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The Impact Of Subluxation Correction On Mental Health: Reduction Of Anxiety In A Female Patient Under Chiropractic Care

Madeline Behrendt, D.C., Nathan Olsen, D.C.

Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research ~ September 20, 2004 ~ Pages 1-10



Objective: This case report reviews the application of chiropractic care for the purpose of subluxation correction in a 19 year old female diagnosed with a mental health disorder, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD).


Clinical Features: In November 1999 the patient first experienced symptoms of dizziness, trembling, sweating, heart palpitations, sleep deprivation, poor concentration, depersonalization, and headaches. Symptoms continued and escalated intermittently, resulting in multiple Emergency Room visits, referrals to medical specialists, medical procedures, and expenses. In December 2000 a neurologist rendered the diagnosis of General Anxiety Disorder and prescribed Paroxetine (Paxil). This medication produced side effects and minor relief, resulting in decreased Quality of Life and stressing familial relationships.


Chiropractic Care and Outcome: In December 2001 the patient presented for a chiropractic evaluation. Her history revealed physical, emotional, and chemical stresses including multiple motor vehicle accidents, childhood emotional abuse from an alcoholic father, and smoking daily since age 17. Exams and EMG scans revealed evidence of chronic vertebral subluxations in multiple locations, and altered spinal curves in cervical and thoracic areas. The patient was educated on chiropractic principles and consented to care. Diversified Technique was utilized, with adjustments applied to specific vertebra to promote restoration of proper nerve function. Improvement was noted after the first adjustment, 50% reduction in anxiety, 30% reduction in headache symptoms, and increased mobility in neck.


Conclusion: Results were documented over a four month course of care. Medication was discontinued successfully, symptoms of anxiety and headache reduced 80% and 90% respectively, function and Quality of Life increased. These improvements suggest positive changes in mental health function may be associated with subluxation correction from the application of chiropractic care. As anxiety conditions burden the U.S. with $42 billion annually in health care expenses and lost productivity, clearly this is a serious problem calling for full attention and broad resources. Research funding is called for to examine the benefits, safety, and cost effectiveness on the impact of chiropractic subluxation correction in mental health.


Key Words: chiropractic, vertebral subluxation, General Anxiety Disorder (GAD), adjustments, Chiropractic research, Paroxetine (Paxil), mental health

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