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C27. Time for Chiropractic

By Editorial Staff

It's a great time to visit your chiropractor, and a recent Gallup survey makes it clear: pain is a major issue for many people, and overwhelmingly, they would rather try nondrug pain-relief therapies such as chiropractic care versus pain-relieving medications. Well, they're in luck, because chiropractic offers the answer.

According to the 2017 Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Annual Study of Americans, pain is an ongoing issue for many Americans, particularly neck and back pain (two conditions commonly treated by chiropractors): "About one in four adults in the U.S. (27%) have seen a healthcare professional for significant neck or back pain in the last 12 months. More than half of those adults (54%) have had an ongoing problem with neck or back pain for five years or more." But medication is not the preferred option, particularly in light of the opioid epidemic: Nearly eight in 10 (78 percent) of Americans "prefer to try other ways to address their physical pain before they take pain medication prescribed by a doctor." And yet pain medications are still widely used: "Among those who have had ongoing neck or back pain for less than 12 months, seven in 10 have taken a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), such as Advil®, aspirin or Aleve®, to manage the pain, and 45% have taken acetaminophen, such as Tylenol.®"

So, let's sum up: Americans are in pain, don't want to take prescription pain medication, but often take over-the-counter pain medication. Sounds like it's time for chiropractic instead, especially in light of the fact that according to the survey, Americans perceive chiropractic as safer than both prescription and OTC medication and back surgery for neck / back pain.

Don't risk the potential side effects of pain medication - drugs that only temporarily relieve the symptom (pain) - when your chiropractor can relieve your pain without drugs while addressing the root cause of your problem. It's time for chiropractic.

C26. Chiropractic Care for Common Sports Injuries

By Jasper Sidhu, BSc, DC

Have you ever had a sports injury that limited you from playing your favorite sport? If so, you aren't alone. Whether you are a weekend sports enthusiast or an athlete, getting back to playing again is the most important thing. That's why an injury can take time to heal and really frustrate us. We want to be back playing yesterday. That's why chiropractic care is so important. Getting your injury assessed and treatment will not only get you back on your feet faster, but also screen out any bad habits that can lead to further injury. Let's look at some of the most common sports injuries out there, and review what you can do to get it better.

Injury: Hamstring Strain

Treatment:

Follow RICE principle if injury happened within last 48 hours RICE: (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) Electrotherapy, Ultrasound for swelling control Stretching for increasing flexibility Chiropractic adjustments to address joint tightness Muscle tissue work to break up scar tissue Active exercise to get back to full strength and prevent further injury

Key points to remember:

Sports Injuries - Copyright - Stock Photo / Register Mark Hamstring pulls and strains are most commonly due to lack of flexibility and adequate warm up before beginning your sport. Apart from treating the area of injury, your Chiropractor will examine to see if there's any muscular imbalances. Having a tight thigh and weak hamstrings will lead to recurring injuries unless you get your muscles and joint motion back to normal.

Injury: Low back strain

Treatment:

Chiropractic adjustments to increase range of motion and decrease pain Low back stretching exercises Strengthening and core training

C25. Three Reasons to Choose Chiropractic

By Editorial Staff

When you're suffering low back pain, shoulder pain or any number of similar musculoskeletal conditions, who gets the call: your medical doctor or your doctor of chiropractic? Your choice of health care provider in those situations could make a big difference, and research is continuing to prove it. According to the latest study, chiropractic care is at least as effective as medical care for certain musculoskeletal conditions, while reducing health care costs and leaving patients more satisfied with the results.

The authors of the study, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), went so far as to state that for certain musculoskeletal conditions, visiting an MD first instead of a DC may actually be a mistake:

"The findings of this study support first-contact care provided by DCs as an alternative to first-contact care provided by MDs for a select number of musculoskeletal conditions. Restrictive models of care in which patients are required to contact a medical provider before consulting a chiropractic provider may be counterproductive for patients experiencing the musculoskeletal conditions investigated and possibly others."

The study sample included 403 patients who saw medical doctors and 316 patients who saw doctors of chiropractic as the initial health care providers for their spinal, hip or shoulder pain complaint. Four months following care, all patients completed a questionnaire that evaluated pain on that day and four months earlier (11-point scale); satisfaction with care received and the results of that care (5-point scale from "very satisfied" to "very unsatisfied"); and other variables. The researchers evaluated related costs of care by reviewing an insurance claims database.

"Patients initially consulting MDs had significantly less reduction in their numerical pain rating score and were significantly less likely to be satisfied with the care received and the outcome of care." What's more average per-patient costs over the four-month period were significantly lower in patients who initially consulted DCs ($368 difference compared to MD care).

C24. 5 Common Causes of Neck Pain (and How Chiropractic Can Help)

By Editorial Staff

Neck pain can be acute (short term) or chronic (recurring or persisting for months and even years), but regardless, when you're in pain, relief is the first thing on your mind. Just as important as relief, of course, is finding the cause and ensuring you avoid the behavior / action that brought the pain on in the first place. Here are five common causes of neck pain – and why doctors of chiropractic are well-suited to relieve the pain and determine the underlying cause.

1. Poor Posture: Leaning over a desk all day or slouching in your office chair? You're bound to develop neck pain eventually, if you haven't already. Do this quick test: In an upright or seated position, round your shoulders and back (poor posture). Does it impact your neck as well? Exactly!

2. Monitor Madness: Staring at the computer screen for hours at a time? That's not good for your health (or sanity), but from a neck pain perspective, it's madness, particularly if the screen height forces you to crane your neck up (too high) or extend it down (too low).

3. Sleep Issues: Ideally, we spend a third of our day sleeping, so your sleep habits – for better or worse – can have a dramatic effect on your health. With regard to neck pain, anytime you sleep in an uncomfortable position, particularly one that stresses your neck musculature (think about side-sleeping while grabbing your pillow tightly, sleeping on your stomach with your arms out in front of you, or even sleeping on your back, but with a pillow that doesn't adequately support your neck), you risk neck pain.

4. Technology Overload: We may spend a third of our day sleeping, but we increasingly spend the other 16 hours typing, texting, tapping and otherwise interacting with our smartphones, tablets, etc. Bottom line: bad for your neck. One doctor has even coined the phrase, "text neck," to describe the neck pain that can result from this constant technology interaction.

5. The Wrong Movement: Twisting, turning, stretching and stressing your neck is an easy way to cause neck pain. While the muscles in the neck are strong, they can be strained, sprained and even torn, just like any other muscle.

C23. 4 Perils of Poor Posture

By Editorial Staff

Slump away at your desk, scrunch your shoulders to type another text message, bend and lift without protecting your back – what harm can it do? Actually, the health consequences of poor posture, whether temporary or chronic, are numerous and life-changing.

Here's a short list that will hopefully prompt you to stand / sit straight and tall from this point forward:

Pain: The No. 1 consequence of poor posture is pain, and it can manifest anywhere from the neck down to the low back / pelvis and even further.

Attitude: Try this quick test and you'll immediately notice how poor posture can impact your attitude / mood: First, in a standing position, roll your shoulders in toward your chest, letting your spine "round." How do you feel? Now do the opposite - expand your chest, pull back your shoulders and stand up tall. Which feels better? Which makes you feel confident, ready to take on the world?

Stress: Poor posture compresses your lungs / organs, leading to shallow breathing, which leads to stress. It makes perfect sense: What's the first rule when you're stressed out? Take a deep, full breath or two.

Major health issues: Stress isn't the only consequence of shallow breathing; reduced lung function means vital organs including the heart and brain don't receive adequate oxygenated blood, especially over time. The long-term result: an increased risk of heart / cardiovascular disease.

C22. Safer With Chiropractic

By Editorial Staff

Whenever you visit a health care provider, safety is always a concern: How will that treatment (whether a drug, procedure, etc.) affect me? Those fears are magnified in elderly patients, who can generally handle less physical trauma than their younger counterparts.

Well, the statistics don't lie: A recent study in the peer-reviewed journal Spine compared two groups of elderly patients' experiences with chiropractic and medical care, respectively, arriving at an interesting conclusion: Chiropractic is the safer of the two options in terms of the elderly patient's likelihood of suffering an injury within seven days of an office visit.

The study evaluated the risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk after an office visit for chiropractic spinal manipulation or evaluation by a primary care physician. The cumulative probability of injury in the chiropractic group: 40 injury incidents per 100,000 subjects; in the primary care group: 153 incidents per 100,000 subjects.

The study authors' conclusion makes their findings crystal clear: "Among Medicare beneficiaries aged 66 to 99 years with an office visit for a neuromusculoskeletal problem, risk of injury to the head, neck, or trunk within 7 days was 76% lower among subjects with a chiropractic office visit than among those who saw a primary care physician."

C21. What Your Spine Says About Your Health

By Perry Nickelston, DC, FMS, SFMA

You may have heard the saying, "the eyes are the window to the soul." There is another saying in the world of chiropractic, "your spine is the window to your health." How can the condition of your spine divulge so much information about overall health? Your spine is the central support column of your body and its primary role is to protect your spinal cord.

Think of it like the foundational frame of a house holding everything together. If the frame becomes dysfunctional many problems will begin to manifest themselves. The house begins to develop cracks, shifts, and structural problems. When your spinal foundation becomes dysfunctional you develop aches, pains, injuries, and other health related issues. The good news is you can do a simple spinal health checklist to determine if you may benefit from the expert intervention of a chiropractor or other healthcare professional. Becoming familiar with simple spinal anatomy, structure and function will help empower you to take control of your health.

Your spine is composed of 24 bones (vertebrae); 7 in the neck (cervical spine), 12 in the middle back (thoracic spine), 5 in the lower back (lumbar spine) and the base tailbone (sacrum). Your soft spinal cord is encased inside these 24 moveable hard vertebrae to protect it from injury. Your spinal column has three natural curvatures making it much stronger and more resilient than a straight design. There are cervical, thoracic, and lumbar curves designed with precise angles for optimum function. However, these curves are different than the abnormal curves associated with scoliosis and postural distortions. You may remember getting screened in school or your doctor for scoliosis when they had you bend over and touch your toes. This was an early checklist for spinal abnormalities. Through life's stresses, genetics, trauma, injuries, and neglect the spine can develop dysfunctions in these curvatures and the body must compensate by changing posture as a protective mechanism.

What are some of the compensations your body develops and what can they tell you about spinal health?

Rounded Shoulders: This is a very common postural distortion resulting from more sedentary lifestyles. Hunching over in front of a computer screen hours on end simply feeds this dysfunction. This poor posture pattern adds increased stress to the upper back and neck because the head is improperly positioned relative to the shoulders. Common effects are headaches, shoulder, pain, neck pain and even tingling and numbness in the arms because of nerve compression by tight muscles.

Uneven shoulders: One shoulder higher than the other is indicative of a muscular imbalance or spinal curvature. You probably see this one on most people where one shoulder is migrating up towards the ear. Stand in front of a mirror and you can easily see if this asymmetry is present. You may also notice that one sleeve is longer than the other when you wear a shirt. This asymmetry is a common precursor for shoulder injuries, headaches, neck pain, elbow injuries and even carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling in the hands).

Uneven hips: Hips that are not level are like the foundation of a house that is not level. You begin to develop compensations further up the body so you remain balanced when walking. You develop altered spinal curvatures, shoulder positions, and head tilts. Your body has one primary purpose of maintaining symmetry and balance and it will do it whatever way is necessary. Signs of unbalanced hips may manifest in abnormal shoe wear typically on the outside edges and pants will fit unevenly in the leg length.

When you visit a chiropractor for a spinal evaluation some of the things they will search for during your evaluation are underlying signs of spinal damage that you can't see. Spinal x-rays are a safe and effective way to get look at your spine for damage or potential problems. Just like a dentist takes an x-ray of your teeth to see if you have cavities or problems with the bones below gum line. If problems are detected, corrective or preventive measures can be implemented to help your body function at optimum.

C20. Science Lesson: Why Chiropractic Can Relieve Your Low Back Pain

By Editorial Staff

Doctors of chiropractic are known for treating low back pain – and preventing its recurrence – and recent research emphasizes the science underlying their effectiveness. A recent study suggests chiropractic care (spinal manipulation) can reduce LBP, but it also suggests chiropractic can increase spinal disc height.

Why is that important? Well, loss of intervertebral disc height is one of the traits of low back pain. Discs are the ligaments between the bony vertebrae that act as shock absorbers for the spine. As we get older, our discs have a tendency to get smaller, which can lead to all kinds of problems, including pain. Fortunately, as this study suggests, chiropractic can help.

That's good to know no matter your age and the condition of your spine. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic for more information. A healthy spine means a healthy you!

C19. When It's OK to Play Mind Games

By Editorial Staff

Your mind is like the rest of your body – you need to exercise it if you want to get the best out of it. When it comes to brain games, research suggests a variety of strategies can help keep your mind sharp and avoid age-related cognitive decline. Here are four easy ones to consider doing as often as possible, courtesy of the Alzheimer's Association:

School's In: When it comes to brain health, lifelong mental stimulation is the key to keeping the brain active and avoiding Alzheimer's and other diseases that affect the brain and the rest of the body. From crossword puzzles to chess to memory challenges, get your brain involved and avoid the opposite - "brain fading" by spending too much time glued to the boob tube or engaged in other less-stimulating pursuits.

Smart Plate: What you put on your dinner plate can help or hurt your brain health, according to the Alzheimer's Association. "Research suggests that high cholesterol may contribute to stroke and brain cell damage. A low fat, low cholesterol diet is advisable. And there is growing evidence that a diet rich in dark vegetables and fruits, which contain antioxidants, may help protect brain cells."

Nice to Meet You: Maintaining an active, engaging social network has brain benefits, research suggests. Emotional support and close personal relationships appear to reduce dementia risk. When you're interacting with people, your brain is engaged, pure and simple.

Motion Sensor: Exercise isn't just good for the body; the brain benefits as well. According to the Alzheimer's Association, "Aerobic exercise improves oxygen consumption, which benefits brain function ... Physical activities that also involve mental activity – plotting your route, observing traffic signals, making choices – provide additional value for brain health."

C18. Chiropractic for Sciatica

Sciatica is a condition in which pain radiates from the lower back down one or both legs. This is generally caused by a problem in your lower back. While many people believe that sciatica requires surgery, a new study found that "sixty percent of patients with sciatica who had failed other medical management benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention."

Chiropractic can alleviate many of the symptoms related to sciatica and can do a lot for those who are suffering.

Given the potential dangers related to surgery, chiropractic spinal manipulation should be the first choice for those suffering from sciatica or any form of back pain.

The purpose of the study, published in PubMed was to compare the clinical efficacy of spinal manipulation against microdiskectomy in patients with sciatica secondary to lumbar disk herniation (LDH).

If you suffer from sciatica, make sure to talk to your chiropractor about your options for relief and healing.

C17. Boston Marathon Winner Trusts in Chiropractic Care

By Editorial Staff

When Meb Keflezighi crossed the finish line at the 2014 Boston Marathon, becoming the first American man to win the prestigious event in 21 years, he exemplified more than just "Boston Strong" one year after the senseless terrorist bombings; he embodied "chiropractic strong," a testament to the work of his doctor of chiropractic, San Diego-based Devin Young, DC.

Speaking about Dr. Young following his victory, Meb said: "As an elite athlete, recovery and therapy is essential to staying healthy and competitive. I have seen Dr. Devin Young as my chiropractor for years and see him twice a week during training. His care has been especially helpful leading up to and including the Boston Marathon.

I have been able to recover faster and easier after races. He is very knowledgeable and professional, and I am very thankful to have him locally to keep me healthy."

In this exclusive Q&A with Dr. Young, learn how he became involved with Meb, how he helps Meb prepare for elite competitive events such as the Boston Marathon – and how chiropractic care can help you, whether you're a weekend runner or a professional.

Q: Dr. Young, when and under what circumstances did you become Meb Keflezighi's chiropractor?

A: I was introduced to Meb when I was living in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., where USATF [USA Track & Field] had an elite training group. At the time, I wasn't even a chiropractor. When I made the decision to go to chiropractic school, I obviously had to move. I went to Life West [in Hayward, Calif.], which is still reasonably close to Mammoth, so I would go back to Mammoth and visit friends frequently. During one of my visits, I ran into Meb and we got to talking. He asked me if I wouldn't mind checking a couple things on him. That was in 2010 or 2011.

He seemed to respond really well, and from that point on, every time I went to Mammoth, I'd check on him. When he was anywhere remotely close to me, we'd find a way to get him checked. As luck would have it, we both ended up in San Diego, so he is able to get checked consistently now.

Click on 6/20/2014's newsletter to read the entire article

C16. How to Avoid Back Surgery: See a Chiropractor First

By Editorial Staff

According to the Mayo Clinic, "back surgery is needed in only a small percentage of cases. Most back problems can be taken care of with nonsurgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication, ice, heat, gentle massage and physical therapy." Accurate on face value, but missing an important piece of the puzzle.

Yes, while back pain is rampant, surgery is rarely required; even the Mayo Clinic admits that while "back pain is extremely common ... surgery often fails to relieve it." However, chiropractic is glaringly absent from the nonsurgical recommendations, despite ample research evidence supporting chiropractic care for back pain and increasing reliance on chiropractic as a first-line treatment option.

So, what determines whether a patient undergoes spinal surgery? A recent study attempted to answer that very question and came up with several predictive variables, perhaps the most interesting of which is the type of health care provider – namely a surgeon or a doctor of chiropractic – the back pain patient sees first. The study authors, who note that "there is little evidence spine surgery is associated with improved population outcomes, yet surgery rates have increased dramatically since the 1990s," found that Washington state workers with an occupational back injury who visited a surgeon (orthopedic, neuro or general) first were significantly more likely to receive spine surgery within three years (42.7 percent of workers) than workers whose first visit was to a doctor of chiropractic (only 1.5 percent of workers). This association held true even when controlling for injury severity and other measures.

back surgery Of the 174 workers (9.2 percent of the subject population) who had a surgery during the three-year time frame, the vast majority were decompression procedures (78.7 percent), with 3.4 percent undergoing fusion without decompression and 17.8 percent undergoing both on the same day.

For more insights into the perils of spine surgery, read "Back Surgery: Too Many, Too Costly and Too Ineffective" by clicking here.

C15. A Stretch Goes a Long Way

By Chelsea Cooper, MPA, CPT

As we age, our muscles tighten and range of motion in our joints decreases. This can impact even the most active lifestyle and hinder your normal day-to-day activities. Tasks that used to be simple, like zipping up a dress or reaching for a can off the top shelf, may become extremely difficult.

A regular stretching program can help lengthen your muscles and make daily activities routine again.

The word flexible comes from the Latin word flexus, which means "to bend." Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen. Stretching increases flexibility, which will help you perform daily activities and reduce the risk of muscle, joint and tendon injuries. Stretching also improves circulation, increasing blood flow to the muscles. Increased blood flow provides more nourishment to the muscles and gets rid of more waste by-products in the muscle tissue itself. Improved circulation can also help speed up recovery time if you suffer a muscle injury.

What's more, stretching can help eliminate or decrease low back pain, one of the most common kinds of structural pain, affecting a large percentage of the population. Muscle tightness in the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and low back muscles is a common cause of low back pain. Stretching these muscles will often eliminate the pain. Keep in mind that every joint is tied to another joint, so if one muscle is tight, it is going to affect another joint or muscle.

One of the greatest benefits of stretching is that you're able to increase your range of motion, which means your joints can move further before an injury occurs. Stretching after you exercise (at least after you've warmed up a bit) has proven to be much more effective than pre-workout stretches, because by the time you've completed your workout, the muscles are "warm." Post-exercise stretching also helps reduce soreness, improves workout recovery, and ensures muscle and tendons are working properly.

There are no disadvantages to stretching - unless, of course, you do them improperly, which is actually easy to do if you don't know what you're doing. Here are a few tips to keep in mind before starting any stretching program:

DON'T bounce when stretching; hold your position for the specified time.

DON'T stretch cold muscles; always do some type of warm-up for at least five minutes: jogging in place, walking on a treadmill, light jump rope, etc.

DON'T overstretch. There should be a little discomfort, especially if you're not used to stretching, but it should not be painful.

DON'T stretch a muscle improperly. If you are not sure of the proper stretch or how to perform it, get some assistance from a professional.

C14. Alternatives For Lower Back Pain

We all know when it comes to lower back pain the first person you call is your chiropractor. Chiropractors can help you find relief and can also recommend a number of ways you can extend that relief well past the chiropractic session.

Many chiropractors recommend their patients adopt healthy habits such as walking, yoga and certain exercises such as pilates and stretching. All of this advice has some strong backing.

In a recent study by the Department of Physiotherapy, Maccabi Healthcare Services in Lod at Tel-Aviv University in Tel-Aviv, Israel walking was found to help significantly with adults who were looking to strengthen their backs, this worked in comparison to doing a complicated series of back exercises. A comprehensive review published in May in the Clinical Journal of Pain also found that there was "strong evidence for short-term effectiveness" of yoga against back pain, although whether the benefits last beyond a year is less certain.

yoga Other experiments noted by The New York Times have found that Pilates, stretching classes, acupuncture and stationary bicycling each provide some people with some pain relief, although in head-to-head studies, no one of those options is superior to the others.

Talk to your chiropractor about complementary ways you can find relief for your back pain in addition to chiropractic adjustments.

C13. Perfecting Your Posture

By Brian Jensen, DC

If you don't have good posture, what do you have? Poor posture can lead to a variety of health problems over time, and yet too many people have bad postural habits. It's time to understand the fundamentals of proper posture and how you can stay healthy from head to toe.

Sit up straight! Stop slouching! Don't stare at the floor when you walk! These are the classic phrases children hear from their well-intentioned parents regarding posture. As children, we learn early on that posture is important, but generally never fully understand its role in our health, what causes poor posture or how to positively influence it. Let's start with a simple definition from the Merriam-Webster dictionary, which defines posture as "the position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose." Want to know more? Read on...

Ideal Posture

Let's focus for just a moment on the characteristic aspect of posture, the basic form we take while standing or walking. The human body is designed to stand with the eyes level with the horizontal plane of the Earth. Viewed from the front, the shoulders and hips are level and the spine is vertical. From the side view, the ear is over the shoulder, the shoulder is over the hip and the hip is over the knee, which is over the ankle.

Think of it like the foundation of a house. The foundation can settle, creating structural stress that can crack the plaster on the walls or ceiling. The same is true for our bodies. Unequal support in the foundation of our body, our feet,can create stress in our structure that can show up as poor posture. This poor posture can lead to tight muscles, stiffness and ultimately contribute to joint degeneration in the knees, hips and spine. Basically, small imbalances over time can lead to big problems for our bodies.

Common Postural Problems

The most common signs of postural stress are one ear being higher than the other and unlevel shoulders or hips. You can also detect postural stress from the side if the ear looks as if it has moved forward of the tip of the shoulder or if the hips appear to have moved forward.

The first thing to do is find out where your postural stress is coming from. Certain jobs require you to sit, stand, twist or bend in repeating patterns, which can create postural stress. If you sit at a computer for long periods of time, that can have a tendency to create a forward head positioning, causing stress in the neck and upper back. Bending and twisting motions can cause an overdevelopment of muscles on one side of the body compared to the other side, which can also be a source of postural stress.

The foundation of posture is actually the feet. It is very common for there to be slight differences in the arches of the feet, which create a slight imbalance. This imbalance can cause a chain reaction all the way up the spine, affecting postural balance. One sign of foot imbalances is when one foot flares out more than the other. Both feet should point forward with only the slightest outward flare when you walk.

C12. Chiropractic: The Right Choice for Low Back Pain

By Editorial Staff

Back pain is a major health issue, so much so that is was recently confirmed as the number-one cause of disability worldwide.

Add to that the shocking statistic that the average person has only about a 20 percent chance of not experiencing back pain at some point during their lifetime, and you can appreciate that low back pain (LBP) has been described as "a common threat to medicine and a reasonable threat to all national health care systems."

The authors of that quote conducted a study recently, results of which suggest a simple, drug-free way to counter that "threat": spinal manipulation, a treatment technique commonly provided by doctors of chiropractic. According to the study, spinal manipulation was more effective than a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) and placebo in patients with acute LBP. In fact, patients who received spinal manipulation showed improvement in terms of their disability due to the pain, their subjective estimation of pain and their perceived quality of life compared to patients receiving drug therapy only.

This isn't the first time we've touted the benefits of chiropractic care for back pain, and it won't be the last. That's because a growing body of evidence suggests chiropractic's effectiveness and health-care cost benefits compared to the traditional medical approach, which often involves drugs and may ultimately lead to surgery. Suffering from back pain? Then do something about it; something that doesn't involve popping pills. Give your doctor of chiropractic a call and take control of your back pain. You'll be glad you do.

C11. Another Reason to Avoid Epidural Steroids

By Editorial Staff

While the uproar surrounding tainted steroid injections causing fungal meningitis has left the mainstream news after months on the front pages, hundreds of reported illnesses and far too many deaths, it's high time for a reminder of why epidural steroids – tainted or not – shouldn't be so commonly prescribed for back pain.

According to a study in the research journal Spine, which compared spine patients who received epidural injections to patients who did not receive injections, steroids "were associated with significantly less improvement at 4 years among all patients with spinal stenosis."

In other words, patients who received the injections were in worse shape after four years than patients who did not receive injections – regardless of whether either type of patient ultimately underwent surgery to "relieve" their pain. Not exactly an endorsement of epidural steroid injections or surgery. What's more, patients in both groups had similar initial symptoms / pain scores, dispelling the notion that patients who received injections had worse initial pain or a worse condition than non-injected patients.

Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the open spaces in the spine. As you might expect, this can put pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, leading to neck or back pain. It is most commonly caused by wear and tear over time, which puts you at higher risk as you get older (particularly over age 50 or so).

Spinal stenosis and other conditions that cause back pain and related symptoms often don't require medication, injections or surgery. Your doctor of chiropractic is an ideal health care provider to visit first if you're suffering from back pain, particularly since research suggests your odds of undergoing spine surgery are much lower if your initial health care provider is a chiropractor versus a spine surgeon.

C10. How to Avoid Back Surgery: See a Chiropractor First

By Editorial Staff

According to the Mayo Clinic, "back surgery is needed in only a small percentage of cases. Most back problems can be taken care of with nonsurgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication, ice, heat, gentle massage and physical therapy." Accurate on face value, but missing an important piece of the puzzle.

Yes, while back pain is rampant, surgery is rarely required; even the Mayo Clinic admits that while "back pain is extremely common ... surgery often fails to relieve it." However, chiropractic is glaringly absent from the nonsurgical recommendations, despite ample research evidence supporting chiropractic care for back pain and increasing reliance on chiropractic as a first-line treatment option.

So, what determines whether a patient undergoes spinal surgery? A recent study attempted to answer that very question and came up with several predictive variables, perhaps the most interesting of which is the type of health care provider – namely a surgeon or a doctor of chiropractic – the back pain patient sees first. The study authors, who note that "there is little evidence spine surgery is associated with improved population outcomes, yet surgery rates have increased dramatically since the 1990s," found that Washington state workers with an occupational back injury who visited a surgeon (orthopedic, neuro or general) first were significantly more likely to receive spine surgery within three years (42.7 percent of workers) than workers whose first visit was to a doctor of chiropractic (only 1.5 percent of workers). This association held true even when controlling for injury severity and other measures.

Of the 174 workers (9.2 percent of the subject population) who had a surgery during the three-year time frame, the vast majority were decompression procedures (78.7 percent), with 3.4 percent undergoing fusion without decompression and 17.8 percent undergoing both on the same day.

For more insights into the perils of spine surgery, read "Back Surgery: Too Many, Too Costly and Too Ineffective" by clicking here

C9. Are You Suffering From the #1 Cause of Worldwide Disability?

By Editorial Staff

Are you suffering from back or neck pain? You're definitely not alone, and we mean on a global scale. A series of studies emerging from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Project, a massive collaboration between the World Health Organization, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the University of Queensland School of Population Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the University of Tokyo, Imperial College London, clarifies the worldwide health burden of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly back and neck pain, in crystal-clear fashion, with low back pain identified as the number-one cause of disability worldwide and neck pain the number-four cause. Overall, musculoskeletal conditions represent the second leading cause of global disability.

Findings emphasize the shift in global health that has resulted from disability making an increasingly larger footprint on the burden of disease compared to a mere 20-30 years ago. In addition, while more people are living longer, the flip side is that they do so with an increasing risk of living with the burden of pain, disability and disease compared to generations past.

Dr. Scott Haldeman, a neurologist and doctor of chiropractic, provides a summary of the project's findings that should make it abundantly clear that conditions many people may consider relatively harmless actually have tremendous potential for long-term health consequences: Musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain, neck pain and arthritis affect more than 1.7 billion people worldwide and have a greater impact on the health of the world population (death and disability) than HIV/AIDS, tropical diseases including malaria, the forces of war and nature, and all neurological conditions combined. When considering death and disability in the health equation, musculoskeletal disorders cause 21.3 percent of all years lived with disability (YLDs), second only to mental and behavioral disorders, which account for 22.7 percent of YLDs.

Musculoskeletal conditions represent the sixth leading cause of death and disability, with only cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, neonatal diseases, neoplasms, and mental and behavorial disorders accounting for more death and disability worldwide.

Low back pain is the most dominant musculoskeletal condition, accounting for nearly one-half of all musculoskeletal YLDs. Neck pain accounts for one-fifth of musculoskeletal YLDs. Low back pain is the sixth most important contributor to the global disease burden (death and disability), and has a greater impact on global health than malaria, preterm birth complications, COPD, tuberculosis, diabetes or lung cancer.

When combined with neck pain (21st most important contributor to the global disease burden – death and disability), painful spinal disorders are second only to ischemic heart disease in terms of their impact on the global burden of disease. Spinal disorders have a greater impact than HIV/AIDS, malaria, lower respiratory infections, stroke, breast and lung cancer combined, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression or traffic injuries. Current estimates suggest that 632.045 million people worldwide suffer from low back pain and 332.049 million people worldwide suffer from neck pain.

"The Global Burden of Disease Study provides indisputable evidence that musculoskeletal conditions are an enormous and emerging problem in all parts of the world and need to be given the same priority for policy and resources as other major conditions like cancer, mental health and cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Haldeman.

The seven studies from Global Burden of Disease 2010, as well as accompanying commentaries, appear in The Lancet. To review the studies and all relevant material, click here. And by the way, when it comes to preventing and treating musculoskeletal issues, particularly back and neck pain, chiropractic care has been shown in numerous research studies to be an effective conservative option.

C8. Treating and Preventing Overused Muscles/Joints

Overused muscles and joints negatively affect your life. Soreness and pain restrict your ability to perform simple tasks of daily such as sitting, standing, walking and sleeping. Symptoms may even disappear for awhile with rest; however they inevitably return with more intensity.

Overuse injuries occur to muscle, joints, ligaments and connective tissue (fascia) when they are stressed without adequate time for repair. Providing the body optimal time for recovery and regeneration is essential to treatment and prevention. Overuse of muscles and joints is primarily the result of micro-traumatic injuries that wear down the body. Micro injuries are small movements repeated on a regular basis for extended periods of time that fatigue and breakdown the body. Examples include typing on a keyboard, raking leaves, exercise, prolonged sitting, etc.

Injuries can occur anywhere and at anytime, yet are most common in the workplace. People spend 8-18 hours a day, 5-7 days a week performing repetitive movement patterns, causing an imbalance in the musculoskeletal system resulting in the overuse of certain muscle groups. Overuse injuries can become chronic, resulting in pain and dysfunction that can last for years. When one muscle group is overused, an opposing (functional opposite) muscle group becomes underused due to compensation. If you don't use it, you lose it! For example, if you have chronic overuse in the bicep of your arm, the opposing tricep may be weak. When this imbalance programs itself in the musculoskeletal system, the body does not move efficiently. Instead of muscles working together to perform a specified function, they work against each other, causing the body to exert more energy to perform the same task that previously was perceived by the body as 'easy.' Now it takes more effort and energy to complete a given task making the body more vulnerable to injury.

When muscles are short and tight, they lose strength, power, and efficient function. Chronically tight, tissues impinge structures around and beneath them such as nerves and blood vessels; causing disorders associated repetitive strain injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome. Muscles attach to bone and short muscles shift bones out of alignment causing joint imbalance. The body does like imbalance. In an effort to obtain balance your brain will begin to compensate in surrounding areas to improve efficiency. Before long you have a domino effect of dysfunction throughout the body.

Muscle imbalance is the cause of most musculoskeletal disorders in the body. Muscle imbalance and dysfunctional movement are the fundamental cause overuse injuries. Most therapy interventions focus on the quick fix site of pain "band-aid solution', without addressing the underlying muscle imbalance. Focus on the site of pain and the source of dysfunction to achieve maximum long term results of treatment and prevention.

So what action steps can you and your chiropractor take to help you move and feel good again? Remember the 72-hour rule for professional intervention. If self applied treatment at home via rest, ice/heat, and over the counter medication does not help alleviate symptoms seek professional medical care. A Doctor of Chiropractic will evaluate your musculoskeletal system for imbalances and implement a strategy to restore structural balance. Spinal balance is the aim for chiropractic treatments. Restoring proper motion to joints and locking in that new motion with therapeutic exercise to gain stability and control of movement is the goal. Your chiropractor will do manual adjustments and muscular massage to restricted spinal joints. They may also apply other modalities to alleviate inflammation and pain such as heat, ice, ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, laser therapy, pain creams, etc.

At home you can use a moist heating-pad for 5 minutes to warm the affected joint and surrounding muscles, preparing them for stretches and light exercises. Ice is recommended for acute injuries to reduce swelling and inflammation. DO NOT stretch into painful patterns. Go to your safety and comfort level. If you stretch into pain your brain will resist this motion and tighten up muscles for safety in anticipation of re-injury. Your brain's primary goal is to protect you from more pain. Find your threshold and back off to a comfortable yet effective range of motion. The most productive stretches are based on you as an individual. There really is no cookie cutter stretch program for pain and overuse syndromes. The best advice is to follow your instincts. If it feels good, do it. If it hurts, don't! Your body will tell you what it likes and does not like in regards to movement and stretching. Get into comfortable positions either lying down, sitting, or standing. Even if a stretch is recommended for alleviating a pain you may have don't perform it if it makes you feel worse. Not everyone responds to the same exercises.

Soft tissue treatments such as massage and trigger point (muscle knot) therapy can reduce muscle spasm and relax the tight, restrictive overused muscles. Deep tissue connective tissue massage on weak, injured muscles and/or tendons to break down adhesions (scar tissue) is a more intensive option. Performing basic massage to the tight muscles is the easiest way to address the issue without getting too complex. Getting regular massages is a wonderful feel good way to help prevent overuse injuries.

Once the muscles are warmed up, stretching restricted muscle groups helps increase their length, decreasing impingement of surrounding tissues and misalignment of the joint. Stretching weak, underdeveloped muscles is not recommended as they are already too long and do not need to be lengthened further. Regular non-impact exercise is a critical player in muscle balance. Once the tight muscles have been lengthened from the stretches, it is time to exercise the opposing muscle group, the one that is weak and underdeveloped. Exercising and strengthening the weak underdeveloped muscles forces the opposing muscle group to relax and lengthen further. It also helps to maintain the new length created in those muscles from the previous stretches. Always perform stretches first when addressing chronic muscle imbalances and then immediately follow with exercises to lock in control.

Epsom salt baths can be very helpful in reducing muscle spasm, removing toxins from the body and increasing blood circulation. Overall nutrient flow to affected area helps to increase the speed of recovery. Not to mention the mental peace and well-being that comes from relaxing in a warm bath without interruptions from the chaos of daily life. Take time to remain in silence and see the positive benefits less 'noise' has on your recovery.

Listen to your body. Remember that more is not better, better is better. You are empowered to take back control of how your body looks, feels, and functions in life. Too much of anything is not good. Pain is not something your body uses to build character and toughness. Pain is the communication system of your body telling you something is wrong and needs attention. Don't ignore it! For if you do, pain will come knocking on your door again and it will be with a BIG BANG!

C7. Another Pro-Chiropractic Documentary Begins Production

Filmmaker Donald Barrett has been involved in 33 documentaries including "Scared Straight." His 34th endeavor, "Pain in America," is currently in pre-production and expected to be ready for multimedia release in early 2013. Barrett, who serves as writer-producer-director of the new documentary, shares more about "Pain in America" in this exclusive interview.

Why did you decide to pursue this documentary? The gestation of "Pain in America" began when I sought out chiropractic help for back pain, which has been plaguing me on and off for decades. ... Since beginning a regimen of adjustments and exercises under the care of June Rogers, DC, my back troubles are behind me (pardon the pun). I am fully convinced that chiropractic works and deserves better treatment in the general media than it has received.

In addition, I came into possession of a report that states 100 million Americans suffer from some sort of chronic pain. I believe this widespread problem can only be addressed by the various health care professions working together.

C6. Pro-Chiropractic Documentary Coming to a Theater Near You Soon

A soon-to-be released documentary called "Doctored" (originally titled "Medical, Inc.") takes a hard look at our health care system and how the medical / pharmaceutical "monopoly" has controlled health care for far too long. The film also suggests that alternatives - first and foremost, chiropractic care - should be getting much more attention while drugs and surgery should be getting much less. Here are a few soundbites from Jeff Hays, executive producer of this exciting documentary:

"The fundamental theme [of the documentary] is that you have to be in charge of your own health – even if you don't want to. ... Once you decide you have to take care of yourself, the question becomes, OK, how do I do that? ... That's where the story comes in – Is there a way of being healthier? Why isn't it more popular? Why don't we know more about it?" "The way it's presented in the film is to consider chiropractic first, drugs second, surgery third. What happens with most people is drugs first, surgery second and if everything fails, then I might go to the chiropractor. [We need to get] chiropractic as a consideration."

"On a personal level, what I didn't know (and what I hope we can communicate to viewers) is that chiropractors have a philosophy of health that is uniquely needed today. We have just completely given ourselves over to the drug model, to the point that it's not even questioned; it's what you do."

"We premiere the film Sept. 21 in New York at the Village East theater and then our L.A. premiere is a week later in Santa Monica, on the Promenade. Also on the 28th we will open in Dallas, Chicago, Atlanta, Austin [Texas] and Detroit. ... If we can then have a successful box office in New York and then follow it with strong box offices in those other seven cities, then we'll be a nationwide release."

Your doctor of chiropractic can tell you more about the medical monopoly, the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and the benefits of chiropractic and other forms of natural, drug-free health care.

C5. Meditation: Mind over Matter

What we as humans can comprehend about the vast abilities of our mind is still relatively limited, especially in the realm of how imagery and meditation can impact our body's physiology.

In many studies, it seems as though our body's physiology follows the imagery of what our mind focuses on. For example, in a small study, they used hypnotherapy to help patients before surgery and those who received the hypnotherapy session before the procedure about losing less blood during surgery, actually lost less blood than those who did not receive the hypnotherapy treatment.

Studies aside though, even in real life, we see it time and time again that if we think about an upcoming stressful event, our body naturally starts to feel more anxious and your heart rate or breathing starts to speed up as though you are already in that situation. Similarly, when we are looking forward to a vacation, when we start to think about the specifics of that upcoming vacation, our mood and heart rate and breathing naturally calms as we think about the positives of what's to come.

Even in studies looking at weight loss, our mind's ability to control cravings for weight loss and foods is significant such that study participants who make themselves think about the objective image of the food with descriptors about size, color, and shape were able to control cravings better than if they thought of the food in terms of taste or pleasure of consuming it.

So you see, our mind truly does govern much of our physiology and our habits; and if we can utilize that towards treating insomnia or anxiety, just to name a few issues that meditation sometimes can help with, then we have within our own control a great tool for healing.

I am a great fan of using healing techniques that do not harm but can do a lot of good for us. So meditation or positive imagery exercises are something I frequently discuss with my patients. When we regularly use positive imagery or use meditation to calm our mind and our heart, our overall physiology isn't running at high levels of stress all day every day then…and that is a great thing. As I have frequently said, our body is a machine and just like a car would need to not be running all day every day, your body also needs designated respite times every day. So sleep and relaxation and calming exercises should be important parts of your day, every day.

Meditation and positive imagery helps with most medical conditions including but are not limited to autoimmune diseases, heart disease, neurological conditions, cancers, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and hypertension. In my opinion, positive mental exercises like imagery and meditation should be a part of every person's life as regularly as possible.

There are, however, those people who feel more anxious while sitting still…for those patients, I recommend walking or moving meditation. I myself prefer walking or running in a similar pattern to allow my body to be moving in an automatic pattern so that my mind is allowed to clear and focus on meditation or positive imagery. So, for those of you who have tried sitting or quiet meditation and found it difficult because you can't sit still or it will make you more anxious, try walking meditation or meditation mazes or even running on a track where you don't have to think about where you are going so your body just moves while your mind is free to focus on meditation or positive imagery.

Ultimately, when we allow our mind to lead our body in moments of quiet and rest and positivity, our body inevitably will be a mirror to the calmness of our mind and the beauty of the images we create.

C4. Kids Need Chiropractic, Too

Back and neck pain don't just affect adults, although often they're the ones who seek treatment. What about our children who also suffer? Don't they deserve the same attention from the health care provider who can best address their pain – a doctor of chiropractic?

As discussed in our last newsletter, back and neck pain are prevalent in our society and can strike at any time. If you think children are somehow immune, think again: According to a recent study that tracked the incidence of back and neck pain from childhood to adolescence, one in 10 children (age 9) suffer from neck pain and one in three suffer back pain. The percentages dip a bit at age 13, but then climb dramatically by age 15.

Here's what the research shows:
Age 9: 10% Percentage Reporting Neck Pain
Age 9: 33% Percentage Reporting Back Pain

Age 13: 7% Percentage Reporting Neck Pain
Age 13: 28% Percentage Reporting Back Pain

Age 15: 15% Percentage Reporting Neck Pain
Age 15: 48% Percentage Reporting Back Pain

That's right: By age 15, nearly one in six adolescents report neck pain and nearly one in two report back pain. Now that's a serious health issue requiring serious solutions.

Back and neck pain affect people of all ages; that's the bottom line. If your children haven't seen a doctor of chiropractic yet, there's no better time than now - regardless of whether they're complaining of pain in the back, neck or elsewhere.

After all, preventing pain before it starts is the secret to lasting health and wellness. And don't your children deserve that as much as you do?

C3. Talking Natural Health With Dr. Weil

Dr. Andrew Weil's name is synonymous with integrative medicine; he is the founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine in 2005. Recently, Dr. Weil took time to answer a few questions about topics central to chiropractic care, including the innate power of healing and dealing with modern life using a drug-free approach. Here's some of what he had to say:

"At the root of good healthcare is an acceptance of each person's responsibility for her or his own health. Identify and work with a good primary care physician with whom you can engage in a healing partnership and get credible assistance with developing a personalized healthy diet and lifestyle program to prevent illness and optimize health. Then maintain that program as best you can for the rest of your life."

"Practitioners of conventional medicine are perhaps even more fed up than patients with the drug-only approach to preventing and treating illness. Most doctors today are hungry to learn more about the mind-body continuum and how they can better help patients access their innate healing capacity. I define integrative medicine as healing oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind and spirit), including all aspects of diet and lifestyle."

"Mind and body are inseparable. Most experts now believe that longstanding emotional disturbances can elicit inflammatory changes in the physical body, and chronic inflammation is the root cause of many serious illnesses, especially those related to aging."

Dr. Weil is among a growing number of health care practitioners, including doctors of chiropractic, advocating a holistic approach to patient care that moves beyond the medication-only conventional medical model and recognizes the power of the human body in health and healing. Talk to your chiropractor about the power of the human body and how they - and you - can optimize its potential.

C2. What Your Spine Says About Your Health

You may have heard the saying, "the eyes are the window to the soul." There is another saying in the world of chiropractic, "your spine is the window to your health." How can the condition of your spine divulge so much information about overall health? Your spine is the central support column of your body and its primary role is to protect your spinal cord.

Think of it like the foundational frame of a house holding everything together. If the frame becomes dysfunctional many problems will begin to manifest themselves. The house begins to develop cracks, shifts, and structural problems. When your spinal foundation becomes dysfunctional you develop aches, pains, injuries, and other health related issues. The good news is you can do a simple spinal health checklist to determine if you may benefit from the expert intervention of a chiropractor or other healthcare professional. Becoming familiar with simple spinal anatomy, structure and function will help empower you to take control of your health.

Your spine is composed of 24 bones (vertebrae); 7 in the neck (cervical spine), 12 in the middle back (thoracic spine), 5 in the lower back (lumbar spine) and the base tailbone (sacrum). Your soft spinal cord is encased inside these 24 moveable hard vertebrae to protect it from injury. Your spinal column has three natural curvatures making it much stronger and more resilient than a straight design. There are cervical, thoracic, and lumbar curves designed with precise angles for optimum function. However, these curves are different than the abnormal curves associated with scoliosis and postural distortions. You may remember getting screened in school or your doctor for scoliosis when they had you bend over and touch your toes. This was an early checklist for spinal abnormalities. Through life's stresses, genetics, trauma, injuries, and neglect the spine can develop dysfunctions in these curvatures and the body must compensate by changing posture as a protective mechanism.

What are some of the compensations your body develops and what can they tell you about spinal health?

Rounded Shoulders: This is a very common postural distortion resulting from more sedentary lifestyles. Hunching over in front of a computer screen hours on end simply feeds this dysfunction. This poor posture pattern adds increased stress to the upper back and neck because the head is improperly positioned relative to the shoulders. Common effects are headaches, shoulder, pain, neck pain and even tingling and numbness in the arms because of nerve compression by tight muscles.

Uneven shoulders: One shoulder higher than the other is indicative of a muscular imbalance or spinal curvature. You probably see this one on most people where one shoulder is migrating up towards the ear. Stand in front of a mirror and you can easily see if this asymmetry is present. You may also notice that one sleeve is longer than the other when you wear a shirt. This asymmetry is a common precursor for shoulder injuries, headaches, neck pain, elbow injuries and even carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling in the hands).

Uneven hips: Hips that are not level are like the foundation of a house that is not level. You begin to develop compensations further up the body so you remain balanced when walking. You develop altered spinal curvatures, shoulder positions, and head tilts. Your body has one primary purpose of maintaining symmetry and balance and it will do it whatever way is necessary. Signs of unbalanced hips may manifest in abnormal shoe wear typically on the outside edges and pants will fit unevenly in the leg length.

When you visit a chiropractor for a spinal evaluation some of the things they will search for during your evaluation are underlying signs of spinal damage that you can't see. Spinal x-rays are a safe and effective way to get look at your spine for damage or potential problems. Just like a dentist takes an x-ray of your teeth to see if you have cavities or problems with the bones below gum line. If problems are detected, corrective or preventive measures can be implemented to help your body function at optimum.

Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD): This is not a real disease in the terms of how we think of them. DDD is term used to describe degeneration and excessive wear on the soft tissue disc structures between the spinal bones. It may come with age or from biomechanical asymmetries in movement causing excessive wear from overuse. Sort of like uneven treads on a car with imbalanced tires, one may be worse than the other. Although the degeneration cannot be reversed, once discovered there are strategies your chiropractor can implement rebalancing exercises and therapies to help prevent further damage.

Osteoarthritis: The breakdown of the tissue (cartilage) that protects and cushions joints. Arthritis often leads to painful swelling and inflammation from joints rubbing together. The increase in friction causes a protective pain response and excessive swelling where the body attempt to add artificial cushioning via swelling.

Herniated disc: A herniated disc is an abnormal bulge or breaking open of a protective spinal disc or cushioning between spinal bones. Patient's may or may not experience symptoms with a herniated disc. Disc diagnosis is conformed via a special imaging study called an MRI (\Magnetic Resonance Imaging) which observes soft and hard tissue structures. You cannot see or confirm a suspected disc herniation via normal spinal x-rays.

Spinal stenosis: The narrowing of the spinal canal the open space in the spine that holds the spinal cord. Stenosis is a more severe form of arthritis that typically causes radiating (referred pain down the arms or legs) from an irritated or compressed spinal nerve.

If you experience spinal pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, muscles spasms or swelling near your spine or arms and legs consult a healthcare professional. These are all warning signal signs from your body that something is wrong and needs your attention. Pain is how your body communicates its function with you. A car has dashboard warning lights that tell you when the car has a problem. If you chose to ignore the signals bad things are going to happen. Your body has its own warning light system. Start checking for the warning lights. Ignore them at your own risk. See your chiropractor for a proper assessment and any concerns.

C1. Chiropractic Better Than Medication for Relieving Neck Pain

A study published in the Jan. 3, 2012 issue of the research journal Annals of Internal Medicine suggests chiropractic spinal manipulation is more effective than over-the-counter and prescription medication for relieving acute neck pain.Spinal manipulative therapy was more effective than medication in both the short and long term.

The study involved 272 adults ages 18-65 with neck pain of two to 12 weeks' duration. Spinal manipulation was provided courtesy of a doctor of chiropractic.Instead of chiropractic care, some patients in the study group received medication as monitored by a licensed medical physician. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), acetaminophen (aspirin), or both served as the first line of pharmacological therapy. With patients who did not respond to or could not tolerate these drugs, narcotic medications and muscle relaxants were prescribed.

"Participants who received medication seemed to fare worse, with a consistently higher use of pain medications for neck pain throughout the trial's observational period," said the study authors. In other words, chiropractic was a much better choice than medication for neck pain.

Interestingly enough, a third group of patients who received home exercise advice instead of chiropractic care or medication also fared better than the medication group during the study period. That means two forms of conservative, drug-free care - both of which are commonly provided by doctors of chiropractic - were more effective than over-the-counter and/or prescription drugs.

The moral of the story? The next time you or someone you know is suffering from neck pain, don't turn to the medicine cabinet or a medical doctor; turn to your doctor of chiropractic.


Serving the 95758, 95757, and 95624 areas as an Elk Grove-Laguna Chiropractor for 14 years
Copyright Greco Chiropractic, Inc.


Chiropractic Adjustments for lower back pain

Chiropractic Adjustments for lower back pain

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

Chiropractic Adjustments for Children

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Chiropractic care for your spine