January 2003 Issue

In this issue:


Chiropractors Paul Boris (left), and Andrew Giran pause to talk about their practice at a truck stop near the Interstate 70 exit for Smithton, Pa. - Keith Srakocic/The Associated PressDriving Home the Benefits of Chiropractic

A story disseminated on January 8, 2003 by the Associated Press highlighted the benefits of chiropractic care for truck drivers.  Drs. Paul Boris (left), and Andrew Giran (right) have an interesting chiropractic practice at a truck stop, helping those who cross the open road. 

The article starts by relating the story of Erwin Daugherty, a 71 year old trucker from Quinlan, Texas.  Daugherty regularly stops at  the Smithton Travel Center, a truck stop about 25 miles south of Pittsburgh, not to get his 18 wheeler truck checked, but rather to get his spine checked.  "I’d see a chiropractor every week if I could," Daugherty said.  "About the only way I get to see a chiropractor is one that had truck parking,’’ Daugherty said in a telephone interview Tuesday from Texas, where he was driving a load of automobile tires. ‘‘So when the chiropractors started putting offices near truck stops, it really made it handy for me."

Daugherty has found about nine chiropractors who operate at or near truck stops in Arizona, Missouri and Texas. "If I just happen to find one that's close to a truck stop, I'll put them in my cell phone and say, 'Hey, I'm on my way."

It is estimated that 25 million Americans visit a chiropractor each year, according to the American Chiropractic Association. And a growing number of the nation's 65,000 chiropractors have decided to serve truck drivers, a group that really needs their help.  Truckers, who spend hours on the road and sometimes do heavy lifting, are among the most serious sufferers of spinal problems.

Most of the chiropractors who have offices at or near the truck stops say that the majority of the truckers they see also have chiropractors who take care of them when they are home.  The truck-stop-doctors offer help while the truckers are on the road.


Superstar Football Player Depends on Chiropractic for Longevity

A pair of stories from the October 26, 2002 Dallas Morning News and the October 28, 2002 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, report how chiropractic care is helping professional football players such as Emmitt Smith, play longer with less injuries.  The story notes that Smith is only five foot nine inches and weighs only 212 pounds but has missed only seven regular season games, and only four on account of injury.  Because of this longevity and ability to remain relatively injury free Emmitt Smith has become the National Football League's all-time leader in yards rushing.

Early in his career Smith did not have the work ethic that the team though he should have.  He was also suffering from a nagging hamstring injury. He then decided to turn things around.  He told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, " After that season, I decided to invest in me, to keep me going."  He went on to say, "You can have a Ferrari body, but your wheels need balancing. I felt if I took care of my body, I could still function when I got older."

Smith now believes so much in chiropractic that he asked his chiropractor to relocate his practice closer to the practice field.  Presently Emmitt sees his chiropractor, Dr. Rob Parker two or three times per week.  His chiropractor even flies with the team to take care of Emmitt, and a number of other players right up till game-time.

Emmitt Smith, a professional athlete who has first hand knowledge of the benefits of chiropractic concluded by saying, "Some of it may seem hokey to some people, but if you traveled where I've traveled, done what I've done and seen the results that I've been getting, then you'd understand where I'm coming from."


Chiropractic Care Highlighted at Anti-Aging Health Conference

Chiropractic was well represented at the 10th Annual International Congress on Anti-Aging and Biomedical Technologies at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas.  The chiropractic portion of this world-renowned program was hosted by the International Chiropractors Association, (ICA). As reported in the December 13, 2002 issue of the Chiropractic News from the ICA , the International Congress on Anti-Aging and Biomedical Technologies, was the world's largest and most prestigious international conference on anti-aging science. 

The chiropractic portion of the conference included authoritative chiropractic presenters who spoke on the clinical application of chiropractic in the care of the aging population.  Dr. D.D. Humber, ICA President stated, "This inter-disciplinary professional conference represents an important frontier for chiropractic because in a segment of the population awash with prescription drugs, and where one-half of all emergency room presentations by Medicare beneficiaries are related to those prescription drugs, awareness of and access to the benefits of chiropractic care becomes an urgent matter of public health."

The conference focused on  a strong professional awareness and education.  The conference brought together thousands of health professionals to explore the frontiers of prevention, health and healing. Dr. Humber further stated, ""This event provides the chiropractic profession with an opportunity to educate consumers, policy makers, and health care professionals alike on the value of chiropractic as a health care discipline that encourages wellness practices with their patients."



Hockey Referee has Career Saved by Chiropractic

The January 12, 2003 issue of the Washington Post featured an article that highlights the difficulties of being a referee in the National Hockey League.  The article highlights the career of one of hockey's more enduring referees, Andy Van Hellemond, who refereed 1,475 games, more than anyone else in league history.  Van Hellemond, now serves as the NHL's director of officiating.  

During his active career as a referee he broke his hand, broke three ribs and separated his sternum after a collision with Hall of Fame defenseman Larry Robinson along the boards. Van Hellemond was twisted awkwardly upon impact and spent five weeks in the hospital with a badly pinched nerve. He recalls the effects of his injury, "I couldn't feel my right leg for the longest time," Van Hellemond said. "They would put pins and needles in my leg up to my hip and I didn't feel a thing. It was completely blocked."  The article then explains that his career was saved by chiropractic. The article stated, "Eventually a chiropractic adjustment saved Van Hellemond's career."

Van Hellemond, was elected into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1999. He is also at the vanguard of a sweeping evaluation system in which every official travels with a laptop computer and receives daily critiques via e-mail and video downloads.  He was also the first official to wear a helmet.  His innovations and contributions to hockey would have been sorely missed had his career been cut short.  Andy Van Hellemond, and Chiropractic have made their mark in hockey's history.


Canadian Poll Says Snow Shoveling Number One Cause of Winter Back Pain

A new poll from Canada points to snow shoveling as the leading cause of back and neck pain during the winter months. In the poll, 73 per cent of Ontario chiropractors surveyed say improper shoveling technique tops the list of reasons for winter back pain problems. 

The story, reported in the January 9, 2003 Canadian News Wire, Quotes Dr. Dennis Mizel, President of the Ontario Chiropractic Association, who said, "Chiropractors are finding that some patients experience back and neck pain as a result of improper snow shoveling technique. Improper technique can be anything from bending at the waist instead of the knees to throwing snow instead of pushing it. When you combine improper technique with the average weight of one shovelful of snow (five to seven pounds) it becomes even more evident that this is a serious problem for both adults and the children who help them."

Dr. Kristina Peterson, a chiropractor in Thunder Bay was also quoted in the article, "Back problems can surface in patients during the winter, especially those who are unaccustomed to participating in challenging physical activity on a regular basis. Activities requiring exertion that is higher than one's daily routine such as winter sports or pushing stuck cars can cause back injuries. However, snow shoveling is the number one reason patients present with back pain in the winter."

The Ontario Chiropractic Association offers the following preventive measures to help keep backs in shape:

  1. Warm-up. Before beginning any snow removal, warm-up for five to ten minutes to get the joints moving and increase blood circulation. A good warm-up should include stretches for the back, shoulders, arms and legs. This will ensure that your body is ready for action.

  2. Don't let the snow pile up. Removing small amounts of snow on a frequent basis is less strenuous in the long run.

  3. Pick the right shovel. Use a lightweight push-style shovel. If you use a metal shovel, spray it with Teflon first so snow won't stick.

  4. Push, don't throw. Push the snow to one side and avoid throwing it as much as possible. If you have to throw, avoid twisting and turning - position yourself to throw straight at the snow pile.

  5. Bend your knees. Use your knees, leg and arm muscles to do the pushing and lifting while keeping your back straight.

  6. Take a break. If you feel tired or short of breath, stop and take a rest. Stop shoveling immediately if you feel chest or back pain.


Australian Chiropractors Urge Reduction in Emotional Stress to Help Spine

From the Australian news service "F2 Network" comes an article that informs people that emotional stress can have a negative effect on the spine. The article, dated January 6, 2003 quotes Dr. Anthony Coxon, President of the Chiropractor's Association of Australia (Victoria) who says, "While most people understood that physical stress can cause back pain, emotional pressure can also affect the spine.  Many people think of back problems as being the result of physical knocks, bad posture and lifting things the wrong way. But all emotions will trigger a response in the nervous system. In particular, emotional stress can result in back and neck pain caused by vertebral subluxations (partial dislocations)."

The article notes that vertebral subluxations happen when the bones of your spine are locked in an abnormal position and interfere with the correct functioning of the nervous system.  Dr Coxon said a recent study showed a direct link between psychological stress and increased loading on the spine, but that the effects vary from person to person with "introverts" being affected the most.

Dr Coxon explained how the study was conducted.  "Participants in the study were hooked up to a lumbar motion monitor and automatic blood pressure and heart rate monitors, then asked to lift an object five times." Dr Coxon continued, "Participants were also required to fill out personality profiles. Before each experiment was completed, the session was interrupted and the tester left the room."  He then explained that during the first stage the tester was friendly and encouraging, but on return they became agitated and highly critical of the participant.

"The introduction of stress into the activity had significant detrimental effects on the spine and surrounding muscles. There was an immediate increase in muscle activity and load on the spine." Dr Coxon said the study showed that the effects of stress varied according to gender and that `introverts', `intuitors' and `thinkers' bore the brunt of the pressure.


A Chiropractic Story With a Happy Ending

A story appeared in the December 22, 2002 Newsday newspaper telling of an asthmatic woman named Vanessa.  On September 15, 2002, Vanessa had a severe asthma attack which caused her to stop breathing, suffer cardiac arrest, and slip into a coma. It was estimated that her heart had stopped for as much as 10 minutes before paramedics could restart it. At the hospital, her family was not given much hope. If she did pull through, they were told, the chances for severe brain damage were great. 

Vanessa had been battling asthma all of her life. But this attack almost cost the young women her life.  Vanessa's coma was severe. Although her eyes were opened, nobody saw any indication that she could see. Doctors speculated that the part of her brain most likely to have been damaged by oxygen deprivation probably would render her blind. For her loved ones and family who stayed with her the coma was torturous and disturbing to observe. Vanessa clenched her fists. Her legs moved constantly, almost as if she were riding a bicycle.

Two of Vanessa's relatives were patients of a chiropractor, Dr. Andy Forelli. They told Dr. Forelli of the heartbreaking story of Vanessa.  Being moved, Dr. Forelli offered to drive to see Vanessa, being unaware that Vanessa was in a hospital two and a half hours away.  The family accepted Dr. Forelli's offer so he made the trip.

Dr. Forelli arrived to Vanessa's room on the evening of Sept. 30.  There the family told him that the doctors had been talking that day about putting Vanessa in a nursing home. Vanessa's mother Siobhan,  recalls what happened next, "He put his hands on Vanessa's face and spoke to her," Siobhan said, "and she looked right at him and furrowed her brow, as if to say, 'Who the hell are you?' At that moment, we knew that she could see. He adjusted her neck. She winced, and then she smiled. He went around to the other side of the bed, and she furrowed her brow again, and he adjusted her neck from that side, and she smiled, closed her eyes, and went to sleep. He and I then spoke for maybe 15 minutes, and he got in the car and drove back to New York."

"That night, I called every two hours, and the nurses said she was really quiet, almost still," Siobhan said. "The next morning, October 1st, she was sleeping, no agitated movements, no clenched fists. At 11 o'clock, the nurse came into bathe her. The nurse said to me, 'I think she's trying to talk to us.' She said to Vanessa, 'Do you know who that is? That's your Mom.'" 

Vanessa spent five more days in the hospital and 16 days in a Rehabilitation Center. Dr. Forelli saw her one more time, with again, remarkable results. Vanessa now has resumed her old life and is a regular patient of a local chiropractor closer to where she lives.  Siobhan summed up the situation at the end of the story by saying, "Her whole health system has done a complete turnaround.  She used to always carry a hand-held asthma medication called Preventil. She doesn't even carry it any more."


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