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We have compiled a series a articles about the benefits of chiropratic care, including case studies and research results. Click on the title of the article to open and close it.

Chiropractic Care and TMJ Problems

Chiropractic Care and TMJ Problems a Case Study

In the January 2002 edition of the peer reviewed scientific journal, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT) appeared a case study on a 41-year-old woman who sought chiropractic care with complaints of pain at the TMJ on both sides, ear pain, ringing in the ears, vertigo, decreased hearing ability, and a sensation of pressure or fullness in both ears.  She also reported that movements of her jaw while talking or chewing provoked pain at the TMJ.

Before seeking chiropractic care she was treated for her TMJ by two medical doctors.  She was also referred to an eye, ear, nose, and throat specialist, who diagnosed her with TMJ syndrome. Additionally, she was referred to a dentist for the problem.  Medical recommendations were to apply heat to the area, reduce talking and yelling, and change her diet to a soft diet.  Even with all this medical and dental care her symptoms steadily continued to get worse.

Eventually she sought the care of a chiropractor. After an examination it was determined by the chiropractor that the patient had an Atlas subluxation, (first bone in the neck).  Care was begun by a series of adjustments.  After only a few visits the patient reported significant improvement in her symptoms.  After two and a half months she reported complete relief from the TMJ symptoms.  She also reported a decrease in the frequency and severity of her headaches. Prior to starting  chiropractic care, she was experiencing 1 to 2 migraine headache attacks per month.  The effects of the chiropractic care were long term as shown at her 1-year follow-up where she had not experienced any headache symptoms for a period of 9 months and her TMJ complaints had completely resolved.

Chronic Childhood Constipation Helped By Chiropractic

Chronic Childhood Constipation Helped By Chiropractic - A Case Study

The January, 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) published a case study showing the beneficial effects of chiropractic care on an 8 year old boy suffering from chronic constipation. In this case the boy had been suffering with the condition since birth and was treated medically with laxatives, high fluid intake, and high fiber intake, all of which had no effect on his condition.

In this case the young boy's condition was such that he only had a bowel movement at 7 to 10 day intervals and at times approaching every 2 weeks and were quite painful.  He was apparently born healthy and was breast fed until 6 months of age. No other underlying diseases were identified by his medical physicians.

The child's mother brought him to a chiropractor who examined him and determined the presence of a sacral subluxation. Care was initiated and adjustments were given to correct the subluxation.  In this case the patient reported an immediate dramatic improvement in bowel function after just the first visit. His mother was very excited and reported that he had a bowel movement on the day of his first visit and 2 days later. She reported that this was extraordinary because her son had never in his life had 3 bowel movements in four days.

Care was continued for four weeks and he continued to report improving bowel function. After one month it was reported by both the patient and his mother that he was experiencing consistent normal bowel function.  Months later follow up reports continued to show that the boy was experiencing normal bowel function. In this case there was also a follow up phone call conducted 13 years later, and the patient still reported normal bowel function and stated that his bowel function was nearly “clock-like” with daily bowel movements.

The study points out that chronic childhood constipation accounts for 3% of visits to general pediatricians and nearly 30% of visits to pediatric gastroenterologists.  They note that medical treatment usually includes dietary management, biofeedback, and laxatives.  However, statistically 30% to 50% of children do not respond to these treatments and continue to have long-term problems.

Study Shows Chiropractic Better Than Muscle Relaxants for Low Back Pain

Study Shows Chiropractic Better Than Muscle Relaxants for Low Back Pain

A study published in the July / August  2004 peer-reviewed scientific journal, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, compared the effects of chiropractic adjustments to muscle relaxants in a group of patients with subacute low back pain.

This study defined subacute low back pain as lower back pain (LBP) with a duration of 2 to 12 weeks.  The study noted that in the United States the incidence of low back pain is as high as 75% to 85% of the population being affected at some time in their lives. On a yearly basis, the study noted that between 15% to 20% of the adult population can expect to experience LBP in any given year.

In the study, conducted at Life University in Georgia, 192 subjects with LBP from 2 to 6 weeks were separated into three groups.  One group received Chiropractic adjustments with placebo medication. The second group received muscle relaxants with sham (fake) adjustments. The third group was a control group and received both placebo medication as well as the sham (fake) adjustments.  Care was rendered to the group for a 4 week period with evaluations being done at the 2 week and 4 week marks.

Results were measured in terms of patient reported pain, severity, disability and depression, as well as measured flexibility and the patients self usage of over the counter acetaminophen (Tylenol).  The results of this short study showed that for the two primary indicators of pain and severity, the chiropractic group did better than the other two groups.  No significant differences were seen for disability, depression, flexibility, or acetaminophen usage across groups in a study of this short a period of time.  All three groups showed improvement in the areas of depression, disability and drug usage.

The authors of the study did note that a longer study could have yielded more differences in recovery.  However, in the area of pain, a primary patient concern in subacute LBP cases, the group that received the chiropractic adjustments faired the best.  Their comments were: “Statistically, the chiropractic group responded significantly better than the control group with respect to a decrease in pain scores.

Chiropractic Care Beneficial for Chronic Neck Pain

Chiropractic Care Beneficial for Chronic Neck Pain

A new study published in the February 2006 issue of the scientific periodical the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), shows that patients with chronic neck pain benefit from chiropractic.  The authors start off by noting that neck pain is, “a very cost-demanding health problem.”  The study was performed at the Scandinavian College of Chiropractic in Stockholm, Sweden.

In this study patients with complaints of continuous neck pain during the previous 3 months were considered chronic and accepted for participation in the study.  Of all those participating, the patients were divided into two groups.  One group was a control group with no chiropractic care while the other group received chiropractic.

The same outcome measurements were used on both groups to be able to compare the results. A follow up assessment was done on all patients at the time of the initial consultation and then a second time at the end of the 5-week study period which was 2-4 days after the conclusion of the treatments for the patients in the treatment group.

The assessments were done to review three areas, symptoms, cervical range of motion, and head repositioning accuracy. Head repositioning accuracy, (HRA) is a test that measures the ability of the neuroarticulomuscular system to reposition the head in a neutral posture after active movements.

The results showed that for two of the areas tested, the group that received chiropractic care on average showed improvement.  With respect to pain, after the intervention, the chiropractic group showed a significantly lower degree of pain intensity. The results of the testing for head repositioning (HRA) were even more impressive, where significant improvements in all aspects of HRA were seen for the group that received chiropractic care. There was however, no perceivable difference in the groups relative to range of motion at the conclusion of the study.

Case Study on Chiropractic Care for Chronic Chest Pain

Case Study on Chiropractic Care for Chronic Chest Pain

The February 2003 issue of the research journal, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT), published a case study of a 49 year old man who suffered from chest pain.  The patient, a music composer, was exercising on a treadmill during part of his regular physical workout routine when he developed a dull and achy chest pain with some difficulty breathing.  The patient did not seek immediate help for the condition, thinking that it would resolve on its own.

Over the next two weeks the pain increased and the patient sought medical care. A visit to his internist revealed the patient's blood pressure to be 140/97. He was diagnosed with muscular chest pain, secondary to tachycardia (rapid heart rate) and hypertension (elevated blood pressure). Treatment was a prescription of a combination of anti-inflammatory drugs and beta-blockers. The patient felt that his beta-blockers made him extremely drowsy, and the anti-inflammatory drugs did not relieve his chest pain.

In spite of the medication, most all of the man's problems seemed to worsen.  After extensive testing, all findings were deemed normal, and the internist declared that the patient's heart and lungs were healthy.  Over time, the patient's symptoms had progressively worsened to the point that the chest pain radiated sharply into his upper back as well. The pain was so severe that he was unable to sleep at night or perform simple activities of daily living without increasing his pain. Anxiety over the severity of his condition also began to affect the patient's emotional well-being, and got to the point of precluding the patient's active employment and most physical activity.

Finally the debilitated man sought chiropractic care. His chiropractic examination showed an increase in many reflexes and the conclusion was that the man had subluxations.  Chiropractic care was initiated at that time.  After only one session, the man immediately rose to a standing position after the chiropractic adjustment, he then took a deep breath and exclaimed that he could breathe much easier.

The patient was placed on a program of sustaining chiropractic care, initiated 3 times per week.  The study showed that the patient responded favorably to chiropractic, obtaining prompt relief from his symptoms. Sustained chiropractic care rendered over a 14-week period resulted in complete resolution of the patient's previously chronic condition, with recovery maintained at 9-month follow-up.

The researchers noted, “The results of this study suggest that chiropractic care can be effective in influencing the complex process of proprioceptive sensibility and pain of cervical origin.”  In other simpler words, chiropractic helped for people with long standing neck pain.

Asthma Study Shows Chiropractic Benefits

Asthma Study Shows Chiropractic Benefits

From the November / December 2000 issue of Todays Chiropractic, comes a study report on Asthma.  The article notes that approximately 14 Americans die each day from asthma. Asthma is only one of three diseases that has shown an increasing death rate in recent years, up 58% since 1979.  Presently estimates say that 17 million Americans suffer from the disease making it the most common and costly illness in the United States today, costing over $13 billion annually. Presently, asthma causes more hospitalizations of children than any other childhood disease.

In the study, 47 patients were observed for a two year period.  These patients had all been medically diagnosed with persistent asthma ranging from mild persistent in 11 cases, moderate persistent in 28 cases, to severe persistent in 8 cases.  The care rendered consisted of specific chiropractic adjustments.  The range of visits was from 14 to 44, with the average being 26 during the study period. Most patients in the study began care at a rate of 3 visits per week with this frequency being reduced after 4 to 8 initial weeks.

The patient results were very good with all 47 of the study patients showing a marked improvement ranging from 87 to 100 percent. Patient observed improvement was measured by both improvement in their symptoms as well as a decrease in  their usage of acute asthma attack medication. Even more impressive was that all of the patients in the study reported maintaining their improvement after a two-year follow up.

Crohn's Disease Helped with Chiropractic

Crohn's Disease Helped with Chiropractic, Study Says

Research, published in the November 2002 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR) demonstrates that chiropractic care may be effective in helping patients with allergies and Crohn's Disease.  The results of those studied showed long term remission and alleviation of symptoms in both allergy and Crohn's Disease.

Crohn's disease causes inflammation in the small intestine. Crohn's disease usually occurs in the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum, but it can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. The inflammation extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The inflammation can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.  Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the intestines. Crohn's disease affects men and women equally and seems to run in some families. About 20 percent of people with Crohn's disease have a blood relative with some form of IBD, most often a brother or sister and sometimes a parent or child. Crohn's disease may also be called ileitis or enteritis.

In the research 57 patients were divided into two groups.  One group was a control group that received only standard medical care for their condition.  The second group consisted of 17 patients who also received their standard medical care but additionally received chiropractic care.  This group of 17 patients received spinal adjustments in order to reduce the vertebral subluxations in the thoracic and lumbar regions of their spine. The control group did not receive spinal adjustments.

The researchers found that vertebral subluxations were a common and characteristic finding in patients with allergies and Crohn's disease. The results showed that 12 of the 17 patients who received spinal adjustments, showed long-term and stable remission of their symptoms while 9 experienced an alleviation effect. The researchers concluded, “According to the results of this study the possibility may be considered that chronic nerve compression secondary to vertebral subluxation in the thoracic and lumbar regions had a significant effect on the immune function of these allergy and Crohn's disease patients.”

Depression Improved with Chiropractic

Depression Improved with Chiropractic, Research Shows

A research study published in the November 7, 2005 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, showed a positive result in the care of individuals with depression. For the purpose of this study subjects were selected on the basis of being over 18 years of age and having depression noted in their medical history file. Fifteen participants completed the study and were used in determining the results.

In the discussion section of the study, it was noted that the concept of chiropractic care's role in mental health was not a new idea.  In fact it was reported that two major chiropractic psychiatric hospitals functioned successfully for nearly thirty years in Davenport, Iowa.

The subjects of this study were given a standardized test known as the Beck Depression Inventory (aka BDI-II) both before and after receiving specific chiropractic care for correction of subluxations.  To be consistent, the same process of analysis and techniques of correction were used in correcting the subluxations determined to be present.  Before and after x-rays were also used to determine the presence and correction of the subluxations.

The results showed a significant improvement of the average BDI-II scores of the group.  Lower BDI-II are considered better than higher scores. The higher the level the more severe the depression.  The group as a whole scored a 17 in the BDI-II before chiropractic.  After chiropractic care for correction of their subluxations the groups average score improved to 8.

On an individual basis, eleven participants experienced marked improvement, two had minimal improvement while 2 participants scored worse on the follow up test.  The researchers noted that this research tested and supported the hypothesis that chiropractic correction of the subluxation complex reduced depressive symptomatology.

The researchers concluded by stating, “This study's results provide support for the hypothesis that a positive relationship exists between a correction of the occipitoatlantoaxial subluxation complex and a reduction in depressive symptoms in some people.

Scoliosis Helped in Clinical Case Studies

Scoliosis Helped in Clinical Case Studies

Published in the January 12, 2006 issue of the scientific journal, Chiropractic & Osteopathy from Australasia, comes a report of a series of case studies documenting chiropractic helping multiple cases of idiopathic scoliosis.  In this report three documented case studies are followed and the results reported after chiropractic care.

Idiopathic scoliosis is the most prevalent form of scoliosis and occurs to some degree in approximately one half million adolescents in the US.  Scoliosis is a bending or curvature of the spine.  The term idiopathic means that the origin is unknown.

In this report the three subjects each had uniquely different situations.  The first subject was a 37-yr-old female who came to a private spine clinic with a chief complaint of neck and back pain.  Her history included surgical spinal fusion and implantation of a Harrington rod against her spine.  The second subject was a 30-yr-old male who also went to a private spine clinic with a chief complaint of chronic mid thoracic pain. His history included scoliosis and a previous diagnosis of Scheuermann's Disease.  The third subject was a 23-year-old female who presented with neck and mid-back and shoulder pain.

The subjects in this study were noted as having curvatures measuring 35°, 22°, and 37° respectively.  These curvatures were measured using the “Cobb angle” which is a standard technique used to measure the severity of a spinal curve - in degrees - from spinal x-rays.

The chiropractic care consisted of a 12 week period of adjustment and home care treatments. These were followed up by post-treatment x-rays and examinations in order to evaluate the progress. The results were measured using the Cobb angle method and the measurements were compared to the Cobb angles recorded at the beginning of care.

The results in these cases all showed improvement. The patient with an initial 35° Cobb angle showed a 13° reduction after the 12 week period.  The patient with the initial 22° Cobb angle showed an 8° improvement, and the patient with the 37° initial Cobb angle, showed a decrease of 16° over the 12 weeks.

The researchers noted that this study was small, and they said that the findings suggest the need for a larger controlled study.  They concluded, “Given the perceived results of the cases outlined here, it is worthy of future investigations in such cases.

Chiropractic Helps Child With Seizures

Chiropractic Helps Child With Seizures - A Case Study

In the Volume 6, No. 3, 2005 issue of the peer reviewed Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics is a scientifically reported case study of an infant suffering from seizures who was helped by chiropractic.

The child in this case study was a  5 month old boy who, according to his parents, cried continuously, slept minimally, and experienced up to 8 seizures per day. Additionally, the child recently had surgery to close sutures on the left side of his head.  The mother also noted that her son had a constant head tilt to the left and could not rotate his head and neck to the right.

The chiropractic examination on the child was difficult as it was noted that the infant was in severe distress and cried during the entire procedure.  However, it was determined that there were problems (subluxations) in various areas of the neck, mid back and lower spine.

Regular chiropractic adjustments were started and continued for several weeks, followed by periodic follow ups. The outcome of the care was immediately positive as the number of seizures started decreasing after the first adjustment.  Several weeks into the care the child seemed to have a regression for one day as he experienced five seizures in that day.  However, following this episode he was seizure free for the next week.  This was the first week of his life that he was seizure free.

By the sixth week of care the child's life had been drastically changed for the better.  He was having no seizures between adjustments, he was sleeping all night and he was eating properly for a child his age.  The case study noted that these improvements represented a significant improvement to the child's quality of life.

The author of the study, Nancy Brown, D.C., notes that each year approximately 150,000 children and adolescents have a seizure. She points out that seizures are a sudden onset of abnormal electrical discharges within the brain.  She further points out that the medical approach is to medicate in order to suppress the abnormal electrical impulses. However, she points out that there is no way to suppress the abnormal impulses without suppressing the normal ones which would be needed for normal function and development.  She states, “A chiropractic approach may therefore be of more benefit as it will correct the abnormal impulses not just suppress them.

The Effects Of Chiropractic Adjustment On Distal Skin Temperature

The Effects Of Chiropractic Adjustment On Distal Skin Temperature

William Harris, Ph.D. and Robert J. Wagnon, PhD
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1987; 10: 57-60


Stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system will cause a reduction in the skin blood flow which can be detected by measuring the skin surface temperature. The purpose of this study was to see whether chiropractic adjustments could affect the activity of the sympathetic nervous system as reflected by changes in distal (fingertip) skin temperature.

Skin temperature on 196 subjects was measured before and within 10 seconds after a spinal adjustment. The difference between the pre- and post- temperatures was determined. The average fingertip temperature did not change when the spine was considered as an entire unit. However, when sympathetic and nonsympathetic regions were analyzed separately, we found significant differences in temperature response. The average temperature rose from 85.84 +/- 6.04 degrees F to 86.26 +/- 6.25 degrees F when C1-C7 and/or L4-L5 were adjusted (p < 0.001). When the area between T1-L3 was adjusted, however, the average temperature fell from 84.97 +/- 6.11 degrees F to 84.72 +/- 6.19 degrees F (p < 0.001).

These results illustrate that the blood flow through the fingertips can be affected by specific adjustments to the spine, and further, that the response varies, depending on the location of the adjustment. Thus, adjustments to the spine can, via stimulation of the nervous system, affect the physiology of tissues distant from the spine.

Cervical Kyphosis Is A Possible Link To Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Cervical Kyphosis Is A Possible Link To Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

From the October 2004 issue of the peer-reviewed research publication, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), comes a case study of a child with ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder), who was helped with chiropractic.

The case was of a 5 year old boy who had been diagnosed with ADHD at age 2. The child's pediatrician prescribed methylphenidate (Ritalin), Adderall, and Haldol for the next 3 years. The combination of drugs was unsuccessful in helping the child.

At age five, the child was brought to a chiropractor to see if chiropractic care would help. The history taken at that time noted that during the child's birth, there were complications during his delivery process. The results of this trauma and complications resulted in a 4-day stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. The child's mother reported no other incidence of trauma.

The chiropractic examination and x-rays showed noticeable spinal distortion including a reversal of the normal neck curve indicative of subluxations. Chiropractic care was begun and the child 's progress was monitored.

According to his mother, positive changes in her son`s general behavior were noticed around the twelfth visit. By the 27th visit the patient had experienced considerable improvement.

The child was brought by the mother to the medical doctor for a follow up visit and questioned the usage of the Ritalin. The medical doctor reviewed and examined the child and based on that assessment and his clinical experience, the MD felt that the young boy was no longer exhibiting symptoms associated with ADHD. He then took the boy off the medications that he had been taking for three years.

The conclusion of the author of the JMPT case study noted, “The patient experienced significant reduction in symptoms. Additionally, the medical doctor concluded that the reduction in symptoms was significant enough to discontinue the medication.