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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Another study contributes to the body of literature supporting chiropractic care for headaches. The study divided patients into 3 groups--one group had 16 adjustments over 8 weeks, one group had 8 adjustments over 8 weeks, one group had 8 massages over 8 weeks, and one group had 16 massages over 8 weeks.
A new review published in Lancet reviewed data from 16 studies including 820 patients regarding the use of low level laser for neck pain. The authors concluded "We show that LLLT (low level laser therapy) reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain."
This is an important review for two reasons. First, the authors included only high quality, randomized trials that compared the treatment group against a placebo group. Second, there was no conflictive funding for the review. This produces strong evidence for a benefit of low level laser. I've been using a laser in my office for several years now, and it never ceases to amaze me how such a simple device can bring so much relief!
Read the review here.
A new study did something very interesting--it compared natural medicine (supplements, diet, lifestyle) to psychotherapy for the treatment of anxiety. The result was:
"Both NC (naturopathic care) and PT (psychotherapy) led to significant improvements in patients' anxiety. Group comparison demonstrated a significant decrease in anxiety levels in the NC group over the PT group. Significant improvements in secondary quality of life measures were also observed in the NC group as compared to PT. The whole system of naturopathic care for anxiety needs to be investigated further including a closer examination of the individual components within the context of their additive effect. "
Why would the naturopathic group do better? We have an unfortunate assumption in our culture--that mood based problems are "all in the head". Anxiety and other mood disorders are a whole-person issue! The crux of holistic medicine is that every system, and indeed every cell in the body exists in a complex coordinated dance with every other system. You cannot isolate the brain from the body. In this study the naturopathic treatment consisted of Ashwagandha supplementation, deep breathing exercises, counseling, and a standard multi-vitamin for 6-weeks. This was a very generic program. I have seen remarkable improvements in anxiety with a protocol very similar to this, but also including specific treatment directed to the individual's nervous system. A detailed examination can reveal parts of the nervous system that are under or over-functioning. Amazing results occur when the dysfunctioning nervous system is corrected through chiropractic. This and other research is beginning to change the landscape of treating anxiety disorders toward a more holistic approach.
Another study shows cardiovascular benefits from milk. The study followed 2,225 people over age 55 for 6 years. By the end, high dairy consumption was associated with a 20% reduction in the risk of hypertension. If you have read my raw milk page, you know that raw milk is full of benefits including cancer prevention, weight loss, improved gut function, improved immune systems, bone building, and cardiovascular benefit.
This new study is the last chink in the armor of the "low fat, less dairy" argument for heart disease prevention. High blood pressure is one of the greatest risk factors for both heart disease and stroke, and for decades it's been preached that a low-fat diet was the answer. Unfortunately, despite the implementation of guidelines for less saturated fat and increased consumption of such dead foods as canola oil and aspartame, hypertension is incredibly prevalent. It is time that we quit following "expert" guidelines and ate a healthy, whole-food, non-processed diet.
Remember too, that chiropractic care has been proven to be more effective than medication--the following is a quote from WebMD:
This procedure (chiropractic adjustment) has the effect of not one, but two blood-pressure medications given in combination, study leader George Bakris, MD, tells WebMD. "And it seems to be adverse-event free. We saw no side effects and no problems," adds Bakris, director of the University of Chicago hypertension center. Eight weeks after undergoing the procedure, 25 patients with early-stage high blood pressure had significantly lower blood pressure than 25 similar patients who underwent a sham chiropractic adjustment. Because patients can't feel the technique, they were unable to tell which group they were in.
Over the years there have been numerous case reports of chiropractic curing tinnitus. Recently, the International Tinnitus Journal published a paper titled "The Potential Role of Joint Injury and Eustachian Tube Dysfunction in the Genesis of Secondary Meniere’s Disease."
This paper states the following:
In essence, what the authors are saying is that a dysfunctional cervical spine causes a disturbance in the nervous system where the sympathetic, or "fight or flight" nervous system, becomes hyperactive. This results in blood vessel constriction to organs, including the middle ear. It also results in "neurogenic inflammation"--a state where inflammation occurs even in the absence of injury. The authors also acknowledge the power of chiropractic to reverse these changes. I can attest to this, as I have seen it in my clinic.
The most important take-away from this article is that spinal dysfunction disturbs the nervous system such that distant organs can suffer. "Back pain" is just one symptom in a system wide disorder, and chiropractic has the answer!
Read the article here.