Adults Favor Chiropractic as Preferred Care for Back Pain
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress issued a release published on May 6, 2009 in Earthtimes noting that according to a recent Consumer Reports study, consumers ranked chiropractic highest for relief of back pain. The release noted that Consumer Reports Health Rating Center surveyed over 14,000 people to determine their preferred method of care for back pain. Chiropractic came out the highest with 59% choosing chiropractic.
Gerard W. Clum, D.C., president of Life Chiropractic College West, Hayward, California, and spokesperson for the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, commented, “Individuals who accessed care from a hands-on methods approach, such as chiropractic, expressed the highest satisfaction rates.” Dr. Clum continued, "
"These people sought relief, having suffered with back pain that undoubtedly interfered with their everyday activities and limited their daily routines, sleep patterns, work responsibilities, and efforts to maintain healthy weight. Chiropractic care provided the help they were looking for.”
The release notes that traditionally, people thought first about drugs or surgery for back ailments. This past misinformation created many problems. "Unfortunately, this lack of information can lead to costly and unnecessary interventions and diagnostic testing by physicians who take an 'ideological approach' to back pain," says Dr. Clum. "It is wise to explore conservative options for pain management once a more serious condition has been ruled out."
Dr. Clum noted the real value of a study that actually asks consumers their opinion. "The Consumer Reports survey is an example of end-user oriented research," he says. "As more evidence emerges, we hope that physicians will start to shift from traditional treatment ideology to approaches to back pain that would offer more benefit to patients and avoid medication and surgery whenever and wherever possible."
It is the hope of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress and Dr. Clum that the previous medical mind-set will shift with this new information. Dr. Clum summed up his feelings by saying, "The traditional, often outdated approaches may lead to unnecessarily expensive and invasive treatment with undesirable results. It is clear that patients now recognize and appreciate the benefits of chiropractic care."
Flu Prevention Plan Should
The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health issued a release on May 04, 2009 with the above headline urging people to include chiropractic during this most recent flu scare. "People of all ages are encouraged to add chiropractic to their strategy for warding off and fighting the flu and its effects – swine flu or otherwise. Spinal adjustments can have a positive effect on immune function according to a growing number of researchers who are exploring the common denominators in disease processes, and the role of the nervous, immune, and hormonal systems in development of immune related illnesses."
Dr. Christopher Kent a chiropractor and past recipient of the researcher of the year award by the International Chiropractors Association stated, "Contemporary research is beginning to shed light on the neurobiological mechanisms which may explain the outstanding clinical results chiropractors have experienced when managing patients with viral and infectious diseases."
Dr. Kent further explained: “A comprehensive review of the research literature reveals the current understanding that the brain and immune system are the two major adaptive systems in the body. During an immune response, the brain and the immune system 'talk to each other' and this process is essential for maintaining homeostasis or balance in the body.”
According to the release, chiropractic holds that viruses and microbes don't threaten us all equally and that a healthy immune system easily repels most invaders. The immune system protects us from the flu, as well as any other infectious disease, and strives to get us well again when we do fall ill. Our immune system, like every other system in the body, is coordinated and controlled by the nervous system. Helping the nervous system function at its optimal level is accomplished by removing any interference caused by spinal subluxations.
The release noted that Chiropractors helping patients battle the flu has historical roots. During the 1917-18 influenza epidemic, it was estimated that 20 million people died throughout the world, including about 500,000 Americans. During that time it was chiropractic’s success in caring for flu victims that led to the profession gaining recognition and official licensure in many states. Researchers note that historical data in Davenport Iowa showed that out of the 93,590 patients treated by medical doctors, there were 6,116 deaths -- a loss of one patient out of every 15. Chiropractors at the Palmer School of Chiropractic adjusted 1,635 cases, with only one death.
Matthew McCoy DC, MPH, Editor of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, commented, "These results are not so surprising given what we now know about the interaction between the nervous system and the immune system. Through research we know that chiropractic has beneficial effects on immunoglobulins, B-lymphocytes (white blood cells), pulmonary function and other immune system processes.”
Dr. McCoy summed up his recommendations by saying, "In addition to the passive recommendations regarding hand washing, avoiding large gatherings, coughing and sneezing into your hands – it makes a great deal of sense to do everything you can to ensure that your immune system is functioning at its best. And that strategy should include chiropractic care."
Chiropractic for Allergies
On May 7, 2009 a story was run on the ABC affiliate, KSPR out of Springfield Missouri, which featured help for allergies through chiropractic. In this story Jami Lynn Lilly was an allergy sufferer who always had problems during the spring in Missouri. Her allergies would give her sinus problems and cause her eyes to water. She commented, "I get really bad sinus infections, for weeks I just look like I’m bawling all the time"
Jami finally decided to go to a chiropractor for her problem. After her first visit she reported improvement. She described the experience by saying, "He adjusted me one time for it, two three days my nose just drained and then I was fine after that."
Jami's chiropractor, Dr. Baca, was also interviewed in the news story and he raised an interesting question. "If there’s an allergy floating around out there what makes one person susceptible to it, when it doesn't make all of us susceptible." He then explained that the nervous system is the key. He stated, "Your nervous system controls every aspect of your body, including your immune system."
The story noted that the nervous system is the master controller of the body. The spine protects the spinal cord thus protecting the messages that are carried over the nervous system. According to the article, Dr. Baca explained that, "If one of the vertebrae on your spine is out of place it could be putting pressure or irritating one of your nerves. Maybe the nerve that controls your sinuses, your head, your throat or your immune system."
He further explained that this could be the reason why one person is susceptible to allergies while another in the same environment is not, "This person's immune system isn't functioning as well as this person's immune system so it can't fight the allergen off like it should."
Jami explained that she never knew that chiropractic could help her allergies. She said, "I never knew it; I just came because my neck was bothering me." The news story concludes by noting that. "Jami is a big believer now. She's allergy free and passing the word on about allergies and chiropractic."
Medical Conflict of Interest
On April 28, 2009, the Institutes of Medicine released a report titled, "Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice." This large report starts off by noting that there are some benefits from collaborations between physicians, medical researchers and pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies. But the report goes on to note, "However, relationships between medicine and industry may create conflicts of interest, potentially resulting in undue influence on professional judgments."
In 2007, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) appointed the Committee on Conflict of Interest in Medical Research, Education, and Practice to examine conflicts of interest. This committee was chaired by Dr. Bernard Lo, chair of the committee that wrote the report and professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.
The report also generated an article in the April 29, 2009 New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) as well as news stories like the one that ran on April 28, 2009 in the Reuters UK news service. In the Reuters article Dr. Lo commented, "It is time to end a number of long-accepted practices that create unacceptable conflicts of interest, threaten the integrity of the medical profession, and erode public trust while providing no meaningful benefits to patients or society." He then added, "We also need more specific disclosure of the financial relationships that doctors and researchers have with medical industries."
In the NEJM article, author, Robert Steinbrook, M.D noted that in 2007, nearly half of the $2.54 billion in income for continuing education for medical doctors was from companies with a product in the marketplace. The suggestion being that the ongoing education that doctors take is funded and directed by companies with products and services to sell and therefore have a financial stake in what medical doctors do in their practices.
The report also noted problems with basic medical education in the schools themselves and urges professional societies, government agencies and groups that accredit medical schools to push for implementation of conflict-of-interest policies. The committee added, "If medical institutions do not act voluntarily to strengthen their conflict of interest policies and procedures, the pressure for external regulation is likely to increase."
The report contained many recommendations to address the problems. These include:
Retired U.S. Army General Speaks
Out for Chiropractic
On April 30, 2009 The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to increasing public awareness of chiropractic, issued a release announcing that Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Becky Halstead will serve as its spokesperson and share with the public her positive experiences with chiropractic care. Halstead served 27 years with the United States Army, and was the first female in U.S. history to command in combat at the strategic level. She is also a big supporter of chiropractic care.
She noted as she described her deployment. "The year I was deployed to Iraq I missed my friends and family -- and my chiropractor!" asserts Halstead. Presently chiropractic care is available through the U.S. armed forces healthcare delivery system at only approximately 25 percent of the military treatment facilities. “Personally, I hope someday that chiropractic care becomes part of all our military's healthcare programs, so that all soldiers can have the opportunity to benefit from the care that only a doctor of chiropractic can provide.”
In the Foundation's release General Halstead commented, “I have always been grateful for the care of my chiropractor and feel it is an essential part of not only preventing more serious health concerns, but also assisting in the recovery from strains and other injuries,” adds Halstead. The retired General continued by saying, “I have always been grateful for the care of my chiropractor and feel it is an essential part of not only preventing more serious health concerns, but also assisting in the recovery from strains and other injuries,” adds Halstead. “My chiropractor is genuinely interested in me, my life and my health, and takes a holistic approach to my wellness.”
Halstead, a 1981 West Point graduate summed up her remarks about chiropractic by saying, “(Chiropractic), allows me to be part of the solution and encourages me to be part of my own wellness plan. One of the greatest emotions in the world is relief, and that is exactly what my chiropractor provides me—a tremendous amount of relief from my pain.”
Chiropractic Helps Child with
In the April 20, 2009 issue of the scientific journal, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, was a case study report of a young girl who had signs of cerebellar ataxia that were completely eliminated with chiropractic care. Cerebellar ataxia is a disorder that results in balance and coordination problems.
In this case a 7 year old girl was brought to a chiropractic clinic for health and wellness. In the course of examination tests were performed that showed a brain malfunction consistent with cerebellar ataxia. Chiropractic care was initiated for the presence of vertebral subluxations. The young girl was seen weekly in the initial stages of care. By the fourth adjustment the patient was re-tested and the specific findings of cerebellar ataxia were gone.
Author of the paper, Dr. Nicoleta Borcean explained this case by noting, “Basic science research shows that the proper development and function of the brain relies on proper structure and movement of the spine from an early age.”
She continued, “It makes perfect sense when you think about it” stated Dr. Borcean. “The brain constantly needs and wants to know where our body is in space. If there is interference with the neurological communication between the spine and the brain all sorts of malfunctions can occur.”
Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health added, "There are very important functional relationships between the spine and the brain that if disturbed can result in a host of problems with how the brain functions”. According to McCoy “Children’s nervous systems need the constant stimulation of movement in order to develop and function properly. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.”
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