On June 1, 2017, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a study documenting the improvement in intraocular pressure of a patient who was diagnosed with borderline glaucoma. On their website, the American Academy of Ophthalmology answers the question of what is glaucoma by saying, "Glaucoma is a disease that damages your eye's optic nerve. It usually happens when fluid builds up in the front part of your eye. That extra fluid increases the pressure in your eye, damaging the optic nerve."
The authors of this study report that glaucoma affects between 1% and 3.4% of the population. It is the second leading cause of blindness, behind diabetes. Estimates are that 60.5 million people worldwide had glaucoma in 2010, with that number expected to rise to 79.6 million people suffering with this condition by the year 2020. The medical approach to this problem has been medications designed to reduce intraocular pressure.
In this case, a 40-year-old mother of two went to the chiropractor because she was suffering from numbness in her arms and hands which began two weeks earlier. She rated her symptoms as five out of ten with ten being unbearable. Additionally, she related that she also suffered from a large number of issues that included, neck pain, shoulder pain, dizziness, headaches, migraines, vertigo, anxiety, low back pain, right hip pain and clicking, numbness in the bottom of her feet, chronic fatigue, and cervical and lumbar intervertebral disc problems.
Twelve years earlier, she had what was described as a sledding incident resulting in constant neck tightness from then forward. Her lower back issues began fourteen years earlier when her son was born. She suffered from headaches three times per week for the past 28 years. Several times per year, she would develop a migraine headache that she rates as an eight out of ten in severity. Additionally, she was diagnosed by her ophthalmologist with borderline glaucoma as her steady intraocular pressure was rising, going from 14.5 mmHg to 18 mmHg.
A chiropractic examination was performed which included a physical examination, paraspinal thermal and static surface electromyography scans, and spinal x-rays. The presence of vertebral subluxations was determined, and specific chiropractic care was started.
A re-examination and assessment was made after about two and a half months of chiropractic care. The patient reported moderate improvement in her low back pain and her headaches. She reported that she noticed much improvement in neck pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, and dizziness. She also reported total resolution of the numbness she was experiencing in both her hands and feet.
During the course of her care, the woman was asked to rate the improvement of her symptoms. The study records that by the fourth visit, she reported a 30% improvement in her overall condition. On the sixth visit, she reported a 40% improvement. On the thirteenth visit, she reported a 70% improvement, and on the 15th visit, she reported a 90% improvement in her overall condition. She also reported that she was able to avoid carpal tunnel surgery which was previously being considered.
The woman also had a re-examination with her ophthalmologist about two months into her chiropractic care. It was noted that her progression of elevation in intraocular pressure not only ceased, but reversed. Because of this positive change, her ophthalmologist decided that there was no need for medical intervention.