Actually, a question from a fellow practitioner/colleague.

by T.C. Halle, D.C.
(Los Angeles, Calif.)

I’ve appreciated your material on stroke and cervical spine manipulation (yep, very rare), but would appreciate proper citation of the articles mentioned. I expect I have them here somewhere, but you could save me a step or two.

Perhaps you could assist me with something else. I am presently seeking articles online or in journals, particularly addressing the "second leg" of the chiropractic subluxation/ fixation (AKA osteopathic lesion, or somatic dysfunction) related to the reality of visceral or somatic injury or disease reflexively causing (or predisposing one to) said spinal well as the "thrown circuit breaker effect” (or “fixation”), in that the subluxation "locks in" an abnormal condition (and tends to persist indefinitely, absent manipulative intervention). D.D. Palmer did advise that toxicity could play a part in derangement of the spine, apart from trauma and postural assaults.

I can practically guarantee, e.g., that a patient suffering foot crushing injury from a motor vehicle driving over his foot, GSW of the thigh or a urogenital problem, will present with lumbar spine subluxation, and that a chiropractic adjustment will provide relief from spinal pain and stiffness, and support healing of the injured extremity. I just don't see a whole lot in the literature on this aspect of the "equation." I'm reasonably sure that some older accounts, such as those by Homewood ("Neurodynamics of the Vertebral Subluxation") did address this. Regrettably, I no longer have this volume in my library. And, more recent research would--of course--be valuable to the profession.

I have some valued chiropractic texts, such as those by Leach and Gatterman, but typically these authors seem to be weak in these specific areas, despite pretty good coverage of what is happening locally in the spine, and how this may impact the organs supplied by the associated spinal nerves.


T.C. Halle, D.C.
Los Angeles, Calif.

Good morning Dr Halle,
Thank you for your thought provoking letter. Do you subscribe to Research Review Service? It's the best source of current research that I know of.

The somatic affects of the Chiropractic Subluxation are notoriously difficult to establish scientifically. Every chiropractor has strange and disturbing anecdotes, I certainly have my share, many of which I have written about in my Bernard Preston books (

The most powerful lectures I have heard on the subject have been by chiropractic neurologist Dr Lisa Bloom DC. She gives intriguing glimpses into the basic neurology that explains how and why amazing things happen in chiropractic practices, quite apart from pain relief.

I couldn't agree with you more about the importance of chiropractic in managing injuries such as to the foot and ankle, and hip and knee arthritis too for that matter. But too prove it will take someone with more time and enthusiasm for research than I have.

Many thanks for your contribution.

Barrie Lewis DC

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Interesting challenges of the day

1. Mr S is a 76 year old man with neck pain of some 9 months duration. Luckily, most of the discomfort is upper cervical which is only rarely arthritic; his lower cervical spine is a degenerative mess that I have left alone. After seven treatments his pain and stiffness is 50 percent better, and he is happy in the circumstances. He can sleep through the night now and that makes a huge difference.

2. Mr P is 32 year old man with very severe lower back pain radiating to the big toe which is 30 percent numb. He had an episode three weeks ago, took anti-inflammatories and was soon better as is typical of the medial disc herniation. But before it healed, after a trivia it came roaring back, much worse. The characteristic crossed sign was evident; sitting in a chair, straightening the right leg provoked severe left back pain and tingling in the leg. He is doing well.

3. Severe lower back pain is scary; just ask Mrs P. Just watching her get out of the car I she was in trouble; she had a slipped disc at L4 making her lean towards the opposite side; luckily she had no pain in the leg. Despite family pressure that this was far too severe for a chiropractor, she persevered. Within five days she was standing upright, and after two weeks almost pain-free. 

Despite a hectic job, she wisely took my advice and stayed home for what I call exercising bed rest.

4. Mr S has had lower back, groin and back of thigh and calf pain for fourth months.

He has a pincer deformity in the hip causing the stabs in the groin, and a degenerative facet causing the sciatica. Both are responding well to chiropractic and he is well pleased; sixty-five percent better after three treatments.

5. Mr T is a wise man; he has taken a warning TIA seriously and has lost 15 pounds, and has at least as much again to lose. A change to a low starch diet and half hour daily stroll has made the difference; but the walking is making his foot and back miserable. The expensive orthotic is hopeless; luckily his hips and back are fine, but he needs a simple heel lift; he has a short leg.

6. I too have had serious lower back issues, luckily fixed by my own chiropractor; so I too have to do my exercises, take care when lifting supers full of honey, gardening and using the chainsaw. Regaining the function of your spine is just as important as the pain.

7. My own granddaughter, only 7 is hypermobile giving her pelvic, knee and ankle issues. X-rays show a mildly dysplastic hip. Years ago we would have called it growing pains. She too regularly needs chiropractic care and luckily responds well. Increased range of motion is more difficult than too stiff in my opinion. Our care is for kids too.

8. This 65-year old lady is a serious gardener; every day she is bending, lifting and digging for 2 to 3 hours a day. It regularly catches her in the sacroiliac joint, so she has a treatment once a month that sorts it out. She does her lower back exercises faithfully.

9. This 88-year old lady is an inspiration; every day she is busy in the community. With a nasty scoliosis she manages very well with a chiropractic adjustment every six weeks and exercises faithfully done. 

10. Mr X is a 71-year old retired man who wants to continue with maintenance care every six to eight weeks; he had suffered from two years of lower back pain when he first came a few months ago. He has no discomfort now after 8 chiropractic treatments, but is aware that danger lurks.

11. Mrs C has been having severe headaches, and taking a lot of analgesics. It is a non-complicated upper cervical facet syndrome, and she is doing well.

12. Mr D is a 38-year old year man with chronic shoulder pain after a rotator cuff tear playing cricket. It responded well to treatment, but he knows he must do his exercises every day; for two years he could not sleep on that shoulder.

13. Mr D, a 71-year old man, has a severe ache in the shoulder and midback since working above his head. Trapped nerve tests are negative but he has advanced degenerative joints of Luschka; after just two treatments he is 50 percent better. Can we reach 90?

And so the day goes; chiropractors should not be treating the elderly most medical sites state but that is so much bunkum.

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