September 2013


Resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia Following Chiropractic

A case study published in the scientific periodical, the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research, documented the resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia in a patient following chiropractic care. Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) is  a nerve disorder characterized by episodes of intense pain in the face.  The study published on August 12, 2013, was titled, "Resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia Following Subluxation Based Chiropractic Care: A Case Study & Review of Literature."

The authors begin by noting, "Since the first century A.D., trigeminal neuralgia (TN) has been regarded as one of the most painful and enigmatic diseases known to man. It has been generally accepted that patients will never be completely free from the condition regardless of the therapy." The authors set out to show that based upon case study and literature review, chiropractic offers a more permanent solution. Other names for this disorder have included "tic douloureux" and the "suicide disease", due to the severe nature of the pain it causes.

In this case, a 40-year-old woman came to the chiropractor with a diagnosis of TN that she had been suffering from for six months. The history notes that by the time the patient had gone to the chiropractor, she had already been to the emergency room twice, had seen five different specialists (EENT, neurologist, and neurosurgeons), as well as three dental specialists. When describing her pain on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the worst, the pain was described as a ten double plus.

In a failed attempt to help this problem, the woman had one tooth extracted, and she was prescribed a total of 15 different medications including morphine, oxycontin, and percocet. The case history also noted that due to the severity of the pain every aspect of this woman's life was affected; including work, sleep, recreation, and daily routines.  Because of this condition and the mounting financial burden from doctor and prescription costs, the woman was also severely depressed.

A chiropractic examination and x-rays revealed the presence of subluxations at the first and second cervical vertebrae located in the upper neck. Specific adjustments were given to address the subluxations. Adjustment frequency was initially three visits per week for the first month, and then slowly the frequency of visits was reduced. 

The study notes that immediately after starting chiropractic care, the woman had complete resolution of all symptoms including spasm, pain, and swelling. Her range of motion had returned to normal and all spinal tenderness was gone.  She was able to return to her normal activities and remains free of her problems. The authors wrote in their conclusion, "It has been over 8 years since the patient in this case study first received chiropractic treatment. In addition to her receiving 100% resolution after one adjustment, it has been remarkable to observe that no attacks have occurred since then."


Nearly $10 Billion Spent on Hospital-Acquired Infections Each Year

The headline above is from a Fox News story published on September 4, 2013, that reported $9.8 billion dollars is spent every year to treat hospital-acquired infections (HAIs). The article was based on a study published in the JAMA Internal Medicine on September 02, 2013, showing the high cost of treating infections picked up in hospitals.

"It's lower than past estimates, but they're all avoidable outcomes that we could probably decrease down to zero," said study author Dr. Eyal Zimlichman.

The study, by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, found the five most common hospital-acquired infections were surgical site infections, bloodstream infections, catheter-associated urinary tract infections, Clostridium difficile infections, and ventilator associated pneumonia.

Surgical site infections topped the list as the most expensive at $3.33 billion yearly. On a personal level, bloodstream infections were the most expensive per person at an average $45,814 per infection. Ventilator-associated pneumonia will cost a patient $40,144, followed by Clostridium difficile infections at $11,285, and catheter-associated urinary tract infections at $896.

The CDC reports that these five HAIs affect between five and 10 percent of all hospital patients each year resulting in 99,000 deaths.

The CDC introduced initiatives through infection control recommendations to control HAIs which resulted in a 68 percent infection decrease in four years at the 32 hospitals and 66 ICUs where the initiatives were implemented.

“While quality improvement initiatives have decreased HAI incidence and costs, much more remains to be done. As hospitals realize savings from prevention of these complications under payment reforms, they may be more likely to invest in such strategies,” the study authors conclude.


Super Bowl Champion Mark Collins Tackles Pain With Chiropractic Care

A news release with the headline above from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress appeared in numerous news outlets between August 13 and 27th, 2013. This release, along with a video testimonial, touted the benefits of chiropractic for former NFL player and Superbowl champion, Mark Collins. 

Mark Collins was born on January 16, 1964, in San Bernardino, California. He was drafted into the NFL by the New York Giants in 1986 to play cornerback and safety. He played for the NY Giants from 1986 to 1993, and as a result, he won two Super Bowl championship rings. Statistically, during his eight seasons with the Giants, Collins had a good career playing in 112 games, of which 104 were starts. He accounted for 725 tackles, 17 interceptions including returning one for a touchdown, four forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 3.5 sacks, and a safety.

The release notes that over the span of his career as a defensive back, Collins, "...experienced more than his fair share of unnecessary roughness." In the video Collins recalls, "I played defensive back for the New York Giants from 1986 to 1997, with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks," Collins says. "Played 13 great years, had a lot of hits."

Collins not only knew how to take the hits, but he also knew how to dish them out, "Gave a lot of hits and took some hits, too, and I can tell you it has wear and tear on your body."  It is this constant wear and tear that has drawn attention to the sport of football as many players experience significant health issues later in life due to their time on the field.

Collins found a way to deal with the abuse to his body by utilizing chiropractic care. "I started using chiropractic care in 1986 after a long training camp," he recalls. "I found that my body really was out of shape and I wasn't ready, structurally, until I met a chiropractor at the Reebok camp in 1986 -- and ever since then, I swear by it."

The release notes that currently, Mark works with kids from seventh grade through high school, helping them obtain scholarships while teaching them to take care of their bodies through better nutrition and chiropractic care.  He sums up his belief in chiropractic by saying, "It does work. It's done wondrous things for my career, and it's been fantastic."


Induced Labor Linked to Higher Autism Risk

The headline above is from an article on Medpage Today on August 12, 2013. The article is based on the results of a study published on the same day in JAMA Pediatrics which shows an association between induced labor and autism.  The Medpage article, written by Charles Bankhead, starts off with an ominous statement, "The odds of autism increased significantly in children whose mothers gave birth with induced or augmented labor, a study of more than 600,000 births showed." 

The study looked at 625,000 babies born in North Carolina over an eight-year period and were matched with the children’s corresponding public school records which contained the diagnoses of autism. An article on August 13, 2013, in Time magazine's online Family & Health section clearly stated the results of this study by reporting, "For children who were born after induced labor, the risk of autism was 13% higher compared with that of children born to mothers who were not induced; speeding up labor was associated with a 16% higher risk of autism, while both induction and augmentation were linked to a 23% greater risk of autism in children."

In the Time article, Michael Rosanoff, associate director of Autism Speaks, who was not affiliated with the study, added his concerns, "I think we’re at a point in autism research where we are really looking to uncover any possible risk factor. What this tells us is that the period around pregnancy is a very important stage in the development of a child. It seems to be a critical period for exposure to potential risk factors that might increase risk for autism. We are seeing that again in this study." Rosanoff continued, "It's not a huge risk, but the fact that so many women may be exposed to this risk factor is what's important and what warrants additional research into the actual mechanisms behind this association."

In the study results the authors stated, "Compared with children born to mothers who received neither labor induction nor augmentation, children born to mothers who were induced and augmented, induced only, or augmented only experienced increased odds of autism after controlling for potential confounders related to socioeconomic status, maternal health, pregnancy-related events and conditions, and birth year." They concluded, "Our work suggests that induction/augmentation during childbirth is associated with increased odds of autism diagnosis in childhood."


Hockey Player Scores with Chiropractic

The above is the headline from an article which appeared on September 6, 2013, on the Toronto Star news website. The article features former NHL hockey player Gary Roberts who explains how chiropractic saved his professional hockey career.

When Roberts was 30 years old and a left winger for the Calgary Flames, he suffered a neck injury that left him with severe nerve damage and numbness in his arms. Even after repeated surgeries and rehab he was no better. "I couldn’t hold a steak knife to cut my food," he recalls. "My career was over. I was a pretty lost soul."

Then in 1996, Roberts decided to see a chiropractor. The end result was not only did he recover from his injury, but he continued to play professional hockey for another 13 years.

Roberts stated in the article how he felt when describing his recovery with chiropractic, "It saved my life." He went on in the article to explain, "[Whether] you’re a professional athlete or a weekend warrior, the results are the same — your body gets beaten up. Chiropractors have taken sports to a new level."

Dr. John Theodoropoulos, an orthopedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, was also quoted in the article talking about athletes' affinity for chiropractic care, "Everyone is high-level, everyone takes sports seriously now." He continued, "When athletes refer to their doctor, their doctor is usually a doctor of chiropractic."

Other sports and athletes have also recognized the value of chiropractic for high level performance. It was reported on September 3, 2013, in Chiropractic Economics that Logan College of Chiropractic has been named the official chiropractic college of the NFL Rams.

"The St. Louis Rams are proud to partner with Logan University, one of the nation's leaders in chiropractic education," said Bob Reif, executive vice president of the St. Louis Rams. "Chiropractic treatments are essential to the health and wellness of our Rams players and Logan alumnus, Dr. Mike Murphy, has been treating our world-class athletes for several years. With this partnership, we are pleased to deepen our relationship with one of the most prestigious schools in chiropractic education."


Prescription Drug Abuse is on the Rise

An article with the title above by Karen Dandurant appeared on the Seacoastonline.com website on August 18, 2013. The article reported on the growing problem of prescription drug abuse. Similar articles appeared in other news outlets both in the US and the United Kingdom including a September 8, 2013, article in the Mail Online with the headline, "A nation of prescription drug addicts: More Britons die from abusing painkillers and tranquillizers than heroin and cocaine."

In the US in 2008, 14,800 people died from prescription drug overdoses which are more than the combined total for drug overdose deaths due to heroin and cocaine according to the CDC. The death rate from prescription drug overdose has tripled since 1990, with 75 percent of the deaths attributed to painkiller misuse. A survey by the CDC reported that 12 million people use painkillers to get high and not for medicinal purposes.

In spite of this high rate of death from prescription drug use, 75 percent of all medical visits will include drug therapy, with 48.5 percent of all patients using one prescription drug in the past month, 21.7 percent using three or more drugs, and 10.6 percent of patients using five or more prescription drugs.

Seacoastonline reports that some people sell their prescriptions and will visit several different doctors to obtain more prescription drugs. Opiates like oxycodone, codeine, and methadone are the most abused but benzodiazepines like Xanax, Valium, and other central nervous system depressants, and central nervous system stimulants like Adderall and Ritalin are also highly misused.

The misuse of prescription drugs can be attributed to the difficulty of measuring pain and monitoring the use of prescription drugs for chronic conditions.

"Pain is very subjective," said Sergio Zullich, pharmacy clinical manager at Portsmouth Regional Hospital in the Seacoastonline article. "The patient tells the doctor there is pain and he will prescribe a small amount. Some people will take a few doses until their pain subsides. Others will go back for more, reporting there is still pain or the medication is not adequately addressing their pain."

The CDC recommends that states implement the use of prescription drug monitoring programs using state-run databases to track and monitor prescription drug use. The CDC also recommends that states implement patient record reviews of state-run programs like Medicaid, health care provider guidelines and accountability, legislation to prevent prescription drug abuse, and better access to substance abuse treatment programs for people as a multi-leveled intervention policy to prevent future prescription drug overdoses.


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