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Chiropractic Research

CF 051: Necks, Integrity of the Cervical Spine, and the CDC on Opioids

CF 051: Necks, Integrity of the Cervical Spine, and the CDC on Opioids

Today we’re going to talk about the reliability of clinical tests assessing the cervical spine, what is happening when adjusting a neck as far as the integrity of the cervical spine, and what the CDC says about opioids. It’s all fascinating all the time here at the Chiropractic Forward Podcast 

But first, here’s that bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

You have drifted all slow and gently into Episode #51

DACO

As has become the tradition, let’s talk a bit about the DACO program. DACO stands for Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedist. Trudging along. I’m up to I believe 84 of the required 300. Classes this last week were on frozen shoulder, piriformis syndrome, Important aspects of lumbar MRI, and inguinal pain. 

This stuff is just invaluable, folks. I’m an organizational freak but at the end of each course, I’ll make myself a quick sheet that I can reference when something like that comes through the door. I think making these little quick sheets will really help to get some of the more rare or difficult cases figured out quickly. 

I’ve already put the lumbar differential diagnosis sheet to use a few times as well as the dizziness quick sheet I created. I have shared several times here that I don’t sit around a lot either at work or at home. I’m a busy bee. 

Vacation & Hobbies

Going on vacation, don’t even try to take me to a beach. If my wife wants to go to the beach, that’s all her. I’ll tag along and I’ll check in on her out there reading a book from time to time but, for the most part, I’ll be off doing, seeing, and experiencing. The ability to sit still and just relax…..that’s an ability I did not receive in this lifetime. 

As a result, I make live edge furniture. Go to Facebook and look up Amarillo live edge and custom furniture. I am a sculpture and charcoal artist. Go back to Facebook now and look up River Horse Art Gallery. I’m in the process of teaching myself to paint right now too. I also am a singer/songwriter. Go back to Facebook once again. Yes, once again and look up Flying Elbows Perspective.

Crazy name indeed. 

So, here’s the point. It’s not to brag or pump my tires. The point is that this is how important I’ve found the DACO program to be. While I haven’t completely put everything else on hold, the DACO has taken priority of my time. One reason is that I want to motor through it quickly and efficiently. The next reason would be that I’ll be the only DACO in all of Texas West of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. 

What does that get me? Maybe a pat on the back. Maybe a part time or full-time gig on staff at an FQHC. As we have mentioned in previous episodes, there are reports of DCs on FQHC staffs making as little as $120/visit up to $300/visit on even Medicaid visits. Unbelievable. But you have a better shot at getting into the system when you are specialized AKA – a Diplomate. 

Just a part of making us all better. You guys and gals need to be looking at this stuff. 

Before we hop into the papers for the week, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. I think I have some pretty cool stuff coming down the pike you’ll be interested in. That’s in you enjoy evidence-based education.

Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

Paper #1

The first paper here is called “Reliability and validity of clinical tests to assess the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders: Part 1—A systematic review from the Cervical Assessment and Diagnosis Research Evaluation (CADRE) Collaboration” It was done my Madege Lemurnier et. al. and published in the European Spine Journal in September 2017[1]. 

Why They Did It

With a title as long as that one, what the heck are they doing here? They say they were hoping to determine the reliability of clinical tests to assess the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders. 

How They Did It

They updated the systematic review of the 2000-2010 Bone and Joint Decade Task Forst on Neck Pain and Associated Disorders. 

They searched the literature for studies on the reliability and validity of Doppler velocimetry to evaluate the cervical arteries. 

They had two independent evaluators look through it all

What They Found

  • Preliminary evidence showed that the extension-rotation test may be reliable and has adequate validity to rule out pain arising from facet joint. Or rule in I suppose. Just in case you are unaware of the cervical extension-rotation test, it’s exactly as it sounds. Have the patient extend and then rotate toward the side you’re testing. When you combine this maneuver with palpation you can typically get a good idea of whether the patient is suffering from a facet issue. You need to know that this test is also effective in sniffing out a low back facet issue as well. Lumbar extension and then rotation can give you some good clues sometimes.
  • The evidence suggests variable reliability and preliminary validity for the evaluation of cervical radiculopathy including neurological examination (manual motor testing, dermatomal sensory testing, deep tendon reflexes, and pathological reflex testing), Spurling’s and the upper limb neurodynamic tests.
  • No evidence found for doppler velocimetry. 

Wrap It Up

Little evidence exists to support the use of clinical tests to evaluate the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders. We found preliminary evidence to support the use of the extension–rotation test, neurological examination, Spurling’s and the upper limb neurodynamic tests.

Paper#2

On to our second paper. This one is called “Intervertebral kinematics of the cervical spine before, during, and after high-velocity low-amplitude manipulation” and appeared in Spine Journal in August of 2018 and was authored by Dr. William J. Anderst, et. al[2].

Why They Did It

Since cervical manipulation is such a common intervention for neck pain, the authors wanted to characterize the forces involved and the facet gapping that takes place during manipulation. 

How They Did It

It was a laboratory-based prospective observational study

It included 12 patients 

Each patient had acute mechanical neck pain

One of the outcome measurements was the neck pain rating scale (NPRS)

Other measurements were taken for amount and rate of cervical facet joint gapping 

What They Found

The authors concluded, “This study is the first to measure facet gapping during cervical manipulation on live humans. The results demonstrate that target and adjacent motion segments undergo facet joint gapping during manipulation and that intervertebral ROM is increased in all three planes of motion after manipulation. The results suggest that clinical and functional improvement after manipulation may occur as a result of small increases in intervertebral ROM across multiple motion segments.”

Pretty cool stuff. 

Paper #3

Our last paper for this episode is called, “CDC: Drug overdoses hit new record.” It’s an article on thehill.com written by Nathaniel Weixel and was published on August 15th of this year, 2018[3]. 

The article leads off saying that 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017 and that’s based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is a new record folks and we have our friends in the medical realm to thank for it. 

Who’s To Blame?

Now, that, of course, doesn’t mean pharmacists and medical doctors are bad and there was a mass conspiracy to cause this deal. But it does mean that SOME of them are bad. SOME doctors are doing time in an orange outfit right now because they knew better but the dollar was mightier than common sense and common decency. 

There were pharmacies dispensing 100x more than their population could ever consume but they want to not refer to us and talk about the integrity of the cervical spine. That kind of crap is what got us here.

But, it’s also what has brought chiropractors from the shadows into the light. When you have the mess the medical field has created, then you have to start looking for the non-pharma solutions and we are it. 

Comparison

72,000 deaths. You ever heard of the Vietnam War? Of course, you have. We all have. Some either remember or have seen what a big deal it was. The deaths, the protests, the loss. I’ve been to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC several times. It’s profound. It’s stunning to see all of those names. 

Just to compare, the total number of those lost in Vietnam stands at 58,220. Now keep in mind, that takes into account deaths from as early as 1956 all the way up to as late as 2006 and comes from Defense Casualty Analysis System Extract Files from The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File. 

I did my homework. I’m not giving you fake numbers here. 

Essentially, 13,780 more deaths happened because of opioids, In just one year. In just 2017. That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface when you start totaling up 2016, 2015, and further back. Unbelievable isn’t it? 

If we look at it, 2014 had 28,647 deaths, 2015 had 33,100 deaths, 2016 saw 63,632 deaths…..and then 72,000 in 2017. 

I’m guessing you can see the trend. Hell yes, it’s an epidemic.

The Math

I’ll do the math for you because I love you and I’m glad you’re here and I don’t want you to have to think too hard while you’re giving me your time. Over the last 4 years, that’s approximately 200,000 opioid-related deaths. 197,379 to be more specific. 

The genie seems to be out of the bottle.

While we can’t put the genie back in, we can offer solutions for the future. Many of those addicted to opioids became addicted due to spinal surgery. Many of those surgeries were unnecessary. One paper I reviewed showed that approximately 5% of lumbar fusions are necessary making about 95% of the unnecessary. Yeah….95%. 

The Answer

We have the answer people. The American College of Physicians, The White House, The Lancet, 2 papers in JAMA, Consumer Report surveys, The Joint Commission, The FDA…..seriously, there is not one reason that we aren’t inundated by spinal pain referrals at this very moment. No reason at all. It actually makes me mad as hell that we are not. 

Exactly what the hell does it take to make general practitioners, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants understand that an evidence-based chiropractor is best situated to help these people as a first-line therapy?

Integrating Chiropractors

The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment instead of chemical treatments like pills and shots.

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show that many patients get good or excellent results through chiropractic for headaches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, to name just a few.

Chiropractic care is safe and cost-effective. It can decrease instances of surgery & disability. Chiropractors normally do this through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal time requirements or hassle to the patient. 

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health of the patient!

Key Point:

Patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment offering the least harm.

That’s Chiropractic!

Contact

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Help us get to the top of podcasts in our industry. That’s how we get the message out. 

Connect

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

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TuneIn

About the Author and Host:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

CF 013: DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 1 of 3)

CF 012: Proven Means To Treat Neck Pain

CF 041: w/ Dr. William Lawson – Research For Neck Pain

CF 050: Chiropractic Care – Text Neck, Headaches, Migraines

 

 

 

Bibliography

1. Lemeunier N, Reliability and validity of clinical tests to assess the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders: Part 1—A systematic review from the Cervical Assessment and Diagnosis Research Evaluation (CADRE) Collaboration. Euro Spine J, 2017. 26(9): p. 2225-2241.

2. Anderst W, Intervertebral kinematics of the cervical spine before, during, and after high-velocity low-amplitude manipulation. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2018. 0(0).

3. Weixel N. CDC: Drug overdoses hit new record. The Hill 2018  5 August 2018]; Available from: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/401961-cdc-drug-overdoses-hit-new-high-in-2017.

 

 

CF 048: Do Disc Herniations On An MRI Worsen When Sitting Or Standing (PART TWO)?

CF 048: Do Disc Herniations On An MRI Worsen When Sitting Or Standing (Part TWO)?

Today we’re going to continue our talk from last week on whether or not a disc herniations change as you sit up, stand up, or move around. We went over some pretty good research last week. This week, it’s time for the cherry on the top. 

But first, here’s that bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

 

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

You have scampered into Episode #48. I use scamper this week because, as my son was playing with his aunt and uncle’s dog named Rowdy down in Dallas last weekend, that was the way he described when the dog would take off after the tennis ball every time. Scamper. Great word that I plan on using more from here on out where appropriate. 

Diplomate of Chiropractic Orthopedists

The DACO this weekend down in Dallas. The class was with James Lehman. Dr. Lehman, in case you do not know, is with the University of Bridgeport Connecticut. His official title from their website is Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences, Health Sciences, College of Chiropractic. 

Dr. Lehman is also one of the main drivers of this DACO program. Through Univ. of Bridgeport Connecticut, he has teamed up with CDI out of Australia and their courses in neuromusculoskeletal online education. It is VERY well done. Very professional and very worthwhile. You can find that at https://cdi.edu.au

We talked a lot about some stuff that I want you to hear straight from him so we’ll do an interview with him very soon but the gist of it all is this: get certified in something other than simply having your doctor of chiropractic degree. 

FQHC

I’ve heard a couple of opinions. I’ve heard the Diplomate programs are worthless now and that people are moving away from them. But, I think that’s coming from people that don’t want to take the time or put in the effort. The real story is most likely that our system, for good or bad, is moving away from private practice and TOWARD integrating through the group offices and through the Federally Qualified Health Centers. 

There are chiropractors being reimbursed in the system up to $300 for a Medicaid visit and around $150 on the lower end. 

I have to thank Dr. Craig Benton once again for bringing this to my attention. Did you guys know that, given the right positioning, you could make that much per appointment from freaking Medicaid?

Here’s the deal though: you have to be a specialist. A Diplomate. So, is it really useless? I say it most certainly is not. 

Whiplash Section

Now the course, the course this weekend was on whiplash. I’ve been through Art Croft’s 4 part Advanced Certification on Whiplash Biomechanics and Traumatology so I can say with a lot of honesty that a good portion of the course was a refresher for me. 

But, I absolutely learned a solid amount of new stuff as well. Such as Axillary compression. Axillary compression was not a condition of the shoulder that was on my radar screen prior to this course. 

That is one simple little example but there was a gob of nuggets for the nugget pouch and as always, I really walked away feeling that I will be better at my job on Monday. But it’s always that way. Even after just a 2-hour online course. It’s phenomenal.

Personal

Continuing the ongoing saga of hiring a front desk staff member in the year 2018. Here’s what all I’m going to say about it. Looks like my wife has found a new full-time job. Lol. Get the picture?

It looks like I may have a cool speaking gig coming up in February. Nothing solid but, if I were to come to your state convention or to some sort of event you are at, what topic along the vein of Chiropractic Forward’s typical content would you like to learn more about? 

If you are a regular listener and familiar with what we have been doing here this last year, I’d really appreciate it if you would take just a minute and email me at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and give me a little guidance. What topics would you want to see in a presentation?

I’m glad you’re here and hopefully, I didn’t ramble too much before getting to the meat and taters. Here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

On To The Research

Picking up from last week, we want to start in on the changes disc herniations undergo when axial pressure is placed on them. In other words, what happens to disc herniations from the time the MRI is taken laying down to the point where the person sits up. 

I have to preface it all by saying go listen to last week’s episode which is #47, please. It tells you how it is very common in the medical field amongst even radiologists to assume or guess that there is no change in the disc or in the herniation when axial pressure is applied. Research tells us differently. 

This week we want to start with a paper called “Evaluation of intervertebral disc herniation and hypermobile intersegmental instability in symptomatic adult patients undergoing recumbent and upright MRI of the cervical or lumbosacral spines.” It was done by Ferreiro Perez, et. al[1]. and published in the European Journal of Radiology

How they did it

  • 89 Patients studied
  • 45 of them had their low back imaged
  • 44 patients had their necks imaged
  • The images were done in both the lying down position as well as the sitting.

What They Found

  • The overall combined recumbent (lying down) miss rate in cases of pathology was 15%
  • Overall combined recumbent underestimation rate in cases of pathology was 62%
  • Overall combined upright-seated underestimation in cases of pathology was 16%.

Wrap It Up

Upright-seated MRIs were seen to be superior to recumbent MRIs in 52 of the patients studied for conditions of posterior disc herniations and spondylolisthesis. Recumbent MRIs were only superior in 12% of the patients.

Next, this one is titled, “Effect of intervertebral disk degeneration on spinal stenosis during magnetic resonance imaging with axial loading” by Ahn et al[2].

Why They Did It

The authors in this paper were wanting to determine if disc degeneration will increase the severity of spinal stenosis when the spine is loaded with axial pressure. 

How They Did It

They had 51 patients with symptoms of neurogenic intermittent claudication and/or sciatica that had their MRIs loaded as well as non-loaded. 

The foramen involved were all measured for changes in sizes.

Wrap It Up

Here’s what they found, “More accurate diagnosis of stenosis can be achieved using MR imaging with axial loading, especially if grade 2-4 disc degeneration is present.”

AKA:” Seated or loaded MRIs are superior for assessing lumbar stenosis. 

Next, this one is by Willen[3] and it’s called “Dynamic effects on the lumbar spinal canal: axially loaded CT-myelography and MRI in patients with sciatica and/or neurogenic claudication.” It appeared in Spine Journal in 1997. 

They had 50 people with CTs, 34 were imaged with MRI, the imaging was performed laying down as well as axially loaded. 

They closed it up by saying, “Axial loading of the lumbar spine in computed tomographic scanning and magnetic resonance imaging is recommended in patients with sciatica or neurogenic claudication when the dural sac cross-sectional area at any disc location is below 130 mm2 in conventional psoas-relaxed position and when there is a suspected narrowing of the dural sac or the nerve roots, especially in the ventrolateral part of the spinal canal in psoas-relaxed position”

Next Paper

This one is by Kanno, et. al[4]. called “Axial loading during magnetic resonance imaging in patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis: does it reproduce the positional change of the dural sac detected by upright myelography?” It appeared in Spine Journal in 2012. 

44 patients, with imaging in the supine position and then with axial load added. The dural sack was measured 

“The size of the sack was significantly reduced in the axially loaded imaging and the axial loaded MRI detected severe constriction with a higher sensitivity (96.4%) and specificity (98%) than the conventional MRI.”

Next paper

This one is by Danielson et. al. from 2001 called, “Axially loaded magnetic resonance image of the lumbar spine in asymptomatic individuals.” This paper appeared in Spine Journal in 2001 as well. 

MRIs were performed lying down as well as with axial load on the participants. The axial loading was performed lying down, face up with a compression device built for this study specifically. The diameter of the dural sack was measured to check for the differences. 

The authors said, “A significant decrease in dural cross-sectional area from psoas-relaxed position to axial compression in extension was found in 24 individuals (56%), most frequently at L4-L5, and increasingly with age.”

Pretty cool stuff right there people. 

I want you to go forward this week knowing what you get from listening to this podcast every week. You get things you can absolutely use and implement immediately. Some of you may gain confidence now that you know some research that you maybe didn’t know previously. Some of you may now be able to tell a patient that has a 5mm central posterior herniation that 5mm isn’t telling us the whole story. 

It’s telling us part of the puzzle but that discs respond to positioning and various stresses we put on the discs through our activities. 

Use it or lose it

This can give you some extra guidance in your recommendations when you consider disc herniations change and get worse, stenosis gets worse when the patient sits up or bends forward. 

If you aren’t up on directional preference exercises, McKenzie, and CRISP protocols, it’s time to get there folks. It’s time to get there. The anatomy absolutely responds to movement and positioning. 

Integrating Chiropractors

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability.

It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Contact Us!

I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. We love to stay in touch and want to offer you discount specials when we get our educational products up and rolling. 

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services.

Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1938461399501889/

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

CF 047: Do Disc Herniations On An MRI Worsen When Sitting Or Standing (PART ONE)?

CF 035: Chiropractic & Disc Herniations

Bibliography

1. Ferreiro P, e.a., Evaluation of intervertebral disc herniation and hypermobile intersegmental instability in symptomatic adult patients undergoing recumbent and upright MRI of the cervical or lumbosacral spines. Eur J Radiol, 2007. 62(3): p. 444-8.

2. Ahn TJ, e.a., Effect of intervertebral disk degeneration on spinal stenosis during magnetic resonance imaging with axial loading. Neurol Med Chir (Tokyo), 2009. 49(6): p. 242-7.

3. Willen J, e.a., Dynamic effects on the lumbar spinal canal: axially loaded CT-myelography and MRI in patients with sciatica and/or neurogenic claudication. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 1997. 22(24): p. 2968-76.

4. Kanno H, e.a., Axial loading during magnetic resonance imaging in patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis: does it reproduce the positional change of the dural sac detected by upright myelography? Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2012. 37(16): p. E985-92.

CF 045: Harvard Health, Low Back Stenosis, Allergy Autism

CF 045: Harvard Health, Low Back Stenosis, Allergy Autism

As the title this week indicates, I’ve taken some files that have been gathering a little bit of dust in the dark corner and I’m bringing them out into the light.

Today we’ll talk about an article in Harvard Health, we’ll talk about low back stenosis research (something that doesn’t get a lot of attention), we’ll talk about a JAMA article on allergies and autism, and we’ll hit on a paper attempting to explain why some patients respond while others do not. 

Integrating Chiropractors

 

But first, you know what’s up, I wrote and recorded our jingle so you might as well just sit back and enjoy this candy for your ears. When you do create something, it’s going to be in EVERY show don’t ya know!! Here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

You have collapsed into Episode #45

OK, first thing, we should probably talk about the Texas vs. Oklahoma game that just happened this last weekend. By the time this posts, it’ll be two weeks ago but, still need to brag. What a game that was. I’m a Texas boy but either way would have been fine since most of OU’s players are from Texas anyway. I go for all of the Texas teams. 

I want to thank Kyle Swanson for the shout out on the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance group a couple weeks ago. He’s a Texas A&M Aggie. Look, like I said, I root for A&M too so we would probably be buddies in the real world if I’m guessing out loud. 

Front Desk Staffing

Let’s get to the ongoing saga of hiring a new front desk staff. If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that hiring a new front desk staff member has been nothing but a soup sandwich. 

Messy. Gloppy, Unreal and confusing. Those are just some words I’m laying on you. I have more words for what we’ve been through on this deal but then my podcast would have an explicit designation and I try to keep it clean around here. 

But, I believe progress has been made. We seem to have a new one that seems to be on top of her game. If she’s a “sticker,” then the search may very well be over. Of course, she’s not young which is probably why she’s a sticker so far. She’s closer to my age than any of the others have been. I’m not saying that young people have no work ethic…..I’m just saying that all of the young people that we interviewed for this job have no work ethic. 

That sounds like I’m against young people, millennials, blah blah blah. I’m not. I have had some VERY intelligent and capable young people come through here as employees over the years. There are very smart, very talented young folks out there. We just didn’t encounter any of them for this round of hiring. That’s all I’m saying. 

Moving on

October has really taken off in terms of listens for the podcast. I can only guess you’re sharing episodes here and there with your network. To that, I say thank you. If I ever see you somewhere and you tell me you have been sharing my stuff, and hold your hands out like, “bring it in big boy,” well then…you’re getting a hug my friend.

I’m a hugger. Which can probably be scary if you don’t know me. I’m 6’4” and like 280 so….big guy coming through! But, those that know me know that I’m a teddy bear. Unless you try to steal my food. Then it’s pretty much on at that point. 

On to the research

Let’s get on with trying to make your practice better. When your practice is better, your life is better. 

Let’s start with the Harvard Article. It was published in November 2017. I have it linked at chiropracticforward.com for you all in the show notes for episode 45. The name of the article is “Where to turn for low back pain relief[1]” and I couldn’t find the name of the author so there ya go. 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/where-to-turn-for-low-back-pain-relief

The subtitle of this Harvard Medical journal….medical journal……is this: in most cases, a primary care doctor or chiropractor can help you resolve the problem. What the hell??? It seriously says that in a Harvard Medical article. I’m trying to catch my breath here. Sorry…..

It was published in November of 2017. The article says that there are many causes of low back pain and some of the most common is an injury to muscles or tendon which we know is called a strain and then injury to back ligaments which we call a sprain. And then there are herniated or bulging discs. 

Going through the DACO program tells me that the prevalence between disc, facet, and SI joint pain stands at 40% for the disc, 30% for the facet, and 22.5% for the SI joint pain. BUT….over the age of 50 years old, it flips a little and the Facet joint gains prevalence over disc or SI pain. Just some nuggets to tuck away in your nugget pouch. 

This article just blows me away when it gets to the “Where to Turn” subtitle. Beneath this subheader, it says, “Since you shouldn’t try to diagnose your own back pain, make your first call to a professional who can assess your problems, such as a primary care physician or a chiropractor.”

Both can serve as the entry point for back pain says Dr. Matthew Kowalski who serves as a chiropractor with the Other Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

What the hell is happening here? Am I in the Twilight Zone where everything is flipped and the medical world finally gets it?

The article goes on to say “A well-trained chiropractor will sort out whether you should be in their care or the care of a physical therapist or medical doctor.”

And here’s the difference between evidence-based/patient-centered chiropractors and those that are not. 

The more not evidence-based amongst us, the ones that drive a billion people through their doors for everything from allergies to whatever…..they will not typically be turning those patients over to the medical doctor or the PT. 

Moving to the next paper, it’s called “Comprehensive Nonsurgical Treatment Versus Self-directed Care to Improve Walking Ability in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Trial” authored by Carlo Ammendolia, et. al. It’s all about low back stenosis. This paper is co-authored by DCs, AND MDs. It was published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on October 27, 2017[2]. 

Why They Did It

They wanted to the effectiveness of a comprehensive nonsurgical training program to a self-directed approach in improving walking ability in low back stenosis.

How They Did It

  • It was a randomized controlled trial
  • It was done in an Academic hospital outpatient clinic
  • Participants suffered neurogenic claudication
  • MRI confirmed lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Subjects were suffering low back stenosis and randomized

What They Found

The conclusion stated, “A comprehensive conservative program demonstrated superior, large, and sustained improvements in walking ability and can be a safe nonsurgical treatment option for patients with neurogenic claudication due to LSS”

Low back stenosis can be helped

Dr. Ammendola has an amazing lumbar spinal stenosis program and training course. I have not personally taken it just yet but, it’s on my list after I finish up the DACO program. It comes HIGHLY recommended and this paper shows us why. 

Trucking on, this one is called “Do participants with low back pain who respond to spinal manipulative therapy differ biomechanically from nonresponders, untreated controls or asymptomatic controls?” It was published in Spine Journal in September of 2015 and authored by Wong, et. al. [3]

Why They Did It

To determine whether patients with low back pain (LBP) who respond to spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) differ biomechanically from nonresponders, untreated. Some, but not all patients with low back pain report improvement after a visit to the chiropractor. Why does that happen?

What They Found

After the first SMT, SMT responders displayed statistically significant decreases in spinal stiffness and increases in multifidus thickness ratio sustained for more than 7 days; these findings were not observed in other groups.

Wrap It Up

Quote, “Those reporting post-SMT improvement in disability demonstrated simultaneous changes between self-reported and objective measures of spinal function. This coherence did not exist for asymptomatic controls or no-treatment controls. These data imply that SMT impacts biomechanical characteristics within SMT responders not present in all patients with LBP.”

And our last one this week comes to us from JAMA, also known as the Journal of the American Medical Association. This one is called, “Association of Food Allergy and Other Allergic Conditions With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children.[4]” It was authored by Guifeng, et. al. and published in 2018. Again, these papers are cited in the show notes at chiropracticforward.com under episode 45 so check them out yourself please. 

The question they attempt to answer here is, “What are the associations of food allergy and other allergic conditions with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children?”

They say in the paper that Common allergic conditions, in particular, food allergy, are associated with autism among US children, but the underlying mechanism for this association needs further study.

The study was a population-based, cross-sectional study used data from the National Health Interview Survey collected between 1997 and 2016

The conclusion was quote, “In a nationally representative sample of US children, a significant and positive association of common allergic conditions, in particular, food allergy, with ASD was found.”

They now need to find out the cause and underlying mechanisms so they can attempt to reverse the upswing of autism here in America. 

So….it appears maybe it’s not all due to vaccines after all. 

Integrating Chiropractors

That wraps it up for us this week. I hope you enjoyed it. Research can be boring but, it can be fascinating too when you allow it to help guide your thought process when you are approaching your daily tasks and deciding on treatment options for your patients. 

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability.

It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1938461399501889/

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

 

Bibliography

1. School, H.M., Where to turn for low back pain relief. Harvard Health Publishing, 2017.

2. Ammendolia C, Comprehensive Nonsurgical Treatment Versus Self-directed Care to Improve Walking Ability in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Trial, in North American Spine Society Meeting. 2017, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabiliation: Orlando, FL.

3. Wong AY, Do participants with low back pain who respond to spinal manipulative therapy differ biomechanically from nonresponders, untreated controls or asymptomatic controls? Spine, 2015. 40(17): p. 1329-37.

4. Guifeng X, Association of Food Allergy and Other Allergic Conditions With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children. JAMA, 2018. 1(2).

 

CF 016: Review of The Lancet Article on Low Back Pain (Pt. 1)

CF 041: w/ Dr. William Lawson – Research For Neck Pain

Research for neck pain

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talking with Dr. William Lawson from Austin, TX about research for neck pain and what research is available for it. While low back gets all of the attention in the research, neck pain has taken a back seat but not today!

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast because I’m the only one that’ll do it.  

Have you taken the time to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter? It’s important because doing that makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and we have a ton of ideas around here for the future and we want to be able to let you know about it. An email once per week isn’t going to make you crazy so please go do that so we’re on the same page.  

I also want to let you know about our Facebook page AND our separate Facebook group because they’re important supplements to the podcast. Both are called Chiropractic Forward oddly enough. On the page, we let you all know when a new episode goes live and we share some quotes from the episodes. Through the private Facebook group, we share the papers we went over and lots of time we connect and discuss there so go join up and let’s connect.

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

You have done the mashed potato all James Brown, 60’s style into Episode #41. You know what that means? It means it’s going to be cooler than usual episode. 

Dr. William Lawson, Austin, TX

That’s because, as I mentioned before, we have a guest with us. Dr. William Lawson hails from Austin, TX and has his Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists designation. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I brought another DACO to you today. Last week, we had Dr. Brandon Steele, also a DACO, so you may be starting to notice a slight trend. We are going to get into the thick of things with research for neck pain.

I met Dr. Lawson through his involvement in the Texas Chiropractic Association. Dr. Lawson is responsible for getting the DACO program to come to Texas and for having the TCA host the program. He’s responsible in a roundabout way for getting me into this whole DACO mess and I thank him for it. 

A little more about Dr. Lawson

  • Prior to attending Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, -Texas, I served in the United States Air Force.
  • Graduated from Parker College of Chiropractic 1993.
  • Designated Doctor with Tx Workers Compensation since 1996
  • He has the Diplomate American Academy of Integrative Medicine, college of pain management, 2000.
  • Dr. Lawson acheived Diplomate American Academy of Pain Management 2001.
  • Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists, 2002
  • Certified in acupuncture, 2004
  • Former hospital privileges Vista Hospital Houston and Pecan Valley Surgical Center in San Antonio.
  • Masters degree from UT Pan American in Health Care Administration, 2015
  • Current Chair of State Affairs with TCA
  • Current VP of Texas Council of Chiropractic Orthopedists.

Welcome to the show Dr. Lawson. Since we are friends, formality seems awkward, if you call me Jeff, I’ll call you what? William or Bill? 

Questions for Dr. Lawson

When did you become a DACO and what was the impetus? What started that journey?

What have you noticed about yourself and about your business in regards to pre-DACO and post-DACO?

Let’s get into the research for neck pain. The first thing I want to say here is that we cannot talk about cervical manipulation without addressing the yoke the medical field has tried to lay on us for generations. That is the myth that chiropractors go around causing strokes in everyone all the time. 

I took three episodes of this podcast to address this myth. The series is called “DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes” and are specifically episodes #13, #14, and #15. It’s just common sense talk and, if you have any questions in your mind prior to listening to them, they should all be answered by the time you are done. 

I will link them in the show notes as well as the corresponding YouTube Video and the Blog so that you can get the information in your preferred method. 

PODCAST EPISODES:

BLOG:

YOUTUBE:

https://youtu.be/tRXpG_Ie0Rs

Now that we’ve addressed this craziness, we can get on with how well we take care of our neck pain patients. 

Dr. Lawson, I want to hear from you as much as you want to be heard from so, please….if I cover something that you have some extra info on or you just want to add a comment to, please interrupt me and lay it on us!!

We’ll start with the oldest one we have tee-d up here and go to the most recent. 

This first one is from 2001 and is called “A randomized clinical trial of exercise and spinal manipulation for patients with chronic neck pain[1].” The lead author is G. Bronfort and, if I recall correctly, his full first name is Gert. If you’ve spent any time listening to our podcast, you’ve probably heard his name. He’s fairly prolific with research papers. 

Why They Did It

Their stated goal for this project was to compare the effectiveness of rehab exercises vs. spinal manipulation for chronic neck pain. This one really focuses on research for neck pain.

What They Found

  • Patient satisfaction was higher spinal manipulation + exercise was superior to spinal manipulation alone
  • There was no statistical difference noted between the two groups
  • However, when combined, exercise + manipulation showed greater gains in all measures of strength, endurance, and range of motion. 

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded, “For chronic neck pain, the use of strengthening exercise, whether in combination with spinal manipulation or in the form of a high-technology MedX program, appears to be more beneficial to patients with chronic neck pain than the use of spinal manipulation alone.”

Dr. Lawson, what’s your take on this study? At this point, it’s 17 years old. Is it relevant still and how?

Next paper, this one’s called, “Chronic mechanical neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systematic review of change scores in randomized clinical trials[2].” It is by H. Vernon, et. al. and was published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics in 2007. 

Why They Did It

This was a systematic analysis of effectiveness in randomized clinical trials of chronic neck pain. The stipulations here are that the neck pain could not be caused by whiplash and could not include a headache or arm pain. Just straight up chronic neck pain. 

What They Found

Out of 1980 papers, they found 16 to accept and include in this project. 

No trials included trigger point therapy or manual traction

Wrap It Up

“There is moderate- to high-quality evidence that subjects with chronic neck pain not due to whiplash and without arm pain and headaches show clinically important improvements from a course of spinal manipulation or mobilization at 6, 12, and up to 104 weeks post-treatment. The current evidence does not support a similar level of benefit from massage.”

Dr. Lawson, on this study, for those that don’t know research hierarchy, a randomized clinical trial is some of the more reliable, solid research for neck pain wouldn’t you agree?

The only thing more impactful in the research world than randomized clinical trials are meta-analyses and systematic reviews. Well, this is a systematic review of 16 randomized clinical trials. 

My point being: this is a reliable systematic review. No doubt about it. This is a great paper, Dr. Lawson and I have no idea how it’s escaped me 11 years into this thing. I have other papers by the same group of authors but somehow missed this research for neck pain?

Would you like to add any comments on this paper?

OK, moving on, this paper is called, “Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial[3].” This one comes to us by G. Bronfort, et. al. as well and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012. 

This is not my favorite research for neck pain as we’ll talk about after we go through the conclusion. 

Why They Did It

“To determine the relative efficacy of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), medication, and home exercise with advice (HEA) for acute and subacute neck pain in both the short and long term.”

How They Did It

  • It was a randomized controlled trial
  • They used 1 university research center and 1 pain management clinic in Minnesota
  • The sample was 272 people from 18-65 years old having nonspecific neck pain from 2-12 weeks
  • The treatment consisted of 12 weeks of spinal manipulative therapy or home exercise advice. 

What They Found

For pain, SMT had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks

Home exercise was superior to medication at 26 weeks

No important differences in pain were found between SMT and HEA at any time point

Wrap It Up

Bronfort concluded, “For participants with acute and subacute neck pain, SMT was more effective than medication in both the short and long term. However, a few instructional sessions of HEA resulted in similar outcomes at most time points.”

As I mentioned, I have covered this research for neck pain before but it’s not my favorite because this is also a paper that I have seen chiropractic detractors use against us. Here’s how: they say that cervical manipulation is extremely risky and, if the outcome of simple exercises at home is just as effective, then what’s the point in cervical manipulation for neck pain?

What would you say in response to this particular argument?

Keepin on keepin on here. This next one is from the Journal of Manipulative Physiological and Therapeutics back in 2014 called “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain[4].” This one was done by Bryans, et. al. 

Why They Did It

They wanted to develop evidence-based treatment recommendations for the treatment of nonspecific mechanical neck pain in adults. 

How They Did It

They did a systematic literature search of controlled clinical trials published through December of 2011 and then organized each into strong, moderate, weak, or conflicting)

What They Found

41 randomized controlled trials met the criteria for inclusion. 

Strong recommendations were made for the treatment of chronic neck pain with manipulation, manual therapy, and exercise combined with modalities. 

Strong recommendations were also made for treating chronic neck pain with stretching, strengthening, and endurance exercises alone. 

Moderate recommendations were made for the treatment of acute neck pain with manipulation and mobilization in combination with other modalities. 

Wrap It Up

The authors closed by saying, “Interventions commonly used in chiropractic care improve outcomes for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain. Increased benefit has been shown in several instances where a multimodal approach to neck pain has been used.”

Do you feel like this is going a little more in our favor than the Bronfort paper but still leaves a little to be desired? For instance, when we look at low back pain papers, it’s clear. Spinal manipulation is as effective or more effective than anything else out there. Even physical therapy or exercise. We’re not getting that satisfaction so far. Am I wrong?

We’re trucking along here. Next paper titled “Mobilization versus manipulations versus sustain apophyseal natural glide techniques and interaction with psychological factors for patients with chronic neck pain: randomized controlled trial[5].” This one was published in European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine in 2015 and written by A. Lopez-Lopez, et. al. 

Here’s my first question: “Why would you hyphenate the same name?” How can you be Lopez-Lopez and why would you want to say the name twice or make everyone else say the name twice? Isn’t it a bit redundant? Can we just say Lopez and move on?

OK, I get side-tracked sometimes so I have to get myself back on track here and there. Since I’m not familiar with this paper or the authors at all, I want to switch it up a little on this one. 

Dr. Lawson Covers One

I want Dr. Lawson to go over this paper from top to bottom and tell us everything we need to know about this one. I see it’s a randomized controlled trial so it already has my attention. I’m unfamiliar with sustain natural glide (AKA SNAG). Is that term you are familiar with? This research for neck pain is all yours doc. 

Their conclusion was “The results suggest that high velocity/low amplitude and posterior to anterior mobilization groups relieved pain at rest more than SNAG in patients with neck pain.”

Let’s get to our last paper here by Korthalis-de-bos, et. al. It’s called “Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial[6].” It was published in the British Medical Journal back in 2003. 

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of physical therapy, manual therapy, and care by a general practitioner for patients with neck pain.

How They Did It

  • The project was an economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial.
  • 42 general practitioners recruited 183 neck pain patients
  • The patients were randomly split for treatment by spinal mobilization, physical therapy, or general practitioner care. 

What They Found

The authors wrapped that research for neck pain up by saying, “Manual therapy which consisted of spinal mobilization, is more effective and less costly for treating neck pain than physiotherapy or care by a general practitioner.”

I wanted to wrap up our talk with that research for neck pain because, first of all, it’s from the British Medical Journal so it got some weight. Second it’s alongside randomized controlled trials, and third, it’s one of the main ones that cuts through the noise and says very clearly, “mobilizing the spine is more effective and cost less for neck pain than seeing your primary or a physical therapist.”

Is it just me or is it time to move focus from low back pain and put more effort an attention on how effectively we treat neck pain through research for neck pain?

It just makes complete sense to me. If we are so effective for low back pain in the eyes of researchers, why don’t we have the same pile of research for neck pain? Where is all of the research for neck pain? Both are mechanical in origin. If we can affect low back pain, it makes perfect sense that we can affect neck pain. 

Chiropractors see it every single day. I’m not telling you anything. I just get so frustrated at the lack of focus on neck pain, which is part of the reason we’re doing this podcast today. 

Dr. Lawson, what do you have to add here before we sign off?

I want to thank you for joining us on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. 

Maybe we talk some DC PhD’s out there into making neck pain their next project. 

Integrating Chiropractors

 

Going forward

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research on neck pain and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Contact Us

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1938461399501889/

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & VloggerBibliography

1. Bronfort G, A randomized clinical trial of exercise and spinal manipulation for patients with chronic neck pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2001. 26(7): p. 788-97.

2. Vernon H, H.B., Chronic mechanical neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systematic review of change scores in randomized clinical trials. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2007. 30(6): p. 473-8.

3. Bronfort G, Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2012. Ann Intern Med, 2012. 156(1): p. 1-10.

4. Bryans R, Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2014. 37(1): p. 42-63.

5. Lopez-Lopez A, Mobilization versus manipulations versus sustain apophyseal natural glide techniques and interaction with psychological factors for patients with chronic neck pain: randomized controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med, 2015. 51(2): p. 121-32.

6. Korthals-de Bos IB, Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 2003. 326(7395): p. 911.

 

CF 013: DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 1 of 3)

CF 030: Integrating Chiropractors – What’s It Going To Take?

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

CF 039: Communicating Chiropractic

CF 040: w/ Dr. Brandon Steele: Chiropractic Standardization & The Future of Chiropractic

w/ Dr. Brandon Steele: Chiropractic Standardization & The Future of Chiropractic

Today we’re going to talk with Dr. Brandon Steele about a lot of stuff but specifically, we’ll talk about Chiropractic standardization, educational advancement, and the future of chiropractic. Stick around for an awesome discussion with an extremely sharp doctor on the forefront of our profession.

Integrating Chiropractors

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

Now that I have you here, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and if we come up with something pretty cool we need to be telling you about. We won’t use it any more than once per week and that’s about all you need to know. It’s not as big of a deal as most of you have in your mind. Just go do it right now while you’re thinking about it. 

We continue to grow our listenership here. I’m a stats nerd. Trust me, I check them more than what one may consider a healthy amount of times. It’s just who I am. Thank you to you all for tuning in. 

If you can continue to share us with your network, we sure would appreciate it. 

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

You have passed out and woke up right here in Episode #40

Welcome Dr. Brandon Steele

We have a special guest with us this week. As I said from the top we have Dr. Brandon Steele with us today. He is a very respected speaker and has the awesome chance to travel all over doing just that. 

I first became aware of Dr. Steele when I began taking courses in the DACO program. Dr. Steele is one of the instructors and I got to sit in a classroom for two days listening to him cover everything we needed to know about the shoulder. 

I also much have some full disclosure here I think. Dr. Steele is a co-owner of ChiroUp with Dr. Tim Bertlesman and I’m a user/subscriber of ChiroUp. But, ChiroUp isn’t sponsoring this episode. I haven’t received a thing from them. Not even a free membership. Cough cough… 

Seriously though, I’m having Dr. Steele on today because we think a lot alike from what I can tell, I love what they are doing with the DACO program, and I love where I think ChiroUp can help take our industry down the road in regards to Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic. So, without further adieu…….

Questions for Dr. Brandon Steele

Welcome to the show Dr. Steele. Let’s start off with the obligatory question of, “What made you decide to be a chiropractor?”

In our discussion in Dallas, you told me that you’ve moved around a bit. Where are you from and what led you to St. Louis?

I have seen the terms evidence-based and evidence-informed used for what we do and must admit my ignorance of the subtle differences here. I have assumed that, since I follow research, guidelines, and things like that, that I am indeed what is referred to as an evidence-based chiropractor. Can we assume the same about you? 

When exactly did you decide to start traveling more in the direction of evidence and research rather than the philosophical route in the profession? Was there an aha moment?

Tell me a little bit about your hilarious alter-ego, the wide-lapeled chiropractic huckster we see you play in videos from time to time on the ChiroUp Facebook page. 

Part of the idea of being more into the research and being based or informed with the evidence, I think, is Chiropractic standardization…. to standardize our profession to some extent as well as increasing the level of education of the run of the mill chiropractor. We know we don’t have a low level of education at all so….can you go into that a little bit for us? What do you mean when you speak about Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic?

Tell me everything about the DACO program. What got you involved with the DACO program originally?

Our regular listeners should be well-aware of you, Dr. Tim Bertlesman, and ChiroUp at this point. I’ve been pumping your tires for a bit. How did you and Dr. Bertlesman become acquainted with each other and then decide to go into business together?

Questions About ChiroUp, Chiropractic Standardization, and the Future of Chiropractic

Now, tell us a bit about ChiroUp. It feels like to me that it is really starting to hit its stride. I think ChiroUp is huge for Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic.

Obviously, you want it to be successful for your own financial reasons….we all want to see our businesses to well….. but don’t you see something more than that for the profession coming out of ChiroUp? How do you think ChiroUp can affect or change our profession for the better in the years to come, for the future of chiropractic?

What is in the future for ChiroUp as far as updates, functionality…..things like that?

Questions About Dr. Steele’s Speaking Events

What are some of your upcoming speaking events so people can come to see you do your thing?

How can listeners find you on social media or on the internet and contact you or learn more about you and what you do?

So there you have it folks, Dr. Brandon Steele. There’s no doubt you loved this podcast episode as much as I did. The future is bright for Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic.

Integrating Chiropractors

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio. That’s because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

Chiropractic Description

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability.

It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

▶︎Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

▶︎Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1938461399501889/

▶︎iTunes

▶︎Player FM Link

▶︎Stitcher:

▶︎TuneIn

About the author:

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

 

 

 

CF 036: A MishMash Of Research on Chiropractic, On Herniation, Trends, and Ineffectiveness

A MishMash Of Research on Chiropractic, On Herniation, Trends, and Ineffectiveness

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talk about research on Chiropractic, research on health trends, and research on disc herniation as a result of a visit to your friendly neighborhood chiropractor. Is that real or is that a bunch of hooey? We’ll talk about it so come along. 

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

Now that I have you here, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. Nope, I don’t have some big prize for you if you sign up. Not big offers. No magical marketing tactics with which to get your email address. Just what we hope is a podcast full of value to you and your business. 

Being on the newsletter list just makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and, maybe in the future we’ll have some cool stuff to offer those on our email list. Also, when someone new signs up it makes my heart leap and wouldn’t you like to be the one responsible for making someone’s heart leap today? 

Upcoming!

We have a lot of great guests lined up to come on the show! Next week I believe we are going to have Dr. Anthony Palumbo from Staten Island, New York. Dr. Palumbo is very active in the New York State Chiropractic Association and practices in a multidisciplinary practice. We’re going to have a good time picking his brain. 

The week after that, I believe we have Dr. Brandon Steele from ChiroUp and from the DACO program joining us. He’s an excellent resource for what is going on in our profession and where we see things heading in the future for chiropractic. I’m really looking forward to that one. 

We have the green light from Dr. Jerry Kennedy of the Black Sheep DC marketing program to come on the show. We just need to get that date lined up. We have Dr. Tim Bertlesman from the DACO program and also the President of the Illinois Chiropractic Association lined up down the road. 

Good stuff on the way so make sure you’re staying tuned into our little corner here in Podcast land. We’re bringing you the best in research on Chiropractic.

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

You have fainted very dramatically into Episode #36 and we’re so glad you did. 

How’s your week been so far? I shared on the last podcast how we have had a rough 2018 but things have leveled off and we up and running. It feels a little like a sprint these days to tell you the truth. Lol. And thank the good Lord for it. 

Speaking of thanking the Good Lord, my 16-year-old son has been raised in the church. Not every single Sunday. I like to sleep sometimes ya know. But, often enough to say he’s been a church-goer as has my 11-year-old daughter. We’ve not pushed anything on him but he has taken it upon himself to an extent to further the church part of his life. 

He’s gone to a church camp in New Mexico the last two summers and this year he returned ready to get baptized. So he did. Last Sunday he went to church and took a bath and we couldn’t be more proud of that little dude. He’s actually not so little anymore but, we worry about our kids don’t we?

We worry about if we’re raising them right. Am I raising him to be a good man? Am I raising him to work hard and be dependable? Will they be ready for the world? Have I somehow enabled him to be weak? Am I raising him to feel entitled instead of working his butt off for things in his life

I think parents have all of these worries. I might argue that if you’re not asking yourself at least some of these questions, you might give them a deeper look. I’m not a parenting expert. That’s just my opinion. 

Anyway, my point is, we got this aspect of his life right so far. We sure love that kiddo and we love the direction we see him headed. Kids can be a game-changer for sure. From conception throughout their entire lives, they consume our mind space without even realizing it. And that’s OK. We wouldn’t have any other way most to the time. 

With school back in session now, what are some of the ways that you keep your practice from slowing down? Back to school is historically a slow time for us and we’re never quite sure how to keep that from happening. Email me at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and tell me how you do it. I’ll be glad to share on next week’s podcast if you don’t mind. 

This week, I just want to throw some seemingly random papers having to do with research on Chiropractic at you and we’ll start with one called “Effectiveness of classic physical therapy proposals for non-specific low back pain: a literature review.” It was written by F Cuenca-Martinez[1], et.al. and published in Physical Therapy  Research in March of 2018. This is a group of physical therapists writing this paper just so you are in the know. 

Why They Did It

The authors were hoping to evaluate the effectiveness of classical physiotherapy in the management of non-specific chronic low back pain. 

How They Did It

  • They did a literature search in English electronic databases from November- December in 2015 for only randomized controlled trials
  • They only accepted the studies addressing chronic non-specific low back pain treated by manual therapy and different types of exercise methods. 

What They Found

Back School exercises and McKenzie’s method were both ineffective

Spinal manipulation proved effective when performed on the lower back and on the thoracic region but only immediately after it was received and not in the medium or in the long term. 

Massage proved effective for short-term relief

Wrap It Up

The authors’ conclusion was “Based on the data obtained, classical physiotherapy proposals show ineffectiveness in the treatment of chronic non-specific low back pain. More multidimensional studies are needed in order to achieve a better treatment of this condition, including the biopsychosocial paradigm.”

What do we get from this? First thought is, the papers they cite are, at this point, old and considering the papers we have been covering, are really pretty irrelevant to an extent. I mean, any good information will always be good information but only until better information becomes available. The most recent paper cited for the spinal manipulation portion of this project is over 5 years old. So….what the hell?

Second….it’s a bit discombobulated when you read through the abstract. I’m either bad at following along (which is highly likely) or it’s just worded so oddly. I dove into the full paper to try to make heads or tails of what they have going on here. It sounds like physical therapists are just trying to be cheeky monkeys and throwing poo at spinal manipulation and we’re not having it. Mostly because they’re wrong and because we are better and more cost-effective at treating low back pain than they are. Period over and out. 

The authors, in regards to spinal manipulation, refer to three studies. One by Oliveira, et. al[2]., one by Bronfort et. al[3]. and one by Senna and Machaly[4]. The Bronfort study was done on 300 patients and they found basically no difference between those that had physical therapy vs. chiropractic vs. home exercises. They all ended up the same. But, they didn’t cite the work we covered previously showing that chiropractic combined with exercise is more effective that physical therapy. 

Or the paper from Episode 26 by Korthals-de Bos[5] that concluded: “Manual therapy (spinal mobilization) is more effective and less costly for treating neck pain than physiotherapy or care by a general practitioner.”

There was also no mention of the paper by Blanchette et. al. that we covered in Episode #26 that showed that chiropractic patients experience the shortest duration of compensation, and physical therapists’ patients the longest. Blanchette says in that conclusion, “These differences raise concerns regarding the use of physiotherapists as gatekeepers for the worker’s compensation system.” And all the chiropractors said, “Amen, hallelujah brothers and sisters.”

And the Senna paper they cite actually concluded by saying, “SMT is effective for the treatment of chronic nonspecific LBP. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.”

I’m done with that paper. 

Let’s move on from these PTs and their poo-throwing. 

Here’s one more specifically geared toward research on Chiropractic called “Chiropractic care and risk for acute lumbar disc herniation: a population-based self-controlled case series study” by Cesar Hincapie, et. al[6].  

Why They Did It

The objective was to investigate the association between chiropractic care and acute lumbar disc herniation with early surgical intervention and contrast this with the association between primary care physician (PCP) care and acute lumbar disc herniation with early surgery

What They Found

Both chiropractic and primary medical care were associated with an increased risk for acute LDH requiring ED visit and early surgery. Our analysis suggests that patients with prodromal back pain from a developing disc herniation likely seek healthcare from both chiropractors and PCPs before full clinical expression of acute LDH. We found no evidence of excess risk for acute LDH with early surgery associated with chiropractic compared with primary medical care.

This Hincapie fella also had a prior paper published not long ago[7] where he discussed and explored the perception among different medical disciplines and among chiropractors as to whether spinal manipulation causes a lumbar disc herniation. It was an interesting paper. We covered it in episode #27 if you’d like to give it a listen. 

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/cf-027-wanted-safe-nonpharmacological-mean-of-treating-spinal-pain/

Then there’s this research on Chiropractic that came out recently titled “Spine Degenerative Conditions and Their Treatments: National Trends in the United States of America” and published in Global Spine Journal February 2018. It was authored by Buser et. al[8]. 

Why They Did It

The aim of this study was to report the current trends when talking about spine degenerative disorders and their various  treatments.

How They Did It

Patients diagnosed with lumbar or cervical spine conditions within the orthopedic Medicare and Humana databases were included

What They Found

  • Within the Medicare database there were 6 206 578 patients diagnosed with lumbar and 3 156 215 patients diagnosed with cervical degenerative conditions between 2006 and 2012
  • There was an increase of 18.5% in the incidence of fusion among lumbar patients
  • For the Humana data sets there were 1 160 495 patients diagnosed with lumbar and 660 721 patients diagnosed with cervical degenerative disorders from 2008 to 2014
  • There was a 33% (lumbar) and 42% (cervical) increases in the number of diagnosed patients. However, in both lumbar and cervical groups there was a decrease in the number of surgical and nonoperative treatments.

Wrap It Up

The authors wrap it up by saying, “There was an overall increase in both lumbar and cervical conditions, followed by an increase in lumbar fusion procedures within the Medicare database. There is still a burning need to optimize the spine care for the elderly and people in their prime work age to lessen the current national economic burden.”

What do we get from that? I’d say that it’s clear from research on Chiropractic we’ve covered here that neck and back pain is stepping forward for sure. It is being recognized for the problem it really is while treatments available in the medical kingdom continue to show scattered results. Chiropractors are the most uniquely positioned to knock this stuff out of the park. 

Fusion surgeries have gone crazy sky high in the last ten years while the outcomes have remained unchanged. 

Epidural steroid injections have been done at a blistering pace over the last decade with no better outcomes. 

Physical therapists are even starting to question their own effectiveness. Take this article in the journal called Physical Therapy written by Colleen Whiteford et. al[9]. Here is the opening paragraph. Get a load of this:

“We are writing to relay our consternation about the guideline article by Bier et al in the March issue of PTJ. We fully support the increasing emphasis on critical evaluation fo the assessment and intervention models used in physical therapist practice. The long-overdue acknowledgment of research that does not support much of what constitutes the bulk of physical therapist practice is a refreshing and honest introspection that can potentially initiate much-needed change within our profession.”

“Without such change, our profession is destined to continue on our current path of practice that is increasingly shown to be yielding outcomes that are less than desirable. Such exploration inevitably leaves us with gaping holes in practice that can be unsettling. The natural and responsible tendency is to search for alternative measures and interventions to fill this gap.”

I’m going to tell you one of those alternatives they’ll be looking to adopt and are looking to adopt is spinal manipulation. You better listen to me folks. If you’ve listened to our podcast much here then you know they’ve already adopted adjustments and renamed it to translatoric spinal manipulation. 

We can keep monkeying with these chiropractors out on the edge of the ether talking about curing everyone on the planet of everything known to man or we can keep moving in the direction of science and in the direction of evidence. My preference is obvious. 

If you haven’t yet, can you leave us a great review on whatever platform it is that you’re listening to us on? iTunes, Stitcher, or whatever it may be. We sure would appreciate it. 

Integrating Chiropractors

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments. Research on chiropractic shows this clearly.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks. Again, research on chiropractic shows this clearly.

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. We’ll keep bringing you Research on chiropractic in the hopes of reaching that goal!

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

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Bibliography

1. Cuenca-Martínez F, Effectiveness of classic physical therapy proposals for chronic non-specific low back pain: a literature review. Phys Ther Res, 2018. 21(1): p. 16-22.

2. Oliveira RF, Immediate effects of region-specific and non-region-specific spinal manipulative therapy in patients with chronic low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Phys Ther Res, 2013. 93(6): p. 748-56.

3. Bronfort G, Supervised exercise, spinal manipulation, and home exercise for chronic low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. Spine, 2011. 11(7): p. 585-98.

4. Senna MK, Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain result in better long-term outcome? Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2011. Aug 15; 36(18): p. 1427-37.

5. Korthals-de Bos IB, Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 2003. 326(7395): p. 911.

6. Hincapie C, Chiropractic care and risk for acute lumbar disc herniation: a population-based self-controlled case series study. European Spine Journal, 2018. 27(7): p. 1526-1537.

7. Hincapie C, Chiropractic spinal manipulation and the risk for acute lumbar disc herniation: a belief elicitation study. European Spine Journal, 2017.

8. Buser Z, Spine Degenerative Conditions and Their Treatments: National Trends in the United States of America. Global Spine J, 2018. 8(1): p. 57-67.

9. Whiteford C, On “Clinical Practice Guideline for Physical Therapy Assessment and Treatment in Patients With Nonspecific Neck Pain,” Bier JD, Scholten-Peeters WGM, Staal JB, et al. Phys Ther. 2018;98:162–171. Physical Therapy, 2018.

CF 035: Chiropractic & Disc Herniations

Chiropractic and Disc HerniationsIntegrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to kick around information on disc herniations, disc bulging, and radiculopathy as a result. Is there anything we can do about it? Well, I’m a chiropractic advocate and research backs us on it so I’ll say, “Hell yes.” Come along with us, won’t you?

 

First, I feel some sweet sweet bumper music moving in….

 

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.

 

Now that I have you here, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.comand sign up for our newsletter. It makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and it makes me feel good. Don’t you like to make people feel good? Of course, you do so….do it do it.

 

Also, our group on Facebook. It’s called the Chiropractic Forward Group and I think that’s as appropriate of a name as I could come up with. Lol. Just in case you didn’t know, there’s the page on Facebook. That’s for getting the word out and telling people about the podcast. Then there’s the private group. That’s for interacting with each other, learning from each other, posting new papers when they come out, and maybe organizing into a powerful group someday, somewhere down the line. That sort of deal must grow organically. It can’t be forced so we won’t try to do that.

 

We’ll just let you all know about its existence and hope to start seeing you over there. Let’s start a conversation outside of the podcast!

 

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

 

You have back-flipped head-on into Episode #35

 

Before we talk about all of the disc herniations stuff, I want to tell you all about my weekend. I spent Saturday and part of Sunday morning with my butt firmly planted in a chair in a hotel conference room listening to Dr. Brandon Steele talk about shoulder issues. He was the teacher as his company ChiroUp was a sponsor of the event but he was there teaching as part of the DACO program which is run by the University of Bridgeport.

 

What the heck is DACO right? Well, what used to be called DABCO is now called a DACO which stands for Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists. I have mentioned before where I sat through the first 10 DACO hours back in June. That was over the low back. These ten were over the shoulder. Topics covered included Scapular Dyskinesis. I knew nothing of this mess and, I already identified and started working with one of these patients the day after I got home. We also covered shoulder impingement, rotator cuff issues, thoracic outlet syndrome, and adhesive capsulitis to name a few.

 

Good stuff all around and, even if I don’t go all the way through the DACO program, I get better and better every time I take a class. And not just better. I get exponentially better.

 

In talking with Dr. Steele this weekend, he agreed to come on to the podcast as a guest. We’ll get that all lined up. I have a ton of questions for him. Some questions about the DACO program, some about ChiroUp (it’s really a game-changer and you better use my name if you sign on!!!), and I want to ask him about practice standardization and some things along those lines. It should be a fun conversation so make sure you keep your eyes out for it in the near future.

 

I encourage you…..a lot of what we talk about here is integrating with the medical community and really stepping up. Part of that is taking the steps to get educated at higher and higher levels. The DACO is in line with that. I have zero association with the people running it other than the fact that I love the product they have created and use it regularly. There is nothing in it as far as reimbursement goes. I just believe in what they’re doing. I encourage you all to look into this DACO program. If you don’t know where to start, just email me at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and I’ll get you pointed in the right direction.

 

Now, on to disc herniations

 

Have you ever been told we can’t do anything for discs? Have you been told to not adjust if they have a low back disc issue? Do you know how to recognize a disc issue? What’s the best way to treat it? So many questions!!

Here’s the deal for me today. I’m no guru. I’m going to throw research on you but in the end, a lot of it is just experience. So, don’t take my word as the gold standard. I didn’t expect you to anyway but, I wanted to be sure. Lol.

 

Let’s look first at recognizing disc herniations. There are some simple questions that can get you moving in the right direction on this:

  • Do you have static position irritation meaning, do you have to move around in your chair often to get comfortable?
  • Do you have pain going from seated to standing?
  • Is there a positive Milgram’s
  • How about a positive Modified Slump test?
  • Valsalva’s is part of that but some do it separately.
  • Same with SLR. I was taught that pain on SLR in the first 30 degrees, when the nerve is first tensioned, was indicative of a disc issue but the DACO folks say it’s between 30 and 70 degrees.
  • Worst position is seated
  • Best is lying down
  • Deep buttock pain
  • Pain in the first 1/3 of trunk flexion or trunk extension that cannot be alleviated by bracing or tightening a belt around the waist.
  • Radiating pain into the leg
  • As a general rule of thumb, the further pain radiates beyond the knee, the more likely it is caused by a disc.
  • Sometime you’ll encounter diminished reflexes or differences in sensory or motor information from side to side.

 

When should we get an MRI for disc herniations and other issues? Red flags like the history of cancer, fever, chills, recent unexplained weight loss, immunosuppression, and corticosteroid use give you a reason. Symptoms lasting longer than 6 weeks or symptoms showing progressive neurological deficit also give you a reason to get that MRI.

 

What can we do about it?

Again, that’s going to depend on who you ask. Are we going by The Lancet? Why not go by some chiropractic gurus? We can go by the medical fields recommendation or by physical therapists techniques? I say yes, yes, and yes.

 

I had a neurosurgeon buddy of mine tell me, whatever the hell works without doing surgery…..do that. I agree. That’s why we are friends coincidentally.

 

So, knowing all of that, I’m going to tell you what has been effective for me in my practice. The first thing is something that the insurance companies call experimental and investigational. I think they’re full of it. They don’t seem to be in any hurry to pick up new services to have to pay for, do they? But you know what? I’d rather them NOT cover it so we can actually get paid what it is worth.

 

What I’m talking about here is decompression for disc herniations. This was a game-changer for me in my practice. I have three short stories for you here. They all have to do with guys I tried to send to the surgeon. I’m not going into why we ordered the MRIs or the exam findings. It would take too long for this format so we’re going to jump to the chase in each of their cases.

 

  1. The first is a dude was in town visiting for work and was only going to be here for a few months before returning home. The MRI showed us that his disc herniations was 14 mm caudal migration. I sent him straight to the surgeon. The surgeon set him up for surgery in 6 weeks. The guy was on board with having surgery but couldn’t wait 6 weeks for some kind of relief. Any kind of relief. He begged me to do decompression. I figured that we could go light. In the end, it’s traction and he had no contraindications to decompression so we did it. This guy was back to working and dancing around in the office in about a week and a half y’all. If you want to say it’s placebo, that’s OK, we’re just going to disagree. If you want to say people just like to be touched and I could have pulled on his big toe and it may have had the same effect, I’m going to tell you to jump in a lake.
  2. The second was a guy that was a truck driver. He was in his 70’s and had had heart surgeries and was on blood thinners. He was a physical wreck honestly. When he came in, he was in a wheelchair and unable to work or function. I got an MRI and his herniation was posterior with 18 mm of caudal migration. That used to be a ticket to the surgeon so off he went. Well, his cardiologist would not take him off of the blood thinners so surgery was out of the question. He came back to me just like the other case we discussed. He had no other options and would I please do decompression on him to try to get him some relief. It had been going for quite some time. OK, sure. I’m a nice guy but I told him, I doubt it’s going to help something like you have going on. Yeah, yeah, yeah, hook me up, please. So we did. Guess what? He came in just a time or two later on a walker instead of a wheelchair. Then, a week or so later, he came in without a walker. Then a month or two down the road, he got a new job and was out there telling everyone that would listen about what we were able to do for him. You can take a long walk off a short pier if you’re going to suggest that was anything other than significant effects due to direct intervention.
  3. Last and worst of all disc herniations I’ve ever seen. He is actually a good friend of mine. He came in with numbness and weakness all the way into his foot. Limping, the whole deal. He worked in a warehouse and would have to be forklifted to the second floor where his office is because he couldn’t get there any other way. He thinks it was due to a motorcycle wreck several years ago. Whatever the cause, it was pretty crazy. His MRI showed disc herniations of 23mm of caudal migration. Almost all the way down to the next disc below. I had never seen that before and haven’t seen it since. I, of course, told him he needed to go to the surgeon muy pronto. He agreed but his wife, bless her heart, did not. And thank goodness. She was adamant about him not going to the surgeon. She strongly urged him to not go until he at least gave decompression a try. I told him about the first two cases we just talked about but that he was really in a different ballpark than those guys and I really didn’t know how I could help at all. They understood but decided to give it a go anyway. And thank God they did. Sometimes our patients teach us instead of us teaching them, don’t they? It took a couple of months but he started to turn around and never had that surgery. I just checked with him the other day, 2 years later, and he’s doing great. He said he has a little numbness in the outside of his foot but nothing bad and nothing he can’t handle. All’s well and guess who the hero is? Well….his wife. She’s the hero. Lol. I’m still the buddy and buddies can’t be heroes.

 

These are the worst of the worst disc herniations but what about all of the others that were more minor disc herniations? Think of all of the successes we have had with disc herniations over the years. When I say it’s a game-changer, I damn well mean it and, once again, I care not what insurance companies have to say about it.

 

Let’s look at some papers on it.

 

This one is called “Simple pelvic traction gives inconsistent relief to herniated lumbar disc sufferers” by Edward Eyerman, MD. It was published in the Journal of Neuroimaging in June of 1998[1].

 

Why They Did It

The aim was to do before and after MRIs to correlate improvement in the clinic with MRI evidence in terms of disc herniations repair in the annulus, nucleus, facet joint, or in the foramen as a result of decompression treatment.

 

Eyerman was testing the effectiveness of decompression in a sample of 12 men and 8 women aged 26-74. No, not a big sample.

His MRI finding was as follows:

Disc Herniations: 10 of 14 improved significantly, some globally, some at least locally at the site of the nerve root compression.

Measured improvement in local or general disc herniation size varied in the range of 0% in 2 patients, 20% in 4 patients, 30% to 50% in 4 patients and a remarkable 90 % in 2 patients that did all 40 sessions.

As far as clinical outcomes of the subjects go, he noted that all but 3 patients had very significant pain relief, complete relief of weakness when present, and of immobility and of all numbness except for in 1 patient with herniation and 2 with foraminal stenosis without herniation.

Summed up, he said “Serial MRI imaging of 20 patients treated with the decompression table shows in our study up to 90% reduction of subligamentous nucleus herniation in 10 of 14. Some rehydration occurs detected by T2 and proton density signal increase. Torn annulus repair is seen in all. Transligamentous ruptures show lesser repair. Facet arthrosis can be shown to improve chiefly by pain relief.

Then we have this one by Thomas Gionis, MD published in the Orthopedic Technology Review in December of 2003[2].

They concluded, “Results showed that 86% of the 219 patients who completed the therapy reported immediate resolution of symptoms, while 84% remained pain-free 90 days post-treatment. Physical examination findings showed improvement in 92% of the 219 patients, and remained intact in 89% of these patients 90 days after treatment.”

When is surgery necessary? Well, that’s going to depend on who you ask but a good general rule I follow is that cauda equina syndrome is a quick trip to a surgeon. I personally don’t like foot drop and am likely to send to a surgical consult. I think any progressive worsening of neuro symptoms is cause to pause and reconsider whatever you’re doing. If what you’re doing ain’t fixing it, change directions.

 

But there is this paper I found interesting. It’s from 2010 and called “Spontaneous Regression for a Large Lumbar Disc Extrusion[3]” by Ryu Sung-Joo, MD and was published online for the Journal of Korean Neurosurgical Society. I have no idea what the quality of this journal is or what the impact is but it’s interesting and I’ve seen studies before about spontaneous resolution of disc herniations.

 

The authors say, “Although the spontaneous disappearance or decrease in the size of a herniated disc is well known, that of a large extruded disc has rarely been reported. This paper reports a case of a spontaneous regression of a large lumbar disc extrusion. The disc regressed spontaneously with clinical improvement and was documented on a follow-up MRI study 6 months later.”

 

The case report was on a 53-year-old female after 6 months of low back pain and left lateral leg pain with numbness. Y’all go to the show notes and get the reference to this paper. The MRI images are great.

 

They mention, “After conservative treatment, her clinical symptoms subsided gradually but the numbness of her left lateral leg still remained. A second MRI study performed approximately 6 months after the prior examination reveals almost complete disappearance of the extruded fragment that had been located posterolateral to the L5 vertebral body and no evidence of compression or displacement of the dural sac or nerve root.” Wowza.

 

They go on to explain, “Our patient is an example of the resolution of a large protruded disc without surgery. This phenomenon may be due in part to the fact that larger fragments have a higher water content8) and may regress through dehydration/shrinkage, retraction, and inflammation-mediated resorption.” Meaning….her body ate it and it went bye bye.

 

They finished up the paper by saying, “Even in patients with large lumbar disc extrusion, non-surgical conservative care can be considered as an option for the treatment when radiculopathy is acceptable and neurological deficit is absent.“

That’s pretty cool. I don’t think surgeons are going to want to hear it but it’s cool. If all they can do is surgery on cauda equina or foot drop, they’re going to have a hard time financially.

 

Alright, moving beyond decompression or spontaneous resorption, what else can we do?

 

Here’s one I got from Dr. Tim Bertlesman. It was authored by G McMorland and called “Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study[4].” This one was published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiology and Therapeutics in 2010 and goes like this. The authors concluded, “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. Of the 40% left unsatisfied, subsequent surgical intervention confers excellent outcome. Patients with symptomatic LDH failing medical management should consider spinal manipulation followed by surgery if warranted.“

 

Go check it out in the show notes if you want the nuts and bolts and bells and whistles, please.

 

Then there are your directional preferences exercises. If you have not familiarized yourself with directional preferences, please do so yesterday. They are based upon the idea of centralization and peripheralization. McKenzie’s program uses it, the CRISP protocol uses it, Kennedy’s decompression system uses it, and the DACO program teaches it. Do you see a pattern of some sort emerging here?

 

Other things that are helpful are exercise recommendations like McKenzie or Williams exercises depending on the directional preference, core building.

 

These patients also need strong at-home suggestions like:

  • Get an inversion table for the house.
  • Get back to work as soon as possible
  • Don’t lay up in bed hoping it goes away
  • Sleep correctly
  • Work advice like get up and walk every 45 minutes or so
  • Don’t use catastrophic language and make sure they know it’s not a disease and most disc cases resolve

 

I don’t have all of the answers but, I’m guessing none of you do either. In the end, it’s experience, isn’t it? For example, without experience, I wouldn’t have known that it COULD be possible to help three guys with caudal migration of a disc from 14mm all the way up to 23mm. Nothing but experience can show someone that.

 

While we don’t know it all, we DO find means that are effective and help us get the job done and make a difference in our patients’ lives. That’s for sure.

This week, I want you to go forward with the knowledge that, in case you didn’t already know it, you’re powerful. You can take disc herniations that used to be sent straight to surgery and you can treat that complaint with safe, conservative, non-invasive, and non-pharmacologic means. That’s a hell of a deal right there, folks.

 

We’re not done talking about disc herniations, decompression, and all of that fun stuff. There’s too much left in the tank to be done but, in the interest of time, we’ll get to it on another episode.

 

Integrating Chiropractors

 

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

 

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

 

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.comand let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

 

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool.

 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.

 

??Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

 

??Social Media Links

 

??iTunes

??Player FM Link

??Stitcher:

??TuneIn

  1. Eyerman E, e.a., MRI Evidence of Nonsurgical, Mechanical Reduction, Rehydration and Repair of the herniated Lumbar Disc.J Neuro Imaging, 1998. 8(2).
  2. Gionis T, Surgical Alternatives: Spinal Decompression.Orthopedic Technology Review, 2003. 6(5).
  3. Ryu Sung-Joo, Spontaneous Regression of a Large Lumbar Disc Extrusion.J Korean Neurosurg Soc., 2010. 48(3): p. 285-287.
  4. McMorland G, Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2010. 33(8): p. 576-584.

 

CF 027: WANTED – Safe, Nonpharmacological Means Of Treating Spinal Pain

CF 025: Vets With Low Back Pain. Usual Care + Chiropractic vs. Usual Care Alone

CF 026: Chiropractic Better Than Physical Therapy and Usual Medical Care For Musculoskeletal Issues

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/cf-019-non-opioid-more-effective-while-chiropractic-maintenance-may-be-the-most-effective/ Adolphus Washington Womens Jersey

CF 032: How Evidence-Based Chiropractic Can Help Save The Day

How Evidence-based Chiropractic Can Help Save The Day

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talk about our blessing and our America’s curse, opioids. Why would I ever call opioids a blessing? We’ll get to that. Stick around for some updated info on how evidence-based chiropractic can save the day.

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

Now that I have you here, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live, when someone new signs up it makes my heart leap a little, and in the end, it’s just polite and we’re polite in the South.  

We are really starting to pick up some steam. Thank you to you all for tuning in. If you can share us with your network and give us some pretty sweet reviews on iTunes, I’ll be forever grateful. By now, we all know how the interwebs work. You have to share and participate in a page if you are going to see the posts or if the page will be able to grow. 

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

You have Texas two-stepped your way into Episode #32

As I was wondering what the heck I was going to talk about this week, I started looking at having a guest. Well, he was unavailable for a few weeks so now what? 

I started to put some random research papers together for this week’s episode was trying to gather my thoughts on flow, order, and all that good stuff and then…..POOF….it was like divine intervention. In my email box came about 4 or 5 articles on updates having to do with the opioid crisis. ALL IN THE SAME DAY. Pretty much in the same hour if you can believe that!

I’m not one to poo poo blessings or to throw rocks at divine intervention so guess what? We’re going with opioids and the ways evidence-based chiropractic can help save the day by helping our patients avoid them. 

If you have followed the Chiropractic Forward Podcast for any amount of time, or have seen any TV news program, you’ll know that American, and the world, has a bit of an opioid crisis and chiropractic is in the driver’s seat of alternative interventions that have been proven effective in treating the conditions that opioids have been commonly prescribed for. 

I want to start with an article I received from my malpractice carrier and, since I use the largest of chiro malpractice carriers, I’m guessing you all got it too but, if you are like most chiros, just deleted it rather than reading the thing. It turns out that I’m a nerd and I read the thing. It was titled “Opioids Misuse and Addiction: How Chiropractic Can Help(Petrocco-Napuli K)” and written by Kristina Petrocco-Napuli and posted on a site called Clinical Risks on June 13, 2018.

The article started with a story about Megan who was mid 30’s and suffering pain chronic pain four years after being in a wreck. 

As we chiropractors are well-aware of…..evidence based chiropractic care was not offered to her as a viable option for treatment following her car wreck, of course not….right? I mean, the trauma is mechanical in nature so why recommend mechanical solutions? Let’s just go right to the historically ineffective, addictive chemical treatment instead, OK?

So, basically, Megan went through two pregnancies addicted to opioids. She had some success quitting them during different parts of the pregnancies but continued to return to opioids. 

She goes on to cite information from the American Academy of Pain Management that says 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. Think about that just a second. Last I remember hearing, there was somewhere around 320 million Americans? That’s about 1/3 of the nation suffering from some form of chronic pain. That’s terrible news but, I’d argue it’s actually great news for chiropractors. Evidence-based chiropractic

It’s like, if we see personal injury patients in our office, we really don’t want people to get in wrecks but, be honest….it’s good for business. It feels dirty just saying that. I know I don’t personally want to see them get hurt but I’m here to help if they need me and that’s how I go about that. Same thing if it’s icy outside. You don’t want people falling and hurting themselves but…….yeah…..it’s good for business. You get my drift. 

We don’t want 1/3 of the nation suffering chronic pain but that also means the opportunities open to evidence-based chiropractic are virtually limitless if we play our cards right.  

I can tell you that we have seen some referrals in my office from a few of the pain doctors in the region that are trying to wean patients off of opioids and can I tell you something? It ain’t pretty. Some are mad at the world. Some are fidgeting all over the place and can’t sit still. Good Lord I’m glad I don’t prescribe and am not getting hit up all of the time for these pain meds. That is a blessing all by itself, isn’t it?

I am an advocate of yours. If you want to practice with adjustment only. Go for it. If you want to integrate…go for it. If you want to further educate yourself, go for it. You should be able to practice and get reimbursed to the extent of your schooling and to the extent of your state’s scope. I’m all for that. 

There was a time I thought it might be cool to prescribe like they do out in New Mexico. Chiropractors over there can go through an extra two years of education and have the ability and right to prescribe some meds to their patients if they feel they need it. I’ve had chiropractors tell me, “That’s not chiropractic.” I get that. That is why it is called an Advanced Practitioner or something of that sort. I don’t recall off the top of my head the official title. Regardless, who am I to hold a brother or sister back that wants to further their education, further their rights, and further their capabilities. You did the work. You deserve the pay-off and I’m on your side. 

However, for me personally, I’m over that. Not only is research showing more and more that that sort of prescription and treatment basically has no more effect than chiropractic, and, on top of all of that research, I don’t want to have to deal with people looking for the meds. I got over that a long time ago. Evidence-based chiropractic

In this article, the author goes on to mention the role of chiropractic which she says are as follows. 

  • Public awareness: Build knowledge on how chiropractic can help with chronic pain as an alternative to medications. We’ve talked about this many times before here on the chiropractic forward podcast
  • Education: Inform other practitioners about chiropractic as a treatment option for patients. This will become increasingly important, given the recent focus on non-pharmacological care. Again, we have screamed this one from the rooftops.
  • Reduce misuse: Help patients locate drug drop boxes for opioid disposal, drug take-back programs, medication lock boxes and testing programs. THIS is one I have not considered. Not at all. I think it’s a great point. If you know how to commonly find these take-back programs and lock boxes, send us an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and we will be glad to share with others. Right now, without going to Google for more information, I’m assuming a call to your local hospital can probably get this mystery solved for your area. 

Evidence-based chiropractic providers better get off their rears and take action on these points if we’re going to take our place. 

Next, there was this article in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “The burden of opioid-related mortality in the United States” by Tara Gomes, et. al(Gomes T) and published in JAMA in June of 2018.

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to answer the question, “What has been the burden of opioid-related deaths in the United States over a recent 15-year period?”

How They Did It

  • The study was a cross-sectional design in which cross sections were examined at different time points to investigate deaths from opioid-related causes from January 1, 2001- December 31, 2016. 
  • For the purposes of this study, opioid-related deaths were defined as those in which a prescription or illicit opioid contributed substantially to an individual’s cause of death as determined by death certificates. 

What They Found

Between 2001 and 2016, the number of opioid-related deaths in the United States increased by 345%, from 9489 to 42?245 deaths

Overall, opioid-related deaths resulted in 1?681?359 years of life in 2016

Wrap It Up

Premature death from opioids imposes an enormous and growing public health burden across the United States.

We covered a paper some time ago that mentioned the average age of death has actually decreased in America in the last two years because of opioids. 

Remember the uproar Americans were in when we lost a little over 58,000 soldiers in the Vietnam war? Yeah, another paper we reviewed recently estimates over 64,000 death to opioids just last year. See the issue? But chiropractors have been crazy all these years to offer a sensible, safe, and reasonable alternative for treating these people? Give me a freaking break with that stuff. Now, some chiropractors are crazy OK? It’s the fact but, evidence-based chiropractic care can fix this problem and I have zero doubts about it. 

I want to cover this next one briefly just to highlight how damn tone-deaf these people in the medical kingdom can sometimes be. This one is called “Prescription drug coverage for treatment of low back pain among US Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Commercial Insurers.” Written by Dora Lin, MHS and published in JAMA on June 22, 2018(Lin D) this article really highlights the issue we are dealing with in America. 

The question the authors looked to answer here was, “Among US insurers, what are the coverage policies for pharmacologic treatments for low back pain?”

How They Did It

  • A cross-sectional study of health plan documents from 15 Medicaid, 15 Medicare Advantage, and 20 commercial health plans in 2017 from 16 US states representing more than half the US population and 20 interviews with more than 43 senior medical and pharmacy health plan executives from representative plans.
  • Data analysis was conducted from April 2017 to January 2018.
  • Of the 62 products examined, 30 were prescription opioids and 32 were nonopioid analgesics, including 10 nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, 10 antidepressants, 6 muscle relaxants, 4 anticonvulsants, and 2 topical analgesics.

What They Found

Look who the hell cares what they found, OK? Here’s why NONE of it really matters. All they’re doing here is trying to figure out what drugs insurers carry and how to get drugs to people rather than what is effective, what the current guidelines recommend, what The Lancet papers had to say about opioids and nonopioids, what the American College of Physicians have to say is first-line treatment and what is last line treatment for low back pain. Evidence-based chiropractic

How about they do a little research having to do with….I don’t know…maybe doing away with opioids, and anticonvulsants for low back pain…doing away with steroid shots and surgery for non-complicated low back pain….and knocking down the barriers to patients seeking alternative care. Barriers noted and called out by the White House last year and barriers that were set up by CMS and insurance companies. 

How about we do something effective along those lines instead of wasting more time and paper folks? It could not be more exhausting. 

This week, I want you to go forward with comfort. Comfort in knowing that you are where you need to be and you’re there for the right reasons. You are helping people stay away from these drugs. You saving their lives in many cases whether they….or you….know it. We are saving lives folks. Good on you. Keep it up. Keep making a difference. Stay with evidence-based chiropractic care, be patient-centered rather than doctor driven or numbers driven and the money will take care of itself.

Key Takeaways

  1. Opioids haven’t gone away. Pill pushers haven’t gotten the message yet. The issues are still there and they’re real 
  2. Research doesn’t matter unless we educate the medical professionals around us and educate our patients so spend some extra time talking to your patients about the stuff we go through with you right here. 

Integrating Chiropractors

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Being the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world would be pretty darn cool. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

??Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

??Social Media Links

??iTunes

??Player FM Link

??Stitcher:

??TuneIn

 

Bibliography

Gomes T (2018). “The Burden of Opioid-Related Mortality in the United States.” JAMA Network Open 1(2).

Lin D (2018). “Prescription Drug Coverage for Treatment of Low Back Pain Among US Medicaid, Medicare Advantage, and Commercial Insurers.” JAMA Network Open 1(2).

Petrocco-Napuli K. (2018). “Opioids Misuse and Addiction: How Chiropractic Can Help.” Clincal Risks  Retrieved June 13, 2018, from https://www.ncmic.com/learning-center/articles/risk-management/clinical-risks/opioids-misuse-and-addiction-how-chiropractic-can-help/.

CF 025: Vets With Low Back Pain. Usual Care + Chiropractic vs. Usual Care Alone

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

CF 026: Chiropractic Better Than Physical Therapy and Usual Medical Care For Musculoskeletal Issues

evidence-based chiropractic

evidence-based chiropractic

CF 031: No More High Risk & Useless Drugs From Here On – Getting Off Opioids

No More High Risk & Useless Drugs From Here On – Getting Off OpioidsIntegrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talk about getting off opioids. Even with the opioid crisis going crazy in our country, every single week, I have patients come in and they’ve been prescribed opioids as knee-jerk reactions right off the bat. We know that ain’t right! It’s time to start getting off opioids. 

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

Before we get started, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and it’s just nice of you. 

We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall. Big goals. It’s a thing, folks… shoot big, and even if you fail, you’re still getting somewhere you weren’t going previously. It’s a win-win. 

You have sashayed all fancy like into Episode #31

I spent the weekend last week in Longview, TX. Folks, I swear if you just looked out to check the weather, your face would fry right up like a pork rind. And pork rinds are gross so, if you’re down South, keep your face in the house. The sun is downright dumb right now, at this point in time. Certainly in the South. 

Now, let’s turn our attention to drugs. Or getting patients off of them. Getting off opioids. This brings to mind an uncle of mine. He’s having some chronic pain. Granted, he’s very elderly but, he’s always been a healthy guy. Always. No seriously bad habits. Nothing like that.  

The doctor said he was going to try taking him off of some of his 16 medications to see if that helped. Lol. Ya think so doc? Holy smokes and save the gravy. Sixteen medications. Imagine the obstacle courses of side effects with every single one of the sixteen medications he was taking? It boggles the mind. Hell yes, he’s sick. When does this mentality change?

We hope with podcasts like this, like evidence-based chiropractic groups on social media. There are people out there like us screaming and hollering to make it happen. 

I had a young lady in my office just two weeks ago. Probably about 24 or 25 years old. She had fairly acute low back pain and had gone to the Urgent Care for it the day before. Guess what they did? Gabapentin was their first-line choice. First line. 

No sir, no ma’am. That is NOT in keeping with every known current recommendation from the medical field. Here it is lined out for you. 

Chiropractic, exercise/rehab, heat, and massage, maybe acupuncture if it’s a chronic issue. Throw in cognitive behavioral therapy and some other therapies I’m not all that familiar with to round it out. Some guides will say aspirin, ibuprofen, etc..

Second line would mostly be the anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and aspirin. We covered a study some time back on the blog where ibuprofen was shown more effective than Tylenol but, other than that, do as you will. 

Last line would be injections, more serious medications, and very last would be surgery. This is all about getting off of opioids.

That’s the order. You don’t skip everything and go right to Gabapentin. Not anymore anyway. The word isn’t percolating through the ether right now and getting to the physicians seeing this stuff on the front line. It’s all about getting off opioids, folks.

Here’s why. Let’s start with this one called “Anticonvulsants in the treatment of low back pain and lumbar radicular pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis” by Oliver Enke, et. al. and published in CMAJ(Enke O 2018). CMAJ stands for the Canadian Medical Association Journal so, it’s basically JAMA for Canadians. By making this clear to the listeners here, you know this isn’t chiropractors picking apart medical doctors and medicine. This comes from the authorities in the medical field. 

Why They Did It

There’s scant evidence that an anti-convulsant like gabapentin is effective for low back pain yet the incidence of its use has gained significantly recently. The authors here wanted to find out if there was actually any effectiveness for the medication for low back pain. 

How They Did It

  • 5 databases were used to search for prior info and research on the matter. 
  • The outcomes were self-reported pain, disability, and adverse events
  • Risk of bias was assessed and taken into account
  • Quality of the info was assessed as well
  • The info was gathered and numbers put on the information to make it make sense. 
  • 9 trials compared Topiramate, Gabapentin, or Pregabalin to placebo
  • There were 859 participants

What They Found

  • 14 out of 15 so…..93.3%….found anti-convulsants were not effective to reduce pain or disability in low back pain or lumbar radicular pain
  • There was HIGH-QUALITY evidence of no effect vs. placebo for chronic low back pain in the short term.
  • There was HIGH-QUALITY evidence of no effect for lumbar radicular pain in the immediate term 
  • The lack of effectiveness also comes with HIGH-QUALITY evidence of an increased risk of bad side effects. 

Wrap It Up

The authors wrapped it up by saying, “There is moderate- to high-quality evidence that anticonvulsants are ineffective for treatment of low back pain or lumbar radicular pain. There is high-quality evidence that gabapentinoids have a higher risk for adverse events.”

So, we can close the door on gabapentinoids right? Time shall tell. How are we going to do our part to get the word to the right folks on this? Shoot me your suggestions. Count me in. 

OK, we know now that gabapentinoids are foolish to prescribe for low back pain. What about opioids? If you’ve been listening very long to the Chiropractic Forward Podcast, then you likely already know the answer. But I like to add to the pile so here we do with a new one called “Changes in pain intensity following discontinuation of long-term opioid therapy for chronic non-cancer pain” by McPerson, et. al. and published in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain. This paper was published on June 13 of 2018. (McPherson S 2018)

Why They Did It

The objective of this study was to characterize pain intensity following opioid discontinuation over 12 months.

How They Did it

  • The paper was a retrospective VA administrative data study
  • 551 patients were identified and included.
  • They took data over a 24 month time period which included 12 months before discontinuation and 12 months after discontinuation. 
  • The Numeric Rating Scale for pain was used as an outcome assessment

Wrap It Up

“Pain intensity following discontinuation of LTOT does not, on average, worsen for patients and may slightly improve, particularly for patients with mild-to-moderate pain at the time of discontinuation. Clinicians should consider these findings when discussing risks of opioid therapy and potential benefits of opioid taper with patients.”

Well then, getting off of opioids should be easy. All of the info tells they do no good anyways right? 

I had a new patient come in today. She’s 23. Last year, she had discectomies at three different levels. Can you imagine? Now, to be fair to the surgeon, she tried two months of physical therapy and was still unable to work or function in her daily life. She would intermittently go numb from the waist down. That’s big stuff but, should she have had surgery that quickly?

Does that mean she had cauda equina syndrome? Well….maybe. Numb from the waist down sort of sounds like it but did that include loss of bowel or bladder control? I’m not sure yet. I’m going to find out more about it as we treat. The surgeon may have been correct if it was indeed cauda equina and I’m not one to second-guess the guy right now going off of what I know right now. 

The main point here is that she said she was on all kinds of meds the whole time and afterward and is still on gabapentin and trying to wean herself off of it. I went over the Canadian Medical Journal article we just went over at the start of this podcast and showed her how it’s doing nothing for her. She said she knows that. It doesn’t help her one bit but she has withdrawal issues if she takes less than a certain amount per day. These folks need our help and I hope I’m able to do my part for her. 

We can avoid this stuff. I hate that I’m getting to her afterward though. I have to tell you. What if, on top of physical therapy (which I don’t see doing a ton of good for discs in my experience), what if on top of PT she would have been told to do massage, spinal manipulation, and I would argue spinal decompression and cold laser as well? Did she try an inversion table at all? What about Tai Chi, yoga, cognitive behavior therapy? 

What I’m saying here is that PT is just part of the cocktail. The power is when PT is mixed with the rest. We are getting off opioids, folks.

I have shown you all paper after paper showing evidence-based proof of the effectiveness of chiropractic care but how about some cultural proof? Let’s do it!

What name is more respected by consumers in American than Consumer Reports? Honestly, I remember the name from when I was a kid. Consumer Reports is ingrained in the membrane, isn’t it? I say that it is so it must be so. 

Here is an article from Consumer Reports from May 4, 2017(Carr T 2017). Just over a year ago. 

The article talks about Thomas Sells, a veteran receiving alternative therapies through the VA. Along with chiropractic care, the article mentions alternatives for low back pain treatment like tai chi, yoga, massage, and physical therapy. 

The article says, “Growing research shows that a combination of hands-on therapies and other nondrug measures can be just as effective as more traditional forms of back care, including drugs and surgery. And they’re much safer.”

That feels pretty nice, doesn’t it? Just a little “Awwww yeah…..”

They refer to the updated recommendations from the American College of Physicians that we have mentioned a million times here on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast. Even with only having had 31 episodes, we’ve probably mentioned it that many times. 

They also mention a prior Consumer Report survey of 3,562 back pain sufferers where over 80% of them had tried yoga, tai chi, massage, or chiropractic and said it helped. 

A big kudos to Consumer Report for also saying this, “But here’s the problem: People also told us that their insurers were far more likely to cover visits to doctors than those for non-drug treatments—and that they would have gone for more of that kind of treatment if it had been covered by their health insurance.” 

Remember in the previous episodes where we have talked about the White House report that said clearly that CMS and health insurance policies in general “create barriers” to a patient seeking out effective, but an alternative, means of treatment? The link is in the show notes for your perusal.(2017) 

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/whitehouse.gov/files/images/Final_Report_Draft_11-3-2017.pdf

Well, there you have it. Right there in Consumer Reports. 

They also include a great quote from a woman in St. Charles, Illinois, “Spinal manipulation did me a world of good. My chiropractor had me do a lot of exercises on my own, which I continue to do. I’m so happy to get my active life back.”

We, chiropractors, see and hear this stuff all of the time but, the average Joe reading Consumer Reports or some other popular publication doesn’t usually. 

This week, I want you to go forward with the knowledge that this profession is moving ahead. Not at a snail’s pace either. It’s moving fast right now. Paper after paper is coming out and 99% are in our favor. 

Not only are we moving ahead, we’re moving ahead with help. Help from the big boys. Help from the White House to a certain extent, help from Congress to a certain extent (VA Bills), help from the medical profession to a certain extent, and help from your evidence-based colleagues like this podcast, the Forward Thinking Chiropractor podcast, the Evidence-based chiropractors facebook group, and other groups similar to them. 

This stuff is happening. You can hold onto your ideas whatever they may be but I’m telling you, the door is cracked open and, if we are to bust that sucker down and shatter it into splinters, we will only do it through research and through an integration or merging of our profession with the thoughts and actions of other professions. 

Key Takeaways

  • We can get these folks off useless and harmful drugs and we can help keep more from becoming addicted. The process of getting off opioids has begun.
  • You are educated at a level that you should never be intimidated or nervous to tell a GP that gabapentin is no longer a first-line treatment. Do it for yourself, do it for your patients, and do it for future patients. If not you, then who?

Integrating Chiropractors

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

When you look at the body of literature, it is clear: research and clinical experience show that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results with Chiropractic when compared to usual medical care. It’s safe, less expensive, decreases chances of surgery and disability. Chiropractors do it conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. And, if the patient has a “preventative” mindset going forward, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Please feel free to send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think or what suggestions you may have for us for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and we want to hear from you on a range of topics so bring it on folks!

If you love what you hear, be sure to check out www.chiropracticforward.com. We want to ask you to share us with your network and help us build this podcast into the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world. 

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

??Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

??Social Media Links

??iTunes

??Player FM Link

??Stitcher:

??TuneIn

CF 019: Non-Opioid More Effective While Chiropractic Maintenance May Be The Most Effective

CF 026: Chiropractic Better Than Physical Therapy and Usual Medical Care For Musculoskeletal Issues

 

 

Bibliography

(2017). The President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and The Opioid Crisis.

Carr T. (2017). “The Better Way to Get Back Pain Relief: Growing research suggests that drugs and surgery may not be the answer for your bad back.” Consumer Report  Retrieved May 4, 2017, from https://www.consumerreports.org/back-pain/the-better-way-to-get-back-pain-relief/.

Enke O (2018). “Anticonvulsants in the treatment of low back pain and lumbar radicular pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis.” CMAJ(190): E786-793.

McPherson S (2018). “Changes in Pain Intensity Following Discontinuation of Long-Term Opioid Therapy for Chronic Non-Cancer Pain.” PAIN.

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

CF 030: Integrating Chiropractors – What’s It Going To Take?

Episode #30

Integrating Chiropractors – What’s It Going To TakeIntegrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talk about what the medical field may be looking for when integrating chiropractors into their referral network. We’ll also talk about a recent article discussing The Lancet papers and whether or not the Chiropractic profession needs to take more care…..or care at all for that matter. 

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

Before we get started, it was brought to my attention by Dr. Ryan Doss out in Lubbock, TX that our Chiropractic Froward episodes in iTunes only go back to Episode 18 or 19 right now. This is a new development that I’m not sure exactly how to fix or what to do about it at this time but, I am trying to figure it out. For now, though, you can go to our website at www.chiropracticforward.com and have access to all of the directly right there. All of them in one place.  

I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and it’s just nice of you and helps me notify when a new episode is up and ready for you. 

I’m always offering myself up for speaking opportunities or to be a guest on YOUR podcast or at your seminar.  Just send me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and we will connect.

I have to tell you that I have recently joined the Facebook group called Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance led by Dr. Bobby Maybee who also hosts the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Podcast and I have been a member of the Evidence-Based Chiropractic group over there on Facebook for a while now. That one is led by Dr. Marc Broussard and has several highly respected admins. 

First, I host the Chiropractic Forward podcast and Bobby Maybee hosts the Forward Thinking Chiropractic podcast. Those sound similar right? And….to be fair…in regards to focusing on researched information and draggin’ chiropractic further into the evidence-based realm, we are very similar. OF course, we have different deliveries and Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance has been around longer than we have. Integrating chiropractors is a common topic. 

When I was trying to figure out what to name my podcast, I somehow came up with Chiropractic Forward. I Googled it and nothing showed up for Chiropractic Forward and I was so excited and ran with it. It wasn’t until a few months later that I stumbled on Forward Thinking Chiropractic and thought, well hell…. But, though there are similarities in the names, I do my thing and Bobby and his crew do theirs and they are very successful and good at what they are doing. In the end, I hope we are both extremely healthy for chiropractors everywhere a podcast can be heard. 

There is also Dr. Jeff Langmaid known as the Evidence-Based Chiropractor. Jeff has built an amazing brand talking about many of the things we talk about here and he does a great job with it. He’s a great speaker. Clear, concise, and easy to understand. 

So, outside of myself and the Chiropractic Forward Podcast, I hope you will give Dr. Bobby Maybee and the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Podcast a listen as well as Dr. Jeff Langmaid and the Evidence-based Chiropractor Podcast. They are excellent resources for further learning and understanding on all of this stuff. Again, integrating chiropractors is a common topic and you know I love that topic!

The Facebook groups I mentioned are simply priceless when it comes to being an evidence-based chiropractor.

I’ve found myself from time to time feeling a little uncomfortable and surrounded by ideas and philosophies within our profession that I just never got behind or could support. I’ve had to sit through countless speeches that made my eyes roll with disbelief. The Evidence-Based Chiropractic group and the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance groups on Facebook are groups that fit me like a glove. As I said, integrating chiropractors is a topic I’m on board with. I’m not super active in there but really do enjoy reading the threads, opinions, and yes….even some light arguing here and there. But, these groups are very educational and an absolute must if you are evidence-based. 

We have a Chiropractic Forward group as well on Facebook but it’s new and just now getting going. I’d love to invite you all over there to join up with us as well as like our Facebook page itself and maybe even check us out on Twitter at chiro_forward. 

Hey, I’m doing my part to get the word out. You can rest assured on that. 

Enough social media talk, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall. That’s a tall order but that is the goal and I’ve never shy-ed away from big goals. You shouldn’t either!

You have collapsed into Episode #30. I can’t believe I started this journey 30 weeks ago. It’s crazy to think. I really can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed it so far. I suppose it takes some amount of hubris to think anyone would care about what you have to say but, in the end, don’t you just have to go where you’re led? That’s what I’m doing and I’m glad you’re coming along with me each week.

We have talked a lot in previous episodes about integrating chiropractors. Whether that means integrating chiropractors into a hospital setting, bringing medical services into your clinic, or some sort of co-treatment/referral sort of set up between the chiropractor and other medical professionals. Regardless, integrating chiropractors is the next step for our profession. 

On that note, let’s start with the article about The Lancet papers on low back pain. This was in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies and Published June 25, 2018. Brand new stuff here folks. This was written by Simon French, et. al. and titled “Low back pain: a major global problem for which the chiropractic profession needs to take more care(French S 2018).” 

The abstract on this article introduces the series of papers published in The Lancet back in March of 2018 which provided the global community with a comprehensive description of low back pain, treatment recommendations based on research, and low back pain going forward from where we are currently. 

They go on to mention what we have been saying over and over here on the podcast. And that is that chiropractic is poised to step in and run the show for non-complicated low back pain. But, according to the authors and according to the Chiropractic Forward podcast, many chiropractors make statements and do things that aren’t supported by robust, contemporary evidence. 

We went through the Lancet papers here on the podcast and you can listen to them by going back to episodes 16, 17, and 18. I encourage you to do so. There really is some excellent information from a multidisciplinary panel of low back pain experts around the world. 

The authors of the Lancet papers, if you follow them on Twitter, have said repeatedly that they don’t want this paper to be profession specific. Meaning, they don’t want to come right out and say, “Hey folks, chiropractors should be the first referral or, we recommend PTs take any and all low back pain patients first and then deal them out where needed for more treatment.” 

I think that’s probably smart on their part but, as a chiropractic advocate, I have no problem throwing our hat in the ring and saying that research has proven several times over that spinal manipulation is superior to the mobilization that PTs perform AND less expensive. If chiropractors are less expensive and more effective, then why in the Hell WOULDN’T we be the first referral for these low back pain patients? Integrating chiropractors makes more sense now than ever before.

This paper goes on to mention that there has been a shift in thinking on low back pain in recent years from the traditional medical approach to a more patient-centered, evidence-based, non-pharma approach putting chiropractors right where they always should have been. 

They also talk about how The Lancet papers say that imaging needs to be reduced significantly. Wouldn’t you agree that may be a challenge for the way many chiropractors practice? You know who you are out there! They also discuss how evidence doesn’t support ongoing passive chiropractic care. This will also be an obstacle for many in my profession. In addition, they state that many chiropractors implement therapy modalities that simply have little to zero good evidence supporting them. 

French says chiropractors are in the right placed but not enough of us are actively involved in research and our research output is small when compared to other healthcare professions. Integrating chiropractors into the medical field will require more research production from our profession that we currently see. 

He also says that the chiropractic profession needs to be more integrated to be a major player if we are to be able to fulfill the role The Lancet papers put us in. And I agree wholeheartedly. If you check out episode #20 called Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction, you’ll hear a robust discussion on this. 

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

 

French’s conclusion highlights the reason the Chiropractic Forward podcast exists. It puts a spotlight right on the purpose if you listen close enough. 

He wraps up the article by saying the following: “Our low back pain “call to action” for the chiropractic profession is to get our house in order. In our opinion, nothing is more relevant to chiropractors than people with low back pain, and the evidence clearly shows that we can do a better job for the millions of people who experience this potentially debilitating condition every year. Chiropractors in clinical practice need to provide higher quality care in line with recommendations from evidence-based clinical practice guidelines.

The chiropractic profession is perfectly placed to be a major player in providing a part of the solution to the global challenge of low back pain. But the profession has been shut out of this role in most countries around the world due to, amongst many other things, internal political conflict, a lack of political will, and a minority of chiropractors who provide non-evidence-based approaches. The profession needs to invest heavily to support chiropractors who wish to undertake high-quality research directed at solving this major global problem.”

Amen amen amen. I’ve always wished I knew more about running my own research projects. It’s just not something we were taught. I’m looking at maybe searching out a mentor to help me get my own projects going…..maybe just case reports but something…. and get them published. Although the idea of generating my own research projects makes me want to punch myself in the nose, I know it’s important towards integrating chiropractors.

OK, let’s shift gears a bit. If we are poised and ready for integrating chiropractors and we start following evidence-based protocols, that’s all fine and dandy and moving in the right direction. However, what if there are already perceptions out there in the medical field we’ll be needing to change? I said what it? I meant, of course, there are negative perceptions of us that will have to be battled. It’s a fact. 

Here is a paper from June 22, 2018, by Stacie Salsbury, et. al. called “Be good, communicate, and collaborate: a qualitative analysis of stakeholder perspectives on adding a chiropractor to the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team(Salsbury S).” It would have been more fun if Salsbury would have just titled it “Stop, collaborate and listen if you want to be a good chiropractic physician….. but……she didn’t. We’re obviously not dealing with a Vanilla Ice fan here. It’s probably a good thing that, so far, I’m not responsible for naming research papers. 

Anyway, this paper wanted to explore the qualities preferred in a chiropractor by key stakeholders in a neurorehabilitation setting. 

How They Did It

  • It was a qualitative analysis of a multi-phase, organizational case study
  • It was designed to evaluate the planned integration of a chiropractor into a multidisciplinary rehabilitation team
  • It was a 62-bed rehabilitation specialty hospital
  • Participants were patients, families, community members, and professional staff of administrative, medical, nursing, and therapy departments. 
  • Data collection was from audiotaped, individual interviews and profession-specific focus groups 
  • 60 participants were interviewed in June 2015
  • 48 were staff members, 6 were patients, 4 were family members, and 2 were community members. 
  • The analysis process helped them produce a conceptual model of The Preferred Chiropractor for Multidisciplinary Rehabilitation Settings. 

What They Found

  • The central domain was Patient-Centeredness, meaning the practitioner would be respectful, responsive, and inclusive of the patient’s values, preferences, and needs. This was mentioned in all interviews and linked to all other themes. Of course, I may interject my own opinion here if you don’t mind. Isn’t the lack of patient-centered care the MAIN gripe when it comes to medical doctors too?!? That’s not just a chiropractic issue. 
  • The Professional qualities domain highlighted clinical acumen, efficacious treatment, and being a safe practitioner. Again, something desired of all practitioners regardless of discipline I would think. 
  • Interpersonal Qualities encouraged chiropractors to offer patients their comforting patience, familiar connections, and emotional intelligence
  • Interprofessional Qualities emphasized teamwork, resourcefulness, and openness to feedback as characteristics to enhance the chiropractor’s ability to work within an interdisciplinary setting.
  • Organizational Qualities, including personality fit, institutional compliance, and mission alignment were important attributes for working in a specific healthcare organization.

Wrap It Up

Salsbury ended the article with this conclusion, “Our findings provide an expanded view of the qualities that chiropractors might bring to multidisciplinary healthcare settings. Rather than labeling stakeholder perceptions as good, bad or indifferent as in previous studies, these results highlight specific attributes chiropractors might cultivate to enhance the patient outcomes and the experience of healthcare, influence clinical decision-making and interprofessional teamwork, and impact healthcare organizations.”

Now when you go a little deeper than the abstract you’ll see statements that hint at the fact that, when it comes to chiropractors there is fragmentation, disconnection, boundary skirmishes, and a general failure to communicate. 

In addition, the primary care providers and medical specialists have recognized the ability of some chiropractors to treat some musculoskeletal stuff in some patients but that’s about it right now. Couple that with the fact that most in the medical kingdom report just not knowing much about chiropractic or its treatments. 

Some medical providers express concern about the safety of spinal manipulation and have voiced skepticism over the efficacy of our protocols. Let’s be fair, I have my own concerns and am skeptical of some of their protocols as well so that swings both ways friends. But for evidence-based chiropractors, integrating chiropractors into the field makes perfect sense.

When talking to orthopedic surgeons that had particularly negative attitudes toward chiropractors, they typically cited something a patient told them or would cite aspects of the fringe element of the chiropractic community that allowed the surgeons to question the ethics of some chiropractors, to comment on the inadequacy of educational training, and comment on the sparse scientific basis of chiropractic treatments. 

To all of this, I say…..what the hell rock have these people been living under? Sure question the ethics of some. I question the ethics of A LOT of chiropractors if I’m being honest. I could be a wealthy man right now myself but I wouldn’t be able to sleep knowing I’m taking advantage of people. But, what about laminectomies? What about the fact that outcomes have never improved for lumbar fusion but they incidence of performing fusions has gone sky high. Where are the ethics on that? The epidural shots have shot through the roof without any improved outcomes and proof of zero long-term benefits. Where are the ethics?

If you question our education, know what you’re talking about first. That’s all I’m saying. The admission scale is low admittedly. There are philosophy courses I could do without. There are a few technique classes I think are worthless but, overall, the education of chiropractors is outstanding. Are physical therapists getting the same basic science courses the medical doctors are getting? Is that happening? From a quick search of the Physical Therapist curriculum, it appears that it is not so what on Earth are these people even talking about?

The other comment was the sparse body of research. Let’s just say that I’ve been blogging on chiropractic research since 2009 every single week without repeating research papers. The body of research is absolutely there. They’re just ignorant of it. It’s that simple. And where is the research for some of the garbage they utilize? 

I’m in no way saying chiropractors don’t need to step up. They most certainly do in a big way if integrating chiropractors si to become a reality. I hope the evidence-based guys and gals are starting to find more places they feel comfortable out there in social media and starting to find more of a voice within the profession. I truly believe there are many many more evidence-based chiros than there are others. Let’s be honest here. If you want to fit into healthcare, you damn well better do it based on solid research and evidence backing your profession and protocols. 

If I went through this paper from top to bottom, we’d be here for hours, I would have a red face from defending chiropractic, my blood pressure would be sky high, and my vernacular would probably devolve into meaningless gibberish at some point. So I’m going to leave it there. I gave you some highlights, I have it cited in the show notes. Go and read it and email me your thoughts. I’d love to hear them. 

This week, I want you to go forward with some things a poster in the Evidence-based chiropractic group on facebook the other day that I thought had value when it comes to what we’re talking about. She said:

Chiropractic is not a religion. 

A medical doctor should be able to understand the language coming out of your mouth, if they do not, they need to be able to find it cited in a medical textbook. 

I think chiropractic has a long way to go. It does indeed. But, not as far as we had to go 5 years ago. We still have too many people out there on the fringe. We still have far too many practices that are about numbers instead of being patient-centered. Don’t you think that when your business is patient-centered, your patients know that and the money takes care of itself? 

On the other hand, if you are trying to get 50 visits out of a patient, some will go for it, but many more will be turned off by it and will not return. Not only that but for many patients, you will have ruined the entire profession in their eyes based on your act of hitting numbers rather than making sure you’re doing what is best for the patient. That’s just being as honest as I know how to be. I know some won’t like that much but it’s a fact. 

I can’t tell you how many patients I have gotten from a guy that made patients sign contracts for treatment and when treatment didn’t work, he wouldn’t allow them out of the contract. How in the hell does that fit into healthcare folks? It certainly not patient-centered in any shape form or fashion and you’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise. You will never see us integrating chiropractors into the medical profession with junk like that. 

I told you that I can’t tell you how many patients we got from this guy’s poor ethics but, the bigger question is, “How many patents did he ruin on the idea of chiropractic so now they’re out there thinking they have to suffer in pain when all they had to do was visit a chiropractor better equipped with a high standard of ethics?”

THAT is the real question. 

We have to improve, yes. But, for us to integrate properly, the medical kingdom has to improve as well in regards to musculoskeletal complaints, proper recommendations and treatments, and in their perception and understanding of chiropractic and what we can do for these patients. It’s not all one-sided in my mind. 

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments. Integrating chiropractors makes perfect sense here.

When you look at the body of literature, it is clear: research and clinical experience show that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results with Chiropractic when compared to usual medical care. It’s safe, less expensive, decreases chances of surgery and disability. Chiropractors do it conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. And, if the patient has a “preventative” mindset going forward, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Please feel free to send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think or what suggestions you may have for us for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and we want to hear from you on a range of topics so bring it on folks!

If you love what you heard on integrating chiropractors, be sure to check out www.chiropracticforward.com. We want to ask you to share us with your network and help us build this podcast into the #1 Chiropractic podcast in the world. More people need to hear about integrating chiropractors!

We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

??Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

??Social Media Links

??iTunes

??Player FM Link

??Stitcher:

??TuneIn

CF 026: Chiropractic Better Than Physical Therapy and Usual Medical Care For Musculoskeletal Issues

CF 015: DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 3 of 3)

 

 

 

French S (2018). “Low back pain: a major global problem for which the chiropractic profession needs to take more care.” Chiropr Man Therap 26(28).

Salsbury S “Be good, communicate, and collaborate a qualitative analysis of stakeholder perspectives on adding a chiropractor to the multidisciplinary rehabilitation team.” Chiropr Man Therap 26(29).

Today’s topic was integrating chiropractors, integrating chiropractors, and integrating chiropractors. : )