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Craig Roberts, Chiropractor, Grass Valley CA
DocRoberts Holistic Health Blog
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Monday 4/28/2014 Chiropractic for Lumbar Disc Herniation

There has been a large body of evidence collected over the past 30 years on chiropractic treatment of lumbar disc herniation. A new study looked at both acute and chronic pain patients with a lumbar disc herniation evidenced by MRI. This study had results in line with past studies "Significant improvement for all outcomes at all time points was reported (P < .0001). At 3 months, 90.5% of patients were "improved" with 88.0% "improved" at 1 year. Although acute patients improved faster by 3 months, 81.8% of chronic patients reported "improvement" with 89.2% "improved" at 1 year. There were no adverse events reported." The evidence suggests that chiropractic should be the first modality tried for lumbar disc herniation--rather the condition is acute or chronic. Read the study here...http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24636109

Monday 4/28/2014 Chiropractic, Low Back Pain, and Pregnancy

Over 60% of pregnant women will experience back pain during pregnancy. As a chiropractor I have found it extremely rewarding to treat these women, as low back pain is the last thing they should have to think about! A new study confirms my experience. The study looked at chiropractic intervention for mothers-to-be with low back pain and found that "52% of 115 recruited patients 'improved' at 1 week, 70% at 1 month, 85% at 3 months, 90% at 6 months and 88% at 1 year." I know of no other modality that has such dramatic results. This is doubly important considering new research linking over the counter pain medication, particularly Tylenol, to higher rates of ADHD and autism and children. Read the study here...http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24690125.

Monday 4/28/2014 Tylenol, ADHD, and Autism

An article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2014 demonstrates a link between acetaminophen (Tylenol) use during pregnancy and behavioral problems in children. The researchers found that one half of pregnant mothers used Tylenol while pregnant. The children of these mothers had a 37% in hyperkinetic disorders (Hyperkinetic disorder is a psychiatric syndrome emerging in early childhood featuring an enduring pattern of severe, developmentally inappropriate inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity across different settings (e.g., home and school) that significantly impair academic, social and work performance), and were 29% more likely to use ADHD medications. Read the study at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=acetaminophen+pregnancy+hyperkinetic. A second article, published in May of 2013, found a strong relation between Tylenol use and Autism. The authors showed in particular that circumcised boys who were given tylenol had an increased risk of an autism diagnosis, and the authors posed that this is one reason for higher levels of autism in males. Read the study here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=prenatal+and+perinatal+analgesic+exposure+and+autism.

Wednesday 10/24/2012 High Fructose Corn Syrup and Your Liver

A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition demonstrated disease-promoting changes in liver function with consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).  The authors discuss the dramatic increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as a direct effect of HFCS intake.  They describe the following effects on metabolism of 6 days of increased HFCS intake:

  • A doubling of VLDL and total triglycerides in the liver
  • An increased efficiency of turning fructose into liver fat
  • A significant decrease in the ability to break down VLDL triglycerides
  • A significant increase in liver fat 

In an editorial on the article the author states "One of the most remarkable medical developments over the past 3 decades is the emergence of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) as a public health problem in the United States and internationally. When I was a medical resident in the early 1980s, chronic liver disease was almost always due to alcohol intake, viral infection, or hepatobiliary conditions. Now, the leading cause of chronic elevations in liver enzymes in the serum is NAFLD."

HFCS is a major contributor to weight gain, fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, and ultimately heart disease and diabetes.  Please note that agave necter--a popular natural sweetener, is higher in fructose than HFCS, and likely has the same effects!  Read the study here.

Monday 5/9/2011 Vitamin D Revisited

I've been talking a lot about vitamin D in the past few years.  New data suggests that inflammation is the culprit for the incredibly high incidence of deficiency of this nutrient.  Low levels of vitamin D have been correlated with high incidences of cancer, heart disease, autoimmune disorders, poorly functioning immune systems, and musculoskeletal disorders.

A new study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 2 days after knee surgery serum levels of vitamin D dropped 40%, and that three months later levels were still 20-30% below presurgery levels.  These researchers showed that this directly correlated with acute inflammation after surgery.  Surprisingly, they also found that the study participants were deficient in vitamin D before the surgery--so deficient that they had secondary hyperparathyroidism!

More research is linking vitamin D to musculoskeletal disorders.  A recent study in Headache shows that headache increases with latitude and during seasons with shorter days.  They correlated this information with evidence that vitamin D has alleviated headaches in some studies to form a hypothesis that Vitamin D deficiency plays a key role in the development of headache in some people.

Another recent study from the Scandinavian Journal of Primary Care  found " a high prevalence of hypovitaminosis D in patients with non-specific musculoskeletal pain, headache, or fatigue."

Inflammation is likely at the root of many cases of vitamin D deficiency, and all chronic degenerative diseases.  If your D is low, get a test that compares Arachodonic Acid to EPA--this is a sensitive test for inflammation that compares omega-6's to 3's in your body.  If this ration is off it will deplete your vitamin D and erode your health.  For more info on omega-3's in health, search my website.

The moral of the story is, get your D tested!

Sunday 5/8/2011 Chiropractic and Disability

Very cool.  A new study from the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Studies did something I've been hoping they'd do.  They looked at 894 cases of low back pain that resulted in worker's compensation claims.  They compared the results in these cases based on whether the patients saw a medical doctor, a physical therapist, or a chiropractor.  The results were astonishing.  The people who saw the medical doctors were 60% more likely than the people who saw the chiropractors to have disability recurrence.  The people who were treated by the physical therapist were twice as likely to have a recurrence than the people who saw the chiropractors.  Please read that again!

Chiropractors receive more training in treating low back pain without surgery than anyone on earth.  This training, coupled with the incredible power of the chiropractic adjustment to help the body to heal itself provides patients with the best chance to obtain the best result in healing.  What blows my mind is that every person in the USA is not referred to a Chiropractor as a first contact when low back pain occurs.  I am not anti-MD or anti-physical therapist--I refer patient to both professions when its appropriate, but I do believe, and the facts support, that we'd have a healthier country if Chiropractic were the first treatment option for all musculoskeletal injuries.

Read the study.

Sunday 5/8/2011 Chiropractic plus Laser

Another study just came out supporting the use of both low level laser and chiropractic for neck pain.  The researchers divided people with cervical facet pain (the most common type of chronic neck pain--particularly in whiplash injuries) into three groups; the first had chiropractic adjustments alone, the second had low level laser alone, and third group had a combination of the two.  To be in the study people had to have at least 30 days of neck pain caused by the facet joints.

All three groups improved with 2 weeks of treatment.  The group getting the combination of low level laser and chiropractic had the best results.  These results, along with previous studies, are very significant for two reasons.  First, the results demonstrate a very effective way to treat neck pain.  Second, both Chiropractic care and low level laser therapy are extremely safe--this is in contrast with drugs such as aspirin, NSAIDs, and tylenol.  Those drugs literally cause 36,500 deaths per year when used as indicated.  NSAIDs are a leading cause of kidney disease, and tylenol is the leading cause of liver failure.  Besides the side effects, they simply do not work for anything other than temporary relief of symptoms--a previous study has show that in the short term chiropractic is dramatically more effective when it comes to pain control, and in the long term chiropractic benefits persist, where as drug induced symptom reduction does not.

Read the study.

Friday 1/7/2011 Eat Your Breakfast

 For many of us life is hectic, and often the morning is when we don't take the time to do those things we need to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle--a walk, some time to ourselves, and a good breakfast.

A new study shows that skipping breakfast is detrimental to our health in many ways--read the following excerpted from the study:

"participants who skipped breakfast in both childhood and adulthood had a larger waist circumference and higher fasting insulin , total cholesterol , and LDL cholesterol  concentrations than did those who ate breakfast at both time points. Additional adjustments for diet quality and waist circumference attenuated the associations with cardiometabolic variables, but the differences remained significant. Conclusions: Skipping breakfast over a long period may have detrimental effects on cardiometabolic health. Promoting the benefits of eating breakfast could be a simple and important public health message."

Simply put, regularly skipping breakfast can make you fat, make you lose metabolic control, and eventually lead to heart disease and or diabetes.  Take the time to eat a healthy breakfast every morning.  If you're a parent take the time to instill good eating habits in your child by giving them time to enjoy breakfast before rushing out the door.

Read the study here.

Friday 1/7/2011 Cocoa For Your Gut

A new study shows that Cocoa is beneficial to the flora of your gut.  The daily consumption of cocoa for 4-weeks significantly increased levels of bifidobacterial and lactobacilli in the gut.  These bacteria are the hallmark of healthy gut function and healthy nutrient absorption.  Additionally, high counts of these bacteria have been associated with healthy immune function.  

The researchers also saw a reduction in triglycerides (high triglycerides are associated with heart disease and diabetes), and a decrease in C-reactive protein which is a sensitive marker of inflammation associated with risk of heart attack.  Several other studies in recent years have shown that regular consumption of dark chocolate can lower blood pressure. 

I recommend getting powdered, unprocessed, unsweetened cocoa from your health food store.  It can be easily used in smoothies and sweetened with a banana or berries for a chocolaty, health giving meal!

Read the study here.

Monday 12/20/2010 Chiropractic for Sciatica

A new study looked at the effects of three months of chiropractic care in people with lumbar disc injury that caused nerve compression (sciatica).  The people had to have failed a three-month course of care "including treatment with analgesics, lifestyle modification, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and/or acupuncture."  

The study found that "Sixty percent of patients with sciatica who had failed other medical management benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention."  This is yet another study demonstrating that for persistent low back problems chiropractic treatment is very effective, even where other modalities fail. 

There is a misconception, particularly in the medical field, that lumbar disc injury is a contraindication for chiropractic care.  To the contrary, it should be considered a first-line treatment!  It should be noted that this study was authored by both chiropractors and neurosurgeons.

Read the study.


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