Chiropractic care is often thought of by the public only in terms of relief from back and neck pain, but doctors of chiropractic have long espoused the health benefits received by patients for a wide variety of ailments.
“There are certainly no guarantees with any course of care,” said Dr. Pat Dougherty, a Spokane-based chiropractor who strives to keep current with the latest research and developments in health and wellness. “And every case depends on the specific factors associated with that case. But we see, from time to time, individual case studies that give rise to hope for many.”
Dr. Dougherty cited a recent case study by two colleagues involving an 8-year old female suffering from chronic earaches, headaches, and sinus pain.
“Aside from the common cold, ear infections are probably the most frequently diagnosed ailment among children,” said Dr. Dougherty. “This particular patient had undergone multiple emergency room visits, two surgeries on her ear drums and one surgery on her sinuses, and several rounds of antibiotic treatment, all to no avail.”
The parents brought the child in to see a chiropractor, and examination of the patient determined the presence of a vertebral subluxation.
“A subluxation is a misalignment of the spine that disturbs normal nervous system function,” said Dr. Dougherty. “Many chiropractors, including myself, have special, non-intrusive technology that allows them to conduct thermal and Surface Electromyography (sEMG) tests to assist in locating where such conditions exist.”
According to the case study, which was reported in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, and Family Health,
. . . a surface EMG [electromyography, a non-invasive procedure] was performed utilizing an Insight Subluxation Station, in accordance with published protocols. The purpose of the test was to assess paraspinal muscle activity and compare it to published norms.
The patient was placed in chiropractic are for a total of 29 visits over a three-month period. After one month, the parents reported an absence of headaches, earaches and sinus pain, at which point the parents cancelled a third surgery that had been scheduled. Nine months after the course of care was completed, the child remained free of all her previous symptoms, as confirmed by the child’s pediatrician.
“This is just one case study,” Dr. Dougherty emphasized, “and more studies are needed before any absolute conclusions can be drawn. But as chiropractors, we believe that the nervous system is the master-controller of the systems and functions of the human body. It stands to reason, then, that improvement in nervous system function, which is what we do as chiropractors, can have a beneficial effect on overall health.”
Dr. Dougherty uses the same Insight Subluxation Station technology in his practice that was used in the cited case study.