As a Foundation, we have always celebrated research that advances the cause and understanding of chiropractic. The last twelve months have seen us undertake a massive drive toward defining and researching the cornerstone of our profession: the vertebral subluxation. It gives us great pleasure to read our definition of the vertebral subluxation referenced in a number of case reports recently published.
Among these studies was a piece by Dr’s David Russell and Tanja Glucina. The case report followed a 38 year-old female patient who suffered from Crohn’s disease, and was dealing with a number of lifestyle restrictions and quality of life challenges due to her battle with the disease .
Crohn’s Disease, as most will know, is a relapsing inflammatory bowel disease with no confirmed etiology. Characterized by “abdominal pain, fever, bowel obstruction or diarrhoea, weight loss, anemia, skin rashes and fatigue,” the condition can be managed to help prevent relapse, but not cured . Curiously, its prevalence is increasing across the globe, and with it the cost of its multiple impacts on sufferers . Many of these sufferers are starting to turn to complementary and alternative medicine to aid in their management of the disease .
To date, there is a definite paucity of literature pertaining to chiropractic care of patients with Crohn’s Disease, making Russell and Glucina’s paper an important contribution to literature on the matter. Despite the high number of chiropractors who care for patients with Crohn’s Disease , few have published case reports or studies on it.
In this study, the patient reported that her state of health had deteriorated following her diagnosis. This had a vast array of impacts on pain and anxiety, as well as business and social impacts. Upon presentation, she reported 50% – 63% satisfaction across all domains of the self-reported “Health, Wellness and Quality of Life (HWQL)” instrument.
Over the course of chiropractic care, which spanned 6 weeks/12 visits for the purpose of the study, the patient reported multiple improvements including the areas of: posture, digestion, bowel function, breathing, state of mind, energy levels, sleep, strength, eating habits, pain and stress.
Her retake of the HWQL instrument (post-care) saw her report an increase from 63% – 100% in quality of life, and from 55% – 93% in life enjoyment among other improvements. While these increases are likely the issues of biggest interest to the patient, chiropractors are likely to be more curious as to the impacts on her state of subluxation.
At the beginning of the process, she was found to have vertebral subluxations (using common clinical indicators) at “C1, C2, T1-T8, T/L junction and right sacroiliac joint .” She was managed using the Torque Release Technique and no other interventions were used during the 6-week time period.
The researchers noted significant improvements in her state of subluxation, with thermography and sEMG recordings improving significantly following 6 weeks of care. Those findings indicated “improvement in dysponesis and dysautonomia.” (Full details of the vertebral subluxations, thermography and sEMG data readings can be found in the full report, referenced below).
Seeing the patient’s self-reported improvements in health, wellness and quality of life alongside objective-measurements of improvements to her state of subluxation is a truly exciting thing. This is particularly significant, given new research that shows we can reliably detect the subluxation. (Read more on that here.)
We know that case studies always carry the limitation of being isolated cases thus not giving us the benefit of generalization, but this one is an interesting contribution to a topic that already carries some evidence. Among the existing evidence is a study had its origins in “the observation that of 3,013 patients with atopic dermatitis, bronchial asthma, pollinosis (hay fever), allergic coryza, drug allergies, food allergies, etc. a high ratio also had Crohn’s disease .”
It divided 57 Crohn’s patients into a treatment group and a control group, and the treatment group underwent spinal adjustments to reduce vertebral subluxations. That study found that, of the 17 person control group, 12 showed “long-term and stable remission of their symptoms, and 9 experiences an alleviation effect,” thus funding that “vertebral subluxation is a common and characteristic finding in patients with allergies and Crohn’s disease .”
More case reports do exist, including one published this March. It saw a 60-year old Crohn’s patient receive “a complete remission of his diagnosis per his endocrinologist” after nine months of chiropractic care .
Russell and Glucina’s case report used the Australian Spinal Research Foundation’s definition of the Vertebral Subluxation in their case study, which serves the dual purpose of providing a testable model for research and adding to the peer-reviewed literature featuring our definition. Being that our definition was only very recently released, this is an exciting development indeed.
We look forward to more research featuring our definition, and of course more data on Crohn’s Disease patients under chiropractic care. In the mean time, make sure you carve out some time to read this case study in full!
 Russell D, and Glucina T (2018), “Improvement in Quality of Life in a Female Patient with Crohn’s Disease Following Chiropractic Care for the Correction of the Vertebral Subluxation: a Case Report,” Chiropractic Journal of Australia, Vol. 46, No. 1, http://www.cjaonline.com.au/index.php/cja/article/view/188
 Staff Writer, (2018), “Crohns Disease,” Mayo Clinic, Retrieved 11 April 2018 https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/crohns-disease/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20353309
 Lashner B, (2013), “Crohn’s Disease,” Cleveland Clinic for Continuing Education and Disease Managament,” Retrieved 11 April, http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/gastroenterology/crohns-disease/
 Verhoef MJ, Rapchuk I, Liew T, Weir V, Hilsden RJ. Complementary practitioners. views of treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. Canadian J Gastroenterol 2002;16(2):95-100
 Takeda Y Arai S and Touichi H (2002), “Long Term Remission and Alleviation of Symptoms in Allergy and Crohn’s Disease Patients Following Spinal Adjustment for Reduction of Vertebral Subluxations,” A. Vertebral Subluxation Res. 4(4), 2002
 Phillips M and Wilt T (2018), “Complete Remission of Crohns Disease Following Subluxation Centered Chiropractic Care: A Case Report and Review of the literature” A. Vertebral Subluxation Res. March 10, 2018