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Quality of Life Improved with Chiropractic for Child Suffering with Asperger's Syndrome

Recently, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a case study documenting the improvement in the quality of life of a young boy who was suffering with the symptoms of Asperger's Syndrome as well as neck pain, mid-back and lower back pain, stomach aches and anxiety.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "Asperger syndrome (AS) is a developmental disorder. It is an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), one of a distinct group of neurological conditions characterized by a greater or lesser degree of impairment in language and communication skills, as well as repetitive or restrictive patterns of thought and behavior." They go on to describe the signs of this condition by noting, "The most distinguishing symptom of AS is a child's obsessive interest in a single object or topic to the exclusion of any other. Children with AS want to know everything about their topic of interest and their conversations with others will be about little else."

In this study, the authors point out that the rate of ASD has significantly increased over recent years and is estimated to be 1 in 68 for children at age 8. They also note that the condition is 3 times more prevalent in boys than in girls. They point out that an increasing number of parents are turning to chiropractic for children with some form of ASD to avoid medication treatment and the side effects that accompany the medications used to treat ASD.

In this case, a nine-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother for an evaluation and possible care. At that time, the boy was suffering with neck pain on the right side, midback and low back pain, stomach aches and anxiety. His mother stated that she believed that her son was born with torticollis and still had a slight head tilt.

The boy's neck pain was constant, aching and throbbing and got worse with movement or prolonged sitting. His midback pain was a constant ache that also was made worse with movement or prolonged sitting. The boy's low back pain was characterized as frequent tightness made worse by prolonged sitting. On a scale of 0 to 10, with 10 being the worst, the boy's neck pain was rated as a 4, his mid back pain was rated as a 5, and his lower back pain was a 6 out of 10.

Due to a long history of problems with irritability since birth, the boy was being treated by medical professionals and therapists. Eventually, when the boy was in the first grade, he was tested and demonstrated traits of Asperger's Syndrome and determined to have anxiety disorder. Since that point, he has been receiving counseling therapy on and off.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural inspection, static and motion palpation, thermographic heat studies, and spinal x-rays. The conclusion reached from these procedures was that subluxations were present. At that point, specific chiropractic adjustments were started on a weekly basis.

The study reports that one month after the boy started chiropractic care he said, "I had a GREAT day at school." His mother commented that her son had many less tantrums and meltdowns and had better days at school. She noted how unusual that was for her son by saying, "this never happens." The study also documented the improvement of his neck, mid-back and lower back pains.

The study reported that despite good results, marital problems in the boy's family created a situation where he was unable to continue long-term chiropractic care. In their conclusion the authors took these factors into account and stated, "This study provided supporting evidence on the benefits of chiropractic care in patients with ASD, document the burden of raising a child with ASD and parental satisfaction with their child's chiropractic care."

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