Stroke Patient Improves Under Chiropractic – A Case Study

In the April 17, 2017, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research is a published study documenting the case of a man who had suffered a stroke 18 years earlier being helped by chiropractic.

According to the study authors,  Stroke is the leading cause of disability, third leading cause of mortality, and fifth leading cause of death in the United States.  They continue,  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines stroke as something that occurs to interrupt blood flow causing brain cells to die within minutes due to the lack of available oxygen.  It is estimated that approximately 800,000 people suffer a stroke in the United States each year.

There are three types of stroke: ischemic, hemorrhagic and transient ischemic attack (TIA). Ischemic strokes, either transient or permanent, occur when there is some sort of blockage of an artery that brings oxygenated blood to the brain. These types of strokes account for 80% of the cases. The remaining 20% of strokes are hemorrhagic strokes, which is when an artery in the brain ruptures and leaks blood.

Statistics show that 40% of stroke survivors will experience moderate to severe impairments that require some form of specialized care. Of those, 25% will have minor impairments, and only 10% of those that have a stroke will recover almost completely. The statistics show that 14% of those who suffer one stroke will have another one. The mortality rate of those that suffer a stroke is not encouraging. Within 10 years of suffering a stroke, 32% of stroke victims die.

In this case, a 58-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking relief from left hip pain that he rated as 8 out of 10 in severity. The man had tried therapy and cortisone shots which gave little relief. In his history, he noted that he had suffered a stroke 18 years earlier which left him with some residual paralysis bilaterally with little to no control over his fine motor skills and widespread muscle spasticity. His right hand was contracted in a complete fist which left it unusable. His motor skills were also impaired such that he had trouble putting on his jacket, buttoning it, or zipping it up. The man’s medical doctor told him that these effects were permanent.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural evaluation, range of motion, palpation and spinal x-rays. Based on the finding of the presence of subluxations, chiropractic adjustments were started on a regular basis.

After a short period of time, the patient reported that his back pain had eased considerably. However, in addition to his back pain being helped, it was also noted that after two months of chiropractic, the man was able to turn the pages of a book with his right hand, something he had not been able to do since his stroke. Additionally, after eight months, he reported improvement in his fine motor skills, reduction of muscle spasticity, and overall easier movement. Over time, he was able to take his right hand, which had been locked in a fist, and flatten it out on a table. He also reported that he was able to move well enough to put on his own jacket, snap the buttons, and zip it without help. He also noted that he was able to workout on his home workout equipment, which was something he was unable to do since his stroke.

The man also noted one other interesting effect that he attributed to his chiropractic care. After chiropractic, the man visited his optometrist and was told that for the first time since his stroke, his eyewear prescription did not change. The man found this strange because at each optometrist evaluation visit since his stroke, his eyes had gotten worse.

In the conclusion of this study, the authors wrote,  The clinical progress documented in this case suggests that chiropractic care addressing the vertebral subluxation.

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