Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: March 2010 Health Newsletter

March 2010 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Study Shows Chiropractic Care Helps Patient Suffering from Tourette Syndrome (TS
» Study Shows Chiropractic Care Aids Asthmatics
» Chiropractic Care Offers Benefits Beyond Easing Neck and Back Pain
» Chiropractic Included At Vancouver Winter Olympic Games
» College Students At Risk For Back Pain
» Study Expert Validates Chiropractic Standard of Care
» U.S. Hospital Infections - A Serious Killer

Study Shows Chiropractic Care Helps Patient Suffering from Tourette Syndrome (TS

 Patient Sees Reduction in Motor and Vocal Tics

 Chiropractic care is often thought of by the public only in terms of relief from back and neck pain, but doctors of chiropractic have long espoused the health benefits received by patients for a wide variety of ailments.

 “There are certainly no guarantees with any course of care,” said Dr. James Baranski, D.C., a Ventura-based chiropractor who strives to keep current with the latest research and developments in health and wellness.   “And every case depends on the specific factors associated with that case.  But we see, from time to time, individual case studies that give rise to hope for many.” 

 Dr. Baranski cited a recent case study involving a 20-year old female suffering from Tourette syndrome symptoms since the age of three.  The young woman exhibited uncontrollable throat-clearing and blowing of air through her nose.  She also experienced muscle contractions in her face, rapid eye-blinking, and whole body shaking.  Frequent and severe headaches also were a problem.

 “Tourette syndrome is characterized by unwanted, irresistible movements of body parts and vocalizations, called motor and vocal tics,” said Dr. Baranski.  

 This particular patient and her family wanted to avoid traditional treatment for Tourette—pharmaceutical intervention. She presented herself for chiropractic examination, which determined the presence of vertebral subluxations.

 “A subluxation is a misalignment of the spine that disturbs normal nervous system function,” said Dr. Baranski.  “Many chiropractors, including myself, have special, non-intrusive technology that allows them to conduct thermal and Surface Electromyography (sEMG) tests to assist in locating where such conditions exist.”

 According to the case study, which was reported in a recent issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health, "due to the unknown etiology of motor and vocal tics in TS, the mechanism of how the corrections of vertebral subluxations through chiropractic adjustments can decrease the occurrence of these tics is difficult to propose.  Knowing that TS is a condition arising from supraspinal structures, and in the case of this patient, are brought on by stress, a general mechanism can be established with reasonable backing."

 The patient was placed in chiropractic care for a total of 32 visits over a one-year period.  She reported significant decreases in the length and severity of her motor and vocal tics, as well as a reduction in the headaches she had been experiencing.

 “This is just one case study,” Dr. Baranski emphasized, “and more studies are needed before any absolute conclusions can be drawn.  But as chiropractors, we believe that the nervous system is the master-controller of the systems and functions of the human body.  It stands to reason, then, that improvement in nervous system function, which is what we do as chiropractors, can have a beneficial effect on overall health.”  

 Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Baranski, whose office is located at 4601 Telephone Road, Ste. 110, Ventura, CA 93003 (telephone 805-642-4061).



Author: Dr. Matthew McCoy, D.C., MPH
Source: Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health. Oct. 10, 2009
Copyright: Dr. Matthew McCoy, D.C., MPH 2009

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Chiropractic Care Can Aid Conception

  A study authored by Dr. Madeline Behrendt – Chairwoman of the World Chiropractic Alliance Council on Woman's Health – links chiropractic care and the ability of previously infertile woman to conceive a baby and carry the fetus full term.

Behrendt's work, entitled: Insult, Interference and Infertility: An Overview of Chiropractic Research, was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. The study tracked 15 women, ages 22-65, who had a history of fertility problems – some for as long as nine years. Eight of the women had previously undergone unsuccessful fertility treatments. 

These 15 woman entered chiropractic care. "Each was determined to close the gap between how her body was designed to function and the reality of how her body was functioning," stated Dr. Behrendt. 

The results were incredible.

14 of the 15 women became pregnant following the start of chiropractic adjustments. The 65-year old woman had ceased having a menstrual cycle at age 18 following a traumatic fall. Then, nearly five decades later – and little more than a month after starting chiropractic care – her cycles resumed. Although she did not get pregnant, she was advised to use birth control.

Some of the case studies are remarkable.  A 32 year-old woman as described in the study, had no menstrual cycle for 12 years. She had attempted multiple fertility treatments with no success. After two months of chiropractic care – with attention to the lumbar regions – menstruation started. And, after four cycles, unassisted pregnancy occurred. While chiropractic is not a specific cure for infertility, the concept that interference within your nervous system can disrupt normal body functions seems to resonate in the research performed by Dr. Behrendt.

Also detailed was the plight of a 26 year-old woman who suffered from severe scoliosis with a Cobb's angle of 58 degrees. She too was infertile despite numerous medical treatments to assist conception. After six months of chiropractic care – with adjustments applied to the sacrum, lumbar and cervical regions – the Cobb's angle decreased to 47 degrees. One month later, unassisted pregnancy occurred.

The study offers hope to infertile women and an alternative to fertility drugs. There are 40,000 births in the U.S. each year that are achieved using assisted reproductive technologies.  But, there are yet to be studies as to the long-term effects of these drugs nor has there been a uniform tracking of birth defects among children conceived using these methods.

The study also defines the chiropractic profession. Chiropractic in itself is not a cure for what ails you, but a means of allowing the human body to operate as it was designed. And, when operating at peak efficiency, the human body can do great things. When you cut yourself – you heal. When the climate changes – your body adjusts. In short, chiropractic care is a great vehicle to improve your general health and function.

Dr. Behrendt's research is wonderful news for couples trying to start a family. It also serves as further evidence that regular spinal adjustments can have benefits far beyond those that the public normally associates with chiropractic care.

Author: Dr. Madeline Behrendt, D.C.
Source: Insult, Interference and Infertility: An Overview of Chiropractic Research, Jour
Copyright: Dr. Madeline Behrendt, D.C. 2003

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Study Shows Chiropractic Care Aids Asthmatics

Doctor and Technology Offer a Breath of Fresh Air  Dr. Curtis Fedorchuk, a chiropractor from Dahlonaga, Georgia armed with technology that has been used by NASA, has made remarkable inroads in the battle against asthma. Fedorchuk's research was recently published in The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Researchand detailed the wonderful transformation of his star patient — a 7-year old girl who had suffered from severe asthma and chronic cough for almost her entire life.  Before encountering Dr. Fedorchuk, this little girl was using multiple oral medications and inhalers that totaled 24 inhalations per day — yet her symptoms persisted. Her parents were not only shouldering the financial burden of their daughter's care, but the hours of lost sleep caused by asthma attacks impacted the entire family. Concerned about the volume of medications that their daughter was consuming, the parents sought help from Dr. Fedorchuk.  Following an examination using the Insight Discovery Subluxation Station (the diagnostic tool that has not only benefited the Space program, but has been used by chiropractors treating Super Bowl champions and Olympic gold medalists), the young girl began receiving chiropractic adjustments. By nightfall after her first adjustment, the little girl's coughing ceased. Over the next three weeks (while visiting Dr. Fedorchuk for adjustments 2-3 times per week), the little girl's mom reported no attacks, an increase in activity levels, and a decrease in the need to use an inhaler. After 4 weeks, she was no longer using the inhalers. Her teachers noticed the change in the child's demeanor, while swimming and running became part of her everyday life. Subsequent tests showed an increase in lung capacity and the little girl's visits to the chiropractor became less frequent. Within 10 months of from the onset of care, Dr. Fedorchuk's young patient was no longer using any medications — only carrying Albuterol in the event of an emergency. Childhood asthma is a prevalent in the United States with nine million people under the age of 18 suffering from this debilitating lung ailment, four times as many as 20 years ago.  For some, this leads to a lifetime of suffering or, for those less fortunate, death. There are approximately 5,000 deaths annually in the U.S. that are linked to asthma.   The use of technology identifies areas of disturbance in the nervous system that could be caused by stress, trauma or toxins. Asthmatics have more frequent incidents of misalignment of the upper and lower thoracic region, which is the area of the shoulders and below.  That condition can lead to dysponesis — best described as a short circuit effect between the brain and muscles — which in turn causes abnormal tonic muscle activity. Shoulder tension triggers a decrease in lung volume, which increases the likelihood of respiratory ailments. The patient simply has less air to breathe. Since dysponesis can lead to asthma, we can now help prevent or manage the disease by treating its underlying cause.   Today's medical treatment of asthma remains largely pharmacological. Despite the increase in prescription drug usage, the prevalence of asthma increased 75% from 1980-1994. Direct health care costs for asthma-related illnesses in the U.S. amount to more than $11.5 billion annually — with over $5 billion of that figure being directed towards prescription drugs. Aside from the obvious physical benefits this little girl derived from her chiropractic adjustments, one can't dismiss the financial ramifications during this time of economic woe. Her need for medication decreased along with her medical bills. With all that in mind, you might say that chiropractic care for asthmatics is a breath of fresh air.   Curtis Fedorchuk, "Correction of Subluxation and Reduction of Dysponesis in a 7 Year-Old Child Suffering From Chronic Cough and Asthma: A Case Report," Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, November 26, 2007.

Author: Curtis Fedorchuk
Source: Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, November 26, 2007.
Copyright: Curtis Fedorchuk 2007

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Chiropractic Care Offers Benefits Beyond Easing Neck and Back Pain

 "Resolution of Headaches in a 13 Year-Old Following Restoration of Cervical Curvature Utilizing Chiropractic Biophysics:  A Case Report"


13-year old boy was headache sufferer for four years

            According to a case study published late last fall in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, a course of chiropractic care was successful in completely eliminating headaches a 13-year old male patient had been experiencing at least five hours a day for four years.

            Headaches are a common disorder affecting two-thirds of the world's population, but we are still in the dark about all the causal factors and, in many instances, the most effective treatment options, which often depend on the mechanics of the specific type of headache presented.  Experts have recognized 14 distinct types of headache.

            This particular case study concerns what is known as a cervicogenic headache, likely caused by poor joint function impacting the cervical spine and causing a malfunction of the nervous system.  This type of headache presents symptoms such as "recurrent moderate to severe headaches arising from the neck . . . ."  The cervical spine most often shows reduced range of motion, which causes pain spikes with certain movements of the head and neck.

            The initial chiropractic examination of the patient involved in this case study noted problems with posture and range of motion, along with "subluxations" in the thoracic and cervical spine.

                A subluxation is a misalignment of the spine that disturbs normal nervous system function.  Many chiropractors  have special, non-intrusive technology that allows them to conduct thermal and Surface Electromyography (sEMG) tests to assist in locating where such conditions exist.  Because we know that the nervous system is the master controller of almost all bodily functions," Dr. Doe continued, "we are not surprised when improvement of nervous system function contributes greatly to normal bodily function in a wide variety of areas."

            After just six weeks of chiropractic care, the patient's posture and range of motion improved significantly.  More important to the young man, he was headache free for the first time in four years.

                There are certainly no guarantees with any course of care and every case depends on the specific factors associated with that case.  More research is needed, but we see, from time to time, individual case studies that give rise to hope for many.

Author: Curtis Fedorchuck, D.C., and Greg Wheeler, D.C.
Source: J. Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, November 30, 2009
Copyright: Curtis Fedorchuck, D.C., and Greg Wheeler, D.C. 2009

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Chiropractic Included At Vancouver Winter Olympic Games

For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, include chiropractic care inside the Olympic Village Polyclinic, a multi-disciplinary facility offering comprehensive healthcare and medical services.

While DCs have historically been included on the Olympic medical staff, this year’s events mark the first time that DCs from the host country will be treating athletes and officials from around the world directly inside the Polyclinic.

“This is an historic event not only for the chiropractic profession, but also the athletes who will now have access to the care that will help them prepare their bodies for competition,” states Michael Reed, DC, MS, DACBSP, and team USA’s medical director (USOC). “These athletes train hard and endure significant physical demands. Sports-focused DCs, along with other members of the sports medicine team, are specially skilled to assist them in reaching peak performance.”

Chiropractic care has experienced several major moments in Olympic history, dating back to Leroy Perry, DC, who provided chiropractic care to athletes representing Antigua during the 1976 Games in Montreal, Canada. During the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid, NY, George Goodheart, DC, became the first official chiropractor appointed to the U.S. team.

With each subsequent Olympic Games and Pan American Games, the U.S. teams — along with a growing number of other national teams — have included at least one doctor of chiropractic on their medical staff.

“Inclusion inside the Polyclinic is another major milestone for the chiropractic profession, and we are grateful to the host city of Vancouver, the head of medical services at the Polyclinic, Jack Taunton, MD, and to Robert Armitage, DC, who helped make this possible,” says USOC Director of Sports Medicine Clinics, Bill Moreau, DC, DACBSP.

Author: Southern California University of Health Sciences
Source: Southern California University of Health Sciences. February 24, 2010.
Copyright: Southern California University of Health Sciences 2010

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College Students At Risk For Back Pain

A recent survey involving 963 college students indicates the college lifestyle is strongly associated with back pain. Of those surveyed, 38 percent or almost 4 in 10 students reported having suffered from back pain within the previous school year. Interestingly, the strongest associations with back pain in college students were the students either feeling chronically fatigued or being in an emotionally abusive relationship. Thus, survey findings indicated psychosocial factors were highly associated with a student’s likelihood of suffering from back pain.

Source: JMPT. Vol 33, Issue 2. February 2010.
Copyright: LLC 2010

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Study Expert Validates Chiropractic Standard of Care

The most recent research (Neck Pain Task Force Report of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010, a study sanctioned by the United Nations and the World Health Organization) indicates neck manipulation is a safe and effective form of health care,” according to Matt Pagano, DC, chiropractic profession spokesperson.

Respected researcher and epidemiologist J. David Cassidy, DC, PhD, DrMedSc, testified as a key witness last week at the hearings on informed consent before the Connecticut Board of Chiropractic Examiners in Hartford, Conn. Speaking as an expert witness and consultant to the International Chiropractors Association (ICA)—and with the support of all chiropractic organizations involved in the process, including the American Chiropractic Association, Association of Chiropractic Colleges, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, Life West, New York College of Chiropractic, Parker College of Chiropractic, Palmer College of Chiropractic, and the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic—Dr. Cassidy addressed key facts and issues on the basis of the existing science and research record, to which he has been a significant contributor. The objective of his testimony was to bring the discussion from an emotional issue back to science and the objective research record.    

Dr. Cassidy joined an extensive list of witnesses representing the chiropractic profession, including William J. Lauretti, DC; James J. Lehman, DC, MBA; J. Clay McDonald, DC, JD, MBA; Gerard W. Clum, DC; Stephen M. Perle, DC, MS; Gina Carucci, DC, MS, DICCP, who appeared on behalf of the Connecticut Chiropractic Association (CCA); and George Curry, DC, FICA, who appeared on behalf of the Connecticut Chiropractic Council (CCC).  

“The chiropractic profession unequivocally supports a patient’s right to be informed of the material benefits and risks of any type of health care treatment – not just chiropractic. Legislation or regulatory mandates governing informed consent should apply to all health care providers and all treatments in equal measure. However, a new law, regulation or mandate highlighting one specific treatment by a specific health care profession, which carries with it an extremely rare association and no causal link identified in the research, is simply not good public health policy. It would set an unnecessary precedent for all health care providers, procedures and products that would be virtually impossible to implement,” said Pagano.

The existing informed consent standards in Connecticut allow for the best opportunity for shared decision making between a patient and his or her health care provider. Further, the chiropractic organizations participating in the hearing process all believe informed consent is more than a piece of paper; it is a process. It should occur in the context of a discussion between a doctor and a patient, and it should be appropriately documented.

In a finding highly relevant to the issue before the Connecticut Board of Chiropractic Examiners, the Neck Pain Task Force study demonstrated that patients suffering from headache and neck pain are no more likely to suffer from a stroke following a visit to a chiropractor than they are after a visit to a family medical physician. This implies that there are factors involved other than the type of care provided by doctors of chiropractic.  It’s important to note that millions of patients safely benefit from chiropractic care every year—they are able to return to their normal activities and enjoy a better quality of life.

Dr. Cassidy was an investigator with the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. The work of this international task force affirms the safety and benefits of chiropractic care for people with neck pain—a condition frequently treated by doctors of chiropractic. The Task Force initiated this new population-based, case-control and case-crossover study, which appeared in the Feb. 15, 2008 edition of the journal Spine. 

The study, which analyzed nine years’ worth of data from a population of 110-million person years, concluded that vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke is a very rare event and that the risk of VBA stroke following a visit to a chiropractor’s office appears to be no different than the risk of VBA stroke following a visit to the office of a primary care medical physician (PCP). 
The study goes on to say that any observed association between VBA stroke and chiropractic manipulation—as well as its apparent association with PCP visits—is likely due to patients with an undiagnosed vertebral artery dissection seeking care for neck pain and headache prior to their stroke.

Over the years, popular media has all too often sensationalized the association between chiropractic cervical manipulation and cerebral vascular accidents—even though the evidence would strongly indicate that this assertion is incorrect. The organizations representing the chiropractic profession believe this most recent evidence should help to dispel any myths on this issue, as well as provide more data to support the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic procedures.

As a profession, doctors of chiropractic remain committed to expanding the research and clinical understanding of VBA injuries, because even one cerebral vascular incident that could have been prevented or detected early is one too many.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: American Chiropractic Association. January 28, 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010

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U.S. Hospital Infections - A Serious Killer

A new report indicates U.S. hospitals for many are a potentially deadly place. According to the report, 48,000 patients in 2006 were killed in U.S. hospitals from pneumonia and blood-borne infections acquired during the patients’ hospital stay. This amounted to approximately $8.1 billion in medical costs. According to researcher Anup Malani, “In some cases, relatively healthy people check into the hospital for routine surgery. They develop sepsis because of a lapse in infection control and they can die.” Overall, it is estimated that 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections are diagnosed every year in the United States.

Source: Reuters. February 23, 2010.
Copyright: LLC 2010

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