Headache Archives - chiropracticforward Headache Archives - chiropracticforward

Headache

Tinnitus & New Guides For Neck-Related Headaches

Today we’re going to talk about a couple of papers touching on tinnitus as well as a paper that just came out on practice guides for persistent headaches associated with neck pain. We’ll have some fun learning some new info if you stick around. 

Chiropractic evidence-based products

But first, here’s that ‘better than a back rub’ bumper music

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

You have drifted into Episode #65. And I don’t mean drifted like a feather or a piece of wood in the ocean. No, I’m talking about dangerous, careless, speedy drifting in the car around a curve, man. That’s the drifting I’m talking about. I talk like I’ve drifted before. I haven’t. Well, at least not intentionally. We won’t talk about that one time down in Alpine, TX. Lol. Hey, I used to be in a touring band. What do you want from me? I used to be on the on’ry side. That’s all I’m saying. 

I’m still a little ornery but age has settled me quite a bit. Which is a good thing. I look at kids these days. My son is a teenager and really, for the most part, he’s just so good. No drugs, no drinking, loving as he can be. I think back to when I was his age. I was legitimately a menace to society. I mean that literally. It’s a wonder I’m alive but, as with most from my generation, we made it didn’t we? In spite of the lead paint, lack of bicycle helmets, and all that stuff. 

I want to take just a few seconds to thank Dr. David Graber. He gave The Chiropractic Forward Podcast a shout-out to a room of about 1000 chiropractors during his talk at the Parker Seminar in Vegas a week or so ago. While that doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, I’ll just say that, when you feel like a lot of times, you’re on your own and everything depends solely on you and your actions or, in-actions, it is a blessing to have others help share the word. When you guys share or help get the message out in any little way, it’s like I breath a little easier if that makes any sense. It’s like I’m part of a team rather than out here on an island shouting through a megaphone hoping a ship passing by hears me. 

Anyway, I know I thanked you in our private Facebook group but wanted to do so here as well. Very much appreciated, Amigo. 

Introduction

Let’s get on with it here. We’re here to advocate for chiropractic and to give you some awesome information to make your life easier from day-to-day. We’re going to keep you from wasting time in your week and give you confidence in your recommendations and treatments. And I feel confident in guaranteeing that to you if you listen and stick to it here at the Chiropractic Forward Podcast.  

Store

Part of saving you time and effort is having the right patient education tools in your office. Tools that educate based on solid, researched information. We offer you that. It’s done for you. We are taking pre-orders right now for our brand new, evidence-based office brochures available at chiropracticforward.com. Just click the STORE link at the top right of the home page and you’ll be off and running. Just shoot me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com if something is out of sorts or isn’t working correctly.

DACO

Let’s talk a bit about the DACO program. That’s the Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists. Why do the DACO? Because, if you want to integrated, you need to certificate. Or more accurately, you need to specialize and get accredited. That’s what the Diplomate is about. Bells, whistles, letters behind your name….yes. More importantly, you’ll be leaps and bounds beyond where you were prior to do it. 

Recent classes have been Tinnitus which we’ll talk about in a moment, carpal tunnel syndrome as part of a double crush syndrome, and managing hip osteoarthritis. Fascinating stuff. 

I saw a chiropractic student upset on Facebook the other day. He was upset because of some video that popped up on social media. It was an anti-vaccination speech and, honestly, it was pretty vile and hateful in the stance against vaccines. Look, you have whatever opinion you want on vaccines, we’re never going to get into that here. That’s not why I mention it. 

The student clearly did not agree with this speech from CalJam and was wondering what kind of profession he’s spending all of this money to be a part of. He was basically questioning what kind of future he’s going to have when you have a profession that is getting continuing education hours for speeches like that. 

I could confidently tell him, and you by the way, that there has never been a better time to be a chiropractor. At least not in the last 35-40 years anyway. We’ve all heard about the Mercedes 80’s. They sound real nice but they’re a pipe dream at this point. 

Right now, there has never been the research backing up what we do. We have it overflowing. Not only in our effectiveness either. We have research on how we’re more effective than PT and MDs. We have research on how our patients are more satisfied with our outcomes than any other practitioner. We have research on how we do all of that while costing less. 

Never before have we had a national epidemic. This little thing we call the opioid epidemic that is driving every healthcare practitioner to look for non-pharma means of treating their patients. That means you and me. 

And never before have we had the capability or opportunities that we have now to integrate with our medical colleagues and become more and more a part of a team of healthcare practitioners. 

We are moving more to the center rather than staying out on the fringes of healthcare like the red-headed step child. 

No offense to red-heads or step-children. 

Anyway, Diplomate programs are more than letters behind a name. They’re about progressing you and your profession. Building knowledge and respect. 

I get nothing for talking about the DACO. I just think certification and professional standardization are important things. Email me at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com if you have some questions about getting started.

Personal Happenings

And the hunt for a front desk rock star continues. I want to share with you the fact that indeed.com and Facebook work ads are great at netting you about 1.3 million resumes but not good, well-qualified candidates. Every damn time I post a job listing, I’ll get around 150 recipients. Only a very limited few are worth anything. Most aren’t even qualified for the job. 

For instance I got a resume yesterday from a dude that can run a fork lift. Hey, I like forklift drivers fine but that won’t get it done at the front desk of a healthcare facility, right? It’s an insane waste of time going through all of these but, what the hell else are you going to do? you have to have an employee. And I’m not going to my friends to ask if they know of anyone because I don’t want my friends hitting me up for a job. Lol. If that doesn’t work out, not only have you lost an employee but you’ve also lost a friend. 

No thanks!

Item #1

I have had an increase in tinnitus in my left ear after a plane ride I took back from Austin a couple of weeks ago. Bad enough that I went to a specialist for it. Turns out, she said I have, in some frequencies, moderate loss. I said, “What?” Lol. 

Well, I’ve been a touring musician before so, what’s new? I could have told you that. But, it’s been bad in just the past couple of weeks so something changed in that window of time. I started taking some DACO classes and noticed one on tinnitus so jumped to that drill for obvious reasons. 

I don’t want to go into details of the class but I do want to talk about some of the research cited for the class and we’ll start with this one called, “Does multi-modal cervical physical therapy improve tinnitus in patients with cervicogenic somatic tinnitus?” It was authored by S Michiels, P Van de Heyning, and a bunch of other very difficult names and published in Manual Therapy in 2016(Michiels S 2016). 

Why They Did It

Tinnitus can be related to many different etiologies such as hearing loss or a noise trauma, but it can also be related to the somatosensory system of the cervical spine, called cervicogenic somatic tinnitus (CST). Knowing that case studies have suggested a positive effect of cervical spinal treatment on tinnitus, this study wanted to dive a little deeper on it. 

How They Did It

It was a randomized controlled trial of subjects having a combination of tinnitus and neck pain. Like a combo meal, instead of a burger and fries, it was neck ache and ear ringing. Make that two please, thank you. 

Each subject received cervical physical therapy for 6 weeks which equaled 12 sessions. 

What They Found

Cervical physical therapy can have a positive effect on subjective tinnitus complaints in patients with a combination of tinnitus and neck complaints.

Pretty cool stuff there. 

Item #2

Let’s double down with this one from Oostendorp, et. al. called “Cervicogenic somatosensory tinnitus: An indication for manual therapy? Part 1: Theoretical concept” published in 2016 in Manual Therapy(Oosterndorp RA 2016). 

The Big Idea

Tinnitus can be evoked or modulated by input from the somatosensory and somatomotor systems. This means that the loudness or intensity of tinnitus can be changed by sensory or motor stimuli such as muscle contractions, mechanical pressure on myofascial trigger points, transcutaneous electrical stimulation or joint movements.

Interesting yeah? I think so. 

They go on to say, “The neural connections and integration of the auditory and somatosensory systems of the upper cervical region and head have been confirmed by many studies. These connections can give rise to a form of tinnitus known as somatosensory tinnitus. 

Broadening the current understanding of somatosensory tinnitus would represent a first step towards providing therapeutic approaches relevant to manual therapists. Treatment modalities involving the somatosensory systems, and particularly manual therapy, should now be re-assessed in the subgroup of patients with cervicogenic somatosensory tinnitus”

And that’s just what they’re doing. Fascinating stuff considering that you’ve always heard, “you’ll just have to live with it.” Basically, if you can change the intensity, quality, or frequency of the ringing, by moving your jaw or stressing the cervical spine in different directions, there’s more than a solid chance that you can change it completely through cervical manipulative or manual therapy. 

If I remember correctly the guesstimate was around 65% of the cases may be affected by chiropractors for the positive. 

Hell yeah and pass the potatoes people. 

Item #3

Our last thing today is called “Non‐pharmacological Management of Persistent Headaches Associated with Neck Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration” written by Pierre Cote, Hainan Yu, Heather Shearer, et. al. and published in European Journal of Pain in February 2019(Cote P 2019). 

Hot off the presses and I know you like it served hot like that. Cold or lukewarm education just isn’t as good as piping hot brain nuggets.

Why They Did It

To develop an evidence‐based guideline for the non‐pharmacological management of persistent headaches associated with neck pain (i.e., tension‐type or cervicogenic).

How They Did It

This guideline is based on systematic reviews of high‐quality studies. A multidisciplinary expert panel considered the evidence of clinical benefits, cost‐effectiveness, societal and ethical values, and patient experiences when formulating recommendations.

What They Found

When managing patients with headaches associated with neck pain, clinicians should: 

  1. rule out major structural or other pathologies, or migraine as the cause of headaches; 
  2. classify headaches associated with neck pain as tension‐type headache or cervicogenic headache once other sources of headache pathology has been ruled out; 
  3. provide care in partnership with the patient and involve the patient in care planning and decision‐making; 
  4. provide care in addition to structured patient education; 
  5. consider low load endurance craniocervical and cervicoscapular exercises for tension‐type headaches (episodic or chronic) or cervicogenic headaches >3 months duration; 
  6. consider general exercise, multimodal care (spinal mobilization, craniocervical exercise, and postural correction), or clinical massage for chronic tension‐type headaches; 
  7. do not offer manipulation of the cervical spine as the sole form of treatment for episodic or chronic tension‐type headaches; 
  8. consider manual therapy (manipulation with or without mobilization) to the cervical and thoracic spine for cervicogenic headaches >3 months duration. However, there is no added benefit in combining spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, and exercises; and 
  9. reassess the patient at every visit to assess outcomes and determine whether a referral is indicated.

All of this is just a part of making us all better day to day. Those paying attention have the leg up. No doubt. 

Here’s the problem with being patient-centered instead of doctor-centered. We have to be OK with watching the high volume practices running through like cattle….we have to be OK watching them make millions while we have an average case treatment of only 7-10 visits. 

So what? Big deal. I always say that I could have a bigger house and more vacations but I sleep very well at night and, being a Christian as I’ve mentioned before, I’m at peace knowing I’m square with my maker and treat people the way they should be treated. 

Religious or not, patient-centered doctors can always take comfort in the fact that they’re doing what is in the best interest of their patients. 

It’s a lovely thing isn’t it? Honesty, ethics, love, cumbaya, and all that tom foolery….. They’re just little bricks that are the building blocks of an excellent life and career. 

Integrating Chiropractors
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Chiropractic evidence-based products

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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TuneIn

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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

Cote P, Y. H., Shearer HM, (2019). “Non‐pharmacological Management of Persistent Headaches Associated with Neck Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline from the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration.” European Journal of Pain.

Michiels S, V. d. H. P. (2016). “Does multi-modal cervical physical therapy improve tinnitus in patients with cervicogenic somatic tinnitus?” Man Ther: 125-135.

Oosterndorp RA, B. I., Mikolajewska E, (2016). “Cervicogenic somatosensory tinnitus: An indication for manual therapy? Part 1: Theoretical concept.” Man Ther: 120-123.

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/proven-means-to-treat-neck-pain/?v=7516fd43adaa

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








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

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

Today we’re going to talk about headaches, migraines, neck pain, and our favorite topic here at the Chiropractic Forward Podcast, yes….we’ll talk about Chiropractic care. Specifically, chiropractic care for the headaches, migraines, and neck pain. 

Hold on though, make way, get in the Soul Train dance line because 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 skidded all fast and furiously into Episode #50

Let’s talk a bit about the DACO program. For those that don’t know, that’s the Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists program I’m slowly trudging through. 

I say slowly. You have 3 years to finish. But, I’m a doer if you can’t tell. I’m a worker bee if you will. When I start something, I want to finish. I don’t like unfinished bidness. I don’t like things flapping out in the wind. I want to start it and then I want to finish it quickly and move on to the next thing. 

Getting 300 hours is never going to get done quickly. Especially when you are the sole doctor in a busy practice not getting home until 7 pm or even later sometimes. Such is my life. A curse and a blessing depending on the day and my outlook on that particular day. 

However, I believe I’m on a path to finish it up in about a year from when I started. Probably much sooner. For example, I knocked out 12 hours last week. That’s pretty solid but, we had a snow day and I took advantage of being stuck at home. 

I crawled down into my basement man cave, got in my blankie and jammies with an iPad on my belly, leaned the recliner back and got some education. 

So far, I have 40 hours of the 250 online hours done and 40 hours of the 50 live hours required. In total, I’m 80 hours into a 300-hour course. Rocking and rolling folks. Rocking and rolling. 

Some of the more recent courses I’ve completed were hip pain in children, joint hypermobility disorders, TMJ, and thoracic outlet syndrome. These courses are fascinating. 

The offer is there. If you need help getting started on yours, send me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com I’ll be glad to get you on your way. 

Speaking of getting in touch, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It makes everything easier. 

Now onto a discussion that took place on our Facebook page a couple of weeks ago that I thought was particularly interesting. 

I will put it in the show notes for you if you’d like to see the meme….funny word. My son loves it when we mispronounce it. You should try it with your kids if they’re old enough to get embarrassed by their parents.  

Anyway, the picture I posted was of a contemplative Kermit the Frog and it said, “Me when a patient tells me another chiropractor wanted 5 sets of x-rays over 9 months of treatment to correct something research doesn’t support.”

Now, let me set the stage here. The impetus for this was that one of my patients moved down to Georgia. Her daughter started having some headaches and pain so she went and got an MRI. 

The results of the MRI showed the issue to be out of the scope of chiropractic. Regardless, you guessed it, she got a recommendation for 5 sets of x-rays over 9 months of treatment. 

Absolute scare care riduculosity. 

Here’s where it got a little sticky. A colleague got on that post and expressed some dissatisfaction that I would post something like that. I guess he didn’t like my airing dirty laundry. Which is cool. I don’t mind at all but here’s what happened for me on the deal. 

I sat down and crafted a very PC response I think and in doing so, I had an opportunity to reflect on the podcast, the reason for it, and what we’ve done in just the past year. 

Here are some highlights that came to mind for me:

  1. You don’t make an omelet without cracking some eggs and I think some difference of opinion is to be expected and it’s something I just need to get used to. 
  2. I think I created this podcast to do whatever I could to move this profession forward. 
  3. Forward to me means providing research like we do every week but also to educate others, to suggest new research avenues, to encourage specialization and higher education, to push for integration, and to call out and discourage the behavior I feel holds us back from moving forward. 

If you aren’t active on our Facebook page, I’d encourage you to stop in and say, “Hi.” Tell us if you’re digging the podcast. Share some research you’ve found. Maybe give us a suggestion for a future podcast. We’re here. We also have a private Facebook group if you’d like to join the private group. 

OK, research for this week, here we go with paper #1

This one is called “Characteristics of Chiropractic Patients Being Treated For Chronic Low Back and Neck Pain[1].” The lead author is PM Herman and the paper was published in August of 2018 in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30121129

Get your marketing hat on for this one people. 

Why They Did It

Since chronic low back and neck pain are so prevalent, and since spinal manipulation is a common non-pharma treatment for them, the authors wanted to determine the characteristics of the type of patient that visits the chiropractor. 

How They Did It

  • They collected data from chiropractic patients in regard to regions and states, sites, providers and clinics, and patients. 
  • The data was collected through an iPad questionnaire given at the chosen sites. 
  • They had 518 chronic low back pain patients complete it while 347 chronic neck pain patients finished theirs. They also had 1159 do both. 

What They Found

  • Most of the sample were highly-educated
  • Most were non-hispanic
  • White females were the dominant demographic for race and gender
  • Few used narcotics
  • Avoiding surgery was the most important reason they chose chiropractic care 
  • Over 90% of the patients reported high satisfaction with their care

That should give you some good ideas when trying to figure out who you should be marketing to. I can lead the horse to water but I cannot show the snout into the pond and make the horse drink it up. 

Text Neck

I picked this one out because I saw a discussion on Facebook last week about Text Neck. The question posed was, isn’t text neck just a new term for an old problem? Is text neck just a scare tactic?

That was the general gist of the post. 

While I did not respond, I do have an opinion on text neck. I do not think it’s an old problem. I mean, let’s back up a bit. Poor posture is most certainly an age-old problem. No doubt about it. 

However, at no other point in our time in history that I’m aware of, have little bitty children all the way up to mid-aged and elderly people had a reason to be sitting in one spot for hours with their head flexed forward, bent down almost into their laps. It pains me to see some of the kids these days. 

My poor son. Not so much my daughter right now but my son….my goodness. That kid…I’ll look at him sometimes and he has somehow balled himself up into what I can only describe as something resembling a roly-poly or an armadillo. His head bent at 90 degrees looking at his phone in his lap. Basically, the epitome of text neck.

It must really suck being a chiropractor’s kid. I’ve taken pictures of it before when he wasn’t looking. As you probably know, you can draw on pictures on your phones. So I took that picture then drew big red marks exploding out of his neck. Then, while he’s sitting there on his phone, he gets the picture in a text. 

It’s awesome. You all should try it sometime if for no other reason than to give yourselves a laugh. 

Next Paper

This paper is called, “Cervical Proprioception in a Young Population Who Spend Long Periods on Mobile Devices: A 2-Group Comparative Observational Study” and it was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics as well[2]. The lead author was Andrew Portelli and it was published in February of 2018. 

https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(17)30010-6/fulltext?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=0161-4754_201802_41_2_&elsca4=Physical%20Medicine%20and%20Rehabilitation%7CHealth%20Professions

Why They Did It

The purpose of this study was to evaluate if young people with insidious-onset neck pain who spend long periods on mobile electronic devices (known as “text neck”) have impaired cervical proprioception and if this is related to time on devices.

What They Found

“The participants with text neck had a greater proprioceptive error during cervical flexion compared with controls. This could be related to neck pain and time spent on electronic devices.”

This message has been brought to you by an uncool parent of a teenager. 

Paper #3

This one is called, “Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of cervicogenic headache: a dual-center randomized controlled trial[3].” and it was published in Spine journal in February of 2018. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29481979/

Why They Did It

The optimal number of visits for the care of cervicogenic headache with spinal manipulative therapy is unknown so the authors hoped to identify the dose-response relationship between visits and chronic headache outcomes…. and to evaluate the efficacy of chiropractic by comparison with a light-massage control.

What They Found

The authors’ conclusion was as follows, “There was a linear dose-response relationship between SMT visits and days with CGH. For the highest and most effective dose of 18 SMT visits, CGH days were reduced by half and about 3 more days per month than for the light-massage control.”

So, you guys and gals that want to take evidence-based to the extreme and get people out of your office in only 3 or 4 visits, you may not be hitting the number of visits that work the best. Everyone is different right? Everyone heals differently. Here we have 18 visits being the most effective for chronic cervicogenic headache. 

Good info to keep in mind. 

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 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

Bibliography

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

2. Portelli A, Cervical Proprioception in a Young Population Who Spend Long Periods on Mobile Devices: A 2-Group Comparative Observational Study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2018. 41(2): p. 123-128.

3. Haas M, Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of cervicogenic headache: a dual-center randomized controlled trial. Spine, 2018: p. S1529-9430.

CF 012: Proven Means To Treat Neck Pain

CF 033: Did You Need Proof That Chiropractors Help Headaches?

CF 005: Valuable & Reliable Expert Advice On Clinical Guides For Your Practice

 

 

CF 043: Stroke Caused By Chiropractor

CF 043: Stroke Caused By Chiropractor

Today we’re going to talk about Stroke caused by chiropractor and we’re to show you once again what a pile of hooey the idea is and we’ll even talk a bit about where it came from.Integrating Chiropractors

Stick with us but first, we’re going wade through this here bumper music. 

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

You have bee-bopped into Episode #43 and we are so glad to have you. I’ve noticed that podcasts are going into Seasons….Shows you how much I pay attention to stuff outside of what I’m doing. I’m ashamed. I should do Seasons. Here’s the deal though. I enjoy it so much. I actually WANT to put one out every week. It’s not work when you’re having fun right?

It can be a little stressful creating content and talking points but hey, we get through it and have a lot of fun in the process. 

Growth

What a great month this has been in regards to listens and downloads. You’ve heard me say it before but it’s fun to watch. Because I’m a numbers nerd and who the heck doesn’t like to see the growth of a brainchild?

Speaking of growth, I’ve started work on something that I hope you’ll love. I’ll hope you’ll think about using for your own offices, and I think may be pretty cool. I’ll fill you in more and more as we go along but just know, I’m working on something and you should get yourself on our email list at www.chiropracticforward.com so I can tell you about it and maybe pass along discounts, stuff like that. Email list. Do it. 

A little personal…

How has your week been? Mine….well….I have to continue the saga of hiring a new front desk person. Hell people. Actual hell. The first one just didn’t show up. The second one we hired lasted three days. Three freaking days, folks. 

But, we think we have a winner in place now. You know I’m going to keep you all updated on this deal. This by itself has been enough for its own reality show. I’ve never seen anything like it. The workforce right now just doesn’t seem to want to work. At least that’s my experience lately. 

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.

Let’s get to the research papers

First thing’s first. I have covered this stroke caused by chiropractor topic in depth. As in….very in-depth. In Episodes 13, 14, and 15. If you do nothing else this week as far as educating yourself, make sure you go listen to those three episodes in stroke caused by chiropractor or read it on our blog at http://www.chiropracticforward.com all of which are linked here in the show notes. 

Podcast Episodes:

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

YouTube Video: https://youtu.be/tRXpG_Ie0Rs

Why go over stroke again?

So, why go over stroke caused by chiropractor again? Well, one reason is that it’s been a while since we touched on the topic. Another being that I heard a prominent speaker just this year talking about chiropractors causing strokes and implying that it happens fairly often. That’s a pro-chiropractic speaker, by the way, acting as if chiropractors are the sole reason for a stroke on a regular basis. 

I don’t think that it is necessarily the way the discussion was meant but it could definitely have been interpreted in that manner if those listening didn’t have the information from our Debunked series. 

The other reason I wanted to cover stroke caused by chiropractor again is that is the main thing in regards to safety that the medical kingdom tries to hold over us. Or that they’ve been told about us. And, instead of doing their work on this, they just believe it. 

New habits take 20 days to cement. We need new habits in the medical realm so I’m doing my part by taking away one of the main things they have against us. One may argue that the philosophy and subluxation model is another thing they hold against us but, all I can do about that is continue to disseminate evidence-based information and keep plugging. We’ll see where that part of it goes in the future. 

Common sense talk

For now, though, it’s about stroke caused by chiropractor this week here on the Chiropractic Forward podcast. Now, let’s compare and contrast shall we?

Did you know that the RAND Institute estimates a chiropractic adjustment is the sole cause of a vertebral artery dissection at the rate of only about 1 in 1 million or more adjustments? And did you know that your chances of winning an Oscar stand at about 1 in 11,500? Your chances of being hit by lightning are 1 in 176,426? 

How about this: NSAIDS like ibuprofen and acetaminophen cause around 16,000 deaths per year and send 100,000 people to the ER in America….EVERY YEAR.

Let’s let all that sink in. I say all of that just to put things into context and to make the point that the medical kingdom needs to quit making such a big damn deal out of trained and licensed chiropractors adjusting necks. 

We’re starting with this paper 2015 by Kosloff and friends titled, “Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case-control study in U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations[1].” It was published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. 

Why They Did It

This is obvious. We’re looking at the real chances of chiropractic adjustments being the culprit for strokes. 

What They Found

There were 1,829 vertebral basilar artery stroke cases

Findings showed no significant association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke

The Authors’ Conclusion

“We found no significant association between exposure to chiropractic care and the risk of VBA stroke. We conclude that manipulation is an unlikely cause of VBA stroke. The positive association between PCP visits and VBA stroke is most likely due to patient decisions to seek care for the symptoms (headache and neck pain) of arterial dissection. We further conclude that using chiropractic visits as a measure of exposure to manipulation may result in unreliable estimates of the strength of association with the occurrence of VBA stroke.”

Research Paper #2

Just like a rolling stone we are moving on and gathering no grass…..

This next paper is from Church, et. al. and is called, “Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation[2].” It was published in Cureus in February of 2016. 

Just to review the research hierarchy for those unaware, systematic reviews and meta-analysis papers are at the tippy top of the food chain just above randomized controlled trials. It’s like people in the animal kingdom. We’re the top predators ya know. 

Anyway, the point is: this is reliable information folks. 

We already know why they did it so let’s skip to what they concluded. “ There is no convincing evidence to support a causal link between chiropractic manipulation and CAD. Belief in a causal link may have significant negative consequences such as numerous episodes of litigation.”

Uhhuh….numerous episodes of litigation based on belief and NOT based on fact or research. Believing stroke caused by chiropractor is unfortunate.

Now we come to the guy that helped put the matter to rest once and for all. If you are unaware of John David Cassidy, let me introduce you. He is a professor at the University of Toronto Dalla Lana School of Public Health and is a Ph.D.

Research Paper #3

Let’s start with his newer one concerning this topic. It’s called “Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study[3].” It was published in the Journal of Stroke & Cerebrovascular Diseases in 2017. Newer stuff from JD Cassidy, folks. 

As you’ll see, this paper deals with CAROTID artery and stroke specifically whereas the next and last paper deals with the VERTEBRAL artery and stroke. 

  • The why is obvious once again so, what did they find?
  • They compared 15,523 cases to 62,092 control periods using exposure windows of 1, 3, 7, and 14 days prior to the stroke. 
  • There was no significant difference between chiropractic and PCP risk estimates. 
  • They found no association between chiropractic visits and stroke in those 45 years of age or older. 

The Conclusion

“We found no excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care. Associations between chiropractic and PCP visits and stroke were similar and likely due to patients with early dissection-related symptoms seeking care prior to developing their strokes.”

Research Paper #4

You’re about to notice a trend here. Next paper is by Cassidy et. al. as well and is called, “Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control and Case-Crossover Study[4].” This is the Daddy of papers proving that chiropractic adjustments are not the sole cause of strokes. 

Again, everyone knows why the research was done so let’s get to the meat and taters. 

  • It was done over a nine-year period from April 1993 to March of 2002. 
  • There were 818 vertebrobasilar artery strokes hospitalized in a population of more than 100 million person-years. 
  • There was no increased association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke in those older than 45 years. 

The Conclusion and nail in the coffin

“VBA stroke is a very rare event in the population. The increased risks of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic and PCP visits is likely due to patients with headache and neck pain from VBA dissection seeking care before their stroke. We found no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated chiropractic care compared to primary care.”

It’s like the action hero cartoons “Shazam” “Pow” “Bang” “Smack!”

Again, believing stroke caused by chiropractor unfortunate.

Wrap It Up

I’ve said it a thousand times. “If we were wrong, we’d have been wiped out years ago.” Lord knows every force of the medical kingdom focused on our demise for generations and that goes from the national and state associations all the way into the national and state legislatures. 

How do you fight against that amount of money and power and survive if you’re not inherently right in what you’re doing?

We can argue amongst ourselves till the cows come home about how to do our jobs but, in the end, we help our patients, we get them better when nobody else can, and….well…we’re right. 

So, the haters in the medical field can take a long walk off a short pier and stick it in their ears. I’m not always professional and that’s OK. I’ve always felt being strictly professional all of the time is more than just a little bit boring. We need more spice, personality, and a lot more laughter in life don’t we? 

Integrating Chiropractors

Affirmation

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 & Vlogger

Research Paper Links:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26085925

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/18204390/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27014532

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/27884458/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2271108/

Bibliography

1. Kosloff T, e.a., Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case–control study in U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 2015. 23(19).

2. Church E, e.a., Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Chiropractic Care and Cervical Artery Dissection: No Evidence for Causation. Cureus, 2016. 8(2): p. e498.

3. Cassidy, e.a., Risk of Carotid Stroke after Chiropractic Care: A Population-Based Case-Crossover Study. J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis, 2017. 26(4): p. 842-850.

4. Cassidy, e.a., Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Car. Spine, 2008. 33(4S): p. S176-S183.

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

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

CF 028: Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?

 

 

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

Debunking the odd myth that chiropractors cause strokes. I’m almost done with this y’all. In this final episode of this series, we will discuss risky interventions, papers having to do with the risk, or lack thereof, of chiropractic adjustments to the cervical region specifically, and then a wrap up of the information.

CF 014: DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 2 of 3)

DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes Revisited

Part 2 of 3

Chirorpactic Forward Podcast Subscribe Link

Click to Subscribe!

This week we are in Episode #2 of the 3 episodes where we are systematically debunking the odd myth that chiropractors cause strokes. I’m not having it folks. The chiropractors cause strokes myth is old and tired and in need of retirement. In this episode, we will discuss research papers demonstrating and validating benefits of having cervical manipulation treatments. Or chiropractic adjustments to the neck. We will talk about the benefits, according to research, for neck pain as well as for headaches. And we’ll also talk a little about where this chiropractors cause strokes myth came from and why it perpetuates to this day.

Before we get started, I want to draw your attention to the reviews over at iTunes. If you would be kind enough to leave us a great review we sure would appreciate you! This is a new podcast and we need all the help we can get!

Right now though, it’s time for bumper music!

Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast where we talk about issues related to health, chiropractic, evidence, chiropractic advocacy, and research. Thank you for taking time out of your day I know your time is valuable and I want to fill it with value so here we go. I can’t think of a more valuable way to spend you time if you’re a chiropractor than to learn how to debunk the chiropractors cause strokes myth and shut people down on it.

Let’s begin this episode by thanking those of you that sent emails to me after this chiropractors cause strokes myth series kicked off last week. You guys are great. The best way you can help is to share these episodes with as many people as you can. We can get this myth debunked and we can put it to rest right here, right now. But, obviously, I can’t do it myself. I need your help to do it.

I also want to remind you that this is part 2 of a three part series on the chiropractors cause strokes myth. Last week was part one of the chiropractors cause strokes myth where we discussed some risky odds, some case specific discussion, some signs and symptoms of vertebral artery dissection, and some research dealing with common treatments within the medical profession.

Be sure to go back and listen to it if you have not. It’s essential.

Then next week we will discuss other risky interventions, papers having to do with the risk, or lack thereof, of chiropractic adjustments to the cervical region specifically, and then a wrap up of the information putting the chiropractors cause strokes myth to bed once and for all.

Don’t miss it folks.

Now, let’s get on with our risk vs. reward discussion with the BENEFITS of cervical manipulation therapy.

I want to start off with the benefits of cervical manipulation for neck pain specifically. Each paper mentioned includes a short description of the conclusion for each paper cited. Also each of these papers is referenced in the show notes and can be very easily reviewed independently. You have to know that I am going to absolutely murder some of these names and I don’t even care. I’m small town South y’all. I’m not fancy at all. All I can is do my best but I assure you I’m not going to do backflips trying to figure out the correct pronunciation of each of these names. Be sure though, the days of Dr. Smith or Dr. Jones doing all of the research are no longer Take this first name as an example.

  1. Korthalis-de Bos IB, et. al. – “Manual therapy (spinal mobilization) is more effective and less costly for treating neck pain than physiotherapy or care by a general practitioner[1].”
  2. Dewitte V, et. al. – “Based on key features in subjective and clinical examination, patients with mechanical nociceptive pain probably arising from articular structures can be categorized into specific articular dysfunction patterns. Pending on these patterns, specific mobilization and manipulation techniques are warranted. The proposed patterns are illustrated in 3 case studies. This clinical algorithm is the corollary of empirical expertise and is complemented by in-depth discussions and knowledge exchange with international colleagues. Consequently, it is intended that a carefully targeted approach contributes to an increase in specificity and safety in the use of cervical mobilizations and manipulation techniques as valuable adjuncts to other manual therapy modalities[2].”
  3. Dunning JR, et. al. – “The combination of upper cervical and upper thoracic HVLA thrust manipulation is appreciably more effective in the short term than nonthrust mobilization in patients with mechanical neck pain[3].”
  4. Brontfort G, et. al. – “For participants with acute and subacute neck pain, SMT was more effective than medication in both the short and long term. However, a few instructional sessions of HEA resulted in similar outcomes at most time points[4].”
  5. Puentedura EJ, et. al. – The objective of the paper was as follows: “Thrust joint manipulation to the cervical spine has been shown to be effective in patients presenting with a primary report of neck pain. It would be useful for clinicians to have a decision-making tool, such as a clinical prediction rule, that could accurately identify which subgroup of patients would respond positively to cervical thrust joint manipulation.” In the results, they showed if 3 or more of the 4 attributes were present,” the probability of experiencing a successful outcome improved from 39% to 90%[5].”
  6. Yu H, et. al. – “Chiropractic management of atlantoaxial osteoarthritis yielded favorable outcomes for these 10 patients[6].”
  7. Puentedura EJ, et. al. – “Patients with neck pain who met 4 of 6 of the CPR criteria for successful treatment of neck pain with a thoracic spine thrust joint manipulation demonstrated a more favorable response when the thrust joint manipulation was directed to the cervical spine rather than the thoracic spine. Patients receiving cervical thrust joint manipulation also demonstrated fewer transient side-effects[7].”
  8. Miller J, et. al. – “Moderate quality evidence supports this treatment combination (cervical manual therapy combined with exercise) for pain reduction and improved quality of life over manual therapy alone for chronic neck pain; and suggests greater short-term pain reduction when compared to traditional care for acute whiplash[8].”
  9. Hurwitz EL, et. al. – “Our best evidence synthesis suggests that therapies involving manual therapy and exercise are more effective than alternative strategies for patients with neck pain[9].”
  10. Muller R, et. al. – “In patients with chronic spinal pain syndromes, spinal manipulation, if not contraindicated, may be the only treatment modality of the assessed regimens that provides broad and significant long-term benefit[10].”
  11. Zhu L, et. al. – “There was moderate level evidence to support the immediate effectiveness of cervical spine manipulation in treating people with cervical radiculopathy[11].”
  12. Giles LG, et. al. – “The consistency of the results provides, despite some discussed shortcomings of this study, evidence that in patients with chronic spinal pain, manipulation, if not contraindicated, results in greater short-term improvement than acupuncture or medication[12].”
  13. Bronfort G, et. al. – “Our data synthesis suggests that recommendations can be made with some confidence regarding the use of spinal manipulative therapy and/or mobilization as a viable option for the treatment of both low back pain and neck pain[13].”

There you have a fairly thick list of research papers demonstrating the effectiveness of chiropractic adjustments for uncomplicated neck pain but neck pain is not the only reason to have a chiropractic adjustment delivered to the cervical region. Another very common reason for neck adjustments would be for the treatment of acute and chronic headaches.

In fact, I have an episode of this podcast that dealt with a paper showing the effectiveness of chiropractic for headaches. Episode #6 to be exact.

Here is a listing of papers demonstrating the benefits of cervical manipulation for headaches. Each paper mentioned includes a short description of the conclusion for each paper cited. Also each of these papers is referenced in the show notes and can be very easily reviewed independently

  1. Malo-Urries M, et. al. – “Upper cervical translatoric spinal mobilization intervention increased upper, and exhibited a tendency to improve general, cervical range of motion and induce immediate headache relief in subjects with cervicogenic headache[14].”
  2. Espi-Lopez GV, et. al. – “In short, manual therapy techniques and manipulation applied to the suboccipital region for four weeks or more showed great improvement and in effectiveness for several aspects that measure the quality of life of a patient having suffered from tension type headaches[15].”
  3. Dunning J, et. al. – “Six to eight sessions of upper cervical and upper thoracic manipulation were shown to be more effective than mobilization and exercise in patients with cervicogenic headache, and the effects were maintained at 3 months[3].”
  4. Hurwitz EL, et. al. – “Utilization and expenditures for headache treatment increased from 2000 to 2009 across all provider groups. MD care represented the majority of total allowed charges in this study. MD care and DC care, alone or in combination, were overall the least expensive patterns of headache care. Risk-adjusted charges were significantly less for DC-only care[16].”
  5. Bronfort G, et. al. – “SMT appears to have a better effect than massage for cervicogenic headache. It also appears that SMT has an effect comparable to commonly used first-line prophylactic prescription medications for tension-type headache and migraine headache[17].”
  6. Bronfort G, et. al. – “Chiropractic is effective in acute, subacute, and chronic low back pain, migraines and headaches originating from the neck, for the treatment of some forms of dizziness, extremity and joint issues, as well as mid back and acute and subacute neck pain[18].
  7. Tuchin PJ, et. al. – “The results of this study support previous results showing that some people report significant improvement in migraines after chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy. A high percentage (>80%) of participants reported stress as a major factor for their migraines. It appears probable that chiropractic care has an effect on the physical conditions related to stress and that in these people the effects of the migraine are reduced[19].”
  8. McCrory D, et. al. – “Cervical spinal manipulation was associated with improvement in headache outcomes in two trials involving patients with neck pain and/or neck dysfunction and headache. Manipulation appeared to result in immediate improvement in headache severity when used to treat episodes of cervicogenic headache when compared with an attention-placebo control. Furthermore, when compared to soft-tissue therapies (massage), a course of manipulation treatments resulted in sustained improvement in headache frequency and severity[20].”

Many headache patients present to chiropractors after a considerable amount of time spent taking headache and migraine medications. Medications do not come without consequences. Certainly when taking long-term. Not only have they spent a considerable amount of time on medication, they often have had botox injections, steroid injections, and worse before finally going to the chiropractor.

It is a fact that patients should have the GUARANTEED of the best treatment that does the LEAST amount of harm. In that spirit, and considering that chiropractic is safe, effective, and non-pharmacologic, it makes sense that the medical field should actually PROMOTE chiropractic as a viable and valuable treatment for headaches and migraines rather than dismiss it as ineffectual and dangerous.

Having demonstrated study upon study validating the effectiveness and benefit of cervical manipulation for neck pain (acute, subacute, and chronic) and headaches (chronic, acute, subacute, tension-type, cervicogenic, and migraines), we can now focus attention on research papers and abstracts having to do with the risk of stroke instance (lack of risk) as a direct result of cervical chiropractic adjustments. Hopefully, you are getting a more clear picture of the chiropractors cause strokes myth and its absolutely foolishness.

But first, where would you think the idea of chiropractors running around stroking everyone out might come from? I believe there are at least a few root sources.

  • You guessed it: our old friend the American Medical Association and their state association underlings. This group deemed it unethical to refer to chiropractors or accept referrals FROM They tried to run us out of business by conducting conferences about chiropractic and generating literature that was anti-chiropractic. They then dispersed the misinformation down through the channels of the state medical associations all the way out to the medical doctors, nurses, and medical field profession out in the field, and then ultimately to their patient bases. The “Chiropractors Cause Strokes” myth was well within their ability to propagate. When your initiative is to rid the Earth of the chiropractic profession, you take advantage of what you can. The Federal Court decision in Wilk vs. AMA shows the AMA did just that.
  • The other likely culprit for the chiropractors cause strokes myth in my estimation would be patients visiting medical professionals after having been to a chiropractor and having suffering a stroke sometime afterward. I did not say chiropractors “causing” strokes. Research shows us that people are going to chiropractors already suffering arterial tears that are sometimes spontaneous in nature. While chiropractors have a high level of education, there are many out there that are simply untrained at catching red flags and making the proper referral. Other times, patients present with very common symptoms and there are no red flags present whatsoever. The chiropractor treats the patient thinking they are going to help improve a neck complaint or a headache while in reality they may be exacerbating a tear. When the patient reaches the medical professional, the link is easy to make for the uninformed: chiropractor causes stroke.
  • Ignorance – The simple lack of knowledge regarding the body of evidence and research that is available dealing with the chiropractors cause strokes myth perpetuates the myth. It is clear the benefits are present. It is clear the risks are not. End of story. But if one is ignorant of the literature,

This is where we are going to stop for this second episode of the chiropractors cause strokes series. Remember, it is a three part series.

KEY TAKEAWAY:

The benefit is researched and it’s real. There is no denial possible.

Be sure to tune in next week for the third and final part of the three part series. Next week, we will discuss risky interventions, papers having to do with the risk, or lack thereof, of chiropractic adjustments to the cervical region specifically, and then a wrap up of the information.

Please feel free to send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think or what suggestions you may have for us for future episodes

If you love what you hear, be sure to check out www.chiropracticforward.com. As this podcast builds, so will the website with more content, products, and chances to learn.

We cannot wait to connect again with you next week for third and final part of the debunking of the chiropractors cause strokes myth. From Creek Stone, my office here in Amarillo, TX, home of the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.

Other episodes of interest include:

CF Episode #13: DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 1 of 3)

Source Material

  1. 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.
  2. Dewitte V, Articular dysfunction patterns in patients with mechanical neck pain: a clinical algorithm to guide specific mobilization and manipulation techniques. Man Ther, 2014. 19(2-9).
  3. Dunning J, Upper cervical and upper thoracic manipulation versus mobilization and exercise in patients with cervicogenic headache: a multi-center randomized clinical trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2016. 16(64).
  4. Bronfort G, Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2012. Ann Intern Med, 2012. 156(1): p. 1-10.
  5. Puentedura EJ, Development of a clinical prediction rule to identify patients with neck pain likely to benefit from thrust joint manipulation to the cervical spine. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2012. 42(7): p. 577-92.
  6. Yu H, Upper cervical manipulation combined with mobilization for the treatment of atlantoaxial osteoarthritis: a report of 10 cases. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2011. 34(2): p. 131-7.
  7. Puentedura EJ, Thoracic spine thrust manipulation versus cervical spine thrust manipulation in patients with acute neck pain: a randomized clinical trial. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther, 2011. 41(4): p. 208-20.
  8. Miller J, Manual therapy and exercise for neck pain: a systematic review. Man Ther, 2010. 15(4): p. 334-54.
  9. Hurwitz EL, e.a., Treatment of neck pain: noninvasive interventions: results of the Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders. Spine, 2008. 33(4 Suppl): p. S123-52.
  10. Muller R, G.L., Long-term follow-up of a randomized clinical trial assessing the efficacy of medication, acupuncture, and spinal manipulation for chronic mechanical spinal pain syndromes. J Manipulative Physiol Ther., 2005. 28(1): p. 3-11.
  11. Zhu L, Does cervical spine manipulation reduce pain in people with degenerative cervical radiculopathy? A systematic review of the evidence, and a meta-analysis. Clin Rehabil, 2015.
  12. Giles LGF, M.R., Chronic spinal pain syndromes: a clinical pilot trial comparing acupuncture, a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, and spinal manipulation. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 1999. 22(6): p. 376-81.
  13. Bronfort G, Efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilization for low back pain and neck pain: a systematic review and best evidence synthesis. Spine, 2004. May-Jun 4(3): p. 335-56.
  14. Malo-Urries M, Immediate Effects of Upper Cervical Translatoric Mobilization on Cervical Mobility and Pressure Pain Threshold in Patients With Cervicogenic Headache: A Randomized Controlled Trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2017. 40(9): p. 649-658.
  15. Espi-Lopez G, e.a., Do manual therapy techniques have a positive effect on quality of life in people with tension-type headache? A randomized controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med, 2016. 13(1): p. 4-13.
  16. Hurwitz EL, e.a., Variations in Patterns of Utilization and Charges for the Care of Neck Pain in North Carolina, 2000 to 2009: A Statewide Claims’ Data Analysis. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2016. May 39(4): p. 240-51.
  17. Bronfort G, Efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic headache: a systematic review. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2001. 24(7): p. 457-466.
  18. Bronfort G, Effectiveness of manual therapies: The UK evidence report. Chiropr Osteopat, 2010. 18(3).
  19. Tuchin PJ, e.a., A randomized controlled trial of chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for migraine. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2000. 23(2): p. 91-95.
  20. McCrory D, Behavioral and Physical Treatments for Tension-type and Cervicogenic Headache. Duke University Evidence-based Practice Center, Center for Clinical Health Policy Research.


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

This week, we are going to start tackling the chiropractors cause strokes myth that has run rampant for years and I hope to once and for all dispel it. The information could not be clearer on the chiropractors cause strokes myth and we’re gonna to show it to you in a way that you can understand and in a way that allows you to show it to others. I’m done with this myth, folks!

Before we get started, I want to draw your attention to the reviews over at iTunes. If you would be kind enough to leave us a great review we sure would appreciate you! This is a new podcast and we need all the help we can get!

Right now though, it’s time for bumper music!

Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast where we talk about issues related to health, chiropractic, evidence, chiropractic advocacy, and research. Thank you for taking time out of your day I know your time is valuable and I want to fill it with value so here we go.

Unfortunately, you have often read, watched, or heard me complaining about how our profession has been historically attacked by those organizations in charge of the medical profession. I hope those paying attention understand it is not just sour grapes.

It is education.

I continually bring these facts up in my articles, videos, and podcast because many of the things we talk about have their roots in our history, in the attacks our profession has sustained, and in the attacks our profession is currently battling.

From the start, let me state that research simply does NOT support the chiropractors cause strokes myth.

If you have seen the TV series called “Mythbusters,” then you know the smart red-headed guy and the bald bespectacled serious guy both, along with their rascally cohorts, took a common myth and tested its validity.

Some of the myths were outrageous and some seemed like they may actually be plausible. The show, whenever I watched it was highly entertaining and extremely educational. The entertaining part always came toward the end of the show when they would blow something to smithereens. That’s the part where the inner child in me would leap with glee. Internally of course, not externally.

This mythbusting process has already been carried out for the chiropractors cause strokes myth. Several times, in fact. Without the show-ending explosion of course. Although, at the end of this Mythbusting series, I may walk away with a mic drop if you’re all OK with that.

I say mythbusting series because there is SO MUCH information here that I have to split it into 3 different episodes for the chiropractors cause strokes podcast series. I’m pumping my own tires and I am completely full of myself on what I’m about to say here and I’m well-aware of the fact but, from what I have seen out there on the interwebs, I feel like this is, or at least CAN be, the definitive article, the definitive podcast, the definitive gathering of the information for this topic. If that is indeed the lofty goal I’m aiming for, it has to be comprehensive and somewhat exhaustive and I don’t think I can maintain your focus and interest for the entire amount of the information to be compiled into one super long episode. Dispelling the chiropractors cause strokes myth is too important to lose your attention.

I have split it into three episodes that will break up like this

The first episode, the one you’re currently listening to will include some risky odds, some case specific discussion, some signs and symptoms of vertebral artery dissection, and some research dealing with common treatments within the medical profession.

In the second episode coming next Thursday we will discuss research papers demonstrating and validating benefits of having cervical manipulation treatments. Or chiropractic adjustments to the neck. We will talk about the benefits, according to research, for neck pain as well as for headaches. And we’ll also talk a little about where this chiropractors cause strokes myth came from and why it perpetuates to this day.

In the third and final episode we will discuss risky interventions, papers having to do with the risk, or lack thereof, of chiropractic adjustments to the cervical region specifically, and then a wrap up of the information on this chiropractors cause strokes myth.

Stick with us on this.

Now, let’s dive into this first episode of the chiropractors cause stroke series.

Through the RAND institute, it is estimated that a serious, adverse reaction (such as stroke as a result to a chiropractic adjustment alone) happens in approximately 1 out of every 1 million treatments?

Let’s put that finding into perspective by comparing it to some other odds.

  • The odds of being struck and killed by lightning is 1 in 174,426 according to the National Safety Council.
  • The odds of being told to “Come on down,” on The Price Is Right is 1 in 36!
  • The odds of being born with 11 fingers or toes is 1 in 500.
  • The odds of dying from a firearms assault is 1 in 113.
  • How about this one: the odds of winning an Oscars are 1 in 11,500.

I think it’s time to move to LA!

Consider that there are 70,000+ chiropractors in the United States of America. If Doctors of Chiropractic were out in the world causing strokes “all of the time,” it would be apparent, it would be obvious, and our malpractice insurance would reflect the fact that a visit to the chiropractor comes with a considerable amount of risk. To the contrary, we chiropractors have malpractice insurance that costs chiropractors approximately 1/10th of what it costs our medical counterparts. This fact alone should dispel the chiropractors cause strokes myth.

Before we start diving off into the research too deeply, I want to talk about a case that happened within the last couple of years (February 2016) that brought the “Chiropractors Cause Strokes” myth back to the forefront. It had to do with the “Queen of Snapchat” Katie May. Katie died of a stroke at the age of 34 and, by many, it was immediately assumed the stroke was caused by her two visits to a chiropractor to treat her recent onset of neck pain.

I actually wrote about this case shortly after it originally happened. Initial reports stated that she had a horrible fall while on the set of a photoshoot, which resulted in her neck pain. Then, for some reason, this fact seemed to disappear from further reports.

Also, initial reports stated that Katie visited either the ER or a medical professional prior to her visits with a chiropractor. The family later denies this so, admittedly, there is some confusion on the matter. With this information brought back into the reporting, let’s begin breaking it all down.

Katie posted this message to Twitter: “Pinched a nerve in my neck on a photoshoot and got adjusted this morning. It really hurts! Any home remedy suggestions loves? XOXO.”

Keep that in mind as we run through things that can cause a vertebral artery dissection such as Katie May suffered. They are as follows:

  • Physical Trauma (direct blow to the neck, traffic collision, etc.)
  • Strangulation
  • Spontaneous (from underlying connective tissue disorder)

According to one paper by Debette et. al., “Trauma has been reported to have occurred within a month of dissection in 40% with nearly 90% of this time the trauma being minor[1]. “

Vertebral artery dissection (VAD) can be particularly difficult to diagnose without the use of a CT Angiogram. For instance, some common symptoms of VAD are as follows:

  • Pain and/or numbness in the same side of the face.
  • Head pain/Headache that develops gradually and can be dull or throbbing
  • In less than 1/5th of the cases of VAD, people suffer difficulty speaking or swallowing.
  • Possible unsteadiness or lack of coordination
  • Visual abnormalities
  • Hiccups
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Hearing loss

When one reads this list, it is easy to diagnose a VAD, right?

It rarely presents with these classic signs.

Is a medical professional or chiropractor going to refer every single one of these patients for a CT Angiogram or an MRI? Not very likely. It is simply not economically feasible to do so and good luck getting insurance companies to cover the costs of the CT Angiograms!

If Katie did indeed visit a medical professional after her fall, they missed it. Unfortunately, it seems obvious that the chiropractor missed it as well. That does not, however, mean the two professionals are inept. As the website for emedicine.com states, “The focal signs may not appear until after a latent period lasting as long as three days, however, and delays of weeks and years also have been reported[2].”

With that being said, I don’t want to be completely biased here. If a healthy person shows up with a headache and neck pain BUT has a history of recent trauma, more exploration is advised, without question. Knowing this, I can relay countless stories of medical doctors having made bad decisions as well. I have heard countless stories throughout my twenty years of practice. Ultimately, we are all human which is why chiropractors and medical doctors both carry malpractice insurance. But, as I mentioned before, chiropractors’ malpractice is approximately 1/10th that of their medical counterparts because, basically, we do not typically cause any harms in our patients.

As we go through more and more papers, it should be clear that Katie likely suffered the VAD as a result of the fall during the photo shoot and the VAD was missed by the medical professionals (if she did indeed go) and then certainly missed by the chiropractor BUT, the chiropractor almost certainly did not CAUSE the VAD. There’s no we he helped it and could have even potentially exacerbated it, but it is highly doubtful and exceedingly rare that he could have been the CAUSE of it.

Some time later, the Los Angeles coroner reported that the chiropractor was responsible for Katie’s death. This finding really opened the door to all of the chiropractic haters to bash away at the profession.

The LA coroner’s office is an appointed position that, in some states, requires little training, to be quite honest. While I am unaware of this particular coroner’s level of training and expertise, this coroner has been under scrutiny for being understaffed and underfunded to mention just a couple of issues. In addition, I would argue that simply because a man or a woman is a county coroner, does not mean they are above being affected by bias or by their profession’s long-held beliefs and teachings. I would say they most certainly are not above influence and, in my opinion, are highly likely to be affected by them. When they are told by their schools, their national and state associations, and their mentors that chiropractors cause strokes, don’t you think they probably believe it?

I would also argue that the coroner likely has little to zero knowledge of the current body of research regarding cervical manipulation and the instance of stroke. How could an educated person aware of the body of literature on the matter decide otherwise?

For years, I have experienced nurses, physician assistants, medical doctors, and others in an online setting claiming that chiropractic adjustments are dangerous and ineffective. A common theme amongst them is, “It happens all of the time.” We see it “all of the time.” Research proves the notion is a lie.

I would like to be less dramatic or inflammatory in my wording but I do not know of another way to describe it.

Let’s assume that this myth has its base rooted in some sort of fact. Let us be clear. It does not. But, for argument sake, let us say that it does. At that point, we would need to assess the benefits of chiropractic treatment vs. the risks of chiropractic treatment.

In Southern terms, “Is the squeeze worth the push?”

Is there a return on the investment?

Again, this is purely for argument sake because the chiropractors cause strokes myth is not real to start with but playing the devil’s advocate can be of use and is almost always entertaining.

Before we step into deeper water with the research papers, let us discuss benefits & effectiveness vs. risk for some common treatments for spinal complaints in the medical world. If the discussion is focused on doing away with cervical adjustments, what then would be the alternatives and how effective are they? Basically, if the medical field is looking in OUR backyard, maybe we should take a peek into theirs as well.

Keep in mind that all of the research we discuss will be cited in the show notes so that those of you that wish can easily research these independently on your own.

  • The opioid crisis cost the US economy $504 billion dollars in 2015 and a total of $221 billion to $431 billion in lost economic output due to there being 33,000 opioid-related deaths in 2015[3].
  • There were 63,600 opioid-related deaths in 2016, which was an increase of 21% from the 2015.[4].
  • Chou R, et. al. – Although the steroid injections for radiculopathy showed some short-term relief in pain and short-term increase in function, the benefits seen in the patients were only small and short-term only. There was no effect long-term and no affect on whether or not the person had surgery eventually. The evidence in this paper suggested there was no effectiveness at all for the treatment of spinal stenosis[5].
  • Epstein N, et. al. – “Although not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), injections are being performed with an increased frequency (160%), are typically short-acting and ineffectiveover the longer-term, while exposing patients to major risks/complications[6].”
  • Peterson CK, et. al. – “Subacute/chronic patients treated with SMT (spinal manipulative therapy) were significantly more likely to report relevant “improvement” compared with CNRI (CERVICAL NERVE ROOT INJECTION) patients.There was no difference in outcomes when comparing acute patients only[7].”
  • Chou R, et. al. – “Epidural corticosteroid injections for radiculopathy were associated with immediate improvements in pain and might be associated with immediate improvements in function, but benefits were small and not sustained, and there was no effect on long-term risk of surgery. Evidence did not suggest that effectiveness varies based on injection technique, corticosteroid, dose, or comparator. Limited evidence suggested that epidural corticosteroid injections are not effective for spinal stenosis or nonradicular back pain and that facet joint corticosteroid injections are not effective for presumed facet joint pain[5].”
  • Chou R, et. al – “Surgery for radiculopathy with herniated lumbar disc and symptomatic spinal stenosis is associated with short-term benefits compared to nonsurgical therapy, though benefits diminish with long-term follow-up in some trials. For nonradicular back pain with common degenerative changes, fusion is no more effective than intensive rehabilitation, but associated with small to moderate benefits compared to standard nonsurgical therapy[8].”
  • Maghout J, et. al. – “Use of intervertebral fusion devices rose rapidly after their introduction in 1996. This increased use was associated with an increased complication risk without improving disability or reoperation rates[9].”

 

At this point, it is clear the medical field has its own issues to concentrate on and improve upon when it comes to spinal pain and the treatment of it. It is my opinion these facts are but only a few of the concerns in the medical field and, if taken individually, are much more concerning than any one single issue that can be found within the chiropractic profession.

This is where we are going to stop for this first episode of the Chiropractors cause strokes series. Remember, our” chiropractors cause strokes” series is a three part series.

Be sure to tune in next week for the second part of the three part series. Next week, we will be talking about the benefits, according to research, for neck pain as well as for headaches. And we’ll also talk a little about where this myth came from and why it perpetuates to this day.

You may also consider listening to a recent episode in which we covered some great new research on treating neck pain conservatively through chiropractic care. Check it out at https://www.chiropracticforward.com/2018/03/08/proven-means-to-treat-neck-pain/

­­­­­­­­Please feel free to send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think about the chiropractors cause strokes myth or what suggestions you may have for us for future episodes.

If you love what you hear, be sure to check out www.chiropracticforward.com. As this podcast builds, so will the website with more content, products, and chances to learn.

We cannot wait to connect again with you next week. From Creek Stone, my office here in Amarillo, TX, home of the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.

 

References

  1. Debette S, “Pathophysiology and risk factors of cervical artery dissection: what have we learnt from large hospital-based cohorts?”. . Current Opinion in Neurology, 2014. 27(1): p. 20-8.
  2. Lang E. Vertebral Artery Dissection. Emergency Medicine 2017 January 18]; Available from: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/761451-overview.
  3. Mutikani L. Opioid crisis cost U.S. economy $504 billion in 2015: White House. 2017; Available from: https://www.reuters.com/article/legal-us-usa-opioids-cost/opioid-crisis-cost-u-s-economy-504-billion-in-2015-white-house-idUSKBN1DL2Q0.
  4. Glenza J. Life expectancy in US down for second year in a row as opioid crisis deepens. 2017 December 21; Available from: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/dec/21/us-life-expectancy-down-for-second-year-in-a-row-amid-opioid-crisis.
  5. Chou R, Epidural Corticosteroid Injections for Radiculopathy and Spinal Stenosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med, 2015. 163(5): p. 373-81.
  6. Epstein N, The risks of epidural and transforaminal steroid injections in the Spine: Commentary and a comprehensive review of the literature. Surg Neurol Int, 2013. 4(Suppl 2): p. S74-93.
  7. Peterson CK, Symptomatic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging-Confirmed Cervical Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative-Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated With Either Imaging-Guided Indirect Cervical Nerve Root Injections or Spinal Manipulative Therapy. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2016. 39(3): p. 210-7.
  8. Chou R, Surgery for low back pain: a review of the evidence for an American Pain Society Clinical Practice Guideline. Spine, 2009. 34(10): p. 1094-109.
  9. Maghout J, e.e., Lumbar fusion outcomes in Washington State workers’ compensation. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2006. 31(23): p. 2715-23.

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

This episode is all about headaches, it highlights one service dressed up and parading around as another sort of like it’s Halloween or something, and we’ll tell some personal stories about what we have seen in practice during our years of service to our patients. It should be a good one.

We are excited to welcome Dr. Tyce Hergert to the Chiropractic Forward podcast. Dr. Hergert has the distinct privilege of being the very first guest that we’ve ever had. Dr. Hergert was the Texas Chiropractic Association President, the head honcho, for 2016/2017 and, under his leadership the TCA was able to get 5 Chiropractic friendly bills through the legislation whereas we had failed to get even one through in all the years prior to that as far back as I had paid any attention so that was quite a feat.

Dr. Hergert is the owner/operator of Chiropractic Care Center of Southlake as well as the owner/operator of Southlake Physical Medicine in Southlake, TX

In addition, Dr. Hergert and myself both grew up in Perryton, TX. He was a couple of years younger than myself but we grew up on the same neighborhood, went to chiropractic school at the same time roughly, and have both served in the Texas Chiropractic Association at the same time. You could say that we know each other.

Welcome to the Chiropractic Forward Podcast Dr. Hergert. How do you feel about being the very first guest that we have ever had?

In this episode, I promise that we’re going to have more fun than being on the receiving end of a purple nurple.

This week, I want to discuss headaches and conservative, alternative headache treatment. It’s common for people to look at chiropractors as “spine people” and “back doctors”.

Is that your experience as well, Dr. Hergert?

What people don’t commonly know is that chiropractors can knock it straight out of the park when it comes to treating headaches. Yes, I said, “Knock it out of the park.” That’s an old metaphor comparing baseball players hitting home runs and I’m telling you, chiropractors mostly hit home runs on headache cases.

I have to admit that I was a terrible baseball player. I played college football and I’m Texan born and raised where football is King so I should probably put it in football terms.  In football terms, you might say that we chiropractors have a record of 80-yd touchdown passes when it comes to headaches. We return headache punts for a score almost every time. We pick-six those suckers. That’s probably enough to drive the point home.

Not every single headache of course. I’ve met my match several times over my 20 years in practice. But I don’t think it’s too bold to say that about 80%-90% of headache patients just improve. And not just improve, but DRAMATICALLY improve.

Before we get into the research, let me take a minute to give you just a couple of personal experiences in treating headache patients in my practice here in Amarillo.

Case #1: We will call this patient Andy McFuddlesticks just because I’m feeling a little goofy today. That sounds a little like a Harry Potter character, doesn’t it?

Andy had experienced migraines his whole life and was around 40 years old at the time we crossed paths. He had been to all of the medical doctors. He had endured injections if his suboccipital region. I don’t recall what the injection was exactly because this was about 18 years ago. I don’t believe they did botox for migraines at that point in time. He had gone through nuclear bones scans as well. Andy McFuddlesticks had been through it you might say.

He came to see me only a few times. It was frustrating that he didn’t finish his treatment plan but the reason he didn’t finish is satisfying. Andy only came a handful of times because the headaches were gone. After all of the years and procedures, just a few visits to a very new and green chiropractor made them vanish. How do I know? Well, I was in a civic organization with his brother who confirmed months later that his brother was doing great and had not had a headaches since seeing me. How is Andy 18 years later? I have no idea. I switched towns but I know he did great for a long time and we are putting that one in the “win” column.

Dr. Hergert, would you like to share one of your more memorable headache case stories with us?

Case #2: Sally McGullicutty I believe was her name. Red hair. Irish. Anyway, Sally had migraines for years. I actually knew Sally personally and had been friends for some time. Evidently I was not skilled at getting my message out on how successfully we can deal with headaches because it took Sally way longer than it should have taken her to make an appointment with us.

Sally shared with me that she had migraines, on average, several times a week and once or twice every month would find herself in a dark bathroom floor sitting my the toilet throwing up. How awful of an existence is that? I cannot even imagine being forced to live that way. I say it often but it bears repeating, “Pain can absolutely change a person.” Not only the person but it can change everyone around the person that is consistently in and out of contact with them.

After approximately 2-4 weeks of working with Sally, she just started to not have the migraines anymore! I would say she “magically” recovered but chiropractors know this isn’t accurate. We got the right joints moving, we got the right muscles to relax, and we got out of the way and let the body do the rest. There’s no magic in that. It’s just common sense to chiropractors.

Fast forward a few years and Sally is still a patient and Sally comes here for other reasons and conditions from time to time but she doesn’t visit because of migraines anymore. She just doesn’t have them.

How about one more story Dr. Hergert?

I’m pretty sure we could both absolutely go on and on with examples from personal experience in practice. I have 20 years of dealing with headaches and I can tell you, Chiropractors are modern day headache whisperers.

Let’s dive into a little research just to show you what I’m talking about. There are more we will go over in the future episodes but I want to touch on two this week. One new study and one older.

The first one is the more recent research paper and comes to us from a group in Spain. The lead author was Miguel Malo-Urries, PT, PhD with the University of Zaragoza Aragon Spain and it was published in Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in the November-December 2017 issue, Volume 40, Issue 9, Pages 649-658. The study was titled “Immediate Effects of Upper Cervical Translatoric Mobilization on Cervical Mobility and Pressure Pain Threshold in Patients With Cervicogenic Headache: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” What a name.

Did you catch that word, “Translatoric?” Dr. Hergert, have you run across this term prior to this interview?

I’m going to define that word for everyone. Translatoric is not commonly in the Chiropractic verbiage or vernacular. At least I don’t recall it from my education at Parker University in Dallas but that was eons ago. I have gray sideburns now. It has been a while. The authors of the paper all have PT behind their names so we have physical therapists setting the terms for the research project. Understanding this, then the use of translatoric makes more sense.

I found a site that gives a pretty good definition of Translatoric Spinal Manipulation. The term Translatoric Spinal Manipulation or TSM “consists of a series of high and low-velocity manipulative spinal techniques, which emphasize the use of small amplitude, straight-line (or translatoric) traction and gliding impulses delivered parallel or perpendicular to an individual vertebral joint or movement segment. Furthermore, TSM emphasizes the use of either direct manual stabilization or the use of spinal pre-positioning to restrict the amount of motion occurring at adjacent spinal segments during the translatoric impulse.” The website goes on to say, “Delivering translatoric impulses (in the form of disc traction, disc glides, facet traction and facet gliding) to an individual joint or spinal motion segment while using stabilization provides the manual therapist with a manipulative tool that has a predictable effect in terms of pain reduction and motion restoration with minimal potential risk of patient injury.”

Do you know what that sounds like to me? Dr. Hergert, what does it sound like it’s describing to you?

It sounds like a “Chiropractic Adjustment.” Another term it sounds like is “Spinal Manipulative Treatment/Therapy.” Something we chiropractors have been doing for over 100 years and have been called crazies and quacks for doing. It sounds like the exact thing that the medical world has touted as being responsible for strokes for years and years. Of course, research proves that they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about on the storke issue but translatoric spinal manipulation is nothing more than a Chiropractic Adjustment.

Now that that is clear, let’s get back into the research.

Why They Did It

The good folks in Spain performing Translatoric Spinal Manipulation rather than Chiropractic Adjustments wished to assess the response in terms of range of motion and pain in patients suffering cervicogenic headaches.

How They Did It

  • It was a randomized controlled trial
  • The paper included 82 patients.
  • The patients ranged in age from about 25-55 or so.
  • All patients suffered from cervicogenic headaches.
  • The patients were randomly split up into two groups. One was a control group and one was a treatment group.
  • The treatment group received Chiropractic Adjustments…..I’m sorry…Translatoric Spinal Manipulation.
  • The control group received no treatment or sham treatment.
  • The researchers tested Cervical range of motion, they tested the pressure pain thresholds over the upper trapezius muscles, the C2-3 zygapophyseal joints and sub occipital muscles were tested, and the current headache intensity were all measured on the Visual Analog Scale prior to the Chiropractic adjustment and right after.
  • The testing was done by two blinded investigators

What They Found

  • Afterward, the Chiropractic Adjustment group had significantly increased range of motion in the neck region overall as well as in the flexion-rotation test.
  • And, while there was no changes in the pain thresholds, patients reported significantly lower intensity in their headaches!

Wrap It Up

The quote from the authors themselves reads as follows, “Upper cervical translatoric spinal mobilization intervention increased upper, and exhibited a tendency to improve general, cervical range of motion and induce immediate headache relief in subjects with cervicogenic headache.”

Dr. Hergert….do the findings in the study surprise you at all?

What are your initial impressions of the study?

I’d say that, if you have issues with chiropractors, now you can just take it straight from physical therapists with PhD’s that are performing chiropractic adjustments but calling it something else.

I want to be honest here: the frustrating part of this for me isn’t necessarily the fact that PTs are doing cervical chiropractic adjustments. Heck, chiropractors have been doing PT for years but the physical therapists claim ownership of the term so the chiropractic industry just call it exercise rehab.

Although, their doing adjustments may be irritating on some level, the most irritating thing is that a certain aspect of the physical therapy community and a larger aspect of the medical community have spent years ridiculing, mocking, and belittling generations of chiropractors. And now, doctors of osteopathy and physical therapists are trying to do the exact same thing without going through any chiropractic training. You would think they would at least release a statement saying, “You know, we have thrown rocks at chiropractors for years but it turns out they were right all along so, since we can’t beat them, we’re going to just join them.”

Wouldn’t that be refreshing?

Can I get an amen on that Dr. Hergert? Do you have any other thoughts on that?

I’m geting all bothered over here so let’s go over the older study before I start getting too ugly about the whole deal.

This one is by GV Espi-Lopez et. al. and is called, “Do manual therapy techniques have a positive effect on quality of life in people with tension-type headache? A randomized controlled trial.” It was published in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine  on February 29th of 2016.

Why They Did It

Although there have been lots of studies that prove the impact of manual therapy and spinal mobilization for frequency and intensity of pain suffered from tension type headaches, there have been no studies in regards to the effectiveness of the same therapies for the quality of life for the people suffering from them.

The authors of this paper wished to focus on patient quality of life.

How They Did It

•The study was again, a randomized, single blinded, controlled clinical trial.

•Comprised of 62 women and 14 men.

•Aged between 65 years old all the way down to 18 years old.

•All subjects suffered from chronic tension type headaches or episodic tension type headaches.

•The subjects were categorized into four separate groups: suboccipital inhibitory pressure, suboccipital spinal manipulation, a combination of the two together, and then a control group.

•An SF–12 questionnaire was used to help assess the subjects’ quality of life at both the beginning of treatment, the ending of the treatment, as well as at the one month follow-up.

What They Found

•The suboccipital inhibition group improved significantly in their quality of life at the one month mark as well as improvements in moderate physical activities.

•Not the control group, but all other treatment groups had an improvement in physical activities, pain, and social functioning at the one month mark.

•After treatment, as well as that the one month mark, the combined treatment category had improved vitality.

•Following treatment and at the one-month mark, both groups that had manipulation to the sub occipital region also showed improved mental health.

Wrap It Up
All three therapy approaches showed significant effectiveness toward improving the quality of life, however the combined treatment therapy had the most dramatic change for the good.
In short, manual therapy techniques and manipulation applied to the sub occipital region for four weeks or more showed great improvement and in effectiveness for several aspects that measure the quality of life of a patient having suffered from tension type headaches.

Dr. Hergert…you like apples? Lol Do these findings reflect what you have seen over the years there in Southlake, TX?

These are just a couple of studies to get us started off on the right foot for headache discussions on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast. There are several more I will be sharing in the future so stay tuned.

When Chiropractic is at its best, you cannot beat the risk vs reward ratio. Plain and simple. Spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment rather than chemical treatment such as pain killers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories.

I mentioned this in episode #1 but Dr. Hergert and myself spend some time trying to generate a concise, responsible statement regarding chiropractic care in general. A statement that could easily be shared. An elevator speech for the profession if you will. You will find it at the end of every blog, every video, and every chiropractic forward podcast. It is as follows:
Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic. Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled. We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health!

Thank you to Dr. Hergert for spending his valuable time with us today. We look forward to many more guest appearances.

Please feel free to send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think or if you have any suggestions for future episodes.

From Creek Stone in Amarillo, TX and the flight deck of the Chiropractic Forward podcast, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, & forward.

https://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(16)30281-0/fulltext?elsca1=etoc&elsca2=email&elsca3=0161-4754_201711_40_9_&elsca4=Physical%20Medicine%20and%20Rehabilitation%7CHealth%20Professions

https://www.optp.com/Translatoric-Spinal-Manipulation-for-Physical-Therapists-Book-and-DVD

https://www.amarillochiropractor.com/get-rid-of-migraines-and-headaches-once-and-for-all/