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March 2010

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Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger Touts Chiropractic as Prevention

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed a group of about 200 chiropractors at the International Chiropractors Association's Symposium on Natural Fitness held in Columbus, Ohio, on March 6, 2010. Each year, the chiropractic profession and the fitness world come together during the Arnold Fitness weekend. Governor Schwarzenegger is a long time proponent of physical fitness, and a long time supporter of chiropractic. The Governor and his family have received chiropractic care for years.

This year marks the 18th year that the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) has held their "Symposium on Natural Fitness" in conjunction with the "Arnold Classic". For each of those 18 years, Arnold has attended the chiropractic event to speak to chiropractors and take pictures with every chiropractor in attendance. He also gives an address in which he speaks about the benefits of chiropractic and other relevant issues in health and fitness.

During his address, Governor Schwarzenegger enthusiastically showed his support for chiropractic by saying, "What I love about chiropractors, is that you say, OK, we can fix you up when you have an injury and we can help you when you're sick, we can help you with all kinds of different things.  But what you are really saying is in your profession is, look, why don't you come to us before you get sick, before you have a problem with your back, before you have a problem with your shoulders or elbows." He continued, "Prevention, it's all about prevention."

As Governor Schwarzenegger continued his remarks, he noted that health care reform must contain prevention. He stated, "If you don't have prevention as a big-big part of the health care reform, you have nothing, you have absolutely nothing!" He continued by pointing out that incentives for healthy living and prevention must be included in health care reform, "This is why I say that prevention is the answer."

As Governor Schwarzenegger was summing up his comments, he once again linked the chiropractic profession to health and prevention when he said, "We know it (prevention) works. And we know that you (chiropractors) are in the right profession. Because you are really in a profession that saves people money, and it brings the health care costs down. This is what I love about your profession. You are the most incredible profession, you always help people."

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One in Four Parents Link Autism to Vaccines

A study released in the March 1, 2010 issue of the American Academy of Pediatrics' official journal, Pediatrics,  showed that 1 in 4 parents believe there is a link between vaccines and autism. The study also showed that nearly one in eight parents have refused at least one recommended vaccine in the past.

In this study, 2521 online surveys were electronically sent to a nationally representative sample of parents of children who were less than 17 years of age. The responses and opinions of the parents were recorded on the subject of vaccinations. From these surveys, 62% responded and were included in the study.

One of the most telling statistics obtained from this study was that 54% of all respondents expressed concerns regarding serious adverse effects from vaccinations. Additionally, 11.5% of the parents in this study had refused at least 1 recommended vaccine for their child. According to the study, the vaccine that parents were most likely to reject was the HPV vaccine, designed for human papillomavirus for cervical cancer.

Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder of the National Vaccine Information Center, (NVIC), commented on the study by saying, "I am not surprised by these survey results because, since 1982, most parents contacting the National Vaccine Information Center tell us they want to trust what their doctors tell them about vaccination. Mothers and fathers depend upon their doctors to give them good advice; but when the health of their child or a child they know deteriorates after vaccination, parents logically start to ask questions. And when they are belittled or even threatened for asking those questions, the relationship between doctor and parent is never the same again."

The NVIC is a consumer organization that disseminates information on vaccinations and gives the parents of vaccine injured children a resource to offer help and guidance. Ms. Loe Fisher added some interesting vaccine facts and summed up the sentiment expressed by the results of the Pediatrics survey by saying, "More and more Americans are becoming painfully aware that their medical bills, taxes, and health insurance premiums are going up because, today, 1 in 6 highly vaccinated child in America is learning disabled; 1 in 9 has asthma; 1 in 100 develops autism; 1 in 450 becomes diabetic and 7 in 1,000 babies born alive are dying before their first birthday. With 69 doses of 16 vaccines being given to children from birth through age 18, and hundreds of new vaccines being developed to prevent infectious disease while trillions of dollars are being spent to treat chronic disease, is it any wonder more parents are asking more questions about vaccine safety?"

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Eight Time Bodybuilding Champion Lee Haney Gives Credit to Chiropractic

Lee Haney is one of the greatest bodybuilders in history. He has been bodybuilding for 25 years and has won eight consecutive Mr. Olympia titles, beating Arnold Schwarzenegger's seven-title record. Lee was a featured speaker at the 18th annual Symposium on Natural Fitness, held in Columbus, Ohio, on March 5-6, 2010, hosted by the International Chiropractors Association.

During an onstage interview, Haney was asked how and when he first got under chiropractic care, and about his experience in chiropractic. The former Mr. Olympia noted that his first experience with Chiropractic began back in 1980. He recalled, "I was in the gym training on that particular day doing squats and so forth. I happened to come up the wrong way, and sort of twisted sideways.  After doing so, I ended up having pain in my lower back. And the trainer at the facility that I used recommended chiropractic care."

Prior to this, Mr. Haney had no knowledge of chiropractic. He noted, "I'd never heard of chiropractic care before." Based on the recommendation from the trainer, Haney went to see a chiropractor.  "After my first two adjustments, I was back to doing squats again, no pain in the lower back. So from that point on, I was a believer."

During his talk, Haney pointed out that he believes in chiropractic for his entire family. He proudly pointed out that his son, a college  football star and NFL hopeful, regularly sees a chiropractor near his school. He stated, "All my kids are under chiropractic, and so is my wife." He stated that his kids have been under care since they were 13 or 14 years old. "They're athletes," Haney added when speaking about his kids. "And not just because they're athletes. I know the importance of chiropractic care. Because you can't be structurally well, or psychologically well, unless you are physiologically well and in balance."

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Hospital Infections Kill Nearly 50,000 a Year

The above is a headline from the  February 23rd, 2010 issue of the New York Daily News. The article reports on a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine on February 22, 2010. The study and resultant articles point out that approximately 48,000 patients die each year from pneumonia or blood poisoning picked up in hospitals.

In this study, hospital discharge records were looked at on 69 million patients who were in hospitals in 40 US states between 1998 and 2006. The records were examined to look for blood infections or pneumonia. Problems of these types that were acquired from outside the hospital were excluded, so that the data only showed problems resulting from a stay at the hospital.

The results of this large study brought forth some alarming data. The study revealed that hospital-acquired illnesses were responsible for 2.3 million extra patient days in hospitals. These extra days in a hospital resulted in a cost of $8.1 billion in the year 2006 alone. Overall, 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections are diagnosed every year.

Ramanan Laxminarayan, spokesperson for Resources for the Future, the group that sponsored the study, reacted to the high rates of infection by saying, "In many cases, these conditions could have been avoided with better infection control in hospitals."

One of the researchers on the study, Anup Malani, from the University of Chicago, added, "Thatís the tragedy of such cases. In some cases, relatively healthy people check into the hospital for routine surgery. They develop sepsis because of a lapse in infection control and they can die."

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Study Shows Chiropractic Helps Headaches

A study published in the February 2010 issue of The Spine Journal, the official journal of the North American Spine Society, provided additional evidence demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic for certain types of headaches known as "cervicogenic headaches". A report on the results of this study was also published online on February 26, 2010, on the site "Modern Medicine".

In this study, 80 patients with chronic cervicogenic headaches were divided into three groups. Two of the groups received various forms of chiropractic adjustments, which the study authors called Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT), and one group received just a light massage so as to be able to compare the results.  Results were calculated using standard pain scales. Data from the subjects was collected every 4 weeks for a 24 week period.

The researchers found that the groups that received chiropractic showed significantly greater improvement in pain scores as compared to the group that got just light massage. Those receiving the chiropractic care were more likely to have a 50-percent improvement in their pain. The two groups of patients who received chiropractic care were only given either 8 or 16 chiropractic sessions. The study did see a slightly better response for the group receiving more adjustments, but due to the study parameters, no data was available beyond 16 visits.

Dr. Mitch Haas and a team of researchers at Western States Chiropractic College, were quoted in their conclusion as saying, "Our pilot study adds to an emerging picture of spinal manipulative therapy dose for the treatment of headache. It showed that a plateau in intervention effect might be found in the range of eight to 16 treatment sessions, although a dose effect at these treatment levels cannot be ruled out. The study also adds to the support of spinal manipulative therapy in moderate doses as a viable option for the treatment of chronic cervicogenic headaches."

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Few Medical Studies Actually Compare One Treatment to Another

A study released in the March 10, 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) noted that most other studies in medical journals do not compare one type of treatment to another. According to the study, and several news articles written about this study, most medical studies are testing a new drug and not looking to see how it compares to drugs already on the market, or to non-drug care.

It is the lack of "comparative effectiveness" studies that makes it hard for patients and doctors to evaluate which course of treatment or care is best for a patient. A March 10, 2010, article on this study in the Los Angeles Times noted that this is the reason that there is such a large discrepancy between the way medical doctors care for patients with the same ailments.

Coauthors of the study and the LA Times article, Drs. Danny McCormick and Michael Hochman, explained how they conducted their study in the Times article by saying, "In the study, we analyzed 328 medication studies recently published in six top medical journals and found that just 32% were aimed at determining which available treatment is best. The rest were either aimed at bringing a new therapy to market or simply compared a medication with a placebo. Whether the therapy was better or worse than other treatments was simply not addressed."

In an attempt to explain why very few studies are done to check existing treatments against new drugs, the authors explained, "So why, then, did only a third of medication studies focus on helping doctors use existing therapies more effectively? The answer lies in the fact that pharmaceutical companies fund nearly half of all medication research, including the lion's share of large clinical trials. For obvious reasons, commercially funded research is primarily geared toward the development of new and marketable medications and technologies. Once these products have won approval for clinical use, companies no longer have incentives to study exactly how and when they should be used."

Not surprisingly, the research showed that most of the studies done are funded by drug companies trying to get approval for their new drugs. The study also showed that the few studies that actually do "comparative effectiveness" and look at one type of care as compared to another, were mostly funded by the government or received other non-drug company related funding.

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