This week we’re going to discuss some attacks on the profession in the not-so-distant past, we’ll talk about the current state of the opioid epidemic, and we’ll talk about why right now is such a good time for what is going on with Chiropractic research.
Before we get to the meat of the subject this week, I want to say that I hope you all had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. My family brought it in sitting on the couch drinking decaf coffee. It was very uneventful but pleasant. I used to be a traveling musician in what seems like a former life now and…if you’d have told me 10 years ago that I’d be bringing in the new year sitting on the couch drinking coffee, I would have laughed at you in a dismissive way and probably had given you a look that you would not have taken as being positive. But, jobs and kids and family have a way of forcing the needed changes and that’s OK with me. It’s all a part of life and you better believe I’m living it.
Here’s wishing you all a happy and prosperous 2018.
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming. This week, we’re going to have more fun that Chinese algebra. Just sit back and watch. I tell you the truth.
Seriously though, this is the place where we talk about some pretty cool stuff going on in the Chiropractic field that is based on research and evidence. How cool is that? When you can just sit back and let all the super smart guys and gals validate everything you do? What a blessing. Of course, we chiropractors have always known we were right about how to go about treating our patients. Think about it. Think about the generations of attacks this profession has endured through the years from extremely powerful people in the legislative and in the healthcare world. The American Medical Association. I’m not sure it gets more powerful than that. Heck, they even lost an anti-trust case in the Supreme Court when chiropractors sued them. In short, chiropractors proved in Federal Court that the American Medical Association did the following or encouraged their members in the following manner:
- They encouraged ethical complaints against doctors of chiropractic;
- They opposed chiropractic inroads in health insurance;
- They Opposed chiropractic inroads in workmen’s compensation;
- They opposed chiropractic inroads into labor unions;
- They opposed chiropractic inroads into hospitals; and
- They attempted to contain chiropractic schools.
- They conducted nationwide conferences on chiropractic;
- They distributed publications critical of chiropractic;
- They assisted others in preparation of anti-chiropractic literature;
- They warned medical doctors and their underlings that professional association between medical physicians and chiropractors was unethical; and
- They discouraged colleges, universities and faculty from cooperating with chiropractic schools.
If you hear all of this ridiculousness and you say to yourself, “There’s no way that’s true,” then please do us both a big favor and Google the term Wilk vs. AMA and that should tell you all you need to know about the matter.
Anyway, to my original point, if we weren’t right, we would have been destroyed years ago by the machine. I want you to listen to me here. Let me say it again, if we chiropractors were not right, we would have been wiped off the map years ago. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of effort on the part of the powers that be.
The best part about the blogs and podcasts and videos I share every week is that most everything we talk about has its roots in research. How do you generate facts? I’d argue it’s through research. I hear it all the time: “I believe in chiropractics.” My response is pretty simple. We’re not a church. You don’t have to believe. We have mountains of research. The problem is, few people know about it.
Mountains of research, after some time, begins to look a lot like facts don’t ya think? And facts are pesky things. A person doesn’t have to like them. They just are….like it or not.
I don’t like the fact that our national debt and deficit is what it is. But, they’re just facts and we have to learn to live with it. Well, the medical field is starting to learn to live with some new facts. In fact, they’re getting smacked down like a red-headed step kid by these facts!
Facts like this…the opioid crisis cost the US economy $504 billion dollars in 2015 according to an article from Reuters this year written by Lucia Mutikani and Ginger Gibson. There authors of the article were relaying information taken from the White House Council of Economic Advisers (CEA).
There is no reason to expect this number to improve any time soon either. If indicators are correct, as numbers become more available for 2016 and 2017, you’ll see this amount explode.
The opioid crisis has reached the point that President Trump was forced to declare it a public health emergency.
The article goes on to discuss the fact that there was a total of $221 billion to $431 billion in lost economic output due to there being 33,000 opioid-related deaths in 2015. The wide range in dollar amounts is to take into account the fact that there are several different models but, I think you get the idea. It’s incredibly significant.
“The crisis has worsened, especially in terms of overdose deaths which have doubled in the past ten years,” the CEA said. Wow. And, if I’m correct, yo u can compare the crisis to a fire. While it may have taken 10 years to double (which is bad), I believe the rate of expansion of the problem has increased exponentially.
The article wraps up by citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as saying more than 100 Americans die daily from related overdoses. On top of that, new information is out that opioid-related deaths have now surpassed breast cancer. I love that the NFL does the pink uniforms during October which is Breast Cancer Awareness Month but I’m wondering if now we’ll start seeing a specific color and more awareness for the Opioid Addiction Awareness Month or something of that nature. It’s bad, y’all.
How bad is it? It’s so bad that a recent article in The Guardian says that overall life expectancy in the US has declined for the second year in a row as a result of the opioid crisis. Can you imagine? It’s the first time in 50 years that the US life expectancy has gone down for 2 years in a row. The last time was the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred and sixty-three!
The article in The Guardian was written by Jessica Glenza and was published on December 21, 2017. In the article, she shares that there were 63,600 opioid-related deaths in 2016 which was an increase of 21% from the 2015. These numbers came from the National Center for Health Statistics.
As I hinted in the beginning of this blog, early indications for 2017 aren’t looking very bright. Robert Anderson of the National Center for Health Statistics says of 2017, “It doesn’t look any better.” Anderson goes on to say, “We haven’t seen more than two years in a row in declining life expectancy since the Spanish flu – 100 years ago,” said Anderson. “We would be entering that sort of territory, which is extremely concerning.”
There are guesstimates that this crisis is going to take a good 10-20 years to turn around now that multiple generations are already hooked.
Realizing that the first phase of the opioid crisis was started by physicians over-prescribing these opioids, the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have really stepped up in a way that I would believe most alternative caregivers would describe as rather unexpected considering the history of these organizations. They have consistently and constantly attacked – verbally, in the courts, and legislatively – just about any and all alternative healthcare protocols up to this point in history.
However, in new recommendations put out in February of 2017, the American College of Physicians have now started recommending Chiropractic, Massage, and/or Acupuncture as first-line treatment for acute and chronic low back pain before even taking an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory such as Aspirin, Tylenol, or Ibuprofen.
Quickly thereafter (2 months), the American Medical Association published an article in its journal called Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) in support of the updated recommendations made by the American College of Physicians.
It took a national emergency of epic proportions started in part by the medical profession itself but, now, finally, we have some realistic and responsible recommendations coming from the medical field on safe and conservative means of treating uncomplicated musculoskeletal condi
In the end, it is my firm belief that patients are entitled to the best treatments that do the least harm. There is nothing out there safer and more effective than chiropractic, massage, and/or acupuncture.
Through the years, I have carried with me a wonderful quote by Dr. Lee Green, a Professor of Family Medicine at the University of Michigan. He said, ”Neck pain is a mechanical problem, and it makes sense that mechanical treatment works better than a chemical one.”
Just another reason to call a chiropractor TODAY!
- Research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic. Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled. We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health!
I want you to be sure you know all about our blog and our YouTube channel. Currently, we have these entities set up under Creek Stone Integrated Care. Now, with the building of the Chiropractic Forward podcast site, how’s that going to change and how’s that going to look? I haven’t figured that part out just yet but know this, you can get your fix on all things chiropractically researched by going to amarillochiropractor.com and clicking on the blog button. Or, you can visit our youtube channel by searching Creek Stone Integrated Care in the YouTube search
Be looking for our upcoming website at chiropracticforward.com. It is not ready but it will be soon enough. It’s closer every week. I don’t know if you know this but I am all over social media in a whole bunch of areas. For a list of links, see the show notes and we’ll see you somewhere in that list I hope.
Thank you for listening. You know, sharing is caring and that’s how we get to more and more ears. If you like what you hear and you know other chiropractors or medical field professionals…..or even potential chiropractic patients….make sure you share our podcast with them. Together we can make a difference and help people get off of medication, get out of pain, and get healthier overall.
I’m Dr. Jeff Williams from the Chiropractic Forward Flight deck saying upward, onward, and forward .