June 2005


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Chiropractic Patients Improve with Non-Spinal Problems, International Study Shows

An international study was done involving hundreds of chiropractors and thousands of patients from around the world.  The study was published in the June 2005 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.  In the study, doctors and patients from Canada, United States, Mexico, Hong-Kong, Japan, Australia, and South Africa participated.  Although the majority of these patients sought chiropractic care for a musculoskeletal, pain type problem, the study was focused in on other problems these patients may have been experiencing.

In this study it was noted that a percentage of patients reported that they were experiencing additional non-musculoskeletal health problems that were not their primary reason for seeking chiropractic care.  After a period of care the patients were questioned as to any changes in their additional problems. 

The results showed that many of the patients showed improvement in the problems that they did not seek care for.  The variety of non-musculoskeletal problems that these patients were experiencing varied greatly, and the attention that these patients gave to these problems varied as many reported that their response for these problems was "not relevant", showing that they were focused on the problem that brought them to the chiropractor. 

Depending on the type of problem that the patients were experiencing, the results showed that between 9% to 56% reported some degree of improvement with the health problems that these patients did not go to the chiropractor for. These were problems that the patients would probably not have expected any results with.  Also interesting was the fact that the study showed only an extremely small number of the patients reported that their other problems continued to get worse during the chiropractic care.

The results did not vary significantly from one country to another.  Several respondents noted that they were able to reduce their medications for their non-musculoskeletal problems after the chiropractic care.  In the conclusion, the researchers noted that the findings were similar to those of a study done previously in Sweden.  They suggested that additional research focusing on the types of problems that patients do not traditionally seek chiropractic care for, but see to show positive results would be helpful.


Drug Companies Influence Doctors Diagnoses

A June 30, 2005 report from the Seattle Times reports that a large portion of doctors diagnoses may well be influenced by large drug companies looking to improve their bottom line.  The expose, authored by Susan Kelleher and Duff Wilson points out that many of the criteria used for making a diagnosis have been changed in order to classify more healthy people as sick, and therefore sell more medication.

The article notes that researchers at Dartmouth Medical School estimate that during the 1990s, tens of millions more Americans were classified as having hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity simply because the definitions of those diseases were changed.  The Seattle Times article uncovered that the experts writing the treatment guidelines that for a broad spectrum of diseases had drug-company ties ranging from research contracts to consultancies to stock ownership.

The result of this drug industry promoted disease reclassification is that tens of millions more Americans were classified as having hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes or obesity during the 1990s, simply because the definitions of those diseases were changed. The net results are huge increases in sales of prescription drugs, overall soaring health-care costs, escalating patient anxiety, as well as millions of people taking drugs that may carry a greater health risk than the underlying condition they were prescribed for.

The article notes that currently, due to the expanded diagnosis parameters, three out of four Americans technically have at least one of the commonly medicated diseases. But millions of them are not truly sick and may never be, even without medication.  Dr. John Kitzhaber of The Foundation for Medical Excellence in Portland, who was also Oregon's governor from 1995 to 2003 stated, "We have a system that nobody but Big Pharma is happy with."  

Dr. H. Gilbert Welch, a Dartmouth medical professor and editor of Effective Clinical Practice, a journal of the American College of Physicians, voiced his concern that more healthy people are being classified as sick only to increase drug sales.  He commented, "You can't tell me that three-quarters of my population is sick before I start.  That just doesn't pass the laugh test." Welch continued, "Our business is in a hard place right now. A lot of docs know it's not right."


Deadly Immunity

The title above comes from one of the most stirring articles on health care.  Author Robert F. Kennedy Jr. presented this article in the June 2005 issue of Rolling Stone magazine.  The article starts off by reporting on a secret meeting that was held at a retreat in Georgia in June of 2000 in which fifty-two attendees representing high-level officials from the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration, the top vaccine specialist from the World Health Organization in Geneva and representatives of every major vaccine manufacturer, including GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, Wyeth and Aventis Pasteur were strickly embargoed against sharing any information outside the meeting. 

Participants attending this secret meeting, convened by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, were repeatedly reminded that there would be no making photocopies of documents, and no taking papers with them when they left.  The meeting was called to discuss a disturbing new study that raised alarming questions about the safety of a host of common childhood vaccines administered to infants and young children.

Tom Verstraeten, a CDC epidemiologist had analyzed the agency's massive database containing the medical records of 100,000 children.  He found that a mercury-based preservative in the vaccines (thimerosal) appeared to be responsible for a dramatic increase in autism and a host of other neurological disorders among children.  He commented, "I was actually stunned by what I saw."  What Verstaeten told the group was that since 1991, when the CDC and the FDA had recommended that three additional vaccines laced with the preservative be given to extremely young infants the estimated number of cases of autism had increased fifteenfold, from one in every 2,500 children to one in 166 children.

The article notes that the attendees were shocked. One doctor, Dr. Richard Johnston, an immunologist and pediatrician from the University of Colorado whose grandson had been born early on the morning of the meeting's first day commented, "Forgive this personal comment -- I do not want my grandson to get a thimerosal-containing vaccine until we know better what is going on."

However, as the Robert F. Kennedy article further reported, instead of taking immediate steps to alert the public and rid the vaccine supply of thimerosal, the attendees of this secret meeting spent most of the next two days discussing how to cover up the startling data.  Kennedy noted that under the Freedom of Information Act, transcripts showed that many at the meeting were concerned about how the damaging revelations about thimerosal would affect the vaccine industry's bottom line. 

Dr. Robert Brent, a pediatrician at the Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware stated, "This will be a resource to our very busy plaintiff attorneys in this country." He continued, "given the sensitivity of the information, we have been able to keep it out of the hands of, let's say, less responsible hands."  Dr. John Clements, vaccines adviser at the World Health Organization, took a stronger approach and stated that the study, "should not have been done at all" and warned that the results "will be taken by others and will be used in ways beyond the control of this group. The research results have to be handled."

Mark Blaxill, vice president of Safe Minds, a nonprofit organization concerned about the role of mercury in medicines was quoted in the article by saying, "The CDC is guilty of incompetence and gross negligence. The damage caused by vaccine exposure is massive. It's bigger than asbestos, bigger than tobacco, bigger than anything you've ever seen."

In summing up his article Kennedy stated his passion for doing this investigation, "I devoted time to study this issue because I believe that this is a moral crisis that must be addressed. If, as the evidence suggests, our public-health authorities knowingly allowed the pharmaceutical industry to poison an entire generation of American children, their actions arguably constitute one of the biggest scandals in the annals of American medicine."


Chiropractor Helps Professional Football Team

A feature story appearing in the June 30, 2005 edition of the Catonsville Times in Maryland celebrated the 10 year anniversary that a chiropractor had been helping the Baltimore Ravens Professional Football team. Ten years ago the Ravens came to town.  At that time Dr. Doug Miller (right) started his relationship with the team that has lasted since then. 

Dr. Miller became the team's chiropractor by contacting the Ravens shortly after their move from Cleveland and telling officials about the services he provided to other sports teams in the area.  He was on the playing field when the Baltimore Ravens won the 2000 Superbowl.  He can also be found in the locker room and on the field on most Sundays during football season.

Raven's trainer Bill Tessendorf, refers most of the players that Dr. Miller sees for chiropractic care. Tessendorf, who has 32 years of experience as an NFL trainer explained, "A player favoring a knee or an ankle can cause alignment problems elsewhere. A chiropractor can help with a lot of those issues."

Dr. Miller explained that chiropractic care still remains misunderstood.  Most of his services are not necessarily related to the treatment of injuries.  He explains, "It's not just about relieving pain from backaches and injuries," he said. "It's about achieving optimum health. We can do a lot to help with the conditioning of muscles and joints."

The article notes that presently almost every NFL team has a chiropractor on staff. 


Alternative Medicine Becoming Mainstream

The above was the headline of a July 1, 2005 story appearing in the Daily News Central from Las Vegas Nevada. A similar report also appeared on the June 30, 2005 WebMD website. The stories reported that a Consumer Reports survey of more than 34,000 of their readers were asked to rank the treatments that worked best for them. 

According to those who responded to the survey, hands-on treatments, such as chiropractic, worked better than conventional treatments for such conditions as back pain and arthritis.  Chiropractic was ranked ahead of all conventional treatments, including prescription drugs, by readers with back pain. Respondents also noted that chiropractic provided relief for neck pain as well.

In addition to chiropractic, people who responded to the survey also used such non-medical services as acupuncture, deep tissue message, and herbal remedies, but reported that these were less effective than chiropractic.

Many chiropractors however, resist being labeled as alternative, maintaining that chiropractic has become a mainstream service.  According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, "The Doctor of Chiropractic can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider, as are MDs and DOs. The Doctor of Chiropractic is a gatekeeper to the health care system and an independent practitioner who provides primary care services. The DC's office is a direct access portal of entry to the full scope of service."


Preliminary Study Shows Chiropractic Helps MS Patients with Pain

A preliminary study published in the June 2005 edition of the British scientific journal Clinical Chiropractic, showed that chiropractic helped patients with Multiple Sclerosis who were suffering from pain associated with their MS. The study was performed at the extended care facility, Monroe Community Hospital in Rochester, New York.  The study noted that many patients with MS suffer from reoccurring pain that can have a debilitating effect on patients ability to function.

In this preliminary study 19 patients who were residents of Monroe Community Hospital and who suffered from relapsing MS received chiropractic care over a 12 month period. The average age of these patients was 52.7 and 84% were female.

The results showed that all 19 showed a general trend toward improvement.  Also important is that only three showed any transient side effects and that those effects lasted less than 48 hours.  In all no serious side effects were noted in this study.

The researchers noted that MS patients have a high likelihood of developing chronic pain syndromes. This pain can lead to a higher degree of disability than the MS alone.  They stated, "Given the high rate of complications with NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs), and narcotics it is imperative that different treatment options for this chronic pain be evaluated.  The researchers continued, "The treatment for pain has traditionally been pharmacological: however, greater numbers of MS patients suffering from chronic pain are turning to non-pharmacologic treatment options, including chiropractic care.


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