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Evidence Based Chiropractic

CF 060: Medical Marketing & Integration Care Expectations

CF 060: Medical Marketing & Integration Care Expectations

Today we’re going to talk about medical marketing scoundrels and about what the multidisciplinary world expects of us chiropractors. 

But first, here’s that ‘goes down so smooth’ bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

And we’re back. .Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  We are honored you’re spending some time with us and we hope we give some entertainment and some value in return. 

Introduction

You have disco’ed your way into Episode #60 just like John Travolta in Saturday Night Live. Kids, go Google that. It was cool back then. You could walk down the street in a Staying Alive strut man. Travolta was the bee’s knees back then wasn’t he? From Mr. Kotter, to Grease, to Staying Alive. Then turned kookoo wacko on everyone. He got so open-minded that his brain fell out and went splat. 

Let’s talk a bit about the diplomate of the Academy of chiropractic orthopedists quickly. That’s also known as the DACO program that I’m currently going through. I’ve officially hit the halfway point for the online hours and only have one class left for the live hours which I’ll get in less than a month down in Austin. Basically, out of 300 hours, I have about 125 left and have just been serious about this thing since October. Recent classes have been A Neurological Approach to Scoliosis, and the Neck and a Sense of Well-Being. 

I feel like it’s scooting fairly quickly at this point. It’s funny to watch my staff when I’m performing an exam these days. They’re familiar with the way I do exams and have done them for years. Just about every week, including this week, I’m adding or taking away from what I normally do. They don’t really know how to handle it. Lol. These classes really do change what you do almost immediately. 

If I can help you get started and rocking and rolling on your DACO, shoot me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and I’ll be glad to point you in the right direction. 

New Year

How’s your new year starting? By the time this episode goes live, we’ll have been in it for a little over a month. I have to say that I’m confused this year. This is typically our slowest time of year. But, it’s going a little crazy this year for whatever reason. I have literally had 35 new patients in the last two weeks. It’s all I can do to get this podcast written each week, to be honest, but I’m committed. 

I actually had to come in on a Saturday to record the last episode because I just didn’t have the time available during the week to get it done. I’m not trying to brag. I think if you have a good staff, which I do, and you have them spaced appropriately, which I do, you can make your way through them while giving them the best care possible. Especially when you’re using post-graduate educations like the DACO to guide your exam and diagnosis. 

Crazy Busy

And, 35 new patients for my practice looks different than it may in a lot of clinics. I don’t see how many times we can run them through the doors. I don’t convince them their lives are at stake if they don’t see me 50 times this year. 

I used ChiroUp for all of my patients which I highly recommend. An additional $150/month seems like a lot. I know. But this programs is worth even more than that and they’re not paying me anything at all to say that. One of the things it does is track your patients through follow up emails. 

That’s how I know my case average, which is the number of times I typically see a person, stands at around 8 times while their national average stands at about 7 times. 

I know that my average improvement rating is 79.43% for ALL cases and that included everything from cervical radiculopathy and lumbar stenosis to cervicogenic headache and greater trochanteric bursitis. Their national average for improvement is 71.8% so I’m doing good there. If I’m getting 80% of my patients well, I’m happy. 

They have also tracked me at having a 98.6% likely to refer from my patients. Meaning, our patients are 98% happy to refer us to their family and friends and that makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I’d still like to know what I can do to make that other 1.4% happy but I think some people cannot be made happy at all. 

Even if you get them well and gave them free ice cream. They’d still gripe because the ice cream didn’t have chocolate syrup on it. You know those people. You know who I’m talking about, don’t you?

Anyway, the point was….I hope your 2019 has started off like my 2019. If it sustains, I’m going to have to get me some help in here! Including a nurse practitioner. Ahhhhh, the day I finally make that leap I may have a few hundred beers. Lol. 

Paper #1

The first item of research I want to get to is on medical marketing. Why do we care what the medical field is doing for marketing? Well, because they’re the main stakeholders in healthcare and it’s important to know what they’re doing. Either we can copy it or we can go 180 degrees from it depending on what we’re talking about. 

This paper we’ll talk about was in the Journal of the American Medical Association also known as JAMA on January 1, 2019, so it’s hot off of the press. It is called “Medical Marketing in the United States, 1997-2016” and was written by Lisa Schwartz, MD and Steven Woloshin, MD[1].  Please remember, if you’d like to see the paper, the methods, and that good hulabaloo….I always cite the papers at the end of the show notes over at chiropracticforward.com. This show is episode 60 just so’s you’s knows. 

Why They Did It

They wanted to answer the question, “How has the marketing of prescription drugs, disease awareness, health services, and laboratory tests in the United States changed from 1997 through 2016?” I think that’s a great question. 

Let’s find out, shall we? I say hell yes we shall!

As far as medical marketing goes, they say, “From 1997 through 2016, medical marketing expanded substantially, and spending increased from $17.7 to $29.9 billion, with direct-to-consumer advertising for prescription drugs and health services accounting for the most rapid growth, and pharmaceutical marketing to health professionals accounting for most promotional spending.”

Let’s dial down into that just a bit. 

As you are probably already guessing because you see this trash on TV every time you turn it on but the most rapid, crazy increase in medical marketing advertising was in the direct-to-consumer advertising. It went from $2.1 billion in 1997, which was 11.9% of the total marketing….it went from $2.1 billion all the way up to $9.6 billion and now, marketing meds directly to the consumer now make up 32% of the total spending. I say NOW….that was 2016’s numbers. Probably worse now.

They broke it down even further and highlighted the prescriptions that are marketed directly. The drugs you need a prescription for ….ads for them went from $1.3 billion in ’97 which was 79,000 ads, all the way up to $6 billion dollars and 663,000 ads in 2016. 

All I have to say here is, “Dayum.”

Then, I’m not done yet….hold my beer and watch this….Lol. That’s what I feel like here. Then, they say that medical marketing straight to healthcare providers like the MDs, DOs, etc….that marketing went up from $15.6 billion to 20.3 billion in 2016 but here’s what’s crazy when you think about it, folks, $13.5 billion of that was for free samples….OK, whatever. Then $979 million went to payments to physicians for speaking fees, meals, and things like that that were related to specific products. So they paid almost a billion damn dollars to MDs to go around medical marketing & touting their drugs.  

It’s insane. You cannot tell me no way no how that with that much money in the hopper, that we don’t have some nefarious skunky smelly dirty crap snaking around and messing with people for the worse. You can’t convince me of it and I’m not a conspiracy guy either. 

Like, when they say we didn’t land on the moon, it was shot in a studio in Hollywood? Yeah, they need a kick in the nuggets. Really? The Earth is flat? Are you sure? I’ve seen a lot of pics from outers space and round is what I’m getting people!! 

You see what I mean here but I also know people and I know what greed does to people. It’s insane, honestly. 

Pharmaceutical Commercials

Let’s talk about those medical marketing commercials for a minute. Let’s make up a name that sounds a little like a prescription. How about Killyametrix? Yeah, sounds good. OK, here’s how it usually goes, “Have you been having a hard time getting into your life? Are you just tired? No energy, no drive, no ambition anymore? Wouldn’t you like to have more energy? You’re too young for this. Killyametrix has been shown to increase energy and get patients back to enjoying their lives quicker and faster than any medication in the history of man that was ever made. There are some side effects. You’ll want to talk to your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms: gout, liver failure, tumors coming out of your eyeballs, if your foot falls right off in mid-stride, high blood pressure, going cross-eyed, bleeding from the ears and fingernails, if your hair curls, if all of your hair falls out, or if your knee cap pops right off as you sit down and shoots straight across the room knocking someone out. Other than those issues, it’s a great drug. Try Killyametrix. Ask your doctor about Killyametrix and if it might be right for you.”

Here’s the deal, when I was growing up, did you realize whiskey, bourbon, scotch, …..the hard stuff…..it was never advertised on TV because they knew it was damaging to the population so why promote it nationally. I believe it was actually illegal to advertise the hard stuff but I’m not 100% on that. 

But, now, or at least in 2016, it’s OK to advertise prescription drugs straight to the consumer to the tune of 663,000 ads at a cost of $6 billion dollars. It’s lunacy. 

How about you go to your doctor with no preconceived idea of what’s wrong with you and he or she plays doctor, figures out what’s going on with you, and the DOCTOR, the actual doctor, decides what medication you need if any at all. 

Why don’t we try that crap out in America for a change? 

If I were an MD or DO, I’d be livid every time I saw one of those stupid commercials on TV. Hell, I’m a DC and I’m livid when I see them. 

Make me a crazy person. Makes me want to go live in a rubber room for a couple of weeks to decompress.

Paper #2

Let’s get to the last thing here. This one is called “Stakeholder expectations from the integration of chiropractic care into a rehabilitation setting: a qualitative study” by Zacariah Shannon, et. al[2]. published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in December 2018. 

Why They Did It

They say that few studies exist on what the expectations of chiropractic care really are within a multidisciplinary setting so they wanted to add to the literature on this topic. 

What They Found

They found that expectations for the chiropractic program in this study were mostly positive. Good news. The idea of the patients making progress was the overriding theme for the group. They expected the addition of chiropractic to help patients progress by improving pain management and physical functioning. 

In addition, they also expected indirect effects of chiropractic on healthcare integration. Things like increasing the patient participation in other providers’ treatments which would lead to improved care for the patient across the board. 

I wonder if those other providers were or will be helping increase the chiropractor’s load as well? That’s a good question to ask. 

Wrap It Up

They summed it up by saying, “Stakeholders expected the addition of chiropractic care to a rehabilitation specialty hospital to benefit patients through pain management and functional improvements leading to whole person healing. They also expected chiropractic to benefit the healthcare team by facilitating other therapies in pursuit of the hospital mission, that is, moving patients towards discharge.”

Not bad, not bad. It’s a helluva lot better than we had going on for us before the opioid crisis. I’ll give them that. I think the only part of this I really don’t like is their expectation of the chiropractor helping feed the rest of them while, in my biased opinion, they should be feeding the chiropractor first in an effort to keep people off of meds. 

Their stated goals are pain management and physical function. Well…that’s sort of right in our wheelhouse so why wouldn’t we be getting those first? I think the stakeholders have been fed quite enough. They’re fat as hell and slobbering. 

Bring the evidence-informed chiropractors in and watch your patients shine with happiness, leave amazing reviews, and go out and tell your city about all of the good things your clinic is doing. 

If they get the right evidence-based chiropractor in there, that’s the way I see it playing out because the research we covered several weeks ago shows us that chiropractors have the highest patient outcome satisfaction when compared to MD and DO’s, in fact, we wipe the floor with those people in regard to musculoskeletal issues. Not only that but we beat out the PTs as well on outcome measures. 

But we should feed them, right? They should be thankful to have us. 

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.

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About the Author & Host

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

 

Bibliography

1. Schwartz L, W.S., Medical Marketing in the United States, 1997-2016. JAMA, 2019. 321(1): p. 80-96.

2. Shannon Z, S.S., , Gosselin D, Vining R,, Stakeholder expectations from the integration of chiropractic care into a rehabilitation setting: a qualitative study. BMC Comp Altern Med, 2018. 18(316).

 

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/cf-025-vets-with-low-back-pain-usual-care-chiropractic-vs-usual-care-alone/

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/cf-032-how-evidence-based-chiropractic-can-help-save-the-day/

 

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

 

 

CF 055: w/ Dr. James Lehman – The Future Of Chiropractic, Chiropractic Specialization, & Chiropractic Integration

CF 055: w/ Dr. James Lehman – The Future Of Chiropractic, Chiropractic Specialization, & Chiropractic Integration  

Today we’re going to talk to one of the giants in our profession, Dr. James Lehman. We will be talking to Dr. James Lehman all about all sorts of things but mostly about the future of chiropractic. What is it looking like for those of us in the profession over the course of the next 15-30 years?

Dr. James Lehman, FACO - University of Bridgeport Connecticut

But first, here’s that delicious 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.  We will get to Dr. James Lehman soon. 

Introduction

You have fluttered into Episode #55 kind of like the feather on Forrest Gump. Come on, you know the feather from literally one of the best movies of all time. Yes, that feather. 

Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists

This is normally the point in the program where I mention the DACO program and how I am progressing through it but, for reasons that will become obvious fairly quickly, we are going to save that talk for just a little later in our program. 

However, I will tell you I have 80 online hours at this point and some of my more recent classes have been Why does my shoulder keep hurting and how to diagnose a tension-type headache. If you recall from a week or so ago, two classes on migraines were among the classes so, after this last week, I’m getting a handle on the headache mystery. 

I have just about completed all of the Diagnostic Drills. There are 40 of them and I’ve finished 39 of them. The last one is on ankle sprain and what we really need to know about them. Then, we move on to Communication Drills that reinforce these Diagnostic Drills and help you write to your colleagues in an effective and professional way to describe your findings. I’m looking forward to those!

Introduction of Dr. James Lehman

Now, let’s go ahead and get on with the reason we’re all here. Before we speak with Dr. James Lehman, I want to go through a little background information on him for you so you are well aware of who he is and where he is coming from. 

Dr. James Lehman is an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bridgeport/College of Chiropractic and Director of Health Sciences Postgraduate Education (HSPED). 

Dr. James Lehman completed his MBA at the University of New Mexico and a doctorate in chiropractic medicine at the Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. James Lehman is a board-certified, chiropractic orthopedist. He teaches orthopedic and neurological examination and differential diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. In addition, he provides clinical rotations for fourth-year chiropractic students and chiropractic residents in the community health center and a sports medicine rotation in the training facility of the local professional baseball team. 

As Director, Dr. James Lehman developed the three-year, full-time resident training program in chiropractic orthopedics and neuromusculoskeletal medicine. The program offers training within primary care facilities of a Federally Qualified Health Center and Patient-Centered Medical Home. While practicing in New Mexico, he mentored fourth-year, UNM medical students. 

Welcome to the show Dr. James Lehman, it’s an honor to have you on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast this week. 

Questions for Dr. Lehman

How did the job at UofB become a reality for you? How did you make that happen or even make it a possibility?

Can you tell me about your position at UofB? 

What are your responsibilities? 

What does a regular day for you look like? 

Dr. Lehman and I became acquainted with each other through the DACO program. In case you have been hiding under a rock, zoning off during our podcasts, or maybe this is the very first podcast you’ve listened to of ours, DACO stands for Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists. 

What got you so interested in the Orthopedic side of our profession? 

What was it that made you want to specialize originally?

Can you tell us a little about your experience with chiropractic integration over the years? 

Have you had some battles to fight internally against medical practitioners?

What are some of the pitfalls and what are some of the rewards beyond seeing the patients recover?

Can you tell us about FQHCs? I had no idea they existed, especially in my city, until you showed me. Integrating into an FQHC was something that was never on my radar until we talked in Dallas.

At this point in our discussion, I need to tell you, the audience, that Dr. Lehman has played a vital role in furthering the DACO program. Through his position at the University of Bridgeport Connecticut, and through a partnership of sorts with online education through Chiropractic Development International out of Australia, obtaining the DACO has become very do-able and very attainable for all that may be so inclined. 

Dr. Lehman, can you tell us a little about how you and the University of Bridgeport got involved in the DACO and how it’s going so far? How did you identify the need and then go about filling that need?

Can you tell us why you feel like specialization like the DACO is so important to doctors of chiropractic these days? 

Why has this become your mission?

Through email, you suggested to me that, for the chiropractic profession to gain the respect of the healthcare system, a reasonable definition of chiropractic would be a good starting point. You offered a definition that doesn’t restrict providers nor does it highlight ‘subluxation.’ That definition is as follows:

“The evidence-based practice of differential diagnosis, patient-centered treatment, and prevention of pain and human disease as taught by CCE-approved chiropractic colleges, institutions, or schools.”

Tell me how you came up with this definition. 

Just to tell a quick personal experience, I have been introduced before by one neurosurgeon to another neurosurgeon using a disclaimer. He said, “He’s not one of THOSE chiropractors. He’s one of the good guys.” Which, I have to say that I appreciated the vote of confidence but at the same time it made me think, “With such a prevailing sentiment toward our profession, how will we ever integrate successfully or is it even possible?”

Do you think that even those of us that are specializing are going to be forever introduced with a disclaimer? I personally don’t see how a profession as split as ours progresses and integrates successfully. Is there a solution to this or are we just stuck with the split and the internal fighting?

With the knowledge that PTs are now utilizing spinal manipulative therapy, what do you feel is going to happen with our profession in the next 15-30 years?

In the two classes I’ve sat through with you as a speaker, you were adamant about Informed Consent. I read your paper on that topic after I got back from Dallas and thought it was pretty interesting. Informed Consent doesn’t sound like a particularly interesting or sexy topic to the general population so, would you mind telling us about that and what interested you enough in a topic like Informed Consent to actually publish a paper on it?

We covered the vast divide in our profession, what are some other big obstacles you see on the horizon for our profession right now?

In our private Chiropractic Forward Group, when we discussed you episode coming on the show, Dr. Brandon Steele said I need to ask you this question, “What can students do right now to prepare for current trends in Healthcare? Are there residencies, certifications, internships or other equivalents they should be considering going through to prepare for their future after graduation?”

Also in the private group, Dr. William Lawson, who has been a guest with us before, told me to ask you about rural healthcare centers and how a chiropractor can work in or own a rural healthcare center. 

 being with us and taking time out of your day. I really appreciate you and what you are doing for our profession. I don’t know where we would be without folks like you and others just like you. 

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

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About the Author & Host

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

CF 029: w/ Dr. Devin Pettiet – Is Chiropractic Integration Healthy For The Profession?

CF 039: Communicating Chiropractic

CF 046: Chiropractic Effectiveness – Chiropractic Integration – Chiropractic Future

CF 054: Lumbar Fusion Surgery and Its Evidence Or Lack Of

CF 054: Lumbar Fusion Surgery and Its Evidence Or Lack Of

Today we’re going to talk about a great new paper coming to us from Internal Medicine Journal on Lumbar fusion surgery and it’s evidence or lack of. What’s the word on lumbar fusion surgery? We’ll tell you.

But first, here’s that silky smooth Chiropractic Forward 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 glided all fast and furiously into Episode #54 and we’re happy to have you here smokin tires and all. Kill the engine and take a chill pill, won’t you?

DACO

Let’s talk a bit about the Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedics program quickly. I’m sitting at around 76 of my online hours and I have to get 250 of those. Yes, if you were wondering, it is going by slowly here lately but I’m going to have a little time this week and weekend to put the pedal to the metal and get after it. 

Some classes from this past week were migraines, migraines in children, thoracolumbar junction difficulties, and chronically injured hamstrings. 

Spelling Issues

These courses come from a group in Australia and they really take the long road when it comes to spelling. Did you guys know that? The first thing that’s crazy about the Aussies is that they use esses instead of z’s. For example, recognize is spelled with an s rather than a “z”.

When you see the word orthopedic spelled orthopaedic, it’s because of them and the English. We take the shortcuts and say, hey, recognize has a z sound in it so let’s spell it with a z. Hey, orthopedic has an e sound in the middle of it so let’s drop the dumb a since we don’t need it and let’s just spell it orthopedic. 

Here’s another one. Behavior. These goofy people spell it behaviour. They snuck in au right there at the very end of the word like they thought they were going to get away with it or something. Uh uh. Nope. We Americans don’t need the u at the end so we just end it in or. Because we’re cool and ain’t nobody got time for that crap. 

The most annoying one is probably edema or estrogen. They start both of those words with an O. Who the hell would ever spell estrogen Oestrogen? Or edema spelled oedema? That’s absolutely uncalled for and I’d appreciate them re-evaluating their use of the English language in this manner. 

Absolute ridiculosity. 

I am currently designing some really cool stuff all based in research and current evidence that I think you will all be interested in. At least I hope you are because, from what I’ve seen in researching, it’s like nothing else out there. 

Go to chiropracticforward.com right now while you’re thinking about it, just under this week’s episode, you’ll see an area where you can sign up for the newsletter. It’s only once a week and it’ll help us tell you about what we’re working on when we get it ready to go live!!

Now, let’s get to the reason for the season here. 

The is titled “Lumbar Spine Fusion: What Is The Evidence(Harris I 2018)?” and it was written by Ian Harris, Adrian Traeger, Ralph Stanford, Christopher Maher, and Rachelle Buchbinder. I recognize at least two of these names from the low back pain series published in The Lancet earlier this year. 

If you have not been through those papers, please listen to episodes #16, 17, and 18 of this Chiropractic Forward podcast for all the info you need on that. 

Basically, in this paper, they say that lumbar spinal fusion is common and associated with high cost and a risk of serious adverse events. They state that they aim to summarize systematic reviews on the effectiveness of lumbar spine fusion for most diagnoses. 

Of important note is where they say that they found NO high-quality systematic reviews and the risk of bias of the randomized controlled trials they found was generally high. For something as serious as lumbar fusion surgery. Where they cut into the body, take two vertebrae that usually aren’t unstable on each other, and then drive screws into them and affix hardware to fuse them together forever and ever amen. 

No high-quality systematic reviews for lumbar fusion surgery and the RCTs out there generally carry a high risk of bias. Great. Duly noted. Awesome. Lumbar fusion surgery

They go on to say that the available evidence doesn’t support a clinical benefit from lumbar fusion surgery compared to non-operative treatment or stabilization without fusion for thoracolumbar burst fractures. 

They say that surgical intervention for metastatic carcinoma of the spine associated with spinal cord compromise improves mobility and neurological outcome. That was based on a single trial. 

That was the high points of the abstract but let’s move in a little more and get on the micro level of this thing. 

This study takes info from Australia and, in the land down under, lumbar spine fusion is the fourth most costly surgical procedure, behind knee replacement, hip replacement, and C-sections. For a procedure with no high-quality systemic reviews. The first word that comes to mind for me here is, “Damn.”

The most common reasons used for lumbar spine fusion procedures would be intervertebral disc disease (which nearly everyone beyond 50-60yrs old has), degenerative scoliosis, and spinal canal stenosis. 

The main purpose here was to compare lumbar spinal fusion to non-operative means. Not to compare it to other surgical procedures. 

Conclusion

As part of the conclusion, the authors say, “The available evidence does not support the hypothesis that lumbar fusion surgery confers a clinical benefit compared to non‐operative alternatives for low back pain associated with degeneration. Similarly, the available evidence does not support the hypothesis that spine fusion confers a clinical benefit compared to non‐operative treatment or stabilization without fusion for thoracolumbar burst fractures. 

Benefits of lumbar fusion surgery compared to non‐operative treatment for isthmic spondylolisthesis are unclear (one trial at high risk of bias). Surgical intervention for metastatic carcinoma of the spine associated with spinal cord compromise improves mobility and neurological outcome (based on a single trial).

Ideally, lumbar fusion surgery for spondylolisthesis, burst fractures, back pain or degenerative conditions (degenerative scoliosis, spinal stenosis, recurrent disc herniation or instability), should only be performed in the context of high-quality clinical trials until the true value for each of these conditions is established. 

Until better quality evidence is available, treatment will continue to be guided by expert clinical opinion based on evidence at high risk of bias. Patients contemplating lumbar fusion surgery should be fully informed about the evidence base for their particular problem, including the relative potential benefits and harms of fusion compared with non‐operative treatments.

When Surgery Is OK

Let’s transition from that to an excellent guideline called When Surgery is OK and this comes from the legendary Dr. Stu McGill. 

To keep this episode from getting too long and out of hand, let’s hit the highlights. This is a 3-page document so we’ll shorten it to the extent that makes sense while still squeezing the good stuff out of it. Use these thoughts and ideas when deciding if surgery is indicated. 

Stu says to try the virtual surgery game and consider surgery only when it fails. Meaning pretend you had surgery today and tomorrow is the first day of recovery. It is characterized by gentle movements and activities but mostly a forced day of rest. The days following a typical post-surgical progression involves restricted activity. If this helps, no surgery at this time. 

Consider surgery when neurological issues are substantial, such as loss of bowel and bladder control. Note: that does not include radiating symptoms like sciatica, peripheral numbness, atrophy, etc….

Consider surgery in cases of trauma. When structures are unstable and need to be stabilized. 

Consider surgery only when the pain has been unrelenting and severe for a substantial period of time. Pain can be a terrible and misleading reason to get surgery. 

Select the surgeon. Dr. McGill says everyone likes to state that they had the best surgeon. He has found that asking the nurses and physical therapists at the hospital which surgeon has the best results is a wise way to go. 

Discuss the pain with the surgeon. Ask what the pain generator is and if they can cut it out. IF there are several tissues involved, chances of success are getting worse. Also if there is damage at several levels. 

Clarify what the success rate is. What does success even mean in your case? Does that mean you survived or does it mean you did OK for a bit before relapsing into pain? You want long-term success to any and all other options available. 

Beware of new treatments. That one should really go without any further discussion. Don’t be a pioneer on the patient side of surgical procedures. 

Beware of disc replacement – Dr. McGill states in this paper that he has not seen a successful case as of the writing of the article. 

Always exhaust the conservative options – He says you may believe that since you tried physical therapy and it didn’t help that only surgery remains. It just may be that the exact therapy tried was not the right one for your specific condition. 

FREE MRI Review

Beware of institutes that offer to view medical images and, with no other information, advise patients on surgery. Pictures are not linked to pain. He argues that a thorough clinical assessment is absolutely essential. I want to butt in on this one. The laser institute and orthopedic surgeons are all over the commercials on TV with this one. 

I will take this time to admit because they’re doing these free MRI reviews, I’m offering the same in my region but here’s why. It’s evidently enticing or they would not offer it and I KNOW for a fact they have a higher-paid marketing department that has decided it is indeed effective. 

That’s one of the reasons I’m doing it but the real reason is because I know that the majority of these people, if they get a free MRI review at the osteopath or the laser spine institute, they’re very likely to be lined up for surgery whereas I, after a thorough exam, will be lining them up for conservative, non-invasive therapy and I can usually keep these people from surgery and useless shots. 

There’s a difference. My free MRI review is to prevent them from surgery. Their free MRI review, in my opinion, is to QUALIFY them for surgery. 

Wrap Up

In wrapping this article or paper up, Dr. McGill says the following, “Tissues in the back become irritated with repeated loading. Consider accidentally stuffing a toe or biting the lip repeatedly – eventually, the slightest touch causes pain. This is symptom magnification because the tissues are hypersensitized. Reduction of the hypersensitivity in the toe or lip only occurs following a substantial amount of time after the accidental stub or bite has stopped.”

Dr. McGill goes on to say, “For example, people with flexion bending intolerance of the spine may replicate this every time they rise from a chair. Correcting this movement fault, metaphorically taking the hits away, results in less sensitized tissues, an increased repertoire of pain-free tasks, and a return of motion. Motion returns once the pain goes away.”

Boom. Snap. Pow. Shazam. KaBAM!! Superhero abilities via the chiropractor and ZERO surgery. How clever. 

Opinion

I don’t care what your chiropractic practice looks like. OK….I lie. As long as it doesn’t make mine look hokey or bad, then I don’t care what your practice looks like. Some are geared toward getting people out of pain. Some are geared to some wellness protocol. Some are floundering because they don’t know where they belong or exactly what they’re trying to accomplish. 

I’ll admit that, at one point in time, I was one of them. 

But, one common thread through all sorts of practices is this, we keep people from surgery. Maybe not 100% of the time but we do a hell of a job with the tools we’ve been given and I love the direction that opioids and lumbar fusion surgery failures are pushing our profession. 

Sometimes even in spite of ourselves. 

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.

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TuneIn

About the Author & Host

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

 

Bibliography

Harris I, T. A., Stanford R, (2018). “Lumbar spine fusion: what is the evidence?” Internal Med J.

 

 

CF 024: They Laughed When I Said I Could Still Help After Back Surgery

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

 

 

 

CF 053: Healthy New Ideas For Physical Activity

CF 053: Healthy New Ideas For Physical Activity

Today we’re going to talk about updated guidelines for physical activity as well as some research that the more vitalistic in the profession may not dig too much. Don’t kill the messenger people. 

But first, here’s that delicious bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

Introduction

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 toppled into Episode #53, the first episode of year #2. I am committing to doing a second year as long as we show continued growth. If we stop growing, I may change my approach at some point but, I absolutely want to do a second year to see where this thing of ours can go. 

Talking DACO

Let’s talk a bit about the Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedist program also known as the DACO. I’m just keeping you apprised of my progress. At this point, I have 68 online hours down and 40 live hours done. So, I’m 108 hours into the 300 I need. 

I have literally knocked out 24 hours online in the last two weeks. That’s a gob of information. It is literally changing how I practice every single week. It’s almost indescribable but, I see patients coming in every day now that have something I would have missed without having gone this far into the DACO. 

The more recent classes I’ve been through include plantar heel pain, Diagnosing idiopathic scoliosis and assessing the risk of progression, anterior knee pain in an adolescent, lateral knee pain and th IT band, as well as recognizing meniscus tears and essential of reading knee MRIs. 

I honestly wonder how on Earth I’ve gotten anyone well over my 20 years in practice without the knowledge that I’m gaining here. In the end, I guess doing SOMETHING is always going to trump doing nothing and, it’s not like I’ve been a dummy for 20 years. 

CEs

I’ve always been a big proponent of continuing education and have consistently gotten 30-50 CEs every year rather than the 16 required so, I’m not going to beat myself up over it but, sincerely here, this information you get in the DACO program is beyond anything I’ve gotten in any seminar anywhere. 

Now, with that being said, I haven’t been to one of McGill’s or Liebenson’s talks so I need to make that clear. By the way, both of those giants will be at Parker Vegas in February if you are ready for some learning of the highest caliber. 

Newsletter

Right now, while you’re thinking about it, go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for the weekly newsletter. It’s just once per week, it’s easy and fast and I’m in the process of making some pretty cool stuff that I think can be useful in helping you in practice. 

When it’s ready to roll out, you’ll save because you were cool enough to be on the list, cool enough to be an early adopter, and cool enough to basically be a founder of what we’re trying to build here. I’ve never believed that I can build it by myself. It has to be a team of like-minded, motivated individuals. 

If you are evidence-based I’d love to have you on the team. Reach out and let’s talk about what we can do to build build build. 

Meat n’ Taters

Alright, onto the meat n taters today. Let’s start with this paper that just came out in the Journal of the American Medical Association. It’s authored by Dr. Katrina Piercy et. al[1]. and is called The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. It was published on November 20, 2018. It doesn’t get a whole lot more recent than that does it?

The 2018 Physical Activity Guidelines Advisory Committee conducted a systematic review of the science supporting physical activity and health. They came up with recommendations strictly based on evidence graded as strong or moderate. 

Here’s what they decided:

  • Preschool-aged children from 3-5 need to be active throughout the day
  • Children and adolescents from 6-17 should do 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous activity daily. 
  • Adults should do at least 2 1/2 hrs to 5 hrs per week of moderate intensity, or 1 hr 15 minutes to 2.5 hours per week of vigorous aerobic activity, or an equivalent combination of the two. 
  • Adults should also do muscle-strengthening activity on 2 or more days per week. 
  • Older adults need a multicomponent physical activity that includes balance training as well as aerobic and muscle-strengthening. 
  • Pregnant and postpartum females need at least 2.5 hrs of moderate activity a week. 
  • Basically moving more and sitting less will benefit nearly everyone. 

See? And you didn’t even need a trainer to figure it out. You’re welcome. You are so welcome, folks. It’s what I do. I give give give. 

Walking Paper

Let’s move on to a paper that was in Spine Journal in November 2018 called Walking more than 90 minutes/week was associated with a lower risk of self-reported low back pain in persons over 50 years of age: A cross-cross-sectional study using the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys[2]. 

Again, very new stuff. Only a month or so old. 

They did this one because, while strengthening and aerobic exercise is well-documented and well-founded, there isn’t a lot of information on walking and it effects for low back pain. 

This was a cross-sectional study which means they looked at people differing on one specific characteristic at one specific point in time. The data they collected was from the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys from 2010-2015. 

What They Found

The authors wrapped it up by saying, “Our study showed that longer walking duration was associated with a lower risk of LBP. Regular walking with a longer duration for more than 3 days/week is significantly associated with a lower risk of LBP in the general population aged over 50 years.”

Social Prescribing

I wanted to discuss a pretty neat article I came across last week from the Smithsonian. This article is called British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons and it was written by Meilan Solly[3] published November 8, 2018. Yet again….the newest stuff here this week. 

The article discusses a new initiative on the part of British Health Secretary Matt Hancock and they’re wanting to allow the country’s doctors to prescribe art or hobby based treatment for all sorts of issues. From dementia and psychosis to lung complaints and mental health complications. 

They’re calling it “social prescriptions” and I have to say that I’m a big fan of the idea. For instance, just listening to Otis Redding sing Sittin’ On The Dock of the Bay does something good to me inside and out. One of my all time favorites and you all clearly have good taste because you’re listening to our little podcast here so I’m sure it’s one of your favorites too. If it’s not one of your favorites then you clearly haven’t listened to it yet. 

The health secretary has an excellent quote here when he says, “We’ve been fostering a culture that’s popping pills and Prozac when what we should be doing is more prevention and perspiration.” “Social prescribing can help us combat over-medicalizing people.”

And the heavens opened up and all God’s people said, “Amen.”

The only problem I have with the idea is that they’re not looking at having it up and running until 2023. Which, honestly, isn’t as far away as it once seemed is it? 

Still, you’d think they have that rocking and rolling quicker but look who’s griping? We’re still here in America where our medical profession is still trying to figure out how to get more people on medication and into surgery rather than think out of the box just a tad for a second or two. 

But, back to the point, I think it’s an amazing idea. Music, singing, creating art, and experiencing art in whatever form possible is good for the body and soul. Not one or the other but all of it. Every inch. Laughing too. Laughing is so good for you. 

Richard Pryor, Rodney Dangerfield, and Eddie Murphy for children of the 80’s such as myself. Dane Cook and Kevin Hart for the 2000’s kids. Laughing your butt off fixes a lot of stuff. 

‘Principled’ May Not Be So Principled

And to our last paper by Guillaume Goncalves, et. al. published in Biomed Central on April 5, 2018 called “Effect of chiropractic treatment on primary or early secondary prevention: a systematic review with a pedagogic approach[4].”

The authors start out by saying that the chiropractic vitalistic approach to the concept of ‘subluxation’ as a cause of disease lacks any validity nevertheless, some in our profession still claim to prevent disease in general through continuous chiropractic care. 

Don’t send me crappy emails. That’s what the authors said here. 

They go on to say that, if some are going to continue with this model of practice, there must be evidence that it is effective and that’s the reason for the research here. 

How They Did It

They searched PubMed, Embase, Index to Chiropractic Literature, and some specialized chiropractic journals, from inception to October 2017.

They scrutinized 13 articles. 8 were clinical studies and 5 were population studies

They dealt with various disorders of public health importance like blood pressure, blood test immunological markers, and mortality. 

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded the paper by saying, “We found no evidence in the literature of an effect of chiropractic treatment in the scope of primary prevention or early secondary prevention for disease in general. Chiropractors have to assume their role as evidence-based clinicians and the leaders of the profession must accept that it is harmful to the profession to imply a public health importance in relation to the prevention of such diseases through manipulative therapy/chiropractic treatment.”

Now look, don’t kill the messenger. I know that some of you are just going to do what you want to do and what you believe no matter what is thrown in front of you. I know that. Honestly, those people probably aren’t listening to an evidence-based podcast to start with because we won’t confirm that bias. We’ll challenge it from time to time. 

People don’t typically like that. In fact, they may attack those that challenge their bias. 

The information is more useful to confirm the bias of evidence-based chiropractors and to further educate those that are being fed information to the contrary whether it’s by friends or even at school. 

Regardless, for every chiropractor and patient, it’s food for thought. 

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!

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. 

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

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TuneIn

About the author:

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

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/british-doctors-may-soon-prescribe-art-music-dance-singing-lessons-180970750/?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=socialmedia&fbclid=IwAR1etMZiV8oe-JbUwgUYmP2gxR5pinJcbLS2W1u1QlMBNISVIxTpFBRmubc

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2712935?utm_source=silverchair&utm_campaign=jama_network&utm_content=weekly_highlights&cmp=1&utm_medium=email

https://chiromt.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12998-018-0179-x?fbclid=IwAR3aJGZBcmMSscPoibtAzIRHok9_RpsMvJDbvx76MnzRJY9YU0x_JMY5FK0

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/30448632/

 

Bibliography

1. Piercy K, T.R., Ballard R,, The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. JAMA, 2018. 320(19): p. 2020-2028.

2. Park SM, Walking more than 90 minutes/week was associated with a lower risk of self-reported low back pain in persons over 50 years of age: A cross-sectional study using the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys. Spine J, 2018. 18: p. S1529.

3. Meilan Solly, British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons. Smithsonian.com, 2018.

4. Gonclaves G, Effect of chiropractic treatment on primary or early secondary prevention: a systematic review with a pedagogic approach. BMC Chiro Man Ther, 2018. 26(10).

 

CF 052: Chiropractic Forward Podcast Year One Review

CF 052: Chiropractic Forward Podcast Year One Review

One year. I started this podcast exactly one year ago. 52 weeks. 52 episodes. We’re going to talk about the highlights of the first year. We’re going to talk about chiropractic today vs. chiropractic when I started a year ago. Has anything changed? The short answer is yes. Quite a bit has changed in just a year. 

But first, here’s that sweet like honey bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

Welcome

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 #52 and it feels good to say that. To be able to do anything consistently for a year straight, every single week, it’s an accomplishment for sure and it sure as hell feels good folks. 

DACO Program

Before we get into the highlights. let’s talk a bit about the DACO program. For those new to the Chiropractic Forward Podcast, I have been going through the Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists. I’m 92 hours into a 300-hour course. Ugh…that hurts just to say it. Lol. I don’t even feel close to being done. 

I figured it out that at the rate I’m going now, which is about 8 hours per week, I can be done around May I believe. While it seems way off, you know what? I’d be learning and educating myself anyway. Why not get something out of it, right? That’s the idea and May will be here before you know it. 

Hell, it seems like it was Summer just a couple of weeks ago. Lol. 

Products

I have been fast at work preparing some new options for you. I have noticed  a lack of what I would want in my office when it talks 

One-Year Anniversary

Let’s get on to talking about our one-year anniversary. I want to start by talking listen out our top 10 episodes so far and what we talked about that made everyone listen to each of them. I’m linking them all for quick reference in the show notes. So away we go!

Number 10

Episode #30 – Integrating Chiropractors – What’s It Going To Take? We discussed the medical field and what they are looking for in a chiropractor in regard to integrating that individual into the system. We went over The Lancet papers as well. Great episode to check out. 

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

 

Number 9

Episode #25 – Vets With Low Back Pain. Usual Care + Chiropractic vs. Usual Care Alone. This episode revolved around a paper in JAMA from Dr. Christine Goertz where she and her co-authors showed additional support for including chiropractic as part of a multidisciplinary team for treating low back pain. Great paper by a great asset for chiropractic. 

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

Number 8

Episode #28 – Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place? In this installment, we went through a paper that showed non-pharma and non-opioid therapies are now the preference. Well, that’s chiropractic, right? We talked about some GREAT resources in this episode including the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and The Opioid Crisis report as well as a great paper by Jon Adams Ph called The Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Chiropractic Use Among US Adults. That one had some marketing nuggets for the nugget pouch.

CF 028: Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?

 

Number 7

Episode #27 – Wanted – Safe, Nonpharmacological Means of Treating Spinal Pain. This episode went through treating spinal pain, thoracic manipulation, lumbar manipulation, guidelines from Canada, and the perceptions of our profession. We discussed a paper about how some in the medical profession think chiropractors go around herniating discs all the time. Pfft… 

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

 

Number 6

Episode #9 – With Dr. Tom Hollingsworth of Corpus Christi, TX called The Case Against Chiropractic In Texas. We talked with Dr. Hollingsworth about the Texas Medical Association’s attacks on Texas Chiropractors and our rights. We talked about the latest in the current court case and the appeal process. 

Just a couple of weeks ago, in fact, this case had a decision that was reached and it wasn’t good for chiropractors. And I’m talking about chiropractors nationwide. We’ll have to do an updated episode with Dr. Hollingsworth because what may be on its way down the pike for all chiropractors…..well….let’s just say it’s no bueno. 

CF 009: With Dr. Tom Hollingsworth: The Case Against Chiropractic In Texas

 

Number 5

Episode #26 – Chiropractic Better Than Physical Therapy and Usual Medical Care For Musculoskeletal Issues. The title is accurate. And researched fact. There are some that don’t like that language. Can’t we all get along? That type of deal and yes, we can all get along. Most certainly. My issue is with PTs being the first referral for non-complicated musculoskeletal issues when research shows they have decreased effectiveness when compared to chiropractic care. 

They have less patient satisfaction when compared to chiropractic care as well. In addition, research shows chiropractic care to be a lot less expensive. So why in the hell is a practitioner that is exponentially more expensive, much less effective on their outcomes, and patients don’t like as much…..why the hell are they the first referral? That still makes my pee hot when I really really think about it. It’s dumb. 

I don’t think we should be doing post-surgical rehab unless we take specific training in that. I think PTs and DCs can work very well together but there should be lanes and I don’t think PTs stay in their lane. Not when they’re out there taking a weekend course on adjusting. It’s BS and that doesn’t stand for Bad Students. 

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

 

Number 4

Episode #29 – With Dr. Devin Pettiet of Tomball, TX, still the President of the Texas Chiropractic Association. This episode was titled Is Chiropractic Integration Healthy For the Profession? We talked with Dr. Pettiet all about chiropractic integration into a medical based case management or medical team. 

This one was one of my favorites too. For sure. Devin is a great resource and a great personality. He’s all energy and has an awesome amount of information and experience.

CF 029: w/ Dr. Devin Pettiet – Is Chiropractic Integration Healthy For The Profession?

 

Number 3

Episode #6 with Dr. Tyce Hergert from Southlake, TX. This episode is called Astounding expert Information on Immediate Headache Relief. This one was all about headaches and highlighted one service that was dressed up and parading around as another. Yes, those pesky PTs are moving in on us and this episode talked about little bit about that along with some great papers showing chiropractic’s effectiveness with treating headaches. Fun episode. 

CF 006: With Dr. Tyce Hergert: Astounding Expert Information On Immediate Headache Relief

 

Number 2

Episode #13 – DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes. My favorite episode and my favorite endeavor as far as really putting together information to stick a fork in an anti-chiropractic idea or myth. This is actually a three-part series consisting of #13, 14, and 15. All three episodes really paint a picture of foolishness on the part of the medical field and a coordinated attack that is easily put to rest through common sense, correct context, and research. 

It’s really so simple when you take the time to listen, learn, and just think about it for a minute. They are the three episodes I encourage you to share the very most out of all of them I have created. 

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

 

Number 1

Episode #11 – called It’s Here. New Guides For Low Back Pain That Medical Doctors Are Ignoring.

The most listened-to episode for our first year was Episode #11 once again with my old friend and colleague Dr. Tyce Hergert down in Southlake, TX. He has TWO episodes in the top 10 from our first year. That’s because he’s smart, he’s the ex-President of the Texas Chiropractic Association, and he’s entertaining if he’s had his coffee. 

In this one, we talked about current healthcare guidelines, why they matter to chiropractic patients and even non-patients, and whether MDs are getting it or not. Guess what? They’re still ignoring these guides!

CF 011: With Dr. Tyce Hergert: It’s Here. New Guides For Low Back Pain That Medical Doctors Are Ignoring

 

Wrap Up

So….there you have it, folks. That’s our Top 10 in a nutshell with all of the links in the show notes. We have had a great first year. We hope you have enjoyed the content we have been bringing to you as much as we have enjoyed gathering it for you. 

There is so much going on in our profession. Both good and bad. It’s important to stay plugged in now more than ever. We’ll talk about it in a future episode but the Texas Chiropractors lost their appeal and the medical kingdom will bring their dog and pony show to your state before you know it. Believe me. 

But, for evidence-based chiropractors, there’s still no better time than today to be a doctor of chiropractic. I firmly believe that to be the truth.

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!

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. 

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

Twitter

YouTube

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

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

Today we’re going to talk about those MRI’s you get back that show 4mm disc herniations in the low back. OK, that doesn’t sound too bad right? But what happens to the number when a patient comes out of the MRI tube and sits up, stands up, or bends over and lifts something? Let’s talk about it. 

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.  

Introduction

You have toppled into Episode #47 just like a big huge Jenga game. 

DACO Talk

Let’s talk a bit about the DACO program: this weekend, I will be headed back to Dallas, TX to attend another 10 hours of the DACO program. This class will again be with Dr. James Lehman, the man, the myth, the legend.

After this weekend, I’ll have 40 of the 50 live hours needed and I’ve been chipping away at the online hours in the meantime. I’ve got about 20 done so far so I’ll be sitting at roughly 60 of the 300 hours needed. 

Yes, that sucks when I look at it through one lens but is pretty dang cool when I look at it through another. It’s been an excellent journey so far. 

It’s not just orthopedics. Which I love. There is stuff I don’t love like the different forms of arthritis. I’m not a big fan of neurology-like refreshers on vestibular nuclei, spinothalamic, corticospinal tracts, and all of that stuff.

It’d be nice to separate that and leave it for the Neuro Diplomates but it doesn’t work that way. It’s a lot. And at only 60 hours in, I’m wondering how on Earth I’m going to be able to remember it all enough to pass a big ol’ hairy test on it but, I started it and I’m going to finish it pass or fail. 

Between you and me though, I have an A in the class so far so I plan on passing the thing!

At The Office

Front desk…..well…..it’s still a thing for us. If you’ve been following along, you know what’s up. If you haven’t, then you know that I was thinking we finally had the spot filled. That is until we didn’t. So, starting over. Boo…. What a tough time it is these days. 

I’d rather get a colonoscopy or have a joint drained than keep dealing with this but…. we keep on keepin’ on, don’t we? As if there is any other option outside of closing shop and going on the road as a speaker….. Hey, wait a minute….

Meat n’ Taters

Alright, enough of all that. Let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of what we do here. 

You either are a patient or you sent a patient to get an MRI on the low back because you think they are showing signs of having disc herniations pain is running out into the leg, and you want to take a look at it. We have enough here that I need to split this into a two-part podcast. 

We don’t want these dudes getting too long or you’ll look at the length and skip the whole damn thing. We’re busy after all aren’t we? You have to be really good to get me into a 45-minute podcast and I …..may not be that good. Lol. 

The Question

As I mentioned in the intro: what happens the measured herniation when a patient comes out of laying down in the tube for the MRI and then sits up, stands up, or bends over and lifts something?

Some of you probably think the answer is obvious but I’m going to suggest to you that it is not obvious. Here’s how I know for sure. I run in medical circles to some extent.

I’m friends with radiologists, two heart surgeons, a vascular surgeon, a cardiologist, several ER/Urgent care docs, and countless Nurse Pracs and PAs as well as PT’s. 

I haven’t asked them all because there’s no reason to but the radiologists for sure and a couple of the others…..I asked them the same question. What happens to disc herniations when the patient applied weight-bearing to the disc herniations?

I was told universally that, while they didn’t know for sure, they thought the disc was so strong that really nothing would happen. Certainly nothing significant. 

The radiologists felt this was too and I just wasn’t satisfied. I just knew something had to happen. And something important at that. So, what does a research nerd such as myself do when they don’t have solid answers? They start a search for research. 

The key was to find the right keywords. If I recall, they were “axial loaded MRI” or something very similar to that. I believe that was the key to the kingdom. 

Anyway, I want to go through some papers I found on disc herniations and axial loads and we’ll see what we find. 

The Research

Let’s start here, if you know a little anatomy and a little McKenzie stuff, you know the disc can be likened to a stout bag of water. Meaning, if I push one side down, the opposite side will “bulk up.” The gym rats call it “swole” I believe. 

If I push a different side down, the other will push up. It reminds me of why I can’t go camping. First, I require central heat and air and plumbing. Secondly, I’m 6’4” and 280 or so depending on how much fun I’ve been having lately. If my much smaller wife and I try to sleep on an air mattress, I go to the ground while she is sleeping on a mound of air. 

It just doesn’t work for us which works for me. I’m no camper people. 

Anyway, this knowledge, if you didn’t already have it, will come in handy here in a little bit. 

Also, I hope you’ll go to our show notes for the diagram demonstrating the different amounts of pressure on your low back depending on how you are positioned. For this study, I am told the researchers actually placed pressure sensors into the patients’ discs and had them do these moves to find the differenced. 

Can you even imagine doing that or volunteering to do that? Holy smokes. 

Anyway, laying down shows 25 kg of pressure in your low back discs. Standing places 100kg on them while sitting straight up is 140kg. Now, the big ‘no-no’s’….standing and bending forward with something of substance in your hands, 220kg and the daddy of them all, sitting bent forward with weights in the hands. 275 kg. 

No weights, bending forward at the waist and sitting slumped. How would they affect those discs? 

Now,  let’s get to the first paper, it’s paper #1 titled “Upright magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine: Back and Pain Radiculopathy.” It was published in the Journal of Craniovertebral Junction & Spine in 2016[1].

They were testing MRI results lying down as well as when seated. 

How They Did It

  • 17 participants
  • 10 were asymptomatic
  • 7 had symptoms of radiculopathy
  • MRIs were done on each in the seated position

What They Found

  • Mid-disc width accounted for 56% of the maximum foramen with in the symptomatic group.
  • Mid-disc width was over 63% of the maximum foramen within asymptomatic volunteers.
  • Disc bulging was 48% larger in the symptomatic group.
  • The measurements of the foramen were smaller in the symptomatic group.

Wrap It Up

The information suggests that MRIs performed in the upright seated position can be useful in the diagnosis process because it is better able to distinguish important differences among the asymptomatic and symptomatic. Especially in regards to the size of the intervertebral foramen.

Then we have this study by Madsen, et. al[2]. called ““The effect of body position and axial load on spinal canal morphology: an MRI study of central spinal stenosis.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18165750/?i=26&from=/9612180/related

In this paper, the authors say that axial loading of the spine does not necessarily cause any significant changes to the disc itself, but that the simple act of having more extension in the spine was a determining factor as to how much space remained in the dural sac surrounding the spinal cord or cauda equina.

I wanted to be fair so I included this study. It suggests the discs play a very small part in the process but, as you will see from approximately 10 other papers we’ll discuss, this sort of finding or thought process is very much in the minority.

See…..I’m fair. I don’t want to cherry-pick. 

Here we have one by Hansson et. al.[3] called “The narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal during loaded MRI: the effects of the disc and ligamentum flavum.” 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/19277726/?i=10&from=axial%20loaded%20disc%20MRI

How They Did It

  • There were 24 participants in the study.
  • The lumbar (low back) spines were examined by MRI while lying down supine (face up).
  • Then the study was repeated with roughly half of their weight loaded to the spine axially.
  • The measurements were through the cross-sectional areas of the spinal canal as well as the ligamentum flavum, the thickness of the ligamentum flavum, the posterior bulge of the disc and the intervertebral angle.

What They Found

  • The axial loading did, in fact, decrease the cross-sectional size of the spinal canal.
  • Increased bulge or thickening of the ligamentum flavum was to blame for 50%-85% of the decrease in the spinal canal size.

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded that it appears the ligamentum flavum, not the disc, played a dominant role in reducing the size of the spinal canal on axially loaded spines for those with stenosis.

Next up is Choy et. al. called “Magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbosacral spine under compression.” This paper reveals that sitting MRI imagined exists at Harvard and Zurich. Since seated MRI is so limited in regards to availability, the authors were looking to be able to compress the spine in other ways to duplicate the pressures found in someone that is seated. 

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/9612180/?i=20&from=sitting%20disc%20herniation%20mri

They built a plywood contraption that had the ability to fit into a standard MRI machine and subject the patient to similar compressive forces. Interesting I thought. I’d love to see this contraption. 

What They Found

They were able to reproduce the symptoms in 50% of the patients through the compression machine and they were able to reproduce  “augmentation” or accentuation of the disc herniation when the compressive force was initiated. Meaning, simulated axial compression herniated the disc further. 

Man, we’re scootin now folks, 

This one is by Nowicki, et. al[4]. called “Occult lumbar lateral spinal stenosis in neural foramina subjected to physiologic loading,”

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/8896609/?i=20&from=axial%20loaded%20disc%20MRI

These authors wanted to see how different positioning of the trunk affects the relationships of the bones and discs in regards to the neural structures in the same anatomic region. They also wanted to find out how disc degeneration responds to axial loading.

What They Found

The average findings were that extension, flexion, lateral bending, and rotation show contact or compression of the spinal nerve by the ligamentum flavum or disc in 18% of the neural foramina. 

Extension loading produced the most cases of nerve root contact. Disc degeneration significantly increased the prevalence of pain stenosis.

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded, “The study supports the concept of dynamic spinal stenosis; that is, intermittent stenosis of the neural foramina. Flexion, extension, lateral bending, and axial rotation significantly changed the anatomic relationships of the ligamentum flavum and intervertebral disc to the spinal nerve roots.”

So, we’re starting to paint a picture here I think and starting to show that positioning and weight-bearing does indeed have an effect on the disc herniations, the ligamentum flavum, and the neural structures present at each level. 

Here’s the last one we’ll cover this week and it’s called “The diagnostic effect from axial loading of the lumbar spine during computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in patients with degenerative disorders.” It was authored by Willen et. al[5].

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/11725243/?i=14&from=axial%20loaded%20disc%20MRI

Why They Did It

The authors stated goal in this paper were to find out if there was any real value in imaging patients that had axial loads (simulated weight-bearing) applied in cases of degenerative spines.

How They Did It

  • A device was used to induce a load on the low back before imaging.
  • 172 patients were examined with compression applied.
  • 50 of those were imaged with CTs.
  • 122 of those subjects were imaged with MRIs.
  • Any changes in the major anatomy of the regions were noted.

What They Found

“Additional valuable information was found” in 50 of the original 172 participants. “A narrowing of the lateral recess causing compression of the nerve root was found at 42 levels in 35 patients at axial loading.”

Wrap It Up

There is certainly and frequently additional information that can be gathered for diagnostic purposes when the imaging is done with weight-bearing loads applied. This included those with neurogenic claudication as a result of stenosis but also sciatica.

We have a painting forming up here folks. I did the underpainting this week and we’ve got it ready for the finishing touches next week so stick around and make sure you’re connected with us. 

We do that through our weekly newsletter to let you know when the next episode goes live. You can get on that at chiropracticforward.com. 

You can also find us on Facebook on our Chiropractic Forward Page but, if you’d like to take it a step further, you can join us at our Chiropractic Forward Group where we post the papers from each episode and maybe even spark up a discussion about them if you like. 

The Message

Before you leave us today, 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

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. Nguyen HS, e.a., Upright magnetic resonance imaging of the lumbar spine: Back pain and radiculopathy. J Craniovertebr Junction Spine, 2016. 7(1): p. 31-7.

2. Madsen R, e.a., The effect of body position and axial load on spinal canal morphology: an MRI study of central spinal stenosis. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2008. 33(1): p. 61-7.

3. Hansson T, e.a., The narrowing of the lumbar spinal canal during loaded MRI: the effects of the disc and ligamentum flavum. Eur Spine J, 2009. 18(5): p. 679-86.

4. Nowicki BH, e.a., Occult lumbar lateral spinal stenosis in neural foramina subjected to physiologic loading. AJNR Am J Neuroraiol, 1996. 17(9): p. 1605-14.

5. Willen J, e.a., The diagnostic effect from axial loading of the lumbar spine during computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging in patients with degenerative disorders. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2001. 26(23): p. 2607-14.

 

CF 044: w/ Dr. Dale Thompson – Why I Like Being An Evidence-Based Chiropractor

CF 044: w/ Dr. Dale Thompson – Why I Like Being An Evidence-Based Chiropractor

Today we’re going to talk about being an evidence-based chiropractor. What does it mean to be practicing evidence-based chiropractic and we’re going to be talking about with Dr. Dale Thompson from Iowa. USA.

Dale Thompson - Evidence-based Chiropractor

Integrating Chiropractors

But first, here’s that bumper music you’ve come to know and love. 

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 mosied Old West style into Episode #44

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 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. 

My Week

How has your week been? Mine has been great. I attended my third DACO class and this one with the man, the myth, the legend, Dr. James Lehman. And he was excellent. Which isn’t surprising but sort of is and here’s why.

Being the head of the DACO program for the University of Bridgeport Connecticut, Jim was just there to audit the class which was originally to be taught by Dr. Miller who I’m not familiar with just yet. 

Well, we had a huge storm come through the Dallas/Ft Worth metroplex that screwed everything up including my drive into town all the way from Amarillo. I literally got dumped on by gallons of water per second for about 4 hours to get there. 

Pure misery Y’all, and that’s not exaggerating. In fact, all of the rivers, lakes, and low lying streets were flooded. The word of the day for the newscasters on TV was the word “Swollen.” All of the bodies of water were quote, Swollen. 

Anyway, the storm made it impossible for Dr. Miller to get to Dallas but, good fortune was shining on the DACO program in Dallas and it’s participants. Dr. Lehman was there to audit his first class in over a year and he was able to simply step in and teach instead of Dr. Miller. 

So, I got some good solid learning from the man himself who, as luck would have it, has agreed to be a future guest on the Chiropractic Forward podcast so just hold onto your britches because we’re going to make it happen. 

Introduction

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.

I want to start by introducing this week’s guest. You have likely heard me talk all about the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance Facebook group as well as the Evidence-based Chiropractic Facebook.

I’m pretty fond of the two groups as well as our own Facebook group I’d invite you to called oddly enough the Chiropractic Forward Facebook group. We have a Chiro Forward page where we update everyone on new episodes but we also have the group where we post the research papers and discuss and connect outside of the podcast. 

Getting back to the first two groups I mentioned, Dr. Thompson is a very active member of those two groups….. 

There are a lot of other terms thrown around that mean nothing to others like TORS and medi-practors and all that fun stuff. But, I thought this would be a great time to just sit and talk about the differences. 

Welcome

Welcome to the show Dr. Thompson. Thank you for joining us today. How’s the Iowa weather this fine Fall Thursday morning?

I already went through your introduction and am wondering, How do you make the leap from embalmer and the mortuary all the way to being an evidence-based chiropractor? Tell me about that. 

Dr. Thompson, can you tell me a bit about your practice? What does it look like?

Have you always been an evidence-based chiropractor?

What initially got you into the research side of things in the profession?

As an evidence-based chiropractor, you post so much research, I’m not sure how you have the opportunity to find it all and go through it all. How in the heck do you do it?

Dr. Thompson, back on September 16th, you posted something for the newer members of the group to read. Your post was called Practicing Chiropractic Wisely: Why I Like Being an Evidence-Based Chiropractor

I thought it would be interesting if we simply spent our time together going through your list together and explaining or expounding where appropriate if you’re OK with that. 

  1. I can go to a conference and know if the speaker is generally telling the truth or is trying to sell a lie. Tell us why this one made your list if you don’t mind.
  2. I know it’s better to say “I don’t know” than to make something up. Do you feel that the philosophical-minded chiros in the crowd tend to make up things on the spot? Or is this more a point that they explain everything with the term subluxation and start pounding down the high spots?
  3. I know the best chiropractic related books were written in the last 10 years… not 100 years ago. I’m guessing this one is aimed at the green books from Palmer as well as the books those spawned over the years?
  4. I can sit down with a layperson or an orthopedic surgeon and explain what I do…and they both get it. It’s possible to tell them what research says about our effectiveness and they’ll get it. For me, I dumb it down. This is imbalanced, weak, or doesn’t move very well. We are going to try to balance, strengthen, and move it. Pretty simple. Maybe too simple. How exactly do you approach it that works best for you?
  5. I can read a research paper and know if it’s good or bad and how it may apply to what I do. What criteria do you use to determine it’s worth? I’m guessing meta-analysis, systematic reviews, and randomized controlled trials are at the top of your list. Sample numbers? Journal impact? What all do you take into account? In this context, I’m assuming you are using it to insinuate that the more philosophical subluxations crowd points to research but you would argue it is not good research. Am I correct in that assumption?
  6. I can take the best evidence and apply it and yet also have the freedom to find novel ways to approach a problem. This reminds me of a previous guest we had on the podcast a few episodes ago. Dr. Brandon Steele. He was making the distinction between evidence-based chiropractor vs. evidence-informed. It sounds like you are describing evidence-informed here. Is that correct?
  7. I have several tools in my tool bag and they will not be exactly the same next year as they are not the same as last year. Can you expand on that for us, Dr. Thompson?
  8. I can take a seemly complex problem and find a simple solution as well as understand the complexity of an apparently simple problem. Explain your intent on this one and the purpose for your including it, please. 
  9. I am more comfortable having questions I can’t answer than having answers I will not let be questioned. Oh, man….if the others weren’t fuel for the subluxation crowd, this one certainly is. Discuss from an evidence-based chiropractor point of view.
  10. I understand my patients want their problems fixed in a cost-effective and within a reasonable time, that they don’t want long-term care. Wouldn’t you agree that you are a terrible chiropractor if you have to see someone 100 times in a year to get them well or keep them well? Evidence-based chiropractors don’t see their patients that often.
  11. I know my clinical strengths and limitations as well as the strengths and limitations of other healthcare professionals. Can you tell me some of the claims you have personally witnessed that leads you to this being on your list? 
  12. I can make a good living without sacrificing patient-centered care to achieve it. “I tell people that I could make a heck of a lot more money but I sleep very well at night. In addition, it’s a point of mine in my practice to never put my staff in a position that, should my ethics or way of practicing ever be called into question for some reason, I’d never want them to feel like they had to, or needed to lie for me.  That’s a bit of a guiding principle for me. As an evidence-based chiropractor, another principle I find myself following daily is that, if I’m giving my patients the same recommendations I would give my mother, brother, father, or sister, then we will always be going in the right direction. Tell me what being patient-centered means to you personally.
  13. I do not have to jump on board the latest health fad but I can, and may, scrutinize it using logic, reasoning and supporting evidence. Fill me in. Where does this one come from? 
  14. I can respect my colleagues desire to practice different than me but I still demand they do so in an evidence-based chiropractor and ethical manner. To play Devil’s Advocate, what if they’re told they ARE actually evidence-based chiropractor? What if they have papers they can point to? What if they have some gurus throwing together research to form a diagram and brain lamp to charge $800 a pop ala Dan Sullivan?  
  15. I can appreciate that sometimes positive and unpredictable changes can occur in other body systems while under my care but I won’t use that to try to lure people in to see me. Examples?
  16. My patients come first, my profession second and I am last. Now THAT is the true definition of a patient-centered practice and I think most would agree that every evidence-based chiropractor. should follow this mantra.  

Continuing

Switching focus a little bit from evidence-based chiropractors vs. subluxation-based chiropractors, what is your opinion of or how do you deal with people like Stephen Barrett or Edzard Ernst or any of the knuckleheads over at that science-based website? 

It’s my hope that, by hearing from evidence-based chiropractor like you, me, the guys from the DACO program, etc…that they will understand. 

Understand that when sitting through those classes or seminars they’re made to sit through….those classes and talks that make them roll their eyes because they’re all about a philosophically based model….those classes. It’s my hope that they’ll understand they don’t have to practice that way and hopefully they understand there is another way to go about it. 

Also, some chiropractors get out of school not knowing what they believe since they’ve been inundated many times with all kinds of information. Some good and some bad. 

Just saying the words, “not knowing what they believe” sounds silly when we have the research out there in piles and piles. I have patients say, “I believe in Choirpracty” all of the time and I’m clear with each of them that we aren’t part of a church and that Chiropractic isn’t something one has to believe in. 

That goes for chiropractors and students as well.  

Dr. Thompson, I want to thank you for coming on the show today and running through it with us.

Integrating Chiropractors

 

Affirmation

It is an 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

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TuneIn

About the author:

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

 

CF 039: Communicating Chiropractic

Communicating Chiropractic 

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talk about communicating chiropractic and chiropractic utilization. What am I talking about? Stick around

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 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 potato sack jumped yourself right into Episode #39. In case you are new to the Chiropractic forward podcast, there is a different way to get into this podcast. Moonwalk, do the twist, electric slid, grooved, you get the point. 

We are talking about communicating chiropractic and I want to start the research part of our podcast today with a pretty cool paper that just passed through my email. I have my buddy and colleague, Dr. Craig Benton down in Lampasas, TX to thank for this one. It’s called “Characteristics of Chiropractic Patients Being Treated for Chronic Low Back and Neck Pain.” It was authored by PM Herman, et. al. and published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiology and Therapeutics on August 15th of 2018[1]. Brand spanking new, people. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30121129

Why They Did It

Since chronic low back and chronic neck pain dominate our population and since chiropractic is a common approach to the conditions, the authors wanted to explore the characteristics of chiropractic patients suffering the conditions here in the United States. Further knowledge here helps with communicating chiropractic more effectively.

How They Did It

  • They collected information from chiropractic patients with different levels of information that included regions, states, sites, providers and clinics, and patients. 
  • The sites and regions were San Diego, Tampa, Minneapolis, Seneca Falls, and Upstate New York, Portland, and Dallas. 
  • Data was collected through an iPad prescreening questionnaire in the clinic and through emailed links to full screening and baseline online questionnaires

What They Found

  • 518 patients with chronic low back pain only
  • 347 with chronic neck pain only
  • 1159 with both chronic low back pain and chronic neck pain. 
  • In general, most participants were highly educated white females that had been using chiropractic care for years. 
  • Over 90% of the participants reported high satisfaction with their care, few used narcotics, and avoiding surgery was the most important reason they chose chiropractic care.

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded, “Given the prevalence of CLBP and CNP, the need to find effective nonpharmacologic alternatives for chronic pain, and the satisfaction these patients found with their care, further study of these patients is worthwhile.”

As a side note, at the first ChiroTexpo event for the Texas Chiropractic Association state convention, these researchers were there recruiting offices for this paper which is kind of cool. 

How much of the population do chiropractors see on average? At least in American? For years, the number has been from 7% to 11% but there is research out there that suggests the number is actually bigger. We can answer that question a little more accurately thanks to some research from Palmer that was published back in 2015. 

This next paper goes more toward helping us in communicating chiropractic than any other paper in recent memory.

It’s called “Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic,” it was performed in conjunction with Palmer and Gallup and was submitted by James O’Connor of Palmer and Joe Daly of Gallup[2]. I have linked it in the show notes for you. 

https://www.palmer.edu/uploadedFiles/Pages/Alumni/gallup-report-palmer-college.pdf

The report states from the get-go that half of the adults in the US have been to a chiropractor as a patient. 

  • 14% of adults say they saw a chiropractic within the last 12 months. 
  • 12% say they saw a chiropractor in the last five years
  • 25% say they saw a chiropractor more than 5 years ago
  • Women are more likely to love and visit their chiropractor regularly
  • Adults under 50 are more likely to say that the chiropractor is their first stop for neck or back pain. 
  • Over 50% of adults strongly agree or agree somewhat that chiropractors are effective at treating neck and back pain. 

All of this is great news, y’all. Great news. In the conclusion of this report from Gallup and Palmer College, they say yes…over half of Americans view chiropractors as effective for neck and back pain but uncertainty about costs and misinformation about potential dangers of chiropractic are potential obstacles to them utilizing our services. 

I addressed the whole stroke issue the medical field has tried to saddle us with in a blog, in a YouTube video, and in a series of three podcasts and highly encourage you to re-visit the information in episodes 13, 14, and 15. I will link them for you in the notes. 

The blog, YouTube video, and podcast series is called “DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes.”  You must have this information. If you do anything this week, do that. I laid it all out and I did it in blog form, video form, and podcast form so you could pick your preference and get the information. So do it. This information will go a long way in helping you with communicating chiropractic.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/tRXpG_Ie0Rs

Blog: https://www.chiropracticforward.com/blog-post/debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes-revisited/

Podcast Episode #13: https://www.chiropracticforward.com/debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes/

Podcast Episode #14: https://www.chiropracticforward.com/cf-episode-14-debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes-part-2-of-3/

Podcast Episode #15: https://www.chiropracticforward.com/cf-015-debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes-part-3-of-3/

The report suggests we try to be transparent when it comes to the costs of chiropractic which also means providing details on insurance coverage, visits required, etc. Here’s the deal though…..if someone comes up to me on the street and asks me how much it costs to come see me, what the hell am I supposed to say?

Quite literally, I don’t have a single damn clue what it’s going to cost them. I don’t know what kind of insurance they have. How do I know if their issue is acute, chronic, or a combination of issues spanning the acute as well as the chronic? I have no way of knowing if their deductible is met. I can’t know what their co-pay is. How can you tell people any of that crap and I’m sure as hell not going to be having a long enough conversation with them when I’m out and about with friends or family to figure it out either. 

Palmer is crazy on that part of this. I’m all about communicating chiropractic but people are grown-ups. They have a Google machine in their pockets. Figure out what your deductible is and how much you’ve met. Figure out what your co-pay is. Google up the offices in your area and try to get an idea of how they practice. If they’re talking about fixing ear infections, boosting your immunes system, and not getting your kids vaccinated, well….chances are they’re going to want to see you 1.23 million times through your lifetime. 

If they’re talking about exercise/rehab, evidence, research, and things of that nature, then they’re going to address your issue quickly and relatively inexpensively. 

Then get on your Facebook machine and ask your friends which evidence-based chiro in your area you need to be seeing and go do that. It’s easier today than ever before. Palmer doesn’t really need to put that directive on chiropractors in my opinion. 

They go on to say that about 37% of Americans are unsure whether or not chiropractic is dangerous. Palmer suggests we chiropractors try communicating chiropractic more clearly in regards to the level of education we have gone through. I think that’s a great suggestion. I do hate the fact that MDs and DOs aren’t going around having to tell everyone about the classes they took and we DCs obviously do need to do that but, it is what it is. You want that in Espanol? Here it is: “Es lo que es.”

Just trying to spice it up, folks. Go with it alright?

The report had some cool news. What news is that you might say? To that, I’d say this: current users of chiropractic typically see their doc an average of 11 times per year which they say shows a strong commitment to chiropractic care.

If the description is a strong commitment to chiropractic care, then count me in. I’m on board. I’m on that team. 

The last sentence of the report says this, “The chiropractic community would do well to increase awareness among the public about the benefits of chiropractic care and the costs associated with it, including offering flexible methods of payment and assistance with navigating insurance, to ensure potential users have what they need to make an informed decision regarding care.”

OK….where to start here?

Dammit. We all know all too well that chiropractors increasing awareness among the public about the benefits of chiropractic care is a slippery slope. Do I want to encourage a chiropractor that doesn’t believe in vaccinations to be out there talking about the amazing benefits of Chiropractic? Ummmm….nope. Nope, I sure don’t. 

Now, if you have a doc talking about how awesome chiropractic is and how spinal manipulation combined with exercise rehab is a powerful combination and is now recommended by the American College of Physicians, JAMA, The Lancet, the FDA, the CDC, The Joint Commission, the current occupant of The White House, and even Consumer Reports…..well hell….I think you have a winner on your hands. That’s what I’m talking about when I say communicating chiropractic. 

Luckily, the only docs listening to me right now are the ones that are going to be talking about the latter rather than the former. 

So listen up evidence-based men and women…..unfortunately, you have to start telling people more about your education and you have to start telling people more about the research and evidence and support behind what it is we do from day to day. 

I’d like to say that it is super duper big-time double fortunate that you have resources like, oh say, maybe a podcast called the Chiropractic Forward Podcast that does all of the work for you by gathering and talking about research every week that can help you on this. 

Now, onto our last topic this week.

This one is an article from June 19, 2018, that was posted on the ACA Blog and linked in the notes on our website for this episode. 

https://www.acatoday.org/News-Publications/ACA-Blogs/ArtMID/6925/ArticleID/374/Communicating-Chiropractic-An-Algorithm-to-Answer-Difficult-Questions

The title of the article is “Communicating Chiropractic: An Algorithm to Answer Difficult Questions[3].” It was written by Dr. Stephanie Halloran who did an excellent job on this article in my opinion. Dr. Halloran is the chiropractic resident with the VA Connecticut Healthcare System.

Dr. Halloran started the article by covering some common questions that can be asked of chiropractors within an interdisciplinary setting. The questions she mentions are:

  • What are the typical conditions treated by chiropractors and specific treatments utilized?
  • We to know the contraindications for treatment?
  • It’s important to be able to describe the mechanisms of manipulation and/or acupuncture?
  • What adverse events from chiropractic treatment, including post-treatment soreness and cervical manipulation and stroke?

All sound like reasonable questions but think about them for a minute. What would your responses be to them and would your answers really stand up to scrutiny in the medical kingdom?

Dr. Halloran cites her site director, VA Chiropractic Program Director Dr. Anthon Lisi as being key in helping her formulate an approach we can use to guide us to develop our own answers to these questions. She lines out 4 steps we should be looking at. 

  1. Have a great depth of knowledge – She says, “First and foremost, you must have an extensive understanding of what you are being asked. Whether the inquiry is as vague as “What is chiropractic?” or more specific, such as “What is the physiologic mechanism of manipulation?” or more sensitive, such as “Does cervical manipulation cause stroke?” it is imperative to know what the evidence does and doesn’t support. “ My goodness…where on Earth could you ever be educated on research and what the evidence says? Hmm….I’ll just wait here until….yes. You’ve found it right here!
  2. Selectively Present that knowledge – Answer with only the most pertinent information. Sometimes less is more and sometimes more is too much information but, be sure you can expound on the neurophysiological effects if specifics are asked.
  3. Be mindful of an appropriate stopping point – She says, “It is reasonable to assume that an encounter will occur at some point with a specialty physician possessing unwavering negative views of chiropractic treatment, and the reality is some will not be swayed despite the evidence presented. The goal of the interaction is to present the evidence, to meet them where they are, and to leave the door open for further conversation at a later date.” And then you punch them in the face and push them down on the playground while saying nanny boo boo. 
  4. Remain altruistic throughout – She says we need to stay focused on the overall goal of health care which is, according to her “to increase functional outcomes, improve quality of life, and provide the best care for patients.” I can get on board with that description myself. 

All of this goes toward helping you in communicating chiropractic. She wraps it up by saying, “In respect to success in integration, my biggest takeaway from being exposed to interprofessional collaboration on a day-to-day basis in the VA is the need for chiropractors to prepare answers to questions regarding what chiropractic care is, common conditions seen, neurophysiological effects of treatment, and the incidence of adverse events. These answers should be instantaneous and provide evidentiary support. One must also be prepared to hit the brakes when met with substantial resistance and to admit lack of familiarity with a topic, when appropriate.”

Can’t we all agree with this article? It makes perfect sense. If you can’t communicate and relay what it is you do, then what are you doing?

This week, I want you to go forward with the idea that we are not a dying profession. We are, in fact, growing and our utilization is growing. We maintain that growth through communicating chiropractic and better patient education as to our level of education and our cost-effectiveness. In addition, in regards to integration, let’s make sure we are prepared to answer questions and do it in a way that is 100% backed by solid and respected research and evidence. You can’t lose when it’s done that way. 

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 are communicating chiropractic, 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

1. Herman PM, Characteristics of Chiropractic Patients Being Treated for Chronic Low Back and Neck Pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2018.

2. O’Connor J, Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic Inaugural Report: Americans’ Perceptions of Chiropractic. Palmer College of Chiropractic, 2015.

3. Halloran S, Communicating Chiropractic: An Algorithm to Answer Difficult Questions, in ACA Blog, ACA, Editor. 2018: ACA Blog.

This podcast episode was about communicating chiropractic. Communicating chiropractic effectively is a big part of moving the chiropractic profession forward. Bobby Massie Authentic Jersey

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.