September 2015


Gallup Poll: Majority in U.S. Say Chiropractic Works for Neck and Back Pain

A new Gallup Poll released on September 8, 2015, showed that a large number of people in the United States have used chiropractic and believe it to be of help for a number of conditions. The poll, commissioned by Palmer College of Chiropractic, was based on the results from a Gallup Panel study of 5,442 adults, aged 18 and older, conducted February 16 through May 6, 2015.

Some of the highlights of the Gallup Poll reveal:

  • Two-thirds say chiropractic is effective for neck and back pain.
  • Many adults say chiropractors think of a patient's best interest.
  • More than 33 million U.S. adults saw a chiropractor last year.

Overall, about half of U.S. adults have seen a chiropractor sometime in their lives. Each year about 14% of the adult population goes to a chiropractor. Additionally, most people think chiropractors have their patient's best interest in mind and are trustworthy.

In spite of decades of organized opposition from the medical society, only a small percentage of the population had a negative view of chiropractic or chiropractors thinking they did not have their patient's best interests in mind (8%), or were not trustworthy (9%). People who went to chiropractors were more likely to have a positive opinion of chiropractic than those who did not.

The poll also showed that there were no specific groups of people more likely to go to a chiropractor. Income level and education was not a significant factor in who utilized chiropractic care. The poll did show that people aged 35 and older (56%) are more likely than younger adults (37%) to go to a chiropractor. Also, the poll reported that blacks are less likely than whites or Hispanics to use chiropractic care. Additionally, women are slightly more likely to see a chiropractor than men.

The poll did point out that the public had two areas where their knowledge related to chiropractic was failing. The first area was in relation to the rigorous education needed to become a chiropractor, and the second was the extent to which their insurance covered chiropractic services. The poll researchers estimated that chiropractic utilization would be even higher if the public were aware of the level of education a chiropractor is required to have, and if information on insurance coverage for chiropractic were more readily available.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "Adults younger than 50 represent a unique opportunity for the future of chiropractic because this group is more likely than older respondents to say a chiropractor would be their first choice to see about neck or back pain. However, adults aged 18 to 34 are more sensitive to chiropractic costs than are older adults."

A copy of the full Gallup poll can be found at www.palmer.edu/uploadedfiles/pages/alumni/gallop-report-palmer-college.pdf


Resolution of Anxiety and Hypertension Following Chiropractic

A case study published in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research on August 3, 2015, documented the case of a 60-year-old man suffering with hypertension and anxiety being helped with chiropractic. Anxiety can lead to other disorders including muscle tension, fatigue, restlessness, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.

The authors begin by noting that anxiety disorders affect approximately 40 million Americans 18 years or older. This equates to 18% of the U.S. population. The typical medical approach to these disorders is medication. Unfortunately, many of these medications have serious side effects and can become addictive. Additionally, treating anxiety with medications does not correct the problem as medication treatment must be continued indefinitely.

In this case history, a 60-year-old retired man came to the chiropractor with the chief complaints of anxiety, high blood pressure, and neck pain. The man reported that his neck pain was an achy, dull type pain. He also reported that when he stood up from a seated position, he would lose his balance. His medical doctor told him 15 years prior that the balance issue was due to his blood pressure problem. His MD also diagnosed his anxiety condition and placed him on two medications which he had been taking for 20 years prior to seeking chiropractic care.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a postural analysis, palpation of the spine, bilateral weight scale analysis, range of motion, and leg length checks. Based on the examination and history, the chiropractic diagnosis was multiple vertebral subluxations.

Care began consisting of specific chiropractic adjustments aimed at correcting the detected subluxations. The authors noted the rational for the care by stating, "Research has shown that vertebral subluxations, spinal manipulative therapy and cranial adjusting have an effect on autonomic functions, such as heart rate, blood pressure, pupillary diameter and skin temperature." They continued, "Care was provided based on this definition of subluxation and its role on the body."

After six months of chiropractic care, a reassessment was performed. The reassessment showed that prior to chiropractic care, the man's blood pressure was 170/110 mm-Hg. After six months of chiropractic care, the patient's blood pressure had improved and stabilized to 128/80 mm-Hg. To help with his anxiety, the patient also started stress management skills and counseling. With both chiropractic and this approach, the study records that his medical doctor was able to take him off all prescription medications for both anxiety and hypertension. The man also reported that his neck pain, energy level, and ability to function had improved.

In their conclusion the authors wrote, "This case report demonstrates resolution and successful chiropractic treatment of an anxiety disorder and hypertension in a 60-year-old male. The review of literature shows positive effects of chiropractic care for the treatment of an anxiety disorder and hypertension, and provides supporting evidence for the use of chiropractic for these conditions."


Improvement in Multiple Sclerosis Symptomatology in a Patient Undergoing Chiropractic Care

The Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research published a study on August 24, 2015, documenting the case of a man with multiple sclerosis (MS) showing a decrease in symptoms and an increase in his quality of life with chiropractic care. Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory, demyelinating disease of the central nervous system.

The study reports that MS is the most common disabling autoimmune disease in young adults affecting approximately 250,000 people in the U.S. primarily between the ages of 20 and 50. MS affects the central nervous system and creates a variety of symptoms and problems. Problems can include in-coordination, optic neuritis, mild sensory or motor symptoms, numbness, handwriting difficulties, headaches, and depression.

In this case, a 49-year-old woman suffering from MS went to the chiropractor. She had been diagnosed with MS years earlier in 1996. This diagnosis was confirmed by MRI studies. The first symptom she noticed was an uncontrollable shaking feeling in her body that was relieved by exercise.

Upon going to the chiropractor, she was suffering with neck pain, difficultly writing, fatigue, head instability, severe neck and upper back pain and stiffness, loss of grip strength in her hands, cold hands/feet, ringing in the ears, vertigo, blurred vision, photo-phobia, and allergies. Her MS was causing difficulty in talking and affecting her ability to drive a car.

A chiropractic examination showed a reduced range of motion in both the neck and lower back along with postural abnormalities. A thermal scan was performed which showed abnormal temperature variations in the neck area. X-rays were taken of the cervical spine which showed misalignments in the upper neck area.

It was determined that the woman had vertebral subluxations present in her neck. Chiropractic care was begun using specific adjustments designed to address the subluxations found in the woman's neck.

After care was ongoing, the patient was given a questionnaire to record her progress of her adjustments. She recorded a marked improvement in her driving ability, allergies, cold hands/feet, vertigo, blurry vision, ringing in ears, fatigue, neck pain, and upper back pain. She also reported that her prior complaints had not returned since she began chiropractic care. She even showed moderate improvement in her writing ability and her head instability.

The study authors note that MS is considered an immune system problem that causes the neurological issues. To help explain how chiropractic can have a positive effect on MS, the authors wrote, "Studies have shown that when the nervous system is not working properly it will impair the immune system because of the numerous connections between the two. Chiropractic adjustments aim to remove subluxations interference in the nervous system. This will help restore the body's ability to be in a state of homeostasis and respond to both changes in the internal and external environment, improving overall health, and allowing the body to heal."


Deadly Hospital Infections Will Rise Unless Changes are Made

An August 10, 2015, Consumer Reports article carried the headline above. This article began by reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimate that each year, 648,000 people who are admitted to hospitals develop infections from their stay. Additionally, approximately 78,000 die each year from these infections.

Hospital infections have become one of the most deadly health issues in the U.S. healthcare system. According to the CDC as reported in a New York Post article on August 26, 2015, it is estimated that hospital infections kill more people each year that breast cancer and AIDS combined.

The Consumer Report article states that, "The CDC finds improved infection control and antibiotic prescribing could save 37,000 lives in five years." The article notes that while some hospitals are doing a fairly good job, others, in the 3000 they surveyed, are not.

One of the issues is a lack of uniform way to deal with infection prevention. The CDC suggests that "...hospitals need to implement measures proven to keep patients safe." This suggests that certain hospitals are not utilizing the best practices for infection control. This also suggests that there is limited or no oversight for such control.

The CDC also suggests that "...hospitals need to coordinate with each other and with state and local health departments." Again this suggests that such coordination does not currently exist.

"The current threat of antibiotic resistance in health care settings suggests that historical independent institution-based efforts to prevent transmission have been inadequate," the CDC study said. "Coordinated prevention approaches led by public health agencies, when coupled with intensified facility-based prevention programs, have the potential to more completely address the emergence and dissemination of these organisms."

If the CDC meets their stated goal of reducing deaths by 37,000, the death rate, according to their numbers, would still be 41,000 deaths due to hospital infections per year. This number of hospital caused infections should not be an acceptable number by anyone's standards.

Dr. George Curry, president of the International Chiropractors Association commented on this issue, "Everyone in healthcare must work diligently to prevent infections caused by healthcare facilities." He continued, "But perhaps the best way to prevent hospital infections is to stay out of the hospital in the first place. Yes we all agree that there are circumstances that arise that make a trip to the hospital unavoidable, but perhaps as a society, if we focused more on health and the things that keep us healthy, there would be less reason to be in a hospital in the first place."


2015 British Open Champion, Zach Johnson, Relies on Chiropractic Care for Optimal Health and Athletic Performance

Chiropractic is credited for helping Zach Johnson, 2015 British Open golf champion perform at his best. A July 29, 2015, release from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) explains that chiropractic helps athletes perform at their highest potential.

The release begins by noting that, "According to experts at the F4CP, the good health and impressive athletic performance displayed by Johnson can, in part, be attributed to the care he receives from doctors of chiropractic (DC), including his father, Dr. David Johnson and PGA Tour chiropractor, Dr. Troy Van Biezen."

Dr. David Johnson, a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, noted that his son receives regular adjustments both on and off the PGA Tour. He stated, "Zach has been receiving chiropractic care his entire life. Throughout his professional career, Zach has relied on chiropractic to help prevent, manage and treat the wide array of injuries that athletes are susceptible to, and to help keep his body functioning at its best."

The release also noted that many pro golfers are under chiropractic care. In addition to Zach Johnson, several other professional golfers, including 2015 Masters Tournament and U.S. Open winner, Jordan Spieth, depend on chiropractic care. Many receive the care from the PGA Tour chiropractor, Dr. Troy Van Biezen.

"Over the years, chiropractic care has become a foundational health care element offered to amateur and professional athletes, including golfers, to help alleviate pain and prepare the body for peak athletic performance," states Dr. Van Biezen, a graduate of Parker University. "Regular chiropractic care helps to maintain proper postural balance, reduce the risk of injury, and improve recovery time and overall health."

To help bring awareness of the benefits of chiropractic to the general public, both Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth have agreed to participate in the "Champions of Chiropractic" program initiated by the F4CP. The F4CP release notes, "With growing evidence on the dangers of short and long-term pain medication, the chiropractic profession is the largest health provider group offering non-pharmaceutical care with a record of cost savings and high patient satisfaction scores."

"The public must be informed of the countless health benefits associated with chiropractic," states Mr. Kent Greenawalt, chairman of the F4CP. "This tremendous level of positive exposure is exactly what the profession needs to advance to the next level and help individuals of all ages receive the care they deserve!"


New Animal Hospital Offers Chiropractic Care for Pets

The headline above is from a story that appeared in the Effingham Daily News on August 27, 2015. The story highlights the increased roll chiropractic is playing in the health of animals while reporting on a specific new facility for animal chiropractic care.

The article begins by noting that a new facility, St. Francis Animal Hospital of Effingham County, Georgia, has made chiropractic care an important part of the offering for their animal patients suffering from movement or stiffness issues. Dr. Earl Annable, a veterinarian and co-founder of the new animal hospital, treated his four legged patients with traditional veterinary medicine for years before studying and including chiropractic into his care.

The article explains chiropractic care for animals by stating, "Chiropractic care involves the restoration of the spine to normal, using quick thrusts to a mal-aligned vertebrae. Even normal everyday movement and wear and tear, and especially trauma, can create a vertebrae movement out of line."

Dr. Annable responded, "It's like wheels on your car. When your wheels are out of alignment, the car won't steer right. It's the same thing with your body." He continued, "Almost everybody can potentially benefit from this (chiropractic area of care). I've worked at so many different places and at that time, it really wasn't on my radar. But it wasn't long after learning about animal chiropractic care that I jumped on it and took the courses to become certified."

Annable noted in the article that he has not abandoned traditional veterinary medicine but has integrated that care with chiropractic. "This isn't a one or another method of care only," said Annable. "I can now use both traditional medicine and animal chiropractic in a complementary way. It isn't here to just replace one or the other. I want people to know that the two can work together and complement one another."

In explaining how chiropractic benefits animals, Annable stated, "Nerves control everything that happens in your animals." Anything adversely affecting the nervous system will have detrimental effects that will resonate throughout the entire body." He continued, "I love the idea of being able to help an animal feel better by using just my hands. It's real. If we can just promote the body's God-given ability to heal and regulate itself, it can do wonders to restore normal abilities and health."

Dr. Annable continued his explanation by pointing out, "If the vertebrae are off or twisted just a little, those nerves going to the kidney or to a muscle for examples, won't function as normally and healthily as they would otherwise. There's going to be a little nerve impairment if those spaces are infringed upon." He concluded, "Just as benefits of human chiropractic care have become more accepted over time, so too is the hope for animal chiropractic care."


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