Monday, March 19, 2012

Chiropractors Cause Strokes?!?

Opponents of Chiropractic have attempted a ‘smear’ campaign over the last several years by suggesting that chiropractic adjustments to the neck increased the risk of a certain type of stroke.

This campaign was never based upon scientific evidence but rather on ‘biased’ opinions.

A study was published in the medical scientific journal Spine on February 15, 2008 that puts those false accusations to rest and clearly shows that chiropractic does NOT increase the risks of these types of problems.

Spine is an international journal and recognized as one of the most prestigious publications on spinal health matters. In this study, researchers looked at 818 patients (the largest study of it’s kind, to date) with a specific kind of stroke that some suggested might be the result of neck manipulations. The difference in this study was that the researchers checked the prevalence of visits to chiropractors and to medical doctors related to this problem.

Dr. Frank Silver, one of the researchers and a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto noted that there was NO incidence of increased stroke for a visit to the chiropractor than for a visit to the medical doctor. He stated “We didn't see any increased association between chiropractic care and usual family physician care, and the stroke."

This scientific study shows that past assumptions attempting to relate chiropractic care with certain types of strokes were not due to the care, but rather to the fact that the people who went to chiropractors and medical doctors with certain types of problems were slightly more likely to suffer this type of problem anyway. Dr. Silver explained, "The association occurs because patients tend to seek care when they're having neck pain or headache, and sometimes they go to a chiropractor, sometimes they go to a physician. But we didn't see an increased likelihood of them having this type of stroke after seeing a chiropractor.”

Dr. David Cassidy, a senior scientist at the University Health Network and a professor of epidemiology at the University of Toronto, added these comments, “If someone says ‘Has it ever happened that a chiropractor has caused a stroke?' I can't say it's never happened. But if it's happening, it's not happening at a greater risk than when it is in a GP (General Practitioner, MD) office.”

If you are concerned that you may be having a stroke, look for these warning signs:

1. Sudden numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body.

2. Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding.

3. Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes.

4. Sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or coordination.

5. Sudden, severe headache with no known cause.

If you are experiencing any of these complaints, call 911 immediately.

Monday, March 5, 2012

10 Reasons To See A Chiropractor

#10. You don't want to catch the latest “bug” going around the office.
Regular chiropractic adjustments may boost the body’s immune response. A study done by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics (JMPT) found that chiropractic adjustments increased levels of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMN) and monocytes. These are the white blood cells associated with a healthy immune system.

#9. You want to avoid surgery.
An article published in the medical journal Spine reviewed records from 1,450 patients in the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation database that had suffered from back pain. Half of the patients had surgery to fuse two or more vertebrae in hopes of relieving their low back pain. The other half didn't have surgery, even though they had similar diagnoses. After two years, 26 percent of those who had surgery returned to work compared to 67 percent of patients who didn’t have surgery. Researchers also determined that there was a 41 percent increase in the use of painkillers in those who had surgery.

#8. You don't get enough sleep.
A 2005 study examined data on 221 patients under chiropractic care and found “one third of the 154 patients who completed the semi structured interview reported their sleep pattern was changed immediately after their chiropractic adjustment. All but one of these 52 patients reported improvement”. Of the 20 patients with insomnia, improved sleep was noted in the six days following the chiropractic adjustment.

#7. You've got a “case of the blues”.
Pain often makes it difficult to sleep, leading to fatigue and irritability during the day. This can affect a person's ability to work, interact with others, and even limit sexual activity (which is enough to give anyone the blues). Investigators followed 15 clinically depressed adults and had them complete a standard assessment for depression (the Beck Depression Inventory II) before and after receiving a chiropractic adjustment. Results revealed a marked reduction in depression scores following treatment, possibly due to chiropractic adjustment's ability to reduce pain and increase the quality of sleep.

#6. You're not as “sharp” as you used to be.
In a study involving 500 adult volunteers, researchers mapped brain function in the cortical portions of the brain before and after chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine. They found that “cervical adjustments activate specific neurological pathways” in the brain, potentially stimulating cognitive function. Researchers in Zealand conducted a study involving 30 volunteers and used reaction time to various stimulation as a gauge. After chiropractic adjustments, the volunteers demonstrated improved cortical processing and response selection.

#5. You suffer from ADD/ADHD.
ADD/ADHD is the most commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder of children, affecting between 3 and 5% of school aged children. The symptoms fall into three groups: Lack of attention, Hyperactivity, and Impulsive behavior. Dr. Joel Alcantara, DC, MPH, performed a cohort study on children with ADD/ADHD and found a 53% reduction of symptoms (when reported by parents) and 45% reduction (when reported by teachers) following chiropractic care.

#4. You're Pregnant.
Chiropractic adjustments during pregnancy can help relieve and even prevent many of the common complaints of pregnancy. Dr. Bill Sears, Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine says:

“It is our personal theory that chiropractic attention in pregnancy not only helps avoid or relieve back pain, but also can affect your labor by helping your back and pelvic structures be better prepared to handle the stresses of labor and birth”.

#3. You suffer from headaches.
Researchers writing in JMPT examined the results of 21 controlled clinical trials and found chiropractic adjustments to be one of the most effective ways to reduce and relieve headaches. Researchers at Duke University found that chiropractic adjustments “resulted in almost immediate improvement for cervicogenic (originating from the neck) headaches and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly-prescribed medication.”

#2. You want to save money.
A four-year study compared the experiences of 1.7 million patients in a California managed-care plan and discovered that the patients that received chiropractic care had lower total health care costs, fewer in-patient stays in hospitals, received fewer radiographs and MRIs, and had fewer surgeries.

#1. You're an athlete.
Exercise physiologist, Dr. Sean Atkins, estimates that “in excess of 90% of all world-class athletes use Chiropractic care to prevent injuries and to increase their performance potential.” Research has also shown immediate muscle strength gains in... arm muscles, back muscles, and knee extensor muscles following Chiropractic adjustments.