Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, describing a patient with rheumatoid arthritis reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing these patients.  The literature included supports the role of chiropractic in those suffering from related health challenges and calls for more research in this area.

“Research is revealing that structural shifts in spinal alignment and the nerve obstruction they cause may be a factor in a number of disorders and can result in a host of health problems like rheumatoid arthritis because the body’s homeostatic mechanism is thrown off” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study.

McCoy added “If you damage or compress or otherwise interfere with the neurological structures in the spine this can have far reaching implications on the functioning of the body. Through research reports like this we are finding that correcting the structural abnormalities associated with these spinal problems reduces nerve obstructions and people experience improvement. In this study it was an improvement in pain levels and range of motion associated with Rheumatoid Arthritis.”

According to researchers the nervous system controls and coordinates all functions of the body and structural shifts in the spine can occur that obstruct the nerves and interfere with their function. By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic improves nerve supply and function.

The 28-year-old female reported on in the study was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, peripheral joint pain, and swelling.  The pain became more noticeable after a fall from a fence as it affected one joint at a time from the shoulder and hands to the knees and feet.  She also had complaints of headaches, dizziness, fatigue, toe pain, lower back stiffness, digestive issues, chest pain, fainting, and double vision.  She was taking medication several times a day to manage the pain.

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her neck, midback, and low back.  Decreased range of motion and muscle spasms were noted in her neck, midback, and low back.  X-rays confirmed these findings.  These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic care, she began to experience a better quality of life.  She did not require medication for pain management and her symptoms decreased dramatically.  Her range of motion improved also.

The study’s author called for additional research to investigate the clinical implications of chiropractic in this population.

To learn more about this study and chiropractic research visit, Vertebral Subluxation Research.