New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Tourette’s Syndrome

Atlanta, GA, October 10, 2009 --( Recent research reporting on improvement in a 20 year old woman undergoing chiropractic care reveals that chiropractic may play an important role in managing people with Tourette’s and other related neurodevelopmental disorders.

The research, reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health – Chiropractic, includes a review of the literature supporting the role of chiropractic in children suffering from a number of disorders that share their origin with Tourettes.

“Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and brain” stated Dr. Pamela Stone-McCoy, lead author of the paper. “Basic science research shows that the proper development of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.”

Research has shown not only that the developing brain relies on normal structural integrity and joint movement, but that complex neurochemical communication and pathways involved in helping humans to “feel good” are tied into spinal biomechanics and their related neurological pathways.

“It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. Kim Muhlenkamp, a co-author on the paper. “Neurobehavioral disorders may be related to how the entire body communicates with the brain and the most critical area for this is the spine.”

As pointed out in the paper, researchers believe that the increase in the diagnosis of such disorders as ADHD, pervasive developmental disorder, Tourette’s Syndrome, obsessive compulsive disorder and other neurodevelopmental disorders, have their root in a “perfect storm” of abnormal spinal development.

According to Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study “People’s nervous systems need the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.”

The woman reported on in the study began experiencing motor and vocal tics at the age of three and had never taken medication for it. Chiropractic care was administered after examination revealed disturbances to the nervous system resulting from vertebral subluxation. Subluxations were diagnosed based on findings from posture, static and motion palpation, thermography and static surface electromyography. Over the course of one year the patient experienced significant decreases in the occurrence and severity of her motor and vocal tic episodes as well as an improvement in headaches and was able to better function throughout the day with decreased motor and vocal tic episodes. The researchers call for more research on chiropractic, subluxation and neurodevelopmental disorders.

Matthew McCoy, DC, MPH
Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic