Polio and Chiropractic, a Case Study
A case study appeared in the
June 2006 issue of Clinical Chiropractic and reported on a 69-year-old
retired woman and civil servant who is a post-polio sufferer. In this
case the woman presented with left hand pain of over 40 years duration with
limited flexion of the fingers of her left hand. She reported that the
pain had increased considerably over the past year.
The polio left the woman
disabled, with the muscles of her right arm being severely wasted and
affected so badly that it was now practically useless. She also
suffered from additional health issues, some of which were related to her
history of polio. She also reported an itching in her left hand. Her
problems were severe enough that her surgeon recommended surgery for her
multiple problems with her left hand.
In this case the patient
began a course of chiropractic care and received care for
13 visits that were recorded for this case study. Over this period a
number of improvements were noted. Following just her first visit, the
patient noticed improvement with the feel and look of her left hand. She
reported that it noticeably changed color from white to a more normal pink.
Over the next few days she continued to notice hand improvement as well as a
discontinuation of her hand itching.
After her sixth visit the
patient's hand strength was measured and monitored. Over the next seven
visits it improved going from a measured strength of 11.5 kg to
16kg. The case study also documented a noticeable improvement in her
posture, with a significant visual decrease in her scoliosis and an
improvement in her gait.
The case study noted that the
woman returned to her surgeon after the study. They noted that the
surgeon was very pleased with the patient's improvement in her appearance
and functionality in her left hand and stated that he believed there was no
longer a need for surgery or for any further visits.
In the discussion of this
case the authors reported on a previous survey of 500 members of post-polio
self-help groups in Australia, and their ratings of their responses to
various forms of care including chiropractic. The results of this
survey showed that Chiropractors received the highest patient satisfaction
ratings for being “very helpful” at 45%, and General Practitioners received
the lowest percentage at 22%. Additionally, that survey showed that
chiropractors were judged as providing significantly more help than the
other major health practitioner groups.