of life."


Severe Neck Pain, Anterior Head Positioning and Spondylolisthesis Helped with Chiropractic

Posted: October 10, 2017
By: MEREDITH OUDT

 

Severe Neck Pain, Anterior Head Positioning and Spondylolisthesis Helped with Chiropractic

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on November 7, 2016, reporting on chiropractic helping a woman suffering with severe neck pain, neck stiffness, and pain in the upper back associated with spondylolisthesis in her neck.

On the website WebMD, spondylolisthesis is defined as "…a condition in which one bone in your back (vertebra) slides forward over the bone below it. It most often occurs in the lower spine (lumbosacral area). In some cases, this may lead to your spinal cord or nerve roots being squeezed. This can cause back pain and numbness or weakness in one or both legs."

The authors of this study further describe this condition as it relates to the neck by stating, "Spondylolisthesis of the spine refers to an anterior or posterior displacement of vertebrae relative to the vertebrae below. In the cervical spine, anterior or posterior vertebral displacement typically results from degenerative or traumatic causes." This form of spondylolisthesis is known as degenerative cervical spondylolisthesis (DCS).

In this case, a 52-year-old woman suffering from neck pain, neck stiffness, and thoracic pain went to the chiropractor seeking relief. The woman reported that she experienced the pain frequently. She described the pain as severe, resulting in a tense and swelling sensation in her lower neck and upper back areas.

X-rays of the woman’s neck showed that the fourth vertebrae in her neck (C4) had moved significantly forward over the top of the fifth neck vertebrae (C5). Additionally, her C6 vertebrae had also move forward over her C7 neck vertebrae. The x-rays also showed that, overall, the woman's head was significantly forward of a normal head position.

Based on the x-rays and a chiropractic examination, specific chiropractic care was started. After 30 visits, a re-evaluation was performed. This new examination with x-rays showed that the woman's spondylolisthesis had been measurably reduced in both areas of her neck. Additionally, her overall head position had greatly improved. Due to these positive changes, the woman reported a complete resolution in her pain, stiffness, tension, and swelling.

In explaining how the mechanism for spondylolisthesis occurs, the authors of the study stated, "Abnormal posture, translational instability of vertebral segments, and abnormal facet angles have all been found to be predisposing factors for cervical degeneration and spondylolisthesis. These physiological changes can result in altered biomechanics leading to increased stress on the intervertebral discs and joints of the spine."



Special Needs Children Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Series

Posted: September 25, 2017
By: NYN

 

Special Needs Children Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Series

On June 16, 2016, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case series documenting the positive effects of chiropractic care for eight special needs children. The study authors report that the number of special needs children is continuing to rise at an alarming rate. "More children each year are being diagnosed with neurodevelopmental challenges ranging from Autism, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Sensory Processing Disorder."

The study reports that the rate of autism has risen from 1 in 5000 in 1975, to 1 in 88 as of 2008. The rate of ADHD has risen 16 percent since 2007 to the present where current estimates show that around 10 percent of children ages 4 to 17 are being diagnosed with the condition. The number of children enrolled in Special Ed programs has risen 30 percent in the last 10 years and currently is at 13 percent of all school age kids being in these programs.

In this study, eight children with a variety of special needs were studied to see the results of chiropractic care. Four of the children were seen at a chiropractic university clinic, and four were seen in one of the author's private practices.

Each of the children received chiropractic care for the correction of subluxations that were determined to be present. Each of the eight children showed improvement for their respective neurological issues.

These issues included a 11-year-old girl who had difficulties with reading comprehension, handwriting, and mathematics. After chiropractic care, it was reported that she has now been selected to be tested for the honors program. Two sisters, ages two and four, were suffering from anxiety and speech delays. After chiropractic care, the study documents that the two-year-old girl had improved to the point where she can now be in daycare, and the four-year-old no longer needed speech therapy and was accepted into a prestigious preschool program.

In their summary the authors noted, "Seven out of eight showed improvement that drastically reduced or discontinued one or more other services that they had been a weekly part of their care." One child with Cerebral Palsy showed good improvement but limitations prevented the marked improvements seen by the other children in this study.


Chronic Constipation Resolved with Chiropractic

Posted: September 20, 2017
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

  Chronic Constipation Resolved with Chiropractic

Published in the August 17, 2017, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a documented case of a young girl suffering from chronic constipation who was helped with chiropractic care. Constipation is a fairly common problem in children, affecting 29.6 percent of the pediatric population.

The study notes that constipation accounts for 3 percent of all visits to pediatricians, resulting in a subsequent 25 to 30 percent of referrals to pediatric gastroenterologists. The Mayo Clinic website described the problem by saying, "Constipation in children is a common problem. A constipated child has infrequent bowel movements or hard, dry stools."

The study reports that there are two classifications of constipation: functional and organic. Organic constipation is where there is a disease or other organic cause for the problem. Functional constipation makes up the majority of the cases and does not have a discernable cause for the problem. According to the study authors, constipation has three clinical features including decreased frequency of stool passing, hard stools, and difficulty passing stools.

In this case, a 5-year-old girl suffering with constipation, bloating, and abdominal pain was brought to the chiropractor. The girl had been reportedly suffering with these problems since the age of 6 months. The mother and the girl both reported that her problems were daily. She saw no relief from the problems by the use of laxatives, oils, and high fiber diets that were prescribed by the girl's medical doctor. She was also prescribed Miralax along with dietary changes such as adding prune juice and whole prunes for daily consumption.

The history noted that, after a difficult, high-risk pregnancy and labor, the child was born via cesarean and was a low birth-weight baby. Although the mother noticed bowel trouble in her daughter at the age of 6 month, the problem seemed to get worse at the age of 5 when the child was spending longer amounts of more painful time in the bathroom.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included visual inspection along with spinal ranges of motion, a postural analysis, and static and motion palpation. The conclusion of the examination was that multiple vertebral subluxations were present in the child's spine. Specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of twice per week for the initial two weeks followed by weekly thereafter. The girl's mother was advised to continue her daughter's dietary recommendations given by her MD.

After the 6th visit, the young girl began experiencing more manageable bowel movements that did not involve pain, straining, or extended time in the bathroom. The study records that by the 10th chiropractic visit, all her constipation issues and associated symptoms had been resolved. The girl's mother also reported that her daughter's stools were now normal. Upon re-examination at the 11th visit, it was noted that the girl's abdomen was no longer tender or distended.

In their conclusion, the authors summed up this case by saying, "The patient discussed above and the patients referenced in the related literature all experienced favorable results after chiropractic treatment of chronic functional constipation."


Acquired Torticollis Resolved Under Chiropractic; A Case Study

Posted: September 11, 2017
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt
 

Acquired Torticollis Resolved Under Chiropractic; A Case Study

The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics published a case study in their December 2016 issue documenting the resolution of a case of acquired torticollis in a baby. Torticollis, sometimes known as wry neck, is a condition where the head is tilted significantly downward and to one side. This is usually due to a pulling from the muscles of the neck.

The study points out that there are two types of torticollis, congenital and acquired. Congenital torticollis is present at birth and is defined by WebMD as,  Congenital torticollis occurs when the neck muscle that runs up and toward the back of your baby's neck (sternocleidomastoid muscle) is shortened. This brings your baby's head down and to one side.  Acquired torticollis is similar except that it was not present at birth, and may have been caused by some form of trauma to the child.

In this case, a 31-month-old boy was brought to the chiropractor because the boy was suffering from neck pain and torticollis for the past six weeks. The history revealed that two weeks prior to the onset of problems the boy had fallen while trying to climb into a stroller. No one witnessed the actual fall, but the boy was complaining of left knee and ankle pain and he was limping. A few days later, the torticollis appeared.

A week after the fall, he was brought to a pediatric hospital where x-rays of the left knee and ankle were taken and determined to be normal. The medical diagnosis was an ankle sprain. A prescription of ibuprofen was given for the pain and inflammation. One week later, the child was again brought back to the hospital for the neck pain and torticollis. At that time, additional x-rays and blood tests were performed but determined to be normal.

One month after the hospital visit, the boy was brought to the chiropractor. He was suffering persistent limping and torticollis. The neck pain was more severe at night and had gotten so bad that the boy had started to hit his forehead with his hands. He was also suffering from fatigue, and was lethargic and irritable.

A chiropractic examination was performed and chiropractic care was initiated. Each visit, the results and improvements were recorded. After the first visit, it was reported that the boy had improved about 25% and was now able to lie on his back. By the second visit, he was sleeping better, was less irritable, and the ibuprofen was discontinued. By the third visit, there was no visible torticollis and no complaints on all subsequent visits.

In their conclusion the authors noted,  Neck conditions are the second leading reason for patients seeking chiropractic care in Canada and the United States. It is therefore probable that a parent may seek chiropractic care for a child who develops a torticollis.  They continued,  Pediatric chiropractic care proved beneficial for this young boy with acquired torticollis. 


Improvement in a Child with Autism Following Chiropractic

Posted: September 5, 2017
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

Improvement in a Child with Autism Following Chiropractic

In the July 6, 2017, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health is a case report documenting the improvement of autism symptoms in a child after undergoing chiropractic care. The study describes autism spectrum disorder (ASD) as a set of developmental disabilities that can lead to significant social, behavioral and communication restrictions.

The word spectrum refers to a variety of symptoms associated with autism which affect skills at various levels of impairment. The number of ASD diagnosed children is increasing world-wide. In the U.S., it is estimated that the number of children with ASD is 1 in 68. This has increased over a four year period from what was estimated at 1 in 88 children. This problem is much more prevalent in boys as the numbers show that at the age of eight, approximately 1 in 42 boys have ASD compared to 1 in 189 girls.

ASD adds a financial burden to both parents and schools. It is estimated that the yearly increase in medical costs for a child with ASD is $3,020.00, while the increased cost to educate a child with ASD is $8,610.00 more per child per year. On average, mothers with children with ASD are forced to work less, costing them about 28% of the income they would have earned.

According to the study, the diagnosis for ASD is not an exact science as there is no medical test, such as a blood test, to determine this condition. Diagnosis of ASD is made by judgment of the activities and abilities according to certain criteria of the child involved.

In this case, a 6-year-old boy was brought by his mother and father to the chiropractor. The boy had been previously diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder by a neurologist. His parents noticed that he was hindered in his social activities and had become somewhat aggressive. The boy was not sleeping well and would often walk throughout the night. He would rarely eat a full meal and was very picky about his food selections. The boy was put on psychiatric medications by his medical physician for his condition.

The boy's history included a cesarean birth which the parents described as including a lot of pulling and twisting of the baby. In his early years, the boy also had multiple ear infections and took antibiotics for each occurrence. He had his full range of vaccinations as well.

A chiropractic exam was performed which included both static and motion palpation. Due to the boy’s condition, the exam process was difficult. A sEMG scan and a thermal scan were also performed. From the exam, it was determined that the boy had subluxations affecting nerve system function.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of three visits per week. Home stretching exercises were also given. During the first week of care, the mother reported that her son had fallen asleep earlier than normal, and had been sleeping later than he normally would. During her son’s second week of chiropractic, his mother reported that she had not administered either of the two psychiatric medications since his first week in the clinic. She also noticed an improvement in his behavior, and a week later, his eating improved. As chiropractic care continued, the mother continued to report improvements in all areas of initial concern. At one point, her son had improved to such a point that she threw her son’s medications into the trash.

In their conclusion the authors noted, "This case study demonstrates the reduction of ASD symptoms and impairments with the use of subluxation-based chiropractic care." They explained how chiropractic helped by saying, "As chiropractic care does not treat any disease, this study can further connect possible vertebral subluxation effects on the nervous system of ASD patients."


Breathing and Strength Problems Improved in Multiple Sclerosis Patient with Chiropractic

Posted: August 28, 2017
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

  Breathing and Strength Problems Improved in Multiple Sclerosis Patient with Chiropractic

A case study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on August 18, 2016, showed how chiropractic helped improve the quality of life for a patient with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) by showing improvement in breathing and muscle strength.

The study begins by defining MS by saying, "Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic, degenerative disease of the nervous system that is demyelinating and inflammatory in nature and is characterized by patchy sclerosis of the central nervous system (CNS)." They note that MS affects 400,000 people in the United States and over 2 million people worldwide. Half of those with MS also experience depression, and almost all patients with MS have a shortened life expectancy.

Some of the symptoms associated with MS can include numbness in the extremities, fatigue, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, vision loss, blurred vision, loss of coordination, gait alteration, seizures, mood swings, depression, tremors, impaired bladder control, and loss of sphincter control. Medical care for MS is geared around helping patients with the symptoms, as there is no known medical care available for the condition itself.

In this case, a 58-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic care. She was confined to a wheelchair and had been diagnosed with MS. Her history shows that she was suffering with constant, severe, throbbing pain in her left hip for 6 years. Additionally she reported suffering from neck pain, neck stiffness, wrist pain, irritability, constipation, sinus problems, cold feet, cold hands, tension, dry skin, heat and cold intolerances, tingling sensation in her arms, shoulder pain, shortness of breath, depression, and difficulty urinating.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a visual and postural inspection, spinal x-rays, and thermographic studies to check for heat variations. In addition her respiratory volume levels were checked and her hand grip strength was measured.

Specific chiropractic care was begun to address the subluxations determined to be present in the woman's spine. Care was rendered over a 10 week period consisting of 30 total visits. After this period, a re-evaluation was performed.

The re-evaluation x-rays showed a notable spinal improvement. Additionally, the woman's respiratory volume had measurably improved. Her grip strength also improved, with her left-hand grip strength improving from 2.8 lbs to 12 lbs, and her right-hand grip strength improved from 3.0 lbs to 8.0 lbs.

The results of this study were consistent with other studies of MS patients under chiropractic care. The authors cited several other studies showing chiropractic helping patients with MS. In one reported study, researchers found that 90.9% of MS patients in that study showed symptomatic improvement and no further progression in the MS disease process while under chiropractic care.

In explaining a possible mechanism for why MS patients can be helped by chiropractic, the authors stated, "A properly functioning immune system will prevent MS development or can even initiate healing within the nervous system. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to restore immune system integrity to a normal state."


Asthma Resolved and Medication Discontinued After Chiropractic

Posted: August 24, 2017
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

 

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on September 5, 2016, documenting the case of a young patient suffering from asthma and headaches being helped by chiropractic.

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, "Asthma is a chronic lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways. Asthma causes recurring periods of wheezing (a whistling sound when you breathe), chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing." They estimate that currently 25 million people suffer with this problem.

The number of asthma cases and the impact on healthcare has continued to increase. The authors of the study report that in 2011, 1.8 million people visited an emergency room with the chief complaint of asthma. Additionally, 14.2-million people visited a general physician and reported asthma as their primary reason for the visit.

In this case, a 15-year-old boy with a chief complaint of asthma was brought to the chiropractor. In addition, he also reported stiffness in his neck and back, and muscle spasms. He also suffered from frequent headaches.

For the previous 7 or 8 years, the boy was reportedly taking three to five medications per day and using an inhaler as needed. If the boy was suffering from a cold or experienced a coughing attack, he was instructed to use his nebulizer three times a day in addition to a steroid taken orally once a day.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included inspection, palpation, a thermographic study, and both static and motion x-rays. Based upon the findings of the examination procedures, specific chiropractic adjustments were started on the boy's spine.

The study records that after the second chiropractic adjustment, the boy reported decreased difficulty in breathing. Improvement continued, and after three months of care, the boy was able to discontinue all medications. The boy's MD suggested he carry his inhaler in case of emergency, but several months later, the boy discontinued on his own accord. The study reports that his headaches also were completely resolved.


Seizures in Child Reduced with Better Quality of Life for Child Due to Chiropractic

Posted: August 17, 2017
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

 

Seizures in Child Reduced with Better Quality of Life for Child Due to Chiropractic

On May 15, 2017, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the reduction of epileptic seizures in a four-year-old boy as a result of receiving chiropractic care. The Epilepsy Foundation states that "Epilepsy is characterized by unpredictable seizures and can cause other health problems." They continue, "Epilepsy is a spectrum condition with a wide range of seizure types and control varying from person-to-person."

The study authors point out that epilepsy is one of the most common neurological diseases, with the World Health Organization estimating that 50 million people suffer with this condition worldwide. In the United States it is estimated that 2.9 million people of all ages have epilepsy. Each year, 460,000 new cases are diagnosed in children under the age of eighteen years.

The authors offered a technical explanation of epilepsy by stating, "Seizures occur as a result of abnormal and asynchronous distribution of neuronal electrical discharges in the brain and can result from both increased excitatory synaptic neurotransmission or decreased inhibitory neurotransmission."

In children, frontal lobe epilepsy is the second most common type of epilepsy. The frontal lobe of the brain is responsible for motor functions, voluntary eye movements, speech and language abilities, and social competency. Epilepsy in children is often treated using a variety of antiepileptic drugs. These drugs are not effective in about 20% of the cases and come with a variety of adverse effects including slowed neurological development, decrease in cognitive and executive function, behavior difficulties, and learning disorders.

In this case, a 4-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother. The boy had been suffering from daily seizures since birth. His mother was hoping to improve the quality of her son's life by reducing the frequency of his seizures. Shortly after birth, the mother noticed the seizures which seem to occur when her baby woke up from either a nap or deep sleep. The baby boy was later evaluated by his pediatrician and a pediatric neurologist, and was subsequently placed on an anti-epileptic drug. Over the next several months, the medications were changed in a failed attempt to control the seizures. After not seeing results from the medications, the boy was eventually diagnosed with intractable frontal lobe epilepsy at eighteen months of age.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included paraspinal thermography to determine heat variations at the spinal level to help determine when a chiropractic adjustment was needed. After obtaining parental permission, specific chiropractic adjustments were performed to correct vertebral subluxations.

At the second adjustment visit, the mother reported that her son had not had any seizures since receiving his first adjustment. Over a seven month period, the young boy continued to show improvement. His parents reported that they noticed improvements in their son's balance, speech, and a significant decrease in eye rolling. The boy has shown significant improvement in coordination, speech, and overall quality of life. The report noted that his medication has been reduced and the number of seizures the boy was having at the writing of the study had reduced to three to four seizures per week.

In their discussion, the authors point out that this case of chiropractic helping a patient with epileptic seizures is not isolated. "There is a significant body of research regarding chiropractic and seizures. Most are case studies where the chiropractor or patient reports are used to determine outcomes. These studies using chiropractic care show a positive relationship between the use of chiropractic care and the reduction of seizure episodes and associated symptoms."


Are Statins A Waste Of Time & Money?

Posted: July 29, 2017
By: Dr. Meredith Oudt

Are Statins a Waste of Time, Money?The headline above comes from a Newsmax Health article by Lynn Allison published on January 11, 2017. The article offers information showing that one of the most profitable drugs of all time is actually based on a false theory. Statin drugs bring in over $34 billion in sales each year.

Ms. Allison begins the article by saying, "Millions are being misled about the pros and cons of statin drugs." She goes on to explain that a recently convened panel of experts are suggesting that the theory of bad cholesterol may be faulty. If this revelation is true, it would mean that the millions of statin drugs being given are unnecessary and may even be harmful.

Additionally, the side effects of taking statins may be more serious than treating cholesterol, if that cholesterol is not as harmful as once thought. Some of the side effects of statin drugs include muscle pain, liver damage, increase in blood sugar, type 2 diabetes, memory issues, and neurological effects.

Dr. John Abramson of the Harvard Medical School stated in the article that earlier research found no link between high LDL cholesterol levels and heart deaths in those over 60. In an article titled "The Great Cholesterol Con," Dr. Abramson stated, "A lack of association between LDL cholesterol and cardiovascular disease in those over 60 from our recent systemic review suggests the conventional cholesterol hypothesis is flawed."

Dr. Richard Thompson, former physician to the Queen of England, asks the questions, "For hundreds of years physicians have clung to outdated and ineffective treatments. Could statins be now the latest star to fall? Have patients been misled over them for many years?"

Dr. Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., co-author of "The Great Cholesterol Myth," also added to this article by saying, "Our book, ‘The Great Cholesterol Myth,' references dozens of studies that not only cast doubt on the cholesterol theory but in some cases totally refutes the notion that cholesterol causes heart disease. We list several peer-reviewed studies that show more than half the people admitted to hospitals for cardiovascular disease have normal cholesterol. Not only doesn't cholesterol cause heart disease, it is a lousy predictor of it!"

To drive home his point, Dr. Bowden, while appearing on the Dr. Oz show, said, "Trying to lower the risk of heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to lower the risk of obesity by taking the lettuce off your Big Mac."

Dr. Bowden further explained the problem with doctors over-prescribing these drugs by saying, "Doctors prescribe them randomly for anyone with a so-called elevated cholesterol level. Interestingly, the Framingham study revealed that people with the highest cholesterol levels actually lived the longest." He continued, "And the claim from drug companies that statins save lives usually does not hold up upon close examination. You may see a slight reduction in heart attacks but your will see a corresponding increase in cancer and diabetes."