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CF 051: Necks, Integrity of the Cervical Spine, and the CDC on Opioids

CF 051: Necks, Integrity of the Cervical Spine, and the CDC on Opioids

Today we’re going to talk about the reliability of clinical tests assessing the cervical spine, what is happening when adjusting a neck as far as the integrity of the cervical spine, and what the CDC says about opioids. It’s all fascinating all the time here at the Chiropractic Forward Podcast 

But first, here’s that bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

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

You have drifted all slow and gently into Episode #51

DACO

As has become the tradition, let’s talk a bit about the DACO program. DACO stands for Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedist. Trudging along. I’m up to I believe 84 of the required 300. Classes this last week were on frozen shoulder, piriformis syndrome, Important aspects of lumbar MRI, and inguinal pain. 

This stuff is just invaluable, folks. I’m an organizational freak but at the end of each course, I’ll make myself a quick sheet that I can reference when something like that comes through the door. I think making these little quick sheets will really help to get some of the more rare or difficult cases figured out quickly. 

I’ve already put the lumbar differential diagnosis sheet to use a few times as well as the dizziness quick sheet I created. I have shared several times here that I don’t sit around a lot either at work or at home. I’m a busy bee. 

Vacation & Hobbies

Going on vacation, don’t even try to take me to a beach. If my wife wants to go to the beach, that’s all her. I’ll tag along and I’ll check in on her out there reading a book from time to time but, for the most part, I’ll be off doing, seeing, and experiencing. The ability to sit still and just relax…..that’s an ability I did not receive in this lifetime. 

As a result, I make live edge furniture. Go to Facebook and look up Amarillo live edge and custom furniture. I am a sculpture and charcoal artist. Go back to Facebook now and look up River Horse Art Gallery. I’m in the process of teaching myself to paint right now too. I also am a singer/songwriter. Go back to Facebook once again. Yes, once again and look up Flying Elbows Perspective.

Crazy name indeed. 

So, here’s the point. It’s not to brag or pump my tires. The point is that this is how important I’ve found the DACO program to be. While I haven’t completely put everything else on hold, the DACO has taken priority of my time. One reason is that I want to motor through it quickly and efficiently. The next reason would be that I’ll be the only DACO in all of Texas West of the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. 

What does that get me? Maybe a pat on the back. Maybe a part time or full-time gig on staff at an FQHC. As we have mentioned in previous episodes, there are reports of DCs on FQHC staffs making as little as $120/visit up to $300/visit on even Medicaid visits. Unbelievable. But you have a better shot at getting into the system when you are specialized AKA – a Diplomate. 

Just a part of making us all better. You guys and gals need to be looking at this stuff. 

Before we hop into the papers for the week, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. I think I have some pretty cool stuff coming down the pike you’ll be interested in. That’s in you enjoy evidence-based education.

Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall.

Paper #1

The first paper here is called “Reliability and validity of clinical tests to assess the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders: Part 1—A systematic review from the Cervical Assessment and Diagnosis Research Evaluation (CADRE) Collaboration” It was done my Madege Lemurnier et. al. and published in the European Spine Journal in September 2017[1]. 

Why They Did It

With a title as long as that one, what the heck are they doing here? They say they were hoping to determine the reliability of clinical tests to assess the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders. 

How They Did It

They updated the systematic review of the 2000-2010 Bone and Joint Decade Task Forst on Neck Pain and Associated Disorders. 

They searched the literature for studies on the reliability and validity of Doppler velocimetry to evaluate the cervical arteries. 

They had two independent evaluators look through it all

What They Found

  • Preliminary evidence showed that the extension-rotation test may be reliable and has adequate validity to rule out pain arising from facet joint. Or rule in I suppose. Just in case you are unaware of the cervical extension-rotation test, it’s exactly as it sounds. Have the patient extend and then rotate toward the side you’re testing. When you combine this maneuver with palpation you can typically get a good idea of whether the patient is suffering from a facet issue. You need to know that this test is also effective in sniffing out a low back facet issue as well. Lumbar extension and then rotation can give you some good clues sometimes.
  • The evidence suggests variable reliability and preliminary validity for the evaluation of cervical radiculopathy including neurological examination (manual motor testing, dermatomal sensory testing, deep tendon reflexes, and pathological reflex testing), Spurling’s and the upper limb neurodynamic tests.
  • No evidence found for doppler velocimetry. 

Wrap It Up

Little evidence exists to support the use of clinical tests to evaluate the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders. We found preliminary evidence to support the use of the extension–rotation test, neurological examination, Spurling’s and the upper limb neurodynamic tests.

Paper#2

On to our second paper. This one is called “Intervertebral kinematics of the cervical spine before, during, and after high-velocity low-amplitude manipulation” and appeared in Spine Journal in August of 2018 and was authored by Dr. William J. Anderst, et. al[2].

Why They Did It

Since cervical manipulation is such a common intervention for neck pain, the authors wanted to characterize the forces involved and the facet gapping that takes place during manipulation. 

How They Did It

It was a laboratory-based prospective observational study

It included 12 patients 

Each patient had acute mechanical neck pain

One of the outcome measurements was the neck pain rating scale (NPRS)

Other measurements were taken for amount and rate of cervical facet joint gapping 

What They Found

The authors concluded, “This study is the first to measure facet gapping during cervical manipulation on live humans. The results demonstrate that target and adjacent motion segments undergo facet joint gapping during manipulation and that intervertebral ROM is increased in all three planes of motion after manipulation. The results suggest that clinical and functional improvement after manipulation may occur as a result of small increases in intervertebral ROM across multiple motion segments.”

Pretty cool stuff. 

Paper #3

Our last paper for this episode is called, “CDC: Drug overdoses hit new record.” It’s an article on thehill.com written by Nathaniel Weixel and was published on August 15th of this year, 2018[3]. 

The article leads off saying that 72,000 Americans died from drug overdoses in 2017 and that’s based on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That is a new record folks and we have our friends in the medical realm to thank for it. 

Who’s To Blame?

Now, that, of course, doesn’t mean pharmacists and medical doctors are bad and there was a mass conspiracy to cause this deal. But it does mean that SOME of them are bad. SOME doctors are doing time in an orange outfit right now because they knew better but the dollar was mightier than common sense and common decency. 

There were pharmacies dispensing 100x more than their population could ever consume but they want to not refer to us and talk about the integrity of the cervical spine. That kind of crap is what got us here.

But, it’s also what has brought chiropractors from the shadows into the light. When you have the mess the medical field has created, then you have to start looking for the non-pharma solutions and we are it. 

Comparison

72,000 deaths. You ever heard of the Vietnam War? Of course, you have. We all have. Some either remember or have seen what a big deal it was. The deaths, the protests, the loss. I’ve been to the Vietnam Wall in Washington DC several times. It’s profound. It’s stunning to see all of those names. 

Just to compare, the total number of those lost in Vietnam stands at 58,220. Now keep in mind, that takes into account deaths from as early as 1956 all the way up to as late as 2006 and comes from Defense Casualty Analysis System Extract Files from The Vietnam Conflict Extract Data File. 

I did my homework. I’m not giving you fake numbers here. 

Essentially, 13,780 more deaths happened because of opioids, In just one year. In just 2017. That doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface when you start totaling up 2016, 2015, and further back. Unbelievable isn’t it? 

If we look at it, 2014 had 28,647 deaths, 2015 had 33,100 deaths, 2016 saw 63,632 deaths…..and then 72,000 in 2017. 

I’m guessing you can see the trend. Hell yes, it’s an epidemic.

The Math

I’ll do the math for you because I love you and I’m glad you’re here and I don’t want you to have to think too hard while you’re giving me your time. Over the last 4 years, that’s approximately 200,000 opioid-related deaths. 197,379 to be more specific. 

The genie seems to be out of the bottle.

While we can’t put the genie back in, we can offer solutions for the future. Many of those addicted to opioids became addicted due to spinal surgery. Many of those surgeries were unnecessary. One paper I reviewed showed that approximately 5% of lumbar fusions are necessary making about 95% of the unnecessary. Yeah….95%. 

The Answer

We have the answer people. The American College of Physicians, The White House, The Lancet, 2 papers in JAMA, Consumer Report surveys, The Joint Commission, The FDA…..seriously, there is not one reason that we aren’t inundated by spinal pain referrals at this very moment. No reason at all. It actually makes me mad as hell that we are not. 

Exactly what the hell does it take to make general practitioners, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants understand that an evidence-based chiropractor is best situated to help these people as a first-line therapy?

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 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!

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.

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

Connect

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

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

Twitter

YouTube

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the Author and Host:

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

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

CF 012: Proven Means To Treat Neck Pain

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

CF 050: Chiropractic Care – Text Neck, Headaches, Migraines

 

 

 

Bibliography

1. Lemeunier N, Reliability and validity of clinical tests to assess the anatomical integrity of the cervical spine in adults with neck pain and its associated disorders: Part 1—A systematic review from the Cervical Assessment and Diagnosis Research Evaluation (CADRE) Collaboration. Euro Spine J, 2017. 26(9): p. 2225-2241.

2. Anderst W, Intervertebral kinematics of the cervical spine before, during, and after high-velocity low-amplitude manipulation. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2018. 0(0).

3. Weixel N. CDC: Drug overdoses hit new record. The Hill 2018  5 August 2018]; Available from: https://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/401961-cdc-drug-overdoses-hit-new-high-in-2017.

 

 

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

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

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors

 

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

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

Diplomate of Chiropractic Orthopedists

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

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

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

FQHC

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

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

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

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

Whiplash Section

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

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

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

Personal

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

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

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

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

On To The Research

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

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

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

How they did it

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

The foramen involved were all measured for changes in sizes.

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

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

Next Paper

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

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

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

Next paper

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

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

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

Pretty cool stuff right there people. 

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

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

Use it or lose it

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

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

Integrating Chiropractors

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

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

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

Contact Us!

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

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

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

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

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

Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

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

iTunes

Player FM Link

Stitcher:

TuneIn

About the author:

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

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

CF 035: Chiropractic & Disc Herniations

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

CF 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 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. 

??Website

http://www.chiropracticforward.com

??Social Media Links

??iTunes

??Player FM Link

??Stitcher:

??TuneIn

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 033: Did You Need Proof That Chiropractors Help Headaches?

Did You Need Proof That Chiropractors Help HeadachesIntegrating Chiropractors

Today we’re going to talk about how chiropractors help headaches, we’ll discuss a couple of pretty cool papers that came out fairly recently, one of them only a couple of weeks ago from this recording, that had to do with spinal manipulation and the effectiveness in treating headaches and migraines. Psssst…..here’s a hint…..it’s good for chiropractors. Except for the very ending.

 

But first, here’s that bumper music

 

OK, we are back. You have shimmied into Episode #33. Chiropractors help headaches is basically our topic.

 

Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  I have to say that in the last month specifically, this podcast really started to take off in terms of downloads and listens.

 

You know, when you first start something, there’s an excellent chance that nobody really gives a hoot. Lol. Isn’t that always the fear when starting something new? Does anyone care? Am I going to be able to offer any value? I have diagnosed myself with an anxiety issue. I over think and over think things. In the end, it’s simply because, no matter what it is I’m doing, I just want to do a good job.

 

I tell my son that, even if I don’t necessarily like somebody on a personal level if they are a hard worker, I will respect them. Everyone can respect a hard worker. Well, that’s what I try to be. I try to work hard and I try to bring things of value to me to you through writings, videos, social media, and podcast.

 

I’ll be honest with you. I have zero clues where all of this will eventually lead me. Lol. No clue at all. There’s no grand plan behind it.

 

All I know is I see it’s value and more and more of you are finding it’s value every week and it’s exciting. Maybe I’ll eventually put a course together for marketing your practice from an evidence-based perspective. Maybe I’ll have in-office patient education products. I’d love to be a speaker and travel the world bringing this information to evidence-hungry crowds. I have no idea where it can go but for now: I’m having fun.

 

Maybe it’s the old traveling musician in me. Maybe I just have to have people tuned in or I’m just lost. Lol. I have no idea but I know it’s fun and I’m glad you’ve come along with us so far. I’ll keep working hard if you’ll keep listening and we’ll just see where things go down the road together. I’m always keeping my eyes out for colleagues that see what I see. If that’s you, send me and email and let’s connect. Also, we’d like to ask you to join not only our Chiropractic Forward Facebook page but we also have a Chiropractic Forward Facebook GROUP where we have started sharing the papers we use, accepting comments, and will probably be including some of them in future episodes. We want our podcast to be a group effort if you’d like to participate. Come join us. The link is in the show notes.

 

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

 

On a completely different note, I had mentioned back in mid-June or so that I was at the ChiroTexpo event in Dallas that was put on by the Texas Chiropractic Association and I met Dr. Tim Bertelsman down there. He was there for two reasons. One reason was as a vendor for his and Dr. Brandon Steele’s ChiroUp product and the other reason was to teach the Low Back portion of the Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists (DACO) program put on through the University of Bridgeport.

 

As this episode is recorded, I am about a week and a half from going through my second ten-hour course. This one will be taught by Dr. Brandon Steele down in Dallas again and I’m looking forward to it.

 

This is a really valuable program these guys are teaching and I encourage you all to check it out but, what I really wanted to tell you about is this ChiroUp thing they have going on. It’s crazy. Crazy in a good way.

 

I saw in one of the private groups on Facebook where a poster was asking for some good pointers on a report of findings.

 

Immediately, about 7 of the 10 posts had to do with recommending ChiroUp and, one of those posts was mine. I said it’s a game changer because, well….it is. I started using it about a month ago and it has literally changed the game for my busy office without adding a lot of demand to my staff. We’re talking patient education, activities of daily living, patient follow up, patient exercise-rehab recommendations, and even expediting online reviews. I have tried several products and services during my 20 years and most of them are just hype and take your money.

 

In my experience, so far….ChiroUp has been beyond what I expected. I’m jaded as hell. But, when Dr. Bertelsman started showing it to me, my jaw dropped a bit. I think I started slobbering. I’m not sure. Anyway, he showed it to me for about a minute and a half and that was it. Shut up and just take my money.

 

I want you to know, I don’t have any “deal” set up with those guys. Not yet anyways!! Lol. If it’s up to me I will because they’re amazing but, as of now, they don’t sponsor this show, no affiliate marketing deal….nothing like that. I’m just like your buddy down the road telling you hey man, I’m doing this thing and it’s been pretty freaking great. You should look at it. That’s all.

 

If you want to look into ChiroUp, go to www.chiroup.com and give it a look-see. And, if you like what you see and join up, you may mention our podcast and me, Dr. Jeff Williams. It never hurts for people to know who was out there pumping their tires, ya know. Sometimes what goes around comes around and I believe in always trying to project the good mojo.

 

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.

 

It’s all about headaches from this point forward today. I want to first direct you to a podcast we did that cited a bunch of headache papers that I hope you’ll go and listen to right after you listen to this one. It was Episode #14 but 14 is right smack dab in the middle of a series of podcasts I did on Debunking the myth that Chiropractors cause strokes. Specifically, the series starts on episode #13, #14 is the one with the headache research, and #15 is the conclusion of the stroke series we did. I CANNOT stress enough how valuable I feel those three episodes are.

 

We will have them linked in the show notes.

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

We will get going with this paper from February of 2018 called, “Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for the care of cervicogenic headache: a dual-center randomized controlled trial.” It was done by Haas et. al[1]. and was published in the prestigious Spine Journal on February 23, 2018. Here’s how chiropractors help headaches.

 

Why They Did It

Although the researchers know that spinal manipulation chiropractors help headaches (which is nice to see) there has been little information on the dosage of spinal manipulation for them. They wanted to evaluate the efficacy of chiropractic by comparing it to a light massage control group.

How They Did It

  • This is a two-site, open-label randomized controlled trial.
  • Participants were 256 adults with chronic cervicogenic headache.
  • The primary outcome was the number of days with cervicogenic headache in the previous 4 weeks evaluated at the 12- and 24-week primary endpoints
  • Secondary outcomes included cervicogenic headache days at remaining endpoints, pain intensity, disability, perceived improvement, medication use, and patient satisfaction.
  • Participants were randomized to four dose levels of chiropractic SMT: 0, 6, 12, or 18 sessions
  • They were treated three times per week for 6 weeks and received a focused light-massage control at sessions when SMT was not assigned
  • Linear dose effects and comparisons with the no-manipulation control group were evaluated at 6, 12, 24, 39, and 52 weeks.

 

Wrap It Up

In the authors’ conclusions, they say, “There was a linear dose-response relationship between spinal manipulative therapy visits and days with cervicogenic headache. For the highest and most effective dose of 18 spinal manipulative therapy visits, cervicogenic headache days were reduced by half and about 3 more days per month than for the light-massage control.”

Here’s one I thought was pretty darn cool when we talk about how chiropractors help headaches and it’s buried all the way down in the middle of a website for the Wiley Online Library. This site has all of the research covered at the 60 thAnnual Scientific Meeting American Headache Society June 28-July 1, 2018 at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis in San Francisco, CA.

This particular paper covered was by C. Bernstein and called “Rationale and Design of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Chiropractic Therapy for Migraine Pain Alleviation[2]”

Why They Did It

While medications are often the first?line treatment for a migraine, many migraineurs do not experience clinically meaningful responses to preventive drug treatments or discontinue medication use due to side effects. Chiropractic care is a non?pharmacologic intervention commonly used for the treatment of pain conditions, including a migraine. You got that right!

 

They go on to say, “Observational studies and small trials have shown that spinal manipulation may be an effective therapeutic technique to reduce migraine pain and disability. We present results of a meta?analysis of spinal manipulation on migraine pain and disability and describe the design of a randomized controlled trial (RCT) evaluating comprehensive chiropractic care for the treatment and prevention of migraines.”

 

Oh yeah!! Sounding good. It appears that indeed, chiropractors help headaches. This talk appears to be on a new study they will be going through based on some preliminary work here.

 

How They Did It

  • They searched PubMed and Cochrane Library databases for clinical trials that evaluated spinal manipulation and migraine-related outcomes published through April 2017
  • The effect sizes and heterogeneity for pain and disability were estimated using meta?analytic methods.
  • The Cochrane Risk of Bias Tool was used to evaluate the methodological quality of retrieved studies
  • The results of this meta?analysis informed the design of a randomized controlled trial evaluating the addition of chiropractic care to usual medical care for women diagnosed with low-frequency episodic migraine.

 

What They Found

  • On the basis of 6 identified RCTs, random effects models indicated that spinal manipulation significantly reduced pain with an overall moderate effect size
  • Spinal manipulation also significantly decreased disability with an overall moderate effect size
  • However, the existing studies focused primarily on isolated spinal manipulation and not on comprehensive chiropractic care. To address this gap in the literature, our RCT will assess the safety, feasibility, and effectiveness of multi?modal chiropractic care for women aged 20?55 who experience 4?10 migraines per month and are not using preventive medications
  • Our modular chiropractic care approach may include, as needed, posture correction/spinal stabilization exercises, soft?tissue relaxation techniques, spinal manipulation/mobilization, breathing and relaxation techniques, stretches, self?care, ergonomic advice, and/or bracing and supports

 

Conclusion

The authors said the following, “Our meta?analysis indicated that spinal manipulation shows promise as a therapeutic technique to reduce migraine pain and disability, yet highlighted the need for rigorous studies evaluating the full scope of chiropractic care for migraineurs. The results of our meta?analysis provide the rationale for the design of our RCT.”

I can’t wait to see the result of the RCT. Wanna know why? Because I already know the results. At this point, it’s anecdotal but the results will show that chiropractors help headaches and migraines. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it.

 

If I don’t find it first, I know my colleague, Dr. Craig Benton down in Lampasas, TX. He’ll probably find it before me though. Lol. He’s on it every single day. I get a lot of information from a lot of different places but that guy just gets it first.

 

Lastly, I want to direct you to Episode #6 of our podcast. This one was with Dr. Tyce Hergert down in Southlake, TX called “Astounding Expert Information On Immediate Headache Relief. “

 

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/dr-tyce-hergert-astounding-expert-information-immediate-headache-relief/

 

We covered a paper. A paper that I thought had an outstanding quote in the conclusion.

 

The quote from the authors themselves reads as follows, “Upper cervical translatoric spinal mobilization intervention increased upper, and exhibited a tendency to improve general, cervical range of motion and induce immediate headache relief in subjects with cervicogenic headache[3].”

 

Now, in that episode, we explain that it was authored by Physical Therapists and that they have come up with their own term for a chiropractic adjustment and their term is “translatoric spinal mobilization.”

 

The point being that chiropractic adjustments can provide immediate relief for cervicogenic headaches. That’s sexy folks. Straight up awesome. Chiropractors help headaches.

 

The sub-points or something extra I’d like you to notice is the fact that physical therapists are moving in, adopting our ONE THING. So much so that they have taken it upon themselves to re-name our ONE THING for their own use.

 

This goes back to what we covered in episodes 28, 29, and 30….. We must integrate into the medical field and quit being out on the fringe. Otherwise, those that are already in the medical realm (physical therapists) will simply take our ONE THING, steal it, and we will still be sitting out there in the rain knocking on the window and watching them all eating steaks inside the private club. Lol.

 

That’s a little dramatic. There are those in our field that want to stay separate and distinct and I understand that. I understand your stance and your viewpoint. I just don’t agree with it. That’s all.

 

For me, integration into the medical realm ensures our profession’s survival and the health or our ONE THING. We make sure it sticks around. I’m afraid that if we stay out on the fringe, we LOSE our ONE THING to other professions, our reimbursements continue to fall, our income falls year after year because they getting “translatoric spinal manipulation” rather than chiropractic adjustments, and eventually, we cease to exist.

 

Just some random thoughts but, I truly think it’s time. Move toward the middle or suffer the consequences. I honestly see very few other options.

 

The research proves time and time again that we can EASILY move toward the middle. It’s coming out every week. More and more validation.

 

But, then there’s this. The ACA sent out an email recently discussing the fact that, in a continuing effort to be the absolute worst health insurance company in the world, United Healthcare is now discontinuing any coverage of chiropractic for the treatment of headaches[4]. What? What in the hell? Wait, let’s go through the website for UHC real quick so we know exactly what’s going on here. Got your gripey pants on? You’re going to need them. Chiropractors help headaches but UHC hasn’t received the message apparently.

 

On their website we’re linking here in the show notes:

https://www.uhcprovider.com/content/dam/provider/docs/public/policies/comm-medical-drug/manipulative-therapy.pdf

 

UHC says the following:

Manipulative therapy is unproven and/or not medically necessary for treating: ·Non-musculoskeletal disorders, including but not limited to:

o Lungs (e.g., asthma)
o Internal organs (e.g., intestinal)
o Neurological (e.g., headaches)
o Ear, nose, and throat (e.g., otitis media)

  • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder
  • Scoliosis

Manipulative therapy is unproven and/or not medically necessary for preventive or maintenance care. The role of manipulative therapy in preventive or maintenance care has not been established in scientific literature. A beneficial impact on health outcomes has not been established.

They go on to say Craniosacral therapy (cranial manipulation/Upledger technique) or manipulative services that utilize nonstandard techniques including but not limited to applied kinesiology, National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA), and neural organizational technique are unproven and/or not medically necessary for any indication.

Manipulative therapy is unproven and/or not medically necessary when ANY of the following apply:

  • The member’s condition has returned to the pre-symptom state.
  • Little or no improvement is demonstrated within 30 days of the initial visit despite modification of the treatment plan.
  • Concurrent manipulative therapy, for the same or similar condition, provided by another health professional whether or not the healthcare professional is in the same professional discipline.

I went that far into the paper just for the “huh, really?” effect but the main point here is, how can they say that spinal manipulation/mobilization is not clinically proven for headaches? In addition to the papers I pointed to here in this podcast, there are more in the links and episodes I provided. As in around 10 or so others showing and proving effectiveness. Just in episode 14 alone.

 

What exactly do they need and why the change?

 

Is this part of the Texas Medical Association’s attack on Texas Chiropractors where they are attempting to remove the neuro- from the neuromusculoskeletal treatment scope from chiropractors? It sounds like it to me when you look at it. I get the internal organs part. I get the asthma part. I do NOT understand how they classify headaches as strictly neuro in nature and have made a line where they do not cover any neuro treatment for chiropractors.

 

It’s unreal. It really is. Here on this site, they cite Chaibi et. al. (2017) and Seffinger and Tang (2017). In these papers they site, both conclude that spinal manipulation was effective. The second paper showed spinal mobilization to be more effective than physical therapy but….guess what. They need more studies. Probably studies like I’ve been telling you all about for 7 months now.

 

This kind of stuff makes me want to punch myself in the nose and go home and kid my daughter’s cat. Straight up punt that sucker. That’s nothing new though but seriously. To borrow a phrase from one of my very favorite football coaches, “This kind of garbage just makes my pee hot.” It really does folks.

 

Chiropractors help headaches. Every day all day and the research sure as hell shows it too.

 

Just keep on keepin on and stay strong, ladies and gents. What other option do you have without going back to school? It’s still the best time to be a chiropractor. It’s still the time in which there is more opportunity than ever before. This stupid insurance company cites only two papers and both of them showed effectiveness for headaches. It’s only a matter of time before all of the idiots start to catch up with the research and with what chiropractors have known for generations.

 

This week, I want you to go forward speaking with confidence and knowing that you are effective for headaches and migraines. You can change people’s lives. If you are not being effective for your patients’ headaches, seek some advice from a mentor. Sometimes it’s just a little tweak here and there and you’ll be on the road to being your patients’ hero. When done well, research backs us on this all over the place. For more proof, go check out show notes on Episode #14 or our Stroke blog at https://www.chiropracticforward.com/blog-post/debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes-revisited/

Integrating Chiropractors

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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http://www.chiropracticforward.com

 

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About Dr. Jeff

 

 

  1. Haas M, Dose-response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for care of cervicogenic headache: a dual-center randomized controlled trial.Spine, 2018: p. S1529-9430.
  2. Bernstein C. Rationale and Design of a Randomized Controlled Trial of Chiropractic Therapy for Migraine Pain Alleviation. in 60th Annual Scientific Meeting American Headache Society. 2018. San Francisco Marriott Marquis San Francisco, CA.
  3. Malo-Urries M, Immediate Effects of Upper Cervical Translatoric Mobilization on Cervical Mobility and Pressure Pain Threshold in Patients With Cervicogenic Headache: A Randomized Controlled Trial.J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2017. 40(9): p. 649-658.
  4. Policy, U.H.C.M. Manipulative Therapy. 2018 1 June 2018]; Available from: https://www.uhcprovider.com/content/dam/provider/docs/public/policies/comm-medical-drug/manipulative-therapy.pdf.

 

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

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

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

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

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

You have sashayed all fancy like into Episode #31

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did it

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Key Takeaways

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

Integrating Chiropractors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Bibliography

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

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

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

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

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

Getting off opioids

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

WANTED – Safe, Nonpharmacological Means Of Treating Spinal Pain

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

But first, here’s that bumper music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

Why They Did it

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

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

How They Did It

They used a belief elicitation design

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

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

What They Found

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

Why They Did It

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

How They Did It

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

What They Found

  • Acute back pain (0-3 months)

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

  • Chronic back pain (3 months and beyond)

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

  • Chronic back-related leg pain

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

Wrap It Up

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

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

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

I want you to know with absolute certainty that When Chiropractic is at its best, you cannot beat the risk vs reward ratio. Plain and simple. Spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment rather than chemical treatment such as pain killers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Social Media Links

iTunes

Bibliography

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

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

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

CF 024: They Laughed When I Said I Could Still Help After Back Surgery

They Laughed When I Said I Could Still Help After Back Surgery

Today, we’re going to talk about people coming into our office after having had back surgery wanting us to perform miracles. Well, why didn’t they come to us BEFORE the surgery would be my big question. We’ll toss all that stuff around today on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast. 

But first, here’s that bumper music!

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

Before we get started, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. On another note, do you need an hour or two for your Continuing Education seminar on low back pain guidelines or on Debunking the myth that chiropractors cause strokes? 

Go no further, you have found your man. Just send me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and we will get it done.

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

You have done the electric slide right into Episode #24 and that’s exciting

Now, as I mentioned previously, how many times do chiropractors have new patients come through the doors but they’ve already had back surgery? They’ve had back surgery they hoped would be a quick fix usually. But it wasn’t. 

Now, they’re sitting in your office, looking at you with a very scared and concerned face, and it’s up to you to lead the way and, hopefully, be able to provide them some sort of relief with your magical abilities. 

I can tell you from 20 plus years of experience that it happens all of the time. At least a time or two per month for a busy practice. That’s what I would guess. 

The truth is, sometimes we can help these back surgery people and sometimes we just can’t. I tell patients that surgery, many times, is permanent and anything we do toward trying to get some relief can be a little bit like pushing a wheelbarrow uphill. Depending on the weight in the wheelbarrow, we may get it to the top and we may not get it to the top but we’re sure as hell going to try while making sure we keep them safe from further damage. 

At first glance, when you’re looking at an x-ray of a post-surgical patient, many times I find myself thinking, “What in the heck can I possibly do with this trainwreck.” I’m sure I’m not the only one to ever feel like that. It’s a little bit of a helpless feeling sometimes. Especially when you see parts missing like you’ll see in a laminectomy. Or when you see parts added like boney fusions or fusions with hardware. I get a sinking feeling in my stomach for patients like that. Back surgery is no joke.

Especially when we know for a researched-fact that these patients most likely did not have to endure those procedures. For any reason. If you aren’t sure about that statement, please review our podcast episodes we did no The Lancet low back series. Episodes #16, #17, and #18 dealt with this very issue. 

Back surgery is gaining in popularity while the outcomes show no change. They are no longer recommending surgery for acute or chronic low back pain. Period. Sure, cauda equina syndrome, foot drop, and severe symptoms like that may indicate surgical intervention but, otherwise, they say no shots, no surgery, no bed rest, and no medications. 

We will be hammering these things consistently until we start seeing some change. I can guarantee it. 

OK, but…..what if nobody listened to the experts and they just did the surgery with no relief? Can we do anything about it? 

Let’s look at a couple of possiblities:

  1. The spine was fused years ago and now, due to the immobilization and increased workload on the segments above and below, the segments above and/or below begin to show signs of wear and tear. 
  2. The spine was not fused but the complaint never improved. This may be the case in people that have the microdiscectomies or epidural spinal injections. 

Of course there are a lot of different, very specific outcomes that don’t fit in those two categories but I’d say these are the ones I commonly see. 

Let’s take the first one: a fusion that caused issues above and below the fused segment. If you go through nonsurgical spinal decompression certification through the Kennedy Decompression Technique, you’ll be taught that a fusion with hardware is a hard contraindication. At least it was 6 years ago. 

Assuming these people develop disc issues above or below the fusion, that would mean you can’t do any decompression on the site. An orthopedic surgeon that is familiar with non-surgical decompression however, may tell you that the segment is more solid after the fusion than it ever was before and decompression won’t cause any issues with the fusion itself. 

OK, so, we’re stuck between two worlds on that and, honestly, if you’re an expert on this and you’re listening, email me at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and tell me your experience and understanding. 

After bouncing the problem off of several highly trusted colleagues, I think a light pull on decompression is tolerated just fine and does in fact provide relief to fusion patients. No, you cannot pull them at 1/3 or 1/2 of their body weight. We’re talking a LIGHT pull. This combined with gentle McKenzie and Core exercises as well as self-management recommendations at home will go toward getting them back on their feet and getting back after it. 

If any of you disagree, I’d love to talk about it. My first question would be, “What would the alternative be?” 

I am by no means the final and ultimate opinion on this. We have to depend on trusted advice and clinical experience, don’t we? That’s just what I do and what I’ve found is that about 80% of patients just get better. There’s about 10% that gets better but not quite what we hoped for. Then there’s that 10% that …”Hey, we tried and it looks like I’m not your homey on this deal.”

Now, what about the second option? Let’s say that they had a discetomy back surgery but it was a failure (surprise surprise) and now it’s up to us to help the patient and attempt to keep them from enduring any more back surgery or shots. What do you do? Maybe I should say, “What do WE do?”

I say adjust them!! After a certain healing time has passed, of course. 

I say we do all the other stuff I mentioned previously for them as well. We may do decmopression. We may do laser. We certainly do McKenzies, Core Building, McGill’s Big Three, no bed rest, and home self-management.

If you have paid much attention to our previous episodes then you know the American College of Physicians and the global panel of experts on low back pain that published the low back pain papers in The Lancet back in March of 2018 say that spinal mobilization is a researched and recommended first-line therapy for acute and chronic low back pain. 

In my opinion, a discetomy doesn’t change these recommendations much. Sometimes, cases are so specific, that they just don’t get researched in depth for that certain instance. 

However, I CAN offer a case study if you’re willing to listen. 

It was titled, “Chiropractic/Rehabilitative Management of Post-Surgical Disc Herniation: A Retrospective Case Report” and was published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine in the Summer edition of 2004(Estadt G 2004).  

Why They Did It

To explore management of lumbar disc herniation following sugery using a regimen of chiropractic manipulation and exercise/rehab. 

How They Did It

  • The patient was a 54 yr old male
  • The patient had a history of acute low back pain with left sciatic pain down the left posterior thigh and lateral calf as well as numbness inthe bottom of the left foot. 
  • The patient previously had steroid anti-inflammatory drugs and lumbar microdiscectomy surgery. 
  • The patient did not recover completely.
  • The patient couldn’t walk without hurting and was unable to return to activities of daily living. 
  • He was antalgic in flexion. 
  • His lumbar range of motion was restricted in flexion as well as in extension. 
  • He had a positive SLR as well as foot drop on the left. 
  • Intervention consisted of patient education on posture, bending, and lifting. 
  • Exercise/Rehab was started in-office progressing to at-home based exercise/rehab. 
  • Active rehab was continued after early improvement (7 visits) in order to return lumbar spinal extensor strength. 
  • The patient was ultimately released to home therapy and supportive chiropractic care and continued to show improvement. 

Wrap It Up

The author concluded, “Management of postsurgical lumbar disc herniation with chiropractic and active rehabilitation is discussed. Spinal deconditioning and weakness of the lumbar spinal extensor muscles appeared to be related to the patient’s symptoms. Patient education on proper posture, proper lifting techniques, core stabilization exercises, active strengthening exercise and chiropractic manipulation appeared effective in this case.”

OK, a case study with one subject. What does that tell us as far as research goes? Very little. What is the impact of the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine? It’s  peer-reviewed and it has an impact factor of 0.74 and has climbed significantly since 0.36 in 2011. 

Although this case study is only one patient’s experience, from my own anecdotal evidence, I would come very close to guaranteeing you and betting the farm that these post back surgery results can be repeated time and time again.

I’ve seen it time and time again. My experience tells me we can help these people. YOU can help these people. Back surgery doesn’t always mean we are helpless to pull out the power of chiropractic. 

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you cannot beat the risk vs reward ratio. Plain and simple. Spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment rather than chemical treatment such as pain killers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories.

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

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

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

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

Social Media Links

iTunes

Bibliography

Estadt G (2004). “Chiropractic/Rehabilitative Management of Post-Surgical Disc Herniation: A Retrospective Case Report.” Journal of Chiropractic Medicine 3(3): 108-115.

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

CF 008: With Dr. Craig Benton – Brand New Information Based on Results Chiropractic Proven Effective For Low Back Pain

CF 023: How Can Research Help You Talk To The Medical Profession?

How Can Research Help You Talk To The Medical Profession?

This week we’re going to be discussing Chiropractic integration and how can research help you. Getting closer to the center of healthcare rather than being far out on the outer ring about to be spun into the cold dark void of space. 

First though, bring on that bumper music to get the party started. 

Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast. You have beamed yourself right into Episode #23. 

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

Before we get started, I want to draw your attention our website at chiropracticforward.com. Just below the area where you can listen to the latest episode, you’ll see an area where you can sign up for our newsletter. 

I’d also like to let you know that I am starting to accept bookings for public talks. Do you need an hour or two for your Continuing Education seminar on low back pain guidelines or on Debunking the myth that chiropractors cause strokes? Go no further, you have found your man. Just send me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and we will get it done. 

Part of my function is to show where we can fit more and more into mainstream health and why we fit. That’s where the research continues to smile on Doctors of Chiropractic. What does research tell us on this journey to expand and integrate?

Let us be honest with one another here when we say that there is a reason our profession is misunderstood. There is a reason that we have been treated unfairly for generations; since our inception. 

I would say the number one reason is that several in our profession over the years have professed chiropractic to be a miracle cure for any and all ills. Let me give you an example to demonstrate my point. I remember sitting in a seminar and the speaker who will remain unnamed was telling us that their patient had cancer and several adjustments caused it to encapsulate and then work out of the body into a large skin tag looking sort of thing before it finally just fell off. Cancer free!! Thanks to chiropractic!!

Young impressionable chiropractors-to-be lapped that speech right up and likely went on to tell scores of colleagues and patients all about this. And, this person is still out giving seminars and speaking to impressionable minds. 

Is it true? Who knows? I hate to denigrate something I truly don’t understand, but, I admit, I doubt it. And, if it were repeatable, this person would be in some hall of fame and would be the most famous person in healthcare because he discovered the cure for cancer. I mean, it gets no bigger than curing cancer does it?

Honestly though, it doesn’t matter what I think about it. What matters is whether or not boasts like this serve to further progress this profession or serve to make us walk the proverbial professional plank. If chiropractors can do clinical studies on such a thing, then get it done and quit talking about it. Prove what you say. You saw cancer work itself out of the body after your treatment? That is amazing, but in this day and age, it should be documented. You can get with a cancer research center and attempt to repeat your findings and prove what you think to be true. 

I’m being dramatic here but you get my point. I’m not trying to pick fights with this podcast. I’m trying to be honest and make sense. I realize that turns some off and I hate that because I truly feel civil discourse is in short supply in 2018. 

You find some claims in our profession that just lack any backing as far as research goes and I’d like to see our profession either put up or shut up basically. If you say you can do it, prove it and show us all through accepted research protocols and studies. “Because I said so,” no longer works.

Reason #2: I’d say, if you listened to episode #9, referenced and linked in the show notes, then you know that the American Medical Association and the state medical associations have done quite a job over the generations in de-valuing the chiropractic profession. 

Take the idea that chiropractors cause strokes in their patients. We spent three episodes of this podcast methodically dismantlying this crazy myth. I am referring to Episodes #13, #14, and #15 referenced and linked in the show notes along with the associated blog we posted on the matter called, “DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes.”  You can read the blog here: https://www.chiropracticforward.com/blog-post/chiropractic-forward-podcast-introduction-and-welcome/

The myth has no basis in fact and research clearly demonstrates this. Yet, you will still get arguments about how Doctors of Chiropractic cause strokes. The Chiropractic Forward Facebook page is proof enough of this. Fighting against long-held beliefs is a hard thing to do and all of the research in the world will never change some minds. However, that doesn’t mean we stop showing it to everyone! 

I will say with some sense of satisfaction that networking and forming relationships with medical providers has never been easier than it has become within the last several years and that is a stepping stone and absolutely welcome and a blessing. 

One thing I hear from straight chiropractors from time to time is that guys and girls like me are “Medi-Practors.” What does that mean exactly? Well, I would say it implies that we want to be medical doctors. But, they use the term for any chiropractor that even uses therapies like electric stim, ultrasound, or any other modality outside of just an adjustment. 

I would simply say that I personally have no desire to prescribe medications. In fact, when I have a car wreck patient, I’m actually glad I can just say, “I’m sorry, I can’t prescribe you anything since chiropractors treat conservatively and naturally and do not prescribe medications.” It’s liberating. I love that we do not treat that way. 

On the other hand, I certainly recognize the use of medicine and the benefits of some medicine. I’m not necessarily against medication. I’m certainly against long-term medication when lifestyle change could prevent being on medication. I’m absolutely against a mentality that simply treats the symptom with pharmaceuticals rather than addressing the cause or the source. 

As I say in almost every episode, spinal pain is a mechanical pain and it makes sense that mechanical pain responds better to mechanical treatment rather than chemical treatment. In addition, patients should have the guarantee of the best treatment that causes the least harm and, folks, when it comes to non-complicated spinal pain, that’s exactly what chiropractic is. How can research help you relay this message is powerful.

This podcast, in case you’ve wondered, is a bit cathartic for me. And, I will admit, doesn’t seem to stir as much fussing as I originally expected. In fact, most chiropractors listening are in agreement with me so I certainly feel a sense of validation there and I appreciate the support. 

As you should know by now, I enjoy covering research papers so let’s get to that now that my grumpier side decided to show itself. Back to our regularly scheduled program. 

Here’s one called “Can chiropractors contribute to work disability prevention through sickness absence management for musculoskeletal disorders? – a comparative qualitative case study in the Scandinavian context” by Stochkendahl et. al. published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies on April 26th of 2018. Brand new stuff. 

Why They Did It

Even thought the guidelines are there for managing non-complicated musculoskeletal pain, there has been little to no decrease in work disability. Right now, Norwegian chiropractors have legislated sickness certification rights but the Danes and the Swedes do not. The authors were looking to describe, compare, and contrast the views and experiences of Scandinavian chiropractors when engaged in the prevention of work disability and sickness absence. 

How They Did It

The study was a two-phased sequential exploratory mixed-methods design. 

In a comparative qualitative case study design, the authors explored the different experiences amongst chiropractors in regards to sickness absence from face-to-face interviews.

What They Found

  • 12 interviews conducted
  • The chiropractors’ ability to manage sickness absence depended on four key factors:
  1. legislation & politics
  2. the rationale for being a sickness absence mangement partner
  3. whether an integrated sickness management pathway existed or could be created
  4. the barriers to service provision for sickness absence management. 

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded, “Allied health providers, in this instance chiropractors, with patient management expertise can fulfill a key role in sickness absence management and by extension work disability prevention when these practices are legislatively supported. In cases where these practices occur informally, however, practitioners face systemic-related issues and professional self-image challenges that tend to hamper them in fulfilling a more integrated role as providers of work disability prevention practices(Stochkendahl M 2018).”

And then this paper by F. Gedin, et. al. called “Patient-reported improvements of pain, disability and health-related quality of life following chiropractic care for back pain – A national observational study in Sweden” published in Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies in February of 2018

Again, pretty recent stuff. 

Why They Did It

The authors were simply trying to get patient reported feedback from those patients in Sweden seeking treatment via chiropractic for their back pain. 

How They Did It

  • The study was a prospective observational study
  • It included those 18 years and older having back pain of any duration 
  • It included 23 chiropractic clinics
  • The patient questionnaire was performed at baseline, and at 4 weeks
  • Questionnaires used were the Numerical Rating Scale, Oswestry Disability Index, health-related quality of life (EQ-5D index)
  • Visual Analog Scale or VAS

What They Found

There were statistical improvements over the 4 weeks for all patient reported outcomes. 

Wrap It Up

The authors’ conclusion was, “Patients with acute and chronic back pain reported statistically significant improvements in PRO four weeks after initiated chiropractic care. Albeit the observational study design limits causal inference, the relatively rapid improvements of PRO scores warrant further clinical investigations(Gedin F 2018).”

I want you to know with absolute certainty that When Chiropractic is at its best, you cannot beat the risk vs reward ratio. Plain and simple.

Spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment rather than chemical treatment such as pain killers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories.

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

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

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

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

Social Media Links

iTunes

REFERENCES

Episode #9 with Dr. Tom Hollingswortth: The Case Against Chiropractic in Texas

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/2018/02/15/episode-9-dr-tom-hollingsworth-case-chiropractic-texas/

Episode #13: Debunked: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 1)

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/2018/03/15/debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes/

Episode #14: Debunked: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 2)

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/2018/03/22/cf-episode-14-debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes-part-2-of-3/

Episode #15: Debunked: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 3)

https://www.chiropracticforward.com/2018/03/29/cf-015-debunked-the-odd-myth-that-chiropractors-cause-strokes-part-3-of-3/

“DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes.”  You can read the blog here: https://www.chiropracticforward.com/blog-post/chiropractic-forward-podcast-introduction-and-welcome/Bibliography

  • Gedin F (2018). “Patient-reported improvements of pain, disability and health-related quality of life following chiropractic care for back pain – A national observational study in Sweden.” Jounral of Bodywork & Movement Therapies.
  • Stochkendahl M (2018). “Can chiropractors contribute to work disability prevention through sickness absence management for musculoskeletal disorders? – a comparative qualitative case study in the Scandinavian context.” Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 26(15).

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

CF 022: Cold Laser Research You Should Know About

 

This week, I have some brand new research concerning spinal manipulation with laser therapy added as well as cold laser research looking at laser therapy in general. We concentrate heavily on research having to do with musculoskeletal conditions and I think this week gives us an opportunity to look at spinal manipulation but to also look at a modality many Doctors of Chiropractic implement regularly in their day-to-day lives. 

Before we get started with the cold laser research, I want to draw your attention our website at chiropracticforward.com. Just below the area where you can listen to the latest episode, you’ll see an area where you can sign up for our newsletter. I’d like to encourage you to sign up. It’s just an email about once a week to let you know when the episode is updated and what it’s about.

 

Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast. We are honored to have you listening. Now, here we go with some vital information that we think can build confidence and improve your practice which will improve your life overall. That’s a tall order but that is the goal.

You have boogied right on into Episode #22

But first, my week has been mixed man. Being a small business owner isn’t all peaches and cream is it? I tell you, sometimes you’re up….sometimes you’re down but we keep soldiering on. I’ve been in practice for 20 years and it can still be stressful. I found something that helps me though. Some of you already know this. It’s music. You can have elevator music on in your office if you like but I say NO. 

First, your patients don’t really like that stuff. Just in case you didn’t know that, I’m telling you now. I spent the time last week to make a couple of playlists. One is called Memphis/Motown/Muscle Shoals and one is called Rat Pack. Now, I’m a former traveling musician. In fact, the bumper music you just listened to….I wrote that and recorded all of the parts on it from the guitars, bass, piano, everything. 

My personal preference is Americana/Texas Country style music. If you have iTunes, you can find my old touring band called Copperhead and the album is called Remedy. That was us! 

Anyway, Texas Country is my preference but, for my office, I and my patients are loving the older boogie and soulful stuff like Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, The Temptations, Ray Charles, and anything that fits that style whether it’s old or new. Doesn’t matter. In fact, a lot of the newer artists are sounding like the great stuff from the older days. I love it. Then, to mix it up a bit, I throw in the Rat Pack list here and there with Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr, Michael Buble, Dean Martin, and guys like Wayne Newton. It’s great. Classy and cool. Anyway, the days have just started flying by. When you boogie all day, and your patients boogie all day, well…..it makes for an awesome place with an awesome experience. 

If any of you have any interest in the playlists, send me an email or Facebook message and let’s talk about it. I love talking music!!!

Now, what we are REALLY here for. 

Let’s start by saying that Low Level Laser has been around for many years in one for or another at this point in time. But, how many actually know where it came from, how it was discovered, and what research is there showing its effectiveness? 

I would hope that, if you include a modality in your office, you have done some background work to show yourself and to demonstrate to your patients that there is backing research for the modality and they don’t just simply need to take your word for it. And, if you can find little to no evidence of effectiveness for a modality, my suggestion is that it should play no part in your services. Of course, that is my opinion and can be taken or dropped as may opinions commonly are. 

Let’s start with the newest paper that mentions cold laser but does not really do anything to address effectiveness of cold laser. I think you can anticipate the outcome once you learn the basis but, it is new so we are talking about it. 

This paper is called, “Spinal manipulation combined with laser therapy is more beneficial than laser therapy alone in chronic non-specific low back pain. A randomized controlled study,” and it was published in the European Journal of Physical Rehabilitation Medicine on April 24, 2018 and was authored by Subash Chandra Bose, et. al(Subash Chandra Bose GN 2018). 

 

Why They Did It

The authors were looking to compare treatment regimens for exercise/cold laser/spinal manipulation vs. exercise/cold laser alone for patients suffering from chronic non-specific low back pain.

How They Did It

  • Three hundred and thirty patients were included
  • Study was randomized control
  • Outcome measurements used were Visual Analog Scale, Roland and Morris Disability Questionnaire, Physical Health Questionnaire, and Health Related Quality of Life-4.
  • Outcome measurements were taken at the beginning to measure the baseline total, at the 4-week mark, at the 6-week mark, and at the year mark. 
  • A blinded assessor was used to evaluate the Outcome Measures

What They Found

  • 326 patients finished the program
  • 304 patients finished through the 1-year mark
  • ANOVA analyses proved statistically significant improvement in regards to the lessening of pain, in regards to increased range of motion, functional disability, depression, and Quality of Life. 
  • All of these significant improvements were seen in the Spinal Manipulation/Exercise/Laser Therapy group. 

Wrap It Up

The authors conclusion was, “Spinal manipulation combined with laser therapy and conventional exercise is more effective than laser therapy and conventional exercise alone in chronic non-specific low back pain. Spinal manipulation is an adjuvant intervention and it can be applied in every day clinical practice.”

If you have paid attention to research, you probably predicted the outcome on this. Spinal manipulation appears to be the most effective means of treating non-complicated low back pain bar none. It just is. On top of laser plus exercise, on top of exercise, equal to more effective than NSAIDs…..it just is and research backs it time and time again. 

But, this paper does nothing to look at cold laser specifically. It just shows us that spinal manipulation gets better results. 

Let us say up front: low level laser, also known as cold laser, is not covered under insurance plans. As they explain it, the modality is experimental and investigational. I have a ton of experience and anecdotal evidence I could relay to you but, in the end, it’s cold laser research that you need for validation. 

First, let’s go through a brief history on cold laser before we get to the cold laser research. 

In 1967 a few years after the first working laser was invented, Endre Mester in Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary experimented with the effects of lasers on skin cancer. While applying lasers to the backs of shaven mice, he noticed that the shaved hair grew back more quickly on the treated group than the untreated group. It’s use wide array of uses have been explored since then and they had no idea where it would lead them.

When we think of lasers, we think of burning or cutting lasers. Cold laser is actually called low level laser. It’s different. You really don’t feel it during the treatment and It works by stimulating cell function. The second paper below by Cotler et. al. states “LLLT at low doses has been shown to enhance cell proliferation of fibroblasts, keratinocytes, endothelial cells, and lymphocytes. The mechanism of proliferation is thought to result from photo-stimulation of the mitochondria leading to activation of signaling pathways and up regulation of transcription factors eventually giving rise to increases in growth factors.”

Here is a paper from 2014 published in the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery called “Does low-level laser therapy decrease swelling and pain resulting from orthognathic surgery?” and authored by G. Gasperini, et. al(Gasperini G 2014). 

Why They Did It

Hoping for alternatives to treating swelling and inflammation following orhognatic surgery, and noticing there was a lack of research for or against cold laser, the authors wanted to further investigate it’s effectiveness in that capacity. 

How They Did It

  • 10 patients having undergone bilateral sagittal split with Le Fort I osteotomy were randomly selected. 
  • The treatment protocol consisted of intraoral and extraoral treatment with the laser on one side of the face following surgery 
  • Fake application was performed on the other of the face. Remember that surgery was done on both sides. 
  • The two sides were compared for pain using the visual analog scale and for swelling.

What They Found

  • Immediately after surgery, there was little to no difference for inflammation and pain in the two sides.
  • On the side treated with cold laser, inflammation and swelling decreased significantly on day three, day seven, day fifteen, and day thirty. 
  • Self-reported pain was reduced on the treatment side at the one-day mark and at the three-day mark. 
  • After seven days, however, no pain was present on either side. 

Wrap It Up

The authors of this paper concluded, “This LLLT protocol can improve the tissue response and reduce the pain and swelling resulting from orthognathic surgery.”

Here’s one from Dr. Roberta Chow, et. al, published in The Lancet in 2009 called “Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized placebo or active-treatment controlled trials.(Chow R 2009)”

You should know the reputation of The Lancet. If not, it is one of the world’s oldest medical journals dating back to 1823. Being published in The Lancet is notable to say the least. 

Why They Did It

The point was to perform a systematic review of the literature proving or disproving the effectiveness of cold laser in the treatment of neck pain. 

How They Did It

The authors did an exhaustive search of the databases holding information comparing efficacy of cold laser implementing any wavelength vs placebo or active control for acute or chronic neck pain. 

What They Found

  • 16 Randomized Controlled Trials were identified
  • 820 patients

Wrap It Up

“We show that LLLT reduces pain immediately after treatment in acute neck pain and up to 22 weeks after completion of treatment in patients with chronic neck pain.”

Powerful in my opinion, folks.

This paper is called “The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy For Musculoskeletal Pain” by Howard Cotler et. al. and was published in 2015 in MedCrave Online Journal of Orthopaedics & Rheumatology(Cotler H 2015).

Why They Did It

With the current treatment options for chronic musculoskeletal pain consisting of NSAIDs, steroid injections, opiates, and surgery, the authors recognized a need to further treat chronic pain in a more effective manner as chronic pain continues to become more and more prevalent globally. Particularly chronic low back pain. 

What They Found

The authors state that over 4000 papers found on pubmed show that cold laser does indeed show effectiveness on acute and chronic musculoskeletal pain. They state that heterogeneity of populations, treatments, and groupings means that not every single study was positive but the majority are positive. They also state that the overall positive studies should provide the practitioner with a certain level of confidence in implementing the modality in their treatment protocols. 

Wrap It Up

The authors concluded the following, “One has to be realistic about the therapeutic use of LLLT. The previous discussion has shown that LLLT is beneficial for pain relief and can accelerate the body’s ability to heal itself. LLLT has a long history and strong basic science evidence, which supports its use in pain management. It has few side effects and is well tolerated by the elderly. A laser or LED does not correct situations involving structural deficits or instabilities whether in bone or in soft tissue. Also, LLLT should only be used as an adjuvant therapy for pain relief in patients with neuropathic pain and neurologic deficits. Successful outcomes, like all medical management, depend on good clinical skills linked with an understanding of the nature of injury, inflammation, repair, pain, and the mechanism of laser and LED effects.”

That’s good stuff I think you’d all agree. 

And then there’s this paper from 2003 we will cover quickly. It’s called “Efficacy of low power laser therapy and exercise on pain and functions in chronic low back pain” and written by A. Gur, et. al.. It was published in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine(Gur A 2003).  I do dislike including papers from 15 years ago since lasers and technology change rapidly  these days, however, my thought process is that, hopefully, treatments become even more effective over the course of 15 years rather than less effective. 

Why They Did It

The authors were trying to decided whether cold laser was effective (or was not effective) for treating chronic low back pain. 

How They Did It

  • 75 patients
  • The outcome assessments were done through the visual analogue scale, the Schober test, through flexion and lateral flexion measures, through the Roland Disability Questionnaire, and through the Oswestry Disability Questionnaire. 
  • The measures were taken pre- and post-treatment. 

What They Found

Except for lateral flexion specifically, significant improvement was noted in all groups and in all outcome measures taken. 

Wrap It Up

The conclusion by the authors was, “Low power laser therapy seemed to be an effective method in reducing pain and functional disability in the therapy of chronic LBP.”

Key Takeaways this week:

I don’t care what the insurance companies say about cold laser research and cold laser being experimental and investigational. Cold laser is not a “chiropractic thing” and practitioners of all shapes, sizes, and professions are using it including dentists and surgeons. While there are some papers that aren’t positive, heterogeneity and styles and techniques make it difficult. However, the majority of papers on cold laser are very much positive and show effectiveness including those published in The Lancet. 

Walk forward in your practice knowing that you are getting your patients better with cold laser and you are helping make a difference in their lives. 

Going forward this week, Retweet us, like our page on Facebook, and SHARE us on Facebook so we can get those likes up and increase listenership and involvement. We need every bit of your help to do that. I can’t do it alone. 

I want you to know with absolute certainty that When Chiropractic is at its best, you cannot beat the risk vs reward ratio. Plain and simple. Spinal pain is a mechanical pain and responds better to mechanical treatment rather than chemical treatment such as pain killers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories.

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

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

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

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

Social Media Links

iTunes

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

CF 014: DEBUNKED: The Odd Myth That Chiropractors Cause Strokes (Part 2 of 3)

 

Bibliography

  1. Chow R (2009). “Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised placebo or active-treatment controlled trials.” Lancet 374(9705): 1897-1908.
  2. Cotler H (2015). “The Use of Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) For Musculoskeletal Pain.” MOJ Orthop Rheumatol 2(15).
  3. Gasperini G (2014). “Does low-level laser therapy decrease swelling and pain resulting from orthognathic surgery?” Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 43(7): 868-873.
  4. Gur A (2003). “Efficacy of low power laser therapy and exercise on pain and functions in chronic low back pain.” Lasers Surg Med 32(3): 233-238.
  5. Subash Chandra Bose GN (2018). “Spinal manipulation combined with laser therapy is more beneficial than laser therapy alone in chronic non-specific low back pain. A randomized controlled study.” Euro J Phys Rehabil Med.