Posts Tagged ‘Wellness’

Common Questions and Myths about the Chiropractor 

Common Questions and Myths about the Chiropractor 

“Once you go to a chiropractor you always have to go for the rest of your life.”Or …“I hear people get addicted to it.”

People do get addicted to feeling better than they have in a long, long time. Will you be going to a dentist, or your medical doctor or optometrist the rest of your life? How long should you exercise or eat right? These are just healthy lifestyle choices. Many people recognize the value of having a nervous system free of interference and choose regular adjustments to keep it that way.

“Why do I need to come in so often?”

We are doing something physical to change your body physically. Two things are required for that: enough frequency over a long enough time, just like getting in shape to run a marathon. It doesn’t matter how out of shape you are. If you work out frequently enough over a long enough period of time you can get into shape to run a marathon.

“Chiropractors aren’t real doctors.”

Our schooling is the same as medical schools. The difference is our philosophy. M.D.’s have two ways to treat: drugs and surgery. Their philosophy is that healing comes from the outside. This pill will make you better, or I’ll remove this body part to make you better. Our philosophy is that healing comes from the inside and our bodies are self healing as long as there is no interference and we give it the right ingredients for health (nutrition and exercise). We remove the interference to the the nervous system.

“Is it going to hurt?”

There are many techniques in chiropractic. One technique in which I specialize uses an adjusting instrument that gently taps to get the bone off of the nerve. Sometimes people go through retracing, which can be uncomfortable but is a wonderful sign because it is the body getting rid of old traumas from the past, allowing for a more complete healing.

“Chiropractic is too expensive.”

Compared to what? Braces for the teeth – $4,000-$6,000, M.R.I. for the full spine, – $1,800-$2,400, Lasik Eye Surgery – $3,500-$5,000, Breast Augmentation – $4,000-$10,000, Dental Implants – $1,250-$3000 per tooth, Year supply of Claritin – $1,200, Year supply of Cholesterol lowering drugs – $1,500 (without doctor visits), 6-12 month Chiropractic care plan – $1,800-$3,600 (plus the savings of getting off of medications), What is the value of having your brain communicate properly with the rest of your body?

“Chiropractic is dangerous”

Studies show that there is very little risk with the chiropractic adjustment and virtually none with the adjustment instrument. Statistically, it is more of a risk to take 2 Advil a day for 2 weeks than to get adjusted. A look at malpractice insurance premium costs says it all; M.D. costs $22,000 – $175,000 per year while Chiropractic malpractice insurance premium costs are $1,500 – $3,000 for the same liability limits.

“Infants and Children should never be adjusted.”

Do they have a spine and a nervous system? One of the biggest traumas we ever go through is being born. Have you ever seen a child learn to walk? They will fall 30 times a day. Children respond to chiropractic care so much faster than adults. They haven’t had the years and years of physical, emotional, chemical stress and traumas that we have accumulated as adults.

If I can crack my own back, why do I need a chiropractor?

There is a big difference between cracking your own back and having a specific spinal adjustment. When someone feels the need to crack their own spine it is a sign that things aren’t working right. When you crack your back, if you don’t mess it up, it will generally feel better but main subluxations (misalignments) can’t be gotten yourself. So a few hours later you feel the need to do it again. All this self cracking creates looseness in the joints that can lead to degeneration. The main subluxations will still be there, creating havoc with your nervous system.

What is a subluxation?

In simplest terms, a subluxation is when one or more of the bones of your spine (Vertebrae) move out of normal position and create pressure on, or irritate spinal nerves. This pressure or irritation on the nerves then causes a change in the signals (or nerve energy) traveling over those nerves. Therefore, the area where the signal ends up will not function the way the brain intends.

So how does Chiropractic help with other health issues besides back pain (i.e. asthma,allergies, ulcers, bowel movements)?.

Well, if a nerve is pinched and it’s responsible for your stomach working, your stomach will decrease its function by as much as 60%. So if your stomach doesn’t digest your food as it should, it could lead to ulcers or acid reflux.

Can I tell if I have a subluxation without consulting a Chiropractor?

Not always. A subluxation is like a dental cavity-you may have it for a long time before symptoms appear. That’s why periodic spinal check-ups are so important. Although it may be possible to know you have a subluxation, it is rarely possible to be sure you don’t. An occasional spinal check-up is always a good idea.

Effectiveness of Adjustments in Chronic Migraine

Effectiveness of Adjustments in Chronic Migraine: Armed Randomized Controlled Trial. Complementary Therapies in Medicine. April 2015; Vol. 23; No. 2; pp. 149—156

Francesco Cerritelli, Liana Ginevri, Gabriella Messi, Emanuele Caprari, Marcello Di Vincenzo, Cinzia Renzetti, Vincenzo Cozzolino, Gina Barlafante, Nicoletta Foschi, Leandro Provincial: This study was carried out in the Department of Neurology of Ancona’s United Hospitals, Ancona, Italy. This article has 54 references.

The primary measurement outcome in this study is the Headache Impact Test (HIT-6); below is the conclusion from the cited reference:

“Our study shows that the HIT-6 is a reliable and valid tool for measuring the impact of headache on daily life in both episodic and chronic migraine sufferers. Furthermore, the HIT-6 tool discriminates well between chronic migraine, episodic migraine and non-migraine patients. As a brief tool, the HIT-6 is easy to score and interpret, and can be readily integrated into clinical practice, or clinical studies of migraine patients. It may offer clinicians a practical and easy-to implement tool to assist them with evaluating treatment effectiveness by obtaining input directly from the patient on aspects other than just the frequency of headache days.”


1) “This manipulative therapy trial is the largest ever conducted on migraine adult patients.” These authors assessed the effectiveness of manipulative treatment on 105 chronic migraine patients using:

• Headache Impact Test (HIT-6) questionnaire [main outcome measure]

• Drug consumption

• Days of migraine

• Pain intensity

• Functional disability

2) This is a randomized controlled trial. Patients received 8 treatments over a period of 6 months. Patients were randomly divided into three groups:


• Manipulation + medication therapy n=35

•• The manipulative techniques used in this study included myofascial release, treatment of ligamentous and membrane tensions, treatment of somatic dysfunctions, and treatment to asymmetries and imbalances in the pelvis and cranium.

• Sham manipulation + medication therapy n=35

•• The sham group received a false manipulation, in addition to drug care.

•• Sham therapy mimicked the manipulative care in terms of evaluation and treatment; it used light manual contact to ‘‘treat’’ the subject.

•• Both manipulative and sham therapy sessions lasted 30 minutes and were given weekly for the first two sessions, biweekly for the subsequent two, then monthly for the remained four sessions.

• Medication only n=35

3) “Migraine attacks are usually characterized by a unilateral and pulsating severe headache, lasting 4—72 hours, and are often associated with nausea, phono- and photophobia.”

4) “Migraine is a serious public health concern of considerable consequences to both the migraineur and society.”

5) The overall migraine prevalence in Europe is 10—15% of the population.

6) These authors make the following points pertaining to the etiology of migraine:

• In 20% of migraineurs, the attacks are anticipated by transient neurological

symptoms, the aura.

• Migraine has a genetic etiology in about 50% of cases.

• Migraine etiology also has multifactorial epigenetic mechanisms.

• During a migraine attack, high levels of inflammatory cytokines are released causing neurogenic inflammation of the meninges and transmitting pain signals to the trigeminovascular system and autonomic nervous system nuclei.

7) Criteria considered for manipulative evaluation and treatment were:

• Alteration of tissue consistency

• Asymmetry

• Range of motion restriction

• Tenderness

8) During migraine attacks, high levels of pro-inflammatory substances are released, altering neural autonomic pathways.

9) Manipulation influences the autonomic nervous system by producing a parasympathetic effect, and therefore, a “trophotropic tuning state.”

10) Manipulation is associated with a “reduction of pro-inflammatory substances.”

11) Manipulation in migraineurs could reduce the release of pro-inflammatory substances that have an effect on the autonomic nervous system function. “As a consequence, a cascade of biological and neurological events, potentially based on a rebalance of the abnormal activation of the habituation/sensitization mechanism, even between attacks, could occur resulting in an overall improvement of clinical outcomes.”

12) Manipulation “significantly reduced the frequency of migraine.”

13) At the end of the study period, there was a statistically significant difference on the overall HIT-6 score between the three groups; the manipulation group was statistically improved from control [drug only] and sham group.

14) “Considering migraine days per month, the three groups differed significantly at the end of the study period.”

15) Manipulation “significantly reduced the number of subjects taking medications.”

16) “No study participant reported any adverse effects of the [manipulation].”

17) “Migraine attacks, use of drugs, pain and disability scores were significantly reduced in the OMT group.”

18) “OMT showed a significant improvement in the migraineurs’ quality of life.”

19) Interestingly, the “sham group significantly reduced the HIT-6 score compared to the conventional [drug only] care. “The magnitude of the results suggests that the sham procedure may be clinically effective.” [Important]

20) The sham treatment used soft touch, which will induce responses at different levels of the central nervous system, reducing pain and improving well-being.

21) “The use of osteopathy [manipulative therapy] as an adjuvant therapy for migraine patients may reduce the use of drugs and optimize the clinical

management of the patients.”

22) “The present study showed significant differences between OMT group compared to drug and sham groups, suggesting that OMT may be considered a clinically valid procedure for the management of patients with migraine.”


It is important to look at the numbers in the table and the graph in this Review. Again, it is noteworthy that sham manipulation is superior to drug-only treatment for migraine. Note that manipulation essentially eliminated migraine days per month, pain, disability, and reduced drug consumption by 80%. Note that for the group assigned to taking drugs-only, there was essentially no reduction in migraine days per month, pain, disability, and no reduction in drug consumption.

Our interpretation of this data is that it appears that manipulation is actually addressing the causative pathophysiology of migraine headache; in contrast, it appears that taking drugs is nothing more than temporary pain control with no benefit to the causative pathophysiological of migraine headache. We remain perplexed as to why any healthcare delivery system would favor drugs for migraine (and many other pain syndromes) over mechanical therapy.  $  ??? 😊

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the US Adult Low Back Pain Population

Complementary and Alternative Medicine Use in the US Adult Low Back Pain Population. Global Advances in Health and Medicine January 2016; Vol. 5; No. 1; pp. 69-78


Neha Ghildayal, Pamela Jo Johnson, MPH, PhD, Roni L. Evans, DC, MS, PhD, and Mary Jo Kreitzer, PhD, RN.

The data for this article was from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), which is the most current nationally representative data available on CAM

health practices. Data was collected on 34,525 adults. “A major strength of this study was that it used a large, nationally representative survey of the US adult population with LBP and included a comprehensive list of CAM therapies.”



1) “A key goal of healthcare for patients with chronic back pain is to maximize their functional status so that they are able to carry out activities of daily living.”

2) “Many people suffering from LBP have found conventional medical treatments to be ineffective and unreliable for treating their pain. Therefore, due to

dissatisfaction with conventional treatments for LBP, individuals suffering from LBP are increasingly turning to complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) to find relief.”

3) Low back pain (LBP):

• Costs the United States healthcare system about $100 billion a year.

• Resulting in over 150 million lost workdays per year and $16 billion annually

in lost productivity in the US.

• More than 80% of adults in the US will experience it at some point during

their lifetime.

• Is a major cause of functional limitations and disability:

•• are 3 times more likely to have limited functional ability

•• are more than 4 times likely to experience serious psychological distress

• “People with back pain suffer from worse physical and mental health than

people without back pain.”

4) “A growing body of evidence supports the use of CAM for improving back pain outcomes, with back pain being the most common condition for which patients

use CAM.”

5) “Overall, chiropractic manipulation was the most prevalent CAM therapy used within the LBP population.” [Important]

6) “The majority of respondents (58.1%) who used CAM in the past year forback pain perceived a ‘great deal’ of benefit.”

7) “For people with severe LBP, turning to CAM may seem a better alternative due to its more conservative, noninvasive nature as compared to more conventional medical treatments such as epidural steroid injections, surgeries, and prescriptive medications—all which may carry higher risks than CAM treatments.”

8) Also, “those with severe pain may have exhausted all other possibilities and may be looking for any possibility of relief” and as such seek CAM approaches.

9) People may also seek CAM because of it low associated treatment risks.

10) “CAM therapies are becoming an increasingly important component of care for people with LBP.”

11) Over 40% of the US population used some form of CAM in the past year, with higher use reported among those with back pain.

12) The most popular therapies used in the LBP population included herbal therapies, chiropractic manipulation, and massage.

13) “The majority of the LBP population used CAM specifically to treat back pain, and most adults who used CAM for back pain perceived a great deal of benefit.”

14) “CAM use appears to be an important and growing part of healthcare for the back pain population.”



Limitations from this study include that the authors did not distinguish between acute and chronic back pain patients, which would undoubtedly influence the

percentages of perceived benefits from the various approaches. Chiropractic remains the leader of outpatient management choices for CAM for LBP, with an extremely high patient satisfaction rate; yet only 15% of those with LBP are using chiropractic.

Surprisingly, acupuncture is only being used by 2% of those with low back pain. An important aspect of this study (mentioned but not quantified) is that all of the CAM approaches are extremely safe, with a very low risk of adverse occurrences. Lastly, a mentioned but underemphasized aspect of this study is that many who chose to use CAM do so because traditional approaches to the management of their back pain was ineffective.

[Most chiropractors do not consider chiropractic to be “alternative” or “complementary” to medical practice, but rather a scientifically proven, non-drug, and non-surgical approach to healthcare problems, including musculoskeletal pain].

What You Need to Know About Vaping

By Bart N. Green, DC, MSEd, PhD, Kevin Rose, DC, MPH and Claire Johnson, DC, MSEd, PhD

Editor’s Note: This article has been modified from the original, which was directed toward a professional (doctor) audience.

Smoking can be harmful in so many ways. Not only are there a multitude of negative health consequences from smoking, but recent research even shows a connection between smoking and back pain.1 Thus, any aid that can help people stop smoking is of interest. However, what happens if the aid causes new problems? The health impact, use and safety of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are still under investigation. We offer a brief overview on this important public health issue.

1. What Is Vaping?

When someone smokes traditional cigarettes, they inhale the smoke of burning tobacco. However, someone using an electronic device, such as an electronic cigarette, inhales vaporized chemical liquids – thus the term vaping.

The liquids in e-cigarettes often contain nicotine or other drugs, as well as scents or flavors to increase the pleasure of the experience. E-cigarettes are now the most commonly used smoking product by U.S. youth2 and the number of users continues to rise.

2. What Are the Arguments in Favor of Vaping?

Vaping is considered an option to reduce the harmful effects of traditional tobacco cigarette smoking and as an aid to help people quit. The thought is that e-cigarettes might help someone step down to lower levels of addictive substances (e.g., nicotine) and reduce the amount of carcinogens inhaled. Some studies have shown the use of e-cigarettes may help some people to reduce or stop smoking.3

3. What Are the Potential Harms of Vaping?

Although e-cigarettes do not use burning tobacco, they still contain harmful substances. Issues with vaping include:

  • Intake of vaporized substances in e-cigarettes may be harmful.4-6
  • E-cigarettes have vapors that can include formaldehyde, acetaldehyde and metal nanoparticles.7
  • E-cigarette devices could potentially be used to intake illegal or other potentially harmful drugs,8  such as synthetic drugs or cannabis.9-10
  • Secondhand vapors are harmful to those who are exposed.4-5
  • There is potential harm with short-term use, although the effects of long-term use on health are unknown.
  • Targeting minors with bright colors and candy flavors, and re-establishing the culture that smoking is “cool” or “safe,” may entice youth to start or continue smoking.
  • The potential exists for physical danger from e-cigarettes (e.g., explosions and burns).

4. What Can You Do to Learn More?

In addition to speaking with your doctor, helpful resources on e-cigarettes include the following:

  • The U.S. Surgeon General has a “Know the Risks” fact sheet on youth and e-cigarettes.
  • The American Heart Association has a fact sheet on e-cigarettes and public health.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CD) has a website with information for patients.
  • The American Lung Association has a statement on e-cigarettes.
  • The American Public Health Association has a policy statement on the regulation of e-cigarettes.

5. So, Is Vaping Good or Bad?

Although vaping is touted as an aid for smoking cessation to help those who are addicted to tobacco, this does not mean vaping is harmless. Harms may be experienced by the person vaping, as well as those who are inhaling the vapors secondhand. The best thing for your health is to refrain from smoking at all – electronic or tobacco.


  1. Green BN, Johnson CD, Snodgrass J, et al. Association between smoking and back pain in a cross-section of adult Americans. Cureus, 2016 Sep 26;8(9):e806.
  2. Singh T, Kennedy S, Marynak K, et al. Characteristics of electronic cigarette use among middle and high school students – United States, 2015. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 2016 Dec 30;65(5051):1425-1429.
  3. Hartmann-Boyce J, McRobbie H, Bullen C, et al. Electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation. Cochrane Database Syst Rev, 2016 Sep 14;9:CD010216.
  4. Pankow JF, Kim K, McWhirter KJ, et al. Benzene formation in electronic cigarettes. PLoS One, 2017 Mar 8;12(3).
  5. Hess IM, Lachireddy K, Capon A. A systematic review of the health risks from passive exposure to electronic cigarette vapour. Public Health Res Pract, 2016 Apr 15;26(2).
  6. Kaisar MA, Prasad S, Liles T, Cucullo L. A decade of e-cigarettes: limited research and unresolved safety concerns. Toxicology, 2016 Jul 15;365:67-75.
  7. Drug Facts: Electronic Cigarettes (e-Cigarettes). Washington, DC: National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Drug Abuse, May 2016.
  8. Blundell MS, Dargan PI, Wood DM. The dark cloud of recreational drugs and vaping. QJM, 2017 Mar 9.
  9. Giroud C, de Cesare M, Berthet A, et al. E-cigarettes: a review of new trends in cannabis use. Int J Environ Res Public Health, 2015 Aug 21;12(8):9988-10008.
  10. Budney AJ, Sargent JD, Lee DC. Vaping cannabis (marijuana): parallel concerns to e-cigs? Addiction, 2015 Nov;110(11):1699-704.

Bart Green, DC, MSEd, PhD, is a full-time corporate health chiropractor; a part-time faculty member at National University of Health Sciences; and a member of the APHA-CHC. He has extensive experience working in interdisciplinary pain management teams for patients with chronic non-cancer pain.

Kevin Rose, DC, MPH, is a public health professor at the Southern California University of Health Sciences and a diplomate of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists.

Claire Johnson, DC, MSEd, PhD, is a professor at National University of Health Sciences and editor in chief of JMPT, the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine and the Journal of Chiropractic Humanities. She also serves as the communications chair for the APHA-CHC.

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