September 2003 Issue

In this issue:

Happy 108th Birthday to Chiropractic

On September 18, 1895 the first chiropractic adjustment was given by Dr. DD Palmer, a magnetic healer of the time, to Harvey Lillard.  Mr. Lillard, a janitor in the Ryan building on the corner of Brady and 2nd Street in Davenport Iowa, was nearly totally deaf for 17 years.  After the historic first adjustment, Harvey's hearing returned.  This revelation, led Dr. Palmer to theorize that nerve interference from a spinal bone out of place was the cause of Harvey's hearing loss.  He further postulated that returning the bone to a more normal position might help correct the problem. It was from this simple beginning that the chiropractic profession was born.

On this anniversary, it might be interesting to read the words of Dr. DD Palmer, the founder of chiropractic. We have presented them below.

"Harvey Lillard a janitor in the Ryan Block, where I had my office, had been so deaf for 17 years that he could not hear the racket of a wagon on the street or the ticking of a watch. I made inquiry as to the cause of his deafness and was informed that when he was exerting himself in a cramped, stooping position, he felt something give way in his back and immediately became deaf. An examination showed a vertebrae racked from its normal position. I reasoned that if that vertebra was replaced, the man's hearing should be restored. With this object in view, a half-hour's talk persuaded Mr. Lillard to allow me to replace it. I racked it into position by using the spinous process as a lever and soon the man could hear as before. There was nothing "accidental" about this, as it was accomplished with an object in view, and the result expected was obtained. There was nothing "crude" about this adjustment; it was specific, so much so that no Chiropractor has equaled it."

Within two years Dr. DD Palmer opened the first school of Chiropractic on Brady Street in Davenport. It was his son Dr. BJ Palmer, who continued the school after his death. It is the son, BJ Palmer, who is given credit for growing and developing the profession into what it has become today.

Canadians Want to Avoid Drug Advertising

Allowing direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs in Canada would be a bonanza for the media, generating an estimated $360-million a year in new ads. But the demand it created would also spur as much as $1.2-billion a year in new drug sales.  This was reported in the September 1st issue of the Globe and Mail from Canada.  The concern as reported in the publication, is that the bulk of that expense would be placed on the Canadian Medicare system. 

Opposition to allowing direct-to-consumer drug advertising was strongly stated in the September 1st issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal when the editor, Dr. John Hoey, stated his opinion that prescription drugs should not be advertised in Canada in the same manner as other consumer products because that could lead to dangerous excesses, as has occurred in the United States.

The article noted that pharmaceutical companies spent $2.7-billion (U.S.) on advertising in 2001, more than triple the amount they spent in 1996.  The article noted that for the drug companies, massive advertising pays off very well. For example, for each dollar that went to publicizing the allergy drug Claritin, sales of the drug increased by an estimated $3.50.  The financial return on anti-impotence medication such as Viagra and drugs to counter hair loss are believed to be even higher.

Dr. Hoey went on to say, "By being marketed in media traditionally used to flog cars, fast food and shampoo, prescription drugs have become name-brand commodities, enveloped in the kind of fantasy and desire that surrounds the purchase of lifestyle product."  The article continued, "Further, the barrage of advertising contributes to the 'medicalization' of the normal human condition and transforms people into 'two-legged bundles of diagnoses'."

An additional research article published in the same Canadian Medical Association Journal showed that the higher a patient's exposure to advertising, the more likely that patient was to request advertised prescription drugs.  Chief researcher for that study, Dr. Barbara Mintzes of the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research at the University of British Columbia concluded, "Our results suggest that more advertising leads to more requests for advertised medicines, and more prescriptions."

Backpack Safety is Back-to-School IssueNOT Like This

Concern over children and their backpacks continues to grow.  An article appearing in the September 8, 2003 issue of  The Times Herald features this problem by noting "Trudging their way around the school campus or to the bus stop, hunched-over kids could be dealing themselves a lifetime of back pain, experts warn." 

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that 6,512 emergency room visits each year result from injuries related to book bags. CPSC also cites the statistic that backpack-related injuries are up 256 percent since 1996.  The issue has become so widespread, that the California State Assembly passed legislation that forces school districts to develop ways of reducing the weight of students' backpacks. Other states are also considering similar legislation.

In an online survey conducted last year of more than 200 chiropractors responding from across North America at www.backpacksafe.com, it was learned that:

NOT Like This
  • 89 percent of chiropractors surveyed responded that they have seen patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.
  • 71 percent of chiropractors presently seeing such patients responded that they are currently seeing one to four patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.
  • 20 percent of chiropractors presently seeing such patients responded that they are currently seeing five to nine patients (ages 5-18) reporting back, neck or shoulder pain caused by heavy backpacks.
  • 9 percent of chiropractors presently seeing such patients responded that they are currently seeing 10 or more patients (ages 5-18) due to back, neck or shoulder caused by heavy backpacks.

The American Chiropractic Association has offered the following tips to help prevent backpack problems in school children. Those tips include:

The over-packing of backpacks was featured in a recent study conducted in Italy.  In this study it was found that the average child carries a backpack that would be the equivalent of a 39-pound burden for a 176-pound man, or a 29-pound load for a 132-pound woman.

Risk of Miscarriage With Use of Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs During Pregnancy

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are medications that treat inflammation, pain, and fever. There are several different types of NSAIDs. Some are available over-the-counter (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and ketoprofen) and others can only be obtained by prescription.  A new study published in the August 16, 2003 British Medical Journal finds that prenatal use of NSAIDs and aspirin increased the risk of miscarriage.

The study, based on a sample size of 1,055 pregnant women, points to a five times more likely risk of a miscarriage in women who took NSAIDs at the beginning of their pregnancies compared to women who took them later in their pregnancies. According to the study, there is an 80 per cent increase in the chance of a miscarriage in women who took these NSAIDs at any point in their pregnancy.  The researchers also found that the risk increased when the drugs were used for longer than one week but these risks were not affected by other factors such as drinking alcohol or coffee.

Researcher De-Kun Li from the Kaiser Foundation Research Institute in Oakland, California where the study was conducted says that there was a "striking contrast" between the effects of acetaminophen and that of NSAIDs in the results of this study.

This new study follows up on a study at the University of Aarhus in Denmark in 2001 in which researchers examined patients' medical records and the national birth registry. The team found an association between miscarriages after 28 weeks and NSAID usage in the weeks immediately before the miscarriage.

Pharmacologist Andy Gray of Natal University's Nelson Mandela School of Medicine in South Africa suggests, "Women should avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during pregnancy and not take anything without consulting their doctor."

Chiropractic Care for Children Receives More Press

[ photo ]Two recent news articles feature chiropractic care for general wellness and for children.  One article from the August 28, 2003 Press & Sun Bulletin from Binghamton NY, starts off by featuring 5-year-old Michael Smolinsky as he receives his chiropractic adjustment. Michael's mother Joanne, noted that her son started seeing Dr. McAulliffe three years ago because, after nine months of chronic ear infections, she didn't know where to turn. All of the pediatricians and ear, nose and throat doctors she took her son to couldn't figure out what was wrong and just kept prescribing medication that didn't seem to help. 

"It concerned me," Joanne Smolinsky said. "How much medicine can you put into a 2-year-old child?"  She then recalled that doctors suggested putting tubes in Michael's ears to drain excess fluids.  The idea of putting her son under anesthesia scared her, and after talking to her chiropractor she decided to give chiropractic a shot.  Her medical doctors didn't support the idea, so she couldn't get a referral for insurance purposes.  After receiving chiropractic every six weeks for three years, Michael has had only one ear infection in that time. He also experienced the same good results with dizzy spells that he had been previously having.

Another article featured in the August 18, 2003 Star Online News of North Carolina, starts off by saying, "In recent years, chiropractors nationwide have been increasingly successful in beating the "back-pain only" rap with statistics and growing testimonials about chiropractic care's benefits, for everything from stress and fatigue to sinus trouble and asthma. And whether young or old, folks in Southeastern North Carolina, too, are making use of what's renewing itself as one of the hottest trends in healthcare."

This story highlighted 3-year-old Christian Kent of Leland.  When Christian was a mere 6 months old, he developed recurring ear infections. These ear infections would clear up with medicine, but they would always return. After a year and numerous trips to an ear, nose and throat specialist, it was determined that at a year and a half old, he needed tubes in his ears. Cindy Kent, Christian's mother remembers her initial reaction, "I thought, 'Oh no'." she then continued. "Instead, we brought him to the chiropractor and after six adjustments, the ear infection was gone."

"People should be focused on correcting the root of the problem," said Dr. Reese, a chiropractor interviewed for the article. "This is not an alternative, but its own distinct form of health care. People should have a chiropractor, just like they should have a doctor, a dentist or a mechanic."

Eating Dark Chocolate May Help Prevent Heart Problems

A Reuters Health article of August 27, 2003 reports on research that shows that eating dark chocolate, but not milk chocolate, raises plasma antioxidant levels, an effect that could help protect against heart disease.  The new study from the University of Glasgow, showed eating chocolate increases blood antioxidants but consuming milk at the same time cancels the health benefits.

What are antioxidants?  They are compounds that combine with free radicals in the body and neutralize their damaging effects. What are free radicals? These are highly reactive molecules that are produced through normal body processes, as well as external stimuli such as air pollution and tobacco smoke. These free radicals react with billions of cells in the body and may lead to the development of a number of chronic diseases including cancer, cataracts and heart disease.  There are many studies in the medical journals demonstrating the positive effects of antioxidants on large populations to decrease the frequency of new cancers as well as decrease the recurrence rates in people who already have cancer.  Additionally, antioxidants have been shown to have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system by decreasing the heart attack rate.

Volunteers in the University of Glasgow study were given either plain (dark) chocolate or milk chocolate. Some were also given milk in the double-blind experiment. Then their antioxidant levels were tested. Blood analysis one-hour after dark chocolate was eaten revealed a significant rise in antioxidant levels.  "Those volunteers who had dark chocolate had a 20 percent increase in antioxidants in their plasma," said Alan Crozier, one of the research team. "But those who had milk chocolate, or milk with their dark chocolate, showed no increase in epicatechin plasma levels." 

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