CF Ep. 213: Easy, Cheap Way To Fix Cervical Curvature & SMT For Chronic Neck Pain Today we’re going to talk about Easy, Cheap Way To Fix Cervical Curvature & SMT For Chronic Neck Pain But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music    

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.   If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

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You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #213 Now if you missed last week’s episode , we talked about Intermittent Fasting & Dementia And Your Level Of Activity. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

Alright, no…it’s not just you….I’m a little slower than normal right now. For most of us, that’s the nature of the beast. We just slow down in January because most of us take insurance and most of those plans re-set in January. People haven’t met their deductibles. They don’t like to spend their own money.  And that’s OK. Speaking from 24 years of experience, it’s normal and you’ll start seeing it pick back up around mid to late February. Definitely by March.  Like I sadi last week, this is the time that we start playing catch up and taking care of all of the stuff that’s been sitting on the back burner.  So start dusting off that stack on your desk and working through it while you have the time.    I want to be honest. Which I always am. I think I’m in a mid-life crisis. I’m tired of replacing employees. Re-hiring, etc. I’m tired of the same old questions we get from patients. I’m tired of dealing with the day-to-day stuff I’ve dealt with. Some of you will love what you’re doing so much that you’ll want to die in your office at 84 years old working on someone. 

And wouldn’t that be an awful experience for the patient? Just as a side thought. Lol. 

Anyway, that’s not me. When I’m answering the question about why someone’s neck is hurting for the umpteenth time, the call for more freedom of time gets stronger.  And stronger and stronger.  That’s the reason that over the last few years I have started cultivating the side gigs. The exit strategy. Looky here; I write and perform music, I paint, I draw, I play the guitar, I build furniture, I sculpt, I throw the discus and want to compete in old man track meets, and I love spending time with my family and traveling.  So…how the hell do you do all of that while you’re in a clinic all day every day your entire life? The answer is….you don’t. You don’t do the things that feed your soul. You either don’t do them at all, or you don’t do them very often.

Until you’re 65 or so for most people. Well, I don’t plan on being most, folks. So, how do you own the practice instead of the practice owning you? Great question. I don’t know but here are some of the avenues I’m using to try to walk the path. 

  • Specialization and Board Certification
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Associate chiropractor – If you’re interested in working for me, email me folks. [email protected] I’m looking. 
  • Real Estate Investing
  • Voice Over
  • Authorship
  • Speaking and Mentoring

In fact, I have a big presentation coming up at the Texas Chiropractic Association’s MidWinter Conference in Lubbock, TX on February 18th. It’s called Chronic Pain And The Upregulated Central Nervous System. I’m in the process of building that talk as we speak.  If that sounds like something your group or association could use, email me at [email protected] and let’s connect.

I’d love to come present for you and your peeps. 

So, anyway, I do all kinds of things. But those are the biggies.  Get your exit number in place. Even if you’re brand new. You gotta have your loans paid. You gotta have your retirement finances in the process. You gotta have investments working. Once that’s handled, what is the exit number that would make you secure to make your exit.  Or to make a Hybrid Exit. What’s that exactly? A Hybrid Exit would look different for different folks. For one person that might mean treating patients 2 days per week. For others, it might mean strictly being the owner but exiting patient treatment completely. It could mean a million things but, at the price point some of us make per year, it can be difficult to build enough side gig to replace that income.  For me, just looking at the numbers and potential, while keeping risk mitigation in mind, real estate seems the quickest way when you combine that with the clinic integration and hiring an associate chiro. Combining these three may get me there.  Then you throw in this voice-over blessing that I started last year…..wow. That was out of nowhere, was a complete surprise, and an amazing blessing. Voice over, by itself, has more than funded the down payment and the furnishing of our very first short-term rental house and investment I’ve been mentioning more and more recently. 

Let’s be honest though, you don’t have to be in voice-over to invest. You just have to keep the overhead down and save up enough for a downpayment. The rest will take care of itself. And the earlier you start, the faster you get there. I’m 49 and wish I’d had this mentality at 29. Damnit. 

But it’s never too late to start taking better care of your future, your physical health, and your mental health. That’s where I’m at.  I’ll keep updating you. 

Item #1

This first one is called “The Effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Pain and Disability in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: A Single-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial” by Cholewicki et. al. (Cholewicki J 2021) and published in PM&R on October 31, 2021.

Aye chiwawa!

Why They Did It

Neck pain (NP) affects as much as 70% of individuals at some point in their lives. Systematic reviews indicate that manual treatments can be moderately effective in the management of chronic, nonspecific NP. However, there is a paucity of studies specifically evaluating the efficacy of osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). The authors wanted to evaluate the efficacy of OMT in reducing pain and disability in patients with chronic NP. And I’m glad they are because they’re right, there is a paucity of research on neck pain. Low back gets all the attention while neck pain…..treating neck pain is the main thing we chiros get beat up over. So why the hell not knock out a ton of high-level research on chiro, manipulation, and neck pain while continuing to highlight the low risk of adverse effects for its treatment? Can we finally get past this chiropractors cause strokes issue? Is there increased risk? Sure. But that doesn’t mean we go arounnd causing them. There are bad patients that shouldn’t be worked on and there are bad chiros that are far too rouugh. But for the most part, its not dangerous whatsoever.  Take the UFC for example

How They Did It

  • Single-blinded, cross-over, randomized controlled trial.
  • University-based, osteopathic manipulative medicine outpatient clinic.
  • 97 participants, 21-65 years old, with chronic, nonspecific NP
  • Participants were randomized to two trial arms: immediate OMT intervention or waiting period first. 
  • The intervention consisted of 3-4 OMT sessions over 4-6 weeks, after which the participants switched groups.
  • Primary outcome measures were pain intensity (average and current) on the numerical rating scale and Neck Disability Index.
  • 38 and 37 participants were available for the analysis in the OMT and waiting period groups, respectively

What They Found

  • The results showed significantly better primary outcomes in the immediate OMT group for reductions in average pain, current pain, disability, and improved secondary outcomes related to sleep, fatigue, and depression. 
  • No study-related serious adverse events were reported.

Wrap It Up

OMT is relatively safe and effective in reducing pain and disability along with improving sleep, fatigue, and depression in patients with chronic NP immediately following treatment delivered over approximately 4-6 weeks. One big thing here, this improvement was seen with 3-4 visits over 4-6 weeks. Shouldn’t that have been standardized and consistent from patient to patient? Like 4 visits over 6 weeks for example. Not a range. Next thing, this is about chronic pain. Is 3-4 visits over 4-6 weeks really enough to start addressing the issue of chronic pain? To introduce proprioception, movement, function, and all that good stuff?? No is the answer but, they still showed improvement. I’d love to see the outcomes in a design like this with a more robust and appropriate treatment schedule or frequency. 

Item #2 Thsi one is called “You don’t need expensive CBP BS protocols with biased research done by the stakeholders to entice the 9 out of 10 patients that naturally have a decreased cervical curvature into a 70 visit $5,000 treatment plan to fix a lack of cervical curve that a 20 year research project proved is no big deal anyway.  Oh wait….sorry….check that. The actual title is “Efficacy of Modified Cervical and Shoulder Retraction Exercise in Patients With Loss of Cervical Lordosis and Neck Pain” by Lee et. al. (Lee 2020) and published in Annals of Rehabilitation Medicine on May 29 2020 and it’s hot enough! Sorry for the mistake. I’ll try to pay more attention to the research paper titles. I’m undiagnosed ADD like that. I take the eye off the ball every here and there. I’ll try to tighten that up a bit. 

Anyway

Why They Did It

  • This research was done by medical doctors so there is no chiropractic bias to this lack of curvature research information. 
  • The authors say they wanted to explore if the modified cervical and shoulder retraction exercise program restores cervical lordosis and reduces neck pain in patients with loss of cervical lordosis.

How They Did It

  • This study was a retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data. 
  • Eighty-three patients with loss of cervical lordosis were eligible. 
  • The eligible patients were trained to perform the modified cervical and shoulder retraction exercise program by a physiatrist, and were scheduled for a follow-up 6 to 8 weeks later to check the post-exercise pain intensity and lateral radiograph of the cervical spine in a comfortable position. 
  • The parameters of cervical alignment (4-line Cobb’s angle, posterior tangent method, and sagittal vertical axis) were measured from the lateral radiograph.
  • Forty-seven patients were included.
  • The mean age was 48.29±14.47 years

What They Found

  • Cervical alignment and neck pain significantly improved after undergoing the modified cervical and shoulder retraction exercise program. 
  • The upper cervical lordotic angle also significantly improved. 
  • In a subgroup analysis, which involved dividing the patients into two age groups (<50 years and ≥50 years), the change of the sagittal vertical axis was significantly greater in the <50 years group

Wrap It Up

The modified cervical and shoulder retraction exercise program tends to improve cervical lordosis and neck pain in patients with loss of cervical lordosis. So……if we’re evidence-based and patient-centered, we are not taking advantage of others. We don’t see patients as sales targets. We aren’t seeing them as targets to close on. We aren’t seeing them with dollar signs in our eyes.  Rather, we are seeing them as human beings that are in our clinic to place full faith, trust, body, mind, physical well-being, and their entire futures in our hands.

If we are honoring this idea and honoring our patients, we are teaching them about this, we are teaching them about moving, we are teaching them how to self-manage at home, and we are doing what we can within a responsible and appropriate 2-4 treatment plan….give or take.  You know…..being a doctor and doing doctor stuff instead of doing street corner huckster stuff like I see so many fellow chiropractors doing.  It’s sad. We don’t have to put up with it in our profession. We just have to stop ignoring it and start calling it out and not putting up with it. We can run this behavior out of our profession. If we choose to. Alright, that’s it. Keep on keepin’ on. Keep changing our profession from your corner of the world. The world needs evidence-based, patient-centered practitioners driving the bus.

The profession needs us in the ACA and involved in leadership of state associations. So quit griping about the profession if you’re doing nothing to make it better. Get active, get involved, and make it happen. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week. 

Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at chiropracticforward.com.   

Purchase Dr. Williams’s book, a perfect educational tool and chiropractic research reference for the daily practitioner, from the Amazon store TODAY!

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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The Message I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point: At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic!

Contact Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 

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

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About the Author & Host Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (FIANM) and Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Professionals (DABFP) – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger  

Bibliography

Cholewicki J, P. J., Reeves NP, DeStefano L, (2021). “The Effects of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment on Pain and Disability in Patients with Chronic Neck Pain: A Single-Blinded Randomized Controlled Trial.”

PM R.   Lee, M., Jeon H, Choi J, Park Y, (2020). “Efficacy of Modified Cervical and Shoulder Retraction Exercise in Patients With Loss of Cervical Lordosis and Neck Pain.” ARM 44: 3.  

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