article about the recent review in the Journal of the
American Medical Association demonstrating that
chiropractic care is a safe and effective treatment for
Spinal Manipulation Can
Ease Your Aching Back
A new analysis finds
that the hands-on technique works as well as pain drugs
and is safer, too
When you wrench your back,
your first impulse may be to rummage through the
medicine cabinet for an over-the-counter pain drug or
even ask your doctor to prescribe a strong opioid
painkiller such as Percocet or Vicodin.
But an analysis published
April 11 in the Journal of the American Medical
Association finds that spinal manipulation can ease your
backache and get you moving again without the risk of
medication side effects.
A new Consumer Reports
survey of more than 3,500 back-pain sufferers reached
similar conclusions: Nearly 90 percent of people who
tried spinal manipulation found it helpful.
involves a healthcare provider applying controlled
forces to the spine to improve alignment and allow the
muscles and joints to move more easily. While it’s
usually done by a chiropractor, some doctors of
osteopathic medicine (D.O.) and physical therapists also
use the technique.
For the JAMA analysis,
researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and
elsewhere combined results from 26 studies involving
more than 3,000 patients with low-back pain lasting six
weeks or less. Patients treated with spinal manipulation
were able to move through daily activities with less
pain than people who didn’t get the therapy.
NOTE from Dr. Mha
Atma: The studies reviewed in the JAMA article show a
"modest" benefit for back pain from chiropractic care.
But these studies were limited to chiropractic low back
adjustments only. A comprehensive approach to back
pain, like we use in our office, includes soft tissue
work, back stabilizing exercises, and dietary changes
with anti-inflammatory supplements. When all of these
are used to complement the chiropractic adjustment,
results are often significantly better than "modest."
As the chiropractic doctor interviewed in the article
says at the end, “Spinal manipulation is just one part
of an overall treatment strategy to get you actively
engaged in taking care of yourself to get past this
episode and prevent future recurrences.”
Technology a Pain in Your Neck?
Mobile devices such as
cell phones, iPads, laptops and electronic readers
have made our lives easier in many ways…but the
increased time we spend in front of these screens
can adversely affect our health. This doesn’t mean
you have to stop using these devices, but you should
learn how to use them in a more mindful manner as a
way to minimize health risks, such as back, neck and
even elbow pain.
When using technology devices, remember to:
Sit upright with your ears over your shoulders.
Look down with your eyes, and if you wear
glasses, make sure you also can scan the entire
screen without moving your head.
Never pinch a handheld phone between your ear
and shoulder. Use a headset or even headphones
to reduce shoulder strain.
When sitting at a device, make sure your feet
are firmly flat on the floor or footrest with
your knees lower than your hips. Make sure you
can use the device without reaching.
When texting, bring your arms up in front of
your eyes so that you don’t need to look down to
see the screen.
Minimize the time you bend your elbows to hold
the phone or device up to your face.
Take breaks! Get up and move around.
If you find yourself in pain despite your best
efforts, your doctor of chiropractic can treat
injuries and provide additional advice on using
Chiropractic for Chronic Pain: A Key Piece of the
Chronic pain is a
major issue these days, and finding solutions that
don't cause even more pain and misery (read: opioid
abuse / addiction) is an even bigger issue. So, it's
refreshing when we get a glimpse of nondrug
approaches that are working. And boy is this one
Findings from a unique
Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving
high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans
were recently presented to the state's Department of
Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard
to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and
Since 2012, Rhode
Island Medicaid "Community of Care" enrollees
suffering from chronic pain have participated in an
integrated chronic pain program designed to "reduce
pain levels, improve function and overall health
outcomes, reduce emergency room costs, and through a
holistic approach and behavioral change models,
educate members in self-care and accountability."
The program features
holistic nurse case management with referrals to
complementary and alternative medicine (CAM)
providers including chiropractors, massage
therapists and acupuncturists; and patient education
including stress-reduction tips and more.
Community of Care
enrollees "have significant economic challenges as
well as bio-psycho-social disorders." CoC enrollees,
as might be expected, tend to make more visits to
emergency rooms compared to other patients.
Here are some of the key findings from the pilot
program thus far (2012-2015), showing average
per-enrollee improvements post-referral into the
integrated chronic pain program compared to
pre-referral for enrollees with at least 12 months
pre-referral data and 12 months post-referral data.
Note that these improvements are also significant
compared to the control group, consisting of CoC
members who did not enroll in the chronic pain
Rx Scripts: Prescriptions declined from a whopping
70.42 pre-referral to 25.97 post-referral.
Opioid Scripts: Opioid prescription use declined
from 7.69 pre-referral to 1.10 post-referral.
ER Visits: Emergency-room visits, a major issue for
CoC enrollees, declined from 7.57 visits
pre-referral to 2.98 visits post-referral.
Total Claims Costs: Average pre-referral claims
costs approached $20,000 ($19,456.59) per enrollee
pre-referral; post-referral, claims costs declined
to $14,150.76, including CAM costs.
Patient Satisfaction: According to a third-party
survey of program participants, 92 percent "agree or
strongly agree their CAM provider reduced their pain
level"; 82 percent "believe their quality of life
has improved by participating"; and 96 percent
"would recommend the program to friends or family
suffering from chronic pain or fatigue."
Your doctor can tell you more about chronic pain,
the opioid epidemic and how nondrug approaches such
as chiropratic care are proving more effective and
safer than medication.
Antibiotic Use and Childhood Obesity: A Clear Connection
While processed, empty-calorie foods and sedentary behavior usually take the
blame for skyrocketing childhood obesity rates, a recent study suggests
another culprit: antibiotics (AB).
According to the study, antibiotic use within the first two years of birth
was associated with a significantly higher risk of obesity at ages 2-5. The
risk increased whether the child took any wide-spectrum (WS) antibiotic
("wide spectrum" or "broad spectrum" means the antibiotic acts against a
wide range of bacteria), four or more antibiotics, or four or more
antibiotics that included at least one AB of the wide-spectrum variety:
Any wide-spectrum AB: 11 percent increased obesity risk
Any AB (four or more): 11 percent increased obesity risk
Four or more AB (at least one WS): 17 percent increased obesity risk
By the way, the study also revealed that nearly seven in 10 infants (0-23
months of age) received at least one course of antibiotics before age 2, so
don't think antibiotic use is an uncommon occurrence during this period of a
child's development. Talk to your doctor about the association between
infant antibiotic use and childhood obesity. It's part of a larger
discussion you should always have with your medical provider before filling
a prescription for any member of your family.
from the Science section of England's The Telegraph:
Ibuprofen for people with back pain has no
significant effect - new study
By Henry Bodkin 2 FEBRUARY 2017
Common over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen makes hardly any
difference for people suffering from back pain, scientists have said.
new study found that only one in six patients treated with non-steroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs, known as NSAIDs, achieve any significant reduction
Back pain is a common complaint, affecting one in six people at any given
time, although it usually improves within a few weeks.
Yet for some it persists and sufferers are advised by the NHS to stay as
active as possible, try exercises and stretches, take anti-inflammatory
painkillers and use hot or cold compression packs for short-term relief.
Professor Manuela Ferreira, who led the research at the University of
Sydney, said the findings highlighted an urgent need to develop new
therapies to treat back pain, which affects about four fifths of people
during at some point during their lives.
"Back pain is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is commonly
managed by prescribing medicines such as anti-inflammatories,” he said.
"But our results show anti-inflammatory drugs actually only provide very
limited short term pain relief.
"They do reduce the level of pain, but only very slightly, and arguably not
of any clinical significance.
"When you factor in the side effects which are very common, it becomes clear
that these drugs are not the answer to providing pain relief to the many
millions who suffer from this debilitating condition every year."
The study examined 35 trials involving more than 6,000 people, also found
patients taking anti-inflammatories were 2.5 times more likely to suffer
from gastro-intestinal problems such as stomach ulcers and bleeding.
Earlier research found paracetamol was ineffective and opioids provided
minimal benefit compared to a placebo.
Most clinical guidelines currently recommend NSAIDs as the second line
analgesics after paracetamol, with opioids coming at third choice.
Last July the American Heart Association warned that ibuprofen and other
similar drugs can trigger heart failure, which occurs when the organ is
unable to pump blood properly around the body.
The new study was published in the
Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.