July 2007


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Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Two news stories chronicled chiropractic helping pregnant women during their times of physical change.  One of the stories appeared on the website of the  St. Louis Post-Dispatch on July 2, 2007 and followed a second time mother who was suffering from lower back pain caused by her pregnancy.  The second story was from the May 22, 2007 Asheville Citizen-Times and reported on a four time mother who had been under chiropractic care regularly to help prevent problems and make the experience healthier.

The St. Louis story followed the plight of Tykita Bethley who was suffering from what she referred to as usual aches and pains during her first pregnancy four years ago. She stated, "My back hurt, and then once I had my daughter, it hurt even more, especially on the right side."  Then during her second pregnancy she added, "My back hurt like crazy then, too, but I had accepted my back pain for the longest time."

Tykita went to the Pregnancy Clinic at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, a facility that is set up to help study the effect of chiropractic care and exercise on pregnant women. She started care at week 27 and continued throughout the remainder of her pregnancy. She received stretching exercises and chiropractic adjustments.  The result was that she became nearly pain free. I can't tell you," Tykita stated, "I feel so much better.

In the second story out of Asheville, NC, Wendi Lonabaugh is an ongoing chiropractic patient who was under care to prevent the problems she had with previous pregnancies.  She noted that chiropractic made a difference and unlike her previous pregnancies, she did not have any sciatic pain this time, she commented, "It makes sense when you think about it.

The Asheville Citizen-Times also reported that according to the N.C. Chiropractic Association, more than 25 million people visited chiropractors last year. They noted that the number of people receiving chiropractic services has doubled in the past 20 years, and they estimate that the number will double again by 2010.

The article also reported on cyclist Patricia Pinner, who uses chiropractic to help improve her performance. The article reports that Pinner estimates that 90 percent of the women on the Asheville Women’s Cycling team see a chiropractor. “The whole keeping your spine in alignment is necessary for total health,” she said. “When you are trying to compete, total health needs to be as good as it can be.”


Antibiotic Use During the First Year of Life Increases the Risk for Asthma

A new study published in the June 2007 issue of the scientific journal Chest shows that the risk of asthma is one and a half times greater in babies who received more than four courses of antibiotics before age 1.  The research was reported on the June 15, 2007 Medscape website and in several news outlets including the online June 11, 2007 Toronto Star.

Researchers reviewed healthcare and prescription databases in Manitoba, Canada of over 13 thousand children to see if there was an association between antibiotic prescription use during the first year of life and asthma at the age of 7.  The results showed that children who had been given antibiotics in the first year of life were more likely to develop asthma by age seven.  Children in this group who were given four courses of antibiotics were most at risk.

Study author Anita L. Kozyrskyj, PhD, from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada, commented, "Since oral antibiotics are frequently prescribed for upper and lower respiratory tract infections in children, an understanding of the relation between antibiotic use and asthma is critical to clinicians and health-care policymakers worldwide."  She continued, "To address the major methodological issues of reverse causation and selection bias in epidemiologic studies of antibiotic use in early life and the development of asthma, we undertook a cohort study of this association in a complete population of children."

The authors noted that further studies were needed but suggested, "In the interim, it would be prudent to avoid the unnecessary use BS antibiotics in the first year of life when other antibiotics are available."  They concluded, "Antibiotic use in early life was associated with the development of childhood asthma, a risk that may be reduced by avoiding the use of BS [broad-spectrum] cephalosporins."

The Toronto Star interviewed Dr. Sheldon Spier, a pediatric respirologist at the Alberta Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Spier commented that this study may help explain why asthma develops in some children. “This study really is quite important,” he continued, “It tells us a lot more about asthma and the possible factors that lead to it. But we do have to be careful in our interpretation of it.”


Multiple Studies Confirm Positive Outcomes of Chiropractic Care for Whiplash Injuries

The above headline comes from a July 05, 2007 release from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. This release notes that chiropractic care provides significant, ongoing relief for whiplash.  According to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, "Whiplash is defined as an injury to the cervical spine caused by an abrupt jerking motion of the head, backward or forward, often occurring from rear on-set automobile accidents and amusement rides or the result of falls, accidents and sporting activities."

Whiplash is a very common occurrence.  The director of the Spine Research Institute, San Diego, Arthur C. Croft, D.C. and a member of the foundation notes, "Nearly one out of 15 adult Americans suffers from the annoying and sometimes debilitating long-term effects of whiplash injury, usually in the form of neck stiffness and pain."

Dr. Croft continues by noting that several scientific studies on whiplash have confirmed the benefits of chiropractic care. He states, "While chiropractic care in the acute stage can often stave off this unpleasant outcome, two of the studies have shown that even in the chronic stage, chiropractic intervention can provide up to 90 percent relief for these sufferers."

One of the studies reported in the journal Injury by authors Gargan and Bannister states that, “93 percent of the 28 patients studied retrospectively were found to have a statistically significant improvement following chiropractic care."  The Foundation's release also reported that in a follow-up study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine, authors Khan, Cook, Gargan, & Bannister concluded that, “Whiplash injuries are common. Chiropractic is the only proven effective treatment in chronic cases. Our study enables patients to be classified at initial assessment in order to target those patients who will benefit from such treatment.”

Gerard W. Clum, D.C. president of Life Chiropractic College West, Hayward, California, and spokesperson for the Foundation commented, "Whether you are driving locally to a convenience store or embarking on a long road trip, careful driving and using the proper restraints and seatbelts can help to prevent whiplash resulting from automobile accidents."  He also noted, "Proper safety and head gear can also assist in preventing whiplash in sporting and other activities. Chiropractic care is a well established and effective intervention providing considerable relief.”


Chiropractic "On" the Reservation

A story from the online "Leader Times", an online news outlet for several Pennsylvania newspapers, reports on chiropractic care becoming available to Native American Indian tribes. The article interviews Dr. Michael Mills who noted that native Americans should have access to chiropractic since, "After all, chiropractic was invented in America."  Dr. Michael Mills, is participating in the "Love has No Color" project.  This project is conducted by the New Renaissance an organization of chiropractors across the country dedicated to improving life for Native Americans.

Dr. Mills explained his commitment to this project by saying, "We thought, what better people to serve than Native Americans. Our motto is to live for a cause bigger than yourself, and live that cause with passion."

According to the article, Dr. Mills and other participating Doctors of Chiropractic went to the Wolf Point Indian Reservation in Fort Peck, Montana to help Native Americans with renovations on the reservation and provided health information about chiropractic care.

Dr. Mills was concerned about what he saw when he got there and commented, "There is alcohol abuse, high unemployment, high rates of murder, poverty, violence and a life expectancy of males of 40. It was disappointing to see Native Americans on a reservation where conditions are so poor."  He added, "We believe that if we can teach the people to have respect for life and health and to try to improve themselves and their own well-being, that they're more likely to do better things for each other and the community. Chiropractic care is a part of that."

The New Renaissance group is looking to place a chiropractic office on the reservation. They are also looking to send a Native American from the Wolf Point Reservation to chiropractic school.  Brandi Charrette, was a single mother working two jobs, leading an average life on the reservation, and trying to improve her life. She had attended community college, taking the basic courses for chiropractic school.  The new Renaissance group is making it possible for Charrette to study chiropractic at the Life University in Marietta, Ga. She is currently finishing her prerequisites and will start chiropractic school with a full scholarship from Life University's president Dr. Guy Riekeman. New Renaissance is paying for her to live there.

When Brandi Charrette finishes her school she will return to her reservation to help her people.  Dr. Mills noted, "She'll go back and serve the people of the reservation. They'll have an educated, talented person going back."


Is Work a Pain in the Neck?

The above title is part of the headline from the Star News Online from North Carolina and was published on July 10. 2007.  The article examines posture related to work positions and advocates what they call a "body-neutral" position.  Dr. Stephen Conway, a chiropractor and spokesman for the American Chiropractic Association, states, "A "body-neutral" position is crucial to avoiding discomfort and injury."

In the article Dr. Conway defines a neutral posture as one that doesn't cause undue stress to the neck, shoulders, wrists or back.  He further explains that a neutral position involves having a head facing forward, as well as arms at the sides, elbows bent at 90 degrees and wrists extended in a straight line from the forearms.

Dr. Conway commented, "Anything that takes you out of that position creates an issue for you. What happens is the farther away you go from neutral, the more effort and energy it takes to do the same amount of work."

The article notes that flawed cubical design and worker positioning can lead to a host of problems including, spinal stress and carpal tunnel syndrome.  The article suggests that workers should self-evaluate their work positions and make needed changes.

Mary Crabtree, workplace safety manager for the office of Environment, Health and Safety at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was also interviewed in the article and commented, "When you're trying to get people to change the way they do things, that's not always easy."  She continued, "You have to keep educating people, keep putting information out there, so people understand the value of a properly adjusted work station.  You get to a job and you're just kind of reluctant to make changes - you think, 'I better just focus on getting my output done,' " she said. "But you can increase output if you take a moment to get a little more comfortable."


Chiropractors Recognized in Thailand

From around the world comes a July 9, 2007 story published by Nation Multimedia in Thailand.  The story starts off by proclaiming, "Thailand has become the second place in Asia to officially recognize chiropractic treatment."  Hong Kong is the only other country in Asia to officially issue licenses to chiropractors.  Chiropractic care has been available in Thailand since 1993.

In recognizing an historic event in that country, Dr. Oat Buranasombati noted that testing for the certification of chiropractors in his country took place the previous week.  In the article he explained that "subluxation", (when one or more vertebrae move out of position and pressure or irritate nerves), can cause a variety of health issues including backache and pain in the shoulders and arms.

Although the knowledge of chiropractic is still very limited in Thailand, and the number of practitioners is small, the article notes that the popularity is growing rapidly. Dr. Oat reports that there were 21 local and foreign chiropractors in Thailand - most in Bangkok and Pattaya.  He also stated that a school of chiropractic may well soon start in the area, "We want to start a chiropractic course at Rangsit University next year. We hope to recruit around 30 students."

Chiropractic internationally is growing in leaps and bounds. Mr. Ron Hendrickson, former executive director of the International Chiropractors Association commented, "The International Chiropractors Association strongly supports the formal recognition of chiropractic by governments worldwide and we applaud the efforts of the chiropractic community in Thailand on achieving this important milestone. Chiropractic is a powerful addition to the health care sector of any nation, for its proven clinical effectiveness, its safety and appropriateness for patients of all ages, and for its unique cost effectiveness because of the non-surgical, drugless, natural approach to health and healing applied by doctors of chiropractic. Many other Asian nations have growing chiropractic communities and it is only a matter of time before chiropractic science and practice is formally embraced by their governments.”


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