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August 2012

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Chiropractors Helping Athletes at London Olympics

No less than a dozen different news stories recently appeared reporting on chiropractors going to London to assist the athletes in the 2012 Olympics. In many of these articles, the various doctors from around the nation are working with the athletes to help them maximize their performances and giving them the competitive edge.

In one of the articles on August 1, 2012, in the Lake Forrest Patch, Dr. Dustin Glass is described as the official team chiropractor for the United States women's indoor volleyball team. "I am very proud and honored to be a part of Team USA," stated Dr. Glass. "They are representing the country on the biggest athletic stage in the world and I am fortunate to be a part of it." Later in the article Dr. Glass continued, "Having helped out in practice and sitting courtside while traveling, to see the athleticism these athletes bring to the sport is an awesome experience," he said. "These are the top 12 players in the country competing for the pinnacle of success in athleticsóthe Olympic gold!"

A number of the other articles focus on a team of chiropractors helping the USA martial arts, Judo, wrestling, weight lifting and sitting volleyball teams. In a July 28, 2012 article in the online edition of the Erie Times-News, Dr. Tom Stetson, a chiropractor from North Carolina expresses his enthusiasm by saying, "It's incredibly exciting to take the true principles of health to the world stage of London. The principles we teach help athletes win, but they can also help people in this community achieve the health they've been looking for."

In addition to the excitement that many doctors are feeling, the athletes, coaches and directors are also glad to see the chiropractors at the Olympics. Jose Rodriguez, USA Judo executive director, commented in a July 29, 2012, Examiner article, "This is about making our athletes stronger, faster and sustainably successful." In the same article, Terry Steiner, the USA Women's National Wrestling Team coach added, "I have seen a tremendous value in our partnership (with the chiropractors) as it pertains to the performances of our Olympic team. I can further see the positive, life-long effects these doctors can have on their lives after London."

One chiropractor, however, is at the Olympics for a different reason. Dr. Josh Binstock a 6-foot-5-inch athlete, is competing in his first Olympic Games as part of the Canadian Volleyball team. In a July 30, 2012, article in the Algemeiner, Dr. Binstock said, "[This] was what I had been dreaming about since I started playing this sport and what I put my chiropractic career on hold to pursue."

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Rheumatoid Arthritis Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Study

The July 26, 2012, issue of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, discusses a documented case study of a woman suffering with Rheumatoid arthritis, whose quality of life was dramatically improved through chiropractic.

The authors of the study begin by explaining that, "Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an idiopathic autoimmune disease categorized by systemic inflammation primarily of joints and soft tissue". They also note that previous studies show that RA is 2 to 3 times more common in women than men. The authors also report that according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it was estimated that in 2005, 1.293 million adults aged 18 and older suffered from RA.

In this case a 54-year-old woman entered a chiropractic health center specifically for care of her Rheumatoid Arthritis.  At that time, the woman was complaining of severe pain in both her hands and her fingers. She also had swelling of the joints and muscles in her hands, fingers, knees, feet and toes. In a self rating pain scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the worst, the woman rated herself as a 9 out of 10 if she was not taking medication and a 3 out of 10 when medicated.

The woman had been diagnosed 7 years earlier with RA. By the time she came to the chiropractor, her condition had gotten so bad that many mornings she awoke with pain that made standing erect very difficult. The study authors also reported that when walking, she often had to hold onto the wall due to the severe magnitude of her pain.

A chiropractic examination was performed consisting of several tests including x-rays and a surface EMG study. The determination of the presence of subluxations was made and a specific course of chiropractic care was initiated.

The results for this woman were life changing. By the fourth month of chiropractic care, she was able to discontinue taking her medications. By the tenth month of care, her pain from the RA had reduced to a 1 out of 10 without her having to take any medications. The woman later reported that she was able to dance, exercise, and walk up her stairs without any pain.

In their discussions the authors wrote, "After seven years of management in the medical model the patient exhausted her options and was ready to take control of her health. The patient was able to gradually stop taking medication for pain and inflammation and she is now drug-free. This patient made dietary changes and underwent corrective chiropractic care to realign the spine to allow for better function."

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Chiropractic Included in Expert Panel Addressing Health Concerns of Nation's Astronauts

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) wants to expand manís exploration of space. What they also want is a chiropractic opinion on how spaceflight will affect the spines of the astronauts.

In a release dated August 2, 2012, and published in several news outlets, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) noted that NASA was addressing concerns about the heightened risk of musculoskeletal injuries threatening astronauts. To address these concerns, NASA conducted the Spinal Deconditioning Injury Risk Summit, in which chiropractic input was sought.

The F4CP release reported that "During the Summit, a multidisciplinary panel of experts addressed various issues including identifying impacting factors ó such as microgravity exposure, flight weight and landing forces ó and defining potential protection and prevention options. Going forward, NASA expects to develop and test new measures to counteract spinal deterioration in space crews, based on the panel's recommendations."

John Mayer, DC, PhD, a chiropractor from south Florida, participated on the panel and added input from a chiropractic perspective. He believes chiropractic represents advancement in prevention and protection protocols.

"Deconditioning ó the breakdown of the spine's musculoskeletal support system ó is a very common and serious condition occurring in astronauts," said Dr. Mayer, Lincoln College Endowed Chair in Biomechanical and Chiropractic Research, and associate professor, School of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences at USF Health. "It is crucial that NASA continues to aggregate data and develop strategies to mitigate this problem. More times than not, this initial breakdown leads to other debilitating health concerns, such as disc herniation ó an ailment space crews are five times more at risk for than average individuals."

"Possible options to enhance safety measures for astronauts can include everything from developing new equipment to altering spaceflight exercise procedures to new healthcare practices," says Dr. Mayer. "The use of an effective specialized musculoskeletal care, like chiropractic, may ultimately prove to be effective in reducing the incidence of injuries for individuals exposed to a variety of physical demands, such as astronauts."

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Baby with Asthma Helped by Chiropractic

A case study published in the July 19, 2012, issue of the scientific periodical, the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal and Family Health, documents the case of a young boy suffering from asthma who improved with chiropractic care.

The study authors start by noting that asthma in children is very prevalent with 9 million U.S. children under the age of 18 being diagnosed with asthma. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control, (CDC) estimate that 15 million people suffer from asthma. Asthma is currently the leading cause of school absence in the U.S., with the rate of asthma cases increasing steadily.

In this case, a 24-month-old boy was brought to the chiropractor by his mother for chiropractic care. According to the boy's mother, her son had suffered from asthma, chronic colds, and respiratory issues since birth. At the time the child was brought to the chiropractor, he was taking 2 medications daily that were prescribed by his pediatric pulmonologist. These medications included Flovent at 2 puffs twice per day, and Singulair almost daily.

A chiropractic examination was performed and it was noted that the boyís neck had a limited overall range of motion. Additionally, multiple areas in his spine had restricted segmental motion and abnormal positioning. It was determined that multiple areas of vertebral subluxations were present, and a specific plan of corrective chiropractic adjustments was initiated.

The study authors noted that the child responded quickly. They wrote that the  "...patientís mother reported that due to her sonís improvement and decreased symptomatology, she was no longer giving her son the Flovent or Singulair."

In the case study, the authors reported that, "...the boy was still being seen in the chiropractorís office for wellness care once every other week and has reported only one cold with a respiratory flare up once in the past two years."

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "In the case of a 2-year-old male suffering from asthma, chronic colds, and respiratory issues since birth, there was a resolution of symptoms after receiving four adjustments over the course of three weeks. Evidence in this case supports chiropractic care in the management of asthma and associated symptoms."

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Hospitals Ignoring Requirements to Report Errors

Above is the headline of a USA Today story published on July 20, 2012. The article is based on a Memorandum Report issued by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, from Stuart Wright, the Deputy Inspector General for Evaluation and Inspections. The title of the memorandum report is, "Few Adverse Events in Hospitals Were Reported to State Adverse Event Reporting Systems."

The memorandum report, and the USA Today article highlight the fact that hospitals seem to be ignoring state regulations that require them to report cases in which medical care harmed a patient. The USA Today article noted that this makes it almost impossible for health care providers to identify and fix preventable problems.

The Memorandum Report begins by stating that previous studies show that  "Öan estimated 27 percent of Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized in October 2008 experienced harm from medical care." Many of these events were classified as serious adverse events, defined as events resulting in prolonged hospitalization, permanent disability, life-sustaining intervention, or death. Other events were classified as temporary harm events, defined as events requiring intervention but not resulting in lasting harm.

The report further stated that "Öan estimated 60 percent of adverse and temporary harm events nationally occurred at hospitals in states with reporting systems, yet only an estimated 12 percent of events nationally met state requirements for reporting." This meant that most events falling into this area did not get reported because they were not required to be reported.

Also alarming was the fact that hospitals often do not even recognize adverse events. The report stated, "We also found that hospitals reported only 1 percent of events. Most of the events that states required to be reported, but that hospitals did not report, were not identified by internal hospital incident reporting systems. This suggests that low reporting to state systems is more likely the result of hospital failure to identify events than from hospitals neglecting to report known events."

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Parkinson's Sufferer has Quality of Life Significantly Improved Under Chiropractic

The July 30, 2012, issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a case study documenting the improvement of a Parkinsonís patient using chiropractic care.

The author of the study begins by reporting that in the United States, 50,000-60,000 new cases of Parkinsonís disease (PD) are diagnosed each year. It is estimated that over one million people currently suffer from this chronic and progressive disorder.

According to the National Parkinsonís Foundation, "Parkinsonís disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative brain disorder that progresses slowly in most people. What this means is that individuals with PD will be living with PD for twenty years or more from the time of diagnosis. While Parkinsonís disease itself is not fatal, the Centers for Disease Control rated complications from the disease as the 14th top cause of death in the United State."

In this case, a 63-year-old male pastoral counselor complaining of resting tremors of the right hand, anxiety and stabbing middle back pain, went to the chiropractor. His complaints started a year and a half earlier and seemed to start shortly after he suffered a severe case of the flu that lasted 2-3 weeks which caused him to lose 15 pounds. Due to his symptoms, he was diagnosed by a neurologist with Idiopathic Parkinsonís disease.

At the time the pastoral counselor presented himself for a chiropractic evaluation, he appeared frail, had a low tone of voice, and had reduced facial expressions. He stated that he also works as a marriage counselor which increases his daily stress level, and he had been experiencing restless leg syndrome at least twice a week for the past two years which affected his ability to get quality sleep.

Multiple chiropractic examination procedures and x-rays confirmed the presence of spinal subluxations, most notably at the level of the top bone in the neck, the atlas. A specific course of corrective adjustments was initiated to correct the atlas subluxation.

Following his first adjustment, the man noted an improvement in his tremors. After a week of care, he also reported an increase in energy. The study records that by the end of the second week of care, he had a greater range of motion in his neck and higher level of energy, allowing him to complete his week of work and participate in extra activities on that weekend. Shortly afterwards, his mid back pain also stopped.

In his conclusion the author wrote, "We conclude that improvement of the Atlas alignment was associated with reduction of most of his Parkinsonís symptoms including decrease in frequency and intensity of his middle back pain, improvement in his quality of life and improvement in his motor function."

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