Thursday, August 25, 2016
A baby with colic who was helped by chiropractic was the focus of a study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health on Nov. 28, 2012.
Colic in babies has classic symptoms of crying for more than 3 hours a day, usually at the same time each day, and for at least 3 days a week. Infants may have a hard abdomen, burp and pass gas a lot, spit up frequently after eating, and cry while pulling their legs up and making tight fists. The crying sounds as if the baby is in pain.
Colic is distressing not only to the baby, but also to the mother and father who witness the suffering of their baby, and are frustrated by their inability to help the baby.
In this case an 8-week-old baby girl was brought into a chiropractic clinic with the classic signs of colic. The mother said that the baby cried constantly for up to 5 hours, and that the baby's face showed pain when making a bowel movement. The baby also had diarrhea, and would scream and cry during these episodes.
A chiropractic examination of the baby was performed using static, motion, and muscle palpation. Subluxations were found in the atlas and T11, as well as observations of subluxation in other areas of the infant's spine.
Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun with "…light impulse finger adjustments." The adjustments were made to C1 (atlas) and T11. The care plan included two visits weekly for four weeks.
Immediate improvement was observed after the initial adjustment, and the colic symptoms disappeared after eight adjustments over four weeks. The parents of the baby reported, "After her first visit, she slept the entire night. She did not have the crying spells and we reduced the medication to once per day." After two weeks of chiropractic care the parents further noted, "She (the baby) no longer takes her medication daily. She is now a happy baby. She eats, sleeps and has regular bowel movements with no pain. For the first time since she was born, she slept through the night."
On March 21, 2016, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study showing chiropractic helping an infant with multiple health issues resulting from a traumatic birth.
The study begins by noting that about 5% of all births in the U.S. are either by forceps or by vacuum extraction. They report that forceps delivery is associated with an increased death rate during birth, and that vacuum extractions are associated with increased head injuries, facial paralysis, and other head and nerve problems. Chiropractors are interested in this problem from a standpoint of the effect these types of births have on the upper portion of the neck.
In this study, a 6-week-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor for consultation and possible care with problems of infantile colic, acid reflux, restlessness, inability to relax and/or lay on his back, difficulty sleeping and general irritability. The baby's mother described her son as being fussy, restless, always tense and frustrated. She reported that in the first six weeks of life he was screaming and could not be comforted during all his waking hours. While sleeping, the infant would moan and whimper.
The baby had been given a medical diagnosis of acid reflux and infantile colic and he was given the label of a "high needs baby." With this diagnosis, the infant was prescribed and given a generic form of the medication Zantac for his colic and reflux.
A history of the birth process revealed that infant's mother did not experience any contractions prior to the beginning of labor. After only 17 minutes, it was reported that the baby's heart rate had decreased. Because of this, an episiotomy was performed and the baby was pulled out with the aid of vacuum extraction. This resulted in a large bruise on the infant's skull from the vacuum extraction.
A chiropractic examination of the infant revealed the presence of multiple vertebral subluxations, including several in the upper neck region. Chiropractic adjustments were performed specific to the subluxations, and the age and size of the infant.
After the first adjustment, the mother reported that her son had the longest nap he had experienced since birth. The parents also reported that within the first week, the infant had six large bowel movements within 36 hours of being adjusted, was less fussy, less gassy, sleeping more soundly and peacefully, showed improved postural alignment of the neck and entire body, and appeared to be much happier, more comfortable, and demonstrated an overall improved demeanor. After several more visits, the child no longer had any of the digestive issues or other health concerns seen on the initial evaluation.
The February 18, 2016, issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a documented case study of a pregnant woman who was suffering from migraines, neck pain and back pain being helped with chiropractic.
The study begins by reporting that, "The use of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for women and particularly for women of childbearing years and during pregnancy is substantial." Chiropractic is one of the most widely utilized forms of CAM. The authors note that about a third of all pregnant woman use some form of CAM, but only half of them disclose this information to their medical practitioner.
In this case, a 28-year-old woman presented herself for chiropractic evaluation and possible care. At that time, she was 29 weeks pregnant with her second pregnancy. She was suffering from chronic migraines associated with neck and back pain.
She reported that her first pregnancy resulted in an emergency C-section and she was hoping to be able to have a vaginal birth for this current pregnancy. However, complicating this pregnancy was that a recent ultrasound showed that the baby's placenta was partially blocking the mother's cervix. This condition is known placenta previa.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included postural analysis, spinal palpation, spinal motion, surface electromyogram, and paraspinal thermography. With consent, chiropractic care began for correction of subluxations that were determined from the examination.
By the third visit, the patient reported that her migraines were gone. By the fourth visit her placenta previa was resolved as confirmed on imaging. The patient was successfully able to have a vaginal birth even after her first pregnancy resulted in a c-section. She reported no complications to her birth, and her labor was fast and without the need for any medications.
In their conclusions the authors wrote, "We described the successful care of a pregnant patient presenting with a chief complaint of chronic migraines and pregnancy-related neck and back pain. This case report highlights benefits of chiropractic care beyond symptom care with resolution of placenta previa and successful VBAC, (vaginal birth after cesarean)."
The June 2016 issue of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine published a case study involving a pregnant woman suffering from pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain (PR LPP) being helped by chiropractic care.
The study authors note that women suffering with lumbopelvic pain only see care in about 25% of the cases because many believe that the pain is normal during pregnancy. Those who do not gain relief are more likely to continue to have pain after their pregnancy. A previous randomized chiropractic clinical trial showed that chiropractic care given in conjunction with the normal obstetric care was more effective in eliminating pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain than just obstetric care by itself.
In this case, a 35-year-old pregnant woman presented herself for chiropractic care. She was suffering with moderate pregnancy-related lumbopelvic pain and leg pain. The pain was over both pelvic bones across her lower back. She also reported having an "uncomfortable" tension in her neck and shoulders.
She rated her back and leg pain as a 7 out of 10, with 10 being the worst. The pain started at about the 20th week of her pregnancy and was now radiating down her leg. She reported that standing or sitting for more than 30 minutes, or walking for more than 10 minutes, made her condition worse.
Her history noted that this pregnancy was the result of her fourth in vitro fertilization in a time period of less than 5 years. A previous attempt resulted in the birth of her son. However, two additional attempts to become pregnant resulted in complications and terminated pregnancies.
After an examination, chiropractic care was initiated. The woman was also given some stretching exercises and advised to slowly increase the amount of walking she was doing. Within one week of starting chiropractic care, the woman reported a reduction in the severity and duration of her low back and leg pain. She noted that she was able to sit and walk for longer periods of time.
After 13 visits, she was able to walk or stand for longer than 30 minutes, and sit and travel for more than one hour in the car. This made her daily activities much easier and she reported a decrease in her stress and anxiety. Her overall pain rating dropped from a 7 to a 2 out of 10.
On January 13, 2015, a study was published documenting the case of a pregnant woman with a transverse breech pregnancy being corrected under chiropractic care. The study also reviewed a number of other such cases documented in research adding to the body of evidence showing chiropractic helping with this issue.
A Transverse Breech Pregnancy is when a fetus is lying across the womb with the spine perpendicular to the mother's spine. Later in pregnancy, the baby should be head downward in preparation for birth. The authors report that by the 28th week of pregnancy, about 4% of women have a breech pregnancy. Of these, it is expected that 86% will deliver via cesarean section. Nationally, the rate of cesarean birth continues to rise, being at 31.6% in the year 2010.
In this case study a 31-year-old pregnant women went to a chiropractor for help. She had been diagnosed by her obstetrician with transverse breech malposition, confirmed by ultrasound, at 30 weeks gestation. She was also suffering from lower back pain.
A chiropractic examination was performed involving a postural analysis which showed imbalances in her posture. Additionally, palpation showed tight lumbar musculature and spinal malpositioning. Static electromyography, or sEMG, along with thermographic scans were performed that revealed areas positive for the presence of subluxations. Based on the examination, it was determined that the woman had subluxations at the top and bottom of her spine.
Chiropractic adjustments were begun to correct the subluxations along with a specialized technique called the Webster technique. This technique addresses the subluxations in the base of the spine as well as easing tender nodules in the round ligament of the pelvis, thus addressing in-uterine constraint. This care was given to the woman twice per week for the remainder of her pregnancy.
On her eighth visit, the woman reported that her baby was no longer in the breech position and had turned into the normal vertex presentation. As a result the study noted, "The patient continued care and was able to have a natural, assisted homebirth and healthy vaginal delivery of a baby boy, in the presence of her midwife and family."
The author summed up this study in their conclusion by saying, "This report of a 31 year old multiparous [having borne more than one child] female patient presenting with transverse breech presentation utilizing Webster technique during her pregnancy proved to be effective. Receiving chiropractic care during pregnancy, specifically utilizing the Webster technique, helped to reestablish normal sacral alignment and biomechanics of the female pelvis."