Chiropractic as a Natural Alternative

Back Pain 

Chronic spinal pain – a randomized clinical trial comparing medication, acupuncture and spinal manipulation. Giles LGF, Muller R. Spine 2003;28:1490-1503.

Three groups of patients with back pain were given a nine week course of care using medicine, acupuncture or chiropractic care. The results showed a significantly higher number of satisfied chiropractic patients.

The 40 medical patients were given two anti-inflammatories (NSAIDS) and the pain killer Celebrex T, Viox T or paracetamol. 18 dropped out early because the drugs either didn’t help or caused side effects. Of the 22 who completed the study only two found relief.

Out of 32 patients who tried acupuncture 10 dropped out early because they weren’t being helped. Of the rest 3 reported pain relief.

Out of 33 chiropractic patients eight dropped out because they weren’t being helped. Of the rest nine reported pain relief.

Is low back pain part of a general health pattern or is it a separate and distinctive entity?A critical literature review of co-morbidity with low back pain.

Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Manniche CJ Manipulative Physiol Ther May 2003 . Vol 26 . No. 4

This review paper (literature search) goal is to see if there is co-morbidity or other health problems in people with persistent lower back pain. Twenty-three papers were reviewed. All “showed positive associations to all disorders investigated (headache/migraine, respiratory disorders, cardiovascular disease, general health, and others) with the exception of diabetes.”

The conclusion states: “The literature leaves no doubt that diseases cluster in some individuals and that low back pain is part of this pattern. However, the nature of the relationship between low back pain and other disorders is still unclear.” Unfortunately the authors did not investigate whether the most important findings chiropractors could locate, the vertebral subluxation complex, was a factor. The presence of VSC may clarify the relationship between lower back pain and visceral etc. disorders.

The course of low back pain in a general population. Results from a 5-year prospective study Hestbaek L, et al. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. May 2003; Vol. 26, No. 4.

In this study, more than one third of people who experienced LBP in the previous year did so for more than 30 days. Forty percent of those still had LBP 1 and 5 years later, and 9% were pain free in year 5. LBP rarely seems to be self-limiting but merely presents with periodic attacks and temporary remissions.

Chronic low back pain: a study of the effects of manipulation under anesthesia. Nicholas F. Palmieri, NF Smoyak S Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics October 2002 . Volume 25 . Number 8

The objective of this project was to evaluate the efficacy of using self-reported questionnaires to study manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) for patients with chronic low back pain. Self-reported outcome assessment instruments were used to evaluate changes in patients receiving MUA versus those not receiving MUA.


A total of 87 subjects from two ambulatory surgical centers and 2 chiropractic clinics participated in this study. The intervention group consisted of 38 patients and the nonintervention (control) group consisted of 49 patients.

Patients in the intervention group received MUA. Patients in the nonintervention group received traditional chiropractic treatment.

In this sample of patients with chronic low back pain, self-reported outcomes improved after the procedure and at follow-up evaluation. There was more improvement reported in the intervention group than the nonintervention group. This study supports the need for large-scale studies on MUA. It also revealed that self-reported outcome assessments are easily administered and a dependable method to study MUA.

Upper cervical management of a patient with neuromusculoskeletal and visceral complaints. McCoy M. Today’s Chiropractic May/June 2001. P. 46-47.

This is the case of a 65-year-old man who began to have symptoms of lower extremity pain and parasthesias, ambulatory problems, urinary difficulties (having to urinate every half hour) and visual problems after back surgery which fused his thoracolumbar segments. Patient also had gout which affected his right big toe and fingers, ankles, elbows and fingers. He was on Indocin for the gout. He was also on medication for high blood pressure and wore glasses for reading.

Twice as a child he suffered from head trauma. One time he fell over a railing and landed on top of his head.

The patient reported that during the evening of his first adjustment he experienced shock-like sensations bilaterally into his arms and legs. He also reported chills, a fever, and coldness in his hands, sweats, and an increase in frequency of urination, gluteal muscle soreness and loss of appetite. By the next morning the symptoms resolved.

Patient had twenty chiropractic visits over a 5 month period. By the time of the seventh visit he did not need an adjustment. The numbness and tingling along the right side of his body were gone and he was walking better. His legs felt stronger and he was not using his cane much. Sitting and standing were less troublesome.

He reports a decrease in frequency of urination to only a few times a day and that he doesn’t need his glasses for reading anymore.

Back pain reporting pattern in a Danish population-based sample of children and adolescents. Wedderkopp N, Leboeuf-Yde C, Andersen LB, et al. Spine 2001; 26(17): 1879-83

In this study researchers surveyed 481 eight to ten year olds and 325 adolescents (14-16 years old). Within a one month period, 39% stated they had experienced back pain – the thoracic (mid-back) area being the most common area of complaint in childhood; thoracic and lumbar (low back) pain being more common among adolescents. Neck pain was rare in those surveyed.

Complementary care: when is it appropriate? Micozzi MS 1998. Annals of Internal Medicine:128:65-66.

“The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) recently made history when it concluded that spinal manipulative therapy is the most effective and cost-effective treatment for acute low back pain. One might concluded that for acute low-back pain not caused by fracture, tumor, infection, or the cauda equina syndrome, spinal manipulation is the treatment of choice.”

See also: Bigos S., Bowyer O., Braen G., et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No. 14. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0642. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. December, 1994.

Chiropractic management of a patient with subluxations, low back pain and epileptic seizures. Alcantara, Herschong, Plaugher and Alcantara. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, Volume 21, Number 6, pp. 410-418, April 1998.

This is a case study of a 21-year-old female with a history since childhood of grand mal and petit mal seizures occurring every three hours.

Examination revealed subluxation/dysfunction at L5-S1, C6-C7 and C3-C4, retrolisthesis at L5, hypolordosis of the cervical spine and hyperextension at C6-C7.

Gonstead care was administered and at a 1.5 year follow-up, the patient reported her low back complaints had resolved and her seizures had decreased (period between seizures as great as 2 months).

The authors conclude, “Data suggests that epilepsies are common, with an incidence between 40 and 200 per 100,000 with an overall prevalence between 0.5-1.0% of the general population. When one considers the potential side effects of antiepileptic drugs, research into the effects of chiropractic care for patients with epilepsy should be initiated.”

Conservative treatment of acute and chronic nonspecific low-back pain. Van Tulder MW, Koes BW, Bouter LM Spine 1997;22:2128-2156.

This study reported that there is “strong evidence of the effectiveness of manipulation for patients with chronic low-back pain.”

Chiropractic/Dental co-treatment of lumbosacral pain with temporomandibular (TMJ) joint involvement. Chinappi AS and Getzoff H J Manipulative Physiol Ther, Vol. 19 No. 9 Nov/Dec 1996.

This is the case of a 33-year old woman with centralized lumbosacral pain.

After 30 months of chiropractic care she was still experiencing some lower back pain and limited improvement and agreed to see an orthodontist who diagnosed a “Class 11 malocclusion with significant loss of vertical dimension, characteristic of bilateral posterior bite collapse.”

From the abstract:

The co-treatment approach, which integrated dental orthopedic and craniochiropractic care, ameliorated the pain and improved head, jaw, neck and back function.

Conclusion: The position of the jaw, head and vertebral column, including the lumbar region, are intricately linked. Orthodontic treatment improved the position of the mandible, which in turn enabled the body to respond to chiropractic care.

Evaluation of the Toftness system of chiropractic adjusting for subjects with chronic back pain, chronic tension headaches, or primary dysmenorrhea. Snyder, BJ, Sanders, GE Chiropractic Technique, 1996;8:3-9.

24 subjects with chronic back pain, 19 subjects with chronic tension headaches and 26 subjects with dysmenorrhea underwent a series of Toftness adjustments or sham interventions.

Toftness adjustments had significant clinical benefit, whereas those receiving sham interventions did not improve.

Manga Report, (Canada) 1993.

Enhanced chiropractic coverage under OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) as a means for reducing health care costs, attaining better health outcomes and achieving equitable access to health services. Manga, P. Report to the Ontario Ministry of Health, 1998. “On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain.”

See also Manga, Pran., et al. Chiropractic Management of Low-Back Pain. Pran Manga and Associates, Ontario, Canada, 1993

Low back pain of mechanical origin: randomized comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient treatment. Meade, T. W., Dyer, S. et al. British Medical Journal, June 1990, 300, pp. 431-437.

Chiropractic management of patients with acute and chronic back pain was significantly more cost effective than standard medical management under the National Health System. The main outcome measure used was the Oswestry Questionnaire.

Low Back Pain and Chiropractic W J Med 1989;150:351-5

“…The percentage of chiropractic patients who were ‘very satisfied’ with the care they received for low back pain was triple that for patients of family physicians.”

Short term trial of chiropractic adjustments for the relief of chronic low-back pain. Waagen GN, Haldeman S et al Manual Medicine 1986;2:63-67.

The efficacy of manual treatment in low back pain: a clinical trial. US gov’t and Manga reports. Arkuszewski Z. Manual Medicine, 1986; 2:68-71.

Spinal manipulation out-performs conventional care in the most costly low back patients.

The New Zealand Commission Report, 1979. Royal Commission of Inquiry on Chiropractic in New Zealand.

This study has been referred to as “Probably the most comprehensive and detailed independent examination of chiropractic ever undertaken in any country.”

From the paper:

“The Commission has found it established beyond any reasonable degree of doubt that chiropractors have a more thorough training in spinal mechanics and spinal manual therapy than any other health professional. It would therefore be astonishing to contemplate that a chiropractor, in those areas of expertise, should be subject to the directions of a medical practitioner who is largely ignorant of those matters simply because he has had no training in them.”

Low back pain of mechanical origin: randomized comparison of chiropractic and hospital outpatient treatment. Meade TW, Dyer S, Browne W et al. British Medical Journal 1990; 300:1431-7.

This paper compared chiropractic and hospital outpatient care for managing low back pain of mechanical origin. From the paper:

There is therefore, economic support for the use of chiropractic in low back pain, though the obvious clinical improvement in pain and disability attributable to chiropractic treatment is in itself, an adequate reason for considering the use of chiropractic.

“The benefit of chiropractic treatment became more evident throughout the follow-up period.

“Chiropractic was particularly effective in those with fairly intractable pain-that is, those with a history of severe pain.”

Low back pain and the lumbar intervertebral disc: Clinical consideration for the doctor of chiropractic. Troyanovich SJ, Harrison DD, Harrison DE. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Feb. 1999; vol. 22, no. 2, pp96-104.

This review of the literature distills and synthesizes previously published research. The article lists various causes of low back pain, noting findings in patient histories, physical examinations, and diagnostic imaging that represent “red flags” indicating the need for referral to a specialist for surgical intervention.

After patients are screened for red flags, conservative treatment should be the first line of treatment for patients without absolute signs for surgical intervention.

The authors concluded:

Of the available conservative treatments, chiropractic management has been shown through multiple studies to be safe, clinically effective, cost-effective, and to provide a high degree of patient satisfaction. As a result, in patients . . . for whom the surgical indications are not absolute, a minimum of 2 or 3 months of chiropractic management is indicated.

Practice guideline: Acute low back problems in adults. Washington, DC: The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR), U.S. Public Health Service, Dec. 1994, p. 30.

The United States Agency for Health Care Policy Research on acute low-back pain in adults.

This was a review of many treatments for acute low-back pain in adults.

The panel of medical doctors, osteopaths, nurses, physical therapists and others familiar with the treatment of low back pain reviewed over 100 published studies relating to spinal manipulation.

The results of their five year study concluded that relief “can be accomplished most safely with non-prescription medication and/or spinal manipulation.”

The panel found little evidence to support the use of injections, muscle relaxers, steroids, acupuncture, and early surgical intervention and found that “bed rest should be avoided” because it was useless and may make the condition worse.

Bed Wetting 

Case management of nocturnal enuresis Hough DW, Today’s Chiropractic July/August 2001 p. 59/66.

The author reports that usually two to three visits are required to solve bedwetting problems. He presents two case studies that are the extremes in number of adjustments.

1. Esta, a 4-year-old female, wet nearly every night. Subluxations were found at her sacrum, ileum, T3, T5 and cervical area. The next day her mother reported she was dry. She had no more problems with bedwetting from then on.

2. Aaron, a 5 year old male had pain in his feet in addition to nightly bedwetting. Subluxations were found in his sacrum, ileum, thoracic and cervical spine. In addition restrictions were found in the calcaneus vulgus of both feet.


Adjustments were performed. He no longer complained of foot pain and his mother reported that he was dry about half the nights since his previous visits. “Aaron required 10 more adjustments before his bedwetting totally resolved.”

Asthma and Enuresis. Zell, P. International Chiropractic Pediatric Assn. Newsletter May/June 1998

Case report #1374.
This is the case of a 7-year-old girl suffering from asthma and enuresis (bedwetting) brought to the chiropractor by her mother.
Since she was three years old she suffered from asthma along with many attacks of colds and flu. The asthma was so severe that she was hospitalized for 3 days at one time and had gone to the emergency room another time. The mother reports that her daughter would cough up a ball of phlegm following each attack.


Chiropractic examination revealed vertebral subluxation at C2, T5, T12 ileum and sacrum. She improved following her first adjustment. After the 5th adjustment the asthma and bedwetting ceased and did not return.

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 suffering from nightly nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting), attention deficit disorder and toe walking. He walked with his heels 4 inches above the ground. The medical specialist recommended both Achilles’ tendons cut and both ankles 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. His medical doctor was shocked at his recovery under chiropractic care.

Chiropractic management of primary nocturnal enuresis. Reed WR, Beavers S, Reddy SK, Kern G.J Manipulative Physiol Ther Vol. 17, No. 9 Nov/Dec 1994.

This was a controlled clinical trial of 46 enuretic (bedwetting) children that were placed under chiropractic care. The children were under care for a 10 week period preceded by and followed by a 2 week no treatment period.

The 46 children were divided into two groups: 31 received chiropractic care and 15 were in the control group.

At the end of the study, 25% of the treatment-group children had 50% or more reduction in the wet night frequency from baseline to post-treatment while none among the control group had such reduction.

Bed-wetting; two case studies. Marko, RB Chiropractic Pediatrics Vol 1 No 1 April 1994.

Case #0991.

This is the case of a five-year-old female who had been wetting her bed for six months and was prescribed antibiotics for what MDs diagnosed as a bladder infection.

After the second chiropractic adjustment, she stopped wetting her bed for three weeks. She had a bad fall and began to wet her bed again. Following her next adjustment, she has remained dry.

Case #0419.

This is the case of a nine-year-old male who wet his bed almost every day of his life. During his first six months of chiropractic care he would remain dry for one or two days after his adjustments. A change in adjustments to the sacrum resulted in greater improvement. He is now dry for one-half to two-thirds of the nights between the adjustments.

Functional nocturnal enuresis. Blomerth PR. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1994:17:335-338.

This is the case of an eight-year-old male bed-wetter. He was adjusted once in the lumbar spine. At a one month follow-up there was complete resolution of enuresis.

The child had two wet nights following a sports accident but was adjusted and the bed-wetting ceased. He had minor accidents one year and two years later, with enuresis starting again. In both instances the bedwetting ceased after adjustments.

The author remarks: “This happened in a manner that could not be attributed to time or placebo effect,” since the patient didn’t know that adjustments could affect that condition.”

Nocturnal enuresis: treatment implication for the chiropractor. Kreitz, BG, Aker PD. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1994:17(7): 465-473.

A review of the literature of nocturnal enuresis is presented. The author states: “Spinal manipulative therapy has been shown to possess an efficacy comparable to the natural history.”

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.

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

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

Her birth was difficult (cesarean section under general anesthesia). Her mother was told the baby was allergic to breast milk and formulas and was on prescription feeding.

Chiropractic adjustments were to C1 and C2 three times/week. After two weeks of care, the bed-wetting began to resolve and was completely resolved after six months. During that period, her attention deficit disorder resolved and she left special education classes to enter regular fifth grade classes.

Her seizures diminished to 8-10 per week after one year of care. She was released from psychiatric care as “self managing.”

Her resistance to disease increased and she can now ride a bike, roller skate and ice skate like a normal child. She is expected to be off all medication within a month of this writing

Dear Abby. San Francisco Chronicle March 5th, 1992.

Although not a research study, this exchange of columnist “Dear Abby” addresses bed-wetting from a person-on-the-street perspective:

Dear Abby:

I took my 15-year-old twin sons (both daily bed-wetters) to a chiropractor, and within a month, both boys were completely cured. Regular medical doctors could not help them.” True Believer.

Dear True believer:

I believe you. I have several hundred letters bearing the same message concerning chiropractors.

Chiropractic care of children with nocturnal enuresis: A prospective outcome study. LeBoeuf, C.; Brown, P; Herman, A; Leembruggen K; Walton D; Crisp TC. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1991, 14 (2), pp. 110-115.

This is the study of 171 children with a history of persistent bed-wetting at night who received eight chiropractic adjustments each.

The average number of wet nights fell from 7 per week to 4 per week. At the end of the study, 25% of the children were classified as successes.

Additionally 1% of patients were considered “dry” at the beginning of the study, while 15.5% were considered “dry” at the end of the study.

Management of pediatric asthma and enuresis with probable traumatic etiology. Bachman TR, Lantz CA Proceedings of the National Conference on Chiropractic and Pediatrics (ICA), 1991: 14-22.

This is the case of a 34-month-old boy with asthma and enuresis who had not responded to medical care.

He was brought to the hospital emergency room more than 20 times for his asthma attacks during a 12-month history.

The boy received three chiropractic adjustments over an 11 day period and the asthma symptoms and enuresis ceased for more than 8 weeks.

The asthma and enuresis recurred following a minor fall from a step ladder but disappeared after adjustments. After a two-year follow-up, the mother reports no recurrence of the asthma or the enuresis.

Enuresis, spasmodic dysmenorrhea and gastric discomfort: a vertebral subluxation complex entity. Regan KJ Dig Chiro Econ Mar/Apr 1990;32(5):110

This is a study of eight patients suffering from bed-wetting, menstrual cramps and ulcer pains/indigestion.

The patients had all been previously examined by MDs, had received pap tests, pelvic exams and upper GI studies and were negative for active pathology. One subject however did have a true peptic ulcer but wished to remain in the study.

The author writes: “A total of eight subjects in each category were selected and two in each category were not treated (to be used as control studies)..No one had any low back, dorsal or cervical spine pain prior to being a patient in this program.

Among those with menstrual problems, all cases of pelvic pain and severe cramping of the uterus had stopped. All women experienced three menstrual cycles through the duration of the study.

All the patients in the gastric category except one responded to chiropractic care; no one was taken off medication or put on special diet.”

Chiropractic management of enuresis: time series descriptive design. Gemmell HA, Jacobson, BH Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 1989; 12:386-389.

This is the case of a 14-year-old male with a long history of continuous bed-wetting. He never had a dry night in his life. The bell and pad method was tried but did not help.

Improvement began after the first adjustment. Over the next 21 days, he had 15 nights of dry bed and 6 damp nights, but not wet nights.

He continued to have dry, damp and wet nights. His condition was alleviated (not completely cured) by chiropractic adjustments.

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.

Neurogenic Bladder and spinal bifida occulta: a case report. Borregard PE.J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1987; 10(3):122-3.

Examination found fixation in L3 and both SI joints, following the restoration of SI function the patient’s mother reported the patient was now aware of bladder distention approximately 30 minutes before it was necessary to void. A slight decrease of bladder sensitivity occurred 4 months after the release from treatment and responded immediately to manipulation.

Blood Pressure

Latest findings show Chiropractic can help reduce blood pressure.

More than 3.6 million Australians over the age of 25 have high blood pressure or are on medication for the condition, but findings recently released by the Chiropractors’ association of Australia indicate there is a non-drug alternative that can lower abnormal blood pressure in healthy bodies by 7.8% – 13%.

The latest findings published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol, 24,No.2,by Dr Gary Knutson DC., show chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck can lower systolic blood pressure almost immediately.

According to Dr Laurie Tassell, National Spokesperson for the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia, a chiropractic pilot study involving 80 people found there is a relationship between the upper neck vertebrae and the body’s natural blood pressure control reflexes.

“With gentle chiropractic adjustment to the upper neck, blood pressure can be lowered, with good results measured for older patients in particular,” he said.

Traditionally the causes of blood pressure, according to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, have been linked to excess weight, alcohol consumption, physical inactivity, dietary salt intake and nutrition patterns with low intake of fruit and vegetables and a high intake of saturated fat.

Data from the 1999-2000 study of general practice activity in Australia shows that high blood pressure is the most common problem managed by general practitioners, accounting for 6% of all problems managed.

“This is where the results of our finding are significant, because chiropractic spinal adjustments may be able to reduce a patient’s blood pressure and in conjunction with visits to their local GP, the level of prescribed drugs may be significantly reduced,” said Dr Tassell.

A report by the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study found that in 1999-2000, more than 3.6million Australians over the age of 25 had high blood pressure, which equates to 31% of men and 26% of women.

“These chiropractic research findings and the affect of high blood pressure on the Australian population provide a good foundation to recommend further studies involving larger groups for more detailed testing,” said Dr Tassell.

Further to this the Chiropractors’ Association of Australia hope to conduct further studies to identify direct connections between joint problems and muscle tension, and its effects on the nerve reflexes.

“The benefit of chiropractic care is that it is a drugless, painless, and surgically free approach to good health, with the goal of helping allow the body to function and repair itself,” said Dr Tassell.

Chiropractic management of a hypertensive patient: a case study. Plaugher G. Bachman TR.

A case study of a 38 year old male presented with a complaint of hypertension of 14 years duration and side effects of medication (minipress and Corgard) which included bloating sensations, depression ,fatigue and impotency. Chiropractic analysis revealed vertebral subluxation complex at levels Cervical 6-7,Thoracic 3-4,and 7-8 motion units (vertabrae).

After three visits the patient’s M.D. stopped the Minipress and reduced the Corgard. After six adjustments corgard was reduced again. All medications were stopped after seven adjustments. Medication side effects had abated as well.

After 18 months patients blood pressure remained at normal levels.


High blood pressure is something many people suffer from and yet, in most cases the cause is unknown.

Case studies showing changes in blood pressure after Chiropractic care are becoming more and more abundant. Although not a treatment for any disease Chiropractic is designed to maximize life and boost the bodies recuperative powers. Chiropractic teaches us to remove all interferences with body function (subluxation) and to seek out more natural, conservative methods before submitting to more radical (drug and surgical) approaches. Exercise, rest and emotional care, along with a healthy spine and nervous system are all vital for optimal health and well – being. Explore them all.

“While results cannot be predicted for a particular hypertensive patient, a therapeutic trial of chiropractic co-management would seem to be warranted, especially when dysfunction is identified in relevant spinal areas. Proper lifestyle advice and medical care should be concurrent with a regime of adjusting. The authors advise close monitoring of blood pressure for all chiropractic patients on anti-hypertensive medication…the combined effects of the adjustment and the medication might drive a patient’s blood pressure below normal.” From Weber M. and Masarsky C, Eds. Neurological Fitness Vol.2 No.3 April 1993.

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.

“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)

The effect of cranial adjusting on hypertension: a case report. Connelly DM, Rasmussen SA Chiropractic Technique, May 1998; 10(2):75-78.

This paper describes the experiences of three hypertensive patients who underwent chiropractic sacrooccipital cranial technique.

One was a 73 year-old woman with a blood pressure of 170/100. Immediately following chiropractic care it was 120/78 and over the next few months measured 140/72.

The second patient was a 41 year-old woman with a blood pressure of 170/95. With cranial care it dropped to an average of 147/90. She was instructed to remove her dental plate at night and a couple of times during the day and her blood pressure dropped to 130/90.

The third patient was a 74 year-old male on blood pressure medication who presented a blood pressure of 140/100. After a series of adjustments he was told by his MDs to reduce and eliminate medications. He presented with a blood pressure of 130/80 on his last visit.

Randomized clinical trial of chiropractic adjustments and brief massage treatment for essential hypertension: A pilot study. Plaugher G, Meker W, Shelsy A, Lotun K, Jansen R., Conf Proc Chiro Cent Found 1995; Jul: 366-367.

An effect of sacro occipital technique on blood pressure. Unger J, Sweat S, Flanagan S, Chudowski S. Proceedings of the International Conference on Spinal Manipulation. 1993 A/M. P. 87.

A single chiropractic intervention can bring about a significant reduction in blood pressure in a hypertensive group of subjects. Not only was the reduction in systolic blood pressure statistically significant; more important was the clinical significance of this effect.

Chiropractic management of a hypertensive patient: a case study. Plaugher G, Bachman TR. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics accepted for publication 1993.

A 38-year-old male complaining of hypertension of 14 years duration was suffering from the side effects of medication (Minipress T and Corgard T ): bloating sensations, depression, fatigue, and impotency.

Chiropractic analysis revealed vertebral subluxation complex at levels C6-7, T3-4, and T7-8.

After three visits, patient’s M.D. stopped the Minipress T and reduced the Corgard T After ix adjustments, Corgard T was reduced again. All medications were stopped after seven adjustments. Medication side effects had abated as well. After 18 months, patient’s blood pressure remained at normal levels.

Hypertension and the atlas subluxation complex. Goodman R. Chiropractic: J of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. Vol 8 No. 2, July 1992. Pp. 30-32.

Six of eight patients under chiropractic experienced relief of symptoms and lowered blood pressure after chiropractic care. The blood pressures of two subjects remained unchanged or increased sometime during the test period.

“Systolic pressure was lowered by an average of 27mm Hg, and the diastolic pressure by an average of 13mm Hg. In several subjects, other symptoms such as low back pain, thoracic tightness, headaches, and general malaise, diminished following the adjustments. Those subjects who were not on medication showed the greatest change.”

Hypertension: a case study. McGee D. Chiropractic: J of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. Vol.7. No.4, Jan. 1992, Pp. 98-99.

This is the case history of a 46-year-old woman’s rapid decrease in blood pressure following 8 weeks of chiropractic care.

Systemic effects of spinal lesions. Dhami MSI, DeBoer KF In Principles and Practice of Chiropractic, 2nd edition, Appleton and Lange, East Norwalk, CT 1992.

The authors list “organic disorders reported to be related to spinal lesions or affected by chiropractic manipulation.”

These include: abdominal discomfort, asthma, Barre-Lieou syndrome, cardiac arrhythmia, colic, constipation, dysmenorrhea, high blood pressure, low-blood sugar and hyperinsulinism, migraine, pulmonary diseases, ulcers and vertebral autonomic dysfunction.

 

Improvements following the combination of chiropractic adjustments, diet, and exercise therapy. GS, Sauer AD, Wahl DR, Kessinger J. Chiropractic: The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation 1990; 5:37-39.

Four individuals and the effects of chiropractic adjustments on their cardiac dysfunctions as monitored by ECG are presented.

A baseline ECG was taken. A treatment plan was implemented consisting of adjustments combined with exercise and diet recommendations. At the end of the treatment period, a follow-up ECG was performed and three of the four patients showed improvement.

Preliminary study of blood pressure changes in normotensive subjects undergoing chiropractic care. McKnight ME, DeBoer KF, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics,1988; 11:261-266.

Seventy-five people were tested after specific chiropractic cervical adjustments.

Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the adjusted group. No significant changes occurred in the control group.

In those with the highest pre-treatment blood pressures, the treatment effect was greatest, indicating that the effectiveness in hypertensives may be even more significant.

Effects of chiropractic treatment on blood pressure and anxiety: a randomized, controlled trial. Yates RG, Lamping DL, Abram NL, Wright C. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1988; 11(6):484-8.

In this patient-blinded, assessor-blinded, placebo-controlled study, the authors state that the data “lend support to the hypothesis that chiropractic manipulation of the thoracic spine significantly reduces blood pressure in patients with elevated blood pressure.”

Both systolic and diastolic blood pressure decreased significantly in the adjusted group. Adjustments were delivered to segments T-1 to T-5 of the 21 patients in the group adjusted. No significant changes occurred in the placebo or control groups.

The management of hypertensive disease: a review of spinal manipulation and the efficacy of conservative therapeusis. Crawford JP, Hickson GS, Wiles MR. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1986; 9:27-32

From the abstract:

Hypertension, therefore, may be regarded as a prime condition warranting specialized care that includes proper education during the formative years, modification of dietary habits in conjunction with daily exercise regiment, and regular spinal maintenance, all of which are covered by modern chiropractic clinical practice.

Evidence for a possible anti-hypertensive effect of basic technique apex contact adjusting. Dulgar G, Hill D, Sirucek A, Davis BP, ACA J of Chiropractic, 1980;14:97-102.

A statistically significant drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in normotensive (normal blood pressure) subjects was found under chiropractic care.

The authors write that spinal care .. “might offer a drugless means of lowering blood pressure in essential hypertensive patients.”

The effects of upper cervical adjustment upon the normal physiology of the heart. Tran AT, Kirby JD. J Am. Chiropractic Association, 1977; 11/S: 58-62.

Upper cervical adjustments were found to have a hypotensive effect.

Blood pressure, results in 75 abnormal cases. Hood Robin P. Digest of Chiropractic Economics. May/June 1974

This is a paper describing seventy-five patients with abnormal blood pressure in a two-year study on chiropractic care.

Thirty-eight of the patients were taking or had been taking prescribed drugs for hypertension and many still had high blood pressure even on the drugs.

Chiropractic care involved spinal adjustments using the Gonstead method of spinal care. The patient’s diet was also modified to eliminate refined, processed foods, soft drinks, stomach-sleeping and high pillows.

Results: Before care the average blood pressure of the 67 hypertensive patients was 163/93.8. After care it was 130.4/82. Before care the average blood pressure of the 8 hypotensive patients was 100/67.5, after care it was 114/76.3