The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study on September 10, 2018, documenting chiropractic helping a teenage boy with neck pain following a car accident. The study was also able to show improvement in the boy’s neck curvature.
The study authors begin by noting that the most common diagnosis from U.S. hospital emergency departments given to people involved in a motor vehicle accident (MVA) is neck sprain/strain. These types of injuries are often painful, progressive and permanent if not corrected. One common finding in lateral x-rays of patients involved in MVA is a loss or reversal of the normal forward neck curvature. Neck curvature may not be directly from the MVA, but having an abnormal curve seems to be associated with a poor outcome. The study also reported that there is a higher incidence of forward head position in patients who have had a MVA as compared to those who have not.
Typical medical care of either medications or a “wait and see” approach have been shown to help in acute situations, but do not do as well for chronic pain, and do nothing to address the aberrant neck curvature or forward head position.
In this case, a 14-year-old boy who was involved in a MVA a year earlier was brought to a chiropractor by his parents. The boy was suffering with chronic headaches and neck pain that he and his parents related to the MVA a year earlier. The boy had no history of his neck pain or headaches prior to the accident. The accident occurred when the boy was riding in the front passenger seat of a minivan which was then rear-ended by a full sized pickup truck.
Within the first three months after the accident, the boy did receive some chiropractic care which had given him some relief. However, care was not continued until a year after the MVA when specific forms of chiropractic were utilized after an examination and additional x-rays. The neck x-rays specifically showed a loss of the neck curvature and a forward head position.
Prior to the specific chiropractic care, the boy’s pain level was reported to be 7 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. After 11 weeks of specific chiropractic care, his pain had been reduced to 0 out of 10. Additionally, the reversal of the neck curve that was seen on the initial x-rays had began to show a curvature in the proper direction according to the follow-up neck x-rays.
The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on January 4, 2018, documenting the improvement in neck pain and arm pain in an elderly patient undergoing chiropractic care. The term used in this study for this condition is radiculopathy.
The word radiculopathy comes from two Greek and Latin words meaning root, and illness. In this usage, it means a pain that originates at a nerve root and runs away from that origin, typically down an arm or leg. Cervical radiculopathy means that the problem has its origin in the neck. According to WebMD, “Cervical radiculopathy is the damage or disturbance of nerve function that results if one of the nerve roots near the cervical vertebrae is compressed. Damage to nerve roots in the cervical area can cause pain and the loss of sensation along the nerve’s pathway into the arm and hand, depending on where the damaged roots are located.”
The researchers in this study note that, “In younger people cervical radiculopathy is often caused by a disc herniation or some form of trauma which directly impacts on the nerve in the intervertebral foramina (IVF).” The IVFs are the openings between each vertebra where the nerves exit from the spinal column. They report that in older patients, pressure on nerves at the IVF typically occurs from degenerative or arthritic changes with a narrowing of the IVF known as stenosis.
In this case, a 74-year-old woman suffering from the symptoms of cervical radiculopathy presented herself for chiropractic care at a teaching clinic in New Zealand. Her symptoms included pain for several years, with numbness and tingling down her left arm that had gotten worse in the last few weeks. She was also complaining of weakness in her left arm and the inability to grasp heavy objects with her left hand.
One year prior to her chiropractic visit, her MD took neck x-rays which showed calcium buildup and disc degeneration in her neck. At that time, she did not consider her symptoms to be affecting her daily life so no care was rendered.
A chiropractic examination was performed, and it was noted that her cervical range of motion was limited in all directions. Neck rotation did cause an increase in pain and numbness in her left arm and hand. She also exhibited a decrease in the ability to feel sensations along portions of her left arm. Her finger grip strength on her left side was significantly reduced.
The findings were consistent with the presence of vertebral subluxation, and specific chiropractic adjustments were started at the rate of twice per week. By the 11th visit, the woman started noticing a decrease in the frequency of episodes of pain and numbness in her left arm. She reported that her problems were no longer present 24 hours per day and was only exacerbated during lifting her arm for long periods. She also reported an improvement in the quality of her sleep. A progress examination was performed, which included neurological testing, which showed further improvement in sensory ability of the C6 and C7 dermatomes on her left arm.
In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “Cervical foraminal stenosis causing radiculopathy is a problem that affects a large portion of the older population. This case study, and previously reported research, suggests that chiropractic care may benefit some people suffering from radiculopathy.”
The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on June 18, 2018, documenting chiropractic helping a patient suffering for five years with neck and back pain following an automobile accident. The patient also showed documented improvement in telemere length, and their urge to urinate at night.
Human TL length is best explained on the T.A Sciences website, “Telomeres are an essential part of human cells that affect how our cells age. Telomeres are the caps at the end of each strand of DNA that protect our chromosomes, like the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces. Without the coating, shoelaces become frayed until they can no longer do their job, just as without telomeres, DNA strands become damaged and our cells can’t do their job.”
This study begins with an explanation of human telomere length (TL), and why this is important. The study notes that human TL is longest at birth and shortens as we get older. Shortened TL are associated with metabolic and inflammatory diseases, pulmonary diseases, cardiovascular problems, psychological and stress disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, cancer, other chronic and serious illnesses, and can affect overall mortality.
In this case study, a 35-year-old woman who worked as an elementary school teacher presented herself for chiropractic with the primary complaint of neck and mid-back pain for five years following a head-on motor vehicle accident. She also complained of nocturnal polyuria, which is an increase production of urine at night causing her to urinate up to four times per night.
A physical and chiropractic examination was performed which included basic information about height and weight, as well as a postural analysis, a standardized health survey, and spinal x-rays. Based upon the results of the examination and x-rays, specific chiropractic care was initiated to create changes in the spinal structures, thus having an effect on the nervous system.
The study results reported that the patient felt significant improvement in all of her symptoms after weeks of chiropractic care. Follow-up examinations confirmed changes in her spinal structure as well as her self-health assessment. A second blood work was performed that showed that her telemere length had actually improved from a previous blood study. Eventually, the woman reported that she was virtually pain-free and had been able to sleep through the night without having to go to the bathroom to urinate.
In their conclusion, the authors noted the unique findings of the improving of human telemere length by stating, “Our case suggests, for the first time, that cervical spinal alignment and posture may be directly related to TL (health longevity) and that correction thereof may have a directly related effect on health longevity as represented by TL.”
On May 3, 2018, the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study documenting the resolution of neck pain and hand numbness in a patient undergoing chiropractic care. According to the study authors, neck pain is one of the more common pain conditions in the general population.
Estimates show that at any given time, nearly 13% of the population suffers with some form of neck pain. Overall, nearly 50% of the population will suffer with neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain is one of the more common condition that people seek chiropractors for. About 25% of all patients that see chiropractors did so because of neck pain.
According to the study, neck pain is more common in people whose work requires performing repetitive static tasks, or physically demanding work. Neck pain is also more common in people who have had previous neck trauma, and those suffering from other conditions such as depression, low back pain, or headaches.
In this case, a 28-year-old man suffering with neck pain and tingling in his hands sought chiropractic care. The man reported that his neck pain started about five months earlier, though he could not recall any particular incident that brought on the problem. He also reported that he did not remember when his hands started tingling. He had not seen any other type of doctor, and was not taking any medications for these conditions.
The man described the neck pain as a dull achy kind of pain in his lower neck that he rated as only a 2 out of 10 in severity. He noted that his hands felt like pins and needles with the feeling be more prevalent in his right hand. Although he felt that these annoying conditions did not prevent him from performing normal daily activities, he did state that these issues prevented him from working out as hard as he used to.
An examination was performed at the chiropractic office which included checking his vital signs, orthopedic and neurological exams, cervical static and motion palpation, along with range of motion tests in both the cervical and lumbar region. A postural analysis did reveal some abnormal positioning as well as limitations is specific motions of some neck vertebrae. Cervical thermographic scans showed irregularities. X-rays of the neck showed malpositioning of cervical vertebrae in addition to moderate disc degeneration and spurring in the neck.
Based upon the finding of the examination and x-rays, it was determined that subluxations were present and specific forms of chiropractic adjustments were started. After the first adjustment, at his subsequent visit the patient did not report any improvement. Care was continued based upon specific findings that indicated the need for a chiropractic adjustment.
On the sixth visit, the man reported that his neck pain was gone and he only had some minor neck stiffness. He also stated that his hand tingling had reduced to only occasional tingling in his fingers. By the seventh visit, the man reported no neck pain or stiffness, and his hand tingling was completely gone. He elected to continue chiropractic care for correction of subluxations.