OK, so you’ve probably heard, by now, about a relatively isolated incident in which a person had a stroke shortly after a chiropractic session.
Now, let’s forget for a moment that there are literally millions of spinal adjustments each day throughout the world.
In other words, let’s forget that such odds, if ever validated, remain far, far, far less than your chances of, say, dying due to anesthesia.
Let’s forget all that for a moment.
Let’s also forgive the family of the aforementioned soul for lashing out at chiropractic care in their quest for answers. Grief’s a tough nut, and everyone deals with it in his/her own unique way. No doubt, grief can be truly debilitating for some.
So, we can forgive them.
Instead, let’s focus on the truth.
What is the truth?
Well…it goes something like this:
There’s no evidence to support the claim that chiropractic care causes strokes.
Now, you don’t have to take my word for it. I’m just some guy penning an article, right?
And, in reality, I’m a biased soul; I love chiropractic care. I can’t imagine a life without it. While I don’t have much physical pain in my life, I am one of those people that just seems to always be “a little out.”
And I savor the feeling of “being put back in.”
Therefore, I love the stuff.
And I’m biased.
But science isn’t.
So, let’s take a look at the empirical data, shall we?
Chiropractic Care Does Not Cause Stroke
How about a brand new study, one that appears in the Journal of Stroke and Cerebrovascular Disease?
In the study, Canadian researchers compiled meta-data—that is, they gathered all the studies they could find on the subject. They did so for a nine-year period. Researchers compared more than 15,000 cases. Each individual had been admitted to a hospital, at some point, with a carotid artery stroke. The research team examined data from chiropractic sessions 1, 3, 7, and 14 days prior to such strokes.
The Research Findings
The research team’s conclusion?
“We found no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care. Associations between chiropractic and primary care physicians (PCP) visits and stroke were similar and likely due to patients with early dissection-related symptoms seeking care prior to developing their strokes.”
What’s this statement actually mean?
It’s scientist speak for, “There’s absolutely no evidence that chiropractic care causes strokes.”
A team of reputable researchers, publishing in a journal all about strokes…
Finds not one shred of evidence to support the claim that chiropractic care causes strokes.
Time to put away the fear and offer your chiropractor a big hug. He/she’s helping you heal…
Chiropractic is not meant to get rid of ear infections or any other disease or medical condition. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “What?!?!” It’s true, Chiropractic is not meant to get rid of any disease or medical condition, including ear infections. My one purpose as a Chiropractor is to help your body decrease the size and/or number of vertebral subluxations you have. (vertebral subluxation= bone of your spine out of place putting pressure on your the nerve roots exiting your spinal cord and your spinal cord itself)
Getting your spine checked regularly helps your body communicate and power itself better by taking pressure off of your nerves. Result: your body works better. The studies below were done in an attempt to prove Chiropractic helps get rid of ear infections in kids. They do indeed show that Chiropractic does help kids who have ear infections.
This should not come as much of a surprise to you because as you know, the nervous system controls all functions within our bodies. But why weren’t all of the kids in the study helped? Really, they were all helped, just not all of their ear infection symptoms went away. “What?!?!” If you take pressure off of a nerve, the body is ALWAYS better off, you just might not get the relief in symtoms that you want. Many different factors cause ear infections and usually it is a combination of things, which is why you will never find a study where Chiropractic helped get rid of 100% of ear infections or 100% of any disease or condition including the infamous “back pain” case.
Chiropractic doesn’t get rid of ear infections, it takes pressure off nerve roots and the spinal cord. Taking pressure off your nerves is always a good thing, regardless of what is going on with your health or in your life.
This is why you get your spine checked for vertebral subluxations regularly. You don’t just go because your back hurts, you have a headache or you heard Chiropractic can help kids with ear infections. If this is the only time you go, you are only using a minute fraction of the benefits Chiropractic has to offer. Regular spinal checks make sure your body’s nervous system is firing on all cylinders. Your brain is the master controller and it needs clear lines of communication to run your body at its best. Chiropractic adjustments keep the lines of communication open.
Get your child’s spine checked for vertebral subluxations if they don’t have an ear infection, get their spine checked for vertebral subluxations if they do have an ear infection.
Remember kids 18 & under are adjusted for FREE at my office as long as one of their parents is getting adjusted.
By: Dr. Peter Ahlers-Nelson, D.C.
1. Chiropractic and Ear Infection Study #1
-46 Children, age 5 and under
-93% of all episodes improved, 75% in 10 days or fewer and 43% with only one or two treatments.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1996 Mar-Apr;19(3):169-77.
2. Chiropractic and Ear Infection Study #2
-80% of the children did not experience another ear infection within the six-month period following their initial visits. The six-month period included maintenance treatments every four to six weeks.
Fallon JM. The Role of the Chiropractic Adjustment in the Care and Treatment of 332 Children with Otitis Media. Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics. 1997; Volume 2, No. 2:167-183.
In 1921, 26 years after Chiropractic was first discovered, Dr. Henry Winsor, M.D. asked the question:How can chiropractors adjust one vertebra and relieve medical problems related to internal organs?
Dr. Winsor dissected a total of 75 human and 22 cat cadavers in 3 studies to see if there was a relationship between any diseased internal organs and the bones of the spine associated with the nerves going to those organs. All of the diseased internal organs had misaligned bones interfering with their nerve supply!
These studies show a direct correlation between spinal misalignments and diseased internal organs. The Winsor Autopsy Studies are not saying that these spinal misalignments caused these diseases, rather they are saying that these diseased organs had vertebrae out of place putting pressure on their nerves.
I would suggest that these individuals would have been better off without those misalignments. I am also suggesting you would be better off without similar misalignments.
The only way you can decrease the size and number of spinal misalignments is by getting your spine checked regularly by a Chiropractor.
Diseases examined in the study:
All 9 cases of stomach diseases had spinal misalignment in the mid thoracics (T5-T9).
All 26 cases of lung disease had spinal misalignments in the upper thoracics (T1-T4).
All 13 cases of liver disease had misalignments in the mid thoracics (T5-T9).
All 5 cases of gallstone disease had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracics (T5-T9).
All 3 cases with pancreas disease had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracics (T5-T9).
All 11 cases with spleen diseases had spinal misalignments in the mid thoracics (T5-T9).
All 17 cases with kidney disease were out of alignment in the lower thoracics (T10-T12).
*Prostate and Bladder Disease
All 8 cases with kidney, prostate and bladder disease had the lumbar vertebrae (L2-L3) misaligned.
The 2 cases with the uterine conditions had lumbar vertebra L2 misaligned.
All 20 cases with heart and pericardium conditions had the upper 5 thoracic vertebrae (T1-T5) misaligned.
Dr. Winsor’s results are published in The Medical Times, November 1921, and are found in any medical library.
Please share what you know about Chiropractic with your friends, family, and neighbors. Everyone benefits when their body can communicate better with itself.
By: Dr. Peter Ahlers-Nelson, D.C.
1. Winsor, H. Sympathetic Segmental Disturbances – II. The evidence of the association, in dissected cadavers, of visceral disease with vertebral deformities of the same sympathetic segments. Medical Times, November 1921 pp. 267-271
I recently read an article which asked, “What percentage of the time was the Apollo 11 on course to the moon in 1969?” The answer was a surprising 3%. That’s correct. 97% of the time they were off course and had to correct their course. Fortunately they were able to constantly make those corrections so they ended up at their destination. The idea of correcting course is not so difficult to understand when it comes to travel. How much of the time when we are driving to a preplanned destination, is our car pointed directly at that destination? I am not sure that migrating birds even travel in a straight line. Many times I have seen geese flying east or west in the fall.
Life is about checking and correcting. When it comes to the human body there is a constant checking and correcting process. The weather can drop 20 or 30 degrees in the course of a day and the body must make changes to adapt. Even though we can put on heavier clothes, there is still a need to adapt. Parts of our body are subject to those changes. The food that we put into our body and changes in the quality of the air are just two factors that cause the body to make changes in its chemistry in order to adapt. The body has an inborn wisdom, an intelligence which is clearly able to make these changes every moment of the day. To a great degree it uses the brain and nerve system to bring about those changes. Just as the astronauts used computers and the intricate electrical system of the Apollo 11 to check and correct their course, we have an intricate system of nerves. Suppose one of those gauges did not work or the wiring system was not functioning properly? The astronauts could have missed the moon by thousands of miles. Similarly, when there is an interference in our nerve system due to vertebral subluxation, the body’s ability to “check and correct” is impaired. That could have devastating effects upon your ability to adapt. That is why we as chiropractors want to correct subluxations on a regular basis.
There is one other point to be made with regard to checking and correcting. Often people coming into a chiropractor’s office seem discouraged because visit after visit they seem to be subluxated. Sometimes they even express concern that they may be spending more time subluxated than adjusted, and that perhaps their adjustment only hold’s a few days or even just a few hours between visits. But that is one of the fantastic things about the human body. When it is “on course,” when it is free of vertebral subluxation, it has the capacity to do some pretty fantastic things. If the astronauts can make it to the moon only being on course for 3% of the time, imagine what your body can do if you have it “checked and corrected” every week. Even if it only stays corrected 3% of the time, the innate intelligence of the body is expressing itself 100%, making changes, creating new tissues, healing and normalizing function. That is no small thing.
By: Dr. Joe Strauss, D.C.
More and more, the health fields are acknowledging the interrelationship of areas of health and human function that previously were thought to be unrelated. In the field of psychology, researchers are finding that depression weakens the bones, anxiety about eating can affect the menstrual cycle and stress can affect fertility. Whether these findings are actually true or not, they still underscore the fact that everything affects everything. We cannot be unhealthy mentally or emotionally and expect to be healthy physically. Conversely, we should expect our physical health to affect our emotional and mental well-being.
In a similar manner, we cannot expect what we put into our bodies in the form of medication to only affect one specific part. The entire body is affected by any drug that we take, regardless of its intended purpose. Those chemicals placed in the body in the form of caffeine and alcohol also affect our entire body. While everyone may not have experienced the wide-awake-in-the-middle-of-the-night, heart-racing effects of caffeine, we have all seen the numbness of thought and loss of reflexes and coordination brought on by too much alcohol.
There is an up side to all of this. All those good things that we do to and for our bodies also affect us in every way. When school children eat a good breakfast, it not only helps make their bodies stronger, it enables them to do better in their class work. When you exercise regularly, you are helping to improve the digestion, absorption, metabolization and utilization of the food that you eat. Exercise helps your respiratory system and your cardiovascular system but it also helps you to get the most from your sleep, which in turn affects your ability to handle stress which affects your cardiovascular system and digestion. Are you beginning to see the point? Nothing done to or for the body occurs in a void; anything relates to everything.
This principle is nowhere more obvious than in chiropractic care. When a person undertakes chiropractic care, for whatever reason, the adjustments have a profound and far-reaching effect upon the entire body. When the chiropractor corrects a subluxation, the entire body is improved. Every system in the body functions at a higher level. The body has greater potential to heal itself and resistance increases. But there are even unnoticed effects. The individual’s ability to think, to reason and to make good decisions is improved. His or her ability to do their job, to relate to people and to be as effective as possible at work and play increases. Every aspect of one’s life is better because of one little adjustment. How much better is the question. Frankly, we do not know. These things are not measurable. Granted, in some people drastic changes are noted. People’s bodies heal themselves where before they could not. Athletes show marked improvement in performance, children do better in school. But the major improvements are going to be imperceptable at the time, like eating an apple. You do not see the immediate effects of eating the apple but you know that the body is better for it. We may not see the immediate results of an adjustment but we know that chiropractic adjustments add to our health and for that reason we should be receiving them on a regular basis.
By: Dr. Joe Strauss, D.C.