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Articles tagged with: Spine

Spinal Manipulation Effective for Relieving Low Back Pain

Spinal Manipulation Effective for Relieving Low Back Pain
Published Tuesday, 06 June 2017

If you visit the Turtle Back Zoo in West Orange this weekend, there’s a good chance any visitor you randomly start chatting to by the otter exhibit has experienced low back pain. That’s because a study in 2001 found that 2 out of 3 adults in the United States suffer from low back pain at some point in their lives. Most acute low back pain eventually goes away on its own, but it can be a real problem for some when it comes to day-to-day function. Earlier this year, the American College of Physicians (ACP) released a report recommending that patients skip the drugs when treating back pain and look for alternative, noninvasive remedies. Now, a study from The Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) suggests that the spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) often performed by chiropractors provides moderate pain relief and improvements in function for those suffering from acute low back pain.

  • Published on April 11, 2017, the study, “Association of Spinal Manipulative Therapy with Clinical Benefit and Harm for Acute Low Back Pain”, analyzed 26 randomized clinical trials (RCTs) from 2011 to the present.
  • Fifteen RCTs, which followed about 1,700 patients with low back pain demonstrated that SMT is associated with moderate improvements in patients’ pain ratings. Twelve of the RCTs also showed improvement in day-to-day function for their patients.
  • Side effects from SMT affected more than half of the patients tested and included temporary muscle stiffness, increased pain, and headaches. However, the authors of the report said that in all the studies, no patients reported any really serious side effects.
  • In an editorial released with the report, Dr. Richard A. Deyo suggests that many doctors are hesitant to refer patients to chiropractors because it is still unclear in the science community how exactly SMT relieves low back pain. However, he says out of 200 treatments for low back pain, there really is no treatment that stands out as the most effective, though this report may change that.
  • This report supports the results of the ACP report from earlier this year, which urges patients to seek out non-drug, non-invasive options for treating their low back pain. These options seem to have less severe and fewer long-term side effects than pharmaceutical treatments.

The American Chiropractic Association President, David Herd, DC, said, “As the nation struggles to overcome the opioid crisis, research supporting non-drug treatments for pain should give patients and health care providers confidence that there are options that help avoid the risks and dependency associated with prescription medications.”

Next time the pain in your lower back flares up or you overhear a neighbor griping about their aches, we hope you’ll consider chiropractic therapy instead of turning to the medicine cabinet. The evidence suggests that chiropractic care is the more effective and safer option.

You can read more about the JAMA report here and here

[VIDEO] What Does Subluxation Mean?

Dr. Levine explains what "subluxation" means and how it relates to chiropractic adjustments.

[VIDEO] What Does Subluxation Mean?
Published Thursday, 18 May 2017

Video Transcript - What Does Subluxation Mean? 

Sub meaning less than, lux, the term "lux" is light, -ation is a condition of. So, it's a condition of less light. In essence, it's less life force. It's the life energy that goes through the body and the brain is the generator. It generates this energy and this light force which travels down the spinal cord out of every nerve root which feeds to lungs, the heart, the gallbladder, every muscle, every 660 muscles in your body needs a nerve supply. So can you imagine that if there's pressure on that nerve, there's less life force going through that muscle, and you want to know why you keep getting a spasm or a cramp or a charlie horse, maybe it's nerve related. We need to find out if it is and if it isn't. What if you have digestive problems? What if there's less nerve supply going to the digestive enzymes and now you have acid reflux? These are all part of the subluxation, less light force do to interference in the nervous system from a bone being out of place putting pressure on a nerve. Subluxation, interference.

[VIDEO] When Will I Get My First Adjustment?

Dr. Roczey discusses when the first chiropractic adjustment occurs and what you can expect.

[VIDEO] When Will I Get My First Adjustment?
Published Thursday, 04 May 2017

Video Transcript - When Will I Get My First Adjustment? 

Normally, patients get adjusted on the second visit for the first time because the problem's been there for months, sometimes even years. So is it fair for me to make an adjustment just because you're in pain? A lot of people are in pain. However, we don't know where the problem is. We don't know what caused it. We might be doing more harm. Most patients understand after our thorough consultation examination that it's so important that we find out where it is, what it is, and can we move it, and is it safe for us to adjust?


New Study Says Skip the Drugs for Back Pain

Drugs are no longer the first option to manage pain

New Study Says Skip the Drugs for Back Pain
Published Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Drug Free Approach More Effective for Back Pain

On February 14, 2017 the American College of Physicians (ACP) released a report on the treatment of low-back pain, which recommends patients turn to noninvasive and alternative remedies before opening their medicine cabinets. The study followed patients suffering from acute (pain lasting fewer than 4 weeks), subacute (4-12 weeks), and chronic (+12 weeks) low-back pain, and does not necessarily apply to people suffering from radicular low back pain, more commonly known as sciatica.

Key Findings for Back Pain:

  • Low-back pain is one of the most common reasons patients in the US visit their doctors. In 2006, a study estimated that, including healthcare costs and time lost from work, low-back pain cost the American public about $100 billion.
  • Using acetaminophen (found in brand name Tylenol) to relieve low-back pain was found to be as effective as using a placebo. However, continued use of acetaminophen poses the risk of liver damage.
  • The study authors recommend most patients with any type of low-back pain should first try non-drug therapies, such as massage, spinal manipulation by a chiropractor, or applying heat, only turning to pharmacological treatments if the former prove ineffective.
  • Patients with chronic low-back pain respond more strongly to nondrug therapies such as exercise, acupuncture, and mindfulness-based stress reduction according to the study.
  • Pharmacological treatment may still be necessary if patients do not respond to alternative treatments. The study authors suggest discussing the drug products with your doctor thoroughly and selecting a treatment that would present the least health risks for you.

Overall, the ACP study suggests that alternative therapies for low-back pain are sometimes more effective and pose lower health risks than pharmacological treatments. Of course, if spinal manipulation, acupuncture, massage, or exercise does not resolve your pain issues, you should approach your doctor about possible low-risk drug treatments.

In an article for the Wall Street Journal covering this report, the president of ACP, Nitin Damle stated, “About one-quarter of U.S. adults have had back pain in the past few months. We are advocating for really trying the non-pharmacologic approach initially, especially for acute and subacute back pain.”

Read more about the ACP study here.

[VIDEO] Explaining SIGMA Results

Dr. Levine Explains The Results From A SIGMA Ultralign

[VIDEO] Explaining SIGMA Results
Published Monday, 06 February 2017

Video Transcripts- Explaining Results from SIGMA Ultralign

With the instrument, I will take a measurement of each vertebra. That measurement will give me a sine wave, and that will measure the normal motion of the vertebra. If the vertebra's not moving properly, due to an old injury or just a vertebra gets like that, locked out of position, we lose mobility, and I get a shift of the wave. Then what happens is the instrument steps in and we will make the adjustment until the graph is corrected, and then we'll see a normal wave afterward.

It might take weeks or months to get that normal wave, but at least we're towards a common goal. It's not just adjusting and adjusting and adjusting, it's working towards something, and then having a measurement.

This would be the process of the chiropractic adjustment, and we get to measure that each and every visit, and then we'll do our reevaluations periodically to see the progress.

Don’t Be Fooled by These Treatments for Back Pain

Understand the Implications of the Most Popular Treatments for Back Pain

Published Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Girl With Back PainSometimes, the debilitating back pain that you’re experiencing is so intense that you would do just about anything to make it go away for good. Unfortunately, identifying and addressing the underlying causes of back pain is not always a straightforward task, especially when you decide to take this matter into your own hands. You should always discuss your treatment options with your chiropractor.

Those who, for some reason or another, avoid doctor visits, often end up exploring a combination of less effective, and potentially dangerous, treatments for back pain, including medication and DIY cures. In reality, lack of information leading to misguided decisions can worsen the problem and affect your overall state of health, potentially triggering further complications. Here are a few things that you should know about four of the most common treatments for back pain:

1. Pain Meds. Many people complaining about frequent painful episodes make a habit of taking pain medications. Painkillers merely address the symptoms of a health concern, without actually tackling its cause. Moreover, these pills could lead to a serious addiction problem and affect several other systems or organs, including the stomach and the liver.

An article published by The New York Times reveals that opioid medication used to address the symptoms of chronic pain could be linked to a broad spectrum of side effects, including lethargy, hormone production depression, and sleep apnea. This type of painkiller may also cause a strong psychological dependency, without actually doing a good job at improving the condition they were taken for to begin with.

2. Surgery. Many patients are intimidated by the implications of back surgery, given the potential risks, pain and expenses that this type of procedure may involve. Even so, some consider giving it a try, tempted by the permanent positive changes that a surgical procedure may help them achieve. In fact, recent statistics indicate that out of the 56 million U.S.-based individuals complaining about back pain, only 5% of them actually need surgery. According to the same source, back surgeries can fail to achieve their goal for one simple reason: the surgeon may never actually manage to pinpoint the true source of pain. As a result, the patient may feel the same (or worse) after the surgery and lose his or her hopes for a full recovery. Given its side-effects, long recovery time, and permanent results, surgery should be seen as a last-resort option by patients struggling to overcome the impact of chronic back pain.

3. Braces. Many patients consider the idea of wearing back braces and just taking it easy. As it turns out, this is not the best approach to alleviating back pain. While staying in bed all day and wearing some sort of armor to protect your body may sound like a great plan to you, in reality, an effective pain relief plan is based on a number of factors, including limited bed rest (those who wear braces and stay in bed for hours in a row have a more difficult time with daily operations and experience more pain than the ones who stay active);  correct posture; spinal adjustments performed by a skilled chiropractor; and a moderate, personalized workout designed to strengthen your core. While braces can and should be worn while conducting strenuous activities, they should only be used for less than 15 minutes at a time. By wearing back braces all day, you may actually end up weakening your muscles and reducing your core strength.

4. MRI. Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans (MRIs) enable doctors to identify abnormal spinal structures and pinpoint the main causes of back pain. These imaging tests enable specialists to investigate and address anatomical causes of discomfort. A physician can correlate the patient’s symptoms with the results of the MRI to come up with a proper clinical diagnosis. While MRI scans are an effective tool used by healthcare providers to diagnose a wide range of health concerns, they are usually required only when conservative treatment fails to deliver the expected results, and the doctor is contemplating a more aggressive and radical back pain treatment, such as surgery or steroid injections.

Instead of opting for back pain treatments involving potentially dangerous medication or contemplating the idea of going under the knife, you may want to follow a different path to a smoother, risk-free recovery and start exploring the benefits of chiropractic care aiming towards a perfectly aligned mind, body and spirit. Chiropractic sessions target the body as a whole, and can improve your general state of health and wellbeing by boosting your pain-coping capabilities, straightening your spine, and allowing you to battle daily stressors in a more effective manner. 

The Downside of Managing Pain with Pills

Dr. Levine explains what pain really means

Published Wednesday, 09 November 2016

What Back Pain Really Means

Medication, there's a time and a place for it. There are people that are managing their diabetes. They're managing certain health conditions with medication, and that's fine. Their body has gotten to a point where they need that assistance. But if we're popping pills for pain and we're not really solving the problem, we're treating, potentially, a mechanical problem with chemistry. You're not going to move a bone off a nerve with chemistry. If my finger gets caught in the door, I can take all kinds of drugs to feel better. But doesn't someone have to open that door to free the finger up? It's the same thing in the human body. We are masking the symptoms and not treating the problem. 

Research has shown that a lot of painkillers are actually prolonging that recovery process. That's not chiropractic research; that's medical research. On the same token, that when you feel better artificially, you tend to do more. When the drug wears off, isn't the problem worse? Potentially yes. 


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