Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Chiropractic Care Improves QOL for Cerebral Palsy Patients

Scant information exists in the medical literature on chiropractic and cerebral
palsy (CP), but those Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) who work with CP patients say that most respond favorably to chiropractic treatment. CP patients have motor disorders that are unique to each individual, the result of damage to sensory-motor areas of the cerebral cortex that occurred during fetal development or childbirth and neonatal development. Any CP treatment must be individualized and specific to each person’s needs, although no treatment offers a cure.

Because the presentation of CP varies greatly from patient to patient, so does each patient's response to care. Some see improved comfort, some feel increased flexibility and motor control, and others notice improved bowel function or sleep. About three-quarters of all CP patients suffer from spastic CP and usually benefit from chiropractic treatment. Treatment is directed toward changing muscle tone, coordination, and motor development.

All CP patients have a pathology in their brains that is fixed and non-progressive. CP patients can expect a varied combination of applications including spinal and joint manipulations or adjustments, as well as specific exercises and a variety of environmental stimuli such as light, sound, and other brain-based applications. Regular adjustments help normalize motion in the spinal and extremity joints.

Pain is one of the most troubling aspects of CP—a result of the constant joint irritation that causes inflammation. Adjusting the joint reduces the mechanoreceptor irritation and helps reduce both the degree of spasm and the inflammation. The decreased muscle tension and lessened inflammation means the patient feels more relaxed and has less pain.

Unfortunately because the original damage to the central nervous system causes constant muscle spasm in those with spastic CP, although chiropractic care can bring great relief to these patients, improvement is often temporary. Without a cure available, this condition continues to present the patient with biomechanical and physiological challenges.

Treatment should be realistic and designed to help CP patients experience a higher quality of life. Initiating treatment as early as possible is critical for promoting the development of as many motor skills as possible, as well as helping patients learn the skills they need to compensate for lost function.

Because chiropractic helps increase the comfort level of many patients with CP, a major side benefit is that they can greatly reduce or eliminate their medications. These pain medications often come with serious side effects, especially for chronic users, and patients often develop a tolerance over time to them, which causes them to require ever increasing doses to experience the same level of pain relief. Therefore, including chiropractic care early as part of the treatment protocol for CP patients can potentially reduce their lifetime intake of pain medications and increase their overall quality of life.

Written by Mark Crawford, contributing writer, and reproduced from the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association. Edited by Optimal Family Chiropractic, LLC.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Spinal Link to Asthma

A report funded by the Australian Spinal Research Foundation suggests a link between chiropractic and the reduction of asthma symptoms.

According to Macquarie University researcher Dr. Ray Hayek, the study involved hundreds of people suffering with asthma symptoms.

"When an asthma sufferer is under the anxiety of a looming asthma attack, the levels of the hormone cortisol increase. This acute increase in cortisol through a number of mechanisms can bring on an asthma attack," says Dr. Hayek. "Levels of the stress hormone cortisol steadily decreased during the trial, and levels of immunological markers (immunoglobulin A) steadily rose."

Apparently, reducing stress to the nervous system with chiropractic care reduces the likelihood of asthma attacks. More proof that chiropractic care, because of its focus on the nervous system, may be helpful for improving a wide variety of health complaints.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Baby It's Cold Outside"

For the fourth year in a row, the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC) is launching its statewide community service initiative, "Baby It's Cold Outside" to help the less fortunate during the holiday and winter seasons.

Optimal Family Chiropractic is participating in the initiative by asking patients to bring non-perishable food items and/or unwanted coats, hats, gloves & scarves in good condition to their office through the holidays and until January 15, 2011. A special Drop-Off box is in the office waiting room.

Donations will be distributed to the Salvation Army, Goodwill, the local County Human Services and Jersey Cares and local food banks.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Do You Get the Message?

Many people think chiropractic is about bones, especially spinal bones. But the fact is, we're much more interested in nerves. In particular, the nerve messages that travel between the brain and the body and from the body back to the brain.

Any type of disruption can distort or disturb the integrity of the controlling and regulating messages from the brain. The result can be ill health.

A common culprit is the 24 moving bones of the spine that cover your spinal cord. When spinal bones lose their normal motion or position, it can irritate nearby nerves. Because the nervous system controls every cell, tissue, organ and system of your body, chiropractic care can help a wide variety of health problems.

Maybe you know someone who has been told that it"s "all in their head" or that they"ll have to "learn to live with it." Worse, someone who thinks they have a muscle relaxer shortage. Let them know about chiropractic!

Information provided by the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors.