Yes today’s blog post is about the anti-aging effects of chiropractic. This post is about a recently published case report that had to do with an observed lengthening in the telomere’s of a patient that presented to a chiropractic office with neck pain, back pain, and nocturnal polyuria. Believe it or not, I have actually written a previous post about telomere’s, you can find it here. That blog post has to do with a study which found a lengthening of telomeres in patients given 1,250mg of Omega-3 once per day for four months.
A telomere is a short segment of DNA that caps the end of our chromosomes. Chromosomes are threads of nucleic acids and proteins which carry our genetic information. Progressive shortening of telomeres leads to old age, cell death, or oncogenic transformation, affecting the health and lifespan of an individual. Shorter telomeres have been associated with an increased incidence of diseases and shortened life span. The rate of telomere shortening can be either increased or decreased by specific lifestyle factors. In a way, increasing the length of our telomeres reverses the aging of our cells.
As I mentioned earlier, this case study involved a 35 year old patient who had chronic neck and back pain, 5 years after a car crash. She was also experiencing nocturnal polyuria which is a condition of frequent urination at night. The physicians found she had forward head posture, a loss of the curve in the neck, measured her quality of life with a quality of life outcomes assessment test, and measured her telomere length. After a course of 36 visits which included spinal adjustments, exercises, and traction to improve the curve of her neck and forward head posture the patient was re-measured. The physicians found a significant improvement in head posture and neck curve, her quality of life scores improved significantly, she no longer urinated a night, she reported to be virtually pain free, and her telomere length increased by 8.23%. Amazingly enough, this patient had all these improvements and never improved her lifestyle during the course of care. She continued to drink 3-5 cans of soda per day during the treatment period and didn’t take up any extra or new exercise program. Her results can only be explained by the care she received.
Since this is just a report on one patient we cannot be certain we can get similar results in telomere length with every patient we treat. Based on previous studies we do know we can expect improvement in pain, improvement in quality of life, and improvement in posture and spinal curves. We will have to wait for additional studies, such as a clinical trial, to be more definitive. I would like to point out that these results may not translate to other forms of chiropractic care. The care provided in this study mirrors what we do in our practice, a combination of care to improve posture and the structure of the spine. Chiropractic adjustments alone, exercise alone, or traction alone, may not yield similar results. This study does provide some promising support that chiropractic care can put years on your life and add to the quality of those years. Well all are looking to live a long life, but also with a high quality of life.