A study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on August 29, 2011 documents a case of chiropractic helping a patient suffering with depression, anxiety and pain. The study notes that the patient had multiple health issues, and that correction of vertebral subluxations under chiropractic care allowed the patient to show significant improvements in many areas.
According to the study, mood disorders, such as depression, affect about 16% of the population, and according to the World Health Organization, is the fourth leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Currently, the most common medical treatment is drugs which the study notes are at best only 50% effective in helping treat the symptoms of depression.
In this case, a 58-year-old man went to the chiropractor with primary complaints of long-standing, left shoulder pain that went down his left arm and between his shoulder blades. The man reported that he had never had this type of pain, and that it was getting progressively worse.
The man's history showed that he had two severe car accidents requiring hospitalization and one required knee replacement and facial surgery. He had been medically diagnosed with high cholesterol, depression, and anxiety and was on pain medication, anxiety medication, and high cholesterol medication for the previous ten years.
A chiropractic examination consisting of palpation, range of motion, postural analysis, ands nerve testing was conducted, and each showed positive findings for vertebral subluxation. The study noted that subluxations "...can lead to a myriad of physiological changes." The author continued by reporting, "These physiological changes can cause many symptoms over time and influence health negatively."
Chiropractic care was initiated at a rate of three visits per week with a total of 39 visits over a 3 month period. Specific spinal adjustments were given based upon the findings during care. After the initial three months, a reassessment was performed in which the man self-reported that he was feeling better. He noted that he had only a little shoulder or neck pain remaining at that time.
The man also reported that he felt happy for the first time in about ten years. Specific diagnostic questionnaires were given to measure depression and anxiety at both the initiation of care, and at the time of the follow-up. Each of these specific tests showed a marked improvement in their scores, a fact that was reinforced by the patient's own perception of his well being. The study reported that the patient stopped taking his pain medication and initiated discussions with his MD to work toward discontinuing all his medications.