Research News Staff
New Research on Reactive Arthritis & Chiropractic

Chiropractic Shown to Help Reduce Suffering in Young Girl 

Recent research reported in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, described a child with Reactive Arthritis reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in helping alleviate the suffering of 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.

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“Research is revealing that structural shifts of the spine secondary to vertebral subluxation play a role in the functioning of the immune system and 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 helping people with structural spinal distortions and immune challenges.” 

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. 

“Numerous case studies and some clinical studies are revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and the various problems children suffer from” stated Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study. “By removing the structural shifts, chiropractic helps improve nerve supply, range of motion, and function.” 

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 10-year-old female reported on in the study had an upper respiratory infection which led to Reactive Arthritis, severe neck and mid back pain. Her Reactive Arthritis caused her to tire quickly and experience neck, back, leg, arm, feet, and hand pain. She had stiffness and flare ups every 3-4 weeks since the age of three.  This greatly affected her ability to walk, dress herself, and play sports. She rock climbed weekly until she could not tolerate the pain any longer.  She almost drowned due a flare up while swimming.  Medications did not provide relief. 

The chiropractor examined her and found structural shifts in her neck, mid back, low back, and pelvis.  Decreased range of motion and pain were noted in her neck, mid back, low back, legs, arms, feet, and hands.  X-rays and other testing 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 experienced resolution in the pain and stiffness, with improvements in her quality of life.  She eventually was able to return to her daily activities without limitations and she began enjoying life again. 

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

Contact Information: 

Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research
McCoy Press