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.
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.
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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