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Category: Scientific Studies
Date 11-mar-1999
Title The Types and Frequencies of improved Nonmuskuloskeletal Symptoms Reported After Chiropractic SMT
Author Charlotte Leboeuf-Yd, Iben Axén, Gregers Ahlefeldt, Per Lidefelt, Annika Rosenbaum, Thomas Thumherr
Main Condition/ Disease  Various Conditions-Visual, hearing,respiration,digestive
Source Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT); Volume 22, No9, 559-64;(Nov/Dec 1999)
Abstract The aim of this study was to investigate the frequency of different non-musculoskeletal symptoms reported by patients who had sought chiropractic care for musculoskeletal conditions e.g. back pain, sciatica etc. It involved analysing the clinical data from 87 Swedish chiropractors, for patients self reporting improved non-musculoskeletal symptoms. Results indicate that 21% to 25% of cases report improvement in at least one non-musculoskeletal symptom following spinal manipulative therapy (SMT).
Summary As mentioned in the abstract this is a study carried out to determine the frequency of reporting of improvement in symptoms not related directly to musculoskeletal complaints experienced by patients who had presented at their chiropractor for complaints normally associated with being addressed by chiropractors. There have been reports throughout the literature and anecdotally that according to the authors “spectacular ‘cures’ have been reported, based solely on clinical observations.” Because the literature does not provide suitable statistics or control groups, as the clinical situation doesn’t provided a control group Leboeuf-Yde et al decided to collect their own data. Using tested questionnaires they asked patients if they had had any unexpected positive non-musculoskeletal changes after their treatment. 462 separate reactions were recorded by about 23% of the patients and these fell into the following categories; respiratory system “easier to breathe”; digestive system “improved function” and eyes/vision “clearer, sharper, better vision”, followed by circulatory system “improved circulation”; Urinary tract “easier to urinate”; hearing “less tinnitus, better hearing”; followed by other improvements. It is not clear from the paper what vertebra was adjusted/manipulated or how the manipulation was achieved (what technique). In the 8 cases who reported improvements in hearing it is stated that the thoracic spine, in combination with some other spinal region was adjusted. The authors cite the Harvey Lillard experience and indicate that D.D. Palmer had adjusted the 4th thoracic vertebra or Lillard resulting in resumption of hearing. In fact my research shows this, adjustment to T4, to be incorrect, as according to the Chiropractic Green Books, Palmer actually adjusted axis (C2) (see my website www.upcspine.com). My opinion is that no ‘miracles’ occur until the upper cervical spine is adjusted, and my view is that subluxations below the level of C2 are compensations for the original upper cervical subluxation. Adjusting any other vertebrae other than the upper cervical vertebrae I suggest, achieves nothing. Future research should be directed to the upper cervical segments. The results of this study are positive even though 77% of patients did not report any non-musculoskeletal symptomatic improvements. I wonder what spinal segment was adjusted for these people. For example, if some of them had sciatica, was only the lower spine adjusted? I have personally witnessed sciatica ‘cured’ with an atlas (C1) adjustment, accompanied with improvements in other symptoms.
Keywords chiropractic manipulation, vision, digestion, hearing, respiration

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