A case study published on November 11, 2013, in the journal the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, documented the case of man suffering from Essential Tremors who was helped by chiropractic care. The International Essential Tremor Foundation describe essential tremors as, “Also known as familial tremor, benign essential tremor or hereditary tremor, essential tremor (ET) is a neurological condition that causes a rhythmic trembling of the hands, head, voice, legs or trunk.”
The authors begin by noting that essential tremor (ET) is the most common tremor disorder in the world. Essential tremors are estimated to occur in 3 to 4 people per 1000 with people over the age of 60 being at a higher risk. The authors report that ET is as much as 20 times more common than Parkinson’s disease.
In this case, a 38-year-old man presented for chiropractic care with a chief complaint of tremors in his upper extremity that started 15 years ago. There was nothing in his immediate history that seemed to be related to the onset. Prior to coming to the chiropractor, he had been diagnosed with ET which began in both his head and his arms. On a scale of 0 to 10 with 10 being the worst, the man described his head and right arm tremors as a being a 10. His tremors occurred daily and lasted the entire day.
The study authors record the man’s history by noting, “The patient was unable to write with his right hand due to the tremors and stated he was unable to lift a drink to his mouth because he would spill the drink everywhere. He stated that all of his activities of daily living are interrupted by the tremors.”
A chiropractic examination was performed including thermal heat studies. Additionally, both static spinal x-rays and motion x-rays (fluoroscopy) were performed. The results of the examination verified the presence of subluxation in the upper back and neck of the man’s spine. A course of care involving specific chiropractic adjustments was started.
After the first adjustment, the man noticed an improvement in his symptoms. He reported that he was able to lift his right hand to his mouth with minimal tremors. As care continued, he showed steady improvement of his symptoms. After a few weeks, of care a second set of x-rays was taken. These new x-rays showed significant spinal improvements in his curvatures.
The study authors report the man’s improvement by noting, “The patient reported improvements of 75% for the tremors in both of his arms, 99% for the tremors in his head, 90% for his low back pain, 90% in overall stiffness, and felt that his overall quality of life has improved by 60%.”
The authors’ conclusion stated, “The patient’s symptoms and quality of life were dramatically improved under chiropractic care when his vertebral subluxations were reduced. The medical community has experienced very little success with treating essential tremors, while the chiropractic community has limited research on the subject. This case is an example of the potential of chiropractic care in helping patients suffering from ET, and shows that there is more research needed on the effects of chiropractic and ET.”