Everett Chiropractic Center Blog

May 10, 2017

Consumer Reports: Real Relief from Back Pain

WSDOTworker150x150   (How many safety features can you find on this WSDOT site photo – arguably the largest organization in the State dedicated to safety? Yet, he doesn’t bend over correctly at all.)

I keep forgetting to mention that the current issue of Consumer Reports features a cover story on back pain. It is a very good review of what most of mainstream medicine recommends, and therefore what most people are doing – the lack of effectiveness, cost, and risks associated with that approach. And it covers alternative methods of addressing back pain, the proven effectiveness (which is why it is the cover story), cost savings, and safety. All of that is old news if you have been reading this Blog long (and if you search any of the key words in this Post you will find many posts – there are over a thousand here – on that subject).

Two things are interesting to me about the article: what is right in plain sight, but missed entirely due to mindset; and how, still, the recommendations regarding how to bend and lift are erroneous – harmful even.

First, the mindset thing. Modern medicine is about treating symptoms: some will argue that but just look at what is said and what is the object of all the focus – back pain (a symptom) in this case, but it is everywhere all of the time if you look. And while they fairly accurately talk about the causes, they fail to conclude that substantially addressing these causes would be a means of preventing the symptom. Instead they point out, for example, that abnormal findings on X-rays is common among people who do not suffer with back pain. (That should be a clue, why isn’t it?)

Secondly, but related, is this whole business of correct bending and lifting technique – how could they get it so thoroughly wrong so consistently. How could they not connect the dots – remember the ‘they’ is the authoritative bodies of professional experts spewing opinions, guidelines, and recommendations (shifting gazillions of dollars within the economy)… but let’s not go down the cynical path.

I share all of this because we have a copy in the reception room – with the best parts highlighted (be me:-). Read it, but ignore the part about how to bend and lift, and talk with me about that.

DrD

April 28, 2017

Exciting Image

Filed under: Chiropractic, General Health & Wellness — Tags: , , — doctordilday @ 11:29 am

 

vegas-nerve-parkinsons-neurosciencenews

I saw this image while reading about this research on Parkinson’s Disease and the gut.

If you think that this picture is amazing, think how amazing it is for us (chiropractors):-)

February 9, 2017

A Nice Article on Sleep and Injury

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This is from the Advocate, a newsletter of the Adler-Giersch law firm. It is a good review, and might contain information not familiar to you.

http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?m=1116637109108&ca=53cbd67d-5c9e-4de6-b8b3-3faaeb43d5d4

 

February 3, 2017

Soccer Mom News From Neurosciences.com

I have always told the story about how this issue relates to chiropractic, courts, and car accidents. Here is the latest update from the scientific community:

http://neurosciencenews.com/headers-soccer-concussion-6046/

And if you are saying to yourself, “Well, it’s better than football,” you are right. But being right in this case doesn’t get you the prize – safety.

January 25, 2017

Left Knee Pain

Today a patient wanted me to know that her left knee pain, a pain that she didn’t even tell me about (that part impressed her the most), went away immediately after her last visit – and she hasn’t had that pain since.

Patients often like to hold back from telling me what is bothering them when they come in for any particular visit; and I don’t always  ask. They like to see if I can ‘find’ it without them telling me. Then, when I do, they make a big deal out of that.

When we accept people as patients we try to explain that ours is an “alternative” approach. That we are looking for something (the subluxation complex), and if that have that, they can be a chiropractic patient – as long as it is safe for us to address the subluxation with what we do (in our case the Activator Method). If they do not have that particular condition, they do not qualify as a chiropractic patient; if it wouldn’t be safe to adjust them in the way that we do in this office, they still do not qualify as a chiropractic patient, in this office at least.

Most all of that is lost on most people. They hurt, that is the problem. And they think that it is critically important for them to tell us where they hurt for us to do our job. We go along with the conversation and keep trying to help them understand the difference between a symptom-based approach and the chiropractic approach. First patients have to feel better. We know that. The rest is a bonus.

 

January 8, 2017

Tips for choosing the right Chiropractor

The Val-U-Pak coupons came in the mail last week; I just throw them in Helen’s IN basket. Today I saw that she had pulled one out and put where I could find it: “5 Tips for choosing the right Chiropractor” – I had to read it.

And now I am compelled to share my thoughts on it with you – no, I am not going to address the marketing dynamics, or the low ball offer, and all that that implies. But let’s just look at the tips and go from there.

Tip #1:  Get a thorough consultation – Make sure your doctor truly listens to your problems and concerns. Now who going to argue with that: not me. (Falls under ‘goes without saying’ though I know it may not be what many patients have encountered in the offices that they have visited, chiropractic or otherwise.)

Tip #2: Detailed Computerized Examination – The doctor should provide you with access to the latest technology. Gosh that sounds good on the face of it, doesn’t it? All I can say it think this one through, all the way through. The trouble for patients is that they are way over their head when it comes to this and are ripe for picking for those who with less than stellar ethics.

Tip #3: On-Site X-Ray Facility – see your problems for the most effective care. This presupposes quite a bit. Nowadays it is pretty well recognized that most of the time the problems that we chiropractic doctors are addressing directly are safely and effectively addressed without having to expose the patient to either the radiation risks, or the expense of x-rays. Sometimes we do, then, having an on-site x-ray facility makes sense. The most “effective” care is the care the gets the results both the patient and doctor want in the least amount of time, for the least amount of money, and in the safest way possible. I would put ‘see’, ‘problems’ and ‘most effective’ in quotes and go from there:-)

Tip #4: Report of Clinical Findings – Prior to receiving care, you should know what’s wrong, if they can help, how long the process will take, and how much it will cost. Great ideal, but this promises more that any of us can deliver. First, you should know if the chiropractor believes that you have the problem/condition that chiropractors’ attempt to prevent, correct, or manage and if they think that it is safe to address it in the way that they specifically work. And those, by the way, are the two questions that the doctor is trying to answer in the consult and exam: do they have the problem we fix; and would it be safe to fix it the way we fix things around here? That is the “if they can help” part. But don’t be fooled – it isn’t if they can help. It’s if they think that they can help. We don’t really know if we can help for sure until we try. Which leads to how long the process will take: no one knows! In our office we make the following “promise”: that the patient will feel different in two weeks and better in four weeks. We offer that knowing full well that the vast majority will feel different and better before they get to the door to leave on their first visit. BUT, there is no guarantee! I tell them that’s the promise, and that that way if results come quickly chiropractic is a hero, if not, we are still on schedule weeks into it – it’s a reality check. Patients bring us spinal conditions that have been developing, often pain-free, for years (sometimes decades). They have developed degenerative changes, habits, lifestyles, and other conditions that affect recovery. But we live in a society that expects instant results, so… it’s an attempt to interject the truth about their conditions seriousness and the potential limitations to recovery.

Tip #5: Education – it is critical to be instructed on how to get better faster, stay better longer, and achieve maximum results for less money. Yep. And I dedicated a whole Category of our office Blog to “Be Careful Who You Listen To”. In our office we offer the following basic education to all patients, not all want all of it, some don’t want any; some want some of it, but it is always offered: (a) The problem(subluxation): how it was created, what makes it worse, and what makes it better; (b) Our solution (the adjustment via the Activator Method) to restoring function to the joints; this includes the use of basic back first aid tricks, such as the proper use of ice; (c) how their lifestyle might be the cause of or a contributing factor, and what they might be able to do about it; (d) how to correctly move and use their back, knees, and shoulders (as a minimum) because often their history is that they do not know – and/or it is revealed in our examination – and moving poorly prevents recovery and promotes relapse; (e) exercises that the patient can do at home to promote joint motion in the joints that we had to adjust, so they can go longer between visits. From there, and not before covering that ground, we will go into strengthening, flexibility, balance or coordination exercises addressing whatever is revealed as the weak areas, or according what will help the patient hold their adjustments longer.

So, for $38, you can have a posture analysis (computerized no doubt), consultation, examination and two X-rays, and save $172 – and you can get $10 off a one hour massage to boot! And… well, stop by the office if you want this coupon (it’s first come – first served).

I hope that my comments were helpful to you and that you choose a chiropractor that delivers on all their promises and gives you all the results that you seek. Happy New Year!

 

December 27, 2016

2016 Questions & Answers

Some of these questions came up only once; others come up now and then, but I thought it would be nice to cover them for those who wonder.

  1. Yes, we do take new patients. A patient asked this question a while back, saying that she thought we were so busy and had been here for so long (30 years) that we probably couldn’t take new patients any more. We do.
  2. No, I will not teach you how to use the Activator Instrument if you find one to buy on eBay. A patient did actually ask.
  3. Yes, we are open on Fridays. Our hours changed many years ago – there was a time when we were closed on Fridays. Now our hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday, 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Sometimes, though rarely, I come in on a Saturday; if that is the only thing that will work for you just call and let us know, we will work something out.
  4. Our fee, when you pay us at the time of service, cash, is $43. That’s right, only $43. We don’t money to be the reason you don’t get the care you need. We ‘fiddle’ with that for kids – usually, if we charge at all for kids, it’s $20. (We certainly don’t want money to be the reason you don’t get the kids the care that they need!!)
  5. Yes, we sell Biofreeze. And the folks who regularly buy it here, as well as the random stranger who buys it, say that our prices are great. I wouldn’t know; I don’t know what everyone else charges.
  6. Yes, we sell Kangen water machines. This Blog has about a dozen Posts on the subject of water and we routinely recommend it and the machine that makes it. There is no healthier water – though sometimes it is actually too healthy (Like everything else, powerfully healthy choices are best made by reasonably healthy people. People who are very sick can not just blindly change to what would otherwise be a very healthy habit. Seek professional advice!) P.S. – we strive to make what we offer the very best in it’s class. So whether it is Activator Method chiropractic care, tai chi (exercise), JuicePlus+ (supplements) or Kangen water, as far as I know, there is no better (healthier, more effective) choice: and usually whatever is in second place is way back there! When we say that we take your health seriously, we are not kidding.

There are going to be other questions – I will add them as I think of them:-)

Happy New Year!

DrD

December 26, 2016

If This Describes You, Maybe We Can Help

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December 12, 2016

Neighborhood Earthquake Disaster DRILL

The Why

“… to improve your chances of surviving a disaster.”

The Where, What, When, Who, and How

Saturday (12/10/16) the Harbourview-Seahurst-Glenwood Neighborhood conducted an Earthquake Disaster Drill.

It went almost unnoticed because almost no one was interested: that’s the way it is with preventive measures. The professionals show up because they get paid to; almost no one else is interested.

But it was a success. The Auxiliary Communication System (ACS) was activated, as was the Citizen’s Emergency Response Team (CERT), and the Neighborhood Block Watch and Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) folks were involved to some extent. The whole event was administered by the City of Everett Everett, Office of Emergency Management (at the local Fire Station).

The event was almost cancelled do to bad weather, but doing the drill in less-than-perfect weather conditions reminded thoughtful observers and participants how inconvenient an earthquake might have been instead. Something to think about.

Anyway, I mention all of this because I want to share two things: First, some links to local resource authorities in case there is interest. And secondly, there is a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) brochure entitled Preparing Makes Sense. Get Ready Now, which has a checklist that is a simple, straightforward and easy starting spot for folks. They recommend that you (1) Get a kit, (2) Make a plan, (3) Be informed, and (4) Get involved.

Brochures entitled Preparedness Shopping List, Important Documents, and something about Pets were also made available. I ended up with them, and they are now here at the office in case you would like to pick one or more of them up on your visit.

I understand that life is busy, and prevention as a priority is a challenge – I deal with it every day in patients who suffer from pain and injury. It is a choice for most of us though. In the case of an earthquake it may be a matter of survival; in the case of preventing back pain it is mostly about suffering – somewhere not quite at the ‘survival’ level, but sometimes near it. Safety, security and survival – they are just spots along a continuum.

Here are some links:

Everett Office of Emergency Management (https://everettwa.gov/241/Office-of-Emergency-Management)

SCDEM (I don’t know what that means – too many acronyms) (http://www.snohomishcountywa.gov/180/Emergency-Management)

And here is the Basic Emergency Supplies Kit:

Water – one gallon per person per day for drinking and sanitation

Food – at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food (they are now suggesting closer to three weeks, after Catrina)

Battery -powered radio and extra batteries

Flashlight and extra batteries

First aid kit

Whistle to signal for help

Filter Mask or cotton t-shirt, to help filter the air

Moist towelettes for sanitation

Wrench or pliers to turn off utilities

Manual can opener for food (if kit contains canned food)

Plastic sheeting and duct tape to shelter-in-place

Garbage bags and plastic ties for personal sanitation

Unique family needs, such as daily prescription medications, infant formula or diapers, and important family documents

November 28, 2016

Chiropractic Better Than NSAIDS and PLACEBO

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Von Haimann, W et al. (2013) Spinal High-Velocity Low Amplitude Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Double-Blihnided Randomized Controlled Trial in Comparison With Diclofenac [Volteran] and Placebo. spine 38 (7): 540-548

“In a subgroup of patients with nonspecific LBP, spinal manipulation was significantly better than non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclorfenac (Volteran) and clinically superior to placebo.”

November 9, 2016

Chiropractic IS Effective, Cost-Effective, and Safe

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Bishop, et al. (2010) The Chiropractic Hospital-based Interventions Research Outcomes (CHIRO) Study: a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines in the medical and chiropractic management of patients with acute mechanical low back pain. The Spine Journal 10: 1055-64

 

“This is the first reported randomized controlled trial comparing CPG-based treatment, including spinal manipulative therapy administered by chiropractors, to family physician-directed usual care in the treatment of patients with acute mechanical low back pain.”

“Compared to family physician-led usual care, full clinical guidelines-based treatment including chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy is associated with significantly greater improvement in condition specific functioning.”

November 7, 2016

A Tale of Two Studies

Workers’ Back Pain: Causes, Costs & Solution

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

You will want to share two important papers published in the past several months. Why? When read separately, each provides valuable information relevant to your patients, community and practice; together, they tell a compelling story.

Examining Workplace Risk Factors for LBP

The first paper comes from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics(JMPT).1 The authors examined how certain workplace risk factors impact the prevalence of low-back pain (LBP). Here are some of their important findings:

  • More than a fourth of workers experienced LBP in the previous three months (25.7 percent).
  • Female and older workers were at increased risk for LBP.
  • Women working 41-45 hours a week and young people working more than 60 hours had an increased risk of LBP.
  • Work-family imbalance, a hostile work environment and job insecurity were significantly associated
    with LBP.

Treatment Options: DC vs. MD vs. PT Care

The second paper, published in the Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation, also looked at workers’ back pain.2 This paper examines provider effectiveness through the lens of worker’s compensation costs. The authors evaluated the experience of workers with back pain who saw a DC, MD or PT and discovered the following:

  • [T]he median number of days of the ï¬ï¿½rst episode of any wage compensation were 8.0 (95% CI 6.6–9.4), 10.0 (95% CI 9.5–10.0) and 25.0 (95% CI 20.3–29.7) for the workers who ï¬ï¿½rst consulted chiropractors, physicians and physiotherapists, respectively.”
  • 15.0% (n = 92) of the chiropractic care seekers, 16.2% (n = 738) of the physician care seekers and 23.7% (n = 40) of the physiotherapist care seekers had a second compensation episode.”
  • When compared with medical doctors, chiropractors were associated with shorter durations of compensation and physiotherapists with longer ones. Physiotherapists were also associated with higher odds of a second episode of ï¬ï¿½nancial compensation.”
  • These differences raise concerns regarding the use of physiotherapists as gatekeepers for the worker’s compensation system.”

Together, these studies tell employers that one-fourth of their workers will have back pain each quarter. Women, older workers, those working significant overtime and workers under certain psychosocial pressures will experience more back pain, leading to more time off work and lost productivity.

However, they can help offset these challenges by encouraging their workers to seek chiropractic care. Chiropractic care has been shown to shorten the time off work, reduce the likelihood of relapse and save substantial amounts of money in worker’s compensation claims and lost production – more than any other provider.

Let Employers Know

Unfortunately, most employers will never see these studies or hear this important information. This is where you come in.

Begin to share this information with your patients, particularly the ones who are in management positions. Make an appointment with local businesspeople in your area regarding how to reduce worker’s compensation costs and lost production in their company. Write a cover letter (use the content in this article shamelessly) and let the business leaders in your community know you have important information that can save them money.

A little action on your part can change the understanding and appreciation of chiropractic for literally thousands of workers. It’s well-worth the time and effort required.

References

  1. Yang H, Haldeman S, Lu M-L, Baker D. Low back pain prevalence and related workplace psychosocial risk factors: a study using data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey. J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 2016;39:459-472.
  2. Blanchette M, Rivard M, Dionne CE, et al. Association between the type of first healthcare provider and the duration of financial compensation for occupational back pain. J Occup Rehabil, 2016 Sep 17 (epub ahead of print).
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