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All Posts Tagged: benefits

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Do Spinal Curves In Your Neck, Mid Back and Lower Back Affect Your Health?

Chiropractic was founded in 1895 after the hearing was restored in a patient following a spinal adjustment to the upper region of the spine.

Since then, our profession has been conducting research to help determine why spinal manipulation or adjustments work so well.

Many conditions have been studied, as well as the physiological responses to the adjustment including blood chemistry changes including hormone levels, blood pressure changes, circulation changes, and many other parameters of health.

Posture, bone alignment and spinal curves have been long been evaluated in patients presenting with muscle and joint complaints by most of the health care professions, including chiropractic.

But the question remains: how important are spinal curves in the overall health picture of the patient? Can alterations in the “normal” curve lead to future trouble or, be the cause of a current condition?

A recent study reported the results after conducting a “systematic critical literature review” where all research published on this subject was reviewed for quality and content.

They gathered 54 studies published between 1942 and 2008, which included over 20,000 patients and reported the association between the sagittal curve (curves when looking at a person from the side) and various health conditions.

There were many different types of studies and methods used to evaluate the sagittal curves of the lumbar (low back) (38 studies), thoracic (mid back) (34 studies) and cervical (neck) (6 studies) spine.

These methods included plain x-ray (25 studies), MRI (1 study), photographs (3 studies) visual analysis or, by the eye (5 studies) and those using a variety of instruments (21 studies).

A strong association was reported in five studies with an increased angle in the midback/thoracic spine (kyphosis – sometimes referred to as “humpback”) with lung disorders causing breathing problems.

Poor physical function and pelvic organ prolapse were also strongly associated with kyphosis.

A moderate association was found when the low back curve (lordosis) was reduced, which was associated with an increase in low back pain.

Similarly, future osteoporotic midback/thoracic compression fractures were moderately associated with kyphosis or “humpback” deformity.

Kyphosis was also moderately associated with heavy household activity, uterine prolapsed and death in three other studies.

No association was found in many studies.

The conclusion of the article reports most of the studies did not fulfill the basic requirements for this type of study or had design flaws.

They encouraged researchers to use new/better approaches to study this association between spinal curves and health and disease.

From In Good Hands Magazine. 

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Adjustments vs. Other Treatments?

Mechanical neck pain affects an estimated 70% of people at some point in their lives. Many different treatment approaches are available for neck pain, making it very difficult for those suffering from neck pain to know which treatment approach(es) to choose. Research in 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!

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, and 3. Home exercise and advice (HEA). This study randomized 272 neck pain patients suffering from neck pain for 2 to 12 weeks into a 12 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), this study evaluated the changes that occurred in 191 patients. These patients were randomized to 11 weeks of 1 of 3 treatment groups and evaluated at 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 support the highest level of patient satisfaction was found in the 2nd group (SMT with low-tech exercise), suggesting that when patients 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 in patients who have had neck pain for a long time (i.e., “chronic”), where 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 noninvasive treatment approaches for neck pain and associated disorders. Their review of over 350 articles supported manual therapy (manipulation and mobilization) and supervised exercise to again, SHINE in their conclusions.

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!!!

Article from In Good Hands Magazine

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Chiropractic Care…Safe and Cost Effective

With the debate raging on about health care reform, a pilot study indicating chiropractic care and other physical medicine approaches may reduce costs is VERY TIMELY!

In 2008, Wellmark Blue Cross and Blue Shield conducted a 1-year pilot program designed to study the quality of patient care. The researchers concluded that the use of chiropractic and other physical medicine services significantly improved clinical outcomes and reduced health care costs. The 2008 Iowa and South Dakota pilot study included 238 chiropractors, physical therapists and occupational therapists that provided care to 5500 Wellmark patients with musculoskeletal disorders. They reported 89% of all patients receiving physical medicine services improved at least 30% within 30 days. These statistics were so impressive that they decided to continue the program.

Supporters of chiropractic treatment praised the findings, saying that the cost-effectiveness of the method has been documented in several studies.

The president of the American Chiropractic Association, Glenn Manceaux, referred to a 2005 study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics that found chiropractic and medical care have comparable costs for treating chronic low-back pain, with chiropractic care producing significantly better outcomes. Similarly, a study published in a 2003 edition of Spine medical journal found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications, he said – “Especially during the health care reform debate, it’s important that chiropractic and other conservative care methods are taken into serious consideration as a cost-effective alternative to the utilization of expensive surge

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Chiropractic… Natural, Safe, and Effective!

The mission of chiropractic is to help sick people get well, as well as to help healthy people function better in the absence of drugs or surgery.

When people are asked, “…what do chiropractors do?” the frequent response is, “…they crack your neck and/or back.”

Chiropractic spinal manipulation (frequently called an adjustment), often produces an audible popping or cracking noise.

This sound is known as joint cavitation and it is reported to be caused by the release of pressure created by gases (nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide) within the joint.

It is the same noise produced when one cracks their knuckles. One common myth is that cracking or cavitating a joint will produce arthritis in the joint – this is simply not true.

Several scientific studies of joint cavitation dispel this old wives tale. In fact, studies demonstrated that joint manipulation actually benefits patients with arthritis of the spine.

There have been a number of studies published on the topic of unwanted reactions to spinal manipulation.

In general, side effects, if any, are mild and transient.

When they do occur, they typically happen shortly after the first or second session of spinal manipulation, similar to the post-exercise soreness that occurs when first introducing a new sport or activity.

Unpleasant side effects may occur in between 10% and 30% of patients. They occur more often in women than men, and as previously stated, they seem to occur more often after the first session of spinal manipulation.

The most commonly reported unpleasant reaction is temporary and transient increased pain or stiffness. This reaction usually resolves in 24 hours or less.

More rare reports of tiredness, light headedness, and occasional nausea have been infrequently reported.

The type and nature of these reactions may be associated with the severity and nature of the condition being treated.

It seems self evident that more severe problems have the potential to produce short term increases in symptoms. The use of ice, ultrasound and or other modalities can help to minimize any irritation that may occur due to spinal manipulative treatment.

SPINAL MANIPULATION HAS BEEN FOUND TO BE SAFE AND EFFECTIVE FOR UNCOMPLICATED SPINAL PAIN SYNDROMES. MORE IMPORTANTLY, IT MAY ALSO BE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO SURGERY FOR LUMBAR OR CERVICAL DISK HERNIATIONS.

There are many reports on both sides of this subject, with some stating spinal manipulation can increase compression of the spinal nerves in patients with disk herniations as well as the opposite – that it reduces nerve root pressure.

The good news is that the rate of occurrence is only about 1 in 1- 3 million cases, making spinal manipulation for disk problems an extremely safe treatment option for patient with herniated disks.

Chiropractors will often use low-force manipulation methods for treating herniated disks that do not require a standard type of manipulation thrust.

These spinal methods are sometimes preferred over traditional manipulative techniques for the treatment of herniated spinal disks, but this is case dependent.

To make an educated decision about any type of care you may be considering, you must consider “relative risks”. Simply put, relative risks compare the risk of one procedure with the risk of a second procedure for the same condition.

For example, if you are taking medications to relieve your pain, how do the risks of the medications compare with the risks of an alternative treatment, like chiropractic care?

An example is chiropractic treatment versus drugs known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include aspirin, Aleve and Advil (TM).

THE RISK FOR SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS FROM ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUG IS FROM 6000-9000 TIMES GREATER THAN THE RISK FOR SERIOUS SIDE EFFECTS FROM SPINAL MANIPULATION, MEANING THAT CHIROPRACTIC CARE IS A MUCH SAFER ALTERNATIVE THAN ASPIRIN OR OTHER NSAID DRUGS FOR TREATING INFLAMMATORY BACK OR NECK PAIN.

Further, there is no significant increased risk to add chiropractic care to an existing regime of NSAIDs, thus treating the condition with two different strategies.

Interestingly, studies have reported that patients receiving chiropractic care were able to reduce their intake of drugs, thus, reducing the risks of drug reactions/interactions.

If you are trying to avoid surgery for a spine related problem, your condition is more serious and potential side effects of surgery should be compared with chiropractic.

You should understand any patient who is a potential candidate for spine surgery has a serious medical condition. There is pressure on a nerve and the potential for permanent damage to that nerve exists. Studies show that chiropractic care often can reduce the pressure on a compressed nerve in the lower back or neck, without surgery.

The following references were utilized in the preparation of this information.

References

  1. The audible release associated with joint manipulation. JMPT. 1995 Mar-Apr;18(3):155-64.
  2. Does knuckle cracking lead to arthritis of the fingers? Arthritis Rheum. 1998 May;41(5):949-50.
  3. Efficacy of treating low back pain and dysfunction secondary to osteoarthritis: chiropractic care compared with moist heat alone. JMPT 2006 Feb;29(2):107-14.
  4. Comparison of human lumbar facet joint capsule strains during simulated high velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation versus physiological motions. Spine J. 2005 May-Jun;5(3):277-90.
  5. Safety of spinal manipulation in the treatment of lumbar disk herniations: a systematic review and risk assessment JMPT. 2004 Mar-Apr;27(3):197-210.
  6. Side posture manipulation for lumbar intervertebral disk herniation. JMPT. 1993 Feb;16(2):96-103.
  7. Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. JMPT 1996 Nov-Dec;19 (9):597-606.
  8. Prospective investigations into the safety of spinal manipulation. J Pain Symptom Manage. 2001 Mar;21(3):238-42.
  9. Risks associated with spinal manipulation. Am J Med. 2002 May;112(7):566-71.
  10. A risk assessment of cervical manipulation vs. NSAIDs for the treatment of neck pain. JMPT 1995 Oct;18(8):530-6.
  11. J Side effects of chiropractic treatment: a prospective study. JMPT. 1997 Oct;20(8):511-5.
  12. Frequency and clinical predictors of adverse reactions to chiropractic care in the UCLA neck pain study. Spine. 2005 Jul 1;30(13):1477-84.
  13. Complications of spinal manipulation: a comprehensive review of the literature. J Fam Pract. 1996 May;42(5):475-80.
  14. Dissection of cervical arteries Presse Med 2001 Dec 15;30(38):1882-9
  15. Vertebral artery occlusion after acute cervical spine trauma. Spine. 2000 May 1;25(9):1171-7.18. Spine Journal
  16. Internal forces sustained by the vertebral artery during spinal manipulative therapy. JMPT 2002 Oct;25(8):504-10
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Chiropractic Education…You Had No Idea They Did This…

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

I 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 health care provider.”

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

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 now require 4 years of college in addition to the 4 to 5 academic years of chiropractic education to practice in their particular state. (For the requirements in the UK, click here. For the requirements in Australia, click here. For the requirements in Canada, click here.)

Once entering a chiropractic university, the same format exists as most health care 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 options. Many various Masters and doctorate programs in specialty areas are also available.

The following chart shows the similarities between three health care 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):

*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.

In order to receive a degree, a student must have satisfied all academic and clinical requirements and must have earned no less than the final 25 percent of the total credits required for the D.C. degree, allowing up to 75 percent of the total credits through advanced standing.

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.

As a doctor of chiropractic, we are committed to providing the highest quality care available to our patients. We coordinate care with other doctors when appropriate in quest of reaching the goal of our helping our patients in the most efficient, economic, and evidence-based approach possible.

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NFL Great Says, “Chiropractic Was The Key To Keeping Me In The Game.”

If the greatest player in the history of the National Football League said, “Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game,” do you think Chiropractic care could help you with your back pain and other aches and pains?

Well, that’s exactly what happened.

Jerry Rice, who on November 4, 2010 was named the greatest player in NFL history by NFL Network’s NFL Films production The Top 100: NFL’s Greatest Players, said:

“I believe in Chiropractic and I know that it works.

“You probably know about my long and successful career in football. I’m flattered by the testimonials to my durability.

“Football is a very rough and vigorous sport. Many of the pass patterns in a game either long or short require a maximum effort.

“I took some vicious hits from players nearing twice my size. Thankfully, I had the durability to withstand these tackles – or I never would have succeeded or lasted for as long as I did.

“Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game.

“My first experience with Chiropractic care was right before the 49ers were to play the Bengals in Super Bowl 23. A couple of our players were injured and a Chiropractor turned things around.

“I quickly became a believer and ever since, I have had the benefit of Chiropractic care.

“Dancing with the Stars was every bit as exhausting and challenging – though not nearly as brutal as football – it required many hours of practice… I had aches and pains that I never had before. Again, Chiropractic made the difference and kept me dancing and in the competition.”

The average NFL career is extremely short… lasting only 2-4 years. Injury prematurely ends many young player’s hopes and dreams. Jerry Rice played an astounding 20 years in the NFL.

If Chiropractic can help Jerry Rice play for 20 years in the NFL… just imagine what it can do for you.

If you would like to see Jerry speak about the benefits of Chiropractic… go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_CAsGNlQEnI.

No one would claim celebrities have all the answers. However, it would seem that with all the options celebrity affords them, the fact they seek chiropractic care to meet their healthcare needs says something about the value of chiropractic for optimum health!

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Stress Relief for a Lifetime

How to battle stress and win! Life can offer many challenges, here are a few things that you can do to manage stress and conquer the things you love to do.

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