Health-E-News August 2016
empowering you to optimal health
The Role of Chiropractic Care in the Management of a Child’s Scoliosis
Idiopathic scoliosis is defined as a side-ways curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees and has no known cause. The effects of scoliosis go beyond back pain and may include psychological distress, decreased respiratory function, changes in biomechanics and movement, and it can give rise to other debilitating conditions. Typical courses of management include physical therapy, monitoring with self-care, use of back braces, and surgical intervention in severe cases. Chiropractic is a vital role in the management of scoliosis by removing as much stress as possible to the fragile spinal joints.
A 10-year old female came to a chiropractic clinic complaining of migraines accompanied by dizziness, pain behind the right eye, loss of flexibility, shoulder tightness, and ringing in her ears while reading. Tylenol and rest were her go-to remedies; however the migraines would still occur 2-3 times per week. The initial findings of her x-rays and postural assessment showed a lateral curvature in her thoracic spine (area between shoulder blades) of 35 degrees, indicating moderate scoliosis. These were concurrent with the results of an x-ray performed by an orthopedist a month earlier. Other findings included a leg length difference of ¼ inch with the left leg being shorter, as well as a shift in her right shoulder and hip.
Over the course of six months, adjustments were delivered followed by a reassessment of leg length and posture to monitor the changes after the course of care. The child had x-rays taken for the same orthopedist she saw before beginning chiropractic care to monitor the progression of the scoliosis. The medical radiologist found the curve had decreased by 10 degrees, and was now a 25 degree curvature. There was a decreased frequency of migraines with a 75% symptom reduction, improved neck range of motion, as well as a balanced right hip and shoulder.
An upper cervical subluxation could affect the flow of information from the brain to the body about posture, proprioception, and balance which may have caused the distortion in her spine. In six months, there was a 10 degree reduction in curvature and many other benefits to the symptoms she had been experiencing. Continued chiropractic care may help further reduce the curvature and alleviate her migraines by affecting the subluxation in the upper cervical region.
Chung, J., & Salminen, B. (2011). Reduction in Scoliosis in a 10 Year Old Female Undergoing Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care: A Case Report. Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health, 2011(1), 23-30.
What’s The 2nd Highest Risk For Early Death?
Being out of shape is a bigger risk for early death than either high blood pressure or high cholesterol, finds a large new study. In fact, the only thing worse for longevity was smoking, the study found.
The study, which spanned 45 years, was published Tuesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology.
In 1967, at 54 years of age, the 792 men did an exercise test. Of those, 656 men also did a maximum exercise test in which they pushed themselves to the limit. The remaining men were excluded from the maximum exercise test because they had a health condition that could make it unsafe.
The studies determined the men’s VO2 max, or maximal oxygen uptake, as a way to measure their aerobic capacity. The higher the VO2 max, the more physically fit the men were.
The men underwent several physical examinations every 10 years until 2012, when they would have reached 100 years old. Data on their cause of death was obtained from the National Cause of Death Registry.
“The benefits of being physically active over a lifetime are clear,” said lead author Dr Per Ladenvall, a researcher in the Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden.
“Low physical capacity is a greater risk for death than high blood pressure or high cholesterol.”
If back pain, neck pain or spinal pain in general is preventing you from exercising, call us. Chiropractic can help you live a long and healthy life.
Another Study Shows How Chiropractic Helps Shoulder Pain
The term frozen shoulder does not refer to temperature, but is a condition involving great pain and reduced range of motion in the shoulder accompanied by inflammation and stiffness.
Traditional first line approaches to treating this condition involve nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs combined with activity modification and physical therapy. If these do not work, more invasive treatments such as injections with local anesthetics and corticosteroids are prescribed. Many of these options involve looking at the shoulder itself without considering the root of the problem.
A 51 year old male presented right shoulder pain with restricted range of motion that began two days ago without any known trauma or overuse. Following examination, upper cervical adjustments were used as a trial of care. After the first adjustment, the client noted a significant reduction in pain and increased shoulder range of motion. Upon the fourth visit, the client indicated continued improvement in both pain and range of motion.
Often times the problems and symptoms are indications of a deeper problem elsewhere in the body. Subluxations of the upper cervical region of the spine may affect the function of nerves that pass through this area, including the nerves that are involved in moving the shoulder and arm. Adjustments to this portion of the spine can enhance the natural healing properties of the body to restore optimal function.
Shin, M. & Alcantra, J., (2015). Resolution of Frozen Shoulder Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care to Reduce Vertebral Subluxation. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 2015(4), 213-216.
Chiropractic Does Affect Brain Function
We do know that spinal function does affect brain function. A recent study, published in the Journal of Neural Plasticity provides solid evidence that adjusting the spine changes brain function. This is the fourth time that the effect of adjusting the spine has on the brain has been studied.
This study indicates that adjustments impact the function of the prefrontal cortex. The significance of this finding is that the prefrontal cortex is the ‘conductor’ in the brain, controlling many functions within the body.
Such a finding can explain many of the previous findings of Chiropractic’s effects such as improvements in sensorimotor function relevant to falls-prevention; better joint-position sense in both the upper limb and the lower limb; improved muscle strength in lower limb muscles; better pelvic floor control; and better ability to carry out mental rotation of objects.
If, as this research suggests, adjusting improves prefrontal cortex activity, a part of the brain that is responsible for just so much higher level function, then what does this mean in terms of chiropractic’s impact on things like behaviour, decision making, memory and attention, intelligence, processing of pain and emotional responses, and more.
This study showed that Chiropractic care doesn’t just alter brain function a little, it increases the prefrontal cortex activity by 20%! This means every time you receive a Chiropractic adjustment, the part of the brain that is responsible for ‘higher level functions’ is being stimulated, increasing body awareness and allowing your body to function at a much higher level.
Lelic et al. “Manipulation of dysfunctional spinal joints affects sensorimotor integration in the pre-frontal cortex: A brain source localization study,” Neural Plasticity, Volume 2016. Original Report