September 2011


Chiropractors Top Satisfaction Survey

The headline above comes from New Zealand in a September 8, 2011 article posted on the Voxy.co.nz news website. The article reports on a survey which was the largest of its kind having 45,601 people surveyed about their satisfaction with chiropractic care.

The study was conducted in the United States by the US Consumer Reports National Research Center and looked at people using what the study called "alternative healthcare", which included chiropractic. The results showed that, unlike many other forms of alternative care, chiropractic patients were, for the most part, very satisfied with their care.

In the article, Dr. Hayden Thomas, a chiropractor and spokesperson for the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association, said the study reported, "Hands-on care such as chiropractic along with the mind-body practice of yoga topped the lists of helpful alternatives for discomfort from conditions such as back pain, neck pain, and osteoarthritis."

The article noted that the study showed that chiropractic did better than all other forms of care in the study when it came to back pain or neck pain. The study noted that chiropractic and several other forms of alternative care were shown to be more effective than over the counter medications.

Interestingly, the article reported from the study that, "Eighty-one percent of those who sought chiropractic care said their doctors knew about it and 21 percent who used chiropractic said their doctors had recommended it." These numbers are a vast increase from previous surveys that showed that many people did not discuss their chiropractic care with their medical physician, and very few referrals were being made by MDs to chiropractors.

Dr. Thomas concluded the article by stating, "There appear to be a number of reasons people look at alternative therapies. They may have gone through a major life event or illness that has caused them to look at their health in a different way, some are frustrated with conventional approaches or the side effects of drugs, and others prefer dietary supplements or herbal remedies to medicines because they're natural, even though it's not necessarily the case that they are safer or have less side effects than conventional medications."


More Hospitals Offering Alternative Therapy Services

The above headline comes from a September 8, 2011 Los Angeles Times article.  The article begins by stating, "Alternative therapies, including meditation, relaxation training, homeopathy and chiropractic care are being offered at more hospitals, mostly in response to patient requests."

The article was based upon results of a survey from 714 hospitals conducted by the Samueli Institute, a non-profit research organization that investigates healing-oriented practices, and released by Health Forum, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA).

Results of the survey showed that 42% of the hospitals responding to the survey said they offer one or more of what the study called "alternative therapies", which included meditation, relaxation training, homeopathy and chiropractic care.  This percentage was up from 37% in a previous study conducted in 2007, and shows an increasing  trend from 2005 when only 26.5% of hospitals offered such services.

Nancy Foster, vice president for quality and patient safety at the American Hospital Association, explained the results by stating, "The rise of complementary and alternative medicine reflects the continued effort on the part of hospitals and caregivers to broaden the vital services they provide to patients and communities." She continued, "Hospitals have long known that what they do to treat and heal involves more than just medications and procedures".

The Los Angeles Times article concluded with a quote, "Today's patients have better access to health information and are demanding more personalized care," said Sita Ananth, one of the study's authors and director of knowledge services for the Samueli Institute. "The survey results reinforce the fact that patients want the best that both conventional and alternative medicine can offer."


Headaches Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

A documented case study appeared in the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on August 11, 2011 showing chiropractic helping an 8-year-old boy suffering from headaches. The study authors begin by noting that about 75% of children report a notable headache by age 15.

The authors report that cervical (neck) subluxations, and the resulting changes in cervical curves have been shown to be a factor in headaches. Past studies show that people with necks that do not have their normal forward curvature and have become straight or reversed are particularly prone to headaches.  

In this study, the 8-year-old boy was brought to the chiropractor with complaints of headaches, muscle aches, fatigue, allergies, and digestive problems.  The boy's headaches were described as sharp and throbbing, and were made worse with noise, but improved when he was lying down. The boy's headaches were mainly in the front of his head and would last the entire day, sometimes even waking him at night.

Over the previous year, the boy's health continued to decline, and he became less able to engage in normal activities that he had previously enjoyed. In response, his parents had taken him to a pediatric neurologist-headache specialist, an allergist, a nutritionist, and a psychologist. Recommendations and medications from the medical health practitioners gave little or no relief to the boy.

A chiropractic examination and x-rays were performed, and revealed subluxations with cervical curve changes in the neck area. Chiropractic care was initiated with the child initially being seen three times per week and gradually reduced in frequency.

As a result of the chiropractic care, the child's headaches were alleviated and post x-rays showed an improvement of the neck curvature. The boy was involved in an auto accident later in his care. Fortunately, his headaches did not return, and he suffered no ill effects from the incident.

In the discussion area of the study, the authors conclude by stating, "It seems that evidence points to the cervical spine and it’s alignment as a critical factor in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of cervicogenic headache in the pediatric population."


September is Subluxation Awareness Month

The month of September has been declared "Subluxation Awareness Month" by several Chiropractic organizations including the International Chiropractors Association, the Georgia Council of Chiropractic and the Florida Chiropractic Society. September was chosen as that is the anniversary of the first chiropractic adjustment for subluxation being given on September 18, 1895 in Davenport Iowa.

A proclamation for Subluxation Awareness Month has been issued that states, "Resolved that September be recognized as Subluxation Awareness Month, and that this time be highlighted by public education to raise the public consciousness about the benefits of living a life with a properly functioning nervous system, free from subluxations."  Political leaders such as the Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, have signed the proclamation in support.  A copy of the Subluxation Awareness Proclamation can be seen here.  A website for the Subluxation Awareness Foundation can be found at: www.subluxationawareness.org.

"A concerted educational effort to make the public aware of subluxations is long overdue." states Dr. Robert Braile, president of the Georgia Council of Chiropractic and chairman of the Subluxation Awareness Foundation. He continued, "Few people are aware of the importance of having a nervous system functioning free of interferences from subluxations."

Subluxations are irritations to the nervous system primarily caused when bones of the spine are out of alignment. These irritations can be caused by a number of mechanisms including trauma or stress, and result in some form of functional change in the nervous system. The chiropractic profession has been the leading profession over the years in the detection and correction of subluxations thus allowing normal nerve system function and improved health.

The importance of chiropractic's role in correcting subluxations, and being a part of an overall healthcare plan for wellness was demonstrated in a September 6, 2011 release by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress which touts the results of a recently issued report dated July 2011, called "The Role of Chiropractic Care in the Patient-Centered Medical Home" (PCMH). This report clearly shows the benefits to patient care and overall healthcare that would result from an increased utilization of chiropractic in the current healthcare setting.  The complete report can be seen here.


Famous Horse Trainer, "Why I Believe In Chiropractic Treatment"

Expert horse trainer, competitive rider, and the performance editor for the publication Horse Journal, John Strassburger, wrote an article in the August 23, 2011 issue of Horse Journal explaining why he believes in chiropractic for himself and his horses.

In the article, Strassburger begins by saying, "I've been meaning to write about why I'm a big fan of chiropractic treatment for horses and for humans for a while." He notes that he has been under chiropractic care for some time and goes to see his chiropractor every 4 to 8 weeks. He also has an equine chiropractor come to see his horses every 4 to 6 weeks. He reports, "Our horses have been her (Suzanne, his equine chiropractor) patients for about three years."

In the article, Strassburger offers his testimony of how chiropractic has helped by stating, "I truly believe, based on my observations of my own body and those of well more than a dozen horses, that using chiropractic treatment is an example of how traditional and non-traditional medicine (including chiropractic) should be complementary. Every horse Suzanne has worked on has felt better and, thus, performed better, and I can think of four horses with whom it's caused tremendous improvement."

In the course of writing the article, he also explains his own story with chiropractic  by saying, "I've fallen off dozens and dozens of times over the last 45 years, and many of those falls have wrenched my neck. The only thing Western medicine has to offer is a wide range of inflammation-reducing and pain-relieving drugs. Again, from experience, I know that those drugs certainly do have their uses, but I don't really care to live on them. But a visit to my chiropractor never fails to relieve the pain in my neck—and it's my neck that's the reason why I'm going again this afternoon."

John Strassburger completes his article with the story of a horse named Bill, a 2-year-old warmblood gelding. Strassburger was having trouble training Bill as the horse would rear backwards with certain maneuvers suggesting that Bill was experiencing neck pain. Strassburger had the equine chiropractor work on the horse and the results were dramatic.  The horse can now perform many of the maneuvers that Strassburger was trying to teach him. Strassburger reports, "Bill's now had two treatments, and—I swear—he's almost like a different horse. He's far more relaxed and confident (he hasn't reared back on the crossties since his first treatment) and he's now longeing, in tack, at all three gaits."


Improvement in Symptoms Related to Depression, Anxiety and Pain - A Case Study

A study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on August 29, 2011 documents a case of chiropractic helping a patient suffering with  depression, anxiety and pain. The study notes that the patient had multiple health issues, and that correction of vertebral subluxations under chiropractic care allowed the patient to show significant improvements in many areas.

According to the study, mood disorders, such as depression, affect about 16% of the population, and according to the World Health Organization, is the fourth leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Currently, the most common medical treatment is drugs which the study notes are at best only 50% effective in helping treat the symptoms of depression.

In this case, a 58-year-old man went to the chiropractor with primary complaints of long-standing, left shoulder pain that went down his left arm and between his shoulder blades. The man reported that he had never had this type of pain, and that it was getting progressively worse.

The man's history showed that he had two severe car accidents requiring hospitalization and one required knee replacement and facial surgery. He had been medically diagnosed with high cholesterol, depression, and anxiety and was on pain medication, anxiety medication, and high cholesterol medication for the previous ten years.

A chiropractic examination consisting of palpation, range of motion, postural analysis, ands nerve testing was conducted, and each showed positive findings for vertebral subluxation. The study noted that subluxations "...can lead to a myriad of physiological changes." The author continued by reporting, "These physiological changes can cause many symptoms over time and influence health negatively."

Chiropractic care was initiated at a rate of three visits per week with a total of 39 visits over a 3 month period. Specific spinal adjustments were given based upon the findings during care. After the initial three months, a reassessment was performed in which the man self-reported that he was feeling better. He noted that he had only a little shoulder or neck pain remaining at that time.

The man also reported that he felt happy for the first time in about ten years. Specific diagnostic questionnaires were given to measure depression and anxiety at both the initiation of care, and at the time of the follow-up. Each of these specific tests showed a marked improvement in their scores, a fact that was reinforced by the patient's own perception of his well being. The study reported that the patient stopped taking his pain medication and initiated discussions with his MD to work toward discontinuing all his medications.


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