Today I wanted to share a great story that a local news station in Omaha Nebraska did on Chiropractic and Infertility. It features the story of one women who became pregnant after 3 months of chiropractic care when other infertility treatments had failed her. For any couple wishing to have a child, this story represents real hope .
But it’s just one women and one situation and if you saw this segment on your evening TV, it would be easy to dismiss the story as a coincidence. The critical question is…how many other infertile women has chiropractic helped and what is the likelihood it will work for me?
The doctor in the story explains how spinal adjustments can aid fertility issues. His explanation is that adjustments ensure that the nerves which send signals to the ovaries and other reproductive organs are transmitting properly. One of the basic tenets of chiropractic care is that normal nerve function is necessary for good health – which of course includes normal hormonal functions, ovulation and menstruation.
But again, he is just one doctor in one town. Isthere any evidence that chiropractic really improves fertility among women that are struggling to conceive?
The answer is yes.
At the end of the news story the anchor makes reference to a research study (Behrendt, 2003) that showed 14 of 15 women with a history of fertility issues became pregnant after starting chiropractic care. The women’s stories are all quite different and all very personal.
One 32-year-old woman had had no menstrual cycle for the past 12 years. She had been unsuccessful with medical infertility treatments. Then after 4 months of chiropractic care her menstrual cycle resumed and after two additional months she became pregnant – unassisted.
Another great story to emerge from the study was that of a 26-year-old woman with terrible scoliosis. She had had multiple medical fertility treatments to help her conceive. She became pregnant – again unassisted – in her seventh month of chiropractic care.
Reflecting upon the findings of the study Dr. Behrendt commented that “although not conclusive, the results of the research should stimulate consideration of structure as a factor in infertility and increase awareness of the role of the central and peripheral nervous system in fertility.” We couldn’t agree more.
As a woman reading this article, do you know where in your spine the nerves that supply your reproductive organs are located? Most likely not. And if you are like most women, you’ve never thought about reproductive issues from the perspective of nerve signals.
Fortunately, this line of thinking is starting to make its way into the mainstream. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the American Pregnancy Association website makes reference to nervous system function and the benefits of chiropractic care for infertility. The American Pregnancy Association site states that “in many cases, fertility issues may be associated with improper nervous system function, poor nutrition, high stress and poor lifestyle habits.” It goes on to note that “chiropractic care can be used in conjunction with traditional approaches to fertility issues and can greatly enhance the chances of successful medical procedures such as IVF.”
Once you factor in the price and possible side-effects of IVF treatments, choosing chiropractic care first to aid conception is a very logical choice backed by solid evidence.
If someone you love is struggling with infertility and has never visited a chiropractor for an evaluation, please share this article with them. If you personally are having difficulty conceiving, please call us so we can answer your questions about chiropractic and fertility.
(n.d.). Retrieved August 11, 2011, from American Pregnancy Association: http://www.americanpregnancy.org/infertility/infertilityandchiropractic.html
Behrendt, D. (2003). Insult, Interference and Infertility:An Overview of Chiropractic Research. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, 1.
With numerous chiropractic techniques available, choosing the treatment right for you can be a tough decision. If you’re not an expert, the various techniques can seem confusing, and may complicate your choice in finding the right chiropractor for you. One specific technique frequently seen is the Gonstead technique, named after its founder, Dr. Clarence S. Gonstead, who established the Gonstead Clinic of Chiropractic in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin.
But what is the Gonstead technique, and why is it different from other chiropractic methods? Dr. Gonstead discovered that foot and leg pains, which were previously difficult to treat via conventional medicine, responded to chiropractic care, and this led him to further investigate the health benefits behind chiropractic medicine.
The body’s foundation is grounded in the pelvic girdle, which consists of the pelvic bones and the lower back. If the girdle is rotated or tilted out of place, along with the vertebrae in the spine, it can result in various health issues. Pressure on disc separation in the vertebrae can cause misalignments in the spine, which can in turn compress and inflames the nerves, thus putting pressure on the nervous system. Generally, most chiropractors detect misalignments in the upper portion of the spiral column, but often relief from these adjustments is limited. The Gonstead technique focuses on the lower portion of the spine, which is frequently the origin of the problem. This treatment restores and maintains health by locating and correcting any interference with the body’s nervous system caused by swelling and misalignment of the vertebrae discs.
The Gonstead technique seeks to go beyond the usual treatment offered by most chiropractors, offering a full spinal assessment and analysis with various criteria, in order to determine the location of inflamed or misaligned spinal discs. First, visualization is carried out, in which the doctor examines the patient for any subtle changes in movement and/or posture in the back that could result in potential problems. Instrumentation also plays a key role in the Gonstead technique. A nervoscope detects uneven distributions of heat along the spinal chord, possibly attributed to inflammation or nerve pressure. A chiropractor practicing the Gonstead technique uses a process known as static palpitation --feeling the spine in a stationary position in order to locate areas of swelling, tenderness, and abnormal texture or tightness in the muscles and tissues in the back. The technique of motion palpitation involves feeling the spine while the patient is moving and bending into various positions. In this way the chiropractor can determine how each segment in the spine moves in different directions. The doctor also visualizes the structure of the spine via X-ray analysis, which is helpful to evaluate posture, joint and disc integrity.
After the analysis is complete, the necessary adjustments can then be made. The aim is to be as precise, accurate and specific as possible, with focus on the problem areas of inflammation and dislocation.
Dr. Weir does not use the Gonstead meathod, but can help direct you to a Gonstead Doctor if you feel this would be a good fit for you. Dr. Weir uses a lower force technique called ProAdjuster. You can find out more information here http://www.backinactionchiropractic.com/proadjuster/
 http://www.gonstead.com/ Accessed September 2011
 http://www.chiroaccess.com/Articles/Technique-Summary-Gonstead-Technique.aspx?id=0000128 Accessed September 2011
When most of us sneeze, we put it down to a cold or even allergies, and our first thoughts are to pop an antihistamine pill – not to call a chiropractor! But did you know that a chiropractor could help you overcome your allergy problems? Most people associate chiropractors with back and neck issues, and while it’s true that chiropractors can help with such health conditions, they can also help the body achieve optimum health by ensuring the spine is correctly aligned.
A study from the University of California  found that signals from the nervous system may influence the function of the immune system. While our immune system is there to fight against viruses, disease and infection, and helps to keep the body performing at its peak, it also works to dispel foreign contaminants that enter the body. When we sneeze because of an allergy, it’s because our body detects the presence of a foreign object in the system, such as dust, mites, pollen, etc. and it produces chemicals to neutralize and expel the allergens. These chemicals are known as histamines. In the case of allergies, the immune system overreacts to the presence of the allergens in the body.
A chiropractor may help by removing the nerve interference from compressions in the spine, and as a result the immune system is able to function optimally once more.
Most traditional treatments for allergies, such as antihistamines, only deal with managing the symptoms and don’t eliminate the cause. The safety of anti-allergy medication is under debate, the long-term use of antihistamines or combined with other medication may cause cancer. A study conducted in lab rats with brand name anti-allergy medication found that cancerous tumors in the rats grew much father with the intake of antihistamines .
A chiropractor treats the patient by releasing the stresses on the patient’s nervous system, which as a result causes the immune system to work more effectively and as a consequence allergies are thereby reduced. Patients with misaligned spinal vertebra may have pinched nerves, which apply pressure and stress the system. Once the trapped nerve is released, the nervous system in general is free from stress and the body can then work more effectively to neutralize the allergy-causing chemicals found in the body.
Spinal health is as beneficial to the body as is good nutrition. A Bellevue chiropractor can help the body to achieve optimal health and can help to improve the quality of life.
 Goetzl EJ, Voice JK, Shen S, Dorsam G, Kong Y, West KM, Morrison CF, Harmar AJ., Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2001 Nov 20;98(24):13854-9. Epub 2001 Nov 6.
 Brandes LJ, Simons KJ, Bracken SP, Warrington RC., J Clin Oncol. 1994 Jun;12(6):1281-90.
What if I had told you 40 years ago that you would be able to see a dentist with no pain? Or, if that one day a doctor would be able to perform surgery by watching a TV? You most likely would have laughed at me! Now that we are in the year 2010 all of these things and so much more are a reality. Even in the field of chiropractic technology is advancing patient care.
Technology and computers now allow a select number of chiropractors to deliver the chiropractic adjustment in a comfortable upright position with out any other quick movements or jerks involved. This technology is called the Proadjuster. The Proadjuster is advanced computer and engineering technology that is being used by a select number of chiropractors today to treat musculoskeletal pain.
Chiropractors have always diagnosed joint fluidity, motion and or rigidity which is one of the major causes of pain in the back and neck, as well as headaches, sciatica and even TMJ. The Proadjuster uses the advancement of the piezeoelectric sensor to achieve this same diagnosis, but with extreme precision and accuracy. This allows the doctor to find out specifically find out what is wrong with you and exactly how your treatment needs to be delivered.
The next step is for the Proadjuster system to take the information that was gathered by the piezeoelectric sensor send it through its complex computer system for interpretation. This interpretation is used to find the perfect treatment that is needed to correct the dysfunction in your body and spine.
With the use of the same diagnostic tool the doctor can then deliver a treatment based on the computer determination. This treatment is an oscillating force which is uninterrupted until the piezeoelectric sensor feels the joints mobility increase. This is an extremely comfortable process in which I have even had a few patients fall asleep during. In every field it is important to utilize the advances in technology. The Proadjuster has allowed chiropractic to advance as technology advances.
One question that I hear all the time from my patients is "how does my wife or husband know if they should be seeing a chiropractor?" There are multiple ways to know if you should be seeing a chiropractor and not all of them have to do with pain and discomfort. I have developed a test for the neck to determine if you are a candidate for chiropractic care called the "head turn test".
Try turning your head as far as you can to the left and to the right. The first thing that you want to look for is if either of these motions are painful at all. The second thing that you will want to look for in this test is if on one side or the other (either right or left) you can turn further than the other side. Normal range of motion (or being able to turn your head to the right and the left) is being able to turn your nose parallel with your shoulder. Is there pain on these movements or are any of them reduced?
If there is any pain or if one side or the other is unable to turn as far as the other side this can be a possible sign that there is something wrong in the bones of the neck. From the time that we are born our necks go through a lot of abuse. From the actual birthing process, falling while learning how to walk, to the many injuries that we get through life, the neck is vulnerable to being injured.
A doctor of chiropractic is trained specifically in diagnosing the causation of why you might be experiencing pain or reduced range of motion. Most often, in my patients, this type of neck is caused by bones and joints of the neck getting stuck in a position that is out of its neutral position. This type of condition is most prevalent in cases of whiplash, and poor ergonomics.
Dysfunction like this can lead to problems such as headaches, shoulder pain, pain in the neck, or even arm and hand pain. If you are one that has no pain, but their necks motion is restricted it may be a sign that trouble is on its way, and getting a quick check up by your Bellevue chiropractor would be a good idea.