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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

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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 046: Chiropractic Effectiveness – Chiropractic Integration – Chiropractic Future

Chiropractic Effectiveness – Chiropractic Integration – Chiropractic Future

Today we’re going to talk about what I think is some good news that bodes very well for the chiropractic future, for chiropractic integration, chiropractic effectiveness, and playing well with others. We’ll discuss a paper on non-pharma ways of treating pain and then we’ll discuss an article showing how roadblocks are set up to keep Americans from following those recommendations.

Stick with us as we shake it all out, but first, here’s that bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

Welcome to the podcast today, I am still pretty new to the podcast game so, in case you don’t know me just yet,…I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.

You have gallivanted into Episode #46 and we are so glad you did.

DACO Program

Let’s talk a bit about the DACO program, I have gone through 30 hours live and have taken 12 hours online so far. That makes 42 of the 300 but hey, who’s counting right? The last one I took had to do with Cervical pain and neural tension. I’m man enough to admit that, while I have an A in the class, I missed a question on this one and here’s what I’m going to say…..STOP. Stop asking trick questions dammit.

Honestly, you can know the material cold but the way they ask some of the questions, there’s no telling what the hell the answer is. “Which statement makes the most clinical sound?” Fine…no problem. But, as you read through them, there is maybe one answer that is very thorough while the others are not technically incorrect but aren’t quite as comprehensive as the one answer. Then, yes…..the feared…..ALL OF THE ABOVE.

Uh huh….just ask the damn question and be fair about it. That’s all I’m saying. On one hand, one answer is most definitely more clinically sound than the others. On the other hand, all of them have some correct aspects. So, you’re bound to miss some here or there and, with only 5 questions, you miss one, you make an 80. An 80 is hard for me to swallow friends.

So….cut it out, people. Be fair in your questioning. Thank you very much

The material though, my goodness. I can’t even begin to tell you all how wonderful the material is. Of course, I like some of the classes more than others. The one on pain was not necessarily my favorite but I muddled through it and still know a ton more about pain than I did prior to. Pain is a difficult topic but they did an excellent job of lining it out for us.

Every class makes a difference. Without a doubt. Let me know if you need some guidance on getting started on your DACO. Which was the main thing for me….just getting started in the first place. It’s a bit confusing but once you get enrolled and get that first class under your belt, you’re good to go. Just email me at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com

Sign up for our Chiropractic Forward Newsletter

If you haven’t yet, please go sign up for our Chiropractic Forward newsletter by going to chiropractic forward.com and it’ll pop up right there. You can’t miss it. It almost punches you right in the face. Help us keep pass along important stuff here by getting on that newsletter. Never any more than once per week. Promise.

Evidently, you and your colleagues are catching onto this here podcast. We appreciate it and we appreciate your continuing sharing it with you people. That’s the only way to grow.

Front Desk Woes

So far, we still have the front desk staff in place. So that’s been amazing to not be obsessing about. It is really hard to find the right person with the right qualities to fill that spot. I’m not spouting fake numbers when I tell you that we see an average of about 60 new patients per month by myself.

No associate. I had a colleague recently tell me they don’t think they could do that by their self. I have to admit, I didn’t realize it was an impressive amount. Lol. I was glad to hear it though. Here’s my deal though, I don’t hold onto them. I see them, get them better, and will have them again in a year or so when they re-injure something.

I have about 40 or so visits booked per day and that’s pretty manageable when you have great staff. I still work from 8-1 on Fridays too. The majority of my time is spent on new patients trying to figure them out. After we have a direction with a patient, however, we have a team of people that really help take the workload off of me other than the actual adjusting.

And, in case anyone is wondering out there, I adjust manually, Diversified with some drops here and there. Very little activator. Some muscle work when appropriate but there’s not a lot of fluff in a visit once we are rocking and rolling with a case.

I tell them that I can really drag this visit out and make it last a lot longer than it takes if they want me to but most are ready to get in and out and back to work. And that works well for us too.

Getting back on track

Anyway, back to the original point: it’s hard to find someone that is not intimidated by the insurance demands, new patients, existing patients, etc…but excited about chiropractic effectiveness….looking them in the eyes all day every day all day.

Plus, a third of the building is massage, day spa services so, the right person is key. They get intimidated and leave. Lol. I suppose it’s a good problem to have. But, so far so good with the new one!

As I’ve said before, I will certainly keep you updated.

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

Let’s get into the papers

Let’s kick off the discussion today with one from McGregor, et. al. 2014 called “Differentiating intraprofessional attitudes toward paradigms in health care delivery among chiropractic factions: results from a randomly sampled survey.” It was published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine[1].

In the background section of the abstract, the authors’ discuss how healthcare has increased in complexity and there has developed a need for interprofessional collaboration. Amen, brothers and sisters.

It goes on to talk about how different factions within the chiropractic profession are contrary to each other and how one faction holding unorthodox practice beliefs and behaviors may compromise interprofessional relations going forward.

We can have all of the research on our side but when you have one faction of the profession spouting chiropractic effectiveness for everything under the sun, well, the credibility of the profession as a whole really suffers.

The purpose of this paper was, “to quantify the professional stratification among Canadian chiropractic practitioners and evaluate the practice perceptions of those factions.”

How do you go about figuring this stuff out? Luckily, there are far more intelligent people out there in the world. They took a stratified random sample of 740 Canadian chiropractors and surveyed them in an attempt to determine faction membership and how professional stratification could be related to views that could be considered unorthodox to current evidence-based care and guides.

What they found

Out of 740 questionnaires, 503 came back.

Less than 18.8% of the chiropractors were in the faction considered to be unorthodox in the perceptions of the conditions they treat.

They also state that prediction models suggest that unorthodox perceptions of health practice related to treatment choices, x-ray use, and vaccinations were strongly associated with unorthodox group membership.

The conclusions reached here were as quoted, “Chiropractors holding unorthodox views may be identified based on response to specific beliefs that appear to align with unorthodox health practices.”

Despite continued concerns by mainstream medicine, only a minority of the profession has retained a perspective in contrast to current scientific paradigms. Understanding the profession’s factions is important to the anticipation of care delivery when considering interprofessional referral.”

Basically, what they’re saying is that, in Canada at least, there are 20% of you chiropractors walking around saying your nerve doctors, that you fix everything under the sun, and you’re releasing the innate and turning on the power. This isn’t chiropractic effectiveness. This is belief. Not research-based findings.

That 20 % is REALLY putting 80% of us that have busted our butts and learned the latest science and research….you’re putting us at risk of staying right where we’ve always been rather than expanding, integrating, and being the experts in what we do.

We are masters at what we do but there are 20% out there keeping anyone that matters from taking the rest of us seriously. When we are talking about legitimate chiropractic effectiveness, that 20% has taken away our credibility.

Parento’s principle proves to be a real thing once again. 20% of chiropractors do all of the work in discrediting the other 80% of the profession.

Next paper

Let’s go to the next paper before I lose my mind.

This one is called Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Comprehensive Pain Care[2]. It was published in June of 2018 in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing and was written by Heather Tick MD along with a team of other medical doctor/PhDs.

Dr. Tick is a specialist in pain management in Seattle Washington. She even has her own website and blog. All that good stuff. You can check it out at heathertickmd.com if you are so inclined.

A little more about her: She co-founded and directed one of the first inter-disciplinary pain centers in Toronto from 1991 – 2008 and has been involved in research with the University of Waterloo at the Department of Kinesiology, the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC), the University of Washington, and the University of Arizona.

She served as the Director of the Integrative Pain Clinic at the University of Arizona in the Department of Family and Community Medicine until Dec 2011, when the University of Arizona Health Plan recruited her to start the integrative medicine pain clinic for Medicaid patients.

Dr. Tick currently serves at the forefront of research and teaching as a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Washington in the departments of Family Medicine and Anesthesia & Pain Medicine and is also the first holder of the prestigious Gunn-Locke Endowed Professorship of Integrative Pain Medicine at the University of Washington.

In this paper, Dr. Tick starts by saying “Medical pain management is in crisis; from the pervasiveness of pain to inadequate pain treatment, from the escalation of prescription opioids to an epidemic in addiction, diversion and overdose deaths.”

I like that opening quote. I like it a lot, folks. She’s saying that the medical way of managing pain isn’t working and throwing more pills at it is a downward spiral. And I agree as I’m sure you do as well.

She goes on saying, “There is pressure for pain medicine to shift away from reliance on opioids, ineffective procedures and surgeries toward comprehensive pain management that includes evidence-based nonpharmacologic options.

“Transforming the system of pain care to a responsive comprehensive model necessitates that options for treatment and collaborative care must be evidence-based and include effective nonpharmacologic strategies that have the advantage of reduced risks of adverse events and addiction liability.”

Conclusion

The evidence demands a call to action to increase awareness of effective nonpharmacologic treatments for pain, to train healthcare practitioners and administrators in the evidence base of effective nonpharmacologic practice, to advocate for policy initiatives that remedy system and reimbursement barriers to evidence-informed comprehensive pain care, and to promote ongoing research and dissemination of the role of effective nonpharmacologic treatments in pain, focused on the short- and long-term therapeutic and economic impact of comprehensive care practices.

Here’s what I hate to do: I hate quoting an abstract word for word. It’s usually dry and well….boring. But, what she says here is so spot-on, quoting it was the best way to get it across in an equal manner. Meaning that I couldn’t say it better myself. Chiropractic effectiveness is becoming undeniable at this point.

She nails it:

  1. It’s not working
  2. We need non-pharma options that are backed by evidence
  3. There are barriers set up to prevent non-pharma options from being utilized
  4. There is ignorance in regards to non-pharma options and that needs to be addressed through education
  5. Continued research is needed

Further down into the paper, the authors mention in one spot that chiropractic care is 60-70% less likely to be reimbursed. Is that accurate? We are typically covered by most insurance plans no?

When they are saying that there are barriers set up to prevent complementary options, this may fit her rhetoric or point but I just haven’t experienced it being that much less likely to have coverage.

They cite a paper by James Whedon, Et. al. where they found, for New Hampshire[3], there was 60%-70% less reimbursement. I wonder if that is consistent throughout the US or if it’s isolated to New Hampshire?

That’s a great question and if one of you out there in podcast listening land knows the answer, please email me at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and fill me in. I’m curious and I’m pretty sure the rest of us out there are too.

Under their Evidence-Based Non-pharm Therapies for Acute Pain, they point out that non-pharma therapists have shown effective in acute pain with opioid paring in the hospital setting as a result of their use and the therapies mentioned in the paper are acupuncture, chiropractic, osteopathic manipulative therapy, massage, physical therapy, relaxation, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

The authors also site spinal manipulative therapy as being effective for chronic pain including migraines, cervicogenic headache, neck pain, low back, hip pain, patellofemoral syndrome, and on and on. Of course, we chiropractors know this stuff but it’s great to see it in black and white and as part of a paper written exclusively by MDs and PhDs.

This is a long paper with a lot of excellent information. I highly encourage your checking it out. Just go to our show notes for links and citations.

Wrap it up

A great takeaway from this paper is this quote, “In general, the costs of evidence-based nonpharmacologic options are nominal compared to medical costs of treating chronic pain with risk mitigation and greater potential for engaging patients in ongoing self-care.”

This is exactly why we are discussing chiropractic effectiveness at length these days. It is paramount for the future of our patients as well as for the the chiropractic future for people to get this message.

Last Paper

The last paper I want to talk about is by our very own Dr. Christine Goertz, DC, Ph.D. with Steven George, PT, Ph.D. as her side-kick and is published in JAMA. It’s called “Insurer Coverage of Nonpharmacological Treatments for Low Back Pain—Time for a Change[4]” and published on October 5 of this year so, just this month. Brand new.

Dr. Goertz begins by relating low back pain with the obvious opioid crisis and goes into last year’s recommendation that you’ve heard here a million times.

The recommendations from the American College of Physicians for low back pain which recommended spinal manipulative therapy as a first-line therapy for chronic and acute low back pain.

We will talk about it in upcoming episodes but Dr. Goertz also mentions the new Gallup-Palmer Poll where they found that 78% of US adults prefer to use non-pharma options for back and neck pain.

In the article, she cites a paper by Heyward, et. al[5].  called “Coverage of Nonpharmacologic treatment for low back pain among US public and private insurers” that found coverage of some therapies (like chiropractic) was available in most health plans but that there are significant barriers to patient access identified.

Barriers such as visit limits, prior authorization requirements, and high out-of-pocket expenses. And that payment policies targeted toward coordination of pharmacological and nonpharmacological care were virtually nonexistent.

She says pretty clearly the following: In regards to most health plans surveyed, they did not have policies in place that:

  1. emphasize the use of nonpharmacological treatments at the forefront of the patient experience
  2. provide meaningful levels of coverage for care professionals who focus on guideline-adherent nondrug therapies like spinal manipulation, exercise, massage, acupuncture, and cognitive behavioral therapy
  3. us financial incentives that favor the use of nonpharmacological options over commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals, including opioids

Wrap it up

She also calls out healthcare executives quite effectively I thought by saying, “Relative to stigma, Heyward et al found that health care executives did not believe expanded coverage of nonpharmacological treatments is supported by the existing literature.

As outlined in the ACP guideline referenced earlier, in many cases nonpharmacological treatments offer equal benefit or even improved benefit, with lower risk, than commonly used pharmaceutical options.”

And by suggesting that future coverage policies should be based on unbiased reviews of the evidence appropriately balancing risk with benefit rather than prior dogma or biases.

Lastly, Dr. Goertz discusses cost-effectiveness and the need for future payment policies to decrease patient out-of-pocket expenses to strongly encourage earlier us of evidence-based non-harms options.

The Heyward paper demonstrated how trips to PTs or DCs are usually 6-12 visits with an out-of-pocket of $150-$720 or more. She then showed how Lin et. al. showed the median cost of a 30-day  supply of preferred generic opioid by commercial insurers is $10.

How does that add up for the Joe Blow citizen on the street?

It doesn’t.

I love how they sum it up by saying, “Restricting access to opioids without addressing the underlying problem of chronic care management for low back pain is unlikely to positively affect the opioid crisis. Well-conceived guidelines that encourage the use of evidence-based, nonpharmacological treatment options exist and must be enabled by changes in public health policies that better guide care delivery and reimbursement.”

Boom, Snap, kapow, Shazam…

Honestly, where would we be without Dr. Goertz? We’d still be moving the direction we’re moving in because of the opioid issue but she has done some amazing work that is putting us on the fast track where we hope to go rather than on the snail’s pace.

This week, I want you to go forward understanding that It’s happening folks. we are now able to cite papers in JAMA that are pro-chiropractic. Pro-complementary health care. Anti-pharma. This is big stuff. We are in the right place at the right time. And, it was in part, the failure of many in the medical kingdom that put us here. Integrating Chiropractors

The message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is 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

Insurer Coverage of Nonpharmacological Treatments for Low Back Pain—Time for a Change | Complementary and Alternative Medicine | JAMA Network Open | JAMA Network

Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Comprehensive Pain Care – Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28304182?dopt=Abstract

Differentiating intraprofessional attitudes toward paradigms in health care delivery among chiropractic factions: results from a randomly sampled survey | BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine | Full Text

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2705853

Bibliography

1. McGregor M, Differentiating intraprofessional attitudes toward paradigms in health care delivery among chiropractic factions: results from a randomly sampled survey. BMC Comp Altern Med, 2014. 14(51).

2. Tick H, Evidence-Based Nonpharmacologic Strategies for Comprehensive Pain Care. Explore J Science Healing, 2018. 14(3): p. 177-211.

3. Whedon JM, e.a., Insurance Reimbursement for Complementary Healthcare Services. J Altern Complement Med, 2017. 23(4): p. 264-267.

4. C, G., Insurer Coverage of Nonpharmacological Treatments for Low Back Pain—Time for a Chang. JAMA, 2018. 1(6).

5. Heyward J, Coverage of Nonpharmacologic Treatments for Low Back Pain Among US Public and Private Insurers. JAMA, 2018. 1(6).

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

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

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

 

 

 

CF 045: Harvard Health, Low Back Stenosis, Allergy Autism

CF 045: Harvard Health, Low Back Stenosis, Allergy Autism

As the title this week indicates, I’ve taken some files that have been gathering a little bit of dust in the dark corner and I’m bringing them out into the light.

Today we’ll talk about an article in Harvard Health, we’ll talk about low back stenosis research (something that doesn’t get a lot of attention), we’ll talk about a JAMA article on allergies and autism, and we’ll hit on a paper attempting to explain why some patients respond while others do not. 

Integrating Chiropractors

 

But first, you know what’s up, I wrote and recorded our jingle so you might as well just sit back and enjoy this candy for your ears. When you do create something, it’s going to be in EVERY show don’t ya know!! 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.  

You have collapsed into Episode #45

OK, first thing, we should probably talk about the Texas vs. Oklahoma game that just happened this last weekend. By the time this posts, it’ll be two weeks ago but, still need to brag. What a game that was. I’m a Texas boy but either way would have been fine since most of OU’s players are from Texas anyway. I go for all of the Texas teams. 

I want to thank Kyle Swanson for the shout out on the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance group a couple weeks ago. He’s a Texas A&M Aggie. Look, like I said, I root for A&M too so we would probably be buddies in the real world if I’m guessing out loud. 

Front Desk Staffing

Let’s get to the ongoing saga of hiring a new front desk staff. If you’ve been following along, you’ll remember that hiring a new front desk staff member has been nothing but a soup sandwich. 

Messy. Gloppy, Unreal and confusing. Those are just some words I’m laying on you. I have more words for what we’ve been through on this deal but then my podcast would have an explicit designation and I try to keep it clean around here. 

But, I believe progress has been made. We seem to have a new one that seems to be on top of her game. If she’s a “sticker,” then the search may very well be over. Of course, she’s not young which is probably why she’s a sticker so far. She’s closer to my age than any of the others have been. I’m not saying that young people have no work ethic…..I’m just saying that all of the young people that we interviewed for this job have no work ethic. 

That sounds like I’m against young people, millennials, blah blah blah. I’m not. I have had some VERY intelligent and capable young people come through here as employees over the years. There are very smart, very talented young folks out there. We just didn’t encounter any of them for this round of hiring. That’s all I’m saying. 

Moving on

October has really taken off in terms of listens for the podcast. I can only guess you’re sharing episodes here and there with your network. To that, I say thank you. If I ever see you somewhere and you tell me you have been sharing my stuff, and hold your hands out like, “bring it in big boy,” well then…you’re getting a hug my friend.

I’m a hugger. Which can probably be scary if you don’t know me. I’m 6’4” and like 280 so….big guy coming through! But, those that know me know that I’m a teddy bear. Unless you try to steal my food. Then it’s pretty much on at that point. 

On to the research

Let’s get on with trying to make your practice better. When your practice is better, your life is better. 

Let’s start with the Harvard Article. It was published in November 2017. I have it linked at chiropracticforward.com for you all in the show notes for episode 45. The name of the article is “Where to turn for low back pain relief[1]” and I couldn’t find the name of the author so there ya go. 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/where-to-turn-for-low-back-pain-relief

The subtitle of this Harvard Medical journal….medical journal……is this: in most cases, a primary care doctor or chiropractor can help you resolve the problem. What the hell??? It seriously says that in a Harvard Medical article. I’m trying to catch my breath here. Sorry…..

It was published in November of 2017. The article says that there are many causes of low back pain and some of the most common is an injury to muscles or tendon which we know is called a strain and then injury to back ligaments which we call a sprain. And then there are herniated or bulging discs. 

Going through the DACO program tells me that the prevalence between disc, facet, and SI joint pain stands at 40% for the disc, 30% for the facet, and 22.5% for the SI joint pain. BUT….over the age of 50 years old, it flips a little and the Facet joint gains prevalence over disc or SI pain. Just some nuggets to tuck away in your nugget pouch. 

This article just blows me away when it gets to the “Where to Turn” subtitle. Beneath this subheader, it says, “Since you shouldn’t try to diagnose your own back pain, make your first call to a professional who can assess your problems, such as a primary care physician or a chiropractor.”

Both can serve as the entry point for back pain says Dr. Matthew Kowalski who serves as a chiropractor with the Other Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at the Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. 

What the hell is happening here? Am I in the Twilight Zone where everything is flipped and the medical world finally gets it?

The article goes on to say “A well-trained chiropractor will sort out whether you should be in their care or the care of a physical therapist or medical doctor.”

And here’s the difference between evidence-based/patient-centered chiropractors and those that are not. 

The more not evidence-based amongst us, the ones that drive a billion people through their doors for everything from allergies to whatever…..they will not typically be turning those patients over to the medical doctor or the PT. 

Moving to the next paper, it’s called “Comprehensive Nonsurgical Treatment Versus Self-directed Care to Improve Walking Ability in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Trial” authored by Carlo Ammendolia, et. al. It’s all about low back stenosis. This paper is co-authored by DCs, AND MDs. It was published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on October 27, 2017[2]. 

Why They Did It

They wanted to the effectiveness of a comprehensive nonsurgical training program to a self-directed approach in improving walking ability in low back stenosis.

How They Did It

  • It was a randomized controlled trial
  • It was done in an Academic hospital outpatient clinic
  • Participants suffered neurogenic claudication
  • MRI confirmed lumbar spinal stenosis
  • Subjects were suffering low back stenosis and randomized

What They Found

The conclusion stated, “A comprehensive conservative program demonstrated superior, large, and sustained improvements in walking ability and can be a safe nonsurgical treatment option for patients with neurogenic claudication due to LSS”

Low back stenosis can be helped

Dr. Ammendola has an amazing lumbar spinal stenosis program and training course. I have not personally taken it just yet but, it’s on my list after I finish up the DACO program. It comes HIGHLY recommended and this paper shows us why. 

Trucking on, this one is called “Do participants with low back pain who respond to spinal manipulative therapy differ biomechanically from nonresponders, untreated controls or asymptomatic controls?” It was published in Spine Journal in September of 2015 and authored by Wong, et. al. [3]

Why They Did It

To determine whether patients with low back pain (LBP) who respond to spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) differ biomechanically from nonresponders, untreated. Some, but not all patients with low back pain report improvement after a visit to the chiropractor. Why does that happen?

What They Found

After the first SMT, SMT responders displayed statistically significant decreases in spinal stiffness and increases in multifidus thickness ratio sustained for more than 7 days; these findings were not observed in other groups.

Wrap It Up

Quote, “Those reporting post-SMT improvement in disability demonstrated simultaneous changes between self-reported and objective measures of spinal function. This coherence did not exist for asymptomatic controls or no-treatment controls. These data imply that SMT impacts biomechanical characteristics within SMT responders not present in all patients with LBP.”

And our last one this week comes to us from JAMA, also known as the Journal of the American Medical Association. This one is called, “Association of Food Allergy and Other Allergic Conditions With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children.[4]” It was authored by Guifeng, et. al. and published in 2018. Again, these papers are cited in the show notes at chiropracticforward.com under episode 45 so check them out yourself please. 

The question they attempt to answer here is, “What are the associations of food allergy and other allergic conditions with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) in children?”

They say in the paper that Common allergic conditions, in particular, food allergy, are associated with autism among US children, but the underlying mechanism for this association needs further study.

The study was a population-based, cross-sectional study used data from the National Health Interview Survey collected between 1997 and 2016

The conclusion was quote, “In a nationally representative sample of US children, a significant and positive association of common allergic conditions, in particular, food allergy, with ASD was found.”

They now need to find out the cause and underlying mechanisms so they can attempt to reverse the upswing of autism here in America. 

So….it appears maybe it’s not all due to vaccines after all. 

Integrating Chiropractors

That wraps it up for us this week. I hope you enjoyed it. Research can be boring but, it can be fascinating too when you allow it to help guide your thought process when you are approaching your daily tasks and deciding on treatment options for your patients. 

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. 

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. School, H.M., Where to turn for low back pain relief. Harvard Health Publishing, 2017.

2. Ammendolia C, Comprehensive Nonsurgical Treatment Versus Self-directed Care to Improve Walking Ability in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis: A Randomized Trial, in North American Spine Society Meeting. 2017, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabiliation: Orlando, FL.

3. Wong AY, Do participants with low back pain who respond to spinal manipulative therapy differ biomechanically from nonresponders, untreated controls or asymptomatic controls? Spine, 2015. 40(17): p. 1329-37.

4. Guifeng X, Association of Food Allergy and Other Allergic Conditions With Autism Spectrum Disorder in Children. JAMA, 2018. 1(2).

 

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

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 043: Stroke Caused By Chiropractor

CF 043: Stroke Caused By Chiropractor

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

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

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

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

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

Growth

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

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

A little personal…

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

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

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

Let’s get to the research papers

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

Podcast Episodes:

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

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

Why go over stroke again?

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

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

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

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

Common sense talk

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

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

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

What They Found

There were 1,829 vertebral basilar artery stroke cases

Findings showed no significant association between chiropractic visits and VBA stroke

The Authors’ Conclusion

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

Research Paper #2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Research Paper #3

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

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

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

The Conclusion

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

Research Paper #4

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

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

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

The Conclusion and nail in the coffin

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

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

Again, believing stroke caused by chiropractor unfortunate.

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

Integrating Chiropractors

Affirmation

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

The literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

Contact us

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

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

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

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

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

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

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

Research Paper Links:

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

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

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

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

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

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

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

CF 028: Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?

 

 

CF 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 041: w/ Dr. William Lawson – Research For Neck Pain

Research for neck pain

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talking with Dr. William Lawson from Austin, TX about research for neck pain and what research is available for it. While low back gets all of the attention in the research, neck pain has taken a back seat but not today!

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 because I’m the only one that’ll do it.  

Have you taken the time to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter? It’s important because doing that makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and we have a ton of ideas around here for the future and we want to be able to let you know about it. An email once per week isn’t going to make you crazy so please go do that so we’re on the same page.  

I also want to let you know about our Facebook page AND our separate Facebook group because they’re important supplements to the podcast. Both are called Chiropractic Forward oddly enough. On the page, we let you all know when a new episode goes live and we share some quotes from the episodes. Through the private Facebook group, we share the papers we went over and lots of time we connect and discuss there so go join up and let’s connect.

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 done the mashed potato all James Brown, 60’s style into Episode #41. You know what that means? It means it’s going to be cooler than usual episode. 

Dr. William Lawson, Austin, TX

That’s because, as I mentioned before, we have a guest with us. Dr. William Lawson hails from Austin, TX and has his Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists designation. Yes, ladies and gentleman, I brought another DACO to you today. Last week, we had Dr. Brandon Steele, also a DACO, so you may be starting to notice a slight trend. We are going to get into the thick of things with research for neck pain.

I met Dr. Lawson through his involvement in the Texas Chiropractic Association. Dr. Lawson is responsible for getting the DACO program to come to Texas and for having the TCA host the program. He’s responsible in a roundabout way for getting me into this whole DACO mess and I thank him for it. 

A little more about Dr. Lawson

  • Prior to attending Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, -Texas, I served in the United States Air Force.
  • Graduated from Parker College of Chiropractic 1993.
  • Designated Doctor with Tx Workers Compensation since 1996
  • He has the Diplomate American Academy of Integrative Medicine, college of pain management, 2000.
  • Dr. Lawson acheived Diplomate American Academy of Pain Management 2001.
  • Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists, 2002
  • Certified in acupuncture, 2004
  • Former hospital privileges Vista Hospital Houston and Pecan Valley Surgical Center in San Antonio.
  • Masters degree from UT Pan American in Health Care Administration, 2015
  • Current Chair of State Affairs with TCA
  • Current VP of Texas Council of Chiropractic Orthopedists.

Welcome to the show Dr. Lawson. Since we are friends, formality seems awkward, if you call me Jeff, I’ll call you what? William or Bill? 

Questions for Dr. Lawson

When did you become a DACO and what was the impetus? What started that journey?

What have you noticed about yourself and about your business in regards to pre-DACO and post-DACO?

Let’s get into the research for neck pain. The first thing I want to say here is that we cannot talk about cervical manipulation without addressing the yoke the medical field has tried to lay on us for generations. That is the myth that chiropractors go around causing strokes in everyone all the time. 

I took three episodes of this podcast to address this myth. The series is called “DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes” and are specifically episodes #13, #14, and #15. It’s just common sense talk and, if you have any questions in your mind prior to listening to them, they should all be answered by the time you are done. 

I will link them in the show notes as well as the corresponding YouTube Video and the Blog so that you can get the information in your preferred method. 

PODCAST EPISODES:

BLOG:

YOUTUBE:

https://youtu.be/tRXpG_Ie0Rs

Now that we’ve addressed this craziness, we can get on with how well we take care of our neck pain patients. 

Dr. Lawson, I want to hear from you as much as you want to be heard from so, please….if I cover something that you have some extra info on or you just want to add a comment to, please interrupt me and lay it on us!!

We’ll start with the oldest one we have tee-d up here and go to the most recent. 

This first one is from 2001 and is called “A randomized clinical trial of exercise and spinal manipulation for patients with chronic neck pain[1].” The lead author is G. Bronfort and, if I recall correctly, his full first name is Gert. If you’ve spent any time listening to our podcast, you’ve probably heard his name. He’s fairly prolific with research papers. 

Why They Did It

Their stated goal for this project was to compare the effectiveness of rehab exercises vs. spinal manipulation for chronic neck pain. This one really focuses on research for neck pain.

What They Found

  • Patient satisfaction was higher spinal manipulation + exercise was superior to spinal manipulation alone
  • There was no statistical difference noted between the two groups
  • However, when combined, exercise + manipulation showed greater gains in all measures of strength, endurance, and range of motion. 

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded, “For chronic neck pain, the use of strengthening exercise, whether in combination with spinal manipulation or in the form of a high-technology MedX program, appears to be more beneficial to patients with chronic neck pain than the use of spinal manipulation alone.”

Dr. Lawson, what’s your take on this study? At this point, it’s 17 years old. Is it relevant still and how?

Next paper, this one’s called, “Chronic mechanical neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systematic review of change scores in randomized clinical trials[2].” It is by H. Vernon, et. al. and was published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics in 2007. 

Why They Did It

This was a systematic analysis of effectiveness in randomized clinical trials of chronic neck pain. The stipulations here are that the neck pain could not be caused by whiplash and could not include a headache or arm pain. Just straight up chronic neck pain. 

What They Found

Out of 1980 papers, they found 16 to accept and include in this project. 

No trials included trigger point therapy or manual traction

Wrap It Up

“There is moderate- to high-quality evidence that subjects with chronic neck pain not due to whiplash and without arm pain and headaches show clinically important improvements from a course of spinal manipulation or mobilization at 6, 12, and up to 104 weeks post-treatment. The current evidence does not support a similar level of benefit from massage.”

Dr. Lawson, on this study, for those that don’t know research hierarchy, a randomized clinical trial is some of the more reliable, solid research for neck pain wouldn’t you agree?

The only thing more impactful in the research world than randomized clinical trials are meta-analyses and systematic reviews. Well, this is a systematic review of 16 randomized clinical trials. 

My point being: this is a reliable systematic review. No doubt about it. This is a great paper, Dr. Lawson and I have no idea how it’s escaped me 11 years into this thing. I have other papers by the same group of authors but somehow missed this research for neck pain?

Would you like to add any comments on this paper?

OK, moving on, this paper is called, “Spinal manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial[3].” This one comes to us by G. Bronfort, et. al. as well and was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2012. 

This is not my favorite research for neck pain as we’ll talk about after we go through the conclusion. 

Why They Did It

“To determine the relative efficacy of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), medication, and home exercise with advice (HEA) for acute and subacute neck pain in both the short and long term.”

How They Did It

  • It was a randomized controlled trial
  • They used 1 university research center and 1 pain management clinic in Minnesota
  • The sample was 272 people from 18-65 years old having nonspecific neck pain from 2-12 weeks
  • The treatment consisted of 12 weeks of spinal manipulative therapy or home exercise advice. 

What They Found

For pain, SMT had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks

Home exercise was superior to medication at 26 weeks

No important differences in pain were found between SMT and HEA at any time point

Wrap It Up

Bronfort concluded, “For participants with acute and subacute neck pain, SMT was more effective than medication in both the short and long term. However, a few instructional sessions of HEA resulted in similar outcomes at most time points.”

As I mentioned, I have covered this research for neck pain before but it’s not my favorite because this is also a paper that I have seen chiropractic detractors use against us. Here’s how: they say that cervical manipulation is extremely risky and, if the outcome of simple exercises at home is just as effective, then what’s the point in cervical manipulation for neck pain?

What would you say in response to this particular argument?

Keepin on keepin on here. This next one is from the Journal of Manipulative Physiological and Therapeutics back in 2014 called “Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain[4].” This one was done by Bryans, et. al. 

Why They Did It

They wanted to develop evidence-based treatment recommendations for the treatment of nonspecific mechanical neck pain in adults. 

How They Did It

They did a systematic literature search of controlled clinical trials published through December of 2011 and then organized each into strong, moderate, weak, or conflicting)

What They Found

41 randomized controlled trials met the criteria for inclusion. 

Strong recommendations were made for the treatment of chronic neck pain with manipulation, manual therapy, and exercise combined with modalities. 

Strong recommendations were also made for treating chronic neck pain with stretching, strengthening, and endurance exercises alone. 

Moderate recommendations were made for the treatment of acute neck pain with manipulation and mobilization in combination with other modalities. 

Wrap It Up

The authors closed by saying, “Interventions commonly used in chiropractic care improve outcomes for the treatment of acute and chronic neck pain. Increased benefit has been shown in several instances where a multimodal approach to neck pain has been used.”

Do you feel like this is going a little more in our favor than the Bronfort paper but still leaves a little to be desired? For instance, when we look at low back pain papers, it’s clear. Spinal manipulation is as effective or more effective than anything else out there. Even physical therapy or exercise. We’re not getting that satisfaction so far. Am I wrong?

We’re trucking along here. Next paper titled “Mobilization versus manipulations versus sustain apophyseal natural glide techniques and interaction with psychological factors for patients with chronic neck pain: randomized controlled trial[5].” This one was published in European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine in 2015 and written by A. Lopez-Lopez, et. al. 

Here’s my first question: “Why would you hyphenate the same name?” How can you be Lopez-Lopez and why would you want to say the name twice or make everyone else say the name twice? Isn’t it a bit redundant? Can we just say Lopez and move on?

OK, I get side-tracked sometimes so I have to get myself back on track here and there. Since I’m not familiar with this paper or the authors at all, I want to switch it up a little on this one. 

Dr. Lawson Covers One

I want Dr. Lawson to go over this paper from top to bottom and tell us everything we need to know about this one. I see it’s a randomized controlled trial so it already has my attention. I’m unfamiliar with sustain natural glide (AKA SNAG). Is that term you are familiar with? This research for neck pain is all yours doc. 

Their conclusion was “The results suggest that high velocity/low amplitude and posterior to anterior mobilization groups relieved pain at rest more than SNAG in patients with neck pain.”

Let’s get to our last paper here by Korthalis-de-bos, et. al. It’s called “Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial[6].” It was published in the British Medical Journal back in 2003. 

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of physical therapy, manual therapy, and care by a general practitioner for patients with neck pain.

How They Did It

  • The project was an economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial.
  • 42 general practitioners recruited 183 neck pain patients
  • The patients were randomly split for treatment by spinal mobilization, physical therapy, or general practitioner care. 

What They Found

The authors wrapped that research for neck pain up by saying, “Manual therapy which consisted of spinal mobilization, is more effective and less costly for treating neck pain than physiotherapy or care by a general practitioner.”

I wanted to wrap up our talk with that research for neck pain because, first of all, it’s from the British Medical Journal so it got some weight. Second it’s alongside randomized controlled trials, and third, it’s one of the main ones that cuts through the noise and says very clearly, “mobilizing the spine is more effective and cost less for neck pain than seeing your primary or a physical therapist.”

Is it just me or is it time to move focus from low back pain and put more effort an attention on how effectively we treat neck pain through research for neck pain?

It just makes complete sense to me. If we are so effective for low back pain in the eyes of researchers, why don’t we have the same pile of research for neck pain? Where is all of the research for neck pain? Both are mechanical in origin. If we can affect low back pain, it makes perfect sense that we can affect neck pain. 

Chiropractors see it every single day. I’m not telling you anything. I just get so frustrated at the lack of focus on neck pain, which is part of the reason we’re doing this podcast today. 

Dr. Lawson, what do you have to add here before we sign off?

I want to thank you for joining us on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast. I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have. 

Maybe we talk some DC PhD’s out there into making neck pain their next project. 

Integrating Chiropractors

 

Going forward

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 on neck pain 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. Bronfort G, A randomized clinical trial of exercise and spinal manipulation for patients with chronic neck pain. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2001. 26(7): p. 788-97.

2. Vernon H, H.B., Chronic mechanical neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systematic review of change scores in randomized clinical trials. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2007. 30(6): p. 473-8.

3. Bronfort G, Spinal Manipulation, Medication, or Home Exercise With Advice for Acute and Subacute Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2012. Ann Intern Med, 2012. 156(1): p. 1-10.

4. Bryans R, Evidence-based guidelines for the chiropractic treatment of adults with neck pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2014. 37(1): p. 42-63.

5. Lopez-Lopez A, Mobilization versus manipulations versus sustain apophyseal natural glide techniques and interaction with psychological factors for patients with chronic neck pain: randomized controlled trial. Eur J Phys Rehabil Med, 2015. 51(2): p. 121-32.

6. Korthals-de Bos IB, Cost effectiveness of physiotherapy, manual therapy, and general practitioner care for neck pain: economic evaluation alongside a randomised controlled trial. British Medical Journal, 2003. 326(7395): p. 911.

 

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

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

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

CF 039: Communicating Chiropractic

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

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

Today we’re going to talk with Dr. Brandon Steele about a lot of stuff but specifically, we’ll talk about Chiropractic standardization, educational advancement, and the future of chiropractic. Stick around for an awesome discussion with an extremely sharp doctor on the forefront of our profession.

Integrating Chiropractors

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

Now that I have you here, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It makes it easier to let you know when the newest episode goes live and if we come up with something pretty cool we need to be telling you about. We won’t use it any more than once per week and that’s about all you need to know. It’s not as big of a deal as most of you have in your mind. Just go do it right now while you’re thinking about it. 

We continue to grow our listenership here. I’m a stats nerd. Trust me, I check them more than what one may consider a healthy amount of times. It’s just who I am. Thank you to you all for tuning in. 

If you can continue to share us with your network, we sure would appreciate it. 

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 passed out and woke up right here in Episode #40

Welcome Dr. Brandon Steele

We have a special guest with us this week. As I said from the top we have Dr. Brandon Steele with us today. He is a very respected speaker and has the awesome chance to travel all over doing just that. 

I first became aware of Dr. Steele when I began taking courses in the DACO program. Dr. Steele is one of the instructors and I got to sit in a classroom for two days listening to him cover everything we needed to know about the shoulder. 

I also much have some full disclosure here I think. Dr. Steele is a co-owner of ChiroUp with Dr. Tim Bertlesman and I’m a user/subscriber of ChiroUp. But, ChiroUp isn’t sponsoring this episode. I haven’t received a thing from them. Not even a free membership. Cough cough… 

Seriously though, I’m having Dr. Steele on today because we think a lot alike from what I can tell, I love what they are doing with the DACO program, and I love where I think ChiroUp can help take our industry down the road in regards to Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic. So, without further adieu…….

Questions for Dr. Brandon Steele

Welcome to the show Dr. Steele. Let’s start off with the obligatory question of, “What made you decide to be a chiropractor?”

In our discussion in Dallas, you told me that you’ve moved around a bit. Where are you from and what led you to St. Louis?

I have seen the terms evidence-based and evidence-informed used for what we do and must admit my ignorance of the subtle differences here. I have assumed that, since I follow research, guidelines, and things like that, that I am indeed what is referred to as an evidence-based chiropractor. Can we assume the same about you? 

When exactly did you decide to start traveling more in the direction of evidence and research rather than the philosophical route in the profession? Was there an aha moment?

Tell me a little bit about your hilarious alter-ego, the wide-lapeled chiropractic huckster we see you play in videos from time to time on the ChiroUp Facebook page. 

Part of the idea of being more into the research and being based or informed with the evidence, I think, is Chiropractic standardization…. to standardize our profession to some extent as well as increasing the level of education of the run of the mill chiropractor. We know we don’t have a low level of education at all so….can you go into that a little bit for us? What do you mean when you speak about Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic?

Tell me everything about the DACO program. What got you involved with the DACO program originally?

Our regular listeners should be well-aware of you, Dr. Tim Bertlesman, and ChiroUp at this point. I’ve been pumping your tires for a bit. How did you and Dr. Bertlesman become acquainted with each other and then decide to go into business together?

Questions About ChiroUp, Chiropractic Standardization, and the Future of Chiropractic

Now, tell us a bit about ChiroUp. It feels like to me that it is really starting to hit its stride. I think ChiroUp is huge for Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic.

Obviously, you want it to be successful for your own financial reasons….we all want to see our businesses to well….. but don’t you see something more than that for the profession coming out of ChiroUp? How do you think ChiroUp can affect or change our profession for the better in the years to come, for the future of chiropractic?

What is in the future for ChiroUp as far as updates, functionality…..things like that?

Questions About Dr. Steele’s Speaking Events

What are some of your upcoming speaking events so people can come to see you do your thing?

How can listeners find you on social media or on the internet and contact you or learn more about you and what you do?

So there you have it folks, Dr. Brandon Steele. There’s no doubt you loved this podcast episode as much as I did. The future is bright for Chiropractic standardization & the future of chiropractic.

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. That’s because spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment instead of chemical treatments.

Chiropractic Description

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 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 039: Communicating Chiropractic

Communicating Chiropractic 

Integrating Chiropractors

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

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

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

YouTube: https://youtu.be/tRXpG_Ie0Rs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OK….where to start here?

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

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

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

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

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

Now, onto our last topic this week.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Integrating Chiropractors

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

When you are communicating chiropractic, the literature is clear: research and experience show that, in 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, patients get good to excellent results when compared to usual medical care and it’s safe, less expensive, and decreases chances of surgery and disability. It’s done conservatively and non-surgically with little time requirement or hassle for the patient. If done preventatively going forward, we can likely keep it that way while raising overall health! At the end of the day, patients have the right to the best treatment that does the least harm and THAT’S Chiropractic, folks.

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

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

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

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Bibliography

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

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

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

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

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

Chiropractic Marketing Done Right

Integrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to be talking about Chiropractic marketing done right with The owner of Black Sheep DC, Dr. Jerry Kennedy who describes himself as a Chiropractor, a chiro coach, a podcast host, a relationship marketing nerd, and a chiropractic meme wizard. All great descriptions. Dr. Kennedy sounds as busy as I am.

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.

You have hoofed it into Episode #38

Introduction

We have a great guest that I have become familiar with through a couple of my favorite private Facebook groups. One being the Forward Thinking Chiropractic Alliance and the other being Evidence-Based Chiropractic. We are departing a little from our regular format today and I want to tell you why I asked Dr. Kennedy to be a guest on our podcast today. He’s got it figured out when it comes to Chiropractic marketing.

First, I’m a bit of a nerd myself when it comes to Chiropractic marketing. I didn’t claim to be an amazing marketer but I love it. Just the concept of marketing. The thought of marketing. I love the simple fact that using one color vs. the other can make a complete difference in the success of a campaign. It’s fascinating is what I’m saying.

With that being said, Dr. Kennedy is known for relationship marketing. I admit I hadn’t heard the term before hearing Dr. Kennedy use it but I love it because, from what I can tell, it describes me to a tee.

While Dr. Kennedy is agnostic in regards to whether someone practices in an evidence-based way or practices in a more philosophical based practice, I feel his way of approaching patients and approaching practic-building exactly lines up with my way of building relationships through evidence-based means. Like I said, “Chiropractic marketing done right.”

Disclosure

Dr. Kennedy is not sponsoring this show and I am not a member of Black Sheep. I just like what he’s doing and want you all to know about it. I like the spirit of giving and, down the road, Chiropractic Forward is going to be given opportunities to get our name out there because of it. That’s the way the world works in my experience. Give and ye shall receive.

I think we were both given the gift of gab so this episode should just be a great conversation on Chiropractic and Chiropractic Marketing done the right way.

Welcome Dr. Kennedy

So here we go, “Welcome to the show Dr. Kennedy we are so glad to have you with us today. Where are you coming to us from today?”

I already gave you a so-so intro because I’m not really that interesting overall but, to be comprehensive here, can you tell us more about yourself? I don’t want to leave any high points out like kids and all the really important stuff.

Now, I’ve done my homework and listened to several of your podcasts but still don’t know……why call it Black Sheep DC or Black Sheep Chiropractor?

Relationship-based Chiropractic Marketing

Let’s get into what we’re here for Relationship-based chiropractic marketing. I believe I know what it means to me and I’m pretty sure I know how you mean it but would you describe it for us if you don’t mind?

Would you agree that Relationship Chiropractic marketing works well for those already running a patient-centered practice? By patient-centered, I mean docs that are doing what is best for the patient rather than what is best for their practice goal numbers they’re trying to hit that particular month. For me, those are doctor-centered practices. I just wanted to be clear on my thought process just in case our definitions of patient-centered vs. doctor-centered were different.

Types of marketing

In your program, are you advising on internal and external Chiropractic marketing strategy or is it mostly and in-office and social media thing?

I remember in one of your podcasts, you mentioned how you can’t sit around on your butt expecting things to get better. I’m paraphrasing here but it reminded me of a Dan Kennedy saying he calls YCDBSOYA which stands for You Can’t Do Business Sitting On Your Ass. At the beginning of my chiropractic career, I’d say that was an issue with me. Mostly because I didn’t know what it was I needed to be doing. Ignorance in general when it came to marketing.

Without giving away any of your secrets, those are reserved for your members, what advice do you try to give people to get them involved in the community and basically get them off their butts?

If I remember right, you are a proponent of the newsletter for Chiropractic marketing – How do you keep them fresh? I send weekly emails to an email list but have to admit, it’s hell keeping it new and fresh.

Any solid opinion on Direct Mail – Yea or nay?

Is there a new wave of the future when it comes to marketing that people are missing right now? Things like maybe Periscope or Virtual Marketing…..or something else I don’t know about yet?

Chiropractic Marketing Memes

One thing we have in common, we have a knack for creating memes. I love them and I love making them. It’s an outlet for my sarcastic, smart-aleck side to come out in hopefully a fun way. Two of your more recent ones I loved would be the one with the stunned looking kid and the caption reads, “That moment you realize a successful business is the key to being a successful chiropractor.”

Those of us that have been in the mix a while know this usually through painful experience. What was the impetus for this one?

The other more recent one that cracked me up a little bit was the guy saying Whoa there….if you’re going to tell me how to adjust you, it’s going to cost you extra. I think we’re all familiar with the reason for that one.

Black Sheep DC Podcast

You recently stopped your free podcast after 184 episodes.  Tell us a little about that decision and did you get any pushback on that?

What would be your overriding goal for each person that signs up for your Chiropractic marketing programs?

This is the one somewhat challenging question. It’s been my opinion my whole professional life that patient-centered docs hopefully get their patients over the complaint fairly quickly, effectively, and cost-efficiently while doctor-centered practices are busy trying to hit certain numbers, seeing patients many more times than current guidelines and recommendations allow, and claiming to have effects on conditions there is little to no good research for.

Without getting you to take sides, throw rocks, or any of that…… and without trying to stir the pot too much, how in your opinion, is it possible for a subluxation, philosophical-based, 100 visits a year style of a practitioner to also be patient-centered and relationship-based Chiropractic marketing?

Tell us where listeners can find you and connect with you if they’re interested in relationship marketing and in learning more about Back Sheep DC

Thank you so much for joining us……

Before you all go,

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, you’ll never hear from us more than once a week, and in the end, it’s just an email for goodness sakes!

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. We do it 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.

We want to hear from you!

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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CF 004: And Instantly, Treatment of Back Pain Changes Due To Increase In Opioid-Related Deaths

CF 028: Will Chiropractic First Finally Take Its Place?

CF 002: Research Information – Integrating Chiropractors Into Overall Healthcare System