March 2007


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Study Proves Chiropractic Helps Sudden and Painful Low Back Pain

A study published in the February 2007 issue of the scientific periodical, The Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT) shows some amazing results for patients with sudden painful lower back pain with chiropractic care.  The study was conducted at the Department of Orthopedics, Central Hospital of Sogn and Fjordane, Førde, Norway.  The study was initiated by the hospital and with full support of the staff.

In this study 44 consecutive patients who experienced sudden and painful low back pain caused by lumbar flexion and rotation were studied. None of the patients had a history of violent trauma related to their problem. Examinations by orthopedic surgeons were performed on the patients and revealed no underlying pathologies in any of the patients in the study. Additionally orthopedic x-rays, computerized tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging findings were all normal from a medical standpoint. 

Then an examination was performed by a Doctor of Chiropractic which indicated that the patients had what the study termed "lumbopelvic fixation" (subluxation).  Based upon the chiropractic examination 33 patients began chiropractic care in the chiropractor's clinic, whereas 11 who could not be transported were initially cared for by the chiropractor in the hospital.

In this study mean follow-up for the patients was 2 years. The results showed that all but 2 of those in the study were able to return to work.  Additionally, the period of sick leave among the patients was reduced by two thirds as compared with time lost with conventional medical treatment.  According to the study, the normal loss of time from work for these types of patients under medical care only was 72 days.  The patients in this study with the addition of chiropractic care were able to return to work in 21.1 days on average.

In their conclusion the authors noted the uniqueness of the study, and the benefits for healthcare systems in general.  They stated, "To our knowledge, this is the first report on the work of a chiropractor participating within an orthopedic department of a Norwegian hospital as initiated by the hospital and with full support of the staff. The results support the initiative of the Norwegian government to increase reference to chiropractors in treating patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunctions. Based on our experience, we believe that the inclusion of chiropractors within hospital orthopedic departments is feasible and provides a patient care resource that may benefit not only the patients but also the department as a whole."



Medication Errors Hurt Kids the Most

The above is a headline from the March 07, 2007 edition of the Star-Ledger out of New Jersey.  This article, and several others in other publications, was based on a report released by United States Pharmacopeia, an independent organization that sets quality standards for prescription and over-the-counter medicines sold in the United States.  An article based on the same study also appeared in the March 07, 2007 New York Times.

This report showed that the time surrounding surgery (called perioperative period) is the time of highest risk for  being harmed by medication errors.  The study showed that errors related to surgery are three times higher than in all other areas of a hospital combined.  The report also showed that children are most likely to be harmed. 

The rate of harm from medications was 5% for patients undergoing surgery.  According to the articles this is much higher than the general risk level from medications. However, for children, the risk was reported to be over 12 percent.

Diane Cousins, a health care specialist at Pharmacopeia and one of the authors explained that the area of most common time for errors is when the patient was transferred from the preoperative team to the operating room and then to the recovery room and finally to the regular ward nurses,. “The system is often very fragmented,” she stated. She also warned, "It’s beyond troubling that the smallest, youngest patients are the ones most at risk.  We need to move more towards system fixes."

The New York Times article also reported that Ms. Cousins stated that, "There are 10,000 drugs in the marketplace, and many have never been tested on children in clinical trials, so doses are often made by guesswork based on weight, involving conversion of pounds to kilograms, sometimes by nurses who are not pediatric specialists."



Arnold Schwarzenegger and Baseball Superstar Barry Larkin Headline Chiropractic Event

For the 15th consecutive year, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger of California was once again the star at the International Chiropractors Association’s (ICA) 15th Annual Symposium on Natural Fitness held March 2-3, 2007 in Columbus, Ohio. Crediting chiropractic for keeping him going as a bodybuilder when injuries would have sidelined any other competitor, and then through his movie and political careers, Arnold again spoke of doctors of chiropractic as “the greatest profession, helping people in important and special ways.”

Also at the event, and showing his support for chiropractic, was Cincinnati Reds baseball star Barry Larkin. A 19 year baseball veteran, Larkin  has been acknowledged as one of the greatest shortstops of all times.   Mr. Larkin told the crowd about his powerful, career sustaining experience with chiropractic and spoke about the need to extend access to chiropractic care to all athletes, in all sports.

ICA honored Governor Schwarzenegger with a special “Crystal Award” (shown above) celebrating the 15 years of exciting partnership between Arnold and the chiropractic profession. Also honored by ICA at this event, was legendary bodybuilder and mentor to Arnold, Mr. Reg Parks.  The photo above taken at the ICA Sports and fitness symposium shows, (left to right) Barry Larkin, Dr. Gerry Mattia president of the ICA Sport Council, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, ICA President Dr. John Maltby, and Reg Park.


Health Care Costs In US Will Double Over Next 10 Years

Several News agencies have reported that The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Office of the Actuary has released a report detailing “National Health Expenditure Projections 2006-2016.  The study published in the February 2007 journal Health Affairs was conducted by economists at the National Health Statistics Group of the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid.

The study states that spending on health care in 2006 was at $2.1 trillion and is expected to rise to $4.1 trillion by the year 2016.  John Poisal, deputy director of the National Health Statistics Group, and lead author of the study told reporters a major factor was an aging population as the "leading edge of the baby boom generation becomes eligible for Medicare."  He continued and explained, "Although recent changes in health care spending growth have been modest, some of the most dramatic changes taking place are the shifts in payment distribution in Medicare, Medicaid, and the private insurance industry as Medicare Part D is fully implemented." Medicare Part D is the Medicare prescription drug program.

Currently, health care costs Americans 16 cents on every dollar spent in the US.  That figure will rise to 20 cents within a decade.  One of the concerns raised in all the articles was how this increase is to be paid for.  According to the study, taxpayers will bear the greatest burden as there is a shift from private insurance to Medicare as the population grows older, and Medicare Part D pays for more medications.  Prescription drug spending will account for the largest portion of the increases as it goes from 7.4% in 2007 to nearly 10% expected by 2016.

Additionally the study noted that out-of-pocket expenses will soar as well.  Presently the study estimates that Americans paid $250 billion of health care costs in 2006.  That figure will rise to $440 billion by 2016.  To put this more into perspective, as of 2006 the average American paid $846.50 out of pocket. That is expected to rise to $1,405.73 by 2016.  This does not include the portion of taxes and salary that go to health care costs.



Hiccup Girl Stops, Helped by Chiropractic

Jennifer Mee became famous because of her relentless case of hiccups that lasted 37 days. During that time many health professionals came forward and offered to help. Two publications, the March 2, 2007 St. Petersburg Times and the March 4, 2007 Buffalo News, reported that help also came to Jennifer from chiropractic care. After not being helped by medical care Jennifer and her family reached out to accept offers of assistance from other sources.  These included offers from a chiropractor, as well as an acupuncturist and a hypnotist.

The Buffalo News story reported that Jennifer began hiccupping on Jan. 23, 2007. From that point forward she tried numerous remedies, such as standing on her head and swallowing spoons full of sugar. None of these worked and the hiccups continued for 37 days.  As the situation continued Jennifer appeared on numerous TV news shows and drew national attention.

Dr. Eric Springer of St. Petersburg, Florida was the chiropractor who offered to help. In a phone interview with the Buffalo publication, Dr. Springer noted, "It was a team effort. There were a lot of things involved in getting her body to correct itself." He further explained, ""The mother of the girl contacted me, and I brought her in as a patient. We did an exam and took X-rays and started treatment, which included some chiropractic adjustments that entailed some gentle force to the neck." (Image right is from the Buffalo News and is of Jennifer receiving an adjustment from Dr. Springer.)

The story also noted that none of the medical experts could come up with a definitive diagnosis for Jennifer's problem.  Dr. Springer's examination revealed compression on a nerve in her cervical spine, commonly known as a subluxation. "I had just started treating her last week, and she actually stopped on the day of her last adjustment," Dr. Springer said. "I was the only chiropractor involved, but I don't want to take full credit for [Jennifer being cured]. I'm just glad I was able to help her out."


Chiropractic Helping Kids Fight Ear Infections

A news story on February 13, 2007 appeared on CBS-11 News out of Dallas - Fort Worth as well as on their website, that chronicled chiropractic helping children with ear infections.  This story reported on a mother, Susan Lekborg who says her son Cooper had suffered from chronic ear infections for years.  During this time medical treatments did little to ease her son's suffering.

In this report Ms. Lekborg recounted the long, sleepless nights and stated, "We were up all night, he was miserable, cranky. He was on antibiotics all winter and it just wasn't helping. It would go away and come back, go away and come back."  After feeling frustrated and helpless she reluctantly decided to go to a chiropractor. "I'll be honest, I was a little skeptical, nervous about a chiropractor adjusting my baby."

The story reports that the chiropractor she took her son Cooper to was Dr. Peter Martone.  Dr. Martone explained the rationale for care by saying, "Chiropractic care is simply the art and science of aligning the spine to take pressure off the nerve and ultimately allow the body to heal itself." He continued, "So what happens with the adjustment, it allows for those ear canals to open up and the ears will drain, preventing any ear infection."

The news article noted that after only one visit Cooper started feeling better.  The news story also interviewed Pediatrician Linda Nelson who said there's a lot about the body doctors just don't understand. "I'm very open to anything that's benign," she said. "And it's certainly isn't going to hurt the child."

The article concluded with Susan Lekborg stating that it worked for her children. "This will be their third winter, no antibiotics, no Tylenol, no Motrin. They're clean. I just feel like they're healthier."


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