Dr. Scott MacAdam

Dr. Scott MacAdam

Dr. MacAdam is the owner and operator of Ladera Family & Sports Chiropractic. For over 20 years, he has been treating his patients with world-class care and service.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013 18:44

Cardiovascular Disease and Chiropractic

Cardiovascular Disease May Take a Dive With Chiropractic Care

cardiovascular disease, chiropractic, reduce, heart disease

Most individuals believe that cardiovascular disease can only be mitigated through diet, exercise and keeping blood cholesterol and blood pressure in check, as well as getting a sound sleep and banning cigarettes. All of these disciplines are standard. Yet, studies have revealed that chiropractic care may have a more dominant impact on lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease than previously thought.  It is exciting to read about studies showing that cardiovascular disease may take a dive with chiropractic care.

Can regular adjustments in the chiropractor’s office really help someone maintain cardiovascular wellness? Studies are indicating yes.

Minor dysfunctions in spinal alignment may be a significant factor in a number of disorders according to researchers. Such imbalances can aggravate a person’s nervous system and lead to a variety of different dysfunctions. According to Dr. Nate Blume, “The body’s homeostatic mechanism is thrown off.”

Blume helped direct a study that focused on two areas:  the relation between blood pressure, and heart rates. Chiropractic research from other doctors have supported his findings.

One study conducted at a respected chiropractic college found that adjustments to patients helped lower average heart rates for those who had above average heart rates.  The main reason thought to be the basis for this finding is that chiropractic care is therapeutic for the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which can directly affect heart rate variability. Researchers have proposed that back pain, which chiropractic adjustments relieve, may have caused a raise in heart rates.  Stress was probably another factor.  Pain leads to higher stress, which in turn can cause an elevated heart rate. Thus, researchers have suggested that chiropractic intervention went right to the cause of the problem.

A related study investigated the connection between “systolic and diastolic blood pressure” and anxiety levels, and quantified the changes after subjects received chiropractic care. Results showed a lowering in not only blood pressure, but also anxiety, again boosting hope that cardiovascular disease may take a dive with chiropractic care.

In a more recent case study, a man at age 54 pursued chiropractic care and his lipid panel normalized following the recommended regime of the health program he followed. Only chiropractic care – not traditional care – was applied in his treatment. The man first came seeking care for dyslipidemia. He had a past history of myocardial infarction and angioplasty. His lipid panel showed abnormal levels of cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides. Additional complaints included emotional instability, constipation, and stiff muscles in his neck causing pain.  He was stressed in his job and at home, and was suffering from depression.

The chiropractor evaluated him and found “vertebral subluxations” in three supporting spinal functions.  As a result of ongoing chiropractic care, the man’s cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides had all improved and he reported an improvement in his emotional and cognitive functions.  The authors are hoping to expand studies like these and quantify their results.

Dr. Matthew McCoy, published and conducted the above case study.  He is both a chiropractor and public health researcher, and he stated that all of these findings make sense:

If you damage or compress or otherwise interfere with the neurological structures in the spine this can have far-reaching implications on the functioning of the body. We are finding that correcting the misalignments or abnormal motion associated with these spinal problems reduces the nerve interference.

McCoy explained that lowering nerve interference is the key to reducing problems related to cardiovascular disease, which is what the man in the case study experienced.

Regular procedures for patients with heart disease include a prescriptions for statins.  This medication could cause potentially harmful side effects and does not necessarily extend the life span of a person.

Eric Zielinski, another author in the case study, said that the only real proven method in preventing cardiovascular disease is to instill healthy lifestyle habits:

Finding the cause of the cardiovascular disease and reducing those risks is a much better strategy.

Instead of limiting chiropractic care to injury therapy and prevention, it is important people learn how it can benefit their entire nervous system, which can have a powerful impact on cardiovascular health. All of these studies support the therapeutic and medical benefits of chiropractic care and propose that it may be a factor in making cardiovascular disease take a dive.

By Danelle Cheney

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 23:11

Infertility and Chiropractic

Resolution of Infertility with Chiropractic Care

A case study published on October 31, 2013, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented the case of a woman who was suffering from menstrual irregularities and infertility who was helped by chiropractic.

The authors of the study begin by noting that, "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2002, there were 7.3 million American women between the ages of 15-44 who have impaired fecundity, equaling 11.8%."  The authors define infertility as, "...a state of impaired fertility, or sub-fertility, defined as an inability to conceive after at least one year of unprotected intercourse." They note that current research shows that approximately 40-60% of the time, infertility is attributed to the female, while 30-40% of the time it is attributed to the male with 10-20% of cases being unexplained.

In this case, a 31-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with complaints of upper back and neck tension, migraine, and tension headaches and tingling in her left arm. She had first noticed these problems after the birth of her first son. The woman was also suffering from menstrual pain, heavy bleeding, and cycles frequently lasting two weeks in duration. Her problems were so severe, and causing difficulty with daily activities due to heavy bleeding, that she was forced to stay home one to two days a month.  Additionally, she expressed concern because she and her husband had been infertile for a little over three years.

A chiropractic examination was performed that consisted of palpation of the spine, range of motion, thermal and sEMG scans, along with spinal x-rays. Postural abnormalities were noted, ranges of motion were impaired, and palpation showed areas of possible spinal problems. Additionally the sEMG and thermal scans showed problems relating to nerve system function. Between these findings and the spinal x-rays, it was determined that the woman had nerve system interference from multiple spinal subluxations.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun several times per week to correct the subluxations.  The results in this case were immediate as the woman reported that her menstrual cycle, which was on day six, stopped after the first adjustment. This had not happened since the birth of her first son more than three years earlier. She also noted that her mid back pain had slightly decreased. Additionally, by the third visit she stated that her headaches had lessened and were resolved from that point forward. After 26 days and eight adjustments, the woman reported that she had become pregnant.

In their discussion, the authors report on the growing medical industry surrounding infertility. They also point out that infertility treatment is very expensive. They note that chiropractic may present a viable alternative to the medical approach to infertility. "There is a growing body of evidence that links the management of vertebral subluxation to the restoration of proper function within a woman’s reproductive system and therefore enhancing the ability to conceive."

Thursday, 07 November 2013 19:55

Cross Fit injuries and Chiropractic

Rise in Crossfit injuries a boon for chiropractors

Crossfit, the high-intensity power-training workout, has rocketed in popularity, but has also come under fire for its link to the potentially deadly kidney condition rhabdomyolysis.

During the past two years, chiropractors say they've seen an increase in Crossfit patients who are suffering overuse injuries.

"I've gone from never having heard of Crossfit to having a number of regular Crossfit clients," Dr. Robert Hayden said in an exclusive interview Nov. 6.

"From a business perspective, these folks make great patients because they're recurring customers."

Dr. Hayden, a Georgia-based chiropractor who's a rep for the American Chiropractic Association, said his colleagues have also experienced an influx of Crossfit patients.

Physical therapists have noticed a similar trend. Eric Robertson, an assistant professor at Regis University, said he and his colleagues have come across more Crossfit patients in their physical-therapy practices during the past year.

There's no doubt Crossfit can be an excellent workout, as long as there's proper supervision and it's not taken to an extreme.

Dr. Hayden said he's impressed with the athletic conditioning of some of his Crossfit clients, but is concerned about their stress injuries.

Many of them have insanely chiseled muscles. The muscle tone and development on these patients is tremendous, and their aerobic capacity is outstanding. Unfortunately, along with that is a lot of wear and tear on the muscles and the skeleton."

Hayden said the most common overuse injuries he has observed are tendonitis, muscle strain, flat-foot injuries, skeletal misalignment, and sore joints.

In his opinion, some of the injuries could be avoided or minimized with proper technique during workouts (which requires proper supervision by trainers), adequate sleep, and lots of stretching.

"Doing these types of strenuous workouts without proper stretching or flexibility training is an injury waiting to happen," he said.

And injuries have happened. In 2008, a Virginia jury awarded $300,000 to former U.S. Navy technician Makimba Mimms for injuries he sustained during a Crossfit workout in 2005.

Mimms was allegedly hospitalized for a week, urinated blood, suffered rhabdomyolysis and swollen legs after being poorly supervised during his workout by a gym employee who was not certified.

Mimms testified that rhabdo was diagnosed after his 2005 workout, which consisted of 90 repetitions of lower-body exercises. He said he was never told to rest, stop for water or slow down by a ruthless employee who oversaw the routine but was not a certified trainer."

Mimms, now 34, said he's permanently disabled as a result. Crossfit responded to the lawsuit by sarcastically renaming the WOD (Workout of the Day) that injured Mimms the "Makimba" and recategorizing it as a children's workout.

Crossfit headquarters has typically reacted to the injury issue by saying critics are suggesting that people should lie on the couch, not exercise, and get fat (as if the only alternative to Crossfit is couch-surfing). Or they take aim at critics through petty verbal attacks and lame threats on Twitter.

Interestingly, Rich Froning, the three-time winner of the annual Crossfit Games, recently revealed he's considering retirement. At the ripe old age of 26.

Meanwhile, Crossfit founder Greg Glassman has openly boasted that WODs "are designed to exceed the capacities of the world’s fittest athletes." He admitted the rigorous workouts can cause serious injury or even death.

"If you find the notion of falling off the rings and breaking your neck so foreign to you, then we don't want you in our ranks," Glassman, 56, told the New York Times. "[Crossfit] can kill you. I've always been completely honest about that."

By Guy Hains, DC

Shoulder pain is a common musculoskeletal complaint, with nearly 50 percent of the population suffering at least one episode annually. Upper extremity pain and injury account for 8.6 percent of the chief complaint among chiropractic patients. Recent data indicates that trigger points are treated by 91 percent of chiropractors, and ischemic compression of trigger points is one of the most popular treatment methods used by chiropractors to treat myofascial pain.

Recent Research

In a randomized clinical trial conducted by the present author,3 59 patients suffering from chronic tendinitis (average duration: four-and-a-half years) each received 15 treatments of ischemic compression therapy on trigger points(TrPs) localized mostly at the deltoid muscle, the supraspinatus muscle, the acromion process, the coracoid apophysis and the subscapularis muscle. Then they completed two standard questionnaires.

After 15 treatments, the experimental group (41 patients) reported 62 percent amelioration on the Spadi questionnaire versus 18 percent for the control group (18 patients). The control group also had received 15 treatments of ischemic compression therapy, but on trigger points located on cervical and upper dorsal muscles.

A second questionnaire was used to assess patients' perceived amelioration using a scale from 0-100 percent. Results showed 75 percent amelioration for the experimental group versus 29 percent for the control group. Six months later, perceived amelioration was 66 percent for the experimental group; 85 percent reported an evident amelioration within the first six treatments.

Patients in the experimental group were treated exclusively by ischemic compression (eight seconds of pressure, one thumb on the other) on the trigger points located on the ligaments, tendons and muscles of the symptomatic shoulder. Trigger points are pressure-sensitive, palpable nodules that reproduce the chief complaint.4

When a thumb pressure is applied on the trigger point, the patient recognizes the produced pain as an important source of their problem. Because of that hyper-irritability, the chiropractor has to be very careful at the beginning of treatment. Pressure should be gradually augmented to the patient's tolerance level and kept without moving until the end of the eight seconds. That treatment is repeated on each trigger point at each visit until their complete elimination.

Treatment Protocol

1.With the patient in pronation, the hand of the symptomatic shoulder is placed on the back of the patient's head. To keep their shoulder completely relaxed, the therapist's thigh holds the patient's arm in place. The supraspinatus muscle (at the back of the clavicle), the deltoid muscle (anterior, posterior and lateral) and the infraspinatus muscle must be examined attentively for the presence of trigger points.

2.Next, with the patient supine, arm stretched along their body, apply firm pressure to the acromion process and at the coracoid apophysis to find the trigger points, if present. Examination of the axilla is also done with the patient supine, hand under their head.

In around 10 percent of cases, I find trigger points in the armpits, which have a relation with shoulder pain. The TrPs are treated at each visit until their complete elimination.

Other Variables to Consider

Often the patient has a diagnosis of partial or complete tear of the rotator cuff. This could appear to be an important cause of the shoulder problem, but a trial by Sher5 showed that after 60 years of age, 26 percent of subjects had a partial tear and 28 percent had a complete tear (a hole all through the rotator cuff) without symptoms.

Research by Welfing6 showed that in 925 symptomatic patients, 6.5 percent had a calcium deposit. In 200 others, asymptomatic this time, there was a deposit in 7 percent. In another study,7 the authors concluded that the relationship between calcium deposits and shoulder pain is unclear.

Imaging such as radiography, arthrography, computed tomographic scanning, and magnetic resonance imaging should be reserved for difficult cases in which the diagnosis is insufficiently clear and conservative measures have not been successful.8

In a group of 349 patient with shoulder pain treated by 11 general practitioners, surgery was performed on four patients only in the following year.9

The natural history of shoulder pain is frequently considered self-limiting. However, a three-year follow-up report found that 54 percent of patients had persistent pain, whereas 90 percent had chronic disability.10 In a systematic review of 31 clinical trials, conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of various therapeutic interventions for shoulder pain, only subacromial cortisone injections were found to be more effective than placebo to increase abduction.11 There are no randomized clinical trials of surgical interventions for shoulder pain.11

The complex anatomical and functional structure of the shoulder joint often complicates diagnosis and clinical management of the shoulder lesion. This has resulted in much confusion and a lack of consensus regarding the classification and diagnosis criteria of shoulder disorders.1,9,11

In my experience, if the patient can raise laterally (abduct) the symptomatic arm above their head, we talk of tendinitis. If the pain is sharp at any movement and has been there for a week or so, we talk normally of bursitis. Most of the time in the latter case, the pain will go away by itself within a week. If the pain is sharp at any movement, and has been there for months, we talk of capsulitis. The first cause of most chronic shoulder pain is the presence of trigger points. Even the worst cases can be treated by ischemic compression therapy.

In these cases, the patient kneels perpendicular to the table, forehead on the asymptomatic arm. The hand of the painful arm is then put on the back of the patient's head. The practitioner holds the arm in place with their thigh, and can then treat the trigger points localized in the deltoid and the supraspinatus muscles.

In a small percentage of shoulder pain, the cause may be partly vertebrogenic. An examination of the neck, flexion and rotation, will cause a neurological irradiation to the shoulder.

If there are many trigger points to treat, three- to four-second pressure should be used, instead of the height habitually used on each TrP, because there is a limit to which a patient can support pain. The patient will be happy to feel that you are treating the good places, but we have to be very attentive to their reaction and inquire, particularly at the beginning of treatment, if the pain is bearable.

In very chronic cases, 15 to 20 visits may be necessary. Ideally, the treatments should be repeated until there are no more trigger points.

Trigger Points and Dorsalgia

Dorsalgia is present in 11.5 percent of patients who see a chiropractor.12 The following technique, which can replace or be added to the vertebral adjustment, is very efficacious and can be used with patients of any age.

With the patient prone, firm pressure with the thumbs (one on the other) is applied on the lateral aspect of the spinous processes at a 45-degree angle with the chiropractor perpendicular to the patient. When that pressure causes pain, the hyper-irritable vertebrae should be treated. This examination must be delicate because the spinous processes of the involved area may be very sensitive. The most important region to be examined is the one pinpointed by the patient.

Treatment is like the examination, except in the final eight seconds, without moving, 2-3 vertebrae may be treated at the same time. The pressure has to be painful, but bearable, at the patient's tolerance. The more vertebrae involved, the less time the pressure should be applied (2-3 seconds), because there is a limit to how much pain can be endured at each visit.

Normally there is an evident amelioration within 5-6 treatments. The patient will recognize the pain provoked by the pressure as an important source of their problem and will be ready to follow the necessary treatments in order to get rid of the irritation.

TrPs may also be located at the level of the transverse processes, the rhomboid muscle, the upper crest of the scapula, and the supraspinatus muscle located behind the clavicle, and are best reached with the patient's hand behind their head.

Keep in mind that the infraspinatus muscle is very tense in most chronic dorsalgias. The best way to treat this muscle is with the patient prone, arm on the involved side folded and kept close to the body by the thigh of the practitioner. Thumbtip pressure is applied from lateral to medial on the lateral aspect of the scapula. This is often very painful, but the TrP in the infraspinatus has to be dealt with in order to get rid of the dorsal problem.

If all the involved areas are treated, amelioration is often felt at the first few treatments, but all irritations should be eliminated.

Strengthening the Dorsal Muscles

Many patients with chronic dorsal problems overwork, or their work is repetitive and lasts too long for their musculature. It is possible to strengthen the dorsal muscles considerably with simple exercises. The following exercises can be prescribed to all patients who want to at least double the strength of their dorsal muscles.

1.With the patient standing and holding dumbbells (1 kg for women; 2 kgs for men), they cross their arms horizontally and stretch backward as far as possible. This exercise is repeated until the patient starts to experience fatigue.

2.The second exercise is done with the same dumbbells, but this time, the patient should stretch out their arms, making an arc forward from upward (over the head) to downward as far back as possible. This exercise is repeated until the patient fatigues.

Normally, these two exercises are repeated once a day at the beginning, 10 to 15 repetitions at the maximum. The aim should be at least 50 repetitions daily, which can take a few months. The patient's dorsal region will then be much stronger, and the weight used can be increased if desired. In my experience, these strength gains will persist, at least to some extent, 2-3 years later – even if the patient stops doing the exercises after reaching their goal.

1.Brox JL. Shoulder pain. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol, 2003;1:33-56,
2.Christensen MG, Kollasch MW, Ward DA. Job Analysis of Chiropractic. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, 2005, p. 98.
3.Hains G, Descarreaux M,Hains F. Chronic shoulder pain of myofascial origin. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2010;33:362-69.
4.Borg-Stein J, Stein J. Trigger points and tender points. Rheum Dis Clin North Am, 1996;22:305-23.
5.Sher JS, Uribe JW, Posada A et al. Abnormal findings on magnetic resonance images of asymptomatic shoulder. J Bone Joint Surg (U.S.), 1995;77A:19-15.
6.Welfling J, Kahn MF, Desroy M et al. Les calcification de l'epaule. Revue Rhumatisme, 1965;32:325-34.
7.Wang CJ, Ko JY, Chen HS. Treatment of calcific tendinitis of the shoulder wuth shoc wave therapy. Clinical Orthop, 2001;387: 83-89.
8.Daigneault J, Cooney LM. Shoulder pain in older people. J Am Geriatr Soc, 1998;46:1144-51.
9.Van der Windt DA, Koes BW, de Jong BA et al. Shoulder disorders in general practice: prognostic indicators of outcome. Br J Gen Pract, 1996;46:519-23.
10.Macfarlane GJ, Hunt IM, Silman AJ. Predictors of chronic shoulder pain: a population base prospective study. J Rheumatol, 1998;1612-15.
11.Green S, Buchbinder R, Glasier R, et al. Systematic review of randomized control trials of interventions for painful shoulder: selection criteria, outcome assessment, and efficacy. BMJ, 1998;316:354-60(12).
12.Christensen MG, et al., Op Cit, p. 75.

Saturday, 30 March 2013 00:52

Hip Pain Treated Through Chiropractic

Pain in the hip can come directly from the hip joint itself or it may be experienced in the hip joint as a referred pain from a problem somewhere else. Referred pain is pain that travels along a nerve that comes from the back. The referred sensation of pain is felt in an area where the nerve travels or ends, but not necessarily from the point of the back where the nerve is being pinched. On the other hand, pain that comes directly from the hip joint can be from inflammation due to injury (Sprains, strains, and fractures), arthritis, infection, or in rarer cases, malignancy (cancer.)
One example of referred hip pain is a pinched nerve at the level between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae. Pinching of this nerve commonly causes referred pain into the hip. The hip joint will ache or burn or may even experience sharp pain; however, the joint itself should not be overly tender to touch or swollen. Because the pain signal originates in the back, bending the spine to one side may relieve the pain while bending the spine to place more pressure on the nerve may worsen it.
True hip pain (pain from the hip joint itself) can be caused from an acute (usually accident related) or a chronic (usually arthritis related) condition. The treatment goal for an acute hip injury is first to control and reduce the swelling. After the swelling is controlled, the next phase is to help restore the mobility and return the proper function of the hip joint and leg. The goal of treatment of a chronic hip condition is to try and determine what caused the hip joint to become symptomatic, relieve or eliminate that cause, and rehabilitate the hip joint.
A Doctor of Chiropractic has the training and equipment needed to help determine if your hip pain is coming from a pinched nerve in your spine or directly from the hip joint, itself. For more information on referred pain caused by pinched nerves, please see this article: About Pinched Nerves
Acute hip injuries can be initially difficult to treat as the actual hip joint resides a few inches beneath the level of the skin. This makes it difficult to ice the area well enough to control swelling. Care must be taken not to extend the use of ice past twenty minutes to avoid the consequences of ice injury (frostbite.) Proper elevation of the area (elevating the joint above the level of the heart) is also a bit of a challenge. For instance, the use of a recliner is usually ineffective since a recliner will not allow the hip to be elevated above heart level. A better choice for elevation is bed rest by lying on the opposite of the hip injury.
Passive hip range of motion can also be very beneficial to reduce swelling. The application of passive motion is only to be done with an appropriate device or administered by a trained professional. Ask your chiropractor about the use of passive motion to help reduce swelling.
Chronic hip pain requires proper history, examination, and diagnosis to determine a course of treatment. A chiropractor can perform these procedures and will recommend a suitable treatment program for your condition. Your chiropractor may also outline goals and recommend changes in lifestyle to help reduce the chances of a re-injury and to better manage your present complaint.
Adjustive procedures can be made to a hip joint and other therapies such as short-wave diathermy and microwave (two methods to deliver moist heat into deep tissue, and massage can be used to help improve the hip joint. Stretching and exercises can also be added at the appropriate time to protect against future re-injury. Nutritional supplements may also be recommended. For instances, a proper uptake of calcium needs to be obtained by many senior citizens, especially women. Several spontaneous hip fractures could be avoided if bone density checks were checked during routine examines in the forth or fifth decade of life. 
Hip problems whether acute or chronic can both benefit from supportive care. Proper exercise, stretching, nutrition, and support can all aid in your recovery and enhance your functionality. The goal is to stay active but not create pain in the joint. Pain generally goes hand in hand with swelling and swelling leads to bone loss in the joint (osteoporosis) create calcium deposits around the tendons and joint (tendonitis and arthritis) and reduces mobility. Your chiropractor will work with you with a number of recommendations to help you maintain mobility while minimizing joint irritation.

Recommended Ankle Exercises

Here is a simple exercise that you can do at home with no equipment.
It works the peroneus longus/brevis, tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, gastrocnemius, soleus muscles.
The purpose of this exercise is to improve muscular endurance, ankle strength, and proprioception.
By doing this exercise you can have the benefits of Improved stability, functional strength and injury prevention.

chiropractor irvine Irvine Chiropractor shares ankle exercises for beginners.
Begin seated in a chair with good posture.
Extend leg.
Attempt to write alphabet from A through Z with toes, moving ankle in all directions.
Repeat for prescribed sets.

© 2005-2010 WebExercises, Inc., Patent Pending, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, 04 March 2013 16:48

Neck Pain and Proper Spinal Curvitures

Is it hard to look over your shoulder? Is there a constant pulling or throbing pain in your neck? Do you notice a “grinding” sound as you turn your head? Contact a Doctor of Chiropractic for a thorough history and examination.

chiropractor irvine Neck Pain

Your neck has to balance and support the equivalent of a 10-13lb. bowling ball!

A popular response to neck pain is taking drugs to cover up the problem (asprin, analgesics, pain pills) or treating its symptoms (muscle relaxers, massage, hot packs).

But neck pain isn’t caused by lack of asprin or drugs!

The chiropractic approach to neck pain is to locate its underlying cause. This begins with a complete case history and thorough examination. Special attention is given to the structure and function of the spine, and its affect on the nervous system.

chiropractor irvine Neck Pain

Many patients with neck pain have lost the normal forward curve in the neck. This can affect the brain stem and spinal cord

Is the proper spinal curve present? Are the nerve openings between each pair of spinal bones free and clear? Is the head balanced? Are the shoulders level? These and other considerations are used to create a plan of specific chiropractic adjustments to help improve the motion and position of spinal vertebrae.

With improved structure and function, neck pain often diminishes or totally disappears– without addictive drugs or harmful side effects!

chiropractor irvine Neck Pain

While a massage feels good, it doesn’t address the underlying structural problems often associated with neck pain.

One study, published in the Journal of Manipulatice and Physiological Therapeutics found that patiuents who received chiropractic care reported significant improvement in their neck function and reduction in their neck pain wheras those taking pain-killers did not.

© 2003 Black Talk Systems, Inc

Thursday, 10 January 2013 17:10

Dizziness and Chiropractic

Study Shows Neck Pain and Dizziness Helped with Chiropractic

A study published in the January 7, 2013 issue of the journal Chiropractic & Manual Therapies shows that people with neck pain and those with both neck pain and associated dizziness respond equally as well to chiropractic care. The study was designed to see if the added factor of dizziness created a change in the response to chiropractic care.

In this study the authors describe the reason for the study by stating, "The symptom dizziness is common in patients with chronic whiplash related disorders. However, little is known about dizziness in neck pain patients who have not suffered whiplash."  The authors also wanted to look at any gender differences with the patients in this study to see if gender played a part in the outcome of care.

The study was done with the cooperation of the Swiss Association for Chiropractic. The study notes that consecutive new patients over the age of 18 with neck pain of any duration who had not undergone chiropractic or manual therapy in the prior 3 months were recruited from 81 different chiropractor's offices who were members of the Swiss Association for Chiropractic. A total of 405 patients in Switzerland, who suffered with neck pain and who had consented to be part of the Chiropractic Outcome Study were included.

Researchers conducted telephone interviews at 1, 3 and 6 months after the initiation of chiropractic care to document the patients' progress. A seven point scale ranging from ‘much better’, ‘better’, slightly better’, no change’, slightly worse’, ‘worse,’ and ‘much worse’ was used to track the results. From the total number of patients, 177 (44%) reported neck pain with related dizziness while 228 reported that they had neck pain without dizziness. A significantly larger number of the patients with dizziness were women. As expected the patients with dizziness suffered more severe pain as well as other complaints.

The study results showed that after only the first month of care 72% of the patients with neck pain and dizziness showed improvement in their neck pain, while 73% of those with only neck pain had improved. Additionally, half (50%) of those with dizziness showed improvement in their dizziness in this same one month time frame.

After 3 months of care 81% of all patients, with neck pain only or with dizziness, showed improvement in both the neck pain and their dizziness. After six months the results remained almost the same being within 2 percentage points for any of the groups and all of the complaints.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "Although neck pain patients with dizziness undergoing chiropractic treatment reported significantly higher pain and disability scores at baseline (beginning of study) compared to neck pain patients without dizziness, there were no significant differences in any outcome measures between the two groups at 6 months after start of treatment." In other words, the participants in this study all got good results regardless of the presence or lack of dizziness with their neck pain.

Thursday, 10 January 2013 16:28

Chronic Fatigue and Chiropractic

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients Helped with Chiropractic

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published the results of a study on December 11, 2012 showing chiropractic improving the quality of life of a patient suffering from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).  According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, "Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to severe, continued tiredness that is not relieved by rest and is not directly caused by other medical conditions."

The authors of the study note that medical treatment for CFS is only centered on the alleviation of symptoms while attempting to improve a patient’s quality of life. They also note that since there are no clear indicators or tests for CFS, the diagnosis of CFS is confirmed by ruling out other conditions with the continued presence of the symptoms.

In this study 20 people with CFS were selected to participate. Each was given a chiropractic examination and x-rays. One subject was disqualified due to having a metal plate in her head. Of the 19 remaining subjects 15 were female and 5 were male, with their ages ranging from 18 to 65 years.

The measurement of quality of life for the subjects was accomplished using the SF 36-Item Health Survey (SF-36), a standard health questionnaire form with 36 questions used to measure these types of issues and the quality of a persons life related to their health issues. These forms were filled out by participants before care was initiated and then again at the conclusion of the study 6 months later. 

Specific chiropractic care was rendered for subluxation of the top vertebrae in the neck, the atlas. The subjects initial SF 36 scores were then compared to the scores of the SF 36 after 6 months and the chiropractic care.

The results showed that the SF 36 scores increased significantly for the test subjects. The General Health component increased from a score of 30.3 prior to chiropractic care to 55.6 after the care. Additionally, the Mental Health scores of the SF 36, rose from 46.4 before chiropractic to 68.6 after care. The results of these measurements showed that there was a dramatic quality of life improvement as measured by the SF 36 test.

The authors noted that the improvement noticed with the subjects continued to show improvement. They commented, "Unlike treatment approaches for some chronic illnesses, where measurable changes recorded immediately after an intervention dwindle or vanish over time, our subjects’ SF-36 scores continued to improve compared to baseline; appreciably at three months, and substantially at six months."

Friday, 14 December 2012 16:35

Sensory Processing Disorder and Chiropractic

Sensory Processing Disorder Helped with Chiropractic

The case of a 3-year-old boy with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) was documented in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health on Nov. 8, 2012.

A 3-year-old boy was brought to a chiropractor by his mother after the boy had been diagnosed with sensory processing disorder, as well as possible Einstein syndrome which indicates an extreme intelligence coupled with delayed speech.

Sensory processing disorder is a neurodevelopment disorder in which the person has problems processing sensory information. Normal touch, sound, and movement can cause extreme stress, and the 3-year-old boy’s symptoms included head banging, lack of pain response, hiding under the crib or in a corner, rubbing himself against the wall, and chewing holes in his clothes.

The child's development was mildly delayed, and the childcare provider discussed a possible diagnosis of autism with the mother when the child was 16 months old. At 24 months, the child had a MMR vaccination and had a severe reaction. He developed a fever, total body rash, swollen glands, and pock marks.

A chiropractic examination was performed and subluxations were detected by asymmetries in the head and neck regions, as well as shoulder level, foot/leg level, and other indicators of subluxation. A care plan was created and initiated with specific chiropractic adjustments for the child’s subluxations at a rate of two adjustments weekly.

The child’s improvement with touch and vibration, social skills, and gross motor skills were noted in the initial phase of care when he began to receive specific chiropractic adjustments. During this time, the child’s language skills improved immensely. “Meltdowns” were still present, as well as teeth grinding, but were reduced in frequency and intensity.

Continued chiropractic care resulted in improvements in communication with the child stating opinions for the first time, as well as showing signs of increasing imagination, affection, engagement, and attention span. The child is sleeping better, and his gross and fine motor skills have improved.

The parents see great improvement in their son as a result of chiropractic care and adjustments. The 3-year-old boy is continuing under chiropractic care with the expectation of increased improvement and a lessening of symptoms of SPD.

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