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Conditions: Asthma/Allergies/Chronic Cough

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CASE STUDIES: Asthma / Allergies / Chronic Cough

Please note: Case studies summarizing patientsí responses to care are intended for educational purposes only and do not imply a guarantee of benefit. Individual results may vary, depending upon several factors including age of the patient, severity of the condition, severity of the spinal injury, and duration of time the condition has been present.

Female, Age 13, Chronic Cough, Allergies, Ear Infections, Headaches

This 13-year-old female was chronically sick since birth. Her mother described her as getting a sinus/upper respiratory infection 5-6 times per year, each time also having an ear infection. By age 5, she had her tonsils and adenoids removed and had also had several sets of tubes for ear infections. By age 12, she began suffering from a chronic cough, daily headaches, and pain at the base of her skull/upper neck region.

During her initial evaluation, it was discovered that she had sustained an injury to her upper neck. Her mother described several possible traumas including using suction at her birth, a skate boarding accident, and a concussion after falling off the monkey bars. During the first week of care, her cough, headaches, and neck pain were markedly reduced. She also described having a lot of drainage out of her nose. Within a month, her nasal congestion, cough, headaches, and pain were all absent. Six months later, she had no experienced any infections during that time.

Male, Age 4, Constipation, Allergies

This 4-year-old male was involved in auto accident with his mother at age 2. During the accident, he was seated in his car seat in the back seat. While he had been completely health prior to the accident, following the accident he developed allergies, frequent colds, and constipation. Seasonal allergies began the spring following the accident and worsened ever since. His mother also reported that he came down frequently with colds, almost constantly throughout the winter. Constipation had also become a problem following the accident. At his worst, he would not have a bowel movement more than once per week. Even though his mother had changed his diet tremendously to help his elimination, at his best, he still only had three bowel movements per week.

During his initial upper cervical chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered, which most likely stemmed from the accident two years prior. After a single adjustment, his neck injury healed and stabilized and no further adjustments were necessary. Within ten days of the adjustment, his mother reported that his allergies and constipation were both better. By the third week, no allergies were reported and he was having normal bowel movements once per day. Several months later, all symptoms remained absent.

Female, Age 6, Allergies & Asthma

This 6 year-old female first began suffering from asthma and allergies at age 3. She experienced chronic congestion in her nose and lungs, especially at night, and when exposed to animal dander, chemicals, and dust. Her medication use included regular use of asthma inhalers and claritin. Her parents were frightened by her frequent asthma attacks and breathing trouble and also complained of her nasal voice due to chronic nasal congestion.

During her evaluation, an upper cervical injury was discovered. The source of the injury was unknown. After her first upper cervical adjustment, she maintained her alignment for close to two months and experienced a marked decrease in her asthma/allergy attacks and medication use. Several months later, all symptoms were absent, so her medication use was discontinued.

Male, Age 7, Allergies

This 7-year-old male suffered with allergies for the past 4 years. His symptoms included eye irritation (swollen, red, itchy eyes) and nasal congestion. His worst time of year was during June and July. He had tried numerous allergy medications and homeopathic remedies, some of which helped but the problems persisted.

During his initial evaluation, an upper cervical misalignment was discovered. When questioned as to possible causes of the upper neck injury, his mother recalled his birth, which required suction and vacuum, and caused at misshapen head.

He underwent treatment at the beginning of June and survived his typically worst months without any eye irritation or congestion. In fact, after the first adjustment was administered, his allergy symptoms subsided and never returned.

Female, Age 41, Chronic Allergy & Sinus Problems

This 41-year-old female suffered with allergies since age 17. She described suffering with runny nose, congestion, sinus pressure, swollen throat, and itchy eyes and ears for years with the symptoms getting worse during the past two years. She reported having reactions to animals and even to the fresh ink of the morning newspaper. She had used multiple medications for years including prescription and over the counter decongestants and reported using 3 pills per day for the past year.

During her initial chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. She recalled multiple traumas that preceded her onset of allergies including a car accident, a fall off of a horse while riding, and several gymnastics falls.

During the first few weeks of care, she began to notice less allergic reactions and less allergy symptoms overall. She described herself as being able to breathe more easily and that she was less congested. After the first month of care, she realized she was hardly having any allergic reactions so she began to decrease her medication use until she had completely discontinued it. She reported how she could be around animals with could read the morning paper, no longer worrying about having any allergic reactions. Six months later, her improvements continued until she was completely allergy-free.

Female, Age 42, Chronic Allergies and Asthma

This 42-year-old female had suffered with allergies and asthma for the past 30 years. She regularly saw her allergist, had allergy shots, and took daily medications, but she was still miserable. Most of the time, she was completely congested and wheezing, despite the numerous asthma inhalers and allergy pills. While she was extremely skeptical that upper cervical chiropractic could do anything for her, she figured it was worth a try because she was so desperate.

During her initial chiropractic evaluation, an upper neck injury was discovered. During the first few weeks of care, she began to notice her respiratory system clearing up. She described herself as being able to breathe more easily and that she was less congested. After another month of care, she realized she was doing much better and began to lessen her medication dosages. After several more months, it dawned on her that she had not needed to visit her allergist or the emergency room for attacks during this entire chiropractic care period, and that fact astounded her. After several spring and fall allergy seasons had gone by without any flare-ups of her condition, she claimed she was a true believer in upper cervical chiropractic care.

Male, Age 40, Chronic Allergies, Sinus Problems

This 40-year-old male had suffered with allergies since age 2. He had seen allergists his entire life and took daily medications including claritin and nasonex. It had been determined that he was allergic to many foods (wheat, yeast, dairy, nuts) and while he eliminated these foods from his diet, the allergies continued. He described how his nose was congested on a daily basis, and that he frequently suffered from sinus headaches, infections, and pressure. While he was not aware of a neck injury, he decided to be evaluated upon recommendation by a friend.

During his initial chiropractic evaluation, an upper cervical injury was found. Upon correction of his neck, his nose and sinuses began draining. By the end of the first month of care, all draining had ceased and his nose and sinuses were clear, so he was able to substantially reduce his medications.

Male, Age 4, Chronic Cough, Bedwetting

This 4-year-old boy's mother described her son's struggle with a chronic "barking" cough for the past two years. He underwent numerous tests and his lungs were clear and no allergies or infections were discovered. Nonetheless the cough continued relentlessly and often kept him (and, as a result, his parents) awake at night. He had tried cough medicines and homeopathic remedies but the cough continued.

During his examination, an upper neck injury was discovered. His mother recalled a fall several years prior off of playground equipment that caused a concussion and most likely caused the unknown neck injury. Within one month of care, all coughing had stopped. In addition, his mother reported delightfully that he had also stopped wetting the bed (he had been frequently wetting the bed for the past year).

Male, Age 60, Bilateral Shoulder Pain, Hay fever

This 60-year-old played volleyball and handball regularly. During the two months prior to upper cervical care, however, he had been experiencing pain in both shoulders and had to stop participating in sports. Due to his left shoulder pain, he was unable to throw a ball. The pain bothered him daily and kept him awake at night. He was taking daily pain medications. He also suffered from hay fever for five years and took Sudafed daily. His massage therapist recognized that in addition to his shoulder pain, he also had very tight neck muscles so he recommended an upper cervical chiropractic exam.

During the exam, it was discovered that he had a neck injury-- which seemed to be interfering with the proper functioning of his shoulder joints. After having the neck injury corrected (one month of upper cervical care), his shoulder pain healed so he resumed playing his favorite sports. In addition, his hay fever was corrected so he no longer required medications.

Female, Age 5, Asthma, Neck Pain, Headaches, Sinus Congestion

This 5-year-old female frequently complained of neck pain and headaches. She also suffered with severe asthma attacks for 3 years and frequently required emergency room visits. In addition, she explained that her nose was constantly plugged and that she had difficulty smelling. This child's neck injury most likely stemmed from the birth process, as her mother reported that her daughter's birth was difficult and premature.

One week after this child's first upper cervical adjustment, her mother stated that she began to sleep through the night without wheezing or coughing. The 5-year-old said she had not noticed any trouble with her neck or headaches and she demonstrated that she could now breathe through her nose. She was also able to discontinue asthma medications.

Male, Age 27, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Headaches, Chronic Sinus Trouble

This 27-year-old male suffered from chronic sinus trouble since childhood. He continously felt congested; he couldn't breathe through his nose; he felt chronic pressure in his sinuses; and also suffered frequent infections that usually spread to his ears as well. He claimed salt water washes seemed to help somewhat but that the problem always returned. He also complained about his neck since grade school. He claimed he felt a continuous need to "crack" it and suffered from occassional torticollis episodes where his neck seized up and could not turn. In addition, he complained of poor digestive health for approximately the past 10 years. He thought the problem started while traveling overseas but no one could ever isolate a parsite or infection. He suffered from frequently diarrhea episodes, usually at least once per day. Certain foods definitely exacerbated the problem but diarrhea would continue no matter how bland of foods he ate. Finally, he suffered from approximately one headache per week for the past year prior to upper cervical care.

During his initial upper cervical chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered. When questioned about past traumas that could have caused his neck injury, he recalled a bad car accident as a child and another during high school in which he was flung against the dash board.

During the first month of upper cervical care, all symptoms gradually lessened. By month two, all symptoms were absent.

Male, Age 58, Asthma, Shingles, Arm Tingling

This 58-year-old male suffered with asthma for 3 years. He used daily inhalers (4 puffs per day each of 2 inhalers for a total of 8 puffs per day) and still had difficulty breathing while running or frequent talking. He also had an outbreak of shingles on his torso and had been taking an anti-viral medication with no results. In addition, he had been experiencing occasional tingling in his right arm for many years. During his initial exam, an upper cervical injury was discovered that was compromising his immune function.

After the first upper cervical adjustment, the sores on his torso began healing. Within two weeks, the lesions were gone. Also his arm tingling never occurred again after the start of upper cervical care. His use of asthma inhalers was reduced to 1 puff per day instead of 8 after several months of upper cervical care. Eventually, all asthma medications were discontinued.

Male, Age 45, Chronic Neck and Low Back Pain, Allergies

This 45-year-old male suffered with chronic neck pain since a neck injury in which he dove into a shallow pool. The neck injury also created numbness in his fingers. He also suffered from daily low back pain for the past seven years. In addition, he was plagued with chronic nasal and chest congestion and coughed frequently.

After upper cervical care, his neck and back pain healed, the numbness disappeared, and his allergies were reduced 90 percent.

Male, Age 51, Arm Numbness, Asthma

This 51-year-old male fell while skiing. Afterwards, he experienced numbness in his left arm. The arm stayed constantly numb for three months before he sought help from upper cervical care. In addition, he experienced asthma and allergies since childhood and frequently used an inhaler for chest congestion. During his initial chiropractic examination, an upper neck injury was discovered that most likely stemmed from his ski accident.

After the first adjustment, the numbness in his arm decreased to an intermittent occurrence. One month later, the numbness was gone. He also noticed correction of an injury in his left shoulder-- he no longer had pain there. Finally, the chest congestion reduced substantially. He claimed his allergy symptoms improved 80-85% since the beginning of care one month ago.


"I am writing to thank Dr. Elster for all the good work she's done on my neck. The tingling sensation in my arm that I got from my ski accident is almost completely gone and that is a big relief. Even more important for me, however, is that my allergies and exercise-induced asthma are much better. I had looked at Dr. Elster's literature before I went to see her, and understood the connection she made between spinal cord irritation and allergies. In my case, the connection seems to be very much there. My hay fever started to diminish within the first three weeks of neck adjustments, and continued to improve all summer. I've had less trouble with hay fever this summer than any summer since I moved to Colorado. The hay fever improvement is easy to notice, but I wouldn't be surprised to find that my other organs have been helped by this treatment as well. So, thank you for changing my life. " Brian, age 51, October '99

Female, Age 16, Chronic Sinus Congestion, Sinus Headaches

This 16-year-old female suffered with chronic sinus trouble since approximately third grade. She always had a stuffy nose and clogged sinuses and had frequent colds, causing her to feel sinus pressure and headaches. One year ago she had surgery for a deviated septum in an attempt to improve the problem but it had little effect. She frequently felt sinus headaches and vertigo during altitude, pressure, or weather changes.

During her initial chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was found. After upper cervical care, her sinuses drained, her nose cleared, she breathed freely through her nose, and she no longer had headaches, pressure, or vertigo.

Female, Age 40, Chronic Cough

This 40-year-old female suffered with a chronic cough during the past two spring allergy seasons. Last year the cough lasted for 2 months. This year, it started in February and was present for four straight months before seeking help from upper cervical care. She took three courses of antibiotics with no effects. She had frequent coughing attacks and a constant tickle in the back of her throat. During this patient's upper cervical examination, an injury was found in her upper neck that was compromising her immune function.

After the first adjustment, her cough decreased. One week later, she reported only coughing a couple of times. And two weeks later, the cough was completely gone. She only had to be adjusted three times and is currently on maintenance care to make sure the cough never returns.

Female, Age 23, Chronic Allergic Cough

This 23-year-old female suffered with a chronic, dry, hacking cough for 7 years. The cough started during the fall allergy season 7 years ago and then progressed to occurring in both fall and spring allergy seasons in the last 2 years. She recalled a fall where she landed on the side of her face on concrete prior to the onset of the cough. She described the cough as dry and hacking and at times felt like she coughed up a lung. She was prone to having coughing attacks where she started coughing and could not stop no matter how hard she tried. She was allergy tested and tried cough drops, cough medicines, nasal and oral inhalers, and drinking fluids; none of which helped. Other health care providers were unable to diagnose her problem or help her. Her lung x-rays appeared normal.

During her upper cervical examination, a neck injury was found that most likely stemmed from her fall on the concrete. Within the first month of upper cervical care, her cough was absent. Two years later, the cough had not returned.


"I began having a dry, hacking cough around the spring and fall about 8 years ago. The cough was very hard and forceful at times and lasted one-two months. I tried to alleviate the cough with over the counter cough medicines but that didn't work. Then I tried a prescription cough syrup that I took for several years but it was not working. An x-ray of my lungs was even taken but revealed nothing. Eventually I was referred to an allergist who found me to be an allergic person, but did not know what was causing the cough. He prescribed oral and nasal inhalers, with no luck. I then read about Dr. Erin Elster. She took x-rays and found a vertebra in my cervical area of my spine to be out of place and made her adjustment. After only a few adjustments, my cough disappeared (spring 1997) and has stayed away for an entire year with check-ups. This is the most anyone has been able to do for my chronic allergic cough in 7 years!" Sara, age 23, July '98

Female, Age 27, Asthma, Allergies


"Yes, I admit I was a bit of a skeptic in the beginning--but no more! After living with asthma, allergies, and congestion for more than 20 years, I was ready to try anything. Carrying Kleenex, allergy pills, 2 inhalers and constantly worrying about an attack was wearing me down. After discussing Dr. Erin Elster's practice, I decided to try it out. The first adjustment not only cleared my sinuses, but also had an impact on my chronic asthma. Everything was so clear. I continued to visit Dr. Elster on a weekly basis and now every two weeks. It has become apparent to me that within a few short months, Dr. Elster has begun to unravel a mystery that conventional medicine continues to ponder. I no longer carry Kleenex and I can't remember the last time I took an allergy pill. I must thank Dr. Elster for improving the quality of my life. I wish I had known about this when I was much younger!" Stefanie, age 27, April '98

Female, Age 29, Allergies

This 29-year-old female suffered with allergies for 5 years. Each year the symptoms worsened. She was affected year-round except the winter season. Her symptoms included irritated eyes, sneezing, and a plugged nose. She claimed that she hadn't been able to breathe out of her nose in 5 years. She tried allergy shots, nasal sprays, and medications such as Claritin. Upon examination, an injury was found in this patient's upper cervical spine.

Within 3 weeks of upper cervical care, her allergies were absent. She discontinued all medications and was able to breath through her nose. Two years later, her symptoms had not returned.


"I've been severely affected with allergies for the past five years. During those years, I've depended on strong, irritating allergy pills to control my wheezing, constant runny nose, watery eyes, and sneezing-- especially awful during spring and fall. Since seeing Dr. Elster for only one month during prime allergy season, my allergies have disappeared. I haven't taken any allergy medication since my treatment began with her. Only a series of minor neck adjustments have been performed by Dr. Elster and the results were immediate. Dr. Elster has changed my life in one month by helping me understand why I was affected with allergies, how they occurred, and how I can prevent them from affecting me again. No more awful allergy pills -- and I can breathe through my nose again!" Melinda, age 29, October '97

Female, Age 15, Allergies

This 15-year-old female had allergies since a fall on her head as a young child in which she suffered a concussion. She used nasal sprays such as Flonase daily to help her breathe. She also complained of low back pain for several years.

After treatment of her upper cervical injury (most likely stemming from the concussion), her allergies were gone (her mother had not had to reorder flonase) and the low back pain was gone as well.

Female, Age 14, Asthma

This 14-year-old female suffered from asthma since approximately age 7. She and her family recalled several falls and car accidents prior to the onset of asthma. The asthma was aggravated by exercise, cold weather, sicknesses, and pollens/grasses. Her medications included use of Tilade inhaler 1 time per day and Proventil inhaler 2 times per day. She could not run more than a 1/2-mile without wheezing. During her chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was found.

She was adjusted one time and one month later she was completely off Tilade inhaler and was down to using Proventil inhaler 1 time per month at the most. In addition, because her goal was to become a marine biologist, she was able to take diving lessons which she was previously unable to do due to the asthma.

Male, age 14, Asthma, Attention Deficit Disorder

A 14-year-old male suffered from severe asthma, present since childhood and attention deficit disorder, diagnosed at 8 years old. He took 4 different medications for asthma (2 inhalers and 2 oral medications) and dexedrine for ADD. During this boy's upper cervical chiropractic examination, a neck injury was discovered.

After 1 1/2 months of care, his breathing was greatly improved so he was able to cut his asthma medications substantially. His inhaler use was reduced and his oral medications were cut to 1/4 of their original dose. In addition, his attention span and concentration improved to the point that he paid attention in school and concentrated on homework and reading assignments for hours. Eventually he was able to discontinue his ADD medication.

Female, Age 58, Asthma, Allergies

This 58-year-old female had allergies and asthma her entire life. She complained of allergies year-round and had severe asthma attacks when she came in contact with house pets. She took oral medications daily for allergies and carried asthma medications with her for emergencies when visiting friends and families with pets. Upon examination, an upper cervical injury was discovered. After several months of upper cervical chiropractic care, her allergic reaction to pets was completely absent. She had not experienced any asthma attacks and had been in houses with pets at least a dozen times. Her allergies were greatly reduced, she breathed easier through her nose, and had less of a nasal voice.

Female, age 33, Hypothyroid, Asthma, Allergies, Low Back Pain

This 33-year-old female suffered from hypothyroidism, asthma, allergies, and low back pain. The back pain resulted from a skiing accident 13 years ago and a fall down stairs 1 year ago. Her medication use included synthetic thyroid hormone, 3 types of asthma inhalers used 4 times/day, plus nasal sprays for allergies. During her examination, an upper cervical injury was found that possibly resulted from either her accident or her fall.

After 1 month of upper cervical care, her asthma, allergies, and low back pain were completely gone, and her thyroid regained function. She discontinued all medications including inhalers and synthroid.

Male, Age 25, Shortness of Breath

This 25-year-old male complained of shortness of breath during exertion as well as during simple activities such as talking on the phone or singing with the radio for 6 months. After many medical tests including chest x-ray and pulmonary function tests, he was told that there was nothing wrong with him. During his chiropractic examination, an upper cervical injury was discovered that was compromising his respiratory function. After the first few adjustments, the breathing episodes decreased in frequency.

After 2 months of care, all breathing difficulty was absent.


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