Cerebral Palsy Helped With Chiropractic Care, Four Case Studies

By Dr. Dan Van Roon • September 2nd, 2009

Four documented case studies were published in the June issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. In each of these case studies the children were previously diagnosed with cerebral palsy secondary to birth trauma. Additionally each of these children were found to have the presence of vertebral subluxations as detected by objective testing.

Chiropractic care was given to each of the children with the objective of correcting or reducing the detected vertebral subluxations. The mothers and or care providers of each of these children monitored changes in activities of daily living and observed their quality of life. They noted that after one month of chiropractic care, all four children showed improvement in activities of daily living including mobility, feeding, and postural control.
The first case study was of an 8 year old female presenting with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy secondary to birth trauma who was also prone to seizures. She also suffered from tremors of her arms and legs, frequent urination and had visual problems as well as poor posture. Her previous medical treatment consisted of physical therapy procedures including massage and acupuncture.

Over a 9 week period this child received a total of 22 chiropractic adjustments. Following chiropractic care, the parents reported that she could sit better and was able to walk upright without anyone’s help. She also gained the ability to walk up stairs on her own. She was able to use her left arm and hand better, especially

when feeding herself. She was able to walk steadier and more confident, and was less “limp.” Her parents also noted that her overall coordination improved and they reported an increase in energy and that her emotional state improved. They also noted that she was less fatigued and needed less sleep, and the tremors lessened in severity.

Similarly each of the children also showed improvements. One 7 year old boy who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy also suffered from seizures. His parents reported that as an infant he did not move much and that he seemed to lack any emotion. He also did not start to crawl until he was 11 months old and did not walk until he was almost 5 years old. Additionally, this unfortunate child suffered from frequent colds, numbness and pain in the arms and legs, seizures, nasal bleeding, throat pain, hoarseness of the voice, pain in the gums and teeth, rhinitis, extremity tremors, pain in the feet, and anemia. He had trouble sleeping, difficulty communicating, concentrating and working in school.

After the initiation of chiropractic care, his parents reported that he became more stable while standing and walking, had greater mobility and better balance of the upper part of the body. Additionally, he was able to walk longer distances before tiring. His abilities in school improved and his sleeping problems resolved. They reported that his appetite, communication and emotional state improved.
The other two children in this study also showed improvements that included improved changes in their coordination, gait improvements, better sleeping and appetite. Additionally, changes in posture and mental attitude were also noted.

The authors note that all of these improvements correlated with objective findings of reductions of subluxations during chiropractic care. In their conclusions they state, “These reports are consistent with widespread anecdotal reports of similar types of improvements and are consistent with other case reports in the literature. Given the significance of such types of improvements in the lives of these children the authors call for more extensive investigation of the effects of subluxation analysis and correction in children suffering from cerebral palsy.”

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What was done specifically by the Chiropractor to help these children. My 6 year old receives Chiropractic care for months now and I haven’t really seen improvement.

The actual techniques used for treatment was not discussed in the study. However, the treatment was given to reduce and correct vertebral subluxations in these children. I do think that this study was performed in more than one chiropractic office, so probably more than 1 technique was used for treatment. This abstract is informational and anecdotal- meaning that not everyone with cerebral palsy is helped with chiropractic care. My suggestion for anyone who doesn’t get results after even just 1 month of care is to change up treatment- let alone several months.
Yours in health,
Dan van Roon D.C.

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My son has mild cerebral palsy in his right arm (he’s 16 months old). What are the chances that this will actually help him?

Thank you for your inquiry. Please do realize that the blog post on this subject was just some anecdotal evidence on a very small (only 4) number of patients. Also, as noted in the study, chiropractors do not treat CP. Chiropractors detect and treat vertebral subluxations, and if that helps improve function with kids with CP, then that is an added gain. I am not aware of any studies that show percentages of kids helped.

My son is 14 mo. old. with a mild case of CP, we have had 5 chiropractic adjustments and it has seemed to decrease the amount of tone in his affected limbs and help extend his range of motion, we are very happy with how he’s been doing since, however now our insurance will not cover any more visits and we can’t afford to keep up with the treatments. Do you know anywhere that helps financially with this sort of treatment?

Hi Darcey,
I am happy that your son is being helped. I am not aware of any “programs” that can help for payment for treatment. However, chiropractic care is usually affordably priced because insurance often does not cover it. Mention this concern to your chiropractor and he or she may be able to work with you. We wish your son the best.
Yours in health,
Dan van roon

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