CF 074: Manipulation For Special Forces, Manipulation For Cervical Disc Herniation, Lazy Americans

Today we’re going to talk about how adjustments affect our special forces – pretty interesting stuff! We’ll talk about manipulation for cervical disc herniations, and we will talk about lazy Americans. It’s a fascinating one today so don’t go anywhere. 

But first, here’s that silky smooth bumper music

Chiropractic evidence-based products

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

You have collapsed into Episode #74. Bing bang boom, knocking ‘em down, one after another. We are doing more and more guest spots lately and have several guests set up to come on the show. You’re going to love them. 

Some are known names, some are not but all are interesting and bring something unique to the table that we are able to learn and grow from. Keep coming back time and time again. You’ll see what I mean. 


We’re here to advocate for chiropractic while we also make your life easier using research and some good solid common sense and smart talk. 


Just to let you all know – the F4CP will be launching an athletes and opioids eBook toward the end of this month. It’s called A case for chiropractic disrupting the cycle of pain, prescriptions, and addiciton. I’m linking it in the show notes so go get and check it out.


We have been in the habit of discussing the DACO program weekly because I’ve been going through it. Well, I’m done with all of the hours so what do I tell you now? Am I supposed to tell you all about how I’m studying? That doesn’t sound very fascinating to me at all. In fact, that may be a cause for blood to leak from your ear holes. 

Today, I’ll just talk very briefly about one of the courses I reviewed yesterday in going back over the material. It’s one I didn’t pick up on very strongly the first time. It had to do with disc herniations that were more up in the T11/12 or L1/2 area and how they can mimic other issues further down the line. It’s really interesting stuff but went into how a hyperreflex on a patellar reflex and numbness in the anterior part of the thigh or calf without associated pain should move our thinking to an upper motor neuron lesion which would mean it’s higher up. 

Remember, the spinal cord ends at L1/2 right? You need to know this stuff because that sort of issue may mean immediate surgical consult. 

Interesting stuff. I got it a little better the second time around. I’m better today than I was yesterday.

Also, in the Chiropractic Forward Group, I posted a graphic from Yokuhashi et al demonstrating common signs and symptoms of Thoracolumbar junction disc herniations. I also added a great Epley maneuver that is easy to perform as well as an easy classification flow chart for reviewing MRIs and classifying herniations. 

It’s a private group so just go over there and request me to add you and, assuming you’re not crazy and curing cancer through your adjustments…..I’m happy to add you to the group. 

Personal Happenings

If you hear something here that you really like and would like it in written form rather than spoken, just hop onto, find the episode, and just scroll down to copy and paste it. If you’re using it for content or on your website for some reason, just be cool and give us some credit please. I’d sure appreciate it and I’m sure the researchers we discuss would too. 

Item #1

Let’s get it rockin and rolling with a paper that one of my favorites is a co-author on. Lead author on this one is James DeVocht, then Robert Vining, Dean Smith, Cynthia Long, Thomas Jones and a previous guest with us here, yes – one of our favorites, Dr. Christine Goertz[1]. The superwoman of chiropractic research right there and will be a presenter at ChiroTexpo in downtown Dallas, TX June 1-9. I’ll be there, front row, with a smile. And maybe a drink. It depends on how early her talk is. 

Anyway, this one is called “Effect of chiropractic manipulative therapy

on reaction time in special operations forces military personnel: a randomized controlled trial”  This one was in BMC and published this year. 

Why They Did It

Considering that chiropractic manipulative therapy has been reported to improve reaction time in some studies, and considering that reaction time can be vital for special forces military men and women, these authors were interested in if chiropractic treatment could be effective in improving reaction time for this type of patient. 

How They Did It

  • 120 special ops personnel were accepted into the study.
  • This study was a prospective, randomized controlled trial so 60 in one group and 60 in the other.
  • It was conducted at Blanchfield Army Community Hospital, Fort Campbell, KY
  • One group received 4 treatments while the other received none over a two-week trial period. 
  • Assessments used were hand/foot reaction time, choice reaction time, Fitt’s Law, whole-body respponse time, 

What They Found

No between-group statistically significant differences were found for any of the five biomechanical tests, except immediate pre- and post-changes in favor of the CMT group in whole-body response time at both assessment visits.

Wrap Up

The authors’ conclusion was as follows, “A single session of CMT was shown to have an immediate effect of reducing the time required for asymptomatic SOF qualified personnel to complete a complex whole-body motor response task. However, sustained reduction in reaction or response time from five tests compared with a wait-list control group was not observed following three sessions of CMT.”

OK, what’s the take-away and where does that lead research in the future. Here is a question, “We know chiropractic has immediate but somewhat unsustained effectiveness. So, what if they are regularly adjusted? As in 3-5 times a week for 4 weeks when compared to the other non-treatment group? Is it sustained longer then?”

If we know they’re going on a mission, and they are treated once a day, or even twice a day. What about athletes and their reaction times? Good stuff here folks.  

I think there are a lot of interesting questions just waiting for an answer. 

Item #2

Alright, moving on to manipulation for cervical disc herniations. There are two papers here so we will shorten it up and hit the highlights. Just the meat and taters please waiter, thank you. 

The first is called …well, the title is so damn long we’re going to call it manipulation for cervical disc herniations and a comparison between adjustments and nerve root injections. If they want to people to repeat the whole title, they need to make them a touch shorter. 

You can look the full title up in the show notes for this episode. It was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 2016 and authored by Cynthia Peterson, et. al.[2] 

Why They Did It

They wanted to assess the outcomes for improvement, pain, and costs between nerve root injections and manipulation for cervical disc herniations. 

How They Did It

104 patients w/ MRI-confirmed symptomatic cervical disc herniations. 

52 had nerve root injections and 52 had spinal manipulative therapy.


Get this, the Improvement for manipulation vs. injection….manipulation in the subacute/chronic population showed 86.5% improvement while injections had 49%. 

Next paper on this topic is from the same author, Cynthia Peterson, et. al, and is called “Outcomes From Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Confirmed Symptomatic Cervical Disk Herniation Patients Treated With High-Velocity, Low-Amplitude Spinal Manipulative Therapy: A Prospective Cohort Study With 3-Month Follow-Up”[3] It was published in October 2013 in Journal of Manipulative and Physiologics Therapeutics and it goes a sumpin like a this.

Why They Did It

The purpose of this study was to investigate outcomes of patients with cervical radiculopathy from cervical disk herniation who are treated with spinal manipulative therapy.

What They Found

Most patients in this study, including subacute/chronic patients, with symptomatic magnetic resonance imaging–confirmed CDH treated with spinal manipulative therapy, reported significant improvement with no adverse events.

Item #3

Lazy Americans – I’ll admit from the get go here. I’m lazier than I want to be and weigh more than I want to weigh. No doubt. I’m 46, I get to work at 8am and besides a two hour lunch, I leave at about 8pm. Working out doesn’t typically get the attention it deserves. But I can tell you this, it’s not because I’m sitting around idle playing video games so…..I feel better in making that clear. Lol. 

This was an article from AP called “Americans getting more inactive, computers partly to blame[4].” It was written by April 23, 2019 so hot stuff here. 

The highlights of the article are as follows:

  • Americans spend almost 1/3 of their waking hours sitting
  • Sitting time increased over the last 10 years by about an hour per day to the point teens are sitting for 8 hours a day and adults are sitting for 6 1/2 hours per day. 
  • By 2016, 50% of kids and adults spent an hour or more of leisure time on computers
  • TV use was unchanged.
  • U.S. activity guidelines released last fall say adults need at least 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous activity each week, things like brisk walking, jogging, biking or tennis.
  • Muscle strengthening two days weekly is also advised.
  • Kids aged 6 through 17 need 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity daily.

OK, they have convinced me. It’s time to force myself to get busy walking, biking, and lifting some weights. I have everything already. It’s just the time and the energy that I need to figure out. But I’m working on it. 

Do you ever feel like your practice owns you rather than you owning your own practice? Of course you do. It’s all about balance and I feel like I have none. I feel like its all work right now and, while that is a good problem to have, a good problem is still a problem.

April brought us a lot of blessings. It brought us about 80 new patients which is a lot for me. I’m used to about 50-55 new patients but 2019 has been a whole different thing. From December on, it hasn’t been a roller coaster. It’s been straight up and I can’t thank the Lord enough for the blessings but managing to treat them at a high level when it’s just me is most certainly a balancing act. 

Luckily, the DACO course has provided me with some quick ways of evaluating things that I didn’t have before so I can move through new patients with efficiency. Spinal manipulation is a fairly quick and straight forward process. I have staff that walk them through the exercise/rehab portion. It’s not so much the treating. 

I think the time suck is the communicating / connecting part of the deal. The questions, the idle talk that is meaningless but is vital to relationships. That is what takes up so much of the day. For some, coming to our office is the trip of the day or the outing of the week for them. It’s an event. And they want to experience it and chit chat and connect. And we better be on board for it with a smile and kindness. 

Still, it’s time for me to start moving in a direction that lightens my load. That may look like raising prices or it may look like hiring an associate. I’m not sure. But I’ll know when I know. I don’t do anything by accident usually. I do a lot of homework. I ask around. Through my involvement with my state association, my network of advisers is vast and valuable. 

So, I’ll keep you up to date on any happenings as far as all of that goes. 

For now, let’s get to the message. 

Chiropractic evidence-based products
Integrating Chiropractors
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The Message

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

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show that many patients get good or excellent results through chiropractic for headaches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, to name just a few.

Chiropractic care is safe and cost-effective. It can decrease instances of surgery & disability. Chiropractors normally do this through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal time requirements or hassle to the patient. 

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health of the patient!

Key Point:

Patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment offering the least harm.

That’s Chiropractic!


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

Help us get to the top of podcasts in our industry. That’s how we get the message out. 


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


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About the Author & Host

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


1. DeVocht J, V.R., Smith D,, Effect of chiropractic manipulative therapy on reaction time in special operations forces military personnel: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Chiro Man Ther, 2019. 20(5).

2. Peterson C, P.C., Hodler J,, Symptomatic, Magnetic Resonance Imaging–Confirmed Cervical Disk Herniation Patients: A Comparative-Effectiveness Prospective Observational Study of 2 Age- and Sex-Matched Cohorts Treated With Either Imaging-Guided Indirect Cervical Nerve Root Injections or Spinal Manipulative Therapy. J Man Manip Ther, 2016. 39(3): p. 210-217.

3. Peterson C, e.a., Outcomes from magnetic resonance imaging — confirmed symptomatic cervical disk protrusion patients treated with high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulative therapy: a prospective cohort study with 3-month follow-up. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2013. 36(8): p. 461-7.

4. Press, A. Americans getting more inactive, computers partly to blame. WTOP, 2019.

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