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Spinal Cord Stimulator vs. Placebo & Low Back Pain, Chiropractic, And Opioids

CF 253: Spinal Cord Stimulator vs. Placebo & Low Back Pain, Chiropractic, And Opioids Today we’re going to talk about Spinal Cord Stimulators vs. Placebo & we’ll talk about Low Back pain, Chiropractic, And Opioids 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, look down your nose at people 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.  I’m so glad you’re spending your time with us learning together.  Chiropractors – I’m hiring at my personal clinic. I need talent, ambition, drive, smart, and easy to get along with associates. If this is you and Amarillo, TX is your speed, send me an email at creekstonecare@gmail.com 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 excellent educational resource for you AND your patients. It saves you time putting talks together or just staying current on research. It’s categorized into sections so the information is easy to find and written in a way that is easy to understand for everyone. It’s on Amazon. That’s the Remarkable Truth About Chiropractic by Jeff Williams. 
  • Then go Like our Chiropractic Forward Facebook page, 
  • Join our private Chiropractic Forward Facebook group, and then 
  • Review our podcast on whatever platform you’re listening to 
  • Last thing real quick, we also have an evidence-based brochure and poster store at chiropracticforward.com

You have found yourself smack dab in the middle of Episode #253 Now if you missed last week’s episode, we talked about High Blood Pressure And Cognitive Decline & Does The Popping Noise Matter?. Make sure you don’t miss that info. Keep up with the class. 

On the personal end of things…..

Alright, if you’ve heard me fussing my face off about being slow for like oh I don’t know…..the last 8 freaking weeks or so….then you’ll be glad to hear that I have 43 on the schedule today with 5 new patients. That’s more like it.  That’s 5 new patients, one consultation, and 3 re-exams. So….they’re  coming back slowly.

Where the hell did they go in the first place? Who knows? But I talked to my buddy, Tyce Hergert down in Southlake, TX and he’s been slow as hell too. Until just last week. He thinks it’s the economy, inflation, back to school kicked it off, and then we have a big election that makes people a bit pulled back and financially more aware.  Who knows, but it makes sense. Maybe it was a perfect storm kind of thing but I know I’m ready to get back to business and running around like my ass is on fire unable to keep up. Then you get to hear me fuss about that. Lol. It’s a cycle. 

Why can’t it ever just sit right there in teh perfect pocket where you’re seeing just the right number of patients and are right where you want to be as far as being busy during the work week? Yeah, that’s a pipe dream. Never happening.  I’ll tell you this though, I’d rather be running around here with my ass on fire, changing people’s lives, and making money along the way rather than sitting here wondering who I made mad and moping around like a whipped dog. Lol.  So, for this week…we’re back toward the top of the mountain. 

Just real quick on a side gig kind of thought process. I have people asking me all of the time how I started getting into real estate. I want to help you guys. I read a book that’s in the Rick Dad Poor Dad umbrella that’s called Tax Free Wealth by Tom Wheelright.  It started talking about how you can pay lower to zero taxes by buying real estate. Well that got me to listening to the Bigger Pockets podcast and taking their webinars. Then I started delving into the niches of real estate. I decided for lots of reasons that Short Term Rentals, or STRs made the most money and the most sense. 

That led to a podcast and a book by Avery Carl called Short Term Rental, Long Term Wealth. They also have a private Facebook group that I’m a member of.  In case you don’t know, STR is what an Airbnb or VRBO property is. Short term rental like 3-5 days or so vs. a year long lease.  Trust me; people a hell of a lot dumber than you are making a ton on real estate. Here are the ways you make money on real estate:

  1. Cashflow – You have a profitable property so you make monthly cashflow. On average, our STR in Lubbock, TX profits about $2,000/month. That’s above and beyond our overhead on the house. 
  2. Appreciation – You never buy property planning on appreciation. However, assuming it’s not in a terrible neighborhood, it usually appreciates. Which is money in your pocket when, or it, you sell. 
  3. Equity – Other people are buying your property for you. They are kind enough to buy down the payment and buy your equity in the property. Meaning, because of them paying you every month, you own more and more of your own property. 
  4. Taxes – There are multiple ways that real estate benefits your taxes and I’ll leave that up to a CPA since I am not one but in general;
    1. With STRs, you can count your losses and depreciate everything on the real estate side, including the curtains to bring down your tax burden in your chiropractic clinic and try to get your tax burden down to zero for the year. 
    2. The write offs. You can write off all of the furnishings and everything that fits the real estate realm. Including meals where you sit and talk to your business partner (your wife and kids) about your properties. 

Not to mention that if you buy an STR in a place you like to visit, you have a place to stay whenever you need it! Also, if the STR is more than 90 miles from your primary residence, you can qualify for a vacation home loan and only pay 10% down instead of the traditional 20% down.

That makes a million dollar home near or on the beach a hell of a lot more do-able for most of us.  I’ll give you all a bit of a tip, you don’t have to go into these things blindly. Go to airdna.co and go down to the Rentalizer link on the left of your screen. Once there, put in any address, including your home address, and see what it might make as an STR. You may be surprised! It’s not a fool proof silver bullet but can give you some ideas. Also, don’t pay a 20% management fee. It takes me literally 15 minutes per week per property to manage.

Don’t lose 20% of your profit. You can do it yourself. Use guesty.com for the property management software and combine that with pricelabs.com for automatic and appropriate pricing from week to week and then……let er rip!!! Thank me later, fools! If you have any questions, join our private Chiropractic Forward Facebook group and start a post in there. I’d be happy to help if I have the answer. If I don’t, I can find it.  Let’s get started with the research shall we?

Item #1

The first on today is called “Effect of Spinal Cord Burst Stimulation vs Placebo Stimulation on Disability in Patients With Chronic Radicular Pain After Lumbar Spine Surgery: A Randomized Clinical Trial” by Hara et. al. (Hara S 2022) and published in JAMA on October 18, of 2022 and that’s some hot steamy salsa right there. 

Why They Did It The use of spinal cord stimulation for chronic pain after lumbar spine surgery is increasing, yet rigorous evidence of its efficacy is lacking. The authors wanted to investigate the efficacy of spinal cord burst stimulation, which involves the placement of an implantable pulse generator connected to electrodes with leads that travel into the epidural space posterior to the spinal cord dorsal columns, in patients with chronic radiculopathy after surgery for degenerative lumbar spine disorders.

How They Did It

  • It was a placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial
  • 50 patients were in the study
  • Done at St. Olavs Univer. Hospital in Norway
  • Conducted from 2018 – 2021
  • Patients underwent two 3-month periods with spinal cord burst stimulation and two 3-month periods with placebo stimulation in a randomized order. Which seems like they gave it a good solid chance to work to me
  • Burst stimulation consisted of closely spaced, high-frequency electrical stimuli delivered to the spinal cord. 
  • The stimulus consisted of a 40-Hz burst mode of constant-current stimuli with 4 spikes per burst and an amplitude corresponding to 50% to 70% of the paresthesia perception threshold.
  • The primary outcome was difference in change from baseline in the self-reported Oswestry Disability Index

What They Found

The mean changes in ODI score were −10.6 points for the burst stimulation periods and −9.3 points for the placebo stimulation periods None of the pre-specified secondary outcomes showed a significant difference.  Nine patients experienced adverse events, including 4 who required surgical revision of the implanted system.

Wrap It Up

The concluded, “Among patients with chronic radicular pain after lumbar spine surgery, spinal cord burst stimulation, compared with placebo stimulation, after placement of a spinal cord stimulator resulted in no significant difference in the change from baseline in self-reported back pain–related disability.” So…..chronic pain…..if you’re a regular listener, you know me and chronic pain. I love learning and talking about it. You can’t solve a problem through burst stimulation that is as much entrenched in the brain as it may be in a physical sense. 

You can blast it and blast it and until you treat the centralized portion, you’re pissing up a rope, as they say in Texas.  If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, start going through this podcast listening to anything on chronic pain, get a book by David Hanscum called Back In Control, and dive into the biopsychosocial aspect of pain. That’ll get you started. 

Before getting to the next one, Next thing, go to https://www.tecnobody.com/en/products That’s Tecnobody as in T-E-C-nobody. They literally have the most impressive clinical equipment I’ve ever seen. I own the ISO Free and am looking to add more to my office this year or next. The equipment you’re going to find over there can be marketed in your community like crazy because you’ll be the only one with something that damn cool in your office.  When you decide you can’t live without those products, send me an email and I’ll give you the hookup. They will 100% differentiate your clinic from your competitors. I have to tell you, Dr. Chris Howson, the inventor of the Drop Release tool re-activated the code! Use the code HOTSTUFF upon purchase at droprelease.com & get $50 off your purchase. Would you like to spend 5-10 minutes doing pin and stretch and all of that? Or would you rather use a drop release to get the same or similar results in just a handful of seconds. I love it, my patients love it, and I know yours will too. droprelease.com and the discount code is HOTSTUFF. Go do it.

Item #2

This second one I got from my buddy Dr. Craig Benton down in Lampassas, TX quite a while ago. Thank you Craig. It’s called “Association Between Utilization of Chiropractic Services for Treatment of Low-Back Pain and Use of Prescription Opioids” by Whedon et. Al. (Whedon JM 2018) and published in Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine in June of 2018. 

Why They Did It They say, “Pain relief resulting from services delivered by doctors of chiropractic may allow patients to use lower or less frequent doses of opioids, leading to reduced risk of adverse effects. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the association between utilization of chiropractic services and the use of prescription opioid medications.”

How They Did It

  • The authors used a retrospective cohort design to analyze health insurance claims data.
  • The data source was the all payer claims database administered by the State of New Hampshire. 
  • The study population was 18-99 year olds, enrolled in a health plan, with at least two clinical office visits within 90 days for a primary diagnosis of low-back pain. 
  • The authors excluded those with a diagnosis of cancer.
  • The authors measured likelihood of opioid prescription fill among recipients of services delivered by doctors of chiropractic compared with non-recipients. 
  • They also compared the cohorts with regard to rates of prescription fills for opioids and associated charges.

What They Found

The adjusted likelihood of filling a prescription for an opioid analgesic was 55% lower among recipients compared with non-recipients.  Average charges per person for opioid prescriptions were also significantly lower among recipients.

Wrap It Up

They concluded, “Among New Hampshire adults with office visits for non-cancer low-back pain, the likelihood of filling a prescription for an opioid analgesic was significantly lower for recipients of services delivered by doctors of chiropractic compared with non-recipients. The underlying cause of this correlation remains unknown, indicating the need for further investigation.” 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 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

  • Hara S, A. H., Solheim O, (2022). “Effect of Spinal Cord Burst Stimulation vs Placebo Stimulation on Disability in Patients With Chronic Radicular Pain After Lumbar Spine Surgery: A Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA 328(15): 1506-1514.  
  • Whedon JM, e. a. (2018). “Association Between Utilization of Chiropractic Services for Treatment of Low Bac k Pain and Risk of Adverse Drug Events.” J Manipulative Physiol Ther 17(30): 30136-30137.