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Health & Wellness

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

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

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

 

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

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

Diplomate of Chiropractic Orthopedists

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

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

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

FQHC

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

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

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

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

Whiplash Section

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

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

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

Personal

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

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

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

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

On To The Research

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

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

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

How they did it

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

The foramen involved were all measured for changes in sizes.

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

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

Next Paper

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

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

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

Next paper

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

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

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

Pretty cool stuff right there people. 

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

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

Use it or lose it

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

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

Integrating Chiropractors

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

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

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

Contact Us!

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

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

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

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

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

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

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

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

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

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

CF 035: Chiropractic & Disc Herniations

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

 

Integrating Chiropractors

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

Introduction

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

DACO Talk

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

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

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

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

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

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

At The Office

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

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

Meat n’ Taters

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

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

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

The Question

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Research

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

What They Found

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

Man, we’re scootin now folks, 

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

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

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

What They Found

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

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

The Message

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

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

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

Contact Us

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

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

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

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

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

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

Dale Thompson - Evidence-based Chiropractor

Integrating Chiropractors

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

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

You have mosied Old West style into Episode #44

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

We are really starting to pick some steam. Thank you to you all for tuning in. If you can share us with your network and give us some pretty sweet reviews on iTunes, I’ll be forever grateful.

By now, we all know how the interwebs work. You have to share and participate in a page if you are going to see the posts or if the page will be able to grow. 

My Week

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

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

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

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

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

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

Introduction

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

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

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

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

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

Welcome

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

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

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

Have you always been an evidence-based chiropractor?

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

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

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

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

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

Continuing

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

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

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

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

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

That goes for chiropractors and students as well.  

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

Integrating Chiropractors

 

Affirmation

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

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

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

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

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

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

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

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

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

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

 

CF 042: w/ Dr. Tyce Hergert – Chiropractic Maintenance Care / Chiropractic Preventative Care

CF 042: w/ Dr. Tyce Hergert – Chiropractic Maintenance Care / Chiropractic Preventative Care

Tyce hergert chiropractor southlake

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we have a special return appearance from a friend of the show and we’re going to talk about chiropractic maintenance care also known as chiropractic preventative care. Chiropractors have recommended a regular schedule to their patients for generations but it was mostly as a result of experience and intuition. But what about research on the matter? We’ll get to it.

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

Be sure you have signed up for our newsletter slash email. You can do that at chiropracticforward.com and it lets us keep you updated on new episodes and new evidence-based products when they come out. Yes, eventually there will be some pretty cool things available through us. We won’t email any more than once per week and the value outweighs the risk. Kind of like in cervical manipulation. So just go get that done while we’re thinking about it. 

You have confidently strutted right into Episode #42 and we are so glad you did. 

I would really like to just turn this mic on and automatically be the #1 chiropractic podcast in the world but that’s not the real world, right? But I have to say that we continue to grow. I’m impatient and it’s never quite fast enough but we are continually growing and that’s always exciting. When you see the growth chart consistently going up and to the right, then hell yeah. Ka-bam shazam. 

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.

My Week

But first, my week has been nuts. When was the last time you tried to hire someone? It’s absolutely stupid these days. Honestly, I posted a job on indeed.com. I got literally 175 resumes, scheduled 15 interviews, only 7 showed up for the interview, and we have one really good prospect. 

This is the second round by the way. We tried to hire for the front desk position a few weeks ago and went through 120 resumes. We actually hired a girl but then her dad got sick and after thinking it over, decided we weren’t a good fit. Lol. Can you imagine? 

I don’t know if you can tell from this podcast or not but….I’m generally a pretty darn good guy and really care about my staff and care about people and care about making connections with others. 

I don’t yell, I don’t fuss a lot. Even when they’re wrong. That’s just not my style. I don’t think I stink or anything having to do with body functions so, I can’t figure it out other than people have just changed. Or has it always been hard to find good help? All I know is that I’m having a hell of a time finding the right front desk personnel and it’s making me more than a little crazy. 

Welcome Dr. Tyce Hergert from Southlake, TX

Now that we have all of that out of the way, I want to welcome our guest today. You could say we sort of know each other. In fact, we grew up in the same neighborhood from elementary school all the way through high school. Even though I was a couple years older, we definitely knew each other. He lived right next door to my best friend and we played football in his front yard pretty often. 

We were at the University of North Texas at the same time living in Denton, TX and then we were down at Parker College of Chiropractic at the same time as well. If that weren’t enough, we have both served in statewide leadership positions for the Texas Chiropractic Association. In fact, Tyce is part of the reason I got involved in the first place. 

He took it a step further than me though. Dr. Hergert actually served as the President of the TCA two terms ago and helped steer the profession to a historic 4 chiro-friendly bills passed in the state legislature that year. This is important because the bills that were passed in our favor prior to that would be basically zero, none, nada, goose-egg, zilch. 

About an Integrated Practice

Dr. Hergert also runs an integrated practice down in Southlake, TX so he’s an excellent resource for our kind of podcast. 

Some people kind of think he’s a big deal and there’s a good argument to be made for that but I’m not going to be the one making it because I’ve known him way too long. 

Not only is he an ex-Pres for the TCA, but he also has the bragging rights of being a guest on 2 of our top five most popular episodes of all times here at the Chiropractic Forward Podcast. Those are episodes 6 and 11 with 11 actually being our most listened to episode of all time so congrats to Dr. Hergert on that. 

If you enjoy his guest appearance on this episode, although I’d be a bit flabbergasted as to why you enjoyed it….you can always get more of Tyce on those. Again, I’m not sure why you’d ever want to do that. Lol. 

Welcome to the show Dr. Hergert. Thank you for taking the time to join us. 

Tell us a little bit about Southlake, TX for the ones unfamiliar with the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. 

Tell us a little bit about running an integrated practice. What’s it like? Have you become more of an owner/administrator or are your elbow deep in treatment and the physical aspects of seeing patients all day every day still?

Getting To The Research

This first paper….I alluded to back in episode #36 but very briefly. We covered a little more in depth back in Episode #19 as well which posted back in April of this year. I think in light of a brand new paper that just came out, it’s worth covering this one again if you do not mind. It’s all about chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment.

It’s called “Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic nonspecific low back pain result in better long-term outcome?” and was published in the prestigious Spine journal[1]. 

For the purpose of this study, keep in mind that SMT stands for spinal manipulation therapy. Also of special note is that chiropractors perform over 90% of SMTs in America so I commonly interchange SMT or spinal manipulation therapy with the term “Chiropractic Adjustment.”

Why They Did It

The authors of this paper wanted to check how effective spinal manipulation, also known as chiropractic adjustments, would be for chronic nonspecific low back pain and if chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment adjustments were effective over the long-term in regards to pain levels and disability levels after the initial phase of treatment ended.

How They Did It

  • 60 patients having chronic low back pain of at least six months duration
  • Randomized into three different groups:
  • They included 12 treatments of fake treatment for one month
  • One group had 12 treatments of chiropractic adjustments for a month only
  • They also had a group with 12 treatments for a month with maintenance adjustments added every 2 weeks for the following 9 months.
  • Outcome assessments measured for pain and disability, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction at the beginning of treatment

What They Found

  • Patients in groups 2 and 3 had a significant reduction in pain and disability scores.
  • ONLY group 3, the group that had chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment adjustments added, had more reduction in pain and disability scores at the ten-month time interval.
  • The groups not having chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment adjustments, pain and disability scores returned close to the levels experienced prior to treatment.

Wrap It Up

The authors’ conclusion is quoted as saying, “SMT is effective for the treatment of chronic nonspecific LBP. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance SM after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.”

Dr. Hergert, what do you have to say on this one? I’m not sure what there is to say except, “Told you so!”

What do you typically recommend to your patients as far as chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment care goes?

Paper #2:

Actually, this one is a webpage linked in the show notes for you at ChiropracticForward.com in episode #42. 

http://www.chiro.org/research/ABSTRACTS/Documentation_Supporting_Maintenance_Care.shtml

This article was compiled by Dr. Anthony Rosner, Ph.D and called Documentation Supporting Maintenance Care[2]. 

The article starts by saying that the RAND Corporation studied a subpopulation of patients who were under chiropractic care compared to those who were NOT and found that the individuals under continuing chiropractic care were:

  • Less likely to be in a nursing home
  • Were less likely to have been in the hospital the previous 23 years
  • They were more likely to report better health status
  • Most were more likely to exercise vigorously

Although it is impossible to clearly establish causality, it is clear that continuing chiropractic care is among the attributes of the cohort of patients experiencing substantially fewer costly healthcare interventions[3]. 

The next paper on chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment is by Dr. Rosner and talks about was a review of a larger cohort of elderly patients under chiropractic care and those not under chiropractic care. Basically, comparing monies spent on hospitals, doctor visits, and nursing homes[4] They found the following: Those under chiropractic care saved almost three times the money those NOT under chiropractic care spent for healthcare. 

  • $3,105 vs. $10,041

How’s it looking so far, Tyce?

Tyce, you’re going to like this one. Chances are, you’re probably going to want to tell people all about this one. 

Let’s get to the newer paper I mentioned before. It’s called The Nordic Maintenance Career program: Effectiveness of chiropractic maintenance care versus symptom-guided treatment for recurrent and persistent low back pain – pragmatic randomized controlled trial and it was compiled by Andreas Eklund, et. al[5]. 

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to explore chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment in the chiropractic profession. What is the effectiveness for prevention of pain in patients with recurrent or persistent non-specific low back pain?

How They Did It

  • 328 patients
  • Pragmatic, investigator-blinded. Pragmatic. What does that mean exactly? According to Califf and Sugarman 2015, It means it is “Designed for the primary purpose of informing decision-makers regarding the comparative balance of benefits, burdens and risks of a biomedical or behavioral health intervention at the individual or population level” Meaning they are attempting to run a trial to inform decision-makers of responsible guidelines going forward. That’s it for the dummies like me in the room. 
  • Two arm randomized controlled trial
  • Included patients 18-65 w/ non-specific low back pain
  • The patients all experienced an early favorable result with chiropractic care. 
  • After an initial course of treatment ended, the patients were randomized into either a maintenance care group or a control group. 
  • The control group still received chiropractic care but on a symptom-related basis. 
  • The main outcome measured was the number of days with bothersome low back pain during a 1 year period. 
  • The info was collected weekly through text messaging. 

What They Found

  • Maintenance care showed a reduction in the number of days per week having low back pain
  • During the year-long study, the chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment group showed 12.8 fewer days. 
  • The chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment received 1.7 more treatments than the symptom-related group. 

Wrap It Up

The authors wrap it up by saying, “Maintenance care was more effective than symptom-guided treatment in reducing the total number of days over 52 weeks with bothersome non-specific LBP but it resulted in a higher number of treatments. For selected patients with recurrent or persistent non-specific LBP who respond well to an initial course of chiropractic care, MC should be considered an option for tertiary prevention.”

Basically, both groups still underwent chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment. It’s like we tell people, stay on a schedule and you’ll do well. Wait until you hurt and the chances are good that you’ll spend the same amount getting over that complaint anyway. 

This study showed that exactly except, over the course of just one year, the maintenance chiropractic care (preventative chiropractic care) people had 1.7 more visits but suffered pain almost 13 days less. 

Bring it home

Are two appointments extra worth almost 2 weeks less of having pain in a year’s time? I say hell yes. 

Dr. Hergert…what say you?

Lay some sage-like wisdom on us here and bring it all home for us won’t you please?

This week, I want you to go forward with the knowledge that, when you write “patient recommended preventative chiropractic care schedule going forward” you can do so confidently knowing your are right and there is research showing it. 

You don’t have to recommend chiropractic maintenance and chiropractic preventative treatment simply because you heard to do that at school or because your old boss always did it. 

You can make those recommendations because it’s best for your patients. 

Dr. Hergert, do you have anything to add, this is probably your last time on the podcast after all. 

Thank you so much for hanging out with us today, I was kidding of course. We will make time and do it again down the road. 

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

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

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

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

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

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

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

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

 

Bibliography

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

2. Rosner A. Documentation Supporting Maintenance Care. Chiro.org 2016; Available from: http://www.chiro.org/research/ABSTRACTS/Documentation_Supporting_Maintenance_Care.shtml.

3. Coulter ID, Chiropractic Patients in a Comprehensive Home-Based Geriatric Assessment, Follow-up and Health Promotion Program. Topic in Clinical Chiropractic, 1996. 3(2): p. 46-55.

4. Rupert R, Maintenance Care: Health Promotion Services Administered to US Chiropractic Patients Aged 65 and Older, Part II. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2000. 23(1): p. 10-19.

5. Eklund A, The Nordic Maintenance Care program: Effectiveness of chiropractic maintenance care versus symptom-guided treatment for recurrent and persistent low back pain—A pragmatic randomized controlled trial. PLoS One, 2018. 13(9).

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

 

CF 038: w/ Dr. Jerry Kennedy – Chiropractic Marketing Done Right

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

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

 

CF 037: Stretching Before Playing. What’s the Verdict?

Stretching Before Playing. What’s the Verdict?

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talk about stretching before playing. We’ll go through some research and hopefully give you a general idea of what is the right recommendation to make to your patients. 

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

Now that we are locked in and rocking, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s just an email. We don’t sell it, we won’t use it any more than once per week when a new episode comes out, and it’s the best way for lots of you to get a reminder when episodes go live. 

Did you know that I literally get more emails from myself than I get from anyone else? It’s true. As soon as I think of something that needs to get done, I send myself an email. Muy pronto. If I don’t, it’ll be gone in the ether. Like a wisp of smoke. It’s there and then swoosh….it’s gone. Lol. That may be just a consequence of aging but it’s been that way for some time now. We just learn how to deal with those things and develop the coping mechanisms that allow life to continue as unimpeded as possible. 

Back to school, yes, we have the knuckleheads back in school and, while they were unhappy, I was all smiles inside. I love being on a schedule and school offers that regimented, timetable type of deal. That’s what I operate best under. When the kids are here, there, and everywhere, I just lose my mind a little honestly so, for my colleagues that have kids…..hell yeah.

We made it through Summer. 

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

You have high-stepped right into Episode #37

I mentioned some time ago that I really enjoy some of the private groups on Facebook. Specifically, I enjoy the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance and the Evidence-based Chiropractic Facebook groups. I would be crazy to fail to mention our OWN private Facebook group which is called oddly enough the Chiropractic Forward Facebook group. 

??Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

You can learn so much stuff you weren’t even expecting to find out or didn’t even know you didn’t know. That’s the best kind of learning I think. 

Stretching Before Playing

On that note. In one of those groups, there was a discussion not too long ago on stretching before playing or participating in an athletic event. When I was an athlete from elementary age all the way through college, we stretched. We stretched a lot. 

In playing football in college, I couldn’t tell you whether stretching before playing made any difference in game time performance because there was never an opportunity to NOT stretch. 

However, I actually won state here in Texas in the discus and competed at state in the shot put when I was in high school and I can tell you from personal experience and from knowing my body very well back then…..I always felt weaker when I stretched before an event.

Luckily, we were allowed to kind of do our own thing in track and field when it came to warm-ups and I started avoiding stretching purely based on the way it made me feel weaker. Stretching before playing in my particular case was a no-go.

Peak Performance

I found I got a lot more use out of visualization and relaxing my mind. On that note, I had a college coach recommend a book to me that made all of the difference to me in regards to performance. It was called Peak Performance and authored by Charles A. Garfield.

It is a phenomenal book. Mostly because it didn’t offer general ideas on visualization and relaxation. It gave you specific, easy to use exercises that allowed you to get it and use it immediately. I can’t recommend it highly enough if you can still find it. I’m old now so my copy may one of the few left. But, I did leave a link in the show notes that takes you to a copy at Barnes and Noble if interested. 

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/peak-performance-charles-a-garfield/1002544001/2660075437651?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_New+Marketplace+Shopping+Textbooks_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP164994&gclid=CjwKCAjw2MTbBRASEiwAdYIpsYwXv0NZHGrUz_0PwqMoqv50DDrvGEyioRTGr44p8jln__5aujnRaxoCKkEQAvD_BwE

Now, was my idea that stretching before playing made me weaker before a throwing event crazy or not? Let’s dive and see what the research has to say on it.

Since there are several papers to run over and our time is limited here, I will not be going very deeply into each paper. We will get the general ideas, I will cite them in the show notes for Episode 37 at chiropracticforward.com and, if you want to learn more, you can find the papers linked there or in our private Chiropractic Forward Facebook group. 

OK, let’s see what we have here. Let’s start with one called “Current concepts in muscle stretching for exercise and rehabilitation” by PT and PhD Phil Page[1]. It was published in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy in February of 2012. 

Why They Did It

The purpose of this clinical commentary is to discuss the current concepts of stretching before playing and summarize the evidence related to stretching as used in both exercise and rehabilitation.

There are three muscle stretching techniques frequently described in the literature: Static, Dynamic, and Pre-Contraction stretches. 

Static stretching before playing is the probably the type of stretching we all commonly think of. It’s where you hold a specific position and tension or stretch the muscle or the muscle group. We hold it for 10 or so seconds and usually do that for 3 sets. Traditionally anyway. 

Next is Dynamic stretching before playing, which is characterized by either active or ballistic dynamic stretching. Active dynamic stretching involves moving a limb through its full range of motion to the end range and repeating it several times while Ballistic dynamic stretch involves rapid, alternating movements or “bouncing” at the end-range of the motion. Ballistic dynamic stretching is no longer recommended due to an increased risk of injury. 

The last of the three is Pre-contraction stretching before playing. This involves a contraction of the muscle being stretched or a contraction of its antagonist muscle before stretching. According to Dr. Page’s paper, the most common type of pre-contraction stretching is proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) stretching.

There are several different types of PNF stretching including “contract-relax” (C-R), “hold relax” (H-R), and “contract-relax agonist contract” (CRAC); these are generally performed by having the patient or client contract the muscle being used during the technique at 75 to 100% of maximal contraction, holding for 10 seconds, and then relaxing.

This paper is all about any and all stretching before playing depending on the person and activity so there’s no real specificity in the recommendations but you can derive some generalizations here. 

For warm-up for sports and exercise purposes, Dr. Page says that static stretching is most beneficial for athletes requiring flexibility for their sports like gymnastics, dance, etc. He says that dynamic stretch may be better for athletes that will be running or jumping like basketball players or sprinters. However, he states that stretching has not been shown to reduce the incidence of overall injuries. 

Next, here’s one called “Effects of dynamic and static stretching on vertical jump performance and electromyographic activity” by PA Hough et. al. published in Journal of Strength Conditioning Research in 2009[2].

This was a randomized controlled trial. This one is actually older than the last one but I wanted to cover the last one prior to this one so that you’d know the differences in the types of stretching before playing. So…..on with the show here. 

Why They Did It

The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of static stretching and dynamic stretching on vertical jump performance and electromyographic activity of the vastus medialis.

What They Found

  • There was significantly greater EMG amplitude in the dynamic stretched individuals that the static stretch folks. 
  • The vertical jump was statistically greater in the dynamic stretch group than the static stretch as well. 
  • Static stretch actually has a negative influence on the vertical jump while dynamic has a positive impact. 

Wrap Up

“This investigation provides some physiological basis for the inclusion of DS and exclusion of SS in preparation for activities requiring jumping performance.”

Let’s keep it moving. Here’s one called “Effects of running, static stretching and practice jumps on explosive force production and jumping performance” by W.B. Young et. al. published in Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness in 2003[3]. 

Why They Did It

The purpose of the study was to compare the effects of running, static stretching of the leg extensors and practice jumps on explosive force production and jumping performance. 

What They Found

The results of this particular study showed that sub-maximum running and practice jumps had a positive effect whereas static stretching before playing had a negative influence on explosive force and jumping performance. It was suggested that an alternative for static stretching should be considered in warm-ups prior to power activities. 

That definitely confirms my personal experience back in track and field in high school. All we really knew back then was the static stretch. 

Right on into the next paper by JC Gergley called “Latent effect of passive static stretching on driver clubbed speed, distance, accuracy, and consistent ball contact in young male competitive golfers” published in Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research in 2010[4]. 

Why They Did It

This investigation was conducted to determine the effect of 2 different warm-up treatments over time on driver clubhead speed, distance, accuracy, and consistent ball contact in young male competitive golfers.

What They Found

The authors concluded, “The results of this inquiry strongly suggest that a total-body passive static stretching routine should be avoided before practice or competition in favor of a gradual active dynamic warmup with the clubs. Athletes with poor mechanics because of lack of flexibility should perform these exercises after a conditioning session, practice, or competition.”

We continue with “The acute effects of static stretching compared to dynamic stretching with and without an active warm-up on anaerobic performance” authored by Bradley Kendall and published in International Journal of Exercise Science in 2017[5].

Why They Did It

“The Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT) has been used in many studies to determine anaerobic performance. However, there has been poor reporting of warm-up protocols and limited consistency between warm-up methods that have been used.

With the WAnT being such a commonly-used test, consistency in warm-up methods is essential in order to compare results across studies. Therefore, this study was designed to compare how static stretching, dynamic stretching, and an active warm-up affect WAnT performance.”

It was hypothesized that the dynamic stretching would lead to greater peak power than the static stretching protocol. However, results of post hoc analyses failed to detect a significant difference. For the other measured variables, no significant differences were found.

However, the Bonferroni adjustment is quite stringent and may have failed to detect a significance due to the small sample size in this study. When comparing dynamic stretching to static stretching, Cohen’s effect size suggested that dynamic stretching may have a small to moderate effect on performance.

The comparison between static and dynamic stretching before playing approached significance and had a small to moderate effect, supporting studies that have concluded dynamic stretching before playing to be more beneficial than static stretching prior to anaerobic performance output.”

And here we arrive at our last article called “Injury prevention and management among athletic populations: to stretch or not stretch?” by Kieran O’Sullivan and Sean McAulliffe of Ireland and Gregory Lehman of Canada. This article appeared in Aspetar Sports Medicine Journal in 2014[6]. 

Since this article is long, we won’t get too detailed here. We will hit the high spots and link it in the show notes for episode #37 at ChiropracticForward.com and hopefully, you can read it in depth 

http://www.aspetar.com/journal/upload/PDF/201412891228.pdf

Why They Wrote It

The authors wanted to discuss whether there is evidence that static stretch is worth including in athlete management.

I found it interesting to see a quote at the beginning of this article that said, “There is consistent evidence that SS increases flexibility in the short-term, although the gains in flexibility decrease relatively quickly, such that they are lost within 30 minutes.” 

They summarized static stretch as follows:

  • SS increases flexibility in both the short- and long-term
  • Flexibility is also increased by strength training, especially eccentric training.
  • Interestingly, strength training appears to increase both tendon stiffness and overall MTU stiffness, while simultaneously increasing ROM
  • Neither SS nor strength training appears to consistently decrease the stiffness of the joints.
  • none of the reviews showed a beneficial effect of SS on performance
  • Maximal strength appears to be more commonly negatively affected by SS than explosive muscular performance or power
  • Sustained SS does not appear to enhance running or walking efficiency even when ROM is increased. Results are equivocal with SS and endurance performance. In contrast, strength training consistently improves endurance performance
  • Acute SS for greater than 45 seconds should be avoided immediately before participation in activities where strength or power are important
  • Shorter durations of SS are also hard to justify immediately before participation in activities where strength or power are important
  • In endurance activities, acute SS is hard to justify immediately before participation as performance may be reduced
  • SS is far less effective than strength training in enhancing strength and power and it’s unclear whether adding SS might reduce the strength gains achieved, so why do it?
  • There is not sufficient evidence to endorse or discontinue routine stretching before or after exercise to prevent injury among competitive or recreational athletes
  • In terms of injury prevention, it appears SS has very little to offer and should not be used.
  • Alternatively, a meta- analysis showed that strength training reduced incidence of sports injuries to less than one third

They summarized the article by saying, “the only area in which SS might seem to offer a specific advantage is in the area of increasing flexibility. There may be times when the most important goal is enhancing flexibility (e.g. ballet) and in these isolated circumstances SS may be justifiable.

However, there remains a lack of evidence that gains are superior to those of a strength training programme. Even if strength training is eventually confirmed as being inferior to SS at increasing flexibility, the fact that strength training improves performance, pain, disability, injury and return to sports rates mean strength training must be a mainstay of athletic development and training, in contrast to SS.”

What a fascinating article. We only touched on a few of the larger ideas in the article but it’s FULL of information and learning. If sports and stretching are a part of your focus, the article is a must. Everything they talk about is cited properly so you can really dive in face first if you want. 

Great stuff folks. 

I’m going to say that my notion in high school, in my mind, has been confirmed. I just felt weaker if I performed static stretch for more than just a few seconds. Like the stretching just took the wind out of my sails. 

I’ve learned a ton through putting this podcast and I hope you have too! Hell, that’s what we’re here for right?

Go forward this week with more confidence in your recommendations for stretching before athletic activity. If we didn’t hit enough here for you, dive into the show notes and the citations at chiropracticforward.com Episode #37 and do some of your own homework. You’ll be better for it. I promise. 

Integrating Chiropractors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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http://www.chiropracticforward.com

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Enjoy other episodes of our Chiropractic Forward Podcast!

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

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

CF 034: Chiropractic Information To Help You Form Your Practice

 

Bibliography

1. Page P, CURRENT CONCEPTS IN MUSCLE STRETCHING FOR EXERCISE AND REHABILITATION. Int J Sports Phys Ther, 2012. 7(1): p. 109-119.

2. Hough PA, Effects of dynamic and static stretching on vertical jump performance and electromyographic activity. J Strength Cond Res, 2009. 23(2): p. 507-12.

3. Young WB, Effects of running, static stretching and practice jumps on explosive force production and jumping performance. J Sports Med Phys Fitness, 2003. 43: p. 21-7.

4. Gergley JC, Latent effect of passive static stretching on driver clubhead speed, distance, accuracy, and consistent ball contact in young male competitive golfers. J Strength Cond Res, 2010. 24(12): p. 3326-33.

5. Kendall B, The Acute Effects of Static Stretching Compared to Dynamic Stretching with and without an Active Warm up on Anaerobic Performance. Int J Exerc Sci, 2017. 10(1): p. 53-61.

6. O’Sullivan K, Injury prevention and management among athletic populations: To stretch or not stretch. Aspetar Sports Medicne Journal, 2014. 3(3): p. 624-628.

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

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

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

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

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

You have sashayed all fancy like into Episode #31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did it

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

Integrating Chiropractors

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

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

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

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

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

??Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

??Social Media Links

??iTunes

??Player FM Link

??Stitcher:

??TuneIn

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

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

 

 

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

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

Episode #30

Integrating Chiropractors – What’s It Going To TakeIntegrating Chiropractors

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chiropractic is not a religion. 

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

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

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

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

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

THAT is the real question. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

Episode #29

Is Chiropractic Integration Healthy For The Profession?

Today we have a very special guest and we’re going to be talking about chiropractic integration into a medical based case management or medical team. This one may irritate the holy heck out of the straight chiropractors that preach being separate and distinct but I think evidence-based practitioners will find some good stuff here. 

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

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

Also, I’m alway offering myself up for speaking opportunities or to be a guest on YOUR podcast.  Just send me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and we will connect. I always appreciate hearing from my brothers and sisters out there in the profession. 

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. That’s a tall order but that is the goal and I’ve never shy-ed away from big goals. You shouldn’t either!

You have tip toed ninja style into Episode #29

But first, my week …..I have to say that we started off slow at the start of this Summer season but, now that everyone is settling into the heat, it’s starting to get busy busy and that’s nothing but good good. What are the most effective means you’ve found to get your message out to your communities? Email me and I may just share you suggestions in future episodes. 

This week, I want to welcome a friend of mine and a brother in arms in our battle for Chiropractic here in Texas to come and speak with me about chiropractic integration. He has been involved deeply on the state level leadership for years at this point and has held several posts including the biggest one. Yes, he is currently the big cheese, the head honcho, the el jefe of the Texas Chiropractic Association. Until June of 2019, he will sit as the President of the TCA and we’re honored to have him with us on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast today. 

– I want to welcome Dr. Devin Pettiet of Tomball, TX. Dr. Pettiet, thanks for being here and letting us pick your brain a little today. 

  • When I was coming up with this week’s topic, chiropractic integration, I really couldn’t think of anyone better than you to talk about chiropractic integration with. I know you pretty darn well but our listeners probably do not. Tell us a little bit about your practice. 
  • What originally got you involved in service to your profession? Was there a single incident or experience that flipped a switch in you?

I don’t want to speak for you but, for myself, I’m certainly on the evidence-based aspect of the chiropractic spectrum here. We would like for our thoughts and opinions to be separate from the TCA’s stance on different matters and we should state from the start that our thoughts and opinions are our own and not representative of the TCA. At the same time though, we are the kind of people that want to go to bat for everyone practicing as long as they are within the scope mandated by the State of Texas. 

Now, How do you feel we chiropractors can start making headways into the medical field as spine specialists and….keeping the straights in mind….is it healthy for our profession to seek those avenues for ourselves? Is chiropractic integration a good idea basically?

We know it’s not a lack of research validating our profession but, with your years in practice and with your years of service in the TCA, what things come to mind as the biggest obstacles to chiropractic care fully integrating into medical referral programs or treatment protocols?

Over the years, have you seen any changes in the opinions of chiropractors from those in the medical community or in the way you interact with them?

Let’s go over a couple of papers and you just play Troy Aikman to my Joe Buck and provide commentary wherever you see fit. 

This one is from February 2018 and is called, “Integration of Doctors of Chiropractic Into Private Sector Health Care Facilities in the United States: A Descriptive Survey.” It was written by S Salsbury, et. al. and I see Dr. Goertz listed as an author as well. She has really been a star for the chiropractic profession(Salsbury S 2018). 

Why They Did It

The purpose of this study was to describe the demographic, facility, and practice characteristics of doctors of chiropractic working in private sector health care settings in the United States.

How They Did It

  • The authors did an online, cross-sectional survey. 
  • They were looking for chiropractors already working in integrated health care facilities 
  • They collected demographic details, facility details, and the characteristics of the practice
  • Using descriptive statistics, they analyzed all of the data they collected. 
  • The response rate was 76% which is odd because my email open rate when I email for TCA stuff is like 10%….
  • Most respondents were male with the mean years of experience being 21 years. 

What They Found

  • Doctors of Chiropractic working in hospitals were 40%
  • Multispecialty offices = 21%
  • Ambulatory clinics = 16%
  • Other health care settings = 21%
  • 68% were employees and received a salary
  • Most DCs used the same health record as the medical staff and worked in teh same clinical setting. 
  • Over 60% reported co-management of patients with medical professionals. 
  • In many clinics, the DCs were exclusive providers of spinal manipulation (43%) but most of the clinics saw the DCs receiving and making referrals to the primary, the PT, or to pain and ortho docs. 

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded by saying, “Doctors of chiropractic are working in diverse medical settings within the private sector, in close proximity and collaboration with many provider types, suggesting a diverse role for chiropractors within conventional health care facilities.”

Here’s another by Paskowski et. al.(Paskowski I 2011) Called “A hospital-based standardized spine care pathway: report of multidisciplinary, evidence-based process.”

There were 518 patients and they developed a Spine Care Pathway protocol for their treatment. These patients underwent chiropractic care and physical therapy. 

What They Found

Those that went to a Doctor of Chiropractic treated for about 5.2 visits costing an average of $302.

The pain was 6.2 on intake and 1.9 on exit. 

95% that saw a chiropractic rated their care as excellent. 

Then there’s this one from the Ontario Ministry of Health-commissioned report called The Manga Report which was a comprehensive review of all of the published literature on low back pain(Manga P 1993). 

Some of the things this government-commissioned study had to say are just outstanding. 

  • There was an overwhelming amount of evidence showing the effectiveness of chiropractic in regards to the treatment of low back pain and complaint.
  • They found that it is more cost-effective than traditional medical treatment and management
  • Found that many of the traditional medical therapies used in low back pain are considered questionable invalidity and, although some are very safe, some can lead to other problems being suffered by the patient.
  • They showed that chiropractic is clearly more cost-effective and that there would be highly significant savings if more low back pain management were controlled by chiropractors rather than the medical physicians.
  • The study stated that chiropractic services should be fully insured.
  • The study stated that services should be fully integrated into the overall healthcare system due to the high cost of low back pain and the cost-effectiveness and physical effectiveness of chiropractic.
  • They also stated that a good case could be made for making chiropractors the entry point into the healthcare system for musculoskeletal complaints that presented to hospitals.

They concluded the paper by saying, “Chiropractic should be the treatment of choice for low back pain, even excluding traditional medical care altogether.”

There are a ton of reasons for chiropractic integration into medical protocols that, if we tried to cover them all, we’d be sitting here for a very long time. The point here is that, when you consider these studies, when you consider the low back series in The Lancet that we covered in episodes 16, 17, and 18, when you read the recommendations from the American College of Physicians for acute and chronic low back pain, and you see the recent article in JAMA from Dr. Goertz on Vets and low back pain that we covered in episode 

Dr. Pettiet, where do you see everything going on this??

How do we do our part to ensure chiropractic integration of our profession and move from the fringe toward the center?

Can we do that while still maintaining our identity as chiropractors?

Is the TCA doing anything that we can talk about publicly toward chiropractic integration?

This week, I want you to go forward understanding that you have been and are doing the best thing there is out there for headaches, neck pain, and back pain. There is no other profession with the juice behind them that we have. Be smart, be responsible, and we may just be able to not just have our foot in the door, but to actually knock it down and burst in like a superhero. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

 

 

Bibliography

Manga P, e. a. (1993). “THE MANGA REPORT: THE EFFECTIVENESS AND COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF CHIROPRACTIC MANAGEMENT OF LOW BACK-PAIN.” Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health.

Paskowski I, e. a. (2011). “A hospital-based standardized spine care pathway: report of multidisciplinary, evidence-based process.” J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 34(2): 98-106.

Salsbury S (2018). “Integration of Doctors of Chiropractic Into Private Sector Health Care Facilities in the United States: A Descriptive Survey.” J Manipulative Physiol Ther 41(2): 149-155.

CF 028: Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?

 Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?

Chiropractic First is on the table today.

As they say in Texas, Howdy y’all. You could also say, Hola Amigo in Texas as well, and as I learned last week, it’s How you doin? in New York. Today we’re going to be talking about whether or not Chiropractic should or could be poised to step up and take it rightful spot in healthcare globally. Buckle up, bucko.

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast and today it’s about chiropractic first.  So, glad you’re here with me. In case you are a youngster, the term “bucko” came from a young tike himself named Ritchie Cunningham on Happy Days played by Ron Howard. Yep, that Ron Howard, the famous director and was once a tiny tot named Opie on the Andy Griffith show. No, I’m not THAT old but….I know a little TV trivia here and there. And now it appears that you do too. 

Ritchie, every now and then, would get all worked up into a fuss and call Fonzie or Potsy or whoever a “bucko.” Man…..you wanna talk about fighting words. Fonzie about ended him a time or two but, in the end, Fonzie was way too cool to beat up on Ritchie. OK, enough of that…

I want to ask you to go to http://www.chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. We won’t be filling up your inbox and it’s easy to fill you in on all the new stuff. And, in the end, it’s nice of you and it will help keep the wrord circulating if you would like to help us. Likes, shares, and retweets also keep the world turning around and around and that’s really important stuff…..Keeping the world spinning and all….. if we can talk you into it. 

Have you noticed we aren’t selling you anything? That doesn’t mean that we won’t if the right opportunity arises down the road but, I want you to know that I’m doing this podcast for the right reasons. I make furniture, I am a musician, I am a sculptor…..and, Just like anything else I do, I make the things that interest me and that come from my heart. If someone ends up buying what I’ve made down the road, then heck yeah!! Good for me. But, in the meantime, I do what I do because I love it and I guess I have enough ego that I think others may love it as well. I hope you guys and gals love it and find the value like I find in it. 

As with every episode, we are honored to have you with us. We truly are. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which we think will improve your life overall. That’s a tall order but everyone needs goals.

You have Firecircled your way into Episode #28 ala Dr. Strange. My family is full of action movie junkies so just deal with the reference. 

I think a great place to start is by saying that I stumbled upon a heck of a deal this last weekend when I attended the Texas Chiropractic Association’s ChiroTexpo down in Dallas at the Hyatt Regency. I realize the Hyatt Regency holds no meaning to those outside of Dallas but, it’s the hotel with the really cool lit up ball in downtown Dallas. Ah….yes, if you’ve seen the amazing Dallas Cowboys perform inside your TV box, you’ve probably seen the down town rotating restaurant ball on your screen. 

Part of the program had to do with the Lumbar Management portion of the Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists program. I’m still getting the nuts and bolts of this dude figured out but, basically, it consists of five 10-hour live face-face seminars, 50 hours in total there. Then, 250 of online courses through the University of Bridgeport. After that, you sit for the DACO exam and, assuming you pass it, you now have the honor of being called a DACO and you have the knowledge to back it up. This class was one of the 10-hour sessions.

Now, I have to say, I literally thought I would sit in the class for a couple of hours, my eyes would glaze over, and my butt would start to hurt, and I’d get up and wonder around asking where the nearest trouble could be had because I’m onery on the weekends. I mean really, who the heck wants to sit in a classroom from 1-7pm on a Saturday night and 8-1 on a Sunday morning? Not this guy. Not all in one stretch like that.  

But I did. I sat through all 10 of them. Yep, even surprised myself. Dr. Tim Bertlesman from Illinois was the instructor of the class and he kept it moving, he kept it extremely relevant, and he even kept it pretty funny. Basically, he kept my interest and you know what? I may…..just may…..do the whole program. 

It’s evidence-based for sure and about Chiropractic First

It’s patient-centered without a doubt. And it’s current with the research. If you’ve been paying attention, that’s right in my wheelhouse. If you’d like more information on this program, send me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and we’ll connect. As I learn more and more about it all, I’ll be glad to share if you think you’d be interested as well. 

He started off the class with some slides referencing a few studies that I haven’t seen just yet and I a lot of what he was saying is what I’ve been telling all of you for 28 episodes now. All of them. Every single episode. 

The overwhelming sentiment here is that the door is open thanks to opioids. The door to chiropractic first, that is. The chance we have waited for is here. Right now. We may not get it again. People are hungry for what we do and we now have all of the research we need to back ourselves and our profession up, to show complete validation, and thrust us into the mainstream of healthcare for non-complicated musculoskeletal issues. That’s here. 

Let’s look at a little bit of it and see if you agree. 

This is from April 2016 and was published in JAMA. It was authored by Dr. Deborah Dowell, MD, et. al. and was called “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain – United States, 2016(Dowell D 2016).”

Why They Did It

Realizing that opioids are a problem, that there are a limited number of long-term opioid research papers, and that primary care physicians need better, safer ways of managing chronic pain, the authors hoped to make recommendations for when to prescribe opioids outside of cancer treatment, etc….and when to not prescribe them. 

How They Did It

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) used the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) protocol in order to assess the evidence type and make recommendations from there. 
  • Evidence was made up of observational studies or randomized clinical trials with notable limitations. 
  • No study evaluated long-term (over 1 year) benefit for opioids in chronic pain. 

What They Found

  • There are 12 recommendations
  • Of the most importance was the recommendation that non-opioids is preferred for treatment of chronic pain. That’s where WE fit in folks.
  • Opioids should only be used when benefits for pain and function outweigh risks but risks are use disorder, overdose, and death so….. Pretty much never.
  • Before starting any opioid therapy, practitioners need to set goals and settle on how they will be discontinued if benefits do not outweigh risks.
  • Blah….blah blah….a bunch of other language that does not pertain to us chiropractors. 

Wrap Up

Non-pharmacologic therapy and non-opioid pharmacologic therapy are preferred. Chiropractic first

I think that, before the American College of Physicians finally came right out and said to go see someone that performs spinal manipulation to treat acute and chronic low back pain, this was JAMA’s way of saying, “Hey guys and gals, ummm….we’ve created a bit of a mess and we had better start cleaning it up (cough chiropractic cough) and maybe we should look outside of usual medical care like pills (cough chiropractic cough) and drugs that people get hooked and drugs that kill people (cough Chiropractic).

JAMA has come along slowly but they’ve made great progress. Even since this paper originally came out. 

For the next article, let’s look at this one called “Attorney General Janet Mills Joins 37 States, Territories in Fight Against Opioid Incentives,” released by the Office of the Attorney General on September 18, 2017(Roth-Wells A 2017). 

The Attorney General in Maine, Janet Mills, joined 37 other states in the fight against opioids according to this article. The AG was quoted in the article as saying, “Last year Maine enacted a law limiting opioid prescriptions and that law is beginning to have a positive impact. Now health insurers need to reduce any financial incentives to prescribing these addicting narcotics and offer greater coverage for alternative therapies. As the chief legal officers of our States, we are committed to using all tools at our disposal to combat this epidemic and to protect patients suffering from chronic pain or addiction.”

The attorneys general contend that incentives that promote use of non-opioid therapies will encourage medical providers to consider physical therapy, acupuncture, massage, chiropractic care, and non-opioid medications, instead of narcotic drugs.

The article went on to list all 37 states that were signed on to this initiative but, sadly, my state of Texas was not on the list. That pesky Texas Medical Association really tends to get in the way. I see the other biggest states on the list in regards to the number of chiropractors practicing. Those states are California, New York, and Florida but, no, not Texas.

The next article is called “FDA Education Bluepring for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain” and was published in May 2017(FDA 2017). 

On page three, section two, the paper dicusses nonpharmacologic therapies. It states, “A number of nonpharmacologic therapies are available that can play an important role in managing pain, particularly msculoskeletal pain and chronic pain.” 

It then goes on to mention categories. The categories they mention are Psychological approaches, and, while I think our patients look at us as chiropractors, financial advisors, psychologists, and a whole host of other professionals, this paper is speaking to cognitive behavioral therapy and, if I’m honest, I’m simply unfamiliar with that as a treatment regimen. I certainly have more to learn on that topic. They also mention physical therapy, of course. They mention surgical intervention and then they mention complementary therapy underwhich is mentioned acupuncture and chirlpracty. 

I’ve not ever in my life heard the term “chiropracty” but at least we’re in the game, I suppose. 

Then the paper closes the section by saying, “Health care providers should be knowledgeable about the range of available therapies, when they may be helpful, and when they should be used as part of a multidisciplinary approach to pain management.”

Isn’t that interesting? How many practitioners do you think came across this paper and this section of this paper? How many do you suppose have decided to take it upon themselves to get extra information and education in this particular topic? 

Maybe some but, mostly, I would say that it is up to us chiropractors to do our part to educate our medical communities on this sort of information. It’s the FDA for goodness sake. It’s on a government website. It cannot be hard to point them in the right direction and for the medical practitioners to be able to trust the information if it’s coming from this sort of a platform or footing. But, they have to be shown the way. Most of them aren’t simply going to stumble on to it and say, “Oh hey, looky here. Looks like I’ve been wrong my whole life about chiropractic.” 

They need some help and some guidance to find it and then hopefully to receive the information on their own. Regardless of where you start, using sources like the FDA, the Journal of American Medical Association, The Lancet, and the American College of Physicians is always a good idea. They are reputable and they are forms of information that the medical kingdom place a lot of stock and value in. It turns out that they’re on our side on this matter. 

Next, let’s talk about The Joint Commission. “What is The Joint Commission?” you may ask yourself. You may ask yourself that question because that’s the question I asked myself when I first saw the paper so I did some homework for you. 

A quick visit to their website tells us the following:

“An independent, not-for-profit organization, The Joint Commission accredits and certifies nearly 21,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States. Joint Commission accreditation and certification is recognized nationwide as a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.

 

Our Mission:  To continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value.

 

Vision Statement:  All people always experience the safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all settings.”

If you really read and understand what is said in that description, you’ll see the terms “improve health care for the public” and “providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value” and safest, highest quality, best-value health care across all setting.” The vast majority of paper we have covered in the previous 27 episodes argue that chiropractic fits the bill in a lot of different ways.

This article comes from The Joint Commission Online and was published on November 12, 2014 talking about revisions to pain management standards that were to be updated just a couple of months later, January 1, 2015(The Joint Commission Online 2014). I want to give this group credit. They seem to have started to catch on to the need for nonpharma protocols about a year to a year and a half prior to the rest of the medical profession. Kudos to them. 

In the blue box is the Standard PC.01.02.07 which is the code for assessing and managing patients’ pain. The revision states that both nonpharma and pharma play a part in pain management, the non-pharma strategies may include the following: acupuncture therapy, chiropractic therapy, osteopathic manipulative treatment, massage therapy, physical therapy, relaxation therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy. 

That stuff sounds fairly familiar for the most part doesn’t it? We’ve been talking about it for months by now so it should indeed be familiar. Except for the cognitive behavioral therapy bit. I kid. Cognitive behavioral therapy is geared toward treating depression, anxiety disorders, phobias, and other forms of mental disorders. Certainly the disorders that may exacerbate chronic pain or, at minimum, prevent the patient from moving beyond the pain in any meaningful way.

Continuing on, here’s a paper from the prestigious Spine Journal by Jon Adams, PhD et. al. called, “The Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Chiropractic Use Among US Adults(Adams J 2017).” 

Why They Did It

Just as the title of the paper indicates, the goal of the authors was to learn more about the prevalence, patterns, and use of chiropractic care in the US. 

How They Did It

  • They took a cross-sectional data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey. The National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) is the principal and reliable source of comprehensive health care information in the United States, utilizing a nationally rep- resentative sample of the civilian noninstitutionalized popu- lation of the United States
  • They used that information to analyze the lifetime and 12-month prevalence and utilization patterns of chiropractic use. 
  • They determined the profile of chiropractic users. 
  • They determined the predictors of chiropractic consultations.

What They Found

  • Lifetime prevalence of chiropractic use was 24%
  • 12-month prevalence of chiropractic use was 8.4%
  • The use of chiropractic care has grown from 2002 to when the data stopped in 2012
  • Back pain caused people to seek chiropractic care to the tune of 63%
  • Neck pain caused them to go about 30% of the time. 
  • The majority of chiropractic users reported that it helped a great deal with their health problem and improved overal health or well-being. 

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded by saying, “A substantial proportion of US adults utilized chiropractic services during the past 12 months and reported associated positive outcomes for overall well-being and/or specific health problems.”

When we dive a little further past the abstract and get down into this paper, it goes into the specific percentages for different questions:

Chiropractic led to:

  • Better Sleep 42%
  • Reduced Stress 40%
  • Felt better overall and improved health 39%
  • Was seen as very important to the user 48%
  • Helped for a specific health problem 65%
  • Didn’t help at all 4% 
  • 62% went to a chiropractor to treat the cause, not the symptom!

I want to finish up this week’s papers by citing one that came right out of the White House not long ago.

If you go to The President’s Commission On Combating Drug Addiction and The Opioid Crisis report and make your way down to page 57, you will see where the authors say the following, ““A key contributor to the opioid epidemic has been the excess prescribing of opioids for common pain complaints and for postsurgical pain. Although in some conditions, behavioral programs, acupuncture, chiropractic, surgery, as well as FDA-approved multimodal pain strategies have been proven to reduce the use of opioids, while providing effective pain management, current CMS reimbursement policies, as well as health insurance providers and other payers, create barriers to the adoption of these strategies.” That is from the White House. 

If you continue to the very bottom of the page, you’ll see this quote, ““The Commission recommends CMS review and modify rate-setting policies that discourage the use of non-opioid treatments for pain, such as certain bundled payments that make alternative treatment options cost prohibitive for hospitals and doctors, particularly those options for treating immediate post-surgical pain.”

In Episode #11, when I brought this up to my long-time buddy and past TCA President Dr. Tyce Hergert, he said, “You mean like a specialist copay for chiro care and a lower copay for primary care? Or covering surgery 100% and NOT covering non-surgical means.” I couldn’t have said it any better. 

Essentially, the United States Government is admitting there is professional discrimination at the highest levels…..hello Medicare and Health Insurance plans….I’m talking to you….this discrimination creates barriers to doing the smart thing.

The smart thing is seeing a chiropractor for your back pain. The “Big Guys” (AKA: American College of Physicians, The Lancet, the FDA,  and the American Medical Association) recommend it and the government says policies are in place to prevent patients from following those recommendations.

Key Takeaways:

  1. The general population is starving for what we chiropractors do and for what we can offer them. 
  2. All of the important entities in the medical kingdom now recommend what we do but primary practitioners and specialists haven’t caught on just yet.
  3. There are barriers set up within Medicare and insurance in general keeping people from seeking the safest, most cost-effective, non-pharma means to treat themselves.
  4. It’s up to US and nobody else to get the word out in our medical communities. Nobody is going to do it for us and that’s a guarantee. 

I want you to go forward this week with confidence and validation but with the understanding that it is up to every single one of you to figure out how to educate your medical community in an evidence-based, patient-centered way an the first one that does it correctly and effectively may just win a pot of gold and become THE spinal authority in your community. 

I would say that you also need to do your friend Dr. Williams, and all other chiropractors in the world, a big favor. That favor would be to help us get the word out about this podcast. If you find value in it, don’t you think others would too? I’m not sponsored here. I’m doing it because I love it. I don’t have $10,000 to promote the podcast on Facebook or Twitter so I have to keep asking our listeners to please do us a favor and go like our page on Facebook, Like and Share our content EVERY WEEK, FOLLOW us on Twitter, and RETWEET our content on Twitter. 

These are incredibly easy things to do and I truly need your help with them if you would please be kind enough. 

I want you to know with absolute certainty that 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.

When you look at the body of literature, it is clear: research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, compared to the traditional medical model, patients get good to excellent results with Chiropractic. It’s safe, more cost-effective, decreases chances of surgery, and reduces chances of becoming disabled. We do this conservatively and non-surgically with minimal time requirements and hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health! And patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm. THAT’S Chiropractic folks.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Social Media Links

iTunes

Bibliography

Adams J (2017). “The Prevalence, Patterns, and Predictors of Chiropractic Use Among US Adults.” Spine 42(23): 1810-1816.

Dowell D (2016). “CDC Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain – United States.” MMWR Recomm Rep 65: 1-49.

FDA (2017). “FDA Education Blueprint for Health Care Providers Involved in the Management or Support of Patients with Pain.”

Roth-Wells A (2017). “Attorney General Janet Mills Joins 37 States, Territories in Fight against Opioid Incentives.” Office Of The Maine Attorney General.

The Joint Commission Online (2014). “Revisions to pain management standard effective January 1, 2015 BrightStar Care recognized as Enterprise Champion for Quality for second year New on the Web.” Joint Commission Online.

 

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

WANTED – Safe, Nonpharmacological Means Of Treating Spinal Pain

Today we’re going to talk about treating spinal pain, thoracic manipulation, lumbar manipulation, guidelines from Canada, and perceptions of our profession. Did you know that many people actually think that Chiropractic herniate low back discs all of the time? That’s not our idea of treating spinal pain. That’s for sure!

But first, here’s that bumper music

OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast and I am honored to have you join me today.  Thank you to those of you that send emails and like and share our content on Facebook and Twitter. You make it fun. If you haven’t already noticed, we have “Tweetable” quotes from our show notes. All you have to do is click the Tweet button and you’re all set. 

Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall. That’s a tall order but that is the goal

You have cavorted your way into Episode #27. Yes, it’s a word. In fact, it’s a synonym of the word dance. Oh how I do love a thesaurus. 

As I’m about to record this episode, it is June 4, 2018 and I am getting ready to head down to the Texas Chiropractic Association’s State Convention. Now, things like that used to make my eyes gloss over but, I wasn’t doing it right or looking at it through the right lens. 

I was a traveling musician for several years and, honestly, chiropractic for me at the time was Plan B while I made a run at music. Well, as usually happens with musicians, it didn’t make me rich. Shock, shock…

During those years, I was a little bit like a guy out on an island all by himself. A lone wolf you might say. I didn’t know anything about research, guidelines, or anything like that. Hell, I was lucky to get to work on time back then. 

Along with being on an island all alone, I thought the idea of being a member of my state association sounded like one to the biggest, best ways to waste my money. Money that I really needed at the time. Well, I was misinformed. Becoming a member of the Texas Chiropractic Association has been one of the best, most rewarding things I have done in my professional life. 

First, I met a ton of people through the TCA. I have a network of colleagues and friends now. If I have a question about ANYTHING, I have an answer! In fact, I was having a hard time with collections for some time and a colleague is the one that came to my rescue. 

Also, the TCA doesn’t just take my money, they take it and use it to help me in my daily life. They have fought some outstanding odds and won several times. They won where, if they had lost, I wouldn’t have the right to diagnose my patients and would be much like a physical therapist depending on referrals from MDs. I’d say that alone is worth my $48 a month wouldn’t you agree?

I went on to serve several years on the Board of Directors for the TCA and am the current chairperson for the Chiropractic Development Initiative fighting to pay for lawsuits, fighting to bolster our profession, and protect it. 

The point here is, I hope you’ll seriously consider joining your state association as well as the American Chiropractic Association. My dues for both combined each month run around $155. It’s just another bill you pay and it goes to securing your job. It’s worth it and I hope you’ll think about doing it. Chiropractic Forward is not just an idea. I walk the walk by being a member and being active. 

Sometimes I end up deviating from research and all that good stuff we do every week but, sometimes, you gotta share what’s on you mind. Thank you for indulging me. 

Let’s get started with the research talk this week with a paper called “Rehabilitative principles in the management of thoracolumbar syndrome: a case report,” by Mathew DiMond who is a DC, DACRB around Bridgeport Connecticut(DiMond M 2017). For those that don’t know what a DACRB is, it stands for Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Rehabilitation Board. To put that into perspective, there are roughly 5,200 chiropractors in Texas and only 5 DACRBs. 

Why They Did It

Dr. DiMond wanted to describe his management of a case where the patient suffered from thoracolumbar syndrome. 

How They Did It

  • The patient was a 33 year old woman. 
  • She had suffered back pain for 3 weeks
  • Nerve tension tests and local tenderness were present
  • Outcome Assessment tools used were the Oswestry Disability Index which was at 62% at baseline, the STarT low back screen tool (6 points total with 2 point subscale), the Numeric Pain Rating Scale (6/10), and the test-retest exercise audits. 
  • 3 treatments rendered to the patient

What They Found

Her scores were substantially improved. Oswestry improved to 8% , STarT (1 point total), Numeric rating scale 1/10.

Wrap It Up

The author concluded by saying, “The patient responded positively to chiropractic care. After a short course of care, the patient reported reduced pain, alleviated symptoms, and improved physical function.” Now that’s treating spinal pain in a nonpharmacological way.

Now onto the next one. We don’t sit still around here. Bam, bam, bam!

This one is titled “Chiropractic spinal manipulation and the risk for acute lumbar disc herniation: a belief elicitation study” by Cesar Hincapie, et. al. and published in the European Spine Journal(Hincapie C 2017). 

Why They Did it

We know low back pain is the number one reason for disability in the world and that chiropractic is moving into the forefront. The author noted that chiropractic has been reported to increase the risk for lumbar disc herniation without any high quality evidence to support the claim. The author wanted to determine the beliefs on this topic going forward.

I have to say all one needs to do is look toward the American College of Physicians new recommendations and The Lancet low back series recommendations for using chiropractic as a first line treatment for low back pain and that should tell you all you need to know on this but, we will go ahead and explore this simply to expand our learning and knowledge. We are the profession best poised for treating spinal pain!

How They Did It

They used a belief elicitation design

They used 47 clinicians made up of 16 chiropractors, 15 family physicians, and 16 spinal surgeons. 

The clinicians estimated how often a chiropractic adjustment could cause a lumbar disc herniation in a hypothetical group of patients with acute low back pain. 

What They Found

  • As one would expect, chiropractors were the most optimistic that the occurrence was rare. In fact chiropractors held the belief that spinal manipulation actually decreases the chance of disc herniation rather than increases it.
  • Family physicians were mostly neutral
  • Spinal surgeons expressed a slightly more pessimistic belief toward the idea

Wrap It Up

The researchers concluded, “Clinicians’ beliefs about the risk for acute LDH associated with chiropractic SMT varied systematically across professions, in spite of a lack of scientific evidence to inform these beliefs.”

My bias is obvious but, the thought of chiropractors going around herniating discs had to have come from someone that either hates chiropractors like the American Medical Association of the 60;s, 70’s, 80’s, and so on…..or it had to come from ignorance. I believe that paper was published just prior to the new updated recommendations putting chiropractic in the driver’s seat for acute and chronic low back pain but geez…. I do get tired of defending the profession. 

Now let’s wrap up the week here with a paper from our chiropractic brethren for the frozen North otherwise known as Canada. The lead author is Dr. Andre Bussieres and the paper is called “Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Other Conservative Treatments for Low Back Pain: A Guideline From the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative” and was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in May of 2018(Bussieres A 2018). 

Why They Did It

The objective of this study was to develop a clinical practice guideline on the management and treating spinal pain of acute and chronic low back pain (LBP) in adults. The aim was to develop a guideline to provide best practice recommendations on the initial assessment and monitoring of people with low back pain and address the use of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) compared with other commonly used conservative treatments.

How They Did It

  • The authors assessed systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials using A Measurement Tool to Assess Systematic Reviews and Cochrane Back Review Group criteria. 
  • Evidence profiles were used to summarize judgements of the evidence quality. 
  • The Evidence to Decision Framework was used to help the panel to determine the certainty of evidence and strength of the recommendations. 
  • Consensus was achieved through the modified Delphi technique
  • This guideline was peer reviewed by an 8-member multidisciplinary external committee. 

What They Found

  • Acute back pain (0-3 months)

Offer advice on posture and staying active, reassure the patients, education and self-management strategies, chiropractic care, usual medical treatment if deemed beneficial, or a combination of chiropractic care and usual medical treatment. These are effective means of treating spinal pain. 

  • Chronic back pain (3 months and beyond)

When treating spinal pain, offer advice and education chiropractic care or chiropractic care in conjunction with exercise, myofascial, or usual medical care. 

  • Chronic back-related leg pain

Offer advice and education with chiropractic care and home exercise such as positioning and stabilization exercises. Treating spinal pain for chronic patients can be challenging for both the patient and the doctor.

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded by saying, “A multimodal approach including SMT, other commonly used active interventions, self-management advice, and exercise is an effective treatment strategy for acute and chronic back pain, with or without leg pain.” Treating spinal pain is just what we do.

Help us spread the news folks. Go out and get on your roof and start yelling it to the masses. Retweet, like and share and all of the stuff you can help with on your end of it. You can find us on Twitter @chiro_forward and on Facebook. We’re there. We’re just waiting on you to join us so go do that right now

I realize this week was a little here and a little there but the point is that no matter what you’ve heard or been told in the past, those days are over. I believe they’re over for good at this point. We are the #1, non-pharma, safe, conservative, non-invasive, research-backed, evidence-backed, treatment for spinal pain, hands down. And that’s a heck of a place to be coming from wouldn’t you agree?

I want you to know with absolute certainty that 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.

When you look at the body of literature, it is clear: research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, compared to the traditional medical model, patients get good to excellent results with Chiropractic. It’s safe, more cost-effective, decreases chances of surgery, and reduces chances of becoming disabled. We do this conservatively and non-surgically with minimal time requirements and hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health! And patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm. THAT’S Chiropractic folks.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Social Media Links

iTunes

Bibliography

Bussieres A, e. a. (2018). “Spinal Manipulative Therapy and Other Conservative Treatments for Low Back Pain: A Guideline From the Canadian Chiropractic Guideline Initiative.” Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 41(4): 265-293.

DiMond M (2017). “Rehabilitative Principles in the Management of Thoracolumbar Syndrome: A Case Report.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 16(4): 331-339.

Hincapie C (2017). “Chiropractic spinal manipulation and the risk for acute lumbar disc herniation: a belief elicitation study.” European Spine Journal.