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Chiropractic as a Natural Alternative


For over 100 years Doctors of Chiropractic have said that subluxation causes the body to lose its ability to adapt to the enviroment and that adjustments restore the bodies natural ability to adapt. However, our detracters have always held that we can’t prove this tenent. Today’s research clearly demonstrates how Chiropractic adjustments help people that have lost their ability to properly adapt to the environment. People who are addicted to the use of recreational drugs will go through an often painful process of withdrawal when they stop using. This withdrawal process is the primary reason an addict will fall out of addiction treatment program and begin using again. The withdrawal process is a clear indication of a body that is not properly adapting to a changing environment.

Chiropractic helps in treatment of addicts

From the March 29, 2001 issue of the Miami Herald comes a story of how chiropractic care is helping those in a Miami drug addiction program. The story starts by explaining that patients in a residential drug-addiction program who received chiropractic care designed to realign their vertebrae completed the treatment program at a remarkable 100 percent rate.

Ninety-eight patients at Miami’s Exodus drug-treatment program participated in the study that was featured in a Journal of Nature magazine called “Molecular Psychiatry”. The study also reported that the patients involved in the study at the treatment center who received chiropractic care made fewer visits to a nurses’ station and showed significant decreases in anxiety.

Dr. Jay Holder, medical director of the Exodus program and the chiropractor who conducted the study said, “Completing a 28- to 30-day program greatly enhances an addict’s chances of staying clean, but nationally only 72 percent of participants make it all the way through such programs.” Holder went on to say, “This correction of what chiropractors call subluxation results in a sense of well-being that allows patients to benefit more thoroughly from the group therapy and medical care of addiction treatment.” “Chiropractic does not treat addiction — it does not treat any disease,” Holder said. “We’re allowing those things that treat addiction to be embraced more thoroughly.”

The participants were divided into three groups. One group got the regular regime of addiction care. The second group got “sham” (these patient’s think they have received an adjustment but they have not) adjustments, while the third group got actual chiropractic adjustments to correct subluxations. The group with the regular care and the sham chiropractic had a completion rate in the program of only 74% and 56%. The group that received the chiropractic care to correct subluxations showed a completion rate of 100%. The implications of completion of a drug treatment program are very important to preventing addicts from returning to drugs.


Long Term Remission and Alleviation of Symptoms in Allergy and Crohn’s Disease Patients Following Spinal Adjustment for Reduction of Vertebral Subluxations

Background: An association between visceral disease and immune dysfunction from sympathetic segmental disturbances secondary to vertebral subluxation has been put forward by chiropractic, osteopathic and medical practitioners. We report on the positive results of a controlled study using chiropractic adjustments to reduce subluxations in patients with Crohn’s disease and allergies. We also discuss possible mechanisms for the relationship between visceral and immune dysfunction and subluxation.

Methods: We divided 57 Crohn’s disease patients into two groups. A treatment group consisting of 17 patients and a control group consisting of 34 patients. 6 patients were excluded from the study because of their symptoms, progress and changes in blood test values and because vertebral subluxations were present only in the lumbar region. With all patients continuing their present medication, we subjected the treatment group of 17 patients to spinal adjustment in order to reduce the vertebral subluxations in the thoracic and lumbar regions and compared them with the 34 patients who did not receive spinal adjustments.

Results: Of the 17 patients who received spinal adjustments,

12 showed long-term and stable remission of their symptoms and 9 experienced an alleviation effect. We found that vertebral subluxation is a common and characteristic finding in patients with allergies and Crohn’s disease.

Conclusion: 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. It is further postulated that this nerve compression leads to a chronic functional disorder having a significant effect on digestion, absorption of nutrients and liquids, conveyance of food as well as various other functions of the digestive tract extending to excretion.

A New Approach to the Upper Cervical Adjusting Procedure: Part I. Kessinger RC, Bonita, DV. Chiropractic Research Journal 2000 SPR Vol. 7(1) Pgs. 14-32

Patient was a 27-year-old man with chronic sinusitis, headaches, nervousness, and insomnia. His examination revealed an atlas subluxation. Patient received upper cervical adjustments over a period of 3 months. The patient demonstrated correction of their upper cervical subluxation via pre and post Blair protracto x-ray views, spinal thermography, and pelvic balance leg length equality examinations. Patient reported a 50% reduction in frequency and intensity of all symptoms at 3 weeks and at 3 months reported he had been symptom free for 4 consecutive weeks.

The types and frequencies of nonmusculoskeletal symptoms reported after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. Leboeuf-Yde C, Axen I, Ahlefeldt G, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Nov/Dec 1999:22(9) 559-64.

In this paper the authors asked, “How frequently [do] patients report nonmusculoskeletal symptomatic improvements and [what are] the types of such reactions that patients believe to be associated with chiropractic.”

Twenty consecutive patients from 87 Swedish chiropractors answered questionnaires on return visits. A total of 1,504 questionnaires were completed and returned. Twenty-three per cent of patients reported improvement in nonmusculoskeletal symptoms, including:

  • Easier to breathe (98 patients)

  • Improved digestive function (92)

  • Clearer/better/sharper vision (49)

  • Improved circulation (34)

  • Less ringing in the ears (10)

  • Acne/eczema better (8)

  • Dysmenorrhoea better (7)

  • Asthma/allergies better (6)

  • Sense of smell heightened (3)

  • Reduced blood pressure (2)

  • Numbness in tongue gone (1)

  • Hiccups gone (1)

  • Menses function returned (1)

  • Cough disappeared (1)

  • Double vision disappeared (1)

  • Tunnel vision disappeared (1)

  • Less nausea (1)

Orbital sinusitis. McCarthy, R ICPA Newsletter July/August 1997.

This is the case study of “a four year old boy with headaches, vomiting, nasal drip and decreased appetite was being treated with large doses of antibiotics. Past history revealed a fall on his head at age two from a height of 4 feet.

“Chiropractic analysis revealed a left cervical rotation with retrolisthesis and rotation of C2. He was seen 2 times per week for six months. The results were excellent. No more headaches, vomiting or nasal drip. In addition, his attitude and appetite dramatically improved.”

Chiropractic adjustment in the management of visceral conditions: a critical appraisal. Jamison JR, McEwen AP, Thomas SJ. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1992; 15:171-180.

This was a survey of chiropractors in Australia. More than 50% of the chiropractors stated that asthma responds to chiropractic adjustments; more than 25% felt that chiropractic adjustments could benefit patients with dysmenorrhea, indigestion, constipation, migraine and sinusitis.

Diagnosis and treatment of TMJ, head, neck and asthmatic symptoms in children. Gillespie BR, Barnes JF, J of Craniomandibular Practice. Oct. 1990, Vol 8, No. 4.

From the abstract: “Pathologic strain patterns in the soft tissues can be a primary cause of headaches, neck aches, throat infections, ear infections, sinus congestion, and asthma.”

A comparative study of the health status of children raised under the health care models of chiropractic and allopathic medicine. Van Breda, WM and JM. Journal of Chiropractic Research Summer 1989.

Children under chiropractic had less use of medications, including antibiotics, and suffered from less ear infections.

Characteristics of 217 children attending a chiropractic college teaching clinic. Nyiendo J. Olsen E. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1988; 11(2):78084.

The authors found that pediatric patients at Western States Chiropractic College public clinic commonly had complaints of ear-infection, sinus problems, allergy, bedwetting, respiratory problems, and gastro-intestinal problems. Complete or substantial improvement of their chief complaint had been noted in 61.6% of pediatric patients while 60.6% received “maximum” level of improvement. Only 56.7% of adult patients received “maximum” level of improvement.

Structural normalization in infants and children with particular reference to disturbances of the CNS.

Woods RH Journal of the American Osteopathic Association, May 1973, 72:P.903-908.

Post-traumatic epilepsy, allergic problems, and dizziness have been relieved by cranial manipulation.


An Impairment Rating Analysis Of Asthmatic Children Under Chiropractic Care

A self-reported asthma-related impairment study was conducted on 81 children under chiropractic care.

The intent of this study was to quantify self-reported changes in impairment experienced by the pediatric asthmatic subjects, before and after a two month period under chiropractic care. Practitioners, representing a general range of six different approaches to vertebral subluxation correction, administered a specifically designed asthma impairment questionnaire at the appropriate intervals. Subjects were categorized into two groups; 1–10 years and 11–17 years.

Parents/guardians completed questionnaires for the younger group, while the older subjects self-reported their perceptions of impairment. Significantly lower impairment rating scores (improvement) were reported for 90.1% of subjects 60 days after chiropractic care when compared to the pre-chiropractic scores (p < 0.05) with an effect size of 0.96. As well, there were no significant differences across the age groups based on parent/guardian versus self rated scores. Girls reported higher (less improvement) before and after care compared to boys, although significant decreases in impairment ratings were reported for each gender. This suggested a greater clinical effect for boys which was supported by effect sizes ranging from 1.2 for boys compared to 0.75 for girls. Additionally, 25 of 81 subjects (30.9%) chose to voluntarily decrease their dosage of medication by an average of 66.5% while under chiropractic care.


Moreover, information collected from patients revealed that among 24 patients reporting asthma “attacks” in the 30 day period prior to the study, the number of “attacks” decreased significantly by an average of 44.9% (p <.05). Based on the data obtained in this study, it was concluded that chiropractic care, for correction of vertebral subluxation, is a safe nonpharmacologic health care approach which may also be associated with significant decreases in asthma related impairment as well as a decreased incidence of asthmatic “attacks.” The findings suggest that chiropractic care should be further investigated relative to providing the most efficacious care management regimen for pediatric asthmatics. Asthma Study Shows Chiropractic Benefits From the November / December 2000 issue of Today’s 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. Asthma Study on Benefits of Chiropractic Asthma has become a large health concern for children in recent years. Over the past 20 years the incidence of asthma has doubled. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that in 1998, approximately 17,299,000 people in the United States, or 6.4% of the population, with cases among very young children up 160%. As reported in the June 16, 1999 issue of JAMA, the CDC also noted that between 1980 and 1994, the number of people self-reporting asthma grew 75%. In a study conducted in 1996 by the Michigan Chiropractic Council (MCC), a panel of doctors performed an out-come assessment study to test the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness of chiropractic care on children with asthma. The high demand of parents seeking alternative care for pediatric asthma was shown by the overwhelming interest in the study. More than 500 parents called the MCC seeking to get their child involved in the chiropractic study.


The study, which took place during May and June of 1996, examined the chiropractic effectiveness in correcting the cause of asthma in patients from birth to age 17. The average age of the participant was 10 years. “After 30 days of chiropractic health care, patients averaged only one attack, whereas prior to the study they were experiencing more than four attacks,” said MCC Dr. Bob Graham, who directed the study. “Medications, which can be costly, were decreased by nearly 70 percent. Finally, patient satisfaction was rated 8.5 on a scale of 10.” More than 70 chiropractors from 62 cities in Michigan studied more than 80 children suffering from asthma.


Chiropractic and the disabled child by Bobby Doscher, D.C. Editorial in Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 4 May 1995.

According to figures released by the National Association of Teachers, over 35% of all school aged children have been diagnosed and labeled disabled (including physical, mental and emotional disorders and learning disabilities.) The fastest growing population in the United States is now children with disabilities. Millions of children are being drugged every day before going to school. These children need an opportunity to be treated naturally before resorting to chemical treatment with proven deleterious side-effects.

Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care For A Nine-Year-Old Male With Tourette Syndrome, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Depression, Asthma, Insomnia, and Headaches: A Case Report Elster EL J Vertebral Subluxation Research, July 12, 2003, p 1-11

Upper cervical care was used for a nine-year old male with Tourette Syndrome (TS), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), depression, asthma, insomnia, and headaches since age 6. Forceps were used during his delivery. His medications included AlbuterolT, DepakoteT, WellbutrinT, and AdderallT.

Chiropractic care using an upper cervical technique corrected and stabilized the patient’s subluxation. After 6 weeks of care, all 6 conditions were no longer present and all medications were discontinued with the exception of a half-dose of WellbutrinT. At the conclusion of his case at 5 months, all symptoms remained absent. The response to care suggests a link between the patient’s traumatic birth, the upper cervical subluxation, and his neurological conditions.

Increasing retention rates among the chemically dependent in residential treatment: Auriculotherapy and subluxation-based chiropractic care. Holder JM, Duncan RC, Gissen M et al Molecular Psychiatry Vol. 6, Supplement 1 – February, 2001,

This was a randomized study of auriculotherapy (ear acupuncture) versus a capsule placebo group among 66 residential patients. The study suggests that non-medication based treatment could have a positive effect on retention in a residential program. It was carried out to help reduce the lethargy, pain, dysphoria, sleep disturbances, anxiety and depression experienced by those who have attempted abrupt discontinuation of high-dose chemical used.

Based on these results, a randomized, placebo controlled, single blind study utilizing subluxation-based chiropractic care was implemented in the same residential setting.

Three groups were randomized. 98 subjects (14 female and 84 male) were enrolled after giving informed consent. The entire Active group completed the 28-day program, while only 24 (75%) of the Placebo group and 19 (56%) of the Usual Care group completed 28 days. The Active group showed a significant decrease in anxiety while the Placebo group showed no decrease in anxiety.

In summary, these modalities show significant promise for increasing retention of patients in the residential setting.

After examining several diagnosed ADHD children, we find an upper cervical subluxation can lead to neurotransmitter involvement.”Larry Webster, D.C. International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter. January 1996.

Tucker’s Story. Barnes T. (Kentuckiana Children’s Center) Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review Sept/Oct 2000.

Four-year-old Tucker was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism and manic-depression. He was not toilet trained, would eat dirt and would grind his teeth. He was taking three strong drugs with toxic side effects. Until 12-15 months of age he was a normal, healthy, vocal child. He then regressed to autism and lost his verbal skills.

Under chiropractic care his grinding has decreased dramatically, his hyperactivity has decreased and his eye contact has improved. His mother reports that Tucker has been smiling and showing more facial expression.

There is a good probability that Tucker appears to be suffering from vaccine damage. The majority of parents of autistic children report their child’s autism appeared shortly after their shots, particularly the MMR shot which is given from 12-15 months of age. However, the initial shots, which are given shortly after birth and at two months, are known to cause autism and other neurological/developmental disorders.

Noah’s Story Leisman N. (Kentuckiana Children’s Center) Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review Sept/Oct 2000.

Noah was 10 years old with chronic congestion, possible allergies and “high energy and activity levels.” He had been on Ritalin for one year, when he was 7-8 years old, but it was discontinued as it affected his ability to think, learn and organize information.

Chiropractic analysis revealed vertebral subluxations in Noah’s spine. He was also found to have high levels of aluminum and lead in his system.

Noah began receiving chiropractic adjustments, nutritional supplementation and dietary recommendations. His chronic congestion resolved. His activity level began to decrease in intensity – he was able to stay focused longer. Noah’s progress continues.

ADHD – a mother’s testimony to chiropractic care. Letter sent to Dennis Davis, DC. Int’l Chiropractic Pediatric Assn. Newsletter Jan/Feb 2000. Mother’s name withheld by request.

My son Jarad was five when he was diagnosed with ADHD. He was a very sweet content child until his 5th birthday. He started acting out in an angry and uncontrollable manner. Although it was a hard decision, we chose to medicate him.

We started chiropractic care. After six visits he brought home a note from his teacher stating how well he was doing. He was being very cooperative, not talking, and hadn’t missed any homework assignments. At home was the biggest change. He was offering to help around the house, getting along with his younger siblings, and overall a very happy child. We don’t know how long this will last, but at this time in our life we are extremely happy with the outcome. And if this continues maybe someday – no medication!

ADHD: A Mother’s Testimonial. Int’l Chiropractic Pediatric Assn. Newsletter. July/August 1998


When Kevin was 3 he was diagnosed as having ADHD. After trying diet changes, allergy testing and behavior modification techniques, we reluctantly agreed to put Kevin on Ritalin. The medication did its job as far as slowing him down a bit, but he suffered many side effects. In 2 years he grew only 2 inches and did not gain any weight at all. He cried easily, had trouble sleeping, no appetite, and would “zone out” quite often.

Finally at age 6 we made the decision to stop giving him Ritalin. He grew 6 inches in less than 1 year and gained nearly 15 pounds. His sleeping and eating patterns were still erratic, and the schoolwork was horrible. His writing was illegible and math made no sense to him.

We brought him for chiropractic care, twice a week for 6 weeks. This past week when I went to his parent-teacher conference, the first thing the teacher asked me was had we put Kevin back on Ritalin. I said no, and she showed me samples of Kevin’s work and showed me the sudden improvement. For the first time his writing is in the lines, it is easy to read and much more age appropriate. Although he still tends to move around more than the average child does, he is able to concentrate, answer questions correctly and is reading better than most of his class!

ADHD – A multiple case study. Wendel P, International Chiropractic Pediatric Association. March/April 1998.

This is a 12-month study of 21 children: 17 male and 4 female, ages six to sixteen years. Eight of the children in the study are on Ritalin. After 5 months of care, thirteen of the initial 21 children are still participating in the study. Five of the remaining children are on Ritalin.

Case Reviews:

  1. Female, age 10. Poor grades due to lack of focus on homework. After three months of care, she received “Most Improved Student” award for bringing grades from an F and a D to an A and B, respectively.

  2. Male, age 13. History included traumatic birth (cord wrapped around neck). He did not crawl as a young child. After four weeks of care (including learning to cross crawl) he improved his grades from four F’s to a B, D and notable improvement in the remaining 2 classes.

  3. Male, age 12. He was run over by a car while riding a skateboard at age 5. He exhibited severe discipline problems at school with school suspension several times and was failing all classes. There has been little behavior improvement but grades have improved to a B, three Cs and two Ds.

  4. Male, age 15. Tested positive for allergies and had severe hand tremors. After one week of care his hand tremors diminished. After 5 months his grades improved to 3 As, 2Bs and 1C. Child with chronic illness: respiratory infections, ADHD, and fatigue. Response to chiropractic care. Peet P, Chiropractic Pediatrics 1997 3(1): 12.

This is the case study of an eight-year-old boy with ADHD, constant throat congestion and raspy voice, ear infections or other upper respiratory infections, flat feet, fatigue, loss of physical stamina and low back pain.

He had experienced seizures when he had infections so he was placed on Phenobarbitol T. His mother reported that whenever he stayed up late he got sick. Symptoms of poor health started immediately after birth. Birth history was of a premature birth, forceps and vacuum extraction.

Chiropractic care was initiated with 3 visits a week for 4 weeks. After 4 weeks mother reported that her son’s posture “dramatically improved.” He could sit still for much longer periods of time, no longer talked with a constantly raspy voice, no longer suffered from back pain, had a better disposition and didn’t get sick when he stayed up late.

ADD, enuresis, toe walking. International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter May/June 1997. From the records of Rejeana Crystal, D.C., Hendersonville, TN.

This is the case of a six-year-old boy with nightly nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting), attention deficit disorder and toe walking who was brought to the chiropractor.

He walked with his heels 4 inches above the ground. As treatment, the medical specialist recommended that both Achilles’ tendons be cut and both ankles be broken to achieve normal posture and gait.

Chiropractic findings included subluxation of atlas, occiput, sacrum and pelvis.after 4 weeks of care both heels dropped 2 inches and the bedwetting frequency decreased to 2-3 times per week. He continues care.

Adjusting the hyperactive/ADD pediatric patient. Peet, JB Chiropractic Pediatrics, 1997;2(4):12-15

This is the case of an 8-year-old diagnosed with ADD and hyperactivity. For three years (since kindergarten) the child had been on Ritalin T and Prozac T and undergoing behavior modification.

By his 2nd adjustment the mother noted that the child could sit still longer, though he appeared more irritable. After 3 weeks of chiropractic care all medication was removed and after 6 weeks of care the school noted improvement in cognitive skills task concentration, ability to control emotions and decreased aggressiveness.

A multi-faceted chiropractic approach to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a case report. Barnes, TA ICA International Review of Chiropractic. Jan/Feb 1995 pp.41-43.

From the abstract:

This is the case of an 11-year-old boy with medically diagnosed Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

The child had a history of early disruptive behavior, repeated ear infections, consistent temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, heavy metal intoxication, food allergy, environmental sensitivity and multiple levels of biomechanical alteration.

[Under chiropractic care] He has improved academically and has advanced to the next grade level…he recognizes that he has control over his behavior and there is hope that he will be mainstreamed back into a regular public school setting soon…his mother says she notices improvement in his attention span and temper.

(The paper emphasizes the need for care in all aspects of the structural, chemical and mental triangle of health in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.)

Epileptic seizures, nocturnal enuresis, ADD. Langley C. Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 1 No. 1, April, 1994.

This is the case of an eight-year-old female with a history of epilepsy, heart murmur, hypoglycemia, nocturnal enuresis and attention deficit disorder.

She had been to five pediatricians, three neurologists, six psychiatrists and been hospitalized ten times. The child had been on Depakote T, Depakene T, Tofranil T and Tegretol T.

She had been a difficult birth, a cesarean had to be performed under general anesthesia. The mother was told the baby was allergic to breast milk and formulas and was placed on prescription feeding.

The doctors told the mother the girl would never ride a bike or do things like normal children. The child was wetting the bed every night and experiencing 10-12 seizures/day, with frequent mood swings, stomach pains and diarrhea. She attended special education classes for the learning disabled.

Chiropractic adjustments were given at C1 and C2 for 3 times per week. Two weeks after beginning care the bed-wetting began to resolve and was completely resolved after six months. She was also leaving special education classes to enter regular fifth grade classes.

After one year of chiropractic, her seizures were much milder and diminished to 8-10 per week. She was released from psychiatric care as “self managing.” Her resistance to disease increased. She now rides a bike, roller skates and ice skates like a normal child. She is expected to be off all medication within a month.

First report on ADD study. Webster L. International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter. Jan. 1994.

Case #1: Ten-year-old girl on 60 mg. Ritalin/day, severe scoliosis of 48° Cobb angle. After ten adjustments mother reported a happier child, with a better immune system with much higher endurance. Re-exam revealed scoliosis reduced to 12° . After two months care, off all medication.

Case #2: 12-year-old boy diagnosed as ADD with asthma and seizures. After 8 adjustments the parent withdrew all medication with the cooperation of their MD. Positive personality changes were noted.

Hyperactivity, stuttering, slow learner, retarded growth. Webster, L. Chiropractic Showcase Magazine, Vol. 2, Issue 5, Summer 1994.

Case Studies. Male – age 7 years. The child suffered from hyperactivity, stuttering, slow learning, retarded growth, left leg approximately 1″ shorter than right with a limp while walking. Medical plans were to break the left leg and insert metal rods in an attempt to stimulate growth and equalize the boy’s leg lengths.

Chiropractic examination revealed the following subluxations: Sacrum anterior, inferior on left, 5th lumbar body left, atlas, anterior superior left.

Patient was placed on an intensive correction program of 3 times weekly for a period of two months. During the first seven visits the legs were never balanced, although with each visit a reduction of the discrepancy occurred. By the 8th visit the legs balanced for the first time and:

  1. The stuttering had stopped.

  2. Grades in school had risen from non-satisfactory to satisfactory.

  3. The hyperactivity had abated.

  4. The limp was no longer constant.

Effects of biomechanical insult correction on attention deficit disorder. Arme J. J of Chiropractic Case Reports, Vol. 1 No. 1 Jan. 1993.

This is the case of a seven-year-old male who was referred by his mother because of radical behavioral changes that included uncharacteristic memory loss, inability to concentrate and general agitation following a motor vehicle accident. Other symptoms included loss of appetite, headache, difficulty chewing, ear pain, hearing loss, difficulty breathing through the nose, neck pain, and bilateral leg pain.

His M.D. diagnosed the child as having “attention deficit disorder” and prescribed Ritalin that the parents felt gave partial improvement. After four months on Ritalin, the mother sought chiropractic care.

Spinal examination revealed subluxations at C2 and C3, and reversal of cervical curve from C1-C4. Adjustments were given 3 times a week for 16 weeks and 2 times a week for one week. At a twelve week follow-up, a restoration of cervical curve had occurred, with residual C2 anterolisthesis. At 17 weeks, Ritalin was stopped by their M.D. and the child was no longer considered to have attention deficit syndrome. The other symptoms also resolved. The mother discontinued chiropractic care after settlement. At last interview, the patient’s behavior symptoms gradually returned and the child was back on Ritalin.

EEG and CEEG studies before and after upper cervical or SOT category 11 adjustment in children after head trauma, in epilepsy, and in “hyperactivity.” Hospers LA, Proc of the Nat’l Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics ( ICA) 1992;84-139.

Two children with petite mal seizures with potential for generating into grand mal were brought in for chiropractic care.

Chiropractic spinal analysis revealed upper cervical subluxations and adjustments to this area reduced negative EEG brainwave activity and reduced the frequency of seizures over a four-month period.

In another case of “hyperactivity” and attention deficit disorder, upper cervical adjustment reduced non-coherence between right and left hemispheres.

In another case CEEG demonstrated restoration of normal incidence of the alpha frequency spectrum. Increased attention span and improvement of social behavior were reported in both cases.

In another case, a child rendered hemiplegic after an auto accident displayed abnormal brainwave readings. After adjustment, the CEEG demonstrated more normalized brainwave readings. Child was able to utilize his left arm and leg contralaterally to the injured side of the brain without assistance after upper cervical adjustments.

Attention span deficiency. Webster L. International Chiropractic Pediatric Association Newsletter. May 1992.

This is the case of a six-year-old girl with a chief complaint of attention span deficiency and learning disability. She also suffered from lack of bladder control, headaches, sinus infections, constant fever, severely swollen neck lymph nodes and hyperactivity.

The birth history included morphine to the mother at time of delivery and an epidural, doctor assisted delivery (pulling on head).

The girl had been on and off antibiotics since birth and had tubes in her ears at 8 months of age which her body rejected.

After 3 months of chiropractic care her lymph nodes are normal, her headaches and fevers are gone and she is no longer on medication. Her teachers remark that she is concentrating better. Her grades have vastly improved. She remains on maintenance care.

Case study: the effect of utilizing spinal manipulation and craniosacral therapy as the treatment approach for attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder. Phillips CJ. Proceedings on the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics (ICA), 1991:57-74. This is the case of a 10-year-old boy with a three year history of hyperactivity, ear infections, headache and allergic symptoms.

Chiropractic spinal analysis revealed the child to have multiple cervical, thoracic and pelvic dysfunctions and multiple cranial faults.

Chiropractic and craniosacral therapy were administered and by the 11th chiropractic adjustment hyperactivity symptoms had abated. His other health problems had cleared up from earlier spinal adjustments.

After 5 1⁄2 months of being relatively symptom free he had two falls and the hyperactivity, headache and allergy symptoms returned. A single session of spinal and cranial adjusting resolved this exacerbation.

An evaluation of chiropractic manipulation as a treatment of hyperactivity in children. Giesen JM, Center DB, Leach RA J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1989; 12:353-363.

This was a blinded study in which a placebo was administered initially and chiropractic care provided thereafter.

Five of the seven hyperactive children showed improvement under chiropractic care in comparison to placebo care.

The authors note: “The results of this study are not conclusive, however they do suggest that chiropractic manipulation has the potential to become an important non-drug intervention for children with hyperactivity.”

The effect of chiropractic treatment on students with learning and behavioral impairments resulting from neurological dysfunction (part 1). Brzozowske WT, Walton EV.J Aust Chiro Assoc 1980;11(7):13-18.

The effect of chiropractic treatment on students with learning and behavioral impairments resulting from neurological dysfunction (part 2). Brzozowske WT, Walton EV. J. Aust Chiro Assoc 1980;11(8):11-17.

In the above two studies a group of 12 ADHD students receiving stimulant medication were compared to a group of 12 ADHD students receiving chiropractic care.

It was found that hyperactivity and attentiveness, along with gross and fine motor coordination improved in the group receiving chiropractic care. In the medicated group, hyperactivity and attentiveness improved initially (not gross and fine motor coordination) but the medication effectiveness decreased over time and the children required higher dosages.

Further, over half the medical group had developed personality changes, loss of appetite and insomnia relating to their treatment.

The study concluded that chiropractic care was 20-40% more effective than medication (and it had no side effects).

The effect of chiropractic treatment on students with learning and behavioral impairments resulting from neurological dysfunction. Brzozowske WT, Walton EV., The ACA Journal of Chiropractic/ December 1977 Vol. X1, S-127.

From the paper:

In 1972, the Texas State Chiropractic Association contracted with Psychoeducational and Guidance Services, an independent consulting firm specializing in diagnosis and remediation of learning and behavioral problems of school-age children. A completely independent study of the effect of chiropractic treatment on children with learning and behavioral impairments resulting from brain damage and/or neurological dysfunction accompanied by impairing emotional overlay was conducted.

The study was completed in May 1974 and findings relayed to the Texas State Chiropractic Association (TSCA).

This paper (re-published in the papers mentioned above) was an analysis of 13 children in one study and 12 children (and 12 controls) in second studies that suffered from neurological conditions and were placed under chiropractic care. Detailed case studies of all the children that were in the studies are included in this paper.


Chiropractic treatment has transformed the life of Max Willson and his parents. 

Quentin Willson is not an obvious advocate of alternative medicine. This is the man, after all, who came to prominence as a presenter on that bastion of blokes, Top Gear, and named his daughters Mercedes and Mini.

He admits that until two and a half years ago, the most alternative potion he had ever taken was a vitamin C tablet. But after his taking his son Max to see a chiropractor, he has become one of the treatment’s most evangelical exponents.

“I’m startled by the difference in Max before and after chiropractic,” he says. “He has gone from being labeled autistic and needing a classroom assistant to becoming an active and feisty seven-year-old in mainstream education.”

Max was born in April, 1998 after a very difficult labor. The umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck as well as being knotted and, due to his heart rate slowing, he had to be delivered quickly. To add to his wife’s distress, Quentin was six hours late for the delivery. “I was stuck in the floods on the M40 with no mobile reception. Michaela thought I was dead.”

Quentin and Michaela soon noticed that Max was not developing in the same way that his elder sister Mercedes had done, seven years previously. His eyes didn’t focus, while his hand movements were more unco-ordinated that those of his contemporaries. But it was when Max went into education at four that they began to seek help. “You never want to admit to yourself that you’ve got a backward child,” he says, “but it was clear that he was very, very behind. He couldn’t concentrate, was hyperactive and demanding.” Every childhood hurdle was twice as difficult as it had been for his sister – he wore nappies until he was four, was impossible to wean from the bottle and had never slept through the night. Family outings such as visiting a restaurant or friends’ houses were impossible.

The Wilson’s consulted both state and private health professionals to try to discover what was wrong with their son and were given diagnoses including dyspraxia and dyslexia. They even began to think that Max was autistic as he demonstrated symptoms that are often associated with the disorder: he walked on tiptoes, had an obsession with soft clothes and didn’t like labels next to his skin.

They were at the point of putting Max on Ritalin, the drug that is used to treat children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, when they had an “almost surreal” revelation. Quentin went to pick Max up from a birthday party where “he’d done his usual trick of sitting underneath the table for two hours”. There, he met a mother who had been observing Max for the previous hour. She said that she thought his skeleton was out of alignment and that he should see the chiropractor she had used, Deirdre Edwards, who practices in Stratford Upon Avon, near to the Willsons’ home.

Chiropractic is a form of complementary medicine that uses manual spine manipulation to correct alignment and improve the function of the nervous system. Deirdre Edwards practices a type called McTimoney, which takes a holistic approach in examining not only spinal and skeletal misalignments, but also the patient’s general wellbeing and quality of life. Though deeply sceptical, the Willsons felt that they had nothing to lose in crossing yet another treatment off their list.

Deirdre remembers Michaela Willson coming into her practice with an air of resignation and exhaustion, while Max wreaked havoc in the waiting room. Deirdre put him through a range of assessments and discovered that he was delayed in several areas.

A feather touching his skin caused him to say “ouch”, and he had no sense of smell. He couldn’t stand on one leg or follow simple instructions. His eyes twitched involuntarily, he made facial grimaces, had staccato speech and licked his lips continually. But she did manage to make eye contact, which suggested to her that he didn’t have severe autism.

Once she had checked that it was safe to give chiropractic help, Deirdre began to palpate his body. “There are seven bones in the neck,” she says, “and four of his were severely misaligned, affecting the natural balance throughout the rest of his body. Even a lay person would have been able to see that Max had muscular build-up on the left side of his neck, so that it looked like he’d been lifting weights.”

Deirdre believes that this misalignment was strangling his neural cord so that Max “was twisted in such a way that the cord could not transfer messages down the body. He was lucky to be walking.” This over-firing of his nervous system was, she says, interfering with his ability to learn, in turn compromising his immune system and lead to the continual colds and throat infections that he suffered.

The Willsons remember the treatment not hurting Max at all. “It was just flicking the bones around his neck and shoulders,” says Quentin, but that night, Max slept continuously until morning for the first time since his birth, nearly five years before.

Deirdre continued to see Max about once a week for the first month, and then every 10 to 14 days. His speech, eating and abilities quickly improved to the point where he now only visits her once a month.

The Willsons are thrilled.

“He sleeps like a log and has lost all that weirdness,” says Quentin. “He no longer has a classroom assistant and we’ve taken him out of his second genteel preparatory school with five children in the class and put him into a little village state school where he’s flourishing. He’s still a bit behind because he effectively missed out on a couple of years of education, but you can reason with him and he’s reading and writing and it’s amazing. I can only put this down to the chiropractic.”

They are so convinced by the benefits of chiropractic that Quentin is determined to spread the word. “This is the unimpeachable testimony of a man who did not believe in it. We have to raise awareness, because it worked so thoroughly for my son and changed his life and ours. If I can help just one child that’s going through what we went through, then that’s my reward.”

Case Report: autism, otitis media. Khorshid K. ICA Review Fall 2001

This is the case of Victoria, a 3-year-old girl diagnosed with autism, who also suffered from serous otitis media and hearing difficulty. The girl had speech and communication deficits and was considered to be at 9-12 month level of development. An ENT specialist suggested tubes in the ears.

She was placed under chiropractic care. Within 3 weeks of her first chiropractic adjustment, there was complete resolution of her otitis media. It was noticed that her tantrums increased after drinking milk therefore a gluten and casein free diet was implemented and this brought about “terrific” cognitive and emotional improvement, social skills, language and reasoning skills.


Lawrence’ Story: autism and cerebral palsy. In-line with Oklahaven Children’s Chiropractic Center (newsletter), Spring 2001, Oklahoma City, OK.

Six-year-old Lawrence was diagnosed with autism and cerebral palsy.

After beginning chiropractic care “Lawrence became more aware of the people around him and his surroundings. He took his first independent steps while receiving intensive treatments. He now walks 50 or 60 feet on his own, changing direction and standing still as necessary. He is also beginning to feed himself..His fine and gross motor skills have improved immensely and he has a range of different sounds he is making including experimenting with words.”

Chiropractic care and behavior in autistic children. Aguilar AL, Grostic JD, Pfleger B. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 5 No. 1, 2000

This is one of the more ambitious projects regarding chiropractic and autism. Twenty-six randomly selected autistic children received nine months of upper cervical specific care. During this period they had four examinations during which their behavior and neurological response was monitored. Autism rating scales used were Childhood Autism Rating Scale and Modified Autism Behavior Checklist. (Orthospinology upper cervical chiropractic technique which is hypothesized to remove interference from the spinal cord and brainstem was employed as the chiropractic technique.)

The changes in children under chiropractic care included:

Children going off all medication (i.e.Ritalin, Dexadrine)
Improved bladder control
Improved digestion
Starting to speak/ speech improved
Decreased ear infections
Chronic colds stopped or decreased
Improved sleep
Improved eye/vision
Improved behavior
Five children enrolled for the first time in full time inclusion classroom settings.

Heather’ Story. Barnes T. in Kentuckiana Children’s Center Int’l Chiropractic Assn. Review Sept/Oct 2000.

Heather was diagnosed with autism and mild mental retardation. Her ability to walk began to deteriorate about the sixth or seventh grade. She frequently picked at her skin and had sores and scabs on her arms and legs. Her sleep patterns were erratic and she had large mood swings and tantrums. She had been seen by many orthopedists and neurologists and no cause for her condition could be found.

After Heather’s first chiropractic adjustment she was able to take some steps on her own. Additionally, the sores on her arms and legs began to heal and she started sleeping through the night. She continues her chiropractic care.

Case report: autism and chronic otitis media. Warner SP and Warner TM. Today’s Chiropractic. May/June 1999

This is the case report of a three and a half year-old girl with autism. She was non-verbal, had compulsive disorders, daily rituals, exhibited head banging and would become violent.

Within one month after beginning chiropractic care, her parents and teacher noticed a 30% improvement socially. After one year of care, an 80% improvement was noticed. Her head banging and other rituals diminished by 50% with less violent behavior.

She had chronic serous otitis media and had been on antibiotics for one year. Within a one-week period after her first adjustment, antibiotic use stopped due to a 70% improvement in her otitis media.

Autism, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, strabismus and illness susceptibility: a case study in chiropractic management. Amalu WC. Today’s Chiropractic. Sept/Oct 1998. Pp. 32-47.

This is the case of a 5-year-old female diagnosed with autism, asthma, allergies, eczema, irritable bowel syndrome and left-sided strabismus. She had been experiencing 25 violent temper episodes per day, with each episode lasting up to 20 minutes. The episodes consisted of: ear-piercing screams, combative behavior and throwing herself onto the floor. She also exhibited three episodes each day of self-inflicted violent behavior, which included biting her arm, slapping her head and repeatedly banging her head against a full-length mirror.

She had at least one episode of violent behavior each day – hitting people, especially her mother. Speech was limited to a few words such as “mama,” “dada,” “milk” and “walk.”

Chiropractic care consisted of adjustment of the atlanto-occipital subluxation in the knee-chest posture with contact to the posterior arch of atlas.

Correction of the subluxation was determined by post-adjustment cervical thermal scan.

During the first week of care she had two adjustments. After the first adjustment, the patient had her first good night’s sleep since her mother could remember. Violent temper episodes had reduced from 25 per day to 15 per day with decrease in intensity. Mother noticed that reasoning with patient could stop them. Self-inflicted violent behavior was decreased in frequency. Her speech had improved with an increase in vocabulary. Sleep patterns had improved.

During the second week of care she had one adjustment. Her violent temper episodes decreased from 15 per day to five per day with continued decrease in intensity and more control over stopping them. Her right eye showed no more signs of strabismus. She began speaking in sentences for the first time, was able to nap without waking and could go back to sleep on her own at night. Mother reported a marked decrease in hyperactivity along with a desire to be touched and hugged.

During the third week of care she received one adjustment. Her violent temper episodes decreased to 2 per day with decreased intensity. She continues to use more speech to express her feelings. She exhibits strabismus in her left eye only when tired. Mother states there is little hyperactivity. Self-directed or outward violent behavior has ceased. Irritable bowel syndrome was much improved.

On her fourth week of care she received no adjustments. All temper episodes, hyperactivity, violent behavior had stopped. She is sleeping through the night. Eczema behind ears had cleared up and allergic skin reactions have stopped. The patient was then evaluated by two therapists who declared the diagnosis of autism was incorrect.

During weeks 6 and 8 she experienced a mild return of symptoms, an adjustment was given, and symptoms abated.

During weeks 9-12 no adjustments were needed. The IBS had almost completely resolved. She had continued improvement over next 8 months and had not experienced more asthma attacks.

Developmental communication disorder. Goldman, SR Today’s Chiropractic July/August 1995 p.70-74.

This is the case of a two-year old boy diagnosed with ‘developmental communication disorder.’ He was non-responsive to any external stimuli, even to receiving an injection. He did not respond to sound or touch.

Chiropractic analysis revealed an axis (C2) subluxation.

“On the third visit, when I walked into the room, he began to cry. That was the first time that he responded to anything happening around him. By the sixth adjustment, he started to follow certain commands and stopped making repeated hand motions. He started to talk after the 12th office visit.

At present, he has an extensive vocabulary and is slightly hyperactive; he is probably making up for lost time.”

Case study – autism. Rubinstein, HM Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol. 1 No. 1, April 1994.

This is the case study of a seven-year-old female diagnosed with autism. The child has a history of sexual and physical abuse. The girl would slowly turn in circles in place while singing an incomprehensible song with a glazed stare and blank expression.

Spinal examination revealed a right posterior and superior C1. She was adjusted about twice a week.

After ten months of care she was able to carry on conversations, carry out commands and dress and groom herself. Cognitive development progressed to where she was able to learn, read, and participate in public school.

The effect of chiropractic adjustments on the behavior of autistic children; a case review. Sandeful, R, Adams E. ACA Journal of Chiropractic, Dec 21:5, 1987.

The authors reported that 50% of all autistic subjects under chiropractic care experienced reliable behavioral improvements, as recorded by independent observers.

It is reported by those working with autistic children that any change in behavior in an autistic child is considered to be significant. Behavioral improvements were observed in such diverse areas as picking up toys, use of sign language, reduction of self-abuse and appropriate use of language.

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