A case study published on May 21, 2015, in the the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented chiropractic helping an elderly man suffering from severe postural issues, mild depression, low back pain, balance problems, and constant fatigue. This case study was reported from a chiropractic practice in Auckland, New Zealand.
The authors begin by explaining that, “Posture is the relative position of the body at any one moment, and the position of every joint in the spine has an effect on the position of every other joint.” They further explain that normal posture requires the least amount of energy to remain upright. Abnormal posture requires more energy from the muscles and places more stress on the joints supporting the posture.
As noted in the study, postural abnormalities can not only cause biomechanical stress on the spine, but can have a negative effect on the nervous system. This is known as subluxation. To further explain subluxation, the authors include the Association of Chiropractic Colleges’ definition of subluxation, “A complex of functional and/or structural and/or pathological articular changes that compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health.”
This case involved a 72-year-old man who went to a chiropractor in a private practice in Auckland, New Zealand. The study notes that he suffered with difficulty in walking due to balance disturbances, low back pain radiating down into the hips and thighs, perpetual tiredness, and a mildly depressed mood and state of mind. He was also taking heart and blood pressure medication for the past 10 years.
A case history and chiropractic examination was performed which included surface electromyography (sEMG) scans, and a postural analysis. Then, chiropractic care was started with the goal of reducing the man’s subluxations.
The study notes that the man noticed the biggest initial changes during the second and third weeks of his care. He reported that he had increased energy, felt steadier with increased balance, and was feeling happier overall with a more positive outlook on life. By the 6th week of care, the man reported that he could stand straighter, and had decreased pain levels with activity. He stated that he wanted to go out for longer walks with his wife, and felt more social with a general positive increase in his mood.
The authors summed up this case in their conclusion by stating, “While under chiropractic care, improvements in both self-reported subjective and objective measures were noted in a patient with severe postural alterations, low back pain, balance disturbances, perpetual tiredness and a mildly depressive state of mind. These improvements include overall physical, mental, and emotional well-being of the patient.”