Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: March 2011 Health Newsletter

March 2011 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» University of Chicago Medical Center study links chiropractic care with reductio
» Improvement in Asperger’s Symptoms in a Child Under Chiropractic Care
» Americans Pay Dearly for Health Care
» Pilot study reveals interesting data
» Taking Probiotics Eases Cold and Flu-like Symptoms in Children
» Chiropractic Care Benefits 40-Yr. Old Sufferer of Meniere's Disease
» Chiropractic Care Helps Child With Chronic Sinusitis to Regain Olfaction
» How To Increase Athletic Performance
» Apples & Pears Are All The Same To Your Heart
» Zinc Reduces Colds By One Day

University of Chicago Medical Center study links chiropractic care with reductio
Lowering Blood Pressure an Easy Adjustment

Researchers at the Hypertension Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center are reporting stunning reductions in the blood pressure of patients afflicted with hypertension following simple and painless chiropractic care. In the study – published in the March 2, 2007 issue of The Journal of Human Hypertension and featured on WebMD – 50 patients with hypertension were divided into two groups of 25 each.  One group of 25 received a specific light force chiropractic adjustment (administered by a chiropractor) to the atlas vertebra (uppermost bone in the neck).  This vertebra holds up the head and only relies on soft tissue to maintain alignment. Misalignment, also known as subluxation, usually goes undiagnosed and causes no pain or discomfort. The other group of 25 received a similar procedure but with no adjustment being given. Researchers called this procedure the "sham adjustment." Since the type of adjustment given was very light force, the patients involved in this study did not know if they were receiving the real or sham adjustments. After 8 weeks of care, the 25 people in the group receiving the real chiropractic adjustments all showed a significant reduction in blood pressure compared to the group that received the sham adjustment. Those patients who got the real adjustment showed an average of 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure count), and an average of 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom blood pressure number) over those who got the fake or sham adjustment. As noted by the chiropractor who performed on the study team, at the base of the brain are two centers that control all the muscles of the body. If you pinch the base of the brain – if the atlas gets locked in a position as little as a half a millimeter out of line – it doesn’t cause any pain but it upsets these centers. X-rays confirmed that the chiropractic adjustments actually changed the position of the atlas vertebra among those in the study group The study leader reported that the procedure had the effect of not one, but two blood pressure medications given in combination. And, his team reported no side effects whatsoever from the adjustment. Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is widespread among adults in the United States. And, if uncontrolled, it can lead to heart and kidney failure or a stroke. According to the American Heart Association, nearly one in three adults suffers from hypertension. However, many are unaware that they are afflicted – making high blood pressure the ‘silent killer.’ Even with the overwhelming results, the authors of the study posed several questions of their own in the WebMD interview.  They wanted to know why blood pressure was reduced. What caused the reduction? What is the relationship between the misaligned atlas vertebra and hypertension? Chiropractic care is a maintenance program for the nervous system. If the nervous system is free of stress and operating at peak efficiency, it can lead the body to do incredible things. This study begs for further research. While humanity struggles to create new and better technologies on a daily basis, we continue to find that the human body is the greatest technology on today’s market – let’s take good care of it!

Author: George Bakris, MD
Source: The Journal of Human Hypertension
Copyright: George Bakris, MD 2007


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Improvement in Asperger’s Symptoms in a Child Under Chiropractic Care

Case study shows promising data

A recent article in the 2010 Proceedings of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) Research Conference reported on a 6 year old boy diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome along with asthma and allergies who received chiropractic care.

Following the study, the child showed a reduction of Asperger’s signs and symptoms as well as a reduction in asthma and allergies as determined by objective and subjective findings.  This was not a short term case studyas it actually lasted for 9 years with consistent positive results.

Asperger’s syndrome is considered a high-functioning autism, but it differs from other autism spectrum disorders by its relative preservation of linguistic and cognitive development.

In this study, a 6 year old boy presented at a chiropractic office with his parents with Asperger’s Syndrome that resulted in uncontrollable “rocking, jumping and flapping” of his hands; astma triggered by exertion; seasonal allergies and colds or bronchial congestion; and severe allergies to mold, dust, animal dander and seasonal triggers.  At the time of his initial office visit he was only taking asthma medication and a multivitamin.

The patient and family reported that the Asperger’s Syndrome symptoms settled down within the first week of care.  After 3 months of care, his Asperger’s symptoms had been stabilizing and he was off medications for asthma and allergies. The patient is now 15 years old and has not needed any medication during the past 7 years, nor have his Asperger’s symptoms returned.

This is just one study but with such promising short and long term results, further research is merited to investigate the relationship between chiropractic care for Asperger’s and other autistic spectrum disorders.

Author: Martin G. Rosen, DC, Charles L. Blum, DC
Source: 2010 Proceedings of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA)
Copyright: Martin G. Rosen, DC, Charles L. Blum, DC 2010


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Americans Pay Dearly for Health Care

   Study ranks U.S. health care system the worst among 23 countries.

 Despite spending 16% of its Gross Domestic Product and double the median on health care expenditures compared to any other country in the worldthe United States recorded the lowest score among 23 countries whose health care systems were evaluated in a report published by the Commonwealth Fund. The Commonwealth Fund is an internationally renown private foundation established in 1918 that finances independent research on health care issues while issuing grants for projects designed to stimulate innovative health care practice and policy in the United States and other industrialized countries.

The U.S. health care system received a score of 66 out of 100 in the study which also concluded that by improving its health care system, the U.S. could save at least $50 - 100 billion in health care spending while preventing 100,000 to 150,000 deaths over a calendar year. The low score was attributed to the poor quality of life that the U.S. offers its patients — rated the worst of those reviewed.

This is yet another reason why people are recommended to have a daily regimen that includes exercise, a proper diet and a healthy mental outlook — combined with regular chiropractic care which allows the incredible human body to operate efficiently…a maintenance and preventive care program.

We’ve all read and heard about ‘overweight America.’ Combine an unfit society with a poor health care system and you have a recipe for disaster. The Commonwealth Fund report also gives the U.S. health care system failing grades regarding the prevalent overuse (and sometimes unnecessary duplication) of expensive medical services, a breakdown in communication and coordination among health care providers and an overall uneven quality of medical services provided.

It get worse. The United States scores 15th out of 19 developed nations on easily preventable deaths, like heart attacks, where timely medical care is crucial. We also had the highest infant mortality rate. Moreover, the study found that only 49% of Americans receive preventive care, and even privately insured patients or patients with Medicare don’t necessarily enjoy better life-saving services. And for good measure, only a quarter of U.S. doctors computerize their patient files or keep digital records of written prescription.

Makes you want to go outside and start jogging, doesn’t it? Our nation’s health care system is in the hands of our elected officials. But, you can do something that will have a positive impact on your long-term health. Change the way you live. Maintain optimum health while preventing future concerns. The Commonwealth Fund’s report is pretty clear. Our care system is not healthy — so while it’s always best to stay fit, the importance is magnified while our nation searches for a cure to our health care woes.



Author: Maggie Fox
Source: Reuters, September 20, 2006
Copyright: Maggie Smith 2006


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Pilot study reveals interesting data

   Short-Term Enhancement of Creative Thinking

following a Chiropractic Adjustment

A recent article in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia reported on a pilot study involving the responses of ten subjects to a single chiropractic adjustment and how it affected their creative thinking. Creativity is the ability to generate ideas, "both novel and useful (or influential) to a particular social setting."

Interview responses of the subjects post-adjustment indicated 7 of the subjects elicited new directions in  real-world creative tasks and six of the subjects reported renewed energy towards a creative project as well as improvement in their performance on the alternate uses test.  The procedure for the alternative uses test is to write down as many uses for an object as possible during a ten minute period. For example, naming all the different ways you could use a newspaper was one of the questions used, as was naming all the different ways you could use a chair, followed by naming all the different ways you can use a shoe.

Once testing was completed, each subject was assessed for subluxation, which has been defined as: "A complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health."  Following the assessment, a chiropractic adjustment was administered.  The adjustment has been defined as, "A maneuver in a specific vector, velocity, intensity of force and point of application that is intended to assist the body in restoring normal tone by correction subluxation in whole or in part."  Following the adjustment, another version of the alternate uses test was administered and participants were interviewed two to eight days later.

Taken as a whole, the results indicated improvement in real world creative tasks during the two to eight day period after the adjustment, which is very exciting.  Naturally, due to the small size of the study, these conclusions must be considered preliminary, pending verification by future studies.

Author: Masarsky CS, Todres-Masarsky M
Source: Chiropractic Journal of Australia; Vol. 40. No. 2 2010:57
Copyright: Masarsky CS, Todres-Masarsky M: 2007


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Taking Probiotics Eases Cold and Flu-like Symptoms in Children

 Double-blind, placebo-controlled study has promising results

A recent article in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics reported on a study involving 326 children, ages 3 to 5, who participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled test of the effects of probiotics on cold and flu-like symptoms.  

Dr. Baranski, D.C. and Dr. Emen, D.C. follow health and wellness issues closely in professional journals and other publications.  People often think of chiropractors in terms of treating neck and back pain, but many chiropractors are involved in all aspects of patients' health and well-being, including proper nutrition and illness-preventative measures.

In this particular study, children in the study group were assigned at random to get one of three planned dosages.  One group received just a placebo, or common sugar pill with no therapeutic value.  A second group got a single probiotic dosage, and the third group got a combination probiotic dosage.

The study participants received their allocated dosage twice a day for six months.  They were then analyzed to determine both the incidence of cold and flu-like symptoms during the test period, as well as the duration of such symptoms.  In comparison to the placebo group, those children who had taken the single-strain probiotic had a 53% reduction in fevers, a 41.4% reduction in coughing, and a 28.2% reduction in rhinorrhea, or runny nose.  The combination-strain probiotic group fared even better.  The incidence of fevers was reduced by 72.7%, coughing by 62.1%, and rhinorrhea by 58.8%.

The study also measured the duration of cold and flu-like symptoms in the study group, and, once again, there was a marked improvement for those children using some form of probiotics over the placebo group.  The single-strain probiotics usage resulted in a lesser duration of symptoms by 32%; the combination-strain usage caused a 48% reduction in the duration of the symptoms.  The study also concluded that children getting some form of probiotics had less need to take antibiotics during the test period and also were absent much less from nursery school or other group child care facilities.

Although this is just one study, more studies are needed before any absolute conclusions can be drawn.  Further updates will be posted regarding this research topic. 

Author: Leyer GJ, Shuguang L, Mubasher ME
Source: Probiotic Effects on Cold and Influenza-type Incidence and Duration in Children,
Copyright: Leyer GJ, Shuguang L, Mubasher ME 2009


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Chiropractic Care Benefits 40-Yr. Old Sufferer of Meniere's Disease

 Vertigo, 'ringing in the ears,' and hearing loss resolved

Meniere's Disease was first identified as a specific ailment back in 1861 by Prosper Meniere, a 19th-century French doctor who served as chief physician at an institute for deaf-mutes.  His studies there led to his specialization in diseases of the ear.

Meniere's disease, or MD, is thought to affect one in 1,000 people, or about one-tenth of one percent of the world's population. Both sexes are affected equally, and the Caucasian race seems to be affected more than any other. MD's onset usually occurs between the ages of 20 and 50.

In this particular case study of a 40-year old female, the patient had been diagnosed with MD and had a 3-month history of vertigo and a 16-month history of tinnitus, which is often characterized as "ear-ringing" by lay persons, in her left ear.  She also showed a low frequency hearing loss. According to the case study report, which was published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, the patient underwent a course of chiropractic [care] consisting of spinal manipulative therapy in the cervical and thoracic spine, soft-tissue trigger-point therapy, home ice therapy (as needed), and cervical spine rehabilitation exercises.

The patient's initial course of chiropractic care consisted of three visits per week for two weeks.  After just two weeks, her tinnitus was resolved and her vertigo was much improved. The patient continued with chiropractic care on a less frequent, maintenance program, and her MD continued to remain under control.

This study represents a very preliminary level of findings, and much more research is needed, but the results should offer some encouragement for people suffering with the symptoms of Meniere's Disease. 

Author: Peter C. Emary, D.C.
Source: Peter Emary, DC
Copyright: Peter C. Emary, D.C. 2010


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Chiropractic Care Helps Child With Chronic Sinusitis to Regain Olfaction

 A child's sense of smell is restored

A recent article published in The Journal of Pediatrics, Maternal and Family Health reports the case study of an 11-year old female patient who had been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis and who had lost her sense of smell for one year. 

The child's mother indicated that her daughter had been undergoing "escalating medical and pharmaceutical recommendations" and that she wanted to explore more conservative options for helping the youngster.  The girl's symptoms included a persistent stuffy nose with concomitant difficulty in breathing and a lack of smell, even when her sinuses felt clear.

Loss of olfaction, or the sense of smell, is a common occurrence with the condition known as sinusitis. The inflammation associated with sinusitis and the build-up of mucus in the nasal cavity restricts the functioning of our olfactory cells.

In the case of this 11-year old, the mother wanted to try chiropractic care as a way to avoid using the drug regimen usually prescribed.  The examining chiropractor found the existence of cervical and sacral subluxations in the child's spine.

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

The patient underwent chiropractic care, including spinal adjustments.  After the first adjustment, olfaction returned for six hours, as reported by the mother.  After the second adjustment, this improvement lasted for 12 hours.

Two weeks after beginning chiropractic care, the patient was seen by her medical doctor, who noted a marked change for the better in the physical appearance of her sinuses.  Chiropractic care was continued, and elimination of the subluxations and full restoration of the child's sense of smell was obtained after just three months.  The patient and her parents decided to end all medications, and elected to continue chiropractic care on a periodic basis to monitor subluxations and obtain adjustments as necessary.  The child's restoration of her olfactory senses has continued without interruption for more than four years.

Obviously, this is just one case study.  More studies are needed before any absolute conclusions can be drawn. But this is an important step in helping patients to understand the options that are available to them in their health care.

Dr. Baranski and Dr. Emen's chiropractic practice features the InsightTM Subluxation Station.  This technology is certified by the Space Foundation, a non-governmental agency founded in cooperation with NASA.  The Insight has been used by 8,000 chiropractors worldwide to measure nervous system health and performance.

If you are experiencing chronic sinusitis and would like to schedule thermal and sEMG tests, please feel free to contact our office for an appointment. 

Author: D.T. Heagy, A. Canty
Source: The Journal of Pediatrics, Maternal and Family Health, September 14, 2009
Copyright: D.T. Heagy, A. Canty 2009


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How To Increase Athletic Performance

Athletes would agree the ability to know the precise position of their extremities and joints in space are essential to optimal performance. Playing tennis, hitting a baseball and swinging a golf club are just a few examples of where this is critical. New research indicates chiropractic adjustments can significantly improve joint position sense in those with a history of neck pain who currently are asymptomatic. In the recent study, asymptomatic subjects with a previous history of neck pain significantly improved their elbow joint position sense immediately following a chiropractic adjustment to the neck. While only the position sense of the elbow was evaluated in this particular study, it's not a stretch to assume other parts of the upper extremity and potentially lower extremity could also be positively affected. This could be very significant for those wishing to achieve optimal athletic performance in a number of sports.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT. Volume 34, Issue 2, Pages 88-97 (February 2011)
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2011


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Apples & Pears Are All The Same To Your Heart

It was previously widely believed that those with a pear-shaped figure were less at risk for developing heart disease when compared to those with an apple-shaped figure. However, a new study has found that the shape of one's body does not have any impact on their risk for heart disease. Rather, the risk for heart disease is based on one's BMI (body mass index) and specifically having a body mass index of 30 or more, regardless of one's body shape. BMI is determined by dividing one's weight in kilograms by one's height in meters squared. The 10-year long study was based on 220,000 people and involved almost 200 scientists from 17 different countries.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The Lancet, Early Online Publication, 11 March 2011.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2011


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Zinc Reduces Colds By One Day

According to a review of research published by the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization that evaluates medical research, zinc supplements appear to shorten the length of colds by approximately one day as well as lessen the symptoms. Their findings are based on based on 13 trials with close to 1,000 participants who either took zinc or a dummy treatment at the beginning of their symptoms. Two other trials indicated zinc helped stave off colds, but the research quality of the studies were considered poor. Exact zinc dosage and formulation for optimal effectiveness is not known, nor is the mechanism of how zinc reduces the length and symptoms of colds. It should also be noted that taking zinc over a long period of time should be done carefully as it can interfere with other metals in the body resulting in unpredictable consequences.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters. February 16, 2011.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2011


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