A case study in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research illustrated changes in cholesterol levels and quality of life in a patient following chiropractic care.
Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Among the major risk factors for cardiovascular disease, dyslipidemia is cited as a major risk factor. Dyslipidemia is a combination of ill-favored cholesterol levels in the circulating blood, namely Low Density Lipoprotien (LDL).
In this case study, a 49-year-old female presented with neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, low back pain, dyslipidemia and vertebral subluxations. Lipid lowering statins were prescribed by her medical physician, but using her own judgment, she elected not to take them.
Statins are the number one prescribed drug for the treatment of dyslipidemia. Statins decrease the body’s ability to produced LDL and have been shown to moderately increase HDL leading to better overall cholesterol levels. Indeed, recent trials have emphasized the use of statins in the fight against cardiovascular disease, however overall mortality is not reduced even though reductions of cardiovascular deaths were seen. This was due to a rise in deaths from other causes. It is also important to realize that cholesterol itself is not the enemy; cholesterol is made by the body and is essential for human life.
The patient was treated with chiropractic spinal adjustments over a six-month time span. During initial care, her total cholesterol improved from 221 to 170 mg/dL. Her LDL went from 153 to 109 mg/dL and HDL went from 33 to 38 mg/dL. Triglycerides improved from 241 to 199 mg/DL and quality of life scores were increased in eight categories. No other interventions were used.
In 1992, a retrospective study was conducted, and cholesterol lab values were taken on ten randomly selected subjects over a three-year period. Results showed that LDL and total cholesterol decreased in 70 percent of the subjects, bringing 80 percent of the subjects originally classified as borderline high to high-risk down to desirable levels following chiropractic care.
This suggested relationship between regular chiropractic care for improved function, which can allow the body to improve homeostasis, including improvement of blood lipid levels. The clinical process documented in this report suggests that chiropractic care reduces subluxations and stress on the spinal column and nervous system, and as a result of this reduced stress, there is a reduction of dysponesis, which is evidenced by improved quality of life and blood serum cholesterol levels. Dysponesis refers to errors in physical reactions to various stimuli, which as a result, produce functional disorders in the body. This is very promising data.