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So far Vital Life Chiropractic has created 24 blog entries.

Immune System

Enhanced Phagocytic Cell respiratory Burst Induced by Spinal Manipulation. JMPT 1991:14:399-408.

This study was designed to measure the effect that a Chiropractic adjustment has on the immune system. Blood was taken from each of the patients 15 minutes before and 15 minutes after the adjustment. These results were compared to patient’s blood test who received a sham (pretend) adjustment. The immune response from subjects who received the adjustment was significantly higher after than before treatment, and significantly higher than the response from the sham subjects.

Patients who come in with colds, sore throats, sinus congestion and stomach viruses often remark that their recovery seems to be accelerated by the chiropractic adjustment. Recent scientific developments now lend support to the idea that Chiropractic correction of the subluxation can aid the immune responses of the body by reducing nerve interference.

This is one of the most exciting areas of chiropractic. More and more research is pointing to an immune system enhancement effect of the spinal adjustment.

The effects of chiropractic on the immune system: a review of the literature. Allen JM, Chiropractic Journal of Australia, 1993; 23:132-135.

This is a summary of recent research implying a connection between chiropractic adjustments and immunocompetence. The literature suggests that the nervous system plays a role in the modulation of the immune response and that chiropractic adjustments influence T and B lymphocyte numbers, natural killer cell numbers, antibody levels, phagocytic activity and plasma endorphin levels. The few studies attempting to measure the effect of chiropractic or manipulative treatment on the immune response are reviewed.

The anatomical and physiological connections between the immune system and the nervous system suggest that the nervous system plays a role in the modulation of the immune response.

Noradrenergic sympathetic neural interactions with the immune system: structure and function. Felton, D.L., Felton, S.Y., Bellinger, D.L., et al. Immunol Rev […]

HIV

CHIROPRACTIC HIV AND AIDS

The goal of chiropractic care is to free patients from vertebral subluxations, a serious interference to life and health. Releasing subluxations permits the body to work more efficiently.

Research studies are increasingly revealing that the addressing of “subluxations” has a beneficial effect on many levels of one’s health.
The immune system function is one of the most exciting areas of study in chiropractic. More and more research is pointing to an immune system enhancing effect from spinal adjustments.

AIDS/HIV Research

Chronic Hyperemesis in two siblings with AIDS. Fallon, J Int’l Chiropractic Association Review Summer 2002.

Two male siblings ages 4 and 6 with “HIV infections” and “full-blown AIDS.”

Both boys suffered from severe Hyperemesis (vomiting) associated with a hyperactive gag reflex and were on a liquid diet: the six-year-old by mouth and the 4-year-old by gastric tube. The 6-year-old had a viral load of 1,200 and was on a therapy regime of antiviral drugs. His 4-year-old brother, with a viral load of 1,000,000 was on a cocktail of HIV medications (after the monotherapy failed).

The 4-year-old had a history of chronic ear infections and the 6-year-old had severe learning disabilities. Both boys needed a walker or bilateral canes. The older boy had uncontrollable dribbling.

Spinal examination of the 4-year-old revealed subluxations at occiput/atlas, C1, C4, T4, T9 and Tl2. Spinal examination of the 6-year-old revealed subluxations at C1, T1, and T8 and AS of the right ileum.

Adjustments of the subluxated segments were begun; each boy was initially seen 2 times a week for three weeks.

Within three weeks of initial care the older boy could walk better, he was able to use only one cane instead of two, he ate solid food for the first time since birth, his chronic drooling stopped as did his gagging and vomiting. However, if he went longer than 30 days […]

Headache

Every day people suffer from headaches, and they can be experienced by young and old alike. In some cases, the headaches can be so pervasive that they cause missed school days or missed days of work. It is estimated that over 37 million people suffer from severe headaches in the United States. Of the adolescents checked, 75% suffer from debilitating headaches that are severe enough to cause them to miss school or special events.

Headache Variations

We have all suffered from headaches, and the majority of them are minor and caused by stress, strained muscles in the neck, or being in a certain position for too long. When these types of headaches occur, a chiropractic adjustment and some stretching can usually get rid of the discomfort quite quickly. But what if you are plagued by more severe headaches, such as ones that are so severe they cause nausea, blurry vision, and extreme pain? About 5% of serious headaches are caused by another underlying physical issue, whereas with the remaining 95% of headaches, the headache itself is the primary complaint. When the pain is severe, people will look for any option to control it and some will go to their doctor and take pain medications to quickly allay the symptoms. Others will seek alternative health care providers to assist them with a more permanent and long-term solution.

Chiropractic Care as a Solution

Numerous case studies have shown that chiropractic adjustments can help relieve the pain or headaches, and with continued treatment can help to lessen the frequency and severity of these headaches. One of the studies showed that children who were treated for vertebral subluxations using the Pierce Results System saw improvement after just 6 adjustments. Other studies supported these findings and they found that correcting any abnormalities in the spine allowed […]

Fibromyalgia

What is FMS according to medical science? FMS is a chronic (i.e. long standing) condition. The patient has muscular pain and tenderness throughout the body and frequently other symptoms like sleep disturbances, fatigue, hearing disturbances, muscle twitches, cold extremities, headaches & migraines, TMJ syndrome and blurred vision. For a diagnosis of fibromyalgia to be concluded, although fibromyalgia can be over diagnosed [1], the patient must exhibit tenderness in a minimum of 11 of 18 pre-defined points on the body (see figures). Have a good look at the location of these points, as I think that along with other evidence they provide a pointer to a possible cause of FMS.

Although the exact cause of FMS has apparently not been discovered and there are various research theories including poor nutrition, stress factors, alterations in the pattern of sleep and changes in neuroendocrine transmitters (serotonin, substance P, growth hormone and cortisol) a common theme which appears to emerge throughout the research is that of poor posture, cervical spine dysfunction and degeneration in the spinal joints.

Hiemeyer et al[2] for example, examined 40 patients with FMS and noted the relationship between posture and tender points. They discuss disappearance of tenderness at a number of the tender point sites following correction of posture and conclude; “flexed posture could be an important factor in generalized muscular pain, and posture therefore should be an essential part of the clinical examination of patients with FMS.”

Muller et al[3] state “In fibromyalgia as well as in low back pain we frequently find disturbances of the posture of vertebral column clinically and radiologically.” Further Buskila et al[4] examined two groups of patients, a control group (59) consisting of patients with leg fractures and a study group (102) with a neck injuries. “FMS was diagnosed in 21.6% of people with neck injuries versus […]

Ear Infections

In the October 1998 issue of the Ladies Home Journal appeared an article entitled, “Chiropractic Adjustments for Chronic Ear Infections.” This article reviewed several studies showing the effectiveness of chiropractic care for preventing re-occurring ear infections known as Otitis Media or OM.

According to the article, reoccurring ear infections account for over 35% of all pediatrician visits in the United States. Sometimes these infections are due to bacteria and sometimes these are due to a virus. The most common medical care for this situation has been antibiotics, even though antibiotics have no effect on viruses. While the article mentions that the antibiotic may be effective in an acute bacterial infection, they do nothing to stop repeat infections. Research and statistics is now showing that repeated use of antibiotics is contributing to future infections by creating drug-resistant infections. The surgical approach has met with little long term results as the “tubes” placed in children’s ears often come out and usually require a child to be put under general anesthesia to do the surgery.

The article in the Ladies Home Journal states, “Chiropractic care is thought to prevent recurrent infections by correcting misalignments (called subluxations) and allowing normal fluid drainage from the middle ear.” What the article took special note of was that 6 months after the chiropractic care was given to the children in the study, 80 percent had not suffered a recurrence of ear infections.

In closing the article did make a profound statement. They made a recommendation to parents on this subject. “If your child is between ear infections and his doctor suggests ear-tube surgery, ask if you can try chiropractic treatment first.” While we agree with that sentiment, we suggest you not wait for a period between episodes, and you don’t have to “ask” permission from any other doctor to seek […]

Digestive Problems

RESEARCHERS DISCOVER POSSIBLE LINK BETWEEN CROHN’S DISEASE AND SPINAL PROBLEMS

According to a recent study, researchers in Japan say there is a possible link between Crohn’s disease and interference to the nervous system from spinal misalignments.

The research was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research and grew out of a previous study involving more than 3,000 patients with allergic diseases and over 1,000 non-allergic patients. It focused on the relationship between immune function, spinal displacements called vertebral subluxations, and how reducing those displacements resulted in improvement, and in some cases complete remission, of symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the small intestine but it can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. The inflammation causes pain and makes the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.

There are many theories about what causes Crohn’s disease but none has been proven. The most popular theory is that the body’s immune system reacts to a virus or a bacterium by causing ongoing inflammation in the intestine.

Treatment for Crohn’s disease includes corticosteroids to control inflammation but while these drugs are considered the most effective for active Crohn’s disease, they can cause serious side effects, including greater susceptibility to infection. Immune suppressing drugs are also used to treat Crohn’s disease.

According to Dr. Yasuhiko Takeda, a chiropractor and lead author of the study: “This is why it is so important to develop other means of dealing with this terrible disease. If we can find treatments that enhance the function of the immune and nervous systems perhaps we can help millions of people with this disease without the harmful side effects of drugs.”

Beginning in 1992, the focus of Takeda’s research has been on the relationship between subluxation, allergic disease, asthma, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel disorder and ulcerative colitis. He became […]

Colic

The National Health Service in Ballerup (Copenhagen, Denmark) conducted a study involving 50 infants with diagnoses infantile colic. Half of the group was given the drug dimethicon while the other half was given chiropractic care. In this study nine of the 25 taking the drug dropped out of the study because the infants were getting worse. These infants were then not counted in the final results which would have shown a worse result for the drug than published.

Even with the removal from the tabulations of the infants who got worst using the drug, the results showed a significant improvement in the group that were under chiropractic care. By days 4 to 7 of the study, the infants remaining in the drug group had reduced their hours of crying by only one hour while the entire chiropractic group had reduced crying hours by an average of 2.4 hours. The results after 8 to 10 day into the study continued to show the drug therapy infants at a one hour improvement while the chiropractic group further improved to 2.7 hours less of crying. The researchers noted that the removal from the study of the infants that got worse from the drug made the results from the drug look better than they actually were.

Chiropractic Care Conquers Colic

The above title appeared in the December 1998 issue of Country Living’s Healthy Living, beginning on page 53. The article details the concerns of a mom whose new baby was suffering from colic. The article featured the mother’s account of the situation starting from her initial phone call to the pediatrician. “When I phoned my doctor to ask if he thought it was safe (to see a chiropractor), he was ambivalent: Chiropractic would neither harm nor help. He told me that if it was colic, it would […]

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Today just about everyone can be affected, but particularly people involved in occupations or leisure activities that require repetitive use of the hands and wrists (i.e., office, skilled labor jobs, tennis, golf or even knitting). Medical doctors commonly prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs, which prove ineffective in most patients and cause adverse side effects in others.

The double crush syndrome is a compression neuropathy characterized by affecting two areas along the same nerve, one usually distant from the other. A growing number of researchers have suggested a correlation between some peripheral neuropathies like carpal tunnel syndrome and cervical nerve root compression another. The nerve is “crushed” or irritated in the spine, “priming” the more distal areas of the nerve for dysfunction when that part is stressed by the second “crush”).

Autonomic dysfunction in idiopathic carpal tunnel syndrome Verghese J, Galanopoulou AS, Herskovitz S, Muscle Nerve 2000 Aug;23(8):1209-13

This is the study of 76 patients with CTS (in 139 limbs). Autonomic symptoms were reported in 76 limbs (47 patients). Of these, 59% consisted of swelling of the fingers, 39% dry palms, 33% Raynaud’s phenomenon, and 32% blanching of the hand. Sympathetic skin response (SSR) had a sensitivity/specificity ratio of 34/89% in CTS with autonomic symptoms. The presence of autonomic disturbances was significantly associated with female gender but not age, duration of disease, or clinical severity in a binary logistic regression model.

It appears that autonomic disturbances are common (55%) in CTS, occurring with increasing severity of electrophysiologic findings.

Conservative chiropractic care of cervicobrachialgia Glick DM, Chiropr Res J, 1989; 1(3):49-52 Cervicobrachialgia, also known as “brachial neuritis” or “brachial neuralgia” involves neck and arm pain that can be described as “sharp,” “stabbing,” or “aching,” with acute sudden onset. The pain is in the shoulder blade, the side of the neck and may continue through the upper arm.

This […]

Blood Pressure

Latest findings show Chiropractic can help reduce blood pressure

More than 3.6 million Australians over the age of 25 have high blood pressure or are on medication for the condition, but findings recently released by the Chiropractors’ association of Australia indicate there is a non-drug alternative that can lower abnormal blood pressure in healthy bodies by 7.8% – 13%.

The latest findings published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol, 24,No.2,by Dr Gary Knutson DC., show chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck can lower systolic blood pressure almost immediately.

According to Dr Laurie Tassell, National Spokesperson for the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, a chiropractic pilot study involving 80 people found there is a relationship between the upper neck vertebrae and the body’s natural blood pressure control reflexes.

“With gentle chiropractic adjustment to the upper neck, blood pressure can be lowered, with good results measured for older patients in particular,” he said.

Traditionally the causes of blood pressure, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, have been linked to excess weight, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, dietary salt intake and nutrition patterns with low intake of fruit and vegetables and a high intake of saturated fat.

Data from the 1999-2000 study of general practice activity in Australia shows that high blood pressure is the most common problem managed by general practitioners, accounting for 6% of all problems managed.

“This is where the results of our finding are significant, because chiropractic spinal adjustments may be able to reduce a patient’s blood pressure and in conjunction with visits to their local GP, the level of prescribed drugs may be significantly reduced,” said Dr Tassell.

A report by the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study found that in 1999-2000, more than 3.6million Australians over the age of 25 had high blood pressure, which equates to 31% of men and […]

Back Pain

Chronic spinal pain – a randomized clinical trial comparing medication, acupuncture and spinal manipulation. Giles LGF, Muller R. Spine 2003;28:1490-1503.

Three groups of patients with back pain were given a nine week course of care using medicine, acupuncture or chiropractic care. The results showed a significantly higher number of satisfied chiropractic patients. The 40 medical patients were given two anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and the pain killer Celebrex T, Viox T or paracetamol. 18 dropped out early because the drugs either didn’t help or caused side effects. Of the 22 who completed the study only two found relief. Out of 32 patients who tried acupuncture 10 dropped out early because they weren’t being helped. Of the rest 3 reported pain relief.

Out of 33 chiropractic patients eight dropped out because they weren’t being helped. Of the rest nine reported pain relief. Is low back pain part of a general health pattern or is it a separate and distinctive entity?A critical literature review of co-morbidity with low back pain.

Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Manniche CJ Manipulative Physiol Ther May 2003 . Vol 26 . No. 4

This review paper (literature search) goal is to see if there is co-morbidity or other health problems in people with persistent lower back pain. Twenty-three papers were reviewed. All “showed positive associations to all disorders investigated (headache/migraine, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease, general health, and others) with the exception of diabetes.”

The conclusion states: “The literature leaves no doubt that diseases cluster in some individuals and that low back pain is part of this pattern. However, the nature of the relationship between low back pain and other disorders is still unclear.” Unfortunately the authors did not investigate whether the most important findings chiropractors could locate, the vertebral subluxation complex, was a factor. The presence of VSC may clarify the relationship between lower back […]

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