opioids

Chiropractic Helps VA Cut Opioids & Diagnosing Lumbar Stenosis

CF 146: Chiropractic Helps VA Cut Opioids & Diagnosing Lumbar Stenosis

Today we’re going to talk about the success of the VA in reducing prescription opioid use – psst, guess who has helped them do that? And we’ll talk about diagnosing and testing for stenosis.

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.  

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Do it do it do it. 

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #146

Now if you missed last week’s episode , we talked about how even kids can hurt. We talked about manipulation for lumbar radiculopathy. And we talked about the lack of attention found on the chiropractic boards for biopsychosocial issues. 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. 

CF 145: Kids Still Hurt, Manipulation For Lumbar Radiculopathy, & Lack Of Attention On The Boards For Biopsychosocial Matters

 

On the personal end of things…..

To kick off on a cool note you’ll all appreciate, I have a patient that is a med school student that has had amazing results for a pretty significant and lingering disc injury. Your truly opened his eyes to the power of what an evidence-based chiropractor is capable of and it’s paid off for him and, the more of the younger docs that experience something like he has with chiropractic, the more accepted the evidence-based faction of our profession becomes. And the more accepted, the more referrals we get. 

That’s not the good news I wanted to share though. The good news is that he said in one of his classes last week, when they were talking about back pain, manipulation was recommended. In med school. Did you freaking A hear that? Med school is now teaching medical doctors that spinal manipulation isn’t only accepted…..but it’s reco-freaking-mended. 

Bam, Kapow, Zap, Snap, Whack!!

Super hero noises for cool stuff. Hell yeah. 

Moving on, now that school is up and rocking and people are in their normal routines once again, the growth I was talking about a week or two ago is showing to be sustainable at this time. 17 new patients last week tells me we may be slowly getting back to where we were before the Rona. Climbing out of the hole slowly but surely. 

I know all states are different. Here in Texas, as many of you may suspect, is challenging. We probably have A LOT more anti-maskers than many states out there have. We’ve been at work, live…in person since May 1st. Some chiros never took the 2 weeks to step back and see what was up. They just kept motoring through. And….I have to say it looks like they were the smart ones from what I’ve seen. 

I lost out on 2 weeks of work by shutting down completely. Not only that, but from April 1st or so, we were open but emergency only. Honestly…..how many emergencies do we have? We have some but they’re not going sustain my practice. So….I lost two weeks but only doing the emergency thing made me lose a lot of business as well. 

Then, we’re open to everyone and anyone basically on May 1st. Cool, but it took a good while before people started coming in. They knew we closed for a bit and didn’t always know we were back open. Plus, a ton of them were just scared. Understandably. 

So, as with everyone else that follows science, rules, and recommendations, we lost out. For sure. Since I’ve been back at it….again….May 1st, it seems that maybe we could have been safely going the whole time. I could look back and be upset that I followed the rules and that I’m a boy scout like that. But, I’m not going to be. Because how quickly we may forget; it was spooky. Nobody knew the mortality rate. Nobody knew what percentage end up in the hospital or what percentage gets put on a ventilator and how those percentages change from age group to age group. 

We didn’t know anything about it. When you get reports that the death rate is as high as 5% and then a separate paper says it lives on plastic as much as 3 days…..well hell. Please excuse me a sec while my anxiety goes through the roof. I mean, I want to be polite and excuse myself but yeah, the anxiety was going through the roof for myself as well as for the majority of us out there. Not the subluxation slaying spine whisperers of course but for us sciencers….yeah….we were concerned. 

Now we know so much more. We know when everyone in the clinic is masked, we lower our chances of transmission. Life is continuing. Anxiety is still somewhat up there. But life’s continuing as it all seems to work itself out.  The college kid cases are going up all the time. As expected because they’re kids and they’re knuckleheads. As long as they don’t take it home to vulnerable folks, then I don’t see it as harmful. It’s only helpful. 

My daughter has been going to in-person on-campus junior high with over 1,000 fellow knuckleheads. In the first six weeks there have been 2-3 teachers come down with it and about 4 kids. While that may seem a lot to some of you, I see it as a win so far. All of those people in one building together for 6 weeks and that’s all the spread we have? And let’s be fair, I know one of the teachers for sure got it from her husband who brought it home from work. 

To me, it means so far, they are not giving it back and forth to each other at the schools as long as they’re being careful and masking. So far. I really thought they’d all be closed down and go back to strictly online learning by now. I’m still pleasantly wrong. I’ll take it. 

Alright folks Enough Rona rambling. I don’t start talking about it becuase I love the topic. I’ll admit that I do find it all fascinating though. I really do. I’m a bit nerdy about stuff like that. 

Anyway, I talk about it every week because….damnit….that’s what’s going on. It’s the way it is. It’s in my personal happenings as it is in yours as well. So, I might as well talk about it and share with you my experiences, what I’m seeing in my practice, and how I’m muddling through this mess. It’ll either let you know you’re not alone or it’ll show you what you don’t want to do. I’m good either way. As long as you get some use out of it!

Item #1

This one comes from the Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs(2020) and is called “VA reduces prescription opioid use by 64% during past eight years.” It was published online on July 30, 2020…..yep…..pretty damn hot. 

This was an article that was basically announcing that t he VA has successfully reduced prescription opioid use in patients within the VA system by 64%. They went from more than 679.000 veterans in 2012 to 247,000 in 2020. 

Lancet Low Back Update & Movement Disorders Mean Pain

 

They say they achieve this dramatic reduction by safer amd more responsible use of opioids but also by treating chronic pain using alternative therapies and treatments. Guess who’s a big part of that? Chiropractors. Yep that’s right. And to be fair…acupuncturists as well. We are getting referrals from the VA for both chiropractic and acupuncture. 

They say, the “VA takes an interdisciplinary approach to care focused on a Veteran’s Whole Health by using non-pharmacological, complementary pain management treatments, self-care, skill building, and support to transition from a biomedical to a biopsychosocial model of pain care. “

How many times have you heard me screaming about the biopsychosocial aspect of chronic pain? A LOT….a lot…

If you follow the link in the article to their list of complementary pain management treatments, chiropractic and acupuncture are the first two listed. Good stuff people. Good stuff. 

They’re just not there yet but wouldn’t have been nice if the title was something like, “The VA system reduces opioids 64% by be smarter and by using chiropractic and acupuncture.” I’m not holding my breath for that day but it really should read just like that. Baby steps I suppose. Itty bitty, teensy weensy baby steps it seems. 

Next paper covers diagnostic tests for stenosis but…

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

This one is called “Diagnostic tests in the clinical diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis: Consensus and Results of an International Delphi Study” authored by Tomkins-Lane et. al(Tomkins-Lane C 2020). and published in European Spine Journal in June of 2020. Damn hot enough!

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to reach a consensus on which diagnostic tests are most important in confirming the clinical diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis

How They Did It

  • Phase 1: 22 members of the International Taskforce on the Diagnosis and Management of LSS confirmed 35 diagnostic items
  • An on-line survey was developed that allows experts to express the logical order in which they consider the diagnostic tests, and the level of certainty ascertained from each test.
  • Phase 2, Round 1: Survey distributed to members of the International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine
  • Round 2: Meeting of 15 members of Taskforce defined final list of 10 items.
  • Round 3: Survey was distributed internationally, followed by Taskforce consensus.

What They Found

  • 432 clinicians from 28 different countries participated
  • Certainty of the diagnosis was 60% after selecting the first test and significant change in certainty ceasing after eight items at 90.8% certainty
  • The most frequently selected tests included MRI/CT scan, neurological examination and walking test with gait observation. 
  • The diagnostic test selected most frequently as the first test was neurological examination.

Wrap It Up

“This is the first study to reach an international consensus on which diagnostic tests should be used in the clinical diagnosis of LSS. The final recommendation includes three core diagnostic items: neurological examination, MRI/CT and walking test with gait observation. The Taskforce also recommends 3 ‘rule out’ tests: foot pulses/ABI, hip examination and test for cervical myelopathy.”

Related but on a separate note, the grocery cart sign hints you toward stenosis. If walking through a grocery store just kills the patient but they can lean over on the cart with their elbows and that alleviates the pain….or if sitting removes the complaint fairly quickly, you need to start sniffing up the stenosis tree. 

I am a big fan of Dr. Carmen Amendolia’s program which he was able to validate through research. It’s called the Boot Camp for Stenosis and it’s REALLY turned a very difficult condition to treat into a much more successful outcome for me personally. 

Basically, it’s just a lack of real estate in the canals and this program helps the patient understand the condition as well as self manage after a 2xweek for 6 week protocol. It’s well-thought out and very well done. And easy to do and understand. 

I highly recommend it. Your stenosis patients will thank you profusely.  

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. 

Key Takeaways

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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 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. 

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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

  • (2020). “VA reduces prescription opioid use by 64% during past eight years.” VA US Dept Veterans Affairs.
  • Tomkins-Lane C, M. M., Wong A, (2020). “Diagnostic tests in the clinical diagnosis of lumbar spinal stenosis: Consensus and Results of an International Delphi Study.” European Spine Journal 29: 2188-2197.

 

Multifidus & Disc Degeneration, Opioids & First Provider, Craniocervical Instability

CF 084: Multifidus & Disc Degeneration, Opioids & First Provider, Craniocervical Instability

Chiropractic evidence-based products
Integrating Chiropractors
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Today, it’s like the olden days here at the Chiropractic Forward Podcast. That’s right. No guests, just moiah. Me. Unfiltered and onery as usual. I’ve had stuff piling up in my archives and we’re going to sprint through some of it and see what sticks. We’re going to talk about the multifidus and some new research on it having to do with disc degeneration, we’ll talk about why what provider you see after low back injury can make all the difference, and we’ll talk about some hint that fibromyalgia and even POTS is theorized to be caused by craniocervical instability. Maybe?

It’s a heaping plate of knowledge noodles so keep your seat, the Italian mama that feeds you too much is in the kitchen. But first, here’s that yummy like a meatball bumper music

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

You have shimmied into Episode #84

Before we get started, 

I’m happy to introduce a new sponsor for the Chiropractic Forward Podcast called GoChiroTV. GoChiroTV is a patient education system for your office that will eliminate the need for running cable TV or the same DVDs over and over again on a loop in your waiting room. The bite-sized videos are specifically made to inform your patients about the importance of chiropractic and healthy living, to encourage referrals, and to present the benefits of the specific and different products and services you offer.

It works by using a tailored-fit video playlist that will only promote the products and services available at your practice, and the videos are replaced automatically on a weekly basis. There’s no need to manually update your playlist or learn any complicated software. With this system, you tcan truly just set it and forget it.

Listeners of the Chiropractic Forward Podcast can use the promo code CFP19 at checkout to get 15% off all subscriptions, which also comes with a 45-day free trial to see if it’s right for your practice and…your discounted rate will be locked in for as long as you have a subscription. 

So visit GoChiroMedia.com (that’s g-o-c-h-i-r-o-m-e-d-i-a-.com) to check out the demo reels, and to get started on your free trial. Take your practice to the next level with GoChiroTV.

And thanks to them for being involved in what we’re trying to accomplish here. 

Personal Happenings

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

Item #1

Our first paper to cover is called “Physical activity attenuates fibrotic alterations to the multifidus muscle associated with intervertebral disc degeneration” and is authored by G. James, D. M. Klyne, et. al. and was published in European Spine Journal in May of 2019(James G 2019). 

Why They Did It

The authors here say that chronic low back pain….chronic…longstanding low back pain literally changes and remodels the multifidus muscles. They go on to say that physical activity reduces the local inflammation that comes before multifidus fibrosis during intervertebral disc degeneration (IDD), but its effect is unknown. This study aimed to assess the development of fibrosis and its underlying genetic network during intervertebral disc degeneration and the impact of physical activity.

How They Did It

This research was actually done on mice. To keep the entertainment value of this podcast as high as possible, I’m not going to get specific here as far as substance P, MMP2, blah blah blah. We’ll just head right to the conclusion of the paper. 

They say “these data reveal the fibrotic networks that promote fibrosis in the multifidus muscel during chronic intervertebral disc degeneration. Furthermore, physical activity is shown to reduce fibrosis and regulate the fibrotic gene network.” 

So they’re saying move it move it move it. 

Item #2

This next paper is called “Initial Provider Specialty Is Associated With Long-term Opiate Use in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Low Back and Lower Extremity Pain” and is authored by TC Azad, D Vail, and J. Bentley et. al. It was published in the esteemed Spine Journal in February of 2019. (Azad TD 2019)

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to determine whether provider specialty influences patterns of opiate utilization long after initial diagnosis. I’d say that’s a great question to be asking these days. When we have 72,000 die in one year from opioid-related causes, that should be up there on the ‘what the hell’ list wouldn’t you agree?

How They Did It

The study was a retrospective longitudinal cohort analysis of patients diagnosed in 2010, with continuous enrollment 6 months prior to and 12 months following the initial visit.

They identified 478,981 newly diagnosed opiate-naive patients. 

They estimated the risk of early opiate prescription and long-term opiate use based on the provider type at initial diagnosis.

What They Found

  • 40.4% of the patients received an opiate prescription within 1 year and 4% met the criteria for long-term use. 
  • The most common provider was family practice. They were associated with 24.4% risk of early opiate prescription and a 2% risk of long-term opiate use. 
  • Risk o freceiving an early opiate prescription was higher among patients initially diagnosed by emergency medicine or at an urgent care. 
  • Risk of Long-term opiate use was highest for aptietns initially diagnosed by pain management doctors or by physical medicine and rehabiliation providers. 

Wrap It Up

Initial provider type influences early opiate prescription and long-term opiate use among opiate-naïve patients with newly diagnosed low back and lower extremity pain.

Looky here ya see, I’m just going to lay it out for you. Zero percent of opiate-naive patients get prescribed OR hooked on opiates from seeing a chiropractor. Zero. 

I’ll even go further than that and say that approximately 70-80% of them get good to excellent results and improvement of their complaint. I know this through the ChiroUp tracking system they use across the country. 

You know what else I know through the ChiroUp tracking? I know that these results happen in only about 7 visits. Kow a Chow!! I know you can’t see it but you can picture that karate chop placed precisely to deliver a virtual coup de grace. 

Alright, Enough silliness. On to out final item here. 

But before we do that –  Let’s take a short break to talk about ChiroUp. If you’re a regular listener of our podcast, you I use it and I’ve told everyone how amazing it is since about June of 2018. Well now they’re a sponsor of our show and we are really excited to have ChiroUp on board the train. 

Have you heard about the #1 online resource for chiropractors? Well, let me tell you about it. 

ChiroUp is changing the way we practice by simplifying patient education and here’s what I mean: 

In a matter of seconds, you can send condition-specific reports to your patients with recommendations for treatment, for their activities of daily living, & for their exercises. 

You can see how this saves you time – no more explaining & re-explaining your patient’s care, because they have access to it at their fingertips. 

You can be confident that your patients are getting the best possible care, because the reports are populated based on what the literature recommends and isn’t that re-assuring? All of that work has been done FOR you. 

There are more than 1000 providers worldwide using ChiroUp to empower their treatments, patients, & practice – Including myself! **Short testimony**

If you don’t know what it’s all about or you’d like to check it out, do yourself a favor and go to Chiroup.com today to get started with your FREE TRIAL – Use code Williams99 to pay only $99/month for your first 6 months

That’s ChiroUp.com and super double secret code Williams99

Item #3

Item #3 is an article titled “Could Craniocervical Instability Be Causing myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome, Fibromyalgia & POTS?” written by Cort Johnson and published in Health rising.org on February 27, 2019. (Johnson 2019)

This was actually sent to me by a cardiologist friend of mine and I’m really glad he sent it my way because it’s interesting as hell. Follow along. 

I’ll read you the first paragraph here, “Jeff had a typical ME/CFS onset: he was a young, healthy and active individual before being felled by a viral infection and a high temperature. The infection left him with headaches, dizziness, muscle weakness and pain, sound and light sensitivity, and a general sense of being worn down that was exacerbated by exercise – which he soon had to stop altogether. Socializing was the next activity to go as he buckled down to focus on getting through graduate school.”

The article goes on to talk about all of his various visits to specialists and how nothing seemed to work. In fact, he continued to decline in health all of the way to the point that he was essentially bedridden with little to no tolerance for any kind of exertion. We’re talking little energy to chew food and being wheeled into the bathroom to take a shower. Serious stuff. 

Turning his head one way could cause him to nearly lose consciousness and he felt a little like a bobble doll when he walked. His head felt heavy. 

Doing his own homework to try to basically save his own life, he stumbled across craniocervical instability, aka atlantoaxial instability, aka cranial-cervical syndrome and things started to make sense for Jeff. 

Here’s another quoted paragraph from the article, “The strange headaches, the heavy head, the problems turning his head in one direction, the autonomic nervous system issues – they could all be explained by loosened or lax ligaments at the junction between his skull and his vertebrae which kept his head properly situated atop his body. 

With his head destabilized, his spinal column was contacting and compressing his brainstem – throwing his autonomic nervous and sensory systems out of whack. His ANS had become so disturbed that even during sleep when it theoretically should have been mostly at rest – it was oscillating up and down causing bizarre heart rates.”

Craniocervical instability has been associated with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Downs Syndrome, and other inflammatory conditions. The doctors were dismissive that, outside of any of these conditions, that he could actually have it. 

Just to expound on Ehlers Danlos a bit, one in 15 of EDS patients have craniocervical instability. 1 in 15 is a pretty good amount. Just another good reason to familiarize yourself with the Beighton scale and see if your EDS patients have other issues like we’re discussing here. 

It seems the correct imaging for CCI is a dynamic CT scan with flexion and extension view but not everyone can get dynamic CTs can they? I believe flexion and extension x-rays can give you a hint as well. 

So, skipping to the end of the story, Jeff had a fusion of the top two vertebrae to his skull and all symptoms poof disappeared. Which is awesome and good for him for diagnosing his issue and for being an advocate for himself. Those medical doctors can be a bit pesky when you go against what they think. 

The article also says there are only a few neurosurgeons in the world that can perform this sort of fusion. I sent the article to another friend of mine who just happens to be a neurosurgeon himself. He said that the whole article was really interesting and he was glad I sent it but he was confused why they think that there are only a few in the world that can do this surgery. He said they have to do it all of the time but, admittedly, it’s because of trauma. Not CCI. 

Still, it seem this is a surgery most neurosurgeons can do if needed. 

Great article, and great story that I’m linking in the show notes for you so click on it and check it out for yourself. There is a ton more with differenct patient stories so give it a read through. It’ll make you better. 


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!

Store

Part of making your life easier is having the right patient education tools in your office. Tools that educate based on solid, researched information. We offer you that. It’s done for you. We are taking pre-orders right now for our brand new, evidence-based office brochures available at chiropracticforward.com. Just click the STORE link at the top right of the home page and you’ll be off and running. Just shoot me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com if something is out of sorts or isn’t working correctly. 

If you’re like me, you get tired of answering the same old questions. Well, these brochures make great ways of educating while saving yourself time and breath. They’re also great for putting in take-home folders. 

Go check them out at chiropracticforward.com under the store link. While you’re there, sign up for the newsletter won’t you? We won’t spam you. Just one email per week to remind you when the new episode comes out. That’s it. 

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. 

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Stitcher:

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TuneIn

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About the Author & Host

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

Bibliography

Azad TD, V. D., Bentley J, (2019). “Initial Provider Specialty Is Associated With Long-term Opiate Use in Patients With Newly Diagnosed Low Back and Lower Extremity Pain.” Spine 44(3): 211-218.

James G, K. D., Millecamps M, (2019). “ISSLS Prize in Basic science 2019: Physical activity attenuates fibrotic alterations to the multifidus muscle associated with intervertebral disc degeneration.” Euro Spine J 28(5): 893-904.

Johnson, C. (2019). “Could Craniocervical Instability Be Causing ME/CFS, Fibromyalgia & POTS? Pt I – The Spinal Series.” Health Rising.

The Evidence For Some Surgeries, Searching for How We Help, and Opioid vs. Non-Opioid

CF 078: The Evidence For Low Back Surgery, Searching for How We Help, and Opioid vs. Non-Opioid

Today we’re going to talk about evidence for low back surgery, we’ll talk about if spinal manipulative therapy is partyly in the brain, opioid information for back, hip, or knee osteoarthritis….what does the research say?

But first, cool like a velvet Elvis, here’s that bumper music

Chiropractic evidence-based products

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

You have flip flopped into Episode #78

Introduction

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

Store

I should have in my first order of the decompression brochures in in just a few days. These dudes are going to look great. I’ll put some pics in the show notes and in the email we send out once a week to our email list. 

If you’re like me, you get tired of answering the same old questions. Well, these brochures make great ways of educating while saving yourself time and breath. They’re also great for putting in take-home folders. 

Go check them out at chiropracticforward.com under the store link. While you’re there, sign up for the newsletter won’t you? We won’t spam you. Just one email per week to remind you when the new episode comes out. That’s it. 

Personal Happenings

I’ve been asked to emcee the Texas Chiropractic Association’s President’s Gala which will be during the ChiroTexpo event in Dallas, TX on June 8th. 

I’m trying to figure out if I need to be making fun of everyone I introduce or not. Maybe I should trip them? You know we chiropractors….some of us can’t take a joke right? We’ll see how it goes. Most of the guys and gals in the TCA are pretty good with having fun. 

I always heard that people don’t join state associations because they think they’re made up of a bunch of old white dudes sitting around bitching. 

Well, not at the TCA, people. We have young people and certainly not all white. That doesn’t happen in Texas these days. We are a pretty mixed state in regard to ethnicity. We are also mixed in respect to gender. Several smart and highly capable women are either on the board or in a position of influence. Heck, we have a female going through the executive chairs starting in June. I’m excited to hear her ideas and see where we go under her direction. This girl is making it happen. She has young ones too. Nothing slows her down it seems. 

Let’s get to the topics today. 

Item #1

The first item we’re talking about is called “Randomised trial support for orthopaedic surgical procedures” authored by Hyeung Lim, Sam Adie, Justine Naylor, and Ian Harris(Lim HC 2014) and published in Plos One in June 13, 2014. 

This is an interesting one because we think that the surgical procedures we undergo have been fully validated. Fully vetted. Hell, you wouldn’t lay someone open unless it’s been researched and proven beyond a doubt to fix the issue would you? One would think so…..but…..let’s dive in a bit. 

Why They Did It

The authors wanted to investigate the proportion of orthopedic procedures supported by evidence from randomized controlled trials. Trials that compared surgical procedures to non-surgical alternatives. 

How They Did It

  • Orthopedic procedures conducted in 2009, 2010 and 2011 across three metropolitan teaching hospitals were identified, grouped and ranked
  • Searches of the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (CDSR) and the Database of Abstracts of Reviews of Effects (DARE) were performed to identify RCTs evaluating the most commonly performed orthopaedic procedures
  • A risk of bias analysis was conducted for included studies using the Cochrane Collaboration’s Risk of Bias tool
  • 9,392 orthopedic procedures were performed across the index period

What They Found

Of the 83 RCTs, 23% were classified as supportive of operative intervention.23%. Twenty three percent were supportive of operative intervention. 

Only 37% of the total volume of procedures were supported by at least one RCT showing surgery to be superior to a non-operative alternative. ONLY 37% y’all. 

19.6% of the total volume of procedures were supported by at least one low risk of bias RCT showing surgery to be superior to a non-operative alternative.

Sounds crazy right? 

Of the most common orthopedic surgical interventions….the most common…..of those surgeries, less than 20% of them had a low risk of bias randomized controlled trial backing them up. 

I have some problems with cussing in my personal life but I’m determined to keep this show mostly PG-13 but man. 

That’s just shocking. Cutting people open with no better evidence than that. 

One word – two syllables. Day-um. 

The Conclusion was “The level of RCT support for common orthopaedic procedures compares unfavourably with other fields of medicine.” 

Good Lord I hope the other areas of medicince have more scientific support. 

What procedures are we talking about? Let’s be fair, we’re mostly spine people and the majority of the procedures their taling about here have nothing to do with the back. They’re talking about things like:

  • Knees
  • Hips
  • Intrnal fixation of proximal or shaft fracture of the femur
  • Ankle fracture fixation
  • Shoulder arthroscopy
  • Arthroscopy of the ankle…….no studies at all. Lol

It’s just crazy to think about. If we’re talking about evidence-based practice, is this it? 20% of our profession is about half crazy I think. Well, that’s about the same number of procedures they do that only have one RCT with low bias risk. 

Is it evidence-informed? I don’t know. That still sound awfully low to even consider it evidence-informed. 

I don’t know all of the answers and I don’t pretend to. Do what you do, but…..why they hell do they question spinal manipulation and say we have weak evidence to perform it? What? Stupid. 

Makes me want to cuss in Spanish.

Item #2

This one is just building on what we understand about what a manipulation does. It doesn’t answer any questions definitively but it does lay more groundwork for the future. 

It’s called “Spinal manipulation therapy: is it all about the brain? A current reveiew of the nurophysiological effects of manipulation.” It is authored by Gile Gyer, Jimmy Michael (never trust a guy with two first names. Especially if he’s left handed), Jame INklebarger, and Jaya Tedla. Published in the Journal of Integrative Medicine in May of 2019(Gyer G 2019). 

Hot stuff coming up

Why They Did It

While spinal manipulation has become more and more accepted after being more and more validated by research, the fact remains that we still don’t know exactly HOW it works and according to my interview with Dr. Christine Goertz in Episode 67, we are far away from having that satisfaction. The authors say there are certainly biomechanical and neurophysiological reasons for it’s effectiveness, 

The paper says, “Although both biomechanical and neurophysiological phenomena have been thought to play a role in the observed clinical effects of spinal manipulation, a growing number of recent studies have indicated peripheral, spinal and supraspinal mechanisms of manipulation and suggested that the improved clinical outcomes are largely of neurophysiological origin.”

“The body of literature reviewed herein suggested some clear neurophysiological changes following spinal manipulation, which include neural plastic changes, alteration in motor neuron excitability, increase in cortical drive and many more.” The nerual plastic changes part of that is really fascinating. It was once thought that the brain is the brain and we just start chipping away at brain cells as we age and go stupid stuff. Lol. 

They’re finding out that the brain changes. It can be trained. It can be built sort of like a muscle but in a neural sense. It’s fascinating. But that’s a different episode all together. 

I don’t have access to this full paper but, the point is, they’re trying to find out HOW we are effective through spinal manipulation and they recommend we plan for long-term follow up studies to help us determine the clinical significance of the neural responses that happen from spinal manipulation. 

Pretty interesting stuff there. 

Item #3

Last one for this week. It’s called “Effect of Opioid vs Nonopioid Medications on Pain-Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain: The SPACE Randomized Clinical Trial.” It was authored by Dr. Erin Krebs, MD et. al(Krebs E 2018). and published in JAMA on March 6 of 2018 so a little over a year ago. 

The question to answer here was, “For patients with moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain despite analgesic use, does opioid medication compared with nonopioid medication result in better pain-related function?”

How They Did It

They had 240 patients and found that the use of opioid vs. nonopioid medication did not result in significantly better pain-related function over 12 months. But they may have gotten some folks addicted in on the way to the conclusion. Lol. 

Basically, this study says stay away from opioids for moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip and knee osteoarthritis. the official conclusions was, “Treatment with opioids was not superior to treatment with nonopioid medications for improving pain-related function over 12 months. Results do not support initiation of opioid therapy for moderate to severe chronic back pain or hip or knee osteoarthritis pain.”

Boom. Pop. Pow.

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here but you never know who listens. 

Speaking of that, Dr. David Graber shared with me that after his episodes with us, he got an email all the way from Switzerland from a chiropractor that was pretty jazzed by his comments and thoughts and Dr. Graber wanted me to know that we are indeed reaching folks and influencing on some level. 

I can’t tell you how incredibly satisfying that is. Every now and then, I get a little bit of encouraging feedback but honestly, not enough. You never know what the reach is. Are you enjoying the show? Are you listening regularly? Send me an email at dr.williams@chiropracticforward.com and let me know. I love to hear from you guys. I really do. 

Not only is it inspirational like filling up your gas tank…..but feedback can help me direct the show in a direction that I know you guys are interested in or focused on. Feed back only helps me learn more and get better so send me an email won’t you?

Chiropractic evidence-based products

Integrating Chiropractors
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The Message

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

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

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

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

Key Point:

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

That’s Chiropractic!

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

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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 & Vlogger

Bibliography

  • Gyer G, M. J., Indlebarger J, Tedla JS, (2019). “Spinal manipulation therapy: Is it all about the brain? A current review of the neurophysiological effects of manipulation.” J Integrative Med.
  • Krebs E (2018). “Effect of Opioid vs Nonopioid Medications on Pain-Related Function in Patients With Chronic Back Pain or Hip or Knee Osteoarthritis Pain The SPACE Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA 319(9): 872-882.
  • Lim HC, A. S., Naylor JM, Harris IA (2014). “Randomised Trial Support for Orthopaedic Surgical Procedures.” PLoS One 9(6).