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All Posts Tagged: spine

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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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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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Patient Satisfaction with Boise Chiropractic Care

At a time where patients are constantly being forced to go to different health care providers each year due to their prior doctor “…not being on the list,” are patients truly satisfied with the care/treatment they receive?

If so, what exactly are the reasons and factors that drive patient satisfaction with Chiropractic?

The process of measuring patient satisfaction can be viewed from several different angles.

One study looked at the improvement of the patient’s condition and only 57% of the satisfaction score was based on improvement.

Because the concept of measuring satisfaction is multifactorial, more important methods of measuring patient satisfaction had to be considered.

A recent study did just this – they measured parameters that included pain, disability (activity tolerance), satisfaction with information received, effectiveness of care, caring, and quality of care.

The information was obtained by two different interviewers with similar information received regardless if it was the doctor or a third party.

THE RESULTS SHOWED ALL PATIENTS REPORTED HIGH LEVELS OF SATISFACTION AND THOUGH THE CLINICAL OUTCOMES REGARDING PAIN AND DISABILITY WERE MOST IMPORTANT, THE INFORMATION RECEIVED THAT HELPED PATIENTS UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THEM, AND, WHAT COULD BE DONE (BY BOTH DOCTOR AND PATIENT) TO SPEED RECOVERY AND PREVENT FUTURE EPISODES WERE VERY IMPORTANT FACTORS IN THE OVERALL SATISFACTION SCORE.

Patients also wanted timely information so they were kept up-to-date with what was being done at various points in time during care.

The information had to be understandable and informative and explained in “layman’s terms” so that they “learned something” from the information received.

Caring included four questions:

  1. Does the doctor believe what the patient tells them?
  2. Does the doctor understand the patient’s concerns?
  3. Was the doctor comfortable dealing with the patient’s pain?
  4. Was the doctor concerned about the patient after they left the office?

The information gathered included treatment, doctor confidence, and prognosis (how long it might take to get better). Also, effectiveness was further divided into listening, knowledge, experience, and the use of an active management approach.

The conclusion of the study emphasizes the importance of using a mixed-method approach when examining patient satisfaction.

This includes quantitative “scores” from questionnaires as well as qualitative information about the encounter including information, caring, and effectiveness.

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How to Explain Chiropractic to Others in Boise

We cannot thank our family, friends, patients, and allied health care providers enough for referring patients to our practice.

There is no other form of advertising that attracts the quality of patients as those our patients refer to us.

So, here’s some information that may help you tell others about us: Chiropractic has been around since 1895 and is the third largest healthcare profession in the world:

  • The primary focus of treatment includes the neuromusculoskeletal system (nerves, muscles, joints) such as disk herniations (e.g., sciatica, pinched nerves), sprains and strains, sports injuries, neck pain (e.g., whiplash), headaches, and many others.
  • The treatment includes a “hands-on” approach where massage, manual traction, joint manipulation and mobilization are commonly utilized. In general, the treatment typically feels good and patients look forward to the process.
  • In many cases (such as low back pain, neck pain, headaches), chiropractic care may function as the primary or only treatment that is needed. However, when other medical conditions co-exist, the combination of chiropractic and medical treatment is often better than either one by itself (depending on the condition).
  • Doctors of chiropractic commonly refer back and forth with medical and osteopathic doctors, creating a “win-win” for the patient and providers.
  • Over the last 20-30 years, a significant volume of research has been published finding chiropractic approaches to be either equal or superior to other forms of healthcare provision for low back and neck pain, headaches, and other conditions.
  • Many hospitals, medical clinics and VA facilities have integrated chiropractic into their healthcare systems. Medicare and Medicaid have included chiropractic coverage since the 1970’s and most private insurers include chiropractic coverage due to the significant volume of research reporting the benefits, cost savings, and patient satisfaction.

Your individual story may actually be the most important thing you can share.

The following are a few of the many websites that include great information about chiropractic that may also be appreciated by the potential “internet savvy” future chiropractic patient:

We look forward to giving your family, friends, and co-workers the same quality care that you’ve been receiving!

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12 Tips to Reduce Allergies in Boise

The dry climate in Boise is about to really take hold and that means allergy season is going to kick into high gear.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI), over half of Americans are allergic to one or more allergens. It’s never more apparent than during spring and summer in Boise, when seasonal allergies are likely to flare up.

Aside from the lousy, cold­like symptoms that allergies provoke (sneezing, congestion, watery/itchy eyes, runny nose, etc.), allergies can cost you days at work and money to seek out solutions. In fact, according to AAAAI, allergies may cost Americans close to $8 billion a year in costs related to direct care and lost work productivity.

If you live in the United States, chances are you have allergies. At least, that’s the finding from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III).

According to NHANES III, the top four most common allergens include:

  • Dust mites
  • Rye
  • Ragweed
  • Cockroaches

About 25 percent of Americans tested positive to each one. Least common was the peanut, with only 9 percent reacting positively.

As for food allergies, the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network says that eight foods account for 90 percent of all food­related allergic reactions:

As pollen, and other allergens peak in Boise this spring, those with allergies should stay indoors as much as possible (or if you can’t resist venturing outside, at least shower and wash your clothing afterward).

Staying indoors when pollen counts are high is one of the best ways to prevent allergy symptoms.

  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Peanut
  • Tree nut (walnut, cashew, etc.)
  • Fish
  • Shellfish Soy Wheat

While it would seem that, with so many people suffering from allergies, we would be well prepared as a population to handle them and know their causes, this is not the case. Nearly half (49 percent) of allergy sufferers wait until symptoms occur to take action, rather than using preventative measures. This is unfortunate when it’s so easy to do! Increasing immune function will help reduce or eliminate allergies altogether.

I’ve had dozens of patients over the years tell me their allergies were reduced or eliminated during and after chiropractic care. What’s funny is that no a single person told me they had allergies to start with or wanted treatment for allergies! Boosting the body’s internal ability to heal and function is what chiropractic does and it shows in cases like this.

Minimize your allergies with these 12 tips, however, the best tip is…boost your immune system with wholesome foods and chiropractic care to ensure your body functions at it’s best so you can enjoy life to the fullest:

1. Keep your windows closed to keep pollen out (this is especially important from 5 a.m. to 10 a.m. when plants release most of their pollen).

2. Use your air conditioner instead of opening windows, and ideally use an air conditioner that has an allergy­reducing HEPA filter in it.

3. Check the daily pollen and mold counts (AAAAI’s National Allergy Bureau has daily pollen counts for locations across the country). If counts are high, stay indoors as much as possible. Also stay indoors if it’s windy, as dust and pollen will be blown about.

4. Clean your home frequently to reduce pollen, mold, dust and other allergens.

5. Wash your bedding once a week in hot water to help get rid of dust mites and other allergy triggers.

Some people face worse allergy flare­ups in the fall than the spring.

6. Shower before you go to bed. This will help wash away any pollen, mold and other allergens that have accumulated in your hair and on your body.

7. Always wash your clothes after spending time outdoors to remove pollen and other allergens.

8. Have someone else mow your lawn. Cutting the grass will expose you to a host of pollens and molds (the same goes for raking leaves in the fall).

9. Wipe off surfaces you touch often. Surfaces such as computer keyboards, countertops, furniture, door handles and appliances can be loaded with allergens. When you touch these areas, the allergens are transferred to your hands and then likely to your eyes, nose and mouth, potentially worsening your symptoms. Giving these a wipe with a microfiber cloth can keep all types of allergens to a minimum.

11. Resist the temptation to hang your clothes out in the sun to dry. When you bring them inside, they’ll be covered in pollen and mold.

12. Get away for a while. If you can spare a few weeks, great, but even a week­long vacation to a low­pollen area (such as a beach) can be a much­needed reprieve.

Article adapted from Dr. Mancini (see linked article)

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Chiropractic for Professional Athletes and Boise Weekend Warriors Alike!

Chiropractic Care Keeps Minnesota Twins Pitchers Kyle Gibson and Trevor May on Top of Their Game. But they’re not the only ones of course. It’s well known that nearly all professional football, hockey, baseball and basketball teams have chiropractors on staff. You’ve heard many pro golfers and olympians talk about how chiropractic care has kept their performance level high and their injury rates down.

And that’s just it…optimal performance is the most important thing to many people, but when your body is pushed to the limit like professional athletes day in and day out, it’s easier to see weaknesses in performance. Remember, these guys are worth millions of dollars and they have the best doctors on the planet helping them with injury care. They don’t need chiropractors for that. The role of the chiropractor is to keep these athletes performing at the highest level.

So whether your game is gardening on the Boise bench, chasing your kids around a North End park, biking on the Boise Greenbelt, or running a local business down at Saturday Market, chiropractic care will ensure you’re on the top of your game all year long.

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Car Accident Injury (Part III of III): Long-Term Health Affects of Whiplash

Perhaps the most scary thing about a common car accident injury, whiplash, is that it can cause serious negative long-term health affects. A study recently published out of Canada looked at data correlating a history of neck injury from motor vehicle crashes with chronic neck pain. This list of health problems is terrifying and should absolutely change your actions when it comes to treating yourself and those you love after a car accident.

The study is entitled Long-Term Consequences of Whiplash: Allergy; Breathing, Digestive and Cardiovascular Disorders; Hypertension and Low Back Pain. Just the title alone nearly says it all. The authors inquired about neck pain, headache, and depression as well.

One of the most important aspects of this study was the association of various health problems with history of neck injury from car accidents. The authors looked at allergies, breathing disorders, hypertension, cardiovascular disorders, digestive disorders, and low back pain. They found higher incidence in all categories except hypertension; in many cases, the reported complaints were close to twice that seen in those with no history of neck injury.

Unfortunately, the authors did not inquire about thyroid or other endocrine disorders. In previous studies there has been found a possible link between thyroid disease and neck injury, as documented in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. In that study, a possible link between hypothyroidism and exposure to whiplash trauma was made.

The bottom line here is if you have had neck trauma, and don’t seek proper neurological and spinal care for recovery and healing, your chances of many undesirable health problems can increase by 200 percent! That’s a risk I’m nobody needs to take when there’s expert care that’s so easy to access.

You don’t need a referral to see a chiropractor. So scheduling an appointment at my office is easy and fast! The chiropractic care I provide is detailed, and as safe as any other treatment in healthcare (as proven by nearly the lowest malpractice insurance rates in all of healthcare among professionals).

When you come to my Boise office you get a detailed spinal motion and neurological exam designed to find the affects of whiplash.

Did you know that X-ray is the standard diagnostic test for car accident injury across all of healthcare? We have on site X-ray, so your results are fast and you save tons of time not having to go elsewhere to have proper diagnostic testing.

After a detailed exam and diagnostic tests you get to see your own X-rays and get an explanation of exactly what the problem is and what it will take to help you heal. I even give you an accurate estimate of how long it will take to recover and what the process will look and feel like. Costs usually aren’t a problem because insurance can cover most or all of the expense. If not, we’ll work with you. Due to my extensive experience and intricate analysis system that tells me exactly what treatment you need at that moment visits in my office are extremely thorough and fast, really fast! So you don’t have to interrupt your day and worry about how you can fit it all in.

Give my office a call or email right now! Now that you know how much your future health depends on it, and how easy it is, there’s no reason not to.

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Some People in Boise Get Back Pain or Sickness, Other Don’t: Your GAP is Why

Why is it that some people get sick or back pain while others don’t? Ever notice that some people get colds every winter, or some kids miss school a lot while others never do? Some people blow out their back every few months, others don’t. This is all related to an individual’s General Adaptive Potential.

Some of Chiropractic’s 33 principles focus on a concept known as “The Limitations of Matter”. This refers to the conditions necessary for a living system to survive or thrive. Living like us! I guess an extreme example of this would be that even a very healthy person would die if they were left naked outside in sub-zero temperatures for long enough. There is a limit to what we can adapt to. This is the “Limitation of Matter.”

In life, the experience isn’t usually so extreme. We all experience some degree of negative stress. These stresses usually aren’t so overwhelming that they result in instant death. Many times the negative stress adds up and reduces our experience and expression of life, thus our health, causing us back pain or sickness.

The good news is, you can improve your GAP and thereby increase the ability of your body to manage negative stress. Chiropractic care is simply one of the best ways to accomplish resolving back and neck pain and improve overall health.

The beautiful thing is that your body is more than a machine—it has life that flows through it, it can re-create itself! And that is exactly what we want to partner with you in doing through chiropractic care with me at my office.

 

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Life Principles You Can’t Live Without

The first thing I want you to understand is that you are born to develop, heal, adapt and thrive. You don’t need drugs to do it. You don’t need surgery to do it. You have a life force that directs the whole process. This principle forms the major premise of chiropractic which states “There is a Universal Intelligence in all matter, constantly giving to it its properties and actions, thereby maintaining it in existence.”

It is also important to understand that life is conditional. This means that if the conditions of life are not properly met, its expression will be limited, and if the condition contains enough severe negative stress, life will cease.

Now, if we look to apply these concepts, it makes sense that we make our best efforts to work with these principles—and that is exactly what chiropractic care at my office in Boise does.

We take positive action on the things that we know support and enhance life, and we act to eliminate things that take life away. This is no easy task, and I salute you for making this incredible commitment to calling my office, a commitment that I can help you continue as a lifestyle for your lifetime!

Action Step

What I want you to do is pay close attention to what you do, and add chiropractic to enhance the health giving quality of your life’s practices. Now that you have a better understanding of the principles of life, you will begin making better decisions for you and the ones you love.

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Ear Infections: Boise Chiropractor Has Researched Answers

Ear Infections: Boise Chiropractor Has Researched Answers

This research (abstract below) published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health discusses a case of a 4 year old who had invasive surgery to put tubes in his little ears to help prevent repeat ear infections. Millions of people have learned over the last 120 years that chiropractic treatment, like the care I provide here in Boise, has a dramatic affect on the how a young body handles and heals itself from ear infections.

Chiropractic care specifically removes subluxations, which are nerve signal restrictions (think of it as similar to a clogging artery restricting blood flow although it happens differently of course). When you understand this, then you understand chiropractic treatment improves your body’s internal healing ability and adaptability. That allowed this young boy’s body to begin to drain the ears properly and stop having ear infections.

Don’t have surgery. Try chiropractic first. It’s natural, safe, costs way less, and feels way better! 

Objective: To describe the chiropractic care of a child with a history of failed tympanostomy tube surgery and recurrent ear infections.

Clinical Features: A four-year old male presented for care with a history of failed tympanostomy tube surgery. The child was scheduled for repeat tympanostomy surgery. Vertebral subluxations were found and adjusted in the cervical and thoracic spine.

Intervention and Outcome: The patient’s subluxations were adjusted using the Activator hand held adjusting instrument. On the third visit, the patient’s mother opted out of her son’s scheduled surgery.  The patient attended care with the recommended frequency at 2-3 times for the first two weeks, followed by once a week for eight weeks, for a duration of 12 weeks.

Conclusion: The successful chiropractic care of an infant with chronic ear infections is described. This study provides supporting evidence that infants with similar complaints may benefit from chiropractic care.

 

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