November 2002 Issue

In this issue:


Crohn's Disease Helped with Chiropractic; Study SaysGI Track

Research, published in the November 2002 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR) demonstrates that chiropractic care may be effective in helping patients with allergies and Crohn's Disease.  The results of those studied showed long term remission and alleviation of symptoms in both allergy and Crohn's Disease.

Crohn's disease causes inflammation in the small intestine. Crohn's disease usually occurs in the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum, but it can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. The inflammation extends deep into the lining of the affected organ. The inflammation can cause pain and can make the intestines empty frequently, resulting in diarrhea.  Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the intestines. Crohn's disease affects men and women equally and seems to run in some families. About 20 percent of people with Crohn's disease have a blood relative with some form of IBD, most often a brother or sister and sometimes a parent or child. Crohn's disease may also be called ileitis or enteritis 

In the research 57 patients were divided into two groups.  One group was a control group that received only standard medical care for their condition.  The second group consisted of 17 patients who also received their standard medical care but additionally received chiropractic care.  This group of 17 patients received spinal adjustments in order to reduce the vertebral subluxations in the thoracic and lumbar regions of their spine. The control group did not receive spinal adjustments.

The researchers found that vertebral subluxations were a common and characteristic finding in patients with allergies and Crohn's disease. The results showed that 12 of the 17 patients who received spinal adjustments, showed long-term and stable remission of their symptoms while 9 experienced an alleviation effect. The researchers concluded, "According to the results of this study the possibility may be considered that chronic nerve compression secondary to vertebral subluxation in the thoracic and lumbar regions had a significant effect on the immune function of these allergy and Crohn's disease patients."


Aspirin to be Banned in United Kingdom for Children Under 16

In the United Kingdom the use of aspirin in children under 12 has been banned since 1986. This past April the UK Committee on Safety of Medicines additionally warned that it should also be avoided in children up to 15 if they were feverish. The primary reason given is because of its links with Reye’s syndrome, the rare but potentially fatal disorder found almost exclusively in children and adolescents.

The news article, printed in the November 2, 2002 issue of the British Medical Journal reported that the committee recommended that the warning on aspirin products should read "Do not give to children aged under 16 years, unless on the advice of a doctor." Chairman of the committee, Professor Alasdair Breckenridge, said, "There is simply no need to expose those under 16 to the risk, however small."

Reye’s syndrome can affect all organs of the body, BMJbut it is most harmful to the brain and liver, where it may cause raised intracranial pressure or liver failure. Since 1986 when the use of aspirin in children under 12 was banned the condition has virtually disappeared in children in that age group. Prior to the ban, between the years 1981 and 1986 there was an average of nine cases in the United Kingdom a year associated with aspirin use in this age group. Since mid-1986 only seven cases have occurred in total.

Professor Breckenridge added, "I want to be very clear that there is no cause for panic or concern, but I also want to ensure that parents and children alike are kept well informed and are aware of the importance of this warning." 

It is little known, but in the United States the US Food and Drug Administration recommends that aspirin should not be given to children under 19 years of age during episodes of fever.


Asthma Patients May Benefit From Spinal Manipulation

The above were the findings of a research project conducted in Australia where 420 patients were studied.  On October 5th 2002 at the 9th International Conference on Spinal Manipulation in Toronto, Ray Hayek, Ph.D., head of the investigative team told the assembly that patients afflicted with asthma may benefit from spinal manipulation in terms of symptoms, immunological capacity, and endocrine effects.

The proceedings and report of this study were published in the August 24, 2002 release from the Foundation for Chiropractic  Education and Research, (FCER). In that release Dr. Hayek reported that of the 420 patients in the study only those patients in the group which received spinal manipulation showed significant improvement in asthma symptoms, depression and anxiety.

The report also noted that there were positive biochemical and physiological changes that were not necessarily expected from spinal manipulation.  The report suggested, "These biochemical changes not only suggest that the effects of spinal manipulation are more far-reaching than commonly believed, but that they may be more long-term as well."

Although the study was not specific to chiropractic care, chiropractic adjustments are the most specific form of spinal manipulation. The findings of the above study reinforce other studies previously performed that show the benefit of chiropractic care for those suffering with asthma. In a study conducted in 1996 by the Michigan Chiropractic Association (MCA), a panel of doctors performed an outcomes assessment study to test the qualitative and quantitative effectiveness of chiropractic care on children with asthma. The results of this study showed that after 30 days of chiropractic health care, patients averaged only one asthma attack, whereas prior to this study they were experiencing more than four attacks. Additionally, in the Michigan study it was noted that medications, which can be costly, were decreased by nearly 70 percent in the patients who participated.


Prestigious Medical Journal Discovers New Use for Duct Tape

Under the category of "strange but true", according to the October 2002 issue of the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, research has shown that duct tape is more effective at removing warts than standard medical treatment.  The study was conducted at the Madigan Army Medical Center near Tacoma, Washington.  In the research 51 patients with warts between the ages of 3 and 22 were studied.  One group received standard medical treatment for warts (cryotherapy) which consisted of liquid nitrogen applied to each wart for 10 seconds every 2-3 weeks for a maximum of 6 treatments. The other group had duct tape applied directly to the wart for a maximum of 2 months.

The results showed that of the 51 patients completing the study, 26 (51%) were treated with duct tape, and 25 (49%) were treated with cryotherapy. Twenty-two patients (85%) in the duct tape group vs 15 patients (60%) enrolled in the cryotherapy group had complete resolution of their warts.  The researchers stated the obvious in their conclusion, "Duct tape occlusion therapy was significantly more effective than cryotherapy for treatment of the common wart."

According to lead researcher Dr. Dean "Rick" Focht III of Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, the duct tape irritated the warts, which apparently caused an immune system reaction that attacked the growths. He said researchers did not test other kinds of tape, and so they cannot say whether there is anything special about the gray, heavy-duty, fabric-backed tape.

The report in the journal did mention that there had been some reports of occlusion therapy (tape) for warts in the past.  But there was no mention of why duct tape specifically was chosen for the study.  Several comedians including Tim Nyberg, one-half of the comedy duo, "Duct Tape Guys" are having a field day with this latest research. "It's the universal panacea," Nyberg said.


Growing Epidemic of Back Pain Among Children in Britain

According to a report in the October 22, 2002 issue of the "Guardian Unlimited" from England, back pain among children is becoming a growing epidemic. Professor Peter Buckle, of the University of Surrey's Robens centre for health ergonomics in Guildford England, as many as 40% of schoolchildren could be affected. He also noted a Danish study which showed that 51% of 13- to 16-year-olds had reported lower back pain in the previous year, as well as a study in the north-west of England which found 24% of 11 to 14-year-olds had complained of backache in the previous month.

In response the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), is recommending that parents bring their children in to see chiropractors. Dr. Stephen Hughes, a member of the BCA says, "It's something I'm seriously worried about."  "The critical issue is that these youngsters are still growing, and they are already experiencing difficulties. The spine is incredibly resilient and usually it can put up with a lot of wear and tear over many years before it starts to actually hurt. When you're getting real pain in a child that means there's already going to be some considerable inflammation - so by the stage you see them it's an established problem

The article blames several causes for the back problems in children.  They mention the long hours sitting at desks, lack of physical exercise, carrying heavy loads of books and working at computers for long periods as some of the possible culprits.  According to the article the suggested remedies for this situation include encouraging children to play sport outside of school as well as looking for opportunities for active family pursuits such as walking, cycling, swimming, and a chiropractic spinal checkup.


Alternative Care Popular Among Kids

The results of a random nationwide telephone survey of 1,501 mothers, fathers and other primary caregivers of children and adolescents showed that nearly one quarter (22%) of the parents used some type of alternative medicine for their child, and almost one in 10 allowed their child to visit a complementary and alternative medicine provider, defined in the study as a chiropractor, osteopathic physician or homeopath.  The study also showed that more than one-third do not tell their medical doctor about it. 

The story reported by the October 24, 2002 Web MD and by Reuters Health on October 28, 2002, more than 80% of the parents were somewhat or very satisfied with their child's most recent use of complementary and alternative medicines and 86% of parents considered the care to be somewhat or very helpful. Finally, 90% said they would be willing to use complementary and alternative medicines for their children in the future.

Dr. Michael B. Aldous of the University of Arizona in Tucson and colleagues conducted the survey and analyzed the results.


Chiropractic In the Media

A pair of media stories recently have shown chiropractic in a favorable light.  The first story appeared on October 28, 2002 on a California television news show. The station,  "Action News 8" is out of Salinas, Monterey and Santa Cruz. The story's title is "Chiropractors Offer Relief For Moms-To-Be".  This news feature tells the story of a pregnant woman who was experiencing lower back pain.  The woman told her story by saying, "Laying down was very difficult, changing positions was extremely, extremely painful. I was at the point where I really wasn't functioning very well."   According to the news story a chiropractor found that the woman's pelvis was out of balance. She explains her story by saying, "I was here three days in a row (with) a weekend off and (there was a) drastic difference."  The story goes on to explain that there are additional benefits to chiropractic care for pregnant women. The chiropractor of the woman featured in this news story ended by saying, "The actual time of labor, the length of it, is shortened. The delivery was very easy. The baby just literally, kind of, came out slowly and smoothly. Complications are very rare."

The second news story appeared in the October 28, 2002 issue of the Buffalo Business First Newspaper. In this story, the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) has established a Department of Chiropractic, a level of service unique to hospitals across the state of New York.  ECMC medical director Dr. Roger Kaiser gives the reason for this by explaining, "We recognized sometime ago the importance of offering a broad spectrum of service to our patients," said Kaiser. "Patients will frequently access chiropractors and we couldn't ignore that market force. If that's what the patients want, that's what we'll give them. To deny them that access just because of a turf battle didn't make sense."   Dr. Stephen Zajac newly named head of the ECMC's Department of Chiropractic, explains the shift in thinking by removal of a professional wall that has existed between Chiropractic and Medicine. "Chiropractic is not included as an alternative (treatment) any more. We can't deny that the wall existed for a very long time. That wall isn't that solid here as it is elsewhere in the state and country," Zajac said.


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