August 2014


Chronic Shoulder Problems Helped with Chiropractic - A Case Series

A case series published on July 31, 2014, in the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documented chiropractic care helping patients with chronic shoulder problems. The authors note how common shoulder problems are accounting for 16% of all musculoskeletal complaints with a yearly incidence of 15 new episodes per 1,000 patients seeking primary care.

This case series documented the care of two male patients with chronic shoulder problems. The first patient was a 55-year-old man who went to a chiropractor with a chief complaint of right shoulder pain.  Seven months earlier, the man had fallen off a 10-foot ladder and landed on his left shoulder, which was not the one he was suffering with at the time of his visit to the chiropractor. His examination showed restricted range of motion for his right shoulder. A chiropractic examination showed areas of sensitivity in the man's neck along with postural imbalances of the spine. From the findings, it was determined that subluxations in the neck were present.

The second patient was a 60-year-old man who had pain in both shoulders for one year before coming to the chiropractor. He did not have a history of an accident or trauma before his problem started. His examination showed range of motion reductions in his shoulders and his neck. It was also determined that this patient had a subluxation of his neck.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were given to both patients according to their chiropractic analysis. The study reported that the results of the chiropractic care for both men were very positive. The 55-year-old man with pain in his right shoulder showed a complete return to normal shoulder movement within a few visits.  The recovery was such that the man went on vacation shortly after his chiropractic care.

The second man with pain in both his shoulders had a complete return to normal motion in both his shoulders after his first chiropractic adjustment. Additionally, his pain was reduced to minimal after the first visit.

The authors noted that although both patients had issues with their shoulders, the chiropractic care given was exclusively to the upper neck. Both patients were mainly concerned with their ability to move their shoulders, and both regained total range of motion as a result of their chiropractic care. In their conclusion, the authors wrote, "This case series provides support on the use of chiropractic adjustments directed to the upper cervical spine in patients with subluxation, shoulder pain and dysfunction."


Painkiller Overdoses Kill More Than One American Every Hour

The CDCís Vitalsigns online reported on prescription drug over-prescription, and the correlation between opiate prescriptions and prescription drug overdoses and death on July 1, 2014.

"Prescription drug overdose is epidemic in the United States. All too often, and in far too many communities, the treatment is becoming the problem," said CDC Director Tom Frieden, M.D., M.P.H.

  • 46 people die in the US every day from prescription drug overdose
  • 259 million prescriptions were written for painkillers in 2012
  • 10 of the highest prescribing states are in the South

Dr, Frieden continued, "Overdose rates are higher where these drugs are prescribed more frequently. States and practices where prescribing rates are highest need to take a particularly hard look at ways to reduce the inappropriate prescription of these dangerous drugs."

Pain caused by health problems would not vary due to geography, according to the CDC. Yet the US has twice as many painkiller prescriptions per person than Canada, and the highest prescribing state has 3 times as many painkiller prescriptions than the lowest prescribing state.

"Data suggest that where health care providers practice influences how they prescribe. Higher prescribing of painkillers is associated with more overdose deaths. More can be done at every level to prevent overprescribing while ensuring patients' access to safe, effective pain treatment. Changes at the state level show particular promise," reported the CDC.


Chronic Ear Infections, Neck Pain, and Headaches Helped with Chiropractic - Case Study

A case study published on July 17, 2014, in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health documented chiropractic care helping a 9-year-old girl who was suffering from chronic ear infections, neck pain, and headaches. Ear infections, clinically known as otitis media (OM), are an inflammation of the middle ear, and are currently the most common reasons for children under the age of 15 to visit a medical physician.

The study begins by noting that otitis media costs between 2 and 5.3 billion dollars annually in the US. The highest prevalence of cases is in children between the ages of six to fifteen months. The authors also report that "...approximately two-thirds of all children will be affected by the age of two."

In this case, a 9-year-old girl was brought to the chiropractor with primary problems of chronic ear infections and headaches. The medical care the girl had been receiving was ineffective. The case study reported that the little girl was scheduled to have tympanostomy tubes placed in her ears in three weeks. Her problem had left her with approximately 60% hearing loss in her left ear and 30% hearing loss in her right ear.

In the four months prior to being brought to the chiropractor, the girl was treated with antibiotics for her ear infections five times. In three of those episodes, her tympanic membranes had burst. In addition to the ear problems, she was suffering from neck pain and occasional but severe headaches.  Her mother had even brought her daughter to a neurologist to no avail.

It was reported that the girl's severe headaches were interfering with her daily activity including her personal hygiene and her school work.  During, and for a few days after each of her ear infections, her ability to hear was reduced to the point where she had difficulty participating in conversations.

A chiropractic examination was performed that included neck range of motion, manual and digital palpation, and a spinal postural analysis. From the examination, it was determined that the girl had subluxations in her neck and lower back, and a specific course of chiropractic adjustments was begun.

The results of the chiropractic care were immediate and profound. The study records that over the first three weeks of chiropractic care, the girl did not experience a single headache. The girl reported that her daily activities were a lot easier, especially when it came to blow-drying her hair.

After three weeks of chiropractic care, the girl was brought to an otolaryngologist for a re-evaluation where it was found that the girl's hearing level had returned to 95% of normal. As a result of these profound improvements, the tympanostomy tubes surgery was considered unnecessary, and the procedure was cancelled. During the next 5 years of chiropractic wellness care, it was reported that the girl only experienced three headaches.

"Numerous studies have identified positive outcomes in otitis media with chiropractic care based on the detection and removal of spinal subluxations," the authors wrote in their conclusion. "This case study demonstrated a total remission of chronic ear infections in a girl under chiropractic care." They also commented, "The use of antibiotics and tympanostomy tubes are rendered regularly despite significant risk of serious side effects and sequelae. Complementary and alternative medicine, including chiropractic, provides a justifiable alternative care approach."


Breastfeeding Reduces Child Mortality Rate by 85%

The headline above is from an August 10, 2014, article in The Rakyat Post, a publication from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. The statistics may be unique to Kuala Lumpur, but multiple studies from all over the world have confirmed the large health benefit to an infant from breastfeeding for both increased immunity and proper infant nutrition.

Dr Farah Inaz Syed Abdullah of the Hospital Kuala Lumpur emphasized the importance of breastfeeding for nutritional purposes saying, "If children across the world were breastfed during the golden hour ó that is the first hour after birth ó it is estimated that one million child deaths could be avoided. This is because during this first feeding, the child will be fed colostrum, the first milk that contains the right amounts of nutrients, in the right proportions for the newborn. What makes it unique is that the amount of nutrients in breast milk changes as the baby grows."

Adding support for breastfeeding in reducing Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), Dr Maiza Tusimin, Universiti Putra Malaysia senior medical lecturer and specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, added, "SIDS often happens to babies who were fed with infant formula through a bottle. This risk can be reduced as breast milk is given in an exclusive manner and full of attention. This is besides the fact that it also contains lipase, an enzyme that aids in the digestion of fats naturally."

In the United States, several publications, including an article on the KMA News website from Iowa, announced that August is National Breastfeeding Month. In this article, Marian Tompson, one of the founders of the La Leche League, a consumer breastfeeding advocacy group, touted the benefits that mothers who breastfeed get from it by reducing the risk for diabetes, cardiovascular conditions, and some forms of cancer.

Tompson explained, "There have been thousands of studies during the past 50 years that confirm babies are healthier when they're breastfed. And it makes sense because they're getting the food that was meant for their growth and development."

An August 1, 2014, statement on the United Nations News Centre website also points out the importance of breastfeeding immediately after birth.  Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the UN Childrenís Fund (UNICEF), noted in a letter, "Immediate breastfeeding within the first hour of birth could prevent one in five unnecessary deaths. Thatís more than 500,000 children every year, more than 1,500 children every day."

Lake also added, "Breastfeeding is the foundation of good nutrition, reducing the risk of malnourishment in early childhood and the risk of obesity later in life. By supporting nutrition and strengthening the bond between mother and child, breastfeeding also supports healthy brain development."


Conservative Care First: A Sensible, Effective Approach to Back and Neck Pain

The above headline comes from the July 28, 2014, Digital Journal release from the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). In their release, they announced that October will be "National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM)."  The ACA notes that they are, "...working with the more than 130,000 doctors of chiropractic (DCs), chiropractic assistants (CAs) and chiropractic doctoral students nationwide to help educate the public and policymakers about the value of a 'conservative care first' approach to health care."

The release emphasizes the value of considering conservative care as a first choice for health problems like back and neck pain. The ACA defines conservative care to include chiropractic, as well as exercise and stretching. They note that these approaches are both safe and cost effective.

The ACA release lists three major reasons why the public should consider conservative care first. These are:

  1. Numerous recent studies have clearly shown the dangerous over reliance in the U.S. on prescription painkillers that simply mask pain, but do not cure. This has tremendously increased Americansí risk for overuse, and abuse, of these drugs if taken for long periods, leading to more than 17,000 related deaths in 2010 (more than heroin and cocaine combined). The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the abuse of prescription pain medications an "epidemic".
  2. Recent evidence questions the overuse--and in some cases the effectiveness--of more invasive treatments such as spinal fusion surgery and spinal steroid injections for back pain. It is reasonable for patients to exhaust more conservative options before undergoing these costly procedures.
  3. Chiropractic physicians are the highest-rated healthcare practitioners for low-back pain treatments with their patient-centered, whole-person approach that provides greater interaction and communication for appropriate diagnosis and developing more cost-effective treatment planning.

"People need complete information about their treatment options," said ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC. "During National Chiropractic Health Month, DCs are encouraging patients to ask questions and learn about safe, effective conservative approaches that may help them avoid riskier and more costly treatments."


Asthma Inhalers Can Stunt Child Growth

The headline above comes from a July 18, 2014, article in the International Business Times, and reports on a recent study published in The Cochrane Library, an independent, non-profit research reporting organization. The Cochrane websites explains, "Cochrane is a global independent network of health practitioners, researchers, patient advocates and others, responding to the challenge of making the vast amounts of evidence generated through research useful for informing decisions about health."

File:Boy using inhaler.tiffThis research, conducted by the Federal University of Rio Grande in Brazil and University of Montreal in Canada, showed that children who used steroids for asthma had slower growth rates compared to those not using the medications.

An article in the July 17, 2014, Medical New Today reported on the same study and noted that, "Asthma is a chronic lung condition that occurs widely in the US. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), around 25 million people (about 1 in 12) have asthma. This percentage is much higher in children; around 9.3% of children (6.8 million) are believed to have the condition."

Lead author of the study, Dr Linjie Zhang, of the Federal University of Rio Grande, Brazil, reported that, "The evidence we reviewed suggests that children treated daily with inhaled corticosteroids may grow approximately half a centimeter less during the first year of treatment."

Several of the articles reporting on the study quoted medical physicians who said it was a "small price" to pay for using these drugs. Whether the obvious pun was intended or not, the remark reflects a lack of willingness to look into other less drastic options. Most of the articles did make a concession by advising that doses of these medications be kept as low as possible.

"It is interesting to note that research like this which would be of interest to so many parents, was not reported in the United States, a country which allows prescription medication advertisements," stated Dr. Michael McLean, a chiropractor in Virginia and president of the International Chiropractors Association. "Chiropractors have been helping asthma sufferers for years without exposing patients to the harmful side effects of medications. We can only hope that the truth about these types of drug treatments continues to be disseminated allowing the public to make a more informed choice about their health."


Please help us spread the message of health by forwarding this email newsletter on to others.
Also, please let us know what you think of our newsletter by replying to this email. Thank you.

© all rights reserved