low back pain

Chiropractic Adjustments For The Cervical Spine Really Work & Lumbar Radiculopathy Treatment

CF 205: Chiropractic Adjustments For The Cervical Spine Really Work & Lumbar Radiculopathy Treatment Today we’re going to talk about research backing the use of spinal manipulative therapy for neck pain. A systematic review and meta-analysis even! Big stuff. Then we’ll talk about treatment for lumbar radiculopathy. What extra tips can you pick up? But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music  

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Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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

If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

  • Go to Amazon and check our my book called The Remarkable Truth About Chiropractic: A Unique Journey Into The Research. It’s a great resource for patient education and for YOU. It saves you time in putting talks together or just staying current on research. It’s categorized into sections and written in a way that is easy to understand for you and patients. Just search for it on Amazon. That’s the Remarkable Truth About Chiropractic by Jeff Williams. 
  • Then go Like our Facebook page, 
  • Join our private Facebook group, and then 
  • Review our podcast on whatever platform you’re listening to 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #205 Now if you missed last week’s episode, we talked about The Case Of The Disappearing Disc & Vitamin D And Back Pain. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

Alright, we got some stuff shaking folks. So, let’s talk about it. First thing, Drake leaving. Who the hell is Drake you might ask? Well, that’s our Parker university intern that’s been with us since last August. We’re spoiled as hell having Drake with us these days. We’re going to miss his help and honestly, he’s just a good guy. We’ll miss him personally as well.  Yes, I tried to hire him but not everyone wants to move to Amarillo so getting associates in this area can be a bit of a challenge. So I’m saying it, if you want to come to Amarillo, you’re always more than welcome to send me a resume at [email protected] and I’m happy to take a look. 

We have fun. We get people better. And life is good.  I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that we had a turnover and we’d be having a new front desk staffer coming on board. Well, this is the week and here we go. We may have gotten lucky on this one people. 

First, we hire off of Indeed. I’m sure they think I’m a bit of a prick but I use the assessment tools. They have to fill out a couple of assessments that test their knowledge. One is on EHR, another is general office procedure and stuff like that. Well, so many of them just go down the line clicking jobs and submitting without understanding that the assessments weed that out. If they don’t take the time to fill out the assessments, they didn’t care enough about the job to read about it. Which means I don’t care enough about them to waste my time learning more about them. So I move right past them. 

This girl has worked for an urgent care and only looked elsewhere because they didn’t have a full-time position like she needed. My friends actually work at the urgent care and vouched for her. We have the ones we’re interested in come in for a working interview. All of the staff agreed she was the clear choice both in experience as well as in personality.  Our office culture is one defined by fun. We jump scare each other. We laugh. We kid. We are always appropriate but there are times we could be more professional but….again…we have fun. And Our patients love it.

They commonly comment in our Google Reviews about how they love that everyone is so happy, having fun, and enjoying their work.  It’s easy when you have the crew I have. We do work. We work hard. Some days suck. Some days fly by. But think about it, we spend more time with our staff than we spend with our own families for the most part. Right? So why not having fun? Why not have a sense of family, of belonging, and a sense of being a team? Why not? So we’ll be making a new teammate this week. She’s going to be amazing. I just have a feeling. 

Also, I believe it was last week we discussed side gigs.  I mentioned my recent success in the voice over industry and that I’ve been schooling up on real estate investing and all that good stuff. I mentioned that I planned on parlaying that voice over success into real estate investments.  Well, I’ve been analyzing houses and I’ve been learning about remote management of short-term rentals and the pros and cons vs having a long-term rental and all of that good stuff.  Well, I identified 9 properties down in Lubbock TX. Lubbock is about an hour and a half to the south of Amarillo. It’s the home of Texas Tech and Buddy Holly. It’s also where one of my kids goes to college. It’s also the place where my other kid who is currently an 8th grader will likely go if I haven’t retired and moved to Florida when she goes to college. 

Lots of football games, basketball games, baseball games….lots of visits to the medical school there in town….lots of big-name concerts. It’s all good news for having a short-term rental.

Go back and listen to last week’s episode if you want to know why short-term rentals make more sense for tax reasons than other investments right now.  Anyway, I found 9 houses that my wife went to look at last week. She made an offer on one and, once we refi our rental house here in Amarillo, we’ll be able to pull out about $150,000 to put on 1-2 others. One of which is a flip we think we can profit $30k in about three months if there are no surprises or hiccups.  So…..I’m a fact finder. I’ve been finding facts for about a year now. Watching YouTubes. Taking little classes. Listening to podcasts. Reading books. Meeting people and building a small network. So, we’re on it. We’re excited. We’re pumped. We’re busy as hell. 

It’s kind of crazy the faith I have in my wife’s decisions. In lots of ways, she’s the smartest person I believe I’ve ever met. Our first house we bought together, I was on the road traveling with my band somewhere down in south Texas when she made an offer on it. I’d never even seen the house. 

The one I live in now, I actually saw and agreed on. 

The 2-3 down in Lubbock, I haven’t seen either. But I’m buying them. Lol. It’s crazy but she’s a hell of a teammate on this stuff and her vision of what she can do with a house has blown me away. She has some serious skills and I can’t wait to see what happens when she puts them to use on these investments. 

OK, on to the first paper.  Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Acute Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials – PubMed

Item #1

The first one is called “Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Acute Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials” by Chaibi et. al. (Chaibi A 2021) and published in the Journal of Clinical Medicine in October 2021 and that’s got some smoke on it! Let me say that I’ve been yelling for some research on the effectiveness of SMT for neck pain for 4 years here on this podcast. I’ve talked to different researchers about it. They said they couldn’t get funding for it. Now, here we are with a small step for a chiropractor but a giant leap for chiropractor-kind…..or something like that. 

Why They Did It

Acute neck pain is common and usually managed by medication and/or manual therapy. General practitioners (GPs) hesitate to refer to manual therapy due to uncertainty about the effectiveness and adverse events (AEs); 

How They Did It

  • To review original randomized controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effect of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) for acute neck pain. 
  • Data extraction was done in duplicate and formulated in tables. 
  • Quality and evidence were assessed using the Cochrane Back and Neck (CBN) Risk of Bias tool and the (GRADE) criteria
  • Six studies were included. 

What They Found

  • The overall pooled effect size for neck pain was very large -1.37 (95% CI, -2.41, -0.34), favoring treatments with SMT compared with controls. 
  • They had a single study that showed that SMT was statistically significantly better than medicine (30 mg ketorolac im.) one day post-treatment. 
  • Minor transient adverse events reported included increased pain and headache, while no serious adverse events were reported

Wrap It Up

SMT alone or in combination with other modalities was effective for patients with acute neck pain. However, limited quantity and quality, pragmatic design, and high heterogeneity limit our findings. So, once again, researchers….please listen. We have enough information on the low back. We know we knock it out of the park on low back pain. Even our haters mostly know we kill it on low back pain. Those douches over at sciencebasedmedicine.whatever mostly admit we’re good on low back pain. And trust me, if you change their damn minds, you’re on to something.  So, let’s expand to the neck, please. Pretty please? Dr. Goertz, Dr. Pohlman, Drs influential with Chiropractic Compass, can we please continue down this path of exploring our effectiveness and low risk for adverse events in the neck because honestly, THIS clinically is what is holding us back. 

Professionally, it’s the vitalists in our profession. But clinically, it’s the perception that we do harm when treating the neck. Can we do harm? Well hell yes we can. Do we commonly do harm and are we likely or probable to do harm? Oh hell no. Why would you ask such a dumb question?

 

Item #2

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30521781/

This one is called “The Effect of Spinal Mobilization With Leg Movement in Patients With Lumbar Radiculopathy-A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial” by Satpute et. al. (Satpute K 2019) and published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation on December 3rd of 2018. It’s mushy…not solidified but not as warm as we like. 

Why They Did It

To evaluate the effect of spinal mobilization with leg movement (SMWLM) on low back and leg pain intensity, disability, pain centralization, and patient satisfaction in participants with lumbar radiculopathy.

How They Did It

  • A double-blind randomized controlled trial.
  • The setting was in a General hospital.
  • 60 adults with the mean age of 44 years old were included
  • They were al diagnosed with subacute lumbar radiculopathy
  • They were randomly allocated to receive spinal mobilization with leg movement  exercise and electrotherapy or exercise and electrotherapy alone. 
  • All participants received 6 sessions over 2 weeks.
  • The primary outcomes were leg pain intensity and Oswestry Disability Index score. Secondary variables were low back pain intensity, global rating of change (GROC), straight leg raise (SLR), and lumbar range of motion (ROM)
  • Variables were evaluated blind at baseline, post-intervention, and at 3 and 6 months of follow-up

What They Found

  • Significant and clinically meaningful improvement occurred in all outcome variables. 
  • At 2 weeks the spinal mobilization with leg movement group had significantly greater improvement than the control group in leg pain and disability. 
  • Similarly, at 6 months, the spinal mobilization with leg movement group had significantly greater improvement than the control group in leg pain and disability. 
  • The spinal mobilization with leg movement group also reported greater improvement in the global rating of change and in SLR range of motion.

Wrap It Up In patients with lumbar radiculopathy, the addition of spinal mobilization with leg movement provided significantly improved benefits in leg and back pain, disability, SLR ROM, and patient satisfaction in the short and long term. Alright, that’s it. Keep on keepin’ on. Keep changing our profession from your corner of the world. The world needs evidence-based, patient-centered practitioners driving the bus. The profession needs us in the ACA and involved in the leadership of state associations. So quit griping about the profession if you’re doing nothing to make it better. Get active, get involved, and make it happen. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week.  Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at chiropracticforward.com.   

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

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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  The Message

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

Key Point:

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

Contact

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

Connect

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

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About the Author & Host

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

Bibliography

  • Chaibi A, S. K., Russell MB (2021). “Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Acute Neck Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials.” J Clin Med 10(21): 5011.
  • Satpute K, H. T., Bisen R, Lokhande P, (2019). “The Effect of Spinal Mobilization With Leg Movement in Patients With Lumbar Radiculopathy-A Double-Blind Randomized Controlled Trial.” Arch Phys Med Rehabil 100(5): 828-836.  

Low Back Disability and Research on Osteoarthritis

CF 174: Low Back Disability and Research on Osteoarthritis Today we’re going to talk about the global impact of low back disability and what the numbers look like in 2017 vs. 1990. Has it gotten better or worse? I bet you have a good guess if you’re a regular here. We’ll also talk about new research on treatment for osteoarthritis. Stick around.  But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music.
Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.   If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 
  • Like our Facebook page, 
  • Join our private Facebook group and interact, and then 
  • go review our podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms. 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. 
You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #174 Now if you missed last week’s episode, we talked about nutrition to control pain, CBT and CFT, and TMJ, and 2020 deaths. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class.  On the personal end of things….. I’ve been working working working. The clinic is finally getting busy. It’s nice but it also presents an obvious challenge with getting all of the other stuff I do in a timely manner.  Monday, I write and record the podcast. How busy are your Mondays? I saw 58 patients last Monday. I have about 50 today. You can see the problem. But we’re getting it done between patients.  Tuesdays, I write and post a blog to my personal page. Then I record the video for my clinic’s YouTube page. If you ever want to watch any of those, it’s under Creek Stone Integrated Care. Lots of good stuff over there I hope. I believe most of you would enjoy and maybe learn something over there.  But, to write, post, and record a video in one day can be a challenge on top of everything else. But, it’s a priority. It has to be if you’re going to be competitive in the marketplace. It has to be.  Wednesdays are the weekly email and then on to all of the extra stuff I do like book editing, gathering content for social media, voice-over marketing, medical integration, and all of the stuff that goes into life.  I finally broke down and hired a virtual assistant from Pakistan for voice-over leads. I have one in India for a couple of my websites. I’m looking for more ways to farm out my responsibilities so that I can do everything possible to free up more and more time. At the end of the day, there are just some things that can’t be farmed out. You can’t have blogs and videos farmed out.  Can you imagine if I tried to farm out this podcast? It wouldn’t be me and wouldn’t be something I’m happy with. So, we’ll try to figure out the other things that can be handled remotely and go down that path.  I am going through the marketing and publishing process on this new book of mine. It’s written. It’s getting formatted and all of the ducks are in getting line. That’s a cool thing I’m really looking forward to seeing that get out there in the ether and seeing what happens with it.  And finally, we are about 3 days away from officially hiring a nurse practitioner. Pretty excited. Pretty nervous about everything starting to get very real for us on that end of things. It’s not 100% real until you make that hire. Then it’s pedal to the metal, full speed.  As always, I’ll continue to keep you all updated on the process for those interested and following along.  Item #1 Let’s start with our first paper called “Global low back pain prevalence and years lived with disability from 1990 to 2017: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017” by Wu et. al. [1] and published in the Annals of Translational Medicine in March of 2020 and that’s just hot enough! Why They Did It Low back pain (LBP) is a common musculoskeletal problem globally. Updating the prevalence and burden of LBP is important for researchers and policy makers. This paper presents, compares and contextualizes the global prevalence and years lived with disability (YLDs) of LBP by age, sex and region, from 1990 to 2017. How They Did It
  • Data were extracted from Global Burden of Disease, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study) 2017 Study. 
  • Age, sex and region-specific analyses were conducted to estimate the global prevalence and years lived with disability of LBP, with the uncertainty intervals (UIs).
What They Found
  • The prevalent numbers of people with LBP at any one point in time in 1990 was 377.5 million, and this increased to 577.0 million in 2017.
  • Age-standardized prevalence of LBP was higher in females than males.
  • LBP prevalence increased with age, and peaked around the ages of 80 to 89 years, and then decreased slightly.
  • Global years lived with disability were 42.5 million in 1990 and increased by 52.7% to 64.9 million in 2017
  • Years lived with disability were also higher in females than males and increased initially with age; they peaked at 35-39 years of age in 1990, before decreasing, whereas in 2017, they peaked at 45-49 years of age, before decreasing.
We have so many of the answers in a good, evidence-based, patient-centered chiropractic or integrated clinic. The more of this stuff…..this information….they publish, the more I believe the medical complex is forced to look at the higher functioning chiropractors. They just have to. Eventually. I hope.  CHIROUP ADVERTISEMENT Item #2 This second and final paper this week is called “Pain-related behavior is associated with increased joint innervation, ipsilateral dorsal horn gliosis, and dorsal root ganglia activating transcription factor 3 expression in a rat ankle joint model of osteoarthritis” by Bourassa et. al. [2] and published in Pain Reports in October 2020, still steamy Why They Did It They say, “Osteoarthritis (OA)-associated pain is often poorly managed, as our understanding of the underlying pain mechanisms remains limited. The known variability from patient to patient in pain control could be a consequence of a neuropathic component in OA.” First, what is monoiodoacetate? Also known as MIA. Well, MIA is an inhibitor of glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate, which disrupts cellular glycolysis, which in turn leads to eventual cell death. Knowing this, the MIA model has become a standard for modeling joint disruption in OA in rats and mice.  The model, which is easier to perform in the rat, involves injection of MIA into a knee joint that induces rapid pain-like responses in the ipsilateral limb, the level of which can be controlled by injection of different doses.  How They Did It They used a rat MIA model of the ankle joint to study the time-course of the development of pain-related behavior and pathological changes in the joint, dorsal root ganglia (DRG), and spinal cord, and to investigate drug treatments effects. What They Found
  • Mechanical hypersensitivity and loss of mobility (as assessed by treadmill) were detected from 4 weeks after MIA
  • Pain from cold stimulus was detected from 5 weeks
  • Through histology and imaging, they confirmed significant cartilage and bone degeneration at 5 and 10 weeks
  • They detected increased nociceptive fiber innervation in the subchondral bone and synovium at 5 and 10 weeks. 
  • Sympathetic blockade at 5 weeks reduced pain-related behavior.
  • At 5 weeks, they observed, ipsilaterally only, dorsal root ganglion neurons expressing anti-activating transcription factor 3, a neuronal stress marker.
Wrap It Up Besides a detailed time-course of pathology in this OA model, we show evidence of contributions of the sympathetic nervous system and dorsal horn glia to pain mechanisms. In addition, late activating transcription factor 3 expression in the dorsal root ganglia that coincides with these changes provides evidence in support of a neuropathic component in OA pain. Further down in the conclusion of the paper, the authors say, “We also observed that the pharmacological suppression of sympathetic fiber function, microglia reactivity, and astrocyte function led to mild ameliorations of pain-related behavior. Taken together, our data reinforced the concept that multiple factors are contributing to pain in OA. We believe that further investigation of a neuropathic phenotype in OA pain has important implications for the development of therapeutic approaches.” Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Keep changing our profession from your little corner of the world. Keep taking care of yourselves and everyone around you. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week.  Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at chiropracticforward.com. 
Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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The Message I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health! Key Point: At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic! Contact Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference.  Connect We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. Website
Home
Social Media Links https://www.facebook.com/chiropracticforward/ Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP https://www.facebook.com/groups/1938461399501889/ Twitter YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtc-IrhlK19hWlhaOGld76Q iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2 Player FM Link https://player.fm/series/2291021 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through TuneIn https://tunein.com/podcasts/Health–Wellness-Podcasts/The-Chiropractic-Forward-Podcast-Chiropractors-Pr-p1089415/ About the Author & Host Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger   Bibliography 1. Wu A, M.L., Zheng X, Huang J,, Global low back pain prevalence and years lived with disability from 1990 to 2017: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2017. Ann Transl Med, 2020. 8(6). 2. Bourassa V, D.H., Yousefpour N, Fitzcharles MA,, Pain-related behavior is associated with increased joint innervation, ipsilateral dorsal horn gliosis, and dorsal root ganglia activating transcription factor 3 expression in a rat ankle joint model of osteoarthritis. Pain Reports, 2020. 5(5): p. e846.      

They Still Have Low Back Pain Management WRONG

CF 170: They Still Have Low Back Pain Management WRONG Today we’re going to talk about some personal observations from two different patients I saw today and we’ll cover a new article on what should be done with low back pain patients. Hint, many are still getting it wrong over there in the medical profession.  But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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

  • Like our Facebook page, 
  • Join our private Facebook group and interact, and then 
  • go review our podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms. 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. 

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #170 Now if you missed last week’s episode , we talked about living with chronic pain, screen time for the kiddos, and low back pain delivery. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

The wheels turn slow on the medical integration front. Which is probably a good thing honestly. You don’t want to get out over your skis too far now, do you?? It’s like wading into the water a little at a time so you can get used to it. Some people just jump right out into the middle of it all. I’m a gradual guy. I like to slowly get in and get the lay of the land. That’s kind of how this integration is proceeding right now.  We have the medical director.

He’s been a long time friend of mine and was actually a chiropractor back before he went to medical school. He’s an excellent human being and should be a great fit with me and my way of approaching healthcare.  I got to see a veteran today as a new patient. This is a guy that has had chronic pain that has suffered for years. He just got out of the Army in 2019. He’s been in it for 25 years so you can imagine.  He gets cortisone shots 3-4 times per year. He’s never been told about yellow flags. Warned against allowing doctors to treat from an MRI. He’s only been given shots and turned loose every time he has a flare-up.

He has slipped into fear avoidance.  Now, I had the opportunity to teach him about fear avoidance, about CNS upregulation, about how over 60% of asymptomatic in his age group have disc-related findings on their MRI that means nothing, I got to teach him about stabilizing his low back instead of always popping hit on his own for through a chiropractor. I got to teach him about the difference between hurt and harm. I got to give him a recommendation for Back In Control by Dr. David Hanscum. I got to teach him McGill’s Big 3. I got to teach him how the medical doctors are still turning the treatment tree upside down when they do shots and medication first instead of movement, exercise, manipulation, massage, and all of that good stuff. I think…..I THINK….I got to help give him a roadmap to change his life today.  For an appointment that could have taken 30 minutes, I probably spent well over an hour with him.

First, because he was a really pleasant dude and I instantly liked him on a personal level.

Secondly, he’s a vet and that’s just amazing. But beyond that, I knew it would take some time to change his life. After all….that’s what we’re here for, right? Some time ago, I did an episode of the podcast that had to do with a vitalist nut job from Oklahoma City that posted on social media that he had treated 99 patients and 9 new patient exams within 3 hours. One table, one doctor, blah blah vitalist BS blah blah. Then telling others he could teach them how to do the same if they pay him as a consultant/mentor/guru.  I broke down the time constraints in that episode but I believe it boiled down to about 10 minutes per new patient.

For a vitalist that believes the source of all of the Earth’s imperfections boils down to a subluxation, I suppose you could bounce around down the spine and find 6 sore spots, hammer ‘em back down and go on about the day. I suppose a new patient could take even less than 10 minutes if done that way, quite honestly.  But, in my opinion, and compared to evidence-based docs in the profession, you’d be a piss poor doctor.

One I wouldn’t want anything to do with. One I’m embarrassed is in my profession. 

You have to take the time it takes to fully evaluate someone orthopedically, neurologically, and cognitively. There is no way around it if you’re going to be a next-level practitioner. It’s not optional. Ever. And 10 minutes won’t get it. It just won’t.

I had to adjust a couple of patients that showed up and then return to the vet to keep talking and teaching but we got it done. He’s my new project. It was cool to see him nodding his head and understanding what I was telling him.  I think I saw the light bulb come on. And that’s just pretty damn cool. I’m a little jazzed. A little energized that I think I can take this lifelong veteran and lifelong pain sufferer and turn his situation into a positive one.  We shall see but it should be a lot of fun if my plan comes together. I guess the point is; be a doctor. Be their advocate. Take the time that it takes. Their lives depend on us to function on a higher level than just pounding down the sore spots. 

On a separate note, I had a young girl come in for a consult. I’ve known her and her family for several years. She had a car wreck 9 months ago and fractured L1. You could see where the posterior/superior corner of the vertebra was broken off and the spinous process was broken off completely.  No paralysis, no dysfunction neurologically.  A neurosurgeon fused her spine. Not just 2 segments. Or 3 segments. He fused 5 segments. He told them it was because it was the T/L junction and fusing that many would give it more stability.

Now….who am I to argue about that?? I’m not a surgeon. But it seems drastic. Once that is stabilized and healed, can they go and remove some of the fused areas? I have no idea. But damn. 5 vertebrae when only one was fractured? Beyond that, he told her no twisting. Her understanding was forever. He has her in a back brace with no recommendations on when to quit wearing the back brace. He has the crap scared out of her as far as moving and having any activity really. It’s been popping down low lately and that kind of hurts.

He told her to go on 6 weeks of bed rest.  I think I’m dealing with incompetence here. That’s what I’m building up to. 6 weeks of bed rest for and 18-year-old girl that is functional. Bracing with no end in sight. Scaring her out of even twisting. She was afraid to do nerve flossing for her leg and low back. Fusing 5 segments instead of 2 or 3.  So, I’ll never pretend to be the smartest dude on the planet but can I really know more than a freaking neurosurgeon? Certainly not about surgery specifically. But the follow-up, the rehab, and the future…..yeah, I think we can actually know quite a bit more than they do.  And now here we have another patient from today that we are charged with changing their lives. I’m all about spinal manipulative therapy but this one will be through exercise, movement, biomechanics, cognitive work, confidence building, support, and most importantly, through finding an orthopedic expert for the second set of eyes and another set of recommendations. Except I’m going to be the one picking this one out. We have to save these people.

Don’t get me wrong. The medical complex saves lives every day all day. Thank God for them. But we can save their lives too. When they hurt too bad to go shopping or play a part in their own lives, that’s no life at all is it? When we turn that around, on some level, we absolutely save their lives. We keep them from slipping into depression, pills, chronic pain, fear avoidance, inactivity, and everything that goes along with all of it.  We save lives too and every chiropractor knows exactly what I’m talking about.  Let’s get on with it, shall we?

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Item #1 This first one is called “Pathways for managing low back pain. The collaborative effort of four PM PIs Yield a Paper and a call to action.” (1) and published in Pain in December of 2020. Hotter than Hell.  First, Dr. Christine Goertz was cited at the end for further reading. Because she’s amazing and awesome and a chiropractic treasure if you ask me. if you don’t know of and absolutely adore Dr. Christine Goertz, then you are insane or don’t value chiropractic research. 

Second, this is an article so we’ll do what we do and hit the high spots.  They start by saying that many of the best practice guides for low back pain involve evidence-based therapy that is not typically integrated into a single clinical setting.  They bring up the examples of physical therapy and chiropractic and mention how they are typically delivered outside of the majority of first-line access points in the US.  They say this leads patients to fall through the gaps. Which is understandable.

We, chiropractors, see this all of the time. Every week. Think about it, they mention here how PCPs will order tests and imaging but the pain is complex and harder to coordinate the diagnosis and effective treatment and care management outside of an integrated setting.  Now, pay attention to the last line in this quote from the paper, “All of the Pain Management Collaboratory trials are focused on delivering non-drug options to effectively ease the experience of pain in Veterans and Active service members. No matter the type of patient, or where the patient enters the system for their pain, treatment options need to be organized and delivered in such a way that it is easy for patients to receive and comply with treatments, and for providers to follow up.  Hastings, a clinician with a focus on geriatric care as well as a researcher, poses the question, “Is it really realistic for every individual primary care provider to be the expert on how to access all of these different types of therapies, you know, in his or her community?”

They go on to say, “This is where the authors propose a health navigator—a local resource expert who is trained in how to factor in an individual’s previous experiences and preferences when making recommendations—for developing a pain pathway for the individual.  A pain care navigator could be a chiropractor, a nurse, a physical therapist or other health care provider that one might see as the first step in seeking help for their pain. “We are really testing this idea of individualization so that we ensure optimal adoption of therapies for pain,” says Dr. Hastings.  Developing an effective treatment model for pain that takes into account patient preferences, lifestyle, and current needs and is more than just a “cookbook kind of an approach.” This approach acknowledges that patients enter the healthcare system from many different starting points, and so there is a need to train providers from a number of different disciplines to organize, plan, and deliver individualized care options.”

Does that sound anything like the Primary Spine Practitioner program? Yes, it does. It also sounds like the paper we covered some time back where they did a study in a Stanford area ER where the DCs directed the musculoskeletal pain ER patients. They had so much success that they expanded the program.  This really is, in my opinion, the way to do this, y’all. This is the way to effectively treat pain. 

Then our very own Dr. Goertz comes down with the People’s Elbow when she says, “In addition to navigating through different treatment modules, other barriers to effectively managing a pain treatment plan include cost, the need for more providers, and appropriate delivery of treatments.  “One of the biggest barriers right now has to do with payers who are willing to pay high dollars for spine surgeries or injections but are less willing to cover guideline-concordant treatments such as spinal manipulation, acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, and yoga,”  “I think until we are better at embracing payment models that put an emphasis on conservative care and reward all of those involved, we’re going to continue to struggle. Fortunately, I see some signs that our healthcare system is changing in this direction.”

Dr. Goertz addresses the biopsychosocial aspect a bit when she says, ““It’s really important to have the patient involved in the process [of developing a pain management plan],” “When it comes to low back pain, we know that people who are more frightened by their pain can have worse outcomes. Anything that can help patients better understand their pain can paradoxically lead to less pain in the future, which is why patient education is really important.”  Additionally, healthcare providers need to be well-versed in effective communications techniques to ensure that patients understand, feel supported, and are involved in the decision-making process.  Conversations should focus on lessening the experience of pain and increasing understanding, as opposed to exacerbating fear.  “This is important with healthcare delivery in general, but especially important with people who have low back pain,” Goertz says. “

There’s really going to be no reason for y’all to read this yourself because I’m basically going line for line but every line is solid and true so they kind of leave me no choice.  The article continues, “Dr. Goertz also pointed to a Gallup study that asked individuals which types of providers they thought were the safest and most effective for managing back and neck pain.  Participants indicated that physical therapists and chiropractors were the safest and most effective; however, when asked which provider they would see for pain management, more than half said that they’d prefer to see a medical doctor first. “It is crucial that clinicians are aware of coordinated care guidelines for back and neck pain and are able to facilitate access to that care for their patients,” Goertz asserts. “For instance, the American College of Physicians recommends that patients and their clinicians consider nonpharmacological treatments including acupuncture, massage, yoga, Tai Chi and spinal manipulation before prescription medication for low back pain.” 

Historically, these treatments have had less emphasis during clinical training for many health care providers, and facilitating access and coordinating the follow-up can be challenging.  Additionally, a patient’s insurance may not cover all the recommended considerations.” Here’s the last paragraph and pay attention again to the very last line, “At the center of evaluating pathways for pain management is a call to action to put more thought and organization into what happens to patients when they first seek care for pain and the long term consequences of the patient’s earliest experiences with the health care system.  “It takes a really intentional effort to say, ‘What are the first set of decisions that need to be made? And then what are the next decisions that need to be made?’” observes Dr. Fritz. 

To avoid the early intensification of pain care, which results in greater expense and invasiveness escalating rapidly, we need to ensure that the evidence-based guidelines are getting put into practice, and patients understand that managing pain isn’t a linear process where a person goes in to see a provider, gets a diagnosis, gets a treatment, and the pain goes away.

Communication among patient and providers is essential to get on the right pathway for pain management. “If we can be more aligned in our messaging around back pain in the community—before individuals become patients, where they may not yet be experiencing back pain, or before it affects their ability to function—it can help set expectations and set up the conversation with care providers when they do come in,” says Dr. Hastings.  “The first thing we ought to be reaching for are these non-drug therapies, and reserving imaging for specific cases since it’s not going to change what we do in the majority of cases.”” Amen. Researchers and authors, please for the love of everything, keep writing these papers.

Over and over again until it finally starts filtering down to the doctor in the field. The PCP, the VA doc that used to just give pills and shots, the surgeon that is still telling an 18-year-old girl to go on 6 weeks of bed rest and wear a brace while never twisting. Forever.  This garbage has to stop, y’all. There’s little wonder why low back pain is still #1 in the world for global disability. It’s because the primary stakeholders and medical industry can’t get their crap together. Or, worst-case scenario, don’t want to get their crap together due to financial considerations. Why get your crap together if it means you do fewer surgeries and make less money through the year? There’s no financial incentive to do the right thing. 

I got it….Pay them MORE for the NECESSARY surgeries to offset the loss of income when they quit performing the UNNECESSARY surgeries.  There you go. I just fixed the world.

Bam, snap, thwack, kow-a-pow! Alright, that’s it.

 

Y’all be safe. Keep changing our profession from your little corner of the world. Keep taking care of yourselves and everyone around you. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week. 

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

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The Message

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

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

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

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

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About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

Bibliography

  1. Pathways For Managing Low Back Pain. Pain. December 2020. https://painmanagementcollaboratory.org/pathways-for-managing-low-back-pain/?fbclid=IwAR1r5H4ZRvQr4Gw9wmIGYbJGSMr9e9aaPybvLujtdjEoE06Q6ppehNEGol8

 

Living With Chronic Pain, Screen Time, & Low Back Pain Delivery

CF 169: Living With Chronic Pain, Screen Time, & Low Back Pain Delivery

Today we’re going to talk about living well with chronic pain, screen time, and changing the delivery of low back pain care.

But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

 

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around. 

We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers.

I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

  • Like our Facebook page, 
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  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. 

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #169

Now if you missed last week’s episode, we were joined by a couple of key players in the Texas Chiropractors’ fight against the Texas Medical Association for the right to diagnose patients, treat the Neuromusculoskeletal system rather than just the musculoskeletal system, and the right to perform VONT testing. All in one court attack. And we won after losing twice. It’s crazy. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

I’ve talked in the last 3-4 weeks how my life has become complicated and how I’m working through it slowly. This week feels like it’s leveling out a little. I hate to say that and jinx it but I’m a glass is a half full type of dude. 

Let’s start with a new one though that’s stressing me out a little and may pertain to some of you as well. I’ve started getting some trickles of complaints here and there on one of my staff members. A key staff member. Now, what do you do when that happens? First, it probably depends on the complaints, wouldn’t you agree?

If they’re egregious, well then they gotta go. These aren’t. These are more personality conflicts and they’re from females. I’ve never had a male complain about her. So, what’s going on there?

Second, if they’re not necessarily fire-able offenses, what do we do to correct them? Are they just strictly personality-driven and there’s nothing we can do to change the inherent behavior of a person? Or….can she be trained to suppress a certain aspect of her nature? If it’s built into her nature that is.

I buy into staff. I care about staff. On this, I’m in no hurry to get rid of an employee. Not at all. Mostly because she’s really good at a lot of key aspects of her job. Like….REALLY good. I’m rooting for her. I want her to succeed. 

For that reason, I have found some training for her to do. I want her to have every tool at her disposal that I can provide to give her the chance to succeed and do well. Not everyone is a natural. Sometimes we need training. Sometimes people don’t even realize certain aspects of their personality are off-putting to others. 

I’m sure I have certain off-putting parts of my personality. Just nobody ever tells me about it. Either because I’m the doctor in the office, or I’m the boss in the office, or because I’m 6’4” and big as hell. 

Anyway, we are getting her some training, supporting her, and keeping our fingers crossed because she’s a hard worker, she’s smart, and I think she can be a valuable part of our team.

Now, for the good stuff…..Last week I mentioned my pickup dying. 

Always get a second opinion on your vehicle when they tell you that you need a new engine for $6500 because I remembered a good friend of mine is a mechanic. We took it to him and it turns out it just need an oil pump and parts and labor ran us about $800. No sweat. I’m back up and running. 

The computer that contained my entire life was able to be backed up just before its demise so the new one is getting up and running. My old programs are getting up and running. And my life is returning to some sense of normal as more and more of the computer and the software starts to behave the way it is supposed to behave. 

So, yes, we have valleys and peaks but hold on and try to enjoy the ride. We are going through the medical integration slowly but surely. We have found our medical director. He’s been one of my long-time friends and actually used to be a chiropractor so it’s perfect. He knows me well, knows how I treat patients, and knows how I approach healthcare. I think it’s an amazing fit. 

Now, we are searching for a nurse practitioner to help us make it all happen. Here’s the key on that though, it has to be someone that fits my personality and my approach. It has to be an NP that doesn’t mind learning from a damn chiropractor if you know what I mean. If it’s someone that sees chiropractors as lowly servants, well that won’t work out at all now, will it? I’d rather lose $20,000 than put up with something like that. 

But if it’s someone that is open and eager to learn about the biopsychosocial aspect of pain, communicating correctly with patients, and things of that nature, then we probably have a fit. For example, some NPs can be told that the Canadian Medical Association Journal published a systematic review where 13 of 14 papers showed no effect for using gabapentin in radiculopathy. They can get that info and ignore it. That’s not the NP for me. 

On the other hand, they can see the paper and say to themselves, “Maybe we don’t want to prescribe anti-convulsants for radicular pain after all.” THAT’S my kind of NP.  That’s who I’m looking for. As always, I’ll let you know how it goes. 

But, the long and short of it is, we’re getting past the loss of the office manager, all of the big oopsies are starting to get sorted out, we have big stuff still on the worry plate but life is starting to retreat from the danger zone. The crisis zone if you will. It’s still on high alert but the alarm bells are going silent again. Thank God. 

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Item #1

Our first one today is called ““Living Well with Chronic Pain”: Integrative Pain Management via Shared Medical Appointments” by Znidarsic et. Al. (1) and published in Pain Medicine in January of 2021….dammit, it’s hot. 

I want to point out that the first three listed authors on this paper were a DO and two PhDs and out of 18 authors, there was only one DC on the list. In addition, several of the authors were MDs. Three of them to be exact. 

Why They Did It

To evaluate the effectiveness of a multidisciplinary, nonpharmacological, integrative approach that uses shared medical appointments to improve health-related quality of life and reduce opioid medication use in patients with chronic pain.

How They Did It

  • Retrospective, pre-post review of “Living Well with Chronic Pain” shared medical appointments (August 2016 through May 2018)
  • The appointments included eight 3-hour-long visits held once per week at an outpatient wellness facility.
  • It included patients with chronic, non–cancer-related pain.
  • Patients received evaluation and evidence-based therapies from a team of integrative and lifestyle medicine professionals, as well as education about nonpharmacological therapeutic approaches, the etiology of pain, and the relationship of pain to lifestyle factors
  • Experiential elements focused on the relaxation techniques of meditation, yoga, breathing, and hypnotherapy, while patients also received acupuncture, acupressure, massage, cognitive behavioral therapy, and chiropractic education
  • Patients self-reported data via the Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System (PROMIS-57) standardized questionnaire.
  • 178 participants completed the PROMIS-57 questionnaire at the first and the last visits

What They Found

  • Statistically significant improvements in all domains were observed between the pre-intervention and post-intervention scores
  • Average opioid use decreased nonsignificantly over the 8-week intervention, but the lower rate of opioid use was not sustained at 6 and 12 months follow-up.

Wrap It Up

Patients suffering from chronic pain who participated in a multidisciplinary, nonpharmacological treatment approach delivered via shared medical appointments experienced reduced pain and improved measures of physical, mental, and social health without increased use of opioid pain medications.

Item #2

This one is called “Association Between Screen Time and Children’s Performance on a Developmental Screening Test” by Madigan et. al. (2) and published in JAMA Pediatrics on January 28, 2019. Not all that hot. Little steamy but not enough for my favorite soundbite. Unfortunately. 

I’ve highlighted some of these screen time posts before because they just make me crazy and I have to say, I’m guilty of having my kid on electronics years ago. And I’ve spent the last 15 or so years trying to keep them off of the electronics. We all make mistakes and turning our kids over to electronics is one of the biggest I think.

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to answer the question, “Is increased screen time associated with poor performance on children’s developmental screening tests?”

How They Did It

  • This was a longitudinal cohort study using a 3-wave, cross-lagged panel model in 2441 mothers and children in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, drawn from the All Our Families study.
  • Data were available when children were aged 24, 36, and 60 months.
  • Data were collected between October 20, 2011, and October 6, 2016. So…5 years.
  • At age 24, 36, and 60 months, children’s screen-time behavior (total hours per week) and developmental outcomes (Ages and Stages Questionnaire, Third Edition) were assessed via maternal report.

What They Found

A random-intercepts, cross-lagged panel model revealed that higher levels of screen time at 24 and 36 months were significantly associated with poorer performance on developmental screening tests at 36 months and 60 months.

Wrap It Up

The results of this study support the directional association between screen time and child development. Excessive screen time can impinge on children’s ability to develop optimally; it is recommended that pediatricians and health care practitioners guide parents on appropriate amounts of screen exposure and discuss potential consequences of excessive screen use.

Item #3

This last one is called “Transforming low back pain care delivery in the United States” by George et. al. (3) and published in Pain in December of 2020 and that’s a stout stack of steam stuff right there. This paper has our friend and previous guest, Dr. Christine Goertz, on it. She is amazing so I can only assume the rest of these authors are as well.

They say, “Low back pain (LBP) continues to be a challenging condition to manage effectively. Recent guideline recommendations stress providing non-pharmacological care early, limiting diagnostic testing, and reducing exposure to opioid pain medications. However, there has been little uptake of these guideline recommendations by providers, patients or health systems, resulting in care that is neither effective nor safe. This paper describes the framework for an evidence-based pathway that would transform service delivery for LBP in the United States by creating changes that facilitate the delivery of guideline adherent care.”

They’re saying that the guidelines and the recommendations are there but people aren’t listening. On both sides in my estimation. You have MDs going straight to shots and surgery and even the ones that are open to referral are just going straight to the PT. If the PT fails, then it’s shots and surgery rather than spinal manipulative therapy, or laser, or yoga, or maybe the PT wasn’t good at diagnosing the issue and providing targeted exercise. 

On the other hand, we have chiropractors moving bones when they should be stabilized. Or ordering x-rays over and over and over. Or treating 100 times for a curve problem that probably isn’t that big of a problem. 

They go on to say, “An evidence-informed clinical service pathway would be intentionally structured to include; a) direct linkages to community and population-based resources that facilitate self-management, b) foundational LBP care that is appropriate for all seeking care, c) individualized LBP care for those who have persistent symptoms, and d) specialized LBP care for instances when advanced diagnostics and intensive treatments are indicated.”

“There is an urgent need to transform LBP care by optimizing clinical care pathways focused on multiple opportunities for non-pharmacological treatments, carefully considering the escalation of care, and facilitating self-management.” 

We have chiropractors telling people to come to see them weekly to ward off disease, build the immune system, and things of that nature. That’s creating dependency on the clinic and it is not supported by any research. Certainly not in the context that so many vitalist chiropractors yell out and are so obnoxious about. Patients need to be taught at-home self-management techniques to deal with their pain. The rest is unnecessary noise. 

They close with this, “Such approaches have the potential to increase patient access to guideline adherent LBP care as an alternative to opioids, unwarranted diagnostic tests, and unnecessary surgery.”

Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Keep changing our profession from your little corner of the world. Keep taking care of yourselves and everyone around you. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it.

Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week. 

Store

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

 

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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The Message

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

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

It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. 

And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point:

At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints….

That’s Chiropractic!

Contact

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes. 

Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms. 

We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 

Connect

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

Website

Home

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/chiropracticforward/

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

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

Twitter

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtc-IrhlK19hWlhaOGld76Q

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Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through

TuneIn

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About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

 

Bibliography

  1. Josie Znidarsic, DO, Kellie N Kirksey, PhD, Stephen M Dombrowski, PhD, Anne Tang, MS, Rocio Lopez, MS, Heather Blonsky, MAS, Irina Todorov, MD, Dana Schneeberger, PhD, Jonathan Doyle, MCS, Linda Libertini, Starkey Jamie, LAC, Tracy Segall, LMT, Andrew Bang, DC, Kathy Barringer, LISW, Bar Judi, CYTERYT 500, Jane Pernotto Ehrman, MEd, RCHES, Michael F Roizen, MD, Mladen Golubić, MD, PhD, “Living Well with Chronic Pain”: Integrative Pain Management via Shared Medical Appointments, Pain Medicine, Volume 22, Issue 1, January 2021, Pages 181–190, https://doi.org/10.1093/pm/pnaa418
  2. Madigan S, Browne D, Racine N, Mori C, Tough S. Association Between Screen Time and Children’s Performance on a Developmental Screening Test. JAMA Pediatr. 2019;173(3):244–250. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2018.5056
  3. George SZ, Goertz C, Hastings SN, Fritz JM. Transforming low back pain care delivery in the United States. Pain. 2020 Dec;161(12):2667-2673. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000001989. PMID: 32694378; PMCID: PMC7669560.

Lancet Low Back Update & Movement Disorders Mean Pain

CF 141: Lancet Low Back Update & Movement Disorders Mean Pain

Today we’re going to talk about The Lancet Low Back Series Update and Movement Dysfunction and Pain

But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music

Subscribe button

OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around. 

We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers.

I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  

If you haven’t yet I have a few things you should do. 

  • Like our Facebook page, 
  • Join our private Facebook group and interact, and then 
  • go review our podcast on iTunes and other podcast platforms. 
  • We also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com
  • While you’re there, join our weekly email newsletter. No spam, just a reminder when the newest episodes go live. Nothing special so don’t worry about signing up. Just one a week friends. Check your JUNK folder!!

Do it do it do it. 

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #141

Now if you missed last week’s episode , we were joined by Dr. Chris Howson to talk about his job working in a hospital out-patient setting. Not an FQHC but the actual hospital. Pretty cool stuff. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

While we’re on the topic of being smart, did you know that you can use our website as a resource? Quick and easy, you can go to chiropracticforward.com, click on Episodes, and use the search function to find whatever you want quickly and easily. With over 100 episodes in the tank and an average of 2-3 papers covered per episode, we have somewhere between 250 and 300 papers that can be quickly referenced along with their talking points. 

Just so you know, all of the research we talk about in each episode is cited in the show notes for each episode if you’re looking to dive in a little deeper. 

On the personal end of things…..

The kids are back in school. I know some parts of the country are still doing video, off-site learning but here in Texas they’re back at it on-site, in-person and I’m concerned about it. How could you not be. Unless you’re one of the conspiracy, it’s the same as the flu, science-haters of course. Sorry, my eyes just rolled out of my head. Let me pick those up real quick and pop them back in. 

Alright….so, my son is at Texas Tech in Lubbock living in the dorm with a room mate and riding the elevators with groups of kids and hanging out in dorm rooms and all that college stuff. I’m telling you all that I support the idea of trying to get back to normal but this is a recipe for disaster and it’s only a matter of time. 

It’s like having some dead, dry brush sitting there on the ground and tossing a match on it. All schools, if I’m guessing are on borrowed time because the same thing that happened in North Carolina and Notre Dame and however many are added to the list by the time this airs…..that’s going to happen across the country and this second wave the CDC thinks we’re getting control of is about to get out of control again. 

Then we’ll close down the in-person classes again and we’ll all have to sit at home and idle again for another 2 months before it calms down again. I truly feel this is going to happen for grades k through college. How can it not?

I know I know….we need to get back to normal, kids need to socialize with peers, some kids are in awful situations, some kids don’t eat if they’re not in school, I get it. 

But at the same time, it’s a real danger. It won’t be gone after the election in November. You guys that think that are going to be so sad. I know you won’t admit you’re wrong but that’s OK. Science-y people have seen your social media posts and know who you are and we’ll pray for some peace of mind for you. 

Time will tell if I’m right. I don’t want to be right. But I don’t see how it can go any other way. 

As far as business, same same same. Hell, if anything, like I said last week, it’s gotten even slower for us. With back to school being our slowest time of the year traditionally, it makes sense that it’s gotten slower. But I damn sure don’t like it. In fact, it makes me hyper as hell. 

This in spite of advertising like crazy and creating an online presence that is twice of what it was before the Rona came and destroyed an amazing practice. 

But, that’s OK. We were never promised a life with no bumps in the road. A worry-free life. Yeah, that’s not real life. We take challenges and obstacles and we adapt and overcome. And that’s where we’re at. Adapting and overcoming. 

Item #1

Here’s a new one that is actually an update to a key paper a couple of years ago. It’s by Buchbinder et. al. and called, “The Lancet Series call to action to reduce low value care for low back pain: an update” published in Pain in September of 2020(Buchbinder R 2020). Well hell, lookie here. It’s only September 3 and here we are, smoking, sizzlin’ and steaming hot. 

This is a bit long but it’s important. While Jan Hartvigsen, a chiropractor, is in this group of authors, the rest are not and, I’d argue, bent a bit toward the medical field and PT. They’ll claim they’re not profession specific but it just seems a little more bent to PT. However, the information is still very relevant to chiropractors and, relevant to the medical field and insurance industry. Unfortunately, none of those seem to be paying any attention. 

Now, this is not necessarily a research paper but more of a commentary so let’s dive in with a good solid summary of the contents here. Pay attention. I promise you’ll learn some factoids to put into your social media posts. 

  • The 2018 Lancet Low Back Pain Series, comprising 3 papers written by 31 authors from disparate disciplines and 12 different countries, raised unprecedented awareness of the rising global burden of low back pain partly attributable to poor quality health care.
  • The series described current guideline recommended care of low back pain, and new strategies that show promise, but require further testing, to reduce low value care.
  • Low back pain is still the number one cause of disability in the world
  • In 2015, low back pain was responsible for 60·1 million disability-adjusted life-years; a 54% increase since 1990
  • A recent study estimated that US$134.5 billion was spent on health care for low back and neck pain in 2016 in the United States, the most out of 154 conditions studied, and this had increased by 6.7% annually between 1996 and 2016
  • For the vast majority of people with low back pain, it is currently not possible to accurately identify specific causes or nociceptive sources. Risk factors and triggers for episodes of nonspecific low back pain include previous episodes of back pain, the presence of other chronic conditions such as asthma, headache, and diabetes, poor mental health (including psychological distress and depression), genetic influences, as well as awkward postures, lifting, bending and heavy manual tasks, and being tired or being distracted during an activity.44 Smoking, obesity, and low levels of physical activity, all related to poorer general health, are also associated with occurrence of low back pain episodes.
  • Many patietns with low back pain are still receiving the wrong care. Even 2 years after the series came out. 
  • A 2018 systematic review that included 14 studies mostly from the United States (6 studies), United Kingdom (3 studies), and other high-income countries found that overall more than 50% of people with low back pain seek care annually and 30% have sought care within the past month.
  • A 2012 study in a US Veterans Affairs Health Care facility found that 59% of outpatient lumbar spine scans were inappropriate.3 This suggests that unnecessary lumbar spine magnetic resonance imaging scans for people not suspected of having a serious condition cost $US300 million per year in the United States. 
  • This is supported by a 2019 systematic review (14 studies) which found evidence that imaging is associated with higher medical costs, increased health care utilization and more work absence compared with nonimaged groups. Despite little evidence to support its use for most back conditions,43 and a 20% failure rate, another US study estimated that $US12.8billion was spent on spinal fusion surgery in 2011, the highest aggregate hospital costs of any surgical procedure.
  • Major international clinical guidelines have moved away from medicalized management of low back pain and prioritized nonpharmacological approaches as first line care.
  • A Los Angeles Times investigation has revealed that aggressive marketing appears to be leading to new epidemics of opioid prescribing in low-income and middle-income countries.
  • Although the high rates of opioid prescribing are now beginning to fall in some high-income countries such as the United States74 and the United Kingdom,22 worryingly, opioid medication is being substituted for or used with gabapentinoids.
  • In England, the number of prescriptions for gabapentin and pregabalin were 30% and 56% more, respectively, in the 12 months to December 2019 than the 12 months to December 2015.73 In one study of 251 patients referred to a pain service in the Northeast of England, 82.5% were taking an opioid, over half of whom (56.2%) were also on gabapentinoids, while 16% of those on dual therapy were on high doses of both drugs.
  • Not only does the evidence not support use of gabapentinoids for nonspecific low back pain (or sciatica),27 studies in both Canada and Australia have reported an increased number of overdose deaths associated with dual opioid and gab apentinoid use.
  • UK National Institute for Health and Social Care Excellence did not find any randomised controlled trials of cannabinoids to treat low back pain and advised against their use for chronic pain in adults.
  • A four-year prospective observational study found cannabis users had greater pain and lower self-efficacy in managing pain, and there was no evidence it reduced pain severity or interference or exerted an opioid-sparing effect.
  • There is therefore an urgent need to address politician and public misconceptions about cannabinoids and preventive action to limit the same aggressive marketing approaches for medicinal cannabinoids that enabled the opioid epidemic; a new prescribing epidemic may be imminent.
  • Regenerative medicines such as autologous platelet-rich plasma or stem cell injections into degenerated lumbar discs or facet joints aims to help discs and/or joints regenerate. However, there is only a weak relationship between radiological change and the presence/absence of low back pain (eg, disc degeneration is present in 54% of those symptomatic with low back pain and 34% of those who are symptom free11), which means that even if these products successfully produce regeneration they are unlikely to affect low back pain for most people.
  • Much of the money spent on low back pain is wasted and better solutions are needed.
  • The Lancet Series identified promising solutions that included focused implementation of best practice, the redesign of clinical pathways, integrated health and occupational care, changes to payment systems and legislation, and public health and prevention strategies.30 Yet, we also indicated that most were not yet ready for widespread implementation as the evidence underpinning them was inadequate.
  • Targeted efforts to reduce overuse of imaging for low back pain, a major source of healthcare waste and even iatrogenesis, have not met with much success
  • Global initiatives to decrease health care waste and iatrogenesis such as Choosing Wisely are therefore specifically targeting imaging for low back pain8; however, large-scale impact of these initiatives have not yet been well documented.
  • A controlled before-after study of a spine care pathway that incorporated conservative spine care recommendations introduced in one primary care practice (with 11 primary care physicians) but not another (with 74 primary care physicians) reported a reduction in health care expenditure, mostly attributable to reduced spine surgery costs.90 Opioid utilization was also reduced while manual care costs were increased.

In summary:

The Lancet Low Back Pain Series outlined a way forward to address the increasing and costly effects of disabling low back pain. As a starting point, it garnered enormous media attention and continues to do so, but attention should now be directed towards engaging with consumers and patients, policy makers, clinicians, and researchers to identify and implement effective solutions. While effecting solutions will take time, measuring and benchmarking our progress in different countries will be crucial to these efforts.

Before we get to the next paper, I want to tell you a little about this new tool on the market called Drop Release. I love new toys! If you’re into soft tissue work, then it’s your new best friend. Heck if you’re just into getting more range of motion in your patients, then it’s your new best friend.

Drop Release uses fast stretch to stimulate the Golgi Tendon Organ reflex.  Which causes instant and dramatic muscle relaxation and can restore full ROM to restricted joints like shoulders and hips in seconds.  

Picture a T bar with a built-in drop piece.  This greatly reduces time needed for soft tissue treatment, leaving more time for other treatments per visit, or more patients per day.  Drop Release is like nothing else out there, and you almost gotta see it to understand, so check out the videos on the website.

It’s inventor, Dr. Chris Howson, from the great state of North Dakota, is a listener and friend. He offered our listeners a great discount on his product. When you order, if you put in the code ‘HOTSTUFF’ all one word….as in hot stuff….coming up!! If you enter HOTSTUFF in the coupon code area, Dr. Howson will give you $50 off of your purchase.

Go check Drop Release at droprelease.com and tell Dr. Howson I sent you.

Item #2

The last one we’re going to cover this week is called “Passive intervertebral motion characteristics in chronic mid to low back pain: a multivariate analysis” by Brownhill et. al(Brownhill K 2020). published in Medical Engineering and Physics on 18th of August in 2020. Boiling and smoking and simmerin’!

Why They Did It

Studies comparing back pain patients and controls on how the vertebrae interact with each other and if dysfunction causes pain…..those studies have shown differences. A multivariate re-analysis was carried out to estimate main modes of variation, and explore group differences.

How They Did It

40 participants w/ mechanical back pain and 40 matched controls underwent passive recumbent quantiative videofluoroscopy

Intervertebral angles of L2/3 to L4/5 were obtained for right and left side-bending, extension, and flexion

What They Found

There were three main modes of variation and all of them were related to range of motion and its distribution between joints. 

Significant differences were found for coronal plane motions only

Wrap It Up

“The results confirm altered motion sharing between intervertebral joints in back pain, and provides more details about this. Further work is required to establish how these findings lead to pain, and so strengthen the theoretical basis for treatment and management of this condition.”

Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Keep changing the world and our profession from your little corner of the world. Continue taking care of yourselves and taking care of your neighbors. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it.

Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week. 

Store

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

Subscribe Button

The Message

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

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

It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient.

And, if the patient treats preventativly after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health!

Key Point:

At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints….

That’s Chiropractic!

Contact

Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes. 

Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms. 

We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference. 

Connect

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

Website

Home

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/chiropracticforward/

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

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

Twitter

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtc-IrhlK19hWlhaOGld76Q

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2

Player FM Link

https://player.fm/series/2291021

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through

TuneIn

https://tunein.com/podcasts/Health–Wellness-Podcasts/The-Chiropractic-Forward-Podcast-Chiropractors-Pr-p1089415/

About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & VloggerBibliography

Brownhill K, M. F., Breen A, Breen A, (2020). “Passive Intervertebral Motion Characteristics in Chronic Mid to Low Back Pain: a Multivariate Analysis.” Medical Engineering & Physics.

Buchbinder R, U. M., Harvigsen J, Maher C, (2020). “The Lancet Series call to action to reduce low value care for low back pain: an update.” Pain 161: p 557-564.

 

Current Knowledge On A Robust Low Back Pain Diagnosis

CF 125: Current Knowledge On A Robust Low Back Pain Diagnosis Today we’re going to talk about picking apart a Lumbar pain diagnosis. What’s the latest information according to research? But first, here’s that sweet sweet bumper music    
Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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OK, we are back and you have found the Chiropractic Forward Podcast where we are making evidence-based chiropractic fun, profitable, and accessible while we make you and your patients better all the way around.  We’re the fun kind of research. Not the stuffy, high-brow kind of research. We’re research talk over a couple of beers. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.   Today, I want to use a current paper from November on low back pain and diagnosing it correctly. I’m going to use the paper as the main source of info here but I’m going to be peppering in my own learning as a Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine. I’m a nerd when it comes to the low back for whatever reason. Maybe because its the best researched of the conditions we treat. I don’t know. But I nerd out of this stuff and, if you follow along, by the end of today’s episode, you should be able to raise your low back diagnosis game considerably.    Item #1 This one is called “Current evidence for the diagnosis of common conditions causing low back pain; systematic review and standardized terminology recommendations” by Robert Vining, et. al(Vining R 2019). and published in Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in November of 2019……hot enough, here we go.  Why They Did It The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate and summarize current evidence for the diagnosis of common conditions causing low back pain and to propose standardized terminology use. How They Did It
  • A systematic review of the scientific literature was conducted from inception through December 2018
  • Electronic databases searched included PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, Cochrane, and Index to Chiropractic Literature
  • Of the 3995 articles screened, 36 (8 systematic reviews and 28 individual studies) met final eligibility criteria
  • Diagnostic criteria for identifying likely discogenic, sacroiliac joint, and zygapophyseal (facet) joint pain are supported by clinical studies using injection-confirmed tissue provocation or anesthetic procedures
  • Diagnostic criteria for myofascial pain, sensitization (central and peripheral), and radicular pain are supported by expert consensus–level evidence
  • Criteria for radiculopathy and neurogenic claudication are supported by studies using combined expert-level consensus and imaging findings.
What They Found
  • The absence of high-quality, objective, gold-standard diagnostic methods limits the accuracy of current evidence-based criteria and results in few high-quality studies with a low risk of bias
  • These limitations suggest practitioners should use evidence-based criteria to inform working diagnoses rather than definitive diagnoses for low back pain
Let’s dive in a bit, shall we? Discogenic pain, they say provocation discography is the diagnostic reference standard test used to confirm discogenic pain but it costs a lot, it’s not well standardized and there are some pretty significant risks of adverse effects. So the authors are recommending the centralization phenomenon as an office-based test to try to confirm discogenic pain. I’d add a few other signs of the pain being disc in nature. Here are a few off the top of my head:
  • The patient locates their pain axially and at L5 or above, not laterally
  • You cannot typically provoke the pain when pressing P to A on the segment
  • Walking helps
  • The Slump Test is highly useful here
  • Pain on coughing or sneezing or going from seated to standing
  • Pain that is worse sitting and better when lying down
  • Pain that can be centralized or peripheralized
  • Diminished motor, sensory, or reflexes
  • About 40% of low back pain patients under the age of 50 are discs
  • And pain that radiates beyond the knee
Myofascial Pain – They recommend myofascial pain be defined as nociceptive signaling from within muscle or fascial tissues that may or may not include referred pain or the presence of trigger points. Diagnostic criteria consistent with this definition include tenderness within a muscle with or without referred pain and reproduction of familiar pain with palpation or use. SI Joint Pain – Despite the existence of numerous provocation tests designed to identify SI joint pain, current scientific evidence does not support the diagnostic utility of individual tests. I can agree with that. Therefore, they say that SI anesthetic injections or blocks are the current diagnostic standard but of course, we don’t do that do we? No, we test the SI joints in several different ways and try to have a consensus. 
  • SI joint pain prevalence is about 22.5% of your low back patients
  • Fortin’s finger test raises your suspicion considerably
  • Walking hurts
  • Seated to standing usually hurts
  • For a robust diagnosis of SI, you should have 3 of the following 5 positive tests. 
  • Sacroiliac compression test
  • Distraction / gapping test
  • FABER test
  • Gaenslen’s test
  • Thigh thrust
Facet Joint Pain – They point out a study by Laslett et. al. saying a reporting of 3 out of 5 findings is sufficient to make a facet dx. They are:
  • Patient over 50
  • Paraspinal pain
  • Relieved with walking
  • Relieved with sitting
  • Positive extension/rotation
I will add to that list that facet joints constitute roughly 30% of your low back patients. The extension/rotation test is important. If it’s positive, it can still be something other than facets. But, if it’s negative, it’s almost certainly NOT a facet. Get that again, if extension/rotation is NOT positive, it’s almost certainly NOT facet.  In addition, you can push paraspinal on the patient and provoke the pain whereas, as mentioned, with a disc, you cannot provoke it by palpation.  Typically, long-lever activities are bothersome. Things like vacuuming, doing the dishes, or folding laundry. Anything that involves being slightly bent forward for a period of time.  Stenosis – They say “Neurogenic claudication occurs when spinal stenosis is severe enough to cause symptoms from intermittent neural compression or ischemia, most commonly from degenerative changes within the spine.” They say they “recommend diagnostic criteria reported by Nadeau et al. Which are symptoms triggered with standing, relieved by sitting, symptoms above the knees, and positive shopping cart sign.” For me here in my clinic, I use the protocol Carmen Amendolia created and validated through research. It’s been highly effective for us and our patients.  Piriformis Syndrome Current diagnostic criteria are available only through a systematic review of clinical features reported in the scientific literature: 
  1. ipsilateral leg radiation, 
  2. (2) greater sciatic notch tenderness, 
  3. (3) buttock pain, 
  4. (4) positive SLR, and 
  5. (5) pain with sitting
I would add that resisted external rotation could give you a hint. Put your hands on the lateral sides of the patient’s knees bilaterally. Then tell the patient to try to spread their legs while you resist. It’s painful, you have another very simple hint that you may be dealing with a piriformis issue.  So there you have it with my own learning from the neuromusculoskeletal diplomate program salted and peppered in for a good robust discussion. Yes, there are other considerations like lumbar sprain strain and things like that but these are the biggies.  If you weren’t before, you should be well-equipped after this episode to kill it on a low back diagnosis.  Alright, that’s it. Y’all be safe. Continue taking care of yourselves and taking care of your neighbors. Tough times are upon us but, the sun will shine again. Trust it, believe it, count on it. Let’s get to the message. Same as it is every week.  Key Takeaways Store Remember the evidence-informed brochures and posters at chiropracticforward.com.   
Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors

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  The Message I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment rather than chemical treatments like pills and shots. When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show us patients can get good to excellent results for headaches, neck pain, back pain, and joint pain to name just a few. It’s safe and cost-effective can decrease surgeries & disability and we do it through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal hassle to the patient. And, if the patient treats preventatively after initial recovery, we can usually keep it that way while raising the overall level of health! Key Point: At the end of the day, patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment that offers the least harm. When it comes to non-complicated musculoskeletal complaints…. That’s Chiropractic! Contact Send us an email at dr dot williams at chiropracticforward.com and let us know what you think of our show and tell us your suggestions for future episodes.  Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on podcast platforms.  We know how this works by now. If you value something, you have to share it, interact with it, review it, talk about it from time to time, and actively hit a few buttons to support it here and there when asked. It really does make a big difference.  Connect We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. Website
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Social Media Links https://www.facebook.com/chiropracticforward/ Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP https://www.facebook.com/groups/1938461399501889/ Twitter YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtc-IrhlK19hWlhaOGld76Q iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2 Player FM Link https://player.fm/series/2291021 Stitcher: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through TuneIn https://tunein.com/podcasts/Health–Wellness-Podcasts/The-Chiropractic-Forward-Podcast-Chiropractors-Pr-p1089415/ About the Author & Host Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & VloggerBibliography Vining R, S. Z., Minkalis A, (2019). “Current evidence for diagnosis of common conditions causing low back pain; systematic review and standardized terminology recommendations.” J Man Manip Ther 42(9): P651-654.

CF 057: What Is Contributing To Low Back Pain And More Opioid Bashing

CF 057: What Is Contributing To Low Back Pain And More Opioid Bashing

Today we’re going to talk about What Is Contributing To Low Back Pain And More Opioid Bashing from us. We hate them and they don’t do any good anyway so why did 72,000 people have to die at their hands last year in America?

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 fumbled your way into Episode #57

Junk I Say

Let’s first talk a bit about junk I say. I drive myself crazy and here’s why; I get flustered sometimes. I don’t know why. Honestly, I’d like to eventually go on the speaking circuit but I think I’ll be terrible at it. Lol. I get flustered. 

I always listen to the episodes after they post. For a couple of reasons but it’s kind of like why a football team will watch game tape the day and week after a game. I do the same thing. I want to identify where I can improve and how I can make myself and the show better from week to week. 

Well, I invariably catch myself saying stuff that makes no sense. Like in the recent episode where I discussed the lack of research for lumbar fusion, I referred to an orthopedic surgeon as an osteopath. What? Trust me…..I know the damn difference so things like that make me want to punch myself in the nose a little. 

Another is that, without thinking, I’ve been calling it the diplomate of American chiropractic orthopedists. Yeah….that’s not what it is and I know that. Lol. It’s the Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists and those folks can be a member of the American Chiropractic Orthopedists. You see the confusion, right?

Anyway….I’m not a dummy people. Well, most days anyway. I still have my brain farts but I’m usually fairly put together. Or at least I like to think I am. Reminds me of a comedian I heard when I was a kid. He said, “I may look dumb, but that doesn’t mean I’m not!” Yeah….so you just think about that for a bit. 

The DACO

Speaking of the DACO program, “What’s the latest?”, you may ask. To that I would answer that a lot is going on actually. I slowed down for a bit but picked it back up during the holidays with the spare time I had. 

More communication drills including ideas and instruction on how to tactfully disagree with our medical counterparts. For instance, if they diagnose a patient with a disc and we are CERTAIN it’s an SI, how are you going to let them down softly and keep them from going away mad ala Motley Crue…girl….don’t go away mad. Just go away. 

You know we all have egos and you know damn well that “king ego” exists in the medical world. How do you tell those people they’re at odds with the research? I’m afraid there are some of them that would rather be wrong than be corrected. 

How do you tell them that they diagnosed a tension-type headache when, in reality, the symptoms are more in line with a cervicogenic headache? And then, how do you tell a GP that probably doesn’t like cervical manipulation that you recommend just that?

Things that make you go “Hmmmm….”

At the end of each of the Communication Drills, they give you a script to help you in the future should the need pop up for you to artfully and tactfully slap around Mr. King Ego without them really knowing you payahed them across the face with a glove. 

Short Show 

Alright, it’s a crazy week. I’m trying to close out 2018 as far as stats go and all that good stuff so this episode ain’t gonna be a big one. 

Before we get to it though, I want to ask you to go to chiropracticforward.com and sign up for our newsletter. It’s just an email. We’ll send you one once a week when a new episode pops up and, if we have something cool to tell you about, I’ll include it in that email. No extra emails. Don’t be so stingy with that damn email address. 

Don’t be like a college kid with the last piece of pizza. Don’t be that kid. 

Onto the Research

Let’s get to the goodies, folks. Let’s start with this one from BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders by Shanthi Ramanathan, Peter Hibbert, Louise Wiles, Christopher Maher, and William Runicman called “What is the association between the presence of comorbidities and the appropriateness of care for low back pain? A population-based medical record review study[1].”

 

First thing here is that Chris Maher is a busy guy, y’all. Seriously. He is a Physical Therapist and I believe lives in Australia if I remember correctly. He was on a paper we discussed recently having to do with lumbar fusion as well as being on The Lancet series of papers for low back pain. He’s a mover and shaker

Why They Did It

Knowing that low back pain is non-specific in 90% of cases, low back pain is treated as an independent entity even though we know other conditions exist with it or contribute to it. What comorbidities? Things like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, etc…

What They Found

One hundred and sixty-four LBP patients were included in the analysis. Over 60% of adults with LBP in Australia had one of 17 comorbidities documented, with females being more likely than males to have comorbid conditions.

Wrap Up

This study established that the presence of comorbidities is associated with poorer care for LBP. Understanding why this is so is an important direction for future research.

Paper #2

Onward we march…. This one is called “Chiropractors’ views on the use of patient-reported outcome measures in clinical practice; a qualitative study.” It was written with Michelle Holmes as the lead author followed by Felicity Bishop, David Newell, Jonathan Field, and George Lewith and it was published in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies in December of 2018[2]. 

I know you people like the new stuff. 

Why They Did It

Patient-reported outcome measures (also known as OATS in my office and probably your office as well. OATS meaning Outcome Assessments)

Anyway, OATS are widely available for use in musculoskeletal care there’s not much research exploring the implementation of OATS in clinical practice. They wanted to see what chiropractors’ views were on OATS to identify any barriers and facilitators to implementing OATS in chiropractic care.

What They Found

“Chiropractors are increasingly using OATS in their clinical practice. The aim of this qualitative study was to examine the views of chiropractors on using OATS. Exploring chiropractors’ experience of using OATS, this study identified how clinician knowledge and engagement and organizational barriers and facilitators affect implementing OATS in chiropractic care, such as choosing the appropriate OATS and systems to use in their practice. Chiropractors also identified possible training needs of chiropractors regarding OATS, with training including the process and benefits of using OATS in clinical practice.”

Opioids

Now, in our “beating a dead horse” segment, let’s bash the hell out of opioids, shall we? Well, don’t mind if I do!

This one is by Jason Busse, a Chiropractor by the way, and associate professor in the department of anesthesia at McMaster University’s school of medicine in Ontario, Canada……. Canada has it going on, folks. Seriously.

Here’s a chiropractor in the department of anesthesia at a school of medicine. We need to get that guy on our podcast don’t you think?

The paper was also written by Li Wang, Ph.D., and Mostafa Kamaleldin. Easy for you to say. 

It’s called “Opioids for Chronic Noncancer Pain; A systematic review and meta-analysis[3]” and appeared in JAMA in December of 2018. 

Why They Did It

They wanted to find out if the use of opioids to treat chronic noncancer pain was associated with greater benefits or harms compared with placebo and alternative analgesics.

Wrap It Up

In this meta-analysis of RCTs of patients with chronic noncancer pain, evidence from high-quality studies showed that opioid use was associated with statistically significant but small improvements in pain and physical functioning, and increased risk of vomiting compared with placebo. Comparisons of opioids with nonopioid alternatives suggested that the benefit for pain and functioning may be similar, although the evidence was from studies of only low to moderate quality.

CNN’s Spin 

CNN actually did an article by Michael Nedelman[4], on this paper where they get a little deeper saying the following, “For adults with chronic pain, opioids offer narrow improvements over placebo for pain and physical functioning, on average, according to a new analysis published Tuesday. And the majority of patients will experience no meaningful benefit.”

Subgroups of the studies included in the analysis suggest that non-opioid alternatives — such as NSAIDs, certain antidepressants and medical cannabis — may offer similar benefits to opioids on average. But the evidence for that is less strong, Busse said.

Question

Here’s my question for Dr. Busse, “Considering the fact that the American College of Physicians and The Lancet promote spinal manipulative therapy for acute and chronic low back pain as an alternative to opioids, and considering you are a chiropractor, why did your research not include spinal manipulative therapy as one of the alternative treatments?”

My guess is that maybe there were not enough randomized controlled trials comparing spinal manipulative therapy directly to opioids? I’m not sure why, to be honest. 

What We Know

But, we do know from JAMA that a current review found that spinal manipulation therapy is associated with moderate improvements in pain and function in patients with acute low back pain[5].

We know from Keeney et al that there “Reduced odds of surgery were observed for…those whose first provider was a chiropractor. 42.7% of workers [with back injuries] who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who saw a chiropractor[6].”

From Haas et. al[7]., we know “Acute and chronic chiropractic patients experienced better outcomes in pain, functional disability, and patient satisfaction; clinically important differences in pain and disability improvement were found for chronic patients.”

There are so many others that I just don’t have the time to get into right now but, I’m certainly interested in papers comparing the two directly to each other. I bet I already know the answer and I bet you do too. 

Integrating Chiropractors

The Message

Here’s why you know the answer already……it’s because we know 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

Home

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/chiropracticforward/

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

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

Twitter

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtc-IrhlK19hWlhaOGld76Q

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2

Player FM Link

https://player.fm/series/2291021

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through

TuneIn

About the Author & Host

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

 

Bibliography

1. Ramanthan S, H.P., Wiles L, Maher C, Runicman W,, What is the association between the presence of comorbidities and the appropriateness of care for low back pain? A population-based medical record review study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord, 2018. 19(391).

2. Holmes M, B.F., Newell D, Field J, Lewith G,, Chiropractors’ views on the use of patient-reported outcome measures in clinical practice: a qualitative study. Chiropr Man Therap, 2018. 26(50).

3. Busse J, W.L., Kamaleldin M,, Opioids for Chronic Noncancer Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. JAMA, 2018. 320(23): p. 2448-2460.

4. Nedelman, M., Opioids offer little chronic pain benefit and wane over time, study says, in CNN. 2018: CNN Online.

5. Page N, Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy With Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain. Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), 2107. 317(14): p. 1451-1460.

6. Keeney BJ, Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine (Phila Pa 1976), 2013. May 15(38): p. 11.

7. Haas M, A practice-based study of patients with acute and chronic low back pain attending primary care and chiropractic physicians: two-week to 48-month follow-up. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2004. Mar-Apr;27(3): p. 160-9.

CF 025: Vets With Low Back Pain. Usual Care + Chiropractic vs. Usual Care Alone

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

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

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

 

 

 

CF 054: Lumbar Fusion Surgery and Its Evidence Or Lack Of

CF 054: Lumbar Fusion Surgery and Its Evidence Or Lack Of

Today we’re going to talk about a great new paper coming to us from Internal Medicine Journal on Lumbar fusion surgery and it’s evidence or lack of. What’s the word on lumbar fusion surgery? We’ll tell you.

But first, here’s that silky smooth Chiropractic Forward 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 glided all fast and furiously into Episode #54 and we’re happy to have you here smokin tires and all. Kill the engine and take a chill pill, won’t you?

DACO

Let’s talk a bit about the Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedics program quickly. I’m sitting at around 76 of my online hours and I have to get 250 of those. Yes, if you were wondering, it is going by slowly here lately but I’m going to have a little time this week and weekend to put the pedal to the metal and get after it. 

Some classes from this past week were migraines, migraines in children, thoracolumbar junction difficulties, and chronically injured hamstrings. 

Spelling Issues

These courses come from a group in Australia and they really take the long road when it comes to spelling. Did you guys know that? The first thing that’s crazy about the Aussies is that they use esses instead of z’s. For example, recognize is spelled with an s rather than a “z”.

When you see the word orthopedic spelled orthopaedic, it’s because of them and the English. We take the shortcuts and say, hey, recognize has a z sound in it so let’s spell it with a z. Hey, orthopedic has an e sound in the middle of it so let’s drop the dumb a since we don’t need it and let’s just spell it orthopedic. 

Here’s another one. Behavior. These goofy people spell it behaviour. They snuck in au right there at the very end of the word like they thought they were going to get away with it or something. Uh uh. Nope. We Americans don’t need the u at the end so we just end it in or. Because we’re cool and ain’t nobody got time for that crap. 

The most annoying one is probably edema or estrogen. They start both of those words with an O. Who the hell would ever spell estrogen Oestrogen? Or edema spelled oedema? That’s absolutely uncalled for and I’d appreciate them re-evaluating their use of the English language in this manner. 

Absolute ridiculosity. 

I am currently designing some really cool stuff all based in research and current evidence that I think you will all be interested in. At least I hope you are because, from what I’ve seen in researching, it’s like nothing else out there. 

Go to chiropracticforward.com right now while you’re thinking about it, just under this week’s episode, you’ll see an area where you can sign up for the newsletter. It’s only once a week and it’ll help us tell you about what we’re working on when we get it ready to go live!!

Now, let’s get to the reason for the season here. 

The is titled “Lumbar Spine Fusion: What Is The Evidence(Harris I 2018)?” and it was written by Ian Harris, Adrian Traeger, Ralph Stanford, Christopher Maher, and Rachelle Buchbinder. I recognize at least two of these names from the low back pain series published in The Lancet earlier this year. 

If you have not been through those papers, please listen to episodes #16, 17, and 18 of this Chiropractic Forward podcast for all the info you need on that. 

Basically, in this paper, they say that lumbar spinal fusion is common and associated with high cost and a risk of serious adverse events. They state that they aim to summarize systematic reviews on the effectiveness of lumbar spine fusion for most diagnoses. 

Of important note is where they say that they found NO high-quality systematic reviews and the risk of bias of the randomized controlled trials they found was generally high. For something as serious as lumbar fusion surgery. Where they cut into the body, take two vertebrae that usually aren’t unstable on each other, and then drive screws into them and affix hardware to fuse them together forever and ever amen. 

No high-quality systematic reviews for lumbar fusion surgery and the RCTs out there generally carry a high risk of bias. Great. Duly noted. Awesome. Lumbar fusion surgery

They go on to say that the available evidence doesn’t support a clinical benefit from lumbar fusion surgery compared to non-operative treatment or stabilization without fusion for thoracolumbar burst fractures. 

They say that surgical intervention for metastatic carcinoma of the spine associated with spinal cord compromise improves mobility and neurological outcome. That was based on a single trial. 

That was the high points of the abstract but let’s move in a little more and get on the micro level of this thing. 

This study takes info from Australia and, in the land down under, lumbar spine fusion is the fourth most costly surgical procedure, behind knee replacement, hip replacement, and C-sections. For a procedure with no high-quality systemic reviews. The first word that comes to mind for me here is, “Damn.”

The most common reasons used for lumbar spine fusion procedures would be intervertebral disc disease (which nearly everyone beyond 50-60yrs old has), degenerative scoliosis, and spinal canal stenosis. 

The main purpose here was to compare lumbar spinal fusion to non-operative means. Not to compare it to other surgical procedures. 

Conclusion

As part of the conclusion, the authors say, “The available evidence does not support the hypothesis that lumbar fusion surgery confers a clinical benefit compared to non‐operative alternatives for low back pain associated with degeneration. Similarly, the available evidence does not support the hypothesis that spine fusion confers a clinical benefit compared to non‐operative treatment or stabilization without fusion for thoracolumbar burst fractures. 

Benefits of lumbar fusion surgery compared to non‐operative treatment for isthmic spondylolisthesis are unclear (one trial at high risk of bias). Surgical intervention for metastatic carcinoma of the spine associated with spinal cord compromise improves mobility and neurological outcome (based on a single trial).

Ideally, lumbar fusion surgery for spondylolisthesis, burst fractures, back pain or degenerative conditions (degenerative scoliosis, spinal stenosis, recurrent disc herniation or instability), should only be performed in the context of high-quality clinical trials until the true value for each of these conditions is established. 

Until better quality evidence is available, treatment will continue to be guided by expert clinical opinion based on evidence at high risk of bias. Patients contemplating lumbar fusion surgery should be fully informed about the evidence base for their particular problem, including the relative potential benefits and harms of fusion compared with non‐operative treatments.

When Surgery Is OK

Let’s transition from that to an excellent guideline called When Surgery is OK and this comes from the legendary Dr. Stu McGill. 

To keep this episode from getting too long and out of hand, let’s hit the highlights. This is a 3-page document so we’ll shorten it to the extent that makes sense while still squeezing the good stuff out of it. Use these thoughts and ideas when deciding if surgery is indicated. 

Stu says to try the virtual surgery game and consider surgery only when it fails. Meaning pretend you had surgery today and tomorrow is the first day of recovery. It is characterized by gentle movements and activities but mostly a forced day of rest. The days following a typical post-surgical progression involves restricted activity. If this helps, no surgery at this time. 

Consider surgery when neurological issues are substantial, such as loss of bowel and bladder control. Note: that does not include radiating symptoms like sciatica, peripheral numbness, atrophy, etc….

Consider surgery in cases of trauma. When structures are unstable and need to be stabilized. 

Consider surgery only when the pain has been unrelenting and severe for a substantial period of time. Pain can be a terrible and misleading reason to get surgery. 

Select the surgeon. Dr. McGill says everyone likes to state that they had the best surgeon. He has found that asking the nurses and physical therapists at the hospital which surgeon has the best results is a wise way to go. 

Discuss the pain with the surgeon. Ask what the pain generator is and if they can cut it out. IF there are several tissues involved, chances of success are getting worse. Also if there is damage at several levels. 

Clarify what the success rate is. What does success even mean in your case? Does that mean you survived or does it mean you did OK for a bit before relapsing into pain? You want long-term success to any and all other options available. 

Beware of new treatments. That one should really go without any further discussion. Don’t be a pioneer on the patient side of surgical procedures. 

Beware of disc replacement – Dr. McGill states in this paper that he has not seen a successful case as of the writing of the article. 

Always exhaust the conservative options – He says you may believe that since you tried physical therapy and it didn’t help that only surgery remains. It just may be that the exact therapy tried was not the right one for your specific condition. 

FREE MRI Review

Beware of institutes that offer to view medical images and, with no other information, advise patients on surgery. Pictures are not linked to pain. He argues that a thorough clinical assessment is absolutely essential. I want to butt in on this one. The laser institute and orthopedic surgeons are all over the commercials on TV with this one. 

I will take this time to admit because they’re doing these free MRI reviews, I’m offering the same in my region but here’s why. It’s evidently enticing or they would not offer it and I KNOW for a fact they have a higher-paid marketing department that has decided it is indeed effective. 

That’s one of the reasons I’m doing it but the real reason is because I know that the majority of these people, if they get a free MRI review at the osteopath or the laser spine institute, they’re very likely to be lined up for surgery whereas I, after a thorough exam, will be lining them up for conservative, non-invasive therapy and I can usually keep these people from surgery and useless shots. 

There’s a difference. My free MRI review is to prevent them from surgery. Their free MRI review, in my opinion, is to QUALIFY them for surgery. 

Wrap Up

In wrapping this article or paper up, Dr. McGill says the following, “Tissues in the back become irritated with repeated loading. Consider accidentally stuffing a toe or biting the lip repeatedly – eventually, the slightest touch causes pain. This is symptom magnification because the tissues are hypersensitized. Reduction of the hypersensitivity in the toe or lip only occurs following a substantial amount of time after the accidental stub or bite has stopped.”

Dr. McGill goes on to say, “For example, people with flexion bending intolerance of the spine may replicate this every time they rise from a chair. Correcting this movement fault, metaphorically taking the hits away, results in less sensitized tissues, an increased repertoire of pain-free tasks, and a return of motion. Motion returns once the pain goes away.”

Boom. Snap. Pow. Shazam. KaBAM!! Superhero abilities via the chiropractor and ZERO surgery. How clever. 

Opinion

I don’t care what your chiropractic practice looks like. OK….I lie. As long as it doesn’t make mine look hokey or bad, then I don’t care what your practice looks like. Some are geared toward getting people out of pain. Some are geared to some wellness protocol. Some are floundering because they don’t know where they belong or exactly what they’re trying to accomplish. 

I’ll admit that, at one point in time, I was one of them. 

But, one common thread through all sorts of practices is this, we keep people from surgery. Maybe not 100% of the time but we do a hell of a job with the tools we’ve been given and I love the direction that opioids and lumbar fusion surgery failures are pushing our profession. 

Sometimes even in spite of ourselves. 

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

Home

Social Media Links

https://www.facebook.com/chiropracticforward/

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP

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

Twitter

YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtc-IrhlK19hWlhaOGld76Q

iTunes

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing/id1331554445?mt=2

Player FM Link

https://player.fm/series/2291021

Stitcher:

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-chiropractic-forward-podcast-chiropractors-practicing-through

TuneIn

About the Author & Host

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

 

Bibliography

Harris I, T. A., Stanford R, (2018). “Lumbar spine fusion: what is the evidence?” Internal Med J.

 

 

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

CF 020: Chiropractic Evolution or Extinction?

 

 

 

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 [email protected] 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 [email protected] 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 017: Pt. 2 – Review of The Lancet Article on Treatment of Low Back Pain

Review of The Lancet Article: Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions (Part Two)

On the Chiropractic Forward podcast this week, we are going continue a review of a recent paper published on low back pain that we hope will have a powerful impact in the months and years to follow. This week it will be a review of paper #2 from the Lancet series called Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions. 

Before we get started, I want to draw your attention our website at http://www.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. Also, if something brand  new pops up, we’ll be able to tell you about it quickly and easily.

Welcome to the podcast today, you have strolled right into episode 17. I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast where we talk about issues related to health, chiropractic, evidence, chiropractic advocacy, and research. Thank you for taking time out of your day I know your time is valuable and I want to fill it with value so here we go.

As I mentioned at the top of the show, this week, I want to continue with the series published in The Lancet on March 21, 2018. For a quick re-cap this week…. The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected medical journals in the world. It has been around since 1823. In addition to the credibility of the journal, this series of papers dealing with Low Back Pain, prevention of low back pain, and treatment of low back pain was compiled and authored by the leading experts on the matter globally. On top of that, the experts were a group of interdisciplinary practitioners which meant they ranged from medical doctors and PhD’s, to physical therapists and chiropractors. 

The three papers were broken down as follows:

  1. What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention.
  2. Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions.
  3. Low back pain: a call for action.

Last week, we reviewed the first of the three papers which was titled, “What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention.” We went through it note by note and section by section trying to strip away the embellishments to simply boil it down to a leisure read and, hopefully, an enjoyable learning process. 

We will do the same this week with the second paper of the series titled, “Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions.”

I want to start this week in the same way we started last week: by discussing how the papers were accomplished. 

How They Did It

For this paper, again titled “Prevention and treatment of low back pain,” the researchers identified scientific studies through searches of databases:

•MEDLINE (PubMed)

•Scopus

•Google Scholar

•African Index Medicus Database

In order to ensure a high-quality standard, systematic reviews were shown preference for inclusion.

Paper 2 Summary:

Recommendations commonly offered for those with low back pain include:

  • Pharmacologic implementation is not typically a first line choice
  • Education supporting self-management
  • Resumption of regular daily activities
  • Resumption of exercise
  • Psychological programs for those with low back pain that tends to linger
  • Limited or non-use of medication
  • Limited or non-use of imaging
  • Limited or non-use of surgery

The authors state that these recommendations for prevention and treatment of low back pain are derived from high-income countries and that they are concentrated on treatment rather than preventative recommendations. 

The authors state there is an inappropriate high usage of the following treatments for low back pain:

  • Spinal injections
  • Imaging
  • Opioids
  • Surgery
  • Rest

In the rest of the paper, the authors identify some promising directions and solutions for treatment of low back pain including the redesign of clinical pathways, an integrated health partnership, and occupational interventions to get workers back when possible.

Prevention

  • A 2016 systematic review with 30,850 adults showed that there was moderate quality evidence that exercise alone, or in combination with education, is effective for prevention of low back pain. 
  • However, the review was mainly for secondary prevention and the exercise program required an intense schedule of twenty 1-hour supervised sessions.
  • A 2014 systematic review with 2700 children that found moderate quality evidence that education is not effective. They also found that ergonomic furniture was likely no more help in preventing low back pain than regular furniture. 

Treatment

The authors cite three studies. The studies come from Denmark, the UK, and the USA. 

  • All three of the studies (Danish, UK and USA) recommend spinal manipulation as an effective treatment of low back pain. The UK study specifically recommends spinal manipulation in conjunction with an exercise protocol. 
  • As my own side note, in America, chiropractors perform 90% of all spinal manipulations. When we are discussing spinal manipulation and it’s role in treating low back pain, it is important to keep in mind which profession is the one being recommended. Although the authors do not come out and recommend chiropractic specifically, when spinal manipulations are recommended, it is a well-known fact that chiropractors are the doctors that are best-equipped to perform the treatment. 
  • Also in the US guidelines, there is a recommendations for the marked reduction of pharmacologic care. 
  • Some key advice coming from these updated recommendations (besides the use of spinal manipulation) is to assure patients they are not suffering from serious disease, that they will indeed improve in time, that they should continue as much movement and exercise as can be tolerated, they should avoid bed rest, and they should get back to work as soon as possible. 
  • The authors recommend physical treatments. Certainly for chronic low back pain which refers to pain lasting longer than 12 weeks. Physical treatments included exercise programs targeting the patients’ abilities, preferences, etc. 
  • The authors stated that passive therapies such as electric stim, interferential, traction, diathermy, and back supports seem to be ineffective. As a side note, it’s strictly anecdotal but this panel of experts are going to have a hard time convincing me traction, when done correctly, is not effective. I’ve seen patients avoid surgery from traction therapy alone.
  • They say new recommendations encourage doctors consider psychological therapies such as cognitive behavior therapies, progressive relaxation therapy, and mindfulness-based stress reduction alone or in combination with other physical and psychological treatment for chronic low back pain with or without radiculopathy having not responded to other treatments. 
  • If the condition persists and the patient is functionally disabled, the authors then recommend multidisciplinary rehab with supervised exercise, cognitive behavior, and medication. 
  • Of course, routine use of opioids is not advised.
  • Recommend no spinal epidural injections or facet joint injections for low back pain
  • Do recommend epidural injections of local anesthetic & steroid for radicular pain, however, as we have discussed before, epidural steroid injections show short-term effectiveness only if they are effective at all and have no influence at all on long-term disability or future need for surgery. In my own research, epidural steroid injections have shown to increase risk of spinal fracture up to 21% after each subsequent injection. 
  • Surgery – the benefits for spinal fusion when the back pain was thought to be due to degenerated discs were about equal to the results gained with intensive multidisciplinary rehab and only a modest improvement over non-surgical treatment. In addition, surgery has obvious downsides like expense, recovery, medication, and the risk of adverse events. However, surgery may be indicated when the patient is suffering severe or progressive neurological symptoms and surgery may be indicated when patients suffer radicular pain, have failed first line treatment, and the symptoms can be traced to via imaging to a disc or stenosis origin. 
  • Ultimately, the authors say, low back pain patients have a tendency to resolve with out without surgical intervention so waiting and trying to avoid surgery is certainly appropriate. 
  • Research dealing with low back pain in children or in low and middle income countries is limited so a lot is unknown for those categories, however, the two studies that actually have been done in low and middle income countries (Brazil and Philippines) have similar results as those in high income countries. 

The global gap between evidence and practice

This section masterfully demonstrates the difference between evidence-based medicine and what is really happening in the real world.

  • They start by stating that low back pain should be managed by primary care practitioners and then go on to list studies showing how it is being managed, in many cases, by emergency rooms, hospitals, and surgeons. 
  • Their next directive is to provide low back pain patients with education and advice on self management and then show how, in the real world, roughly only 20%-23% of practitioners seem to actually do so. 
  • The next directive is for low back pain patients to stay active and get to work or stay at work if possible. They go on to cite research showing how, in the real world, medical professionals are recommending rest and time off work. In India, for example, 46% of physiotherapists recommended rest to low back pain patients and in Brazil, rheumatologist recommended rest. 
  • The next comparison was for the guideline that imaging should only be ordered if the practitioner suspects a specific cause that would guide treatment and case management differing from normal care recommendations. In the USA, for example, from 2010-2013 the rate of imaging the low back with no red flags stayed consistent at 53.7%.  If we thought that was excessive, the authors go on to cite information from India showing 100% of chronic low back pain patients in an orthopedic clinic underwent imaging for non-specific low back pain. Similar results were found through the other studies cited for low and middle income countries. 
  • The next comparison was for the guideline that the first line treatments should be non-pharmacologic. They found that this guideline is not commonly followed citing research for high income countries demonstrating that 64.5% of low back pain patients in Australia from 2000-2010 were prescribed meds on the first visit and, on a personal note, I had a patient here in the USA just this morning with acute low back pain that was prescribed pain meds on the first day. To be fair, his pain is severe but, they are not following guidelines and the meds have had no impact on his level of pain still he continues to take them as ordered. Medication for no effect essentially. In the lower and middle-income countries, the authors cite research showing that in South Africa, 90% of the low back pain patients going to a primary care physician received medication. 
  • The next guideline was that many times, there was advice to avoid electrical physical modalities such as diathermy, etc. In the high-income setting, Swedish physiotherapists recommend transcutaneous stim for low back pain to the tune of 38%, 75% of American PTs use lumbar traction, and a Spanish National Health Service study suggested 38.6% of physical therapy costs were for treatments known to have no effectiveness.
  • The next guide comparison was that the use of opioids is discouraged. The authors go on to cite prescription rates from 2004-2009 and, to be honest, I think the opioid epidemic has likely caused the numbers cited to actually drop. Although opioid addiction is on the rise, it’s my opinion that it is now at the forefront of the national story. With the sort of attention it has demanded, I cannot imagine the numbers staying the same. That is my opinion, of course. 
  • Next guide was that surgery and interventional treatment should be very limited or possibly eliminated for low back pain. In the real world, this is not occurring. In the USA in 2011, spinal fusion was the reason for the most costs of any surgical procedure in the nation. US Medicare covered 2,023,481 epidural injections (a substantial increase from 2000-2011), 990,449 lumbar or sacral facet injections as well as 406,378 lumbar or sacral facet neurotomy treatments, Medicare funded 252,654 sacroiliac joint injections. Two-thirds of Dutch spinal surgeons perform spinal fusion surgeries. 
  • The next guide comparison was that exercise is now recommended for the treatment of chronic low back pain. A 2009 paper the authors cited showed that 54% of Americans with chronic low back pain were not prescribed any exercise as treatment. 
  • The final guide comparison was done for the recommendation that a biopsychosocial framework guide the management for low back pain patients. In the USA, only 12% of chronic low back pain patients had been treated for their diagnosed depression in the year prior and only 8.4% were recommended cognitive behavioral treatment. 

Promising Directions

Implementation of the best available evidence

The authors state here that some of the biggest issues toward implementation of new low back guidelines may be short consultation times, the practitioners having a decreased amount of knowledge on the guides, fear of being sued if missing serious pathology, and an effort to appease patients’ desires and, in my opinion, be the “good guy” in the patients’ eyes. However, the authors explain that there are some examples of successful implementation and that widespread use may be achieved through dispelling existing established practice patterns, repetition of the guides, and finding out what is the most effective and cost-effective treatments. 

The authors suggest integrated education of health-care professionals surmising that such a thing could not only educate & innovate but also break through professional barriers that exist. Professional barriers such as exist between many in the medical field and the chiropractic field. 

Clinical systems and pathways

The authors say that one solution in the treatment of low back pain could be a radical departure from current procedure and move toward a stratified primary care model known as STarT Back. This model is a two-part model with the first part consisting of a questionnaire to help the practitioner identify the patient’s risk of persistent disabling pain. The second part consists of treatments tailored to the patients level of risk according to the first part questionnaire. 

Another option along these lines would be to redesign the entire case management paths from first contact all the way through to the specialized care practitioner. They argue that a current barrier to doing this is the fact that healthcare reimbursements are currently geared toward quantity rather than quality. Two programs the authors cited for examples of promising pathways are Canada’s Saskatchewan Spine Pathway as well as NHS England’s program. 

Integrate health and occupational interventions

The authors argue in this section that healthcare and occupational health interventions need to be considered simultaneously when it comes to patients with low back pain and work disability issues. Return to work commonly happens before the absence of pain. Even hurting, people can still return to work. The authors tend to have a very strong recommendation on never leaving work or returning as quickly as possible. 

Due to very specific examples, I have admittedly glossed over this section to avoid inaccuracies and unintended generalizations. I highly encourage your reading the paper on your own time for accuracy. 

Public health interventions

In this section, the authors are discussing public relations: how to get the word out. How to change public perception of back pain and the treatment of low back pain. They cite a successful campaign in Australia that used television ads with prominent public figures serving as the spokespeople. They felt it was well-funded and was successful in part due to the proper messaging but also due to laws and public policies that supported the campaign. 

Conclusions

The authors admit that even the solutions put forth in this paper are based on relatively limited evidence. The following are quotes from the conclusion:

  • “Focusing on key principles, such as the need to reduce unnecessary health care for low back pain, support people to be active and stay at work, and reform unhelpful patient clinical pathways and reimbursement models, could guide next steps.”
  • “No single solution will be effective, and a collective, global effort will take time, determination, and organization. Without the collaborative efforts of people with low back pain, policy makers, clinicians, and researchers necessary to develop and implement effective solutions, disability rates, and expenditure for low back pain will continue to rise.”

Key Takeaways:

A paper of this size and of this magnitude, and with the level of education of contributors honestly cannot be done complete justice by a review such as this. I admittedly hit the high spots on the treatment of low back pain. I am more focused in some areas than in others. More specific for some topics and more general in others. That is the nature of a summarization and I hope I am allowed that latitude. 

If you are research minded, if you are a low back pain patient, or if you are a practitioner regularly coming in contact with low back pain patients and interested in treatment of low back pain, it is my opinion that taking the time to read these three papers yourself is of utmost importance. 

Please find the links to the papers in the “References” section and get it done. Together, we can make a big, big difference in the lives of our low back pain patients. Without a doubt. 

For this week’s next step, go register with The Lancet and get this paper for free! You just have to register. That’s it. 

Next week we will review the third and final paper of this three paper series. Next week’s paper is called “Low back pain: a call to action.” It will continue with ideas toward treatment of low back pain. We’ll go through it bit by bit and hit the highlights for those of you that aren’t into reading research papers and things of that sort. Don’t miss it!

If you love what you hear, be sure to check out https://www.chiropracticforward.com

As this podcast builds, so will the website with more content, products, and chances to learn.

 

We cannot wait to connect again with you next week. From Creek Stone, my office here in Amarillo, TX, home of the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward. 

 

Here is the link for Part One of The Lancet Review from last week:

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)

 

 

References:

Paper 1 – “What low back pain is and why we need to pay attention: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30480-X/fulltext

Paper 2 “Prevention and treatment of low back pain: evidence, challenges, and promising directions.”: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30489-6/fulltext

Paper 3 – “Low back pain: a call for action”: https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)30488-4/fulltext