About Chiropractic

Adult Autism Improves Following Chiropractic Care

The 22-year-old female in this study had been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder which started at the age of two.  She was experiencing menstrual pain, discomfort, anxiety, and nervousness.  She was limited in her daily activities like personal interactions and speech due to autism.   

The chiropractor examined her and found postural abnormalities and structural shifts in her neck, mid back, and low back.  Muscle imbalance, spasms, decreased range of motion, and additional testing confirmed these findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic adjustments, her speech improved as she began talking more and her participation in daily personal interactions improved. There was an improvement of 41% in sociability and 24% improvement in health, physical symptoms and behavior according to measurements taken before and after care.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

Reference

Improved Behavioral Changes in an Adult with Autism Following Torque Release Technique for Correcting Vertebral Subluxation:  A Case Study.  Anthony Pellegrino, DC & Morgan Lightsey-Santos, DC.  Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ Volume, 2020.

About Chiropractic, chronic pain, Dry Needling, General, good health, Sports

Now Offering Dry Needling

River Falls Spine Chiropractic and Wellness Center is pleased to announce that Dr. Steven Gartzke has completed training in Dry Needling and is now certified to perform this valuable technique in our office in order to treat myofascial trigger points, connective tissue, neural and muscular ailments.

Over the years, dry needling has become a popular treatment technique in manual physical therapy. Physical therapists and other healthcare providers in many countries employ dry needling in the clinical management of patients with myofascial pain and trigger points. Dry needling cannot only reverse some aspects of central sensitization, it reduces local and referred pain, improves range of motion and muscle activation pattern, and alters the chemical environment of trigger points.*

So … what exactly IS dry needling? The following article from the Mayo Clinic’s website is a great overview of what dry needling is, and why it can benefit chiropractic patients.

You may have heard of a treatment called dry needling and wondered what exactly it is or if it’s something that may be right for you.

While the name of the procedure may sound intimidating, dry needling is safe, minimally discomforting and often an effective technique for patients with certain musculoskeletal presentations. Dry needling is a treatment performed by skilled, trained physical therapists, certified in the procedure. A thin monofilament needle penetrates the skin and treats underlying muscular trigger points for the management of neuromusculoskeletal pain and movement impairments.

So, what is a trigger point? A trigger point is a local contracture or tight band in a muscle fiber that can disrupt function, restrict range of motion, refer pain or cause local tenderness. When dry needling is applied to a dysfunctional muscle or trigger point, it can decrease banding or tightness, increase blood flow, and reduce local and referred pain.

It’s important to note dry needling is not the same as acupuncture. It uses similar tools, but that’s where the similarities end. Dry needling is performed by different practitioners with different training. Acupuncture is based on Eastern medicine, while dry needling is rooted in Western medicine and evaluation of pain patterns, posture, movement impairments, function and orthopedic tests.

Dry needling treats muscle tissue, and its goal is to reduce pain, inactivate trigger points and restore function. It rarely is a standalone procedure. Rather, it often is part of a broader physical therapy approach incorporating other traditional physical therapy interventions into treatment.

Dry needling can be used for a wide variety of musculoskeletal issues, such as shoulder, neck, heel, hip and back pain. While research indicates dry needling is a safe and effective approach for treating and managing pain, some insurance companies may not reimburse for the procedure.

https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/on-pins-and-needles-just-what-is-dry-needling


If you have any questions about Dry Needling or would like to make an appointment, give Dr. Gartzke a call at 715.425.9439


* Reference: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3201653/

About Chiropractic, good health, Thyroid

Chiropractic Helps Woman with Hypothyroidism

The 52-year-old female in this study had hypothyroidism and was taking medication to manage it. She also suffered from pain, numbness and tingling of the neck, upper back, mid back, pain in both knees and hips for several years.  Her symptoms were getting worse. 

The chiropractor examined her and found tight muscles and structural shifts in her neck, upper back, mid back, low back, and pelvis.  Range of motion and x-rays confirmed the findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic care, she experienced marked improvement in her symptoms.   Her hypothyroidism resolved and she no longer needed thyroid medication.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

Reference

Reversal of Hypothyroidism Symptoms in a 52-Year-Old Female Undergoing Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care:  A Case Study.  Caitlin Reimer, DC.  Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ Volume, 2019.

About Chiropractic, chronic pain, Headaches

Resolution of Chronic Migraines

Resolution of Chronic Migraines Following Atlas Orthogonal Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Selective Review of the Literature

Patient: A 53-year-old female suffering from migraines for a twelve-year duration, visual disturbances, and neck pain. The migraines would leave her bedridden for days and unable to care for her family and attend to her personal hygiene.  Multiple medications failed to help her. Physical examination and x-rays revealed upper cervical subluxation.

Intervention and Outcomes: The patient was adjusted following the Atlas Orthogonal chiropractic protocol. Precision adjustments were applied to the atlas using the Atlas Orthogonal percussion instrument. Immediately after the first adjustment the patient experienced a more normal cervical range of motion. The patient was managed for a duration of three months and reported a complete recovery from migraines.

Conclusion: Clinical findings suggest that upper cervical vectored chiropractic adjustment was beneficial in this patient with migraines, neck pain and visual disturbances. More research in this area is necessary.

Matthew H. Sweat D.C., B.C.A.O.& Eric Nemzou D.C. Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research ~ September 21, 2020 ~ Pages 39-49.
Source: https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2020/09/20/resolution-of-chronic-migraines-following-atlas-orthogonal-chiropractic-care-a-case-study-selective-review-of-the-literature/

About Chiropractic, cystic fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis Patient: Improvements in Quality of Life & Sleep

This case reported on a 34-year-old female suffering from cystic fibrosis. In addition, she had a productive cough that had been mistaken as allergies, shortness of breath, upper respiratory infections, and sleep disturbance. She was constantly on antibiotics.

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her neck, midback, low back, and pelvis. She also had tight muscles throughout her spine. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic adjustments, she experienced improvement in the quality of her life, her breathing and sleep improved. She had “less dramatic ups and downs” when it came to her symptoms associated with cystic fibrosis. She no longer needed antibiotics and she returned to physical activity as her breathing issues resolved.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic for those with cystic fibrosis.


Pamela Stone-McCoy, DC, DACCP, Andrea L. Smith, DC, Joel Alcantara, DC, PhDc. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ November 11, 2019 ~ Pages 158-161. https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2019/10/28/improvements-in-quality-of-life-sleep-along-with-decreased-infections-antibiotic-use-in-a-patient-with-cystic-fibrosis-a-case-report-review-of-the-literature/

About Chiropractic, Athletes, good health, Sports, Sports Injuries

Athletes & Heart Rate Variability – Role of Chiropractic & Adaptation

Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in improving heart rate variability (HRV) in athletes.  The research includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in addressing neurological risks related to cardiovascular health, athletes and the role of the nervous system in stress, physiologic adaptation, training load and recovery. HRV is a critical measure of neurological and cardiovascular health.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system, stress, training, recovery and cardiovascular health” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “Basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the nervous system relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.” Research has shown not only that normal structural alignment and joint movement is crucial, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to develop normally are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways.

“We are now seeing more and more basic science and clinical research showing the relationship between spinal function and its relationship to performance and recovery” McCoy added. When it comes to athletes, adaptation, recovery, training and cardiovascular health, the nervous system is often overlooked and that is where HRV comes into play. 

“In a healthy organism, higher heart rate variability represents greater adaptability to stress from its internal and external environment. When the nervous system is free of obstructions, it can better regulate anatomic, physiologic, and biochemical alterations and adapt to stress and training as needed.”

– Dr. Matthew McCoy

The study reviews the literature on heart rate variability and its role in athletes exploring specific adaptations to imposed demand and how that principle is applied during periodized training, the role of the autonomic nervous system in the general adaptation response, contemporary views of stress and adaptation in exercise physiology and the role of heart rate variability as an objective outcome measure for chiropractic care in athletes.  Despite the relatively recent interest in the central and autonomic nervous system in sports performance circles, exercise science has been investigating the relationship for several decades.

Heart rate variability (HRV) is the most accessible minimally invasive means available for evaluating an athlete’s response to training.  HRV is a strong indicator of physiological changes in response to training programs, prescribing exercise intensity on an individualized basis, and has been utilized to assess overtraining which is often times predominated by sympathetic activity.

In regards to the role of chiropractic in HRV and athletes, significant structural shifts can occur in the spine. These structural shifts, more commonly known as vertebral subluxations by doctors of chiropractic, result in nerve obstructions and doctors of chiropractic correct these obstructions. Vertebral subluxations may result in altered autonomic nervous system activity. Heart rate variability is a reliable and valid tool that may be used to assess the changes in autonomic activity associated with the reduction and correction of vertebral subluxations. Controlled studies suggest that chiropractic may improve heart rate variability and that favorable changes in heart rate variability may follow reduction or correction of vertebral subluxations. The author of the paper calls for more research on the role of chiropractic care and HRV in athletes.

Get in touch with Dr. Gartzke at River Falls Spine Chiropractic and Wellness Center today to discuss how chiropractic treatments can improve your health and well being!

Matthew Hartenburg, D.C. Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ May 17, 2018 ~ Pages 89-94. https://www.vertebralsubluxationresearch.com/2018/05/17/heart-rate-variability-as-an-objective-outcome-measure-for-subluxation-based-chiropractic-care-for-athletes/

About Chiropractic, allergies, asthma, General, good health, Immunity, Pediatrics

Chiropractic Care of a Pediatric Patient with Asthma, Allergies, Chronic Colds & Vertebral Subluxation

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health Chiropractic, Volume 2009

Objective: To provide supporting evidence on the effectiveness of chiropractic care in relieving asthma and allergies and overall improvement in a pediatric patient’s immune system and health.

Clinical Features: A 7-year-old male was presented by his parents for chiropractic evaluation and possible care. The suffered from chronic colds, allergies, and asthma since the age of 5 months. At the time of initial evaluation, the patient was on a 1x/day dose of prescription Alavert for allergies and Albuterol for asthma. The patient’s illness caused him to miss approximately 1–2 days a month of school due to colds and symptoms of asthma. His parents also indicated that his health problems resulted in monthly visits to his medical doctor.

Interventions and Outcomes: The patient was cared for using specific, low-force adjustments with the Activator Instrument to address areas of vertebral subluxation in the cervical, thoracic, and lumbosacral spine. Within two weeks of initiating chiropractic care, the patient was able to discontinue his allergy and asthma medications (as decided upon by his parents) and the use of his nebulizer. In the first 5 months after beginning chiropractic care, he has had only wellness checkups at the medical doctor. In the past school year, the patient has not missed any days of school due to illness.

Conclusion: This case report provides supporting evidence that chiropractic care can help balance immune system functioning and relieve asthma symptoms as well as colds and allergies. It is recommended that further research be done on this subject to support the findings of this case study.


Joel Alcantara, BSc, D.C.; Laura Van Roo, D.C. and Rosemary E. Oman, Msc, FASBE, DC

Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic ~ Volume 2009 ~ Issue 3 ~ Pages 1-7. August 17, 2009

About Chiropractic, Athletes, General, Knee Injuries, Sports, Sports Injuries

Knee Injuries

How chiropractic can treat this common sports injury

Christina DeBusk February 13, 2018
3 minute read

photo and text credit: Chiropractic Economics

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMSD) reports that knee injuries are among the most common sports injuries sustained by athletes nationwide.

In fact, they rank right up there with other common athletic injuries such as muscle sprains and strains, fractures, and dislocations.

Though knee pain is problematic for anyone that must endure it, when it strikes someone who spends a lot of time being physically active, it can make life extra miserable. And if they play within the pro sports arena, it could even take away their livelihood.

So, what can you do help your athletic patients prevent or heal their knee pain so they can stay in the game without having to suffer? There are a few different options to consider, the first of which is chiropractic.

Chiropractic for knee pain relief

Several studies have revealed that chiropractic care is an effective tool for helping with sports-related injury prevention and treatment. One of the most notable studies was published in 2010 in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders and it involved 59 Australian Rules footballers. Twenty-eight of the participants were subjected to sports chiropractic intervention and the rest served as a control.

After almost eight months of individualized treatment sessions, it was noted that, when compared to the control, there was a “significant” difference in lower-limb muscle strains for those who received chiropractic care. Researchers also found that there was a sizeable difference in the number of weeks the control subjects missed due to non-contact knee injuries as they spent more time on the bench than the individuals who engaged in chiropractic.

Another study, this one published by The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, involved 43 subjects with chronic, non-progressive osteoarthritic knee pain. After undergoing three manual treatments per week for two consecutive weeks, “the intervention group reported a significant decrease in the present pain severity.” They also reported improved knee mobility when compared to a control.

At-home relief remedies

In addition to chiropractic, there are also many things athletes can do at home to potentially speed up the recovery process. Here are a few action items to consider.

  • The NIAMSD indicates that following the RICE method—rest, ice, compression, and elevation—can help reduce the pain, swelling, and tenderness associated with knee injuries. This involves reducing the amount of activity sustained, icing the knee area for 20 minutes at a time up to eight times per day, compressing the knee, and elevating it so it is above the heart.
  • Self-massage. Another at-home treatment method that can help with knee pain, especially if the pain is associated with osteoarthritis, is self-massage according to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA). To perform this self-treatment, the AMTA indicates that deep gliding strokes with the heel of the hand provide the greatest benefit. Just press four of fingertips into the tissue surrounding the entire knee area, moving the tissue up and down using short strokes.
  • Knee-strengthening exercises. Strengthening your knees is beneficial from both a prevention and treatment standpoint while also improving flexibility says and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS). This can be accomplished by regularly performing knee exercises such as straight-leg lifts, single-leg dips, wall squats, and step ups.
  • Lower body stretching exercises. The AAOS also stresses that lower body stretching exercises conducted after strength training sessions can help ease knee-related pain by increasing flexibility and reducing muscle tightness. Thus, stretching directed toward the quadriceps and hamstrings is part of a comprehensive healthy knee exercise regimen.
  • An anti-inflammatory diet. When most people hear the word “anti-inflammatory,” they think of medications. However, Medical News Today reports that an anti-inflammatory diet can also help with knee pain. This consists of adding fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, sardines, trout, and tuna), berries, avocados, watermelon, grapes, green leafy vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, olives, and olive oil to a dietary plan.
  • Taping the knee. When engaged in activities that use the knee, whether in sports or everyday activities such stair climbing and squatting down, the athlete may also find relief in using tape to better support the knee area. One study published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy found that both McConnell Taping Technique and Kinesio Taping Method were effective for lowering participants’ knee pain levels.

Combining chiropractic with these at-home treatment methods can help the athlete heal his or her injury and return to the sports arena quickly and more effectively.

Give Dr. Steve a call if you have any questions or concerns about your knee pain or injury.

About Chiropractic, Athletes, Sports

Sports chiropractic’s transition to preventing accidents and injuries

Preventing accidents and injuries has become as important as treatment for athletes seeking out chiropractic

Christina DeBusk March 9, 2020 ~ 3 minute read. Photo and article credit: Chiropractic Economics. Read Article HERE.

From D.D. Palmer’s first chiropractic adjustment in 1895, chiropractic has been considered a modality that helps patients heal. Now studies, research and evidenced by virtually every professional sports team employing a chiropractor link chiropractic with enhanced recovery from sports-related injuries.

One example is a dual-case report published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies that shares how chiropractic intervention helped two Australian Rules footballers completely resolve hamstring injuries. Another study, this one published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, shares how chiropractic was beneficial when treating ice hockey with a variety of muscle, joint, and tendon injuries.

Now chiropractic is being used as a way for athletes to get and stay in top shape before injuries can occur, hopefully preventing them altogether.

A shift in athletes’ perception of chiropractic care

“Many decades ago, doctors and patients alike started noticing that chiropractic care not only allowed them to feel better and eliminate aches and pains, but they also noticed it could help people recover faster from their injuries,” says Tabor Smith, DC, owner of Pure Life Family Wellness in Houston, Texas. “It wasn’t long after this realization that the sports industry caught on to it as well.”

One reason injury prevention is so important to athletes is because being injured can keep them from competing for long lengths of time, costing professional athletes and teams money, says Smith. “Depending on the nature of the injury, it could even become career-ending,” he adds.

This issue is made even more complex by the fact that some of the most commonly used recovery options include surgery and drugs. While these remedies are sometimes an effective option for athletes, “the amount of improvement someone can get just from drugs and surgery is limited,” says Smith. This has caused many athletes to turn to chiropractic instead.

image credit: chiropractic economics

Chiropractic for preventing accidents and injuries

“As recent as a few decades ago, athletic organizations realized not only could utilizing chiropractic care return an athlete to the roster quicker, but implementing consistent chiropractic check-ups and adjustments could in fact prevent many injuries in the first place,” says Smith. “An athlete whose body expresses normal biomechanics, alignment, and joint function is much less likely to sustain injury compared to an athlete who is not in proper shape or alignment.”

Whether taking this approach to gain a competitive edge or reach new personal goals, “It’s important to understand no matter how good an athlete is at what they do, they’re only one injury away from a major setback,” says Smith. “Many have discovered a secret to lowing their risk of injury by utilizing regular chiropractic care.”

Helping athletes embrace preventive care

Athletes are interested in achieving optimal health in an effort to improve their bodies and master their sport of choice. How can chiropractors utilize this desire to help them also realize that chiropractic is not only an effective sports injury treatment remedy, but may be able to help prevent issues in the first place?

“To a serious athlete, preventing injury is much more valuable than recovering from one,” says Smith. “When you add in the fact that regular chiropractic care can not only help prevent injury but it also helps to maximize performance, it becomes a very compelling case.”

Chiropractic becomes even more convincing when you consider that some of the greatest athletes in the world rely on this modality as part of their healthcare regimen. Case in point: the American Chiropractic Association reports that approximately 90% of world-class athletes currently engage in chiropractic care with a goal of preventing accidents and injury and improving performance.

“There’s a reason virtually every professional sports team has a chiropractor on their staff now,” says Smith. “To a professional sports program, the health and longevity of their athletes is top priority.”

Making chiropractic part of a healthy lifestyle 

“Chiropractic will always be great for helping people recover from injuries,” says Smith, “but no matter what level of activity a person participates in, they’ll be much better off if they incorporate chiropractic in their lifestyle. It’s definitely true what they say, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’”

About Chiropractic, corona virus, flu, General, good health

How Chiropractic Helps Fight the Flu

A healthy immune system is key to combating many illnesses, including the new corona virus. This post, which is considered general knowledge among chiropractic and medical communities, covers aspects pertaining to staying healthy during a normal flu season, but can be applied at any time.

The medical community is in unanimous agreement that the secret to fighting the flu is a healthy immune system. Unfortunately you can’t buy a healthy immune system and you can’t pop a pill and get a healthy immune system. A healthy immune system comes about as a result of having a fully functioning nervous system & body. Supporting the immune system is important to wellness. The most effective method is a comprehensive approach that involves exercise, stress management, diet, nutritional supplementation, plant-based medicines, and chiropractic care.

The flu season begins in November and is at its height between December and March. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 out of every 5 Americans will get the flu this year. The flu is another name for influenza. Considered contagious, it is a viral infection of the respiratory passages, which often causes fever, severe aching and/or intestinal infection. The flu is often mistaken for symptoms of the common cold. Colds are usually due to bacterial infection that overwhelms the body, often resulting in fatigue, coughing, sneezing, mucous build-up and drainage, fever and sometimes body aches. Are you prepared for the flu season?

Dr. Gartzke adjusts a young patient

Chiropractic care may be your answer to a clean bill of health this season. Chiropractic has been shown in hundreds of research articles to improve the function of the body’s immune system. If your immune system is working at 100%, especially because you get the benefits of chiropractic care, versus people who don’t use chiropractic, you have greater ability to be healthy and not suffer from as many cold’s and/or flu as the general population does. Chiropractic can give your immune system a boost with a spinal adjustment. Chiropractic care can help raise your natural resistance to disease by removing a serious interference to your proper body function: Vertebral subluxations. Remember, an elevated temperature (fever) is one of your body’s defense mechanisms, helping you to destroy infection. Lowering a mild to moderate fever reduces this defense against this illness condition. Likewise, other symptoms of colds and flu are the body’s attempts to clear itself of bacterial and viral influences that attack the body. Here are some facts and a recent study about chiropractic and the flu: A study shown in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research in 1997 showed chiropractic care to be effective in treating the flu. Over 2,800 individuals received regular chiropractic care and the result was an average decrease in the incidence of colds and the flu.

According to the World Chiropractic Alliance, spinal adjustments can help your immune system function better. An adjustment by a Doctor of Chiropractic corrects what are called vertebral subluxations, which can cause interference of the nervous system. When an adjustment is performed, it releases pressure on the nerves and allows more efficient interaction between your body’s nervous system and immune system. When your immune system is healthy it is better prepared to prevent or combat the flu.

Regular chiropractic care is beneficial to the body. Preventing the flu is just one of the many positive side effects of regular chiropractic maintenance. Do you really need a flu shot? Or could great flu-fighting benefits accrue from taking a healthier and more natural approach to fighting the flu? And of course eating right, exercising, and having a healthy body are all-important issues in combating the flu as well. The mind, emotion, and stress have a huge impact on immune function. Stress depresses the activity of white blood cells, the soldiers of the immune system that directly combat infection. Stress stimulates the sympathetic nervous system that is responsible for the fight or flight response. When the sympathetic nervous system is active, the immune system is not as stimulated and deep sleep is disrupted. The immune system appears to work at its best when we are happy. If you want a happy immune system, then you need to laugh often and view life from an optimistic point of view.

If you would like to learn more about utilizing chiropractic to improve or maintain your health, please give Dr. Gartzke at River Falls Spine Chiropractic & Wellness Center a call at (715) 425-9439. We’re here to help!