Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Chiropractic + Pregnancy = better outcomes

Chiropractic + Pregnancy = better outcomes

Nimrod pregnant womanChiropractic is the second most common non-allopathic practice sought by pregnant women (1) (massage is the most common).
In fact, approximately 1 in 6 pregnant women see a chiropractor (way above the general population) and about half of those women will go back 5 or more times.

An exciting, very large recent study (2) of 1,835 women, indicates “women consulting with chiropractors during pregnancy are less likely to require a caesarean section after onset of labour or to have a premature birth.”

(Interestingly, it also indicates that women are more likely to have an instrumental childbirth, without a suggestion as to why this finding occurred)

The study goes on to state “this finding aligns with claims made by chiropractic maternity care specialists” such as Jeanne Ohm through theICPA (3). Such claims include adjusting subluxations, which may otherwise lead to:

  • spinal and pelvic misalignment
  • low back pain
  • stress overload
  • potentially impairing mum’s vital systems and organs
  • effects to the mum’s health and well-being
  • effects to the baby’s health and well-being
  • intrauterine constraint, resulting in:
    • restricting the room for baby to move and to develop,
    • causing torsion in the uterus,
    • compromising baby’s position
    • potentially impairing the future health of the baby
    • affecting the baby’s position in birth (breech, posterior etc.)
  • asynclitic head position, associated with a lengthier, less comfortable and more complicated birth
  • mum’s less-than-ideal biomechanics may mean that obstetric interventions are more likely to be recommend and used and that these interventions increase the risk of subsequent and more serious procedures

The bottom-line claim in Ohm’s article is that giving the mother’s pelvic biomechanics throughout pregnancy “due attention will not only result in a more comfortable pregnancy, but will optimize the baby’s developing systems in utero and contribute toward achieving optimal fetal positioning for a safer and easier birth for both mother and baby.”

In explaining how chiropractic achieves the results noted, the study states: “Practitioners ….make claims of clinical effectiveness and safety of their treatments regarding the provision of care to pregnant women which are based upon their practice philosophy. Chiropractic practitioners propose chiropractice (sic) during pregnancy enhances the nervous system function of the mother and that this promotes the health potential for both mother and infant. It is also claimed that by establishing balance through the pelvis via chiropractic manipulation, the birth canal becomes optimised. Proponents of chiropractice for pregnant women argue that women who receive chiropractic treatment during pregnancy should avoid pregnancy complications and labour difficulties (e.g. breech position, intrauterine constraint, dystocia).”

Again: “women consulting with chiropractors during pregnancy are less likely to require a caesarean section after onset of labour or to have a premature birth.”

Seems like we’re finding that those anecdotes, case studies and deductive reasonings are being backed up by statistics.

 


 

1. Utilisation of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) practitioners within maternity care provision: results from a nationally representative cohort study of 1835 pregnant women. Steel, A., Adams, J., Sibbritt, D., Broom, A., Gallois, C., Frawley, J. BMC Pregnancy Childbirth 2012 12, 146.

2. Relationship between complementary and alternative medicine use and incidence of adverse birth outcomes: An examination of a nationally representative sample of 1835 Australian women. Steel, A., Adams, J., Sibbritt, D., Broom, A., Gallois, C., Frawley, J. Midwifery 2014 April.

3. Chiropractic Care for an Easier Pregnancy and Safer Birth. Ohm J. 2009

Replacement Parts: What You Need to Know

Replacement Parts: What You Need to Know

replacement parts
Regular Chiropractic Care and a Healthy Nerve System
The need for hip, knee, and shoulder replacement surgery often arises when the joint in question cannot be used without causing substantial pain. The person has avoided attempts to lift the arm, bend the hip, or flex the knee. But such loss of function may not be tolerable in the long-term, and surgery may be required.
For most of us, lifestyle choices could be implemented long before such a critical stage is reached. Certain courses of action can help us improve joint mobility and overall musculoskeletal function. Regular vigorous exercise, for example, consistently challenges joints and muscles, helping improve range of motion and tolerance for daily mechanical stress.
Regular chiropractic care is an important part of such lifestyle choices. By helping reduce nerve interference, regular chiropractic care enables your body's master system to function at peak efficiency. The result is enhanced musculoskeletal performance and increased levels of overall health and well-being.
If you've ever been involved in a motor vehicle collision, you're probably familiar with the term "replacement parts" or "crash parts". Your auto insurance company will usually offer to repair your car using after-market bumpers, door panels, wheel assemblies, and other parts. Or, you may prefer to have the repair done with parts from the original manufacturer. Regardless of the source of the parts, your car will not be the same as it was in its original condition. It's important to bear the auto analogy in mind if a surgeon has recommended a hip, knee, or shoulder replacement as a solution to a problem of chronic pain.
The frequency of joint replacement procedures of all types is dramatically on the rise within the last 20 years.1 For example, in the United States there has been a 58% increase in total knee replacements from 2000 to 2006. There has been a 50% increase in total hip replacements from 1990 to 2002. Unfortunately, the revision rate (repeat procedures) for total knee replacement more than doubled and revision total hip replacements increased by 60% within the respective, above-noted intervals.
The simple fact is that although your body may appear to be a machine, it is rather an exceedingly complex entity whose whole is much greater than the sum of its parts. Thinking of your body as a machine may be a useful metaphor, one that may aid considerably in medical practice. But the metaphor is not the reality, and forgetting this crucial distinction may lead to substantial and possibly irremediable problems for a patient. Manufactured joints are never as good as your actual physiological structures, no matter the quality of the replacement components.
Of course, there are many circumstances in which joint replacement is indicated and provides great benefit for a patient. However, such procedures should probably be a last resort and never considered standard of care. A best practice would be to reserve joint replacement for situations in which pain is unrelenting and the person has failed several forms of conservative care.
Optimally, in most cases measures are available to avoid such radical outcomes. The best steps for each of us to take is to begin ongoing programs of regular vigorous exercise and healthy nutrition.2,3 Regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient rest will assist all our physiologic systems to achieve peak levels of performance. By making such beneficial lifestyle choices, we help diminish the likelihood of chronic, debilitating pain and loss of function. As a result, we help ourselves avoid the need for replacement parts.
1Singh, JA: Epidemiology of Knee and Hip Arthroplasty: A Systematic Review. The Open Orthopaedics Journal 5:80-85, 2011
2Marley J, et al: A systematic review of interventions aimed at increasing physical activity in adults with chronic musculoskeletal pain--protocol. Syst Rev 2014 Sep 19;3(1):106. [Epub ahead of print]
3Tanaka R, et al: Effect of the Frequency and Duration of Land-based Therapeutic Exercise on Pain Relief for People with Knee Osteoarthritis: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Phys Ther Sci 2014 Jul;26(7):969-75. doi: 10.1589/jpts.26.969. Epub 2014 Jul 30

Monday, October 20, 2014

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting and Back Pain
Chiropractic Care and Core Training
Core training focuses on the deepest muscular layers of your body, including small muscles such as the multifidi and intertransversarii that lie directly on the spinal column and help move individual spinal vertebras. In order to train these deep muscles properly, the spinal vertebras need to be able to move freely throughout their full range of motion. This is where regular chiropractic care comes in. Chiropractic care identifies, analyzes, and corrects sites of limited spinal mobility, making it possible for you to optimally train your core muscles.
Returning to fitness requires an ongoing commitment of time and effort. In order to get the most out of your investment in yourself, it’s important to make sure that your body will respond effectively to your exercise activities. Regular chiropractic care helps ensure that you’ll achieve such success.
All of us who’ve experienced a back injury of one sort or another have been told at some point to “avoid heavy lifting.” That type of advice appears to be a no-brainer or at least redundant, as no one whose back is hurting is going to try to pick up an air conditioner or even a 100-foot reel of garden hose. In this context, it’s important to remember the words of Shakespeare’s Cassius: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves”. The problem isn’t the heavy lifting, as such. The real problem is in us, that is, in our overall level of conditioning or physical fitness.
Most back injuries don’t occur as a result of heavy lifting, but rather are caused by a seemingly innocuous event such as bending over in the shower to retrieve a bar of soap that has fallen to the floor. Other likely pain-producing scenarios are bending over to place a bag of groceries in the trunk o f a car bending over to tie a loose shoelace. None of these circumstances involved lifting extraordinary weight.  Rather, the common elements are lack of flexibility and lack of appropriate muscle tone and strength to support the weight of your body in a forward flexed position.
The problem isn’t lack of big muscles. Picking up a bar of soap or positioning a 15-pound grocery bag doesn’t require bulging biceps or massive lats. The problem is lack of conditioning. Most of us no longer do actual physical work on a regular basis. We spend the large majority of our day sitting, either working, reading, or watching entertainment on television or other devices. The result of such lack of activity is twofold. Muscles lose strength and muscle fibers are replaced by fat. Additionally, tendons and ligaments contract and become tight, losing their necessary composition of elastic fibers. The functional loss associated with these physiological changes is profound. We experience these change every time we feel a twinge, or worse, in our backs.
The fix is easy and primarily focuses on building up core muscle strength.1,2 Core training is directed toward your deep abdominal muscles. The main such muscle is the transverses abdominis, which surrounds your entire waist, protecting and supporting your lower back. You can think of this critically important structure as your internal weight belt. Activation of the core muscles is required for all effective physical activity.3Without this essential foundation, any minor attempt at work, even bending over to pick up a pencil, can lead to disaster in the form of excruciating back pain.
Core training includes exercises such as the scorpion, lying windmill with bent legs, pushups, squats, and the plank. Many good books and numerous online videos are available to provide instruction in the performance of core exercises. Your chiropractor is experienced in rehabilitative exercise and will help guide you to the training methods that are best for you.
1Inani SB, Selkar SP: Effect of core stabilization exercises versus conventional exercises on pain and functional status in patients with non-specific low back pain: a randomized clinical trial. J Back Musculoskel Rehabil 26(1):37-43, 2014
2Brumitt J, et al: Core stabilization exercise prescription, part 2: a systematic review of motor control and general (global) exercise rehabilitation approaches for patients with low back pain. Sports Health 5(6):510-3, 2013
3Wang XQ, et al: A meta-analysis of core stability exercise versus general exercise for chronic low back pain. PLoS One 2012;7(12):e52082. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0052082. Epub 2012 Dec 17

Thinking Knee Surgery?

Chiropractic: Knee Surgery May Not Offer Some Patients More Benefit Than Conservative Care. 
A new analysis has found that arthroscopic knee surgery for the treatment of age-related meniscus tears in middle-aged individuals offers no greater benefit than can be provided by more conservative care. The authors of the analysis recommend this category of patients try conservative measures before considering surgery. Chiropractic care would be a good conservative approach, as Chiropractors often treat these types of injuries with specific adjustments, physiotherapies, and exercises. 

Canadian Medical Association Journal, August 2014

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Gluten Freedom

Gluten Freedom

Salads and a Gluten-Free Diet
Chiropractic Care and a Healthy You
A healthy nerve system is required in order to have a healthy gastrointestinal system. For example, when you eat a meal the cells lining your stomach need to know how much gastric juice to secrete to aid in proper digestion. The cells lining your small intestine need to know how many enzymes to release in order to properly complete the digestive process. These processes, whose details are hidden from our conscious minds, take place under the guidance and direction of the nerve system. In fact, a healthy nerve system is required for healthy functioning of all your body systems.
Regular chiropractic care helps your nerve system to do its job effectively. Regular chiropractic care helps to keep your spinal column in top condition and helps to reduce muscle tension and other sources of nerve interference. By participating in maintaining a fully functioning nerve system, regular chiropractic care helps you achieve high levels of long-term health and well-being.
The concept of the value and benefit of gluten-free food has been gaining momentum for the last 10 years. Discussion related to gluten-free diets goes back to the mid-1950s, but those peer-reviewed articles were primarily focused on the treatment of celiac disease and related gastrointestinal disorders. Today gluten-free diets are being adopted as an overall health-promoting measure by broad segments of the population. Is this trend merely a fad or are there actual advantages for the average person in cutting down on gluten intake?
Gluten is a structural protein found in wheat that provides a glue-like property and helps dough stick together. Gluten-containing wheat works best for bread making, and a few thousand years ago gluten-containing wheat became the standard wheat crop. Similarly, the protein in barley and rye is predominantly gluten. Researchers posit that tens of thousands of years ago our digestive systems were optimized genetically to process a diverse diet of grains. But a modern diet is mostly composed of uniform, gluten-containing grains. Our digestive systems were not designed to process such a heavy load of gluten, and the result is the development of a range of gluten-sensitivity disorders and autoimmune diseases.1
Gluten sensitivity has been proposed as a culprit in numerous conditions, including autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, schizophrenia, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, and infertility.2,3 The link to such conditions is not clearly understood, but case reports identifying gluten sensitivity as a causal factor have appeared in numerous professional journals for more than 10 years.
For children, adolescents, and adults with such disorders, it may be appropriate to adopt a gluten-free diet to eliminate a potential source of tissue inflammation. Other persons with various nonspecific digestive complaints may also benefit from a gluten-free nutrition plan. For example, if you experience frequent, or even periodic, upset stomachs or other gastrointestinal problems, consumption of gluten may be part of the clinical scenario. Two months on a gluten-free food plan should be sufficient to determine whether gluten protein is a contributing factor to such complaints.
Going gluten-free takes a lot of dedication, time, and effort. The first step is to learn which foods in your diet contain gluten. As noted, wheat, barley, and rye are primary sources of gluten protein. Quinoa, teff, buckwheat, millet, and amaranth are gluten-free replacements for gluten-containing grains. It's important to bear in mind that many foods contain wheat and represent hidden sources of gluten, including beer, potato chips, brown rice sugar, soy sauce, and processed food such as deli meats, frozen burgers, and bread crumbs. Being gluten-free requires diligence, but the payoff may be substantial in terms of overall health and well-being.
1Sapone A, et al: Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification. BMC Med. 2012 Feb 7;10:13. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-10-13
2Isasi C, et al: Fibromyalgia and non-celiac gluten sensitivity: a description with remission of fibromyalgia. Rheumatol Int 2014 Apr 12. [Epub ahead of print]
3Herfarth HH, et al: Prevalence of a gluten-free diet and improvement of clinical symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. Inflamm Bowel Dis 20(7):1194-7, 2014

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Harness the Power of Hybrid Vigor

Harness the Power of Hybrid Vigor

Hybrid Vigor
Regular Chiropractic Care, Wellness, and You
Just as combining strength training and cardiovascular exercise produces enhanced benefits in many areas of fitness, and food combining helps you get the most out of your daily nutrition, regular chiropractic care helps you achieve your goals of long-term health and well-being.
Regular chiropractic care is the "x factor" in obtaining high levels of health and wellness. Adding regular chiropractic care to the other healthful things you're doing increases the benefits of those activities. By identifying and correcting areas of spinal misalignment and helping remove nerve interference, regular chiropractic care helps your musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, digestive, and hormonal systems do their jobs better. As a result, your body is optimized to obtain the greatest benefit from all your other health-promoting activities. The combination of exercise, nutrition, and regular chiropractic care makes all the difference.
Certain things in life just go together naturally. In the kitchen, peanut butter and jelly is a classic combination. Another such pairing is apple pie and ice cream.Other categories of life experience, such as human performance, prize the association of freedom and creativity. And in the field of health care, exercise and nutrition are two pillars of a solid foundation for long-term wellness and well-being.
The combination of exercise and nutrition makes intuitive sense, of course, but it's useful and informative to drill deeper into this relationship. Regarding exercise, almost any type of this activity is beneficial.1 "Whatever works for you" is a time-honored principle in fitness. Swimming, running, bicycling, lifting weights, playing basketball, doing yoga, and walking all provide substantial benefit for people. What's best is to do the things you like to do. Hidden beneath the surface, however, is a very interesting fact. If you combine certain types of exercise, specifically, if you do both strength-training activities and cardiovascular exercises during the course of a week, you'll obtain enhanced results. Interestingly, both your strength and endurance will improve more rapidly compared to doing only one type of activity.
Beyond expedited improvement (and the great satisfaction many of us derive from lifting heavier weights in the gym and running faster on the track), improved strength and endurance are very closely linked to numerous important indicators of optimal health and well-being. It's the combination that makes the difference.2,3
Similarly, good nutrition is not only a matter of making sure that every food group is represented in your daily diet. Choosing foods from the fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains, and dairy groups is the key first step in all nutritional programs that provide lasting value. But, again, there are hidden relationships. Combining proteins and carbohydrates at every meal causes improved digestion and improved absorption of all nutrients. By more efficiently breaking down the food you eat and more effectively absorbing valuable nutrients, you derive enhanced benefit from the calories you're consuming. You gain more energy to use throughout the day and are able to perform at a higher level. As a result, your sleep is more restful and you wake up refreshed, ready to engage with whatever challenges the new day brings.
The principle behind the power of these various combinations is that of hybrid vigor. The concept is derived from studies of genetics in the 19th century in which it was discovered that cross-breeding often produced hardier plants. We, too, can harness this principle to become hardier ourselves, enabling us to enjoy long-term health, wellness, and well-being.
1Lackland DT, Voecks JH: Metabolic syndrome and hypertension: regular exercise as part of lifestyle management. Curr Hypertens Rep 2014 Nov;16(11):492. doi: 10.1007/s11906-014-0492-2
2Sigal RJ, el al: Effects of Aerobic Training, Resistance Training, or Both on Percentage Body Fat and Cardiometabolic Risk Markers in Obese Adolescents: The Healthy Eating Aerobic and Resistance Training in Youth Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatr 2014 Sep 22. doi: 10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1392. [Epub ahead of print]
3Ho SS, et al: The effect of 12 weeks of aerobic, resistance or combination exercise training on cardiovascular risk factors in the overweight and obese in a randomized trial. BMC Public Health 2012 Aug 28;12:704. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-12-704

Top Ten Reasons NOT to Try a Chiropractor

Top Ten Reasons NOT to Try a Chiropractor:

Author: Unknown
10. “I like my left shoulder higher than my right.”
– You’re not alone. Take a look around you and notice how out of balance many people are. I know a good tailor who can cover it up for you.
9. “The tingling and numbness in my fingers is actually starting to feel good.”
– Great, get used to it. It will get worse. Maybe, if your lucky, you’ll get to have surgery someday.
8. “These headaches I have everyday are normal. They say so on the commercial on TV.”
– And the drug companies are very glad you are listening to them. Without your help they would not be making multi-billion dollars of profits from drugs.
7. “Real doctors give people shots.”
– Most doctors of chiropractic give people shots…of hope and enthusiasm that maybe there is a solution to their health problems that prescriptions have failed to help.
6. “My mom doesn’t believe in it.”
– Get your mom a dictionary and look it up for her. Not only is chiropractic real, it’s getting more popular everyday.
5. “A friend of a guy I work with said his aunt’s sister-in-law’s older brother was hurt by a chiropractor.”
– Who is this person anyway, if he does exist? If chiropractors were hurting people all the time, their chiropractic malpractice premiums wouldn’t be less than most people’s car insurance.
4. “These pills make me feel good…What was the question?”
– As long as you aren’t using your brain anyway, don’t worry if it doesn’t function with those drugs. Nobody will miss your insights.
3. “My insurance agent thinks chiropractors are quacks.”
– Tell her to be careful. A chiropractor was awarded $150,000 after suing an insurance agent who called him a quack.
2. “My neck feels fine, so what if I can’t turn to the left.”
– Yeah, right about the time you get hit by the car coming from your left when your taking one of those three right turns to go around the block. Chiropractic helps restore full range of motion and improves that field of view.
And now, (drum roll please)… the number one reason not to try chiropractic…
1. “Surgery makes more sense to me. I’ve already had my gallbladder out. Who needs these organs anyway?”
– You’re right. The human body suffers from poor design, only to be improved upon by removing all the internal parts and replacing them with plastic and pills. Of course, there’s always more money to be made fixing a broken car than in regular maintenance. I’m just one of those crazy people who believes in changing the oil before the engine blows up.
Chiropractic is not a matter of belief or faith, it’s real and it works. Millions of people, including most professional sports teams are starting to realize this every year.