Saturday, October 31, 2009

Organic Disease and Upper Cervical Care


Excerpt from:
Autism, Asthma, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Strabismus, and Illness Susceptibility:
A Case Study in Chiropractic Management.

As Published in the Journal Today’s Chiropractic; Vol 27, No 5: 32-47


Pathologies of organic origin are commonly thought to be the exclusive realm of medical treatment and not part of the mainstay of chiropractic care. The clinical observations of a patient presenting with autism, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, strabismus, and illness susceptibility are reported. Alleviation of symptoms is seen subsequent to corrections of abnormal biomechanical function of the occipito-atlanto-axial complex. A relationship between biomechanical faults in the upper cervical spine and the manifestation of abnormal central neurophysiological processing is suggested as the genesis of this patient’s symptomatology.

The most important factor in this case was our ability to objectively monitor the adjustment’s affects on the patient’s neurophysiology. Many different types of tests are used in our profession such as leg length, cervical challenge, motion and static palpation, and others. However, these tests lack objectivity, posses inherent errors, and have no literature confirmation of their ability to monitor neurophysiology. Digital infrared imaging, however, has been researched for over 30 years compiling almost 9,000 peer-reviewed and indexed articles confirming its use as an objective measure of neurophysiology. By using this technology, our clinic has been able to consistently determine the correct adjustive procedures that produce reproducible and dramatic positive neurophysiological improvements in our patients.

If the foundation of our profession stands on the principle that homeostasis is dependent upon coordinated neurophysiology, then we must directly and objectively monitor this system as an outcome measure to our care. But not any way of monitoring this system will suffice. We need to measure the autonomic nervous system if we are to monitor the global systemic aspect of the nervous system’s control. Paraspinal digital infrared imaging fulfills this need by objectively measuring the autonomic changes of all 32 spinal nerves as they exit to effect deep visceral function. Since testing does not involve patient compliance, such as movement or a verbal response, paraspinal infrared imaging becomes as objective a test of neurophysiology as we can get.

To what magnitude the upper cervical spine is involved in the genesis of organic conditions remains to be seen. In an atmosphere where much of the public see our profession as useful for neck and back pain treatment at most, patients with complex disorders are left unaware of the possible benefits of care. The body of literature detailing a possible upper cervical etiology, or at least contribution, to organic disorders is substantial. Further research into this area of the spine, combined with objective monitoring of neurophysiology, may reveal that chiropractic does indeed offer consistent conservative management of complex visceral disorders.

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