Manipulation vs. Other Treatments?

Mechanical neck pain affects an estimated 70% of people at some point in life. Because many different treatment approaches are available for neck pain, it can be very difficult for those suffering from neck pain to know which treatment approach(es) to choose. Research on this topic has revealed some very interesting information that places chiropractic and spinal manipulation in a VERY STRONG POSITION—in fact, at the TOP OF THE HEAP!

neck

One such study looked at benefits of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) in patients with acute and subacute neck pain. This study compared three study groups:

  1.  SMT only
  2.  medication only
  3.  home exercise and advice (HEA)

This study randomized 272 neck pain patients suffering from neck pain for 2 to 12 weeks into a twelve-week treatment period using 1 of the 3 treatment approaches tracking the results with the participant-rated pain as the primary treatment outcome measure. Secondary outcome data was obtained from other approaches. The results showed that the group treated with SMT, “…had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26 and 52 weeks. HEA also had a statistical advantage over medication. Lastly, similar benefits were calculated between the SMT and exercise group. The conclusions support SMT and exercise/advise to be the choice over medication for acute and subacute neck pain patients. Regarding exercise, a similar study showed that “high-dosed supervised strengthening exercise” with and without SMT, was superior to a “low dose home mobilization exercise and advice group at 4, 12, 26, and 52 weeks.”

Regarding chronic neck pain patients (that means pain that has been present for greater than 3 months), another study evaluated the changes that occurred in 191 patients. These patients were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups for eleven weeks and evaluated 3, 6, 12, & 24 months after treatment. The 3 treatment options included: 1. Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) only; 2. SMT with low-tech neck exercises; or 3. a form of exercise using a MedX rehab machine. The results show the highest level of patient satisfaction was found in the 2nd group (SMT with low-tech exercise), suggesting that when individuals present for treatment, spinal manipulation with low-tech exercises results in the most satisfied patient. These findings are important as this study evaluated the LONG-TERM benefits among patients who have had neck pain for a long time (i.e., “chronic”), where as most studies only look at the short-term benefits.

Similar conclusions were reported from perhaps the largest scale study on neck pain based on research from 1980 to 2006 on the use, effectiveness, and safety of non-invasive treatment approaches for neck pain and associated disorders. This review that looked at over 350 published articles found manual therapy (manipulation and mobilization) and supervised exercise to again, SHINE when compared with other treatment options.

What is important is that ALL these studies support what chiropractors do: manipulate the neck and give supervised exercises! So, what are you waiting for? SPREAD THE WORD to everyone that you know who has neck pain—CHIROPRACTIC MAY BE THE BEST CHOICE!!!

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Chiropractic Education

Many people seem surprised to find out that the chiropractic education process is so extensive.

We usually reply, “…whether you’re planning to become a chiropractor, medical doctor, or dentist, it takes four years of college followed by and additional 4-5 years of additional education (med school, dental school, chiropractic college) simply because there is that much to learn about the body to become a competent healthcare provider.”

Hence, depending on the area of interest a person has in the healthcare industry, it takes a similar amount of time to complete the educational program.

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DID YOU KNOW…

The initial step is completing a typical “pre-med” undergraduate or college degree.

Courses including biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology, various science labs, as well as all the liberal art requirements needed to graduate are included in the undergraduate education process.

Many states require four years of college in addition to four to five academic years of chiropractic education to practice in their particular state. (The requirements are similar in other countries in which chiropractic is a licensed profession.)

The format for chiropractic universities is similar to that of most healthcare disciplines.

The basic sciences are covered in the first half of the educational process after which time successful completion of the National Boards Part I examination is required to move into the second half: the clinical sciences.

From there, internships, residency programs, preceptorship programs become available to the chiropractic student.

Once graduated, residence programs including (but not limited to) orthopedics, neurology, pediatrics, radiology, sports medicine, rehabilitation, internal medicine, and others are also available, as are various masters and doctorate-level programs in specialty areas.

The following chart shows the similarities between three healthcare delivery approaches, DC, MD, and DPT (doctor of physiotherapy).

Curriculum Requirements for the Doctor of Chiropractic degree (DC) in comparison to the Doctor of Medicine degree (MD) and the Doctor of Physical Therapy degree (DPT):chiropractic education

*Does not include hours attributed to post-graduation residency programs.

AS YOU CAN SEE, THE ACTUAL NUMBER OF AVERAGE CLASSROOM AND CLINICAL STUDY HOURS PRIOR TO GRADUATION IS EVEN HIGHER FOR CHIROPRACTIC COMPARED TO THE MD AND DPT CURRICULUM.

It should be noted that this does not include additional educational training associated with residency programs, which are available in the three disciplines compared here.

At one of the chiropractic colleges, the academic core program or Clinical Practice Curriculum consists of 308 credit hours of course study and includes 4,620 contact hours of lecture, laboratory, and clinical education.

There are 10 trimesters of education arranged in a prerequisite sequence.

The degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) is awarded upon successful completion of the required course of study.

The academic program may be completed in three and one-third calendar years of continuous residency. Graduation, however, is contingent upon completion of the program in accordance with the standards of the college, which meet or exceed those of its accrediting agencies.

In addition to courses included in the core curriculum, a variety of procedure electives are available to the students. These electives are designed to complement the study of adjustive procedures included and facilitate investigation of specialized techniques.

Doctors of chiropractic are committed to providing the highest quality care available to their patients. They coordinate care with other doctors, when appropriate, in an effort to help their patients in the most efficient, economic, and evidence-based approach possible.

Chiropractic & The Gallup Poll

What Does the New Gallup Poll Tell Us About the Public Perception and Utilization of Chiropractic Today?

In 2015 Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa commissioned Gallup Inc. to undertake a study called American’s Perceptions of Chiropractic. This was important because the last studies done about chiropractic were in the 1970’s and 1980’s and were very out of date. Those studies also occurred before Federal Antitrust Laws finally broke up the AMA’s nearly 100-year plan to contain and eliminate chiropractic in a verdict handed down in 1987.

gallup-chiropractic-use-on-the-riseHere are just a few observations made by this landmark poll of the American public by Gallup concerning utilization:

One half of all Americans have been to a chiropractor (much higher than previously thought)
14% of all those polled had been to their chiropractic in the past year (a number that is twice as high as projected in previous studies)

Here are just a few observations made by this landmark poll of the American public by Gallup concerning health conditions:

• Two-thirds (61 percent) of adult Americans believe chiropractors are effective at treating neck and back pain.
• The majority (57 percent) of adults are likely to see a chiropractor for neck or back pain.
• More than 1/2 of all U.S. adults have visited a chiropractor, and more than 1/4 of Americans would choose chiropractic first for back or neck pain.

It’s great that so many Americans see their chiropractor as someone they would see for the neck and back pain. But chiropractors certainly have an upward battle to educate the public about the importance of the nervous system and how it relates to all body functions, not just neck and back pain. One encouraging statistic from the study was that of those who are seeing a chiropractor 31% of them want to see their chiropractor regularly even if they have no pain (sounds like there are a lot of chiropractors educating their patients about the true benefits of chiropractic. Hopefully this number will continue to rise exponentially.

Here are couple of statistics that are great for chiropractors. Among those who have seen their chiropractor in the past five years:

74% of all people saw their chiropractor as trustworthy. (As opposed to 58% of MDs, NEJM)
82% of all people felt that their chiropractor has their best interest in mind when it comes to health care.

Source: 2015 Gallup-Palmer Inaugural Report: Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic

Research Supports Chiropractic

What Are The Top Research Studies of the Past 10 Years?

1. Decreased Costs and Utilization of
Medical Services with Chiropractic.

Spectacular decreases in the utilization of medical services and their attendant costs were observed when Doctors of Chiropractic were used as first contact providers. In an Independent Practice Association (IPA) which permitted patients to sclockelect a doctor of chiropractic as their primary care physician, clinical and cost utilization based on 70,274 member-months over a seven-year period demonstrated decreases of 60.2 percent in hospital admissions, 59 percent hospital days, 62 percent outpatient surgeries and procedures, and 85 percent pharmaceutical costs when compared with conventional medicine. These were across the board savings, not merely back and neck cases.

Sarnat RL, Winterstein J, Cambron JA: Clinical utilization and cost outcomes from an integrative medicine independent physician association: an additional 3-year update. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2007 May;30 (4):263-9.

2. Blood Pressure Regulation and
Upper Cervical Chiropractic
Adjustment.

The scope of chiropractic is as broad as the scope of influence of the human nervous system. This landmark study was a randomized, controlled trial of hypertensive patients. Those in the intervention group received a form of upper cervical chiropractic care (NUCCA). The authors wrote, “We conclude that restoration of Atlas alignment (C1 vertebra) is associated with marked and sustained reductions in BP similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy.” This study received extensive positive exposure in the media.

Bakris G, Dickholtz M Sr, Meyer PM, Kravitz G, Avery E, Miller M, Brown J, Woodfield C, Bell B: Atlas vertebra realignment and achievement of arterial pressure goal in hypertensive patients: a pilot study. J Hum Hypertens. 2007 May;21(5):347-52.

3. Benefits of a Wellness Program
Implemented by Chiropractors.

A retrospective study of a standardized, 18 week wellness protocol was shown to improve weight, heart rate, blood pressure, strength, body-mass index, and forced vital capacity. The wellness protocol (Creating Wellness) focused on diet, exercise, nutritional supplementation, and one-on-one coaching. The author also reported, “All of the participating clinics practice a form of chiropractic that involves management of vertebral subluxation. This application of chiropractic is not solely directed at pain syndromes. It is based on the contention that misalignments and/or abnormal motion of vertebral motion units may compromise neural integrity and may influence organ system function and general health and well-being.”

McCoy M: Evaluation of a standardized wellness protocol to improve anthropometric and physiologic function and to reduce health risk factors: a retrospective analysis of outcome. J Altern Complement Med. 2011 Jan;17(1):39-44.

4. Surgery Less Likely if a Doctor of
Chiropractic is Seen First

A study looking at 1885 workers, 174 of which had lumbar spine surgery in the last three years, sought to identify early predictors of having lumbar spine surgery. The authors reported “Approximately 42.7% of workers who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve of the multivariate model was 0.93 (95% confidence interval, 0.92-0.95), indicating excellent ability to discriminate between workers who would versus would not have surgery.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23238486

5. Chiropractic Care Associated with
Satisfaction, Functional and Self-
Rated Health of Medicare Patients.

This study used a model to determine “the effect of chiropractic relative to medical care on decline in 5 functional measures and 2 measures of self-rated health among 12,170 person-year observations.” The authors concluded from the study that “chiropractic is significantly protective against 1-year decline in activities of daily living, lifting, stooping, walking, self-rated health, and worsening health after 1 year. Persons using chiropractic are more satisfied with their follow-up care and with the information provided to them.”

Weigel PA, Hockenberry JM, Wolinsky FD: Chiropractic use in the Medicare population: prevalence, patterns, and associations with 1-year changes in health and satisfaction with care. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2014 Oct;37 (8):542-51. .

Main_Chiropractic6. Asymptomatic Persons Benefit
from Chiropractic Care

A review of literature was conducted using the terms “asymptomatic” “normal” “pain-free” “healthy” or “free from physical injury.” The author concluded, “The data reviewed lend support to the contention that chiropractic adjustments for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxation, confer measurable health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms. A significant amount of preliminary evidence supports that people without symptoms can benefit from chiropractic care. Improved function can be objectively measured in asymptomatic individuals following chiropractic care in a number of body systems often by relatively non-invasive means. It is plausible that chiropractic care may be of benefit to every function of the body and have the potential for long-term, overall health benefit to those receiving chiropractic care.”

Hannon SM: Objective physiologic changes and associated health benefits of chiropractic adjustments in asymptomatic subjects: A review of the literature. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, April 26, 2004, Pages 1-9.

New Herb Study Says “Buyer Beware”

What Does This New Study Tell Us About The Quality of Herbal Supplements?

In February 2015 the Attorney General of the State of New York accused four national retailers on Monday of selling dietary supplements that were fraudulent and in many cases contaminated with unlisted ingredients. He sent cease and desist orders to retailers Walmart, Walgreens, Target and GNC to stop selling their own herbal products when research showed that roughly four out of five of the products contained none of the herbs listed on their labels. In many cases, the authorities said, the supplements contained little more than cheap fillers like rice and house plants, or substances that could be hazardous to people with food allergies.

shutterstock_220512667The herbs tested by scientists were Gingko Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Garlic, Echinacea, Saw Palmetto and Valerian Root. They used DNA testing which only determines if the herb is present, but not about quality of the herb. For quality, scientists use chromatography to determine if the right part of the herb was used and whether it was prepared or extracted property and contained the therapeutic constituents. What the research showed then was simply whether the herb on the label was in the product. 4 out of 6 GNC herbal products were found to contain none of the herb. 3 out of 6 Target brand products contained none of the labeled herb. 5 out of 6 Walgreens herb products were found to contain none of the herbs listed. Finally, 4 out of the 6 WalMart herbal products contained none of the herbs. These products not only contained no herbs but contained other products such as powdered rice, beans, peas, wild carrots, asparagus and spruce tree.

This testing found that many herbal supplements don’t contain what the label says; just fillers, not herbs.

MediHerb, a company thEchinacea-Purple-Emperor_JDWat provides quality herbal products for health care professionals did a survey of Echinacea products available in the U.S in 1994 using chromatography and mass spectrometry. The active constituents of Echinacea are to be alkylamides. The research revealed that most of the Echinacea products available in the U.S. were nearly devoid of alkylamides. What that means that the products were nearly useless and had no therapeutic value. When you purchase herbal products for yourself and family, please consult your healthcare professional. If you don’t you could spend your hard earned money on something that is worthless.

New Thoughts on Autism

What Is The New Thinking About The Incredible Increase in Child Autism?

In a study by Drs. Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, MIT scientists have drawn a strong correlation between glyphosphate pesticides and autism spectrum disorder. The study was published in April 2013.

Glyphosphate (commonly called Roundup) is one of the most widespread herbicides in use today. Today most people’s exposure to Roundup is not on the farm or the garden but through eating genetically modified foods (GMOs). 80% of genetically modified crops, particularly corn, soy, canola, cotton, sugar beets and most recently alfalfa, are specifically targeted towards the introduction of genes resistant to glyphosate, the so-called “Roundup Ready® feature.” This allows commercial farmers to spray Roundup on their crops continually without killing the plants. The upside is high yield crops with no pest damage. The downside is that the crops are saturated with Roundup and consumed by those who eat the crops.

The industry asserts that glyphosate is nearly nontoxic to mammals and therefore it is not a problem if glyphosate is ingested in food sources. It is claimed to be less toxic than aspirin. As a consequence, measurement of its presence in food is practically nonexistent. Research doesn’t back up Monsanto’s claims.

Children-with-Autism-6-21-IDEA

“At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic,” Dr. Seneff stated. She noted that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity, and presented data showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the use of Roundup on crops (and the creation of Roundup-ready GMO crop seeds) with rising rates of autism. (See graph above, bars show increases in autism by year while line shows increases in use of Roundup on corn and soy in US)

How Does Roundup Affect the Human Body?

Glyphosate inhibits detoxification of xenobiotics and interferes with cytochrome P450 enzymes (enzymes that allow the liver to detoxity the body), which enhances the damaging effects of other chemical residues and toxins, and very slowly damages cellular systems in the body through inflammation. It has also been found to have a direct effect of killing normal gut bacteria leading to gut dysbiosis. Eat only organic foods and avoid all GMO products.

Nutrient Found to Help with Irritability in Autism

While the precise causes of autism aren’t fully understood, it is safe to say that this problem has exploded among children in the past few decades along with the increasinguse of vaccinations. That aside, developmental, environmental and neurological factors all seem to play a role.

Improper communicationbetween the brain and the body is clearly a culprit and that’s where specific chiropractic shines brightest.  Additionally, imbalances in certain brain neurotransmitters are a focus of research as well, with the goal being to identify and correct these brain chemistry abnormalities in children with autism allowing for normal relationship development and social functioning.

People with autism spectrum disorders are reported to be more irritable than other people. A recent study (Biol Psychiatry 2012;71:956–61) suggests that the dietary supplement N-acetyl cysteine may lessen irritability in children with the disorder.  The study was small, so it makes sense to proceed with caution if you would like your child to try NAC.  Here are some common-sense guidelines:

  1. Chiropractic first
  2. Not everything works well with everyone so be on the lookout for possible adverse effects.
  3. Make one change at a time.  Combining too many therapies may make it difficult to distinguish what is doing what.
  4. Talk with us about how we may help!

Irritable is often used to describe any child who isn’t responding to attempts to comfort or soothe them when they are being fussy.  For children with an autism spectrum disorder, irritability can be a common occurrence, with few options for uncomfortable children or their frustrated parents.  Now parents of children with autism may have some help managing Autism and the irritability with chiropractic and a supplement called N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) respectively.

More Thoughts on the Current Sickcare System:

For my final installment in this brief series, please consider that the dangers to both our health and the economy are real given the present course.  Borrowing our way to prosperity by dumping trillions of dollars into a failed and failing sickcare system is both the path to national bankruptcy and a future nation that continues down a progressively sicker future direction.