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In this issue:

Chiropractors Help in Time of Tragedy

The events of September 11th 2001 have affected and changed us all in some way forever.  Most of us were shocked and horrified at how such a thing could occur.  For many our next feeling was probably anger and a desire to strike back.  Then came an overwhelming desire to help in some way. 

In watching the news we noticed that people from all over the world showed support and reached out for those most affected.  As chiropractors many in our profession wanted to help in the best way we knew how.  It was this desire to do something and help that lead to an amazing outreach by chiropractors in both New York and in Washington.  

At both the site of the World Trade Center and at the Pentagon in Washington DC chiropractors set up help stations to adjust the firefighters, police and rescue workers who were  on site at ground zero.  At these locations chiropractors provided round the clock chiropractic care free of charge to all who requested it. Thousands of relief workers responded as each station was continually busy with help being provided to those who were themselves helping. 

In Washington at the US Pentagon, the International Chiropractors Association was asked to provide chiropractic services to Pentagon rescue and security personnel.  Immediately chiropractors started working in three shifts to provide assistance.

To assist the rescue workers at the Pentagon, "Camp Unity" was set up using an extensive tent space provided by the Public Safety (police, fire and rescue) chaplains of greater Washington.  In Camp Unity more than two dozen chiropractors were working in long shifts to adjust all who need chiropractic care at the site. "Our patients include military personnel of all ranks and from all services, law enforcement, fire and rescue units on duty and other volunteers working with the Red Cross and Salvation Army," said Dr. Coralee Van Egmond a local chiropractor. "The response has been tremendous and reflects the vital need for the unique services doctors of chiropractic provide. In sometimes harsh conditions, our chiropractors have given care to as many as 300 people a day, and have worked ten and twelve hour shifts that last long into the night and early morning hours."

One of the chiropractors giving his time at the New York site, Dr. Robert Davis,  summed up his experience by saying. "One of the firemen I adjusted told me the best thing anyone can do to help all the rescue workers is to just support them and...Pray for them."

To read more stories of chiropractors involved in helping the rescue workers please visit, http://www.wcanews.com/archives/2001/oct/oct0101a.htm and http://www.chiropractic.org/news/disaster_relief.htm.


Communicating With Children About Disasters

The events of September 11th affected everyone personally in some way.  Children were also affected, and probably more than we think.  Just from watching news broadcasts children have been impacted in ways we are only beginning to notice.  Teachers are even reporting that in art classes, small children are drawing chilling pictures of the Twin Towers with planes crashing into them.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has released some points of advice to assist in helping children's emotional health.  These points were published on September 12, 2001 on the Intelihealth web site. The points they advise are:

Chiropractors also recognize that this time of stress effects, and is affected by nervous interference from subluxations.  It is therefore very important that children be chiropractically checked for subluxations and adjusted as needed.


Minor Pressure On Nerves Causes Problems

A paper published in the September 2001 issue of the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research confirms what chiropractors have been saying for 106 years.  The study's title is, "The Effects of Mild Compression on Spinal Nerve Roots With Implications for Models of Vertebral Subluxation and the Clinical Effects of Chiropractic Adjustment: A Review of the Literature." The author is George Muhs, D.C., Assistant Professor of Clinical Services at the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic and Scott Alderson D.C., a chiropractor in private practice.

This paper was a thorough review of scientific literature that dealt with research on nerve pressure at the spinal level.  This is the nerve pressure seen in vertebral subluxations.  Chiropractors have maintained that small amounts of nerve pressure can cause malfunction and ill-health.  The results of this review helped further prove the chiropractic premise. 

The research revealed that "as little as 10 mm Mercury pressure can alter the nerve root and dorsal root ganglion's ability to function normally". The authors concluded that "these alterations would therefore alter the quality and/or quantity of the message sent. At the tissue and cellular level, the message received would not be adequate for the function the body demands. The entire body could then theoretically be affected."  The authors also noted "The concept that a vertebral subluxation can induce pressure increases at the level of the IVF (Intervertebral Foramen)  is supported by the literature. This increase, though seemingly mild, is enough to alter nerve function."  They continued "The chiropractic adjustment can effect a restoration of normal H-reflex (nerve function) in compressed nerve roots. 

The bottom line, science proves what chiropractic patients have known for over 100 years. 


Sore Throats Unnecessarily Treated With Antibiotics

The above headline is from the September 12, 2001 issue of Intelihealth.  The first sentence of the report then goes on to say, "Primary-care doctors are still unnecessarily prescribing antibiotics to adults who come to their office complaining of a sore throat."  This report was based on a study from  a retrospective study carried out by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and at Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention in Palo Alto, Calif.  The report was published in the Sept. 12, 2001, issue of the Journal Of The American Medical Association. 

The problem is that most adults don‘t develop the type of sore-throat infection that calls for antibiotics. This is because viruses, not bacteria, cause the most common type of sore throat infection in adults. This makes administering of antibiotics totally unnecessary in these cases.  According to the study, doctors prescribed inappropriate antibiotics in 68 percent of visits for adults with sore throats.  However, in spite of this, doctors continue to prescribe antibiotics at a rate between 73 and 78% of the cases of adult sore throat.

Jeffrey A. Linder, M.D., of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and co author of the study said, “If you are going to see a doctor for a sore throat, the expectation should be to not receive an antibiotic. In 1999 we saw a decrease in the use of almost every class of antibiotics,” says Dr. Linder.“ That’s encouraging and may reflect that efforts already may be having some effect. But we need to keep an eye on it.”


Headaches Helped by Chiropractic Says Research

In the September 2001 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics was a report on the effectiveness of chiropractic care, specifically labeled "SMT" in the study, for patients with chronic headaches.  The data for this report was gathered from nine trials involving 683 patients with chronic headache.

In this study chiropractic adjustments (termed SMT in the study) were compared to massage and medications for short term relief of up to six weeks after a month of care.  The question of long term health benefits was not addressed.  Results showed that the chiropractic group did better than the massage group.  The group that received medication also showed relief however, the rate of  side effects for the medication group was considerably higher than the chiropractic group.  This difference gave a decidedly large advantage to chiropractic over the medication.  

According to the report, the financial cost of headaches is great, with billions of dollars spent annually for lost productivity and treatment.  The study also noted that people affected with headaches have commonly been treated by medical practitioners. Recently however, they are increasingly turning to non-medical or alternative therapies for relief.  A recent study from Harvard University  by Dr. Eisenberg reported that one of the most common alternative practitioners sought out for the treatment of headaches was the chiropractor.  This study confirms what most chiropractors and their patients have already known, that chiropractic is one of the most effective avenues of health for headache sufferers. 


Graduating US Physicians Feel Unprepared To Manage Some Common Conditions

The September 5, 2001 Reuters Health story leads with the statement that says "Many physicians completing their residency training feel unprepared to treat conditions common to their specialty."  This report was based on a report in the September 5th Journal of the American Medical Association.  Dr. David Blumenthal from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston told Reuters Health, "One important lesson of our study is that objective data on the preparedness of residents to practice as they complete their training are scarce and that we have a professional responsibility to measure the outcomes of graduate medical education more thoroughly and carefully."

Dr. Blumenthal and colleagues surveyed 2626 graduating residents in primary care  including internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics/gynecology and five other specialties to assess their self-perceived preparedness to provide common clinical services.  The report said that the graduating residents felt ill prepared to manage many common situations. Dr. Blumenthal concluded. "Those who enter routine community practice should be aware that there may be gaps in their preparedness that they will need to remedy later in their practice lives, or that they will need to compensate for in some other ways."

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