July 2004

In This Issue: click here to print
  • US Veterans Administration Begins to Offer Chiropractic
  • Cough Syrup Doesn't Work on Children
  • Chiropractic Shown to Help Body Physiology
  • Exercise More Important Than Calcium for Strong Bones
  • Tour de France Cyclist Bradley McGee Kept in Race With Chiropractic
  • Chiropractic Helps Show Horses


US Veterans Administration Begins to Offer Chiropractic

The June 25th, 2004 PRNewswire reports that the US Secretary of Veterans Affairs (VA), Anthony J. Principi, announced that as of the fall of 2004 US Veterans will be able to receive chiropractic care at 26 selected Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facilities.  According to the release, the VA will hire or contract with doctors of chiropractic to provide the care. In consultation with VA primary care providers, doctors of chiropractic will offer patient evaluations and chiropractic care for neuromusculoskeletal conditions.

Secretary Principi stated, "Today, VA makes another significant improvement to the world-class health care we provide for eligible veterans.  Veterans who will benefit from chiropractic services will now have the opportunity to receive chiropractic care to restore them to good health."

The release notes that the locations where chiropractic care will be provided include; Togus, Maine; West Haven and Newington, Conn.; Buffalo and the Bronx, N.Y.; Butler, Pa.; Martinsburg, W.Va.; Columbia, S.C.; Augusta, Ga.; Tampa and Miami, Fla.; Mountain Home, Tenn.; Columbus, Ohio; Danville, Ill.; Iron Mountain, Mich.; Kansas City, Kan.; Jackson, Miss.; San Antonio, Temple, and Dallas, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Fort Harrison, Mont.; Seattle, Wash.; Sacramento and Los Angeles, Calif.; and Sioux Falls, S.D.

For those eligible veterans who live in areas distant from these locations, the VA will allow them to receive chiropractic care through VA's outpatient fee-basis program after a referral by their primary care provider and prior authorization by the VA department.

This change came about as a result of the "Department of Veterans Affairs Health Care Programs Enhancement Act of 2001" passed by the government several years ago.  Implementation is now coming after several years of study on how best to implement the law, and make chiropractic available to veterans in the VA program.


Cough Syrup Doesn't Work on Children

A study published in the July issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics's official journal, "Pediatrics", suggests that over-the-counter cough suppressants may be no more useful for calming a cough in children than simple sugar syrup.  The research, performed at Pennsylvania State College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, involved questioning the parents of 100 children with upper respiratory infections.  These parents were questioned to assess the frequency, severity, and bothersome nature of the nocturnal cough. 

The parents of children with upper respiratory infections participating in this study were interviewed on 2 consecutive days. They were questioned initially on the day of presentation when no medication had been given the previous evening to access how their child was doing.  Then, on the next day, they were questioned again after either medication or a placebo, (sugar syrup) was given to the child before bedtime. Sleep quality for both the child and the parent were then assessed for both nights to see if there was any difference between the children who got medicine and the ones who only got the placebo . During this study, neither the physician nor the parents knew who was taking the cough medication or the placebo.

Two active ingredients in most cough medicines are dextromethorphan, to clear phlegm, and diphenhydramine, an antihistamine to reduce swelling in the respiratory tract. The study suggested, that in children, neither drug made much difference.  Dr. Ian Paul, a professor of pediatrics at Penn State Children's Hospital and the study's lead author said, "Cough symptoms went away within a few days, regardless of whether the child was taking medicine or a placebo."  He continued, "Nighttime coughing affects the child and the parents. Nobody gets any sleep. Even so, parents really need to think twice before giving these medications that have doubtful positive effects on their children's symptoms and may have a potential for side effects."

Dr Paul concluded that doctors should consider these findings, as well as potential side-effects, and costs of the drugs before recommending cough syrups.


Chiropractic Shown to Help Body Physiology

From the April 26, 2004 release of the peer-reviewed scientific journal, the "Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research" (JVSR), comes a very large literature review study showing the multiple benefits of chiropractic care on people who are not suffering from pain or other obvious problems. 

This literature review looked at more than twenty studies involving subjects who were specifically described as, “asymptomatic,” “healthy,” “normal,” or “free from physical injury.”  In addition, an equal number of studies were found also documenting objectively measured health benefits in subjects who had no symptomatic presentation, (asymptomatic).

The results of this large review showed measurable objective improvements in things such as range of motion, blood pressure, heart rate, plasma catecholamine levels,  immune responses, enhanced respiratory burst, pupil reactions, slower heart rate, improved pulmonary function, as well as many other objectively measured indications of improved body physiology.

The conclusion of the study stated, "Data reviewed in this article lend strong support to the popular contention that chiropractic adjustments, for the purpose of correcting subluxations, confer health benefits to people regardless of the presence or absence of symptoms."  The JVSR article authors further conclude, "A significant amount of preliminary evidence supports that people without symptoms can benefit from chiropractic care.  It is plausible that chiropractic care may be of benefit to every function of the body and have the potential for long-term, overall health benefit to those receiving chiropractic care."


Exercise More Important Than Calcium for Strong Bones

Reports of a new study appeared in the June 10, 2004 issue of the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  This new study indicates that exercise is more important than calcium in developing strong bones in girls and young women.  Researchers at Penn State University and Johns Hopkins University found that when girls took in far less calcium than the recommended daily allowance, bone strength was not significantly affected, but that bone strength was related to their exercise habits.

This Penn State Young Women's Health Study began in 1990 with 112 12-year-old girls from central Pennsylvania. The ongoing study has tracked the cardiovascular, reproductive and bone health of the subjects, now in their mid-20s.  Moira Petit, one of the Penn State researchers noted, "When we looked at their lean mass, what we saw was that a 1 kilogram increase in lean mass was associated with a 2 1/2 percent increase in their bone strength."

Dr. Thomas P. Olenginski, who works with osteoporosis patients at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa., praised the study for its detailed look at bone strength, but warned that no one should ignore calcium entirely. He stated, "There is a concern that kids might think, 'I can still drink nothing but sodas as long as I'm working out,'" Olenginski said. "It's the whole package that's still important."

Researcher Tom Lloyd of Penn State's College of Medicine at the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center concluded that even at the lower levels, calcium intake seemed to have little effect on bone strength.


Tour de France Cyclist Bradley McGee Kept in Race With Chiropractic

Several international stories have reported about a top Tour de France cyclist from Australia, Robbie McEwenBradley McGee, and how chiropractic care kept him from dropping out of the Tour de France.  One story appears on the International Fox sport network on July 6, 2004, and another on the Geo network on July 8, 2004.

The Fox story starts off by stating, "Australia's Bradley McGee has survived to fight another day at the Tour de France."   The Geo story started by reporting, "McGee survived to fight another day at the Tour de France on Monday, after the work of a chiropractor reduced the pain in his hip which almost forced him out of the race."

McGee himself noted, "Thanks to the work of the chiropractor I was a lot straighter on the bike, that's the important thing but unfortunately I still haven't got a lot of power and so I couldn't help Baden Cooke in the sprint and I was just another number in the main field."  After seeing his chiropractor, McGee felt more optimistic about his chances of being able to make it through the rest of the three-week race.  He stated, "I'm a lot happier now and should be okay to carry on."


Chiropractic Helps Show Horses

An increasing number of stories are appearing in the news about how chiropractic helps high-end horses. The latest is an Associated Press release on June 11, 2004 that follows a horse named "O.V. Rowdy".  The story starts with Rowdy and another horse "Ozzie" waiting to see the chiropractor to help with soreness.  Rowdy's owner, Vicki Crotts, described her horse as, "sore from the tip of his ears to the tip of his tail." She suggested that this situation was  brought on when he banged a hip on the door of his stall.

Rowdy is a show horse and having problems creates problems for him and his owner.  His current injuries kept him out of the Pinto World Show in Tulsa, Okalahoma the previous weekend.  Rowdy was not the only horse waiting to see the traveling chiropractor, the story notes that three other show horses were also waiting to be adjusted. 

The Hutchinson's Ironhorse Equestrian Center co-owner Lilli Weaver, notes that many people do not understand, "While some people discount the idea of equine chiropractic, it works." She described what she felt the horses might be thinking by saying, "They squeal, buck and bite, but when he's done they lick their lips. Their eyes turn big and soft, and they whisper 'Oh, thanks.' "

Rowdy's owner Vicki Crotts reports. "They recover and feel so much better, they think 'Oh, I can do this now. But I'm keeping him penned so he won't go out and hurt himself."  Crotts concludes, "Show-horse athletes, like humans, perform under high stress and demand top range of motion from their bodies. They have to have coaches - and chiropractors."


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