New Research on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Spinal Pain & Chiropractic

Research News Staff
New Research on Rheumatoid Arthritis, Spinal Pain & Chiropractic

Chiropractic Alleviates Chronic Suffering in 59 Year Old Man

Recent research reporting on a 59 year old man who was suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and chronic pain reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in caring for people with these conditions. The research, reported in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research includes a review of the literature on chiropractic and the care of these types of conditions.

CLICK HERE to review the research 

“Research is revealing that structural shifts of the spine secondary to vertebral subluxation can be improved following chiropractic care” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. McCoy continued “This case adds to the body of scientific literature suggesting that chiropractic should play an important role in managing people with structural spinal distortions.” 

Abnormal spinal alignment and posture are associated with poor general health, physical function, emotional function, social function, and bodily pain. Normal spinal alignment and movement provides shock absorption and leverage, which protect the spinal cord and nerves from the forces of gravity and other daily traumas one may encounter. 

McCoy stated “Abnormal spinal alignment and posture also increase stress and strain to the nerve and blood supply of the spinal cord. This can seriously affect the nervous system.” It is a rare phenomenon for resolution of these abnormalities in the absence of intervention. However, there is literature that supports the effectiveness of chiropractic to restore a healthy spinal alignment and motion according to the research, thereby lowering the risk of chronic pain, degeneration and poor health.

The 59 year old man reported on in this study was diagnosed by his medical doctors with rheumatoid arthritis. He suffered from neck pain, headaches, ringing in his ears, foot pain, low back pain, and pain in his elbows, hands, hips, knees, legs, and feet bilaterally in addition to swollen joints. His history showed he was hit from the side in a motor vehicle accident 15 years prior, which is when the headaches and neck pain started and the joint pain in the rest of the body intensified. In the last 15 years that he has been under the care of his rheumatologist for his RA he has been treated with anti-inflammatory medications, prednisone shots, prescription pain killers, and muscle relaxers. He also had epidural steroid injections in his back two different times for pain. 

The man was examined by the chiropractor who took x-rays and found structural shifts in his upper neck. These structural shifts can lead to obstruction of the nerves and it is this obstruction, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

Following chiropractic care the patient stated his headaches and neck pain were gone, his posture was better, he was able to stop taking his medication and he rated his percentage of relief to be 90% and classified his improvement as “Excellent.”

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research
McCoy Press