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Years ago massages were only offered in high end spas and health clubs. Today, there are a wide variety of places that offer massage therapy including businesses, private clinics, and hospitals. Many people don’t realize that their insurance plan may cover this form of alternative treatment. As such, people don’t always think of massage therapy as a viable, affordable option for relieving their chronic pain, headaches, and migraines.

 

I can’t tell you how many patients come in to see chiropractors for headaches. I’ve seen them range from life-long headaches/migraines all the way to, “I woke up this morning with a headache.”I’ve had all sorts of successes with headaches too. My most memorable success was a patient that had had them her whole life. She had nuclear bone scans. She had injections in the back of her head. She had MRI’s that came back normal. Yet, she continued to be plagued by them daily. It literally took only two weeks and she stopped having headaches right then and there. She still doesn’t have headaches and that was years ago!I’ve had them be a little more stubborn too. One patient in the last year comes to mind. She was in her 50’s and has been plagued with them since she was a child. We treated her with marginal success for about 3 weeks. I’m a firm believer that, if we’re not getting results, we either need to change what we’re doing, or I’m not the guy for this patient. So we began including cold laser in her treatment. Viola! That was it. She’s doing great and still having no headaches. 

 

Continuing our theme from last week, this wee’s blog has to do with the effectiveness of chiropractic for migraines. 

The International Headache Society (IHS) is the one that sets the mark for what constitutes a migraine. They say that a migraine has to have at least three of these:

 
People that aren’t raised going to the chiropractor or have little experience with chiropractic in general are usually surprised to find out that chiropractic is significantly effective for the treating of headaches. Certainly cervicogenic or tension headaches. Here’s some research to prove why we use chiropractic manipulative therapy as well as manual therapy techniques such as trigger point therapy, myofascial therapy, or massage therapy in the treatment of headaches.

 

It has been my experience that most people will identify chiropractors with back and neck pain but not necessarily headaches or migraines. FOR MANY HEADACHES AND MIGRAINES, ONCE AN EMERGENCY IS RULED OUT, MAY TIMES DOCTORS OF CHIROPRACTIC SHOULD BE THE ENTRY POINT INTO THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN THESE COMPLAINTS.Here’s research for it.

 
This study was done within the Washington State workers’ compensation system. Again, you don’t have to take my word for it. It was in a peer reviewed journal. Why did they do it?
To find out how effective lumbar fusion surgery and devices were on clinical and disability outcomes. This was seen as a question worth asking since the rates of lumbar fusions continue to increase.
How Did They Do It?

 
One of the biggest game-changers I’ve seen in our profession is non-surgical spinal decompression. We have been doing spinal decompression for a while now but I would have jumped on board years ago had I known how incredibly effective this treatment truly is. At this point, we have had approximately 400 patients undergo spinal decompression and have only had 8 or 9 of them not get the full results we would have expected. Those are some pretty impressive odds right there!
This week’s research abstract has to do with the restoration of the height of the disc following decompression treatment.Why They Did It
They wanted to find out if changes in low back pain due to disc degeneration would correlate with changes in lumbar disc height as measured by CT scans.

 
According to a paper by Donald Murphy, DC (And brought to my attention by Craig Benton, DC in Lampasas, TX), the following stats are scary but true:

 

I have highlighted several research abstracts here that show, without a doubt, that chiropractic is the treatment of choice for musculoskeletal conditions. Not only does research show that chiropractic is more effective and that our patients have a higher level of satisfaction, research also clearly shows us that chiropractic treatment is more inexpensive when compared to traditional medical treatment protocol.

 
Why Did They Do It?
To find out if cold laser could be an effective alternative in treating swelling and pain. Specifically, in this research abstract, following orthognathic surgery. Or, as it is known in the real world: jaw surgery.
How Did They Do It?

 

I can tell you from personal experience that spinal decompression has been a life-changer. It has been so incredibly effective, that it’s important to show what, where, how, and why through research. It’s never good to simply be forced to take a stranger’s word for it when you’re discussing spending a significant sum of money on a treatment option. That’s where more and more research can come into the picture to help us educate our patients and the public in general. When insurance doesn’t cover a service, it can be very difficult to make a patient understand the outstanding effectiveness of spinal decompression. It’s phenomenal but there seems to be a relationship in patients’ minds regarding insurance coverage and validity of the treatment. In other words, many times our patients seem to initially think that if the insurance company doesn’t cover a service (spinal decompression or cold laser) that it is probably of no use. 

 

More and more health practitioners are beginning to recognize the benefits of cold laser or low level laser (LLL). More and more research continues to validate the trend and in response, we are seeing increased utilization across the board. Here is a short research paper having to do with the efficacy of LLL on temporomandibular disorders (TMJ) (TMD).

 

Now I’ll be the first to admit that under normal circumstances, political talk can get boring and tiresome extremely quickly. Certainly when you add in talk about certain bills, blah, blah, blah….But, with a back story….with a David vs. Goliath, back story….it can be interesting. Heck, you may even end up rooting for David!Here’s the set up and history.

 

I hope you’re enjoying the new series that I started last week. I got some great messages from several colleagues so it appears we’re off to a great start. Again, this series is based on information provided to me personally by Mr. George McAndrews. Mr. McAndrews was the lead counsel in the Wilk vs. AMA case and won that case with his considerable skill but also these great resources that I will continue sharing with you throughout this series. These blog topics and research findings are all part of a wonderful article in Dynamic Chiropractic that Mr. McAndrews wrote. You can read that article at the following link: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=56938For Part Two of this new series called “Why Have Over 40 Million Americans Tried Chiropractic?”, we’re going to focus on “Conventional Medicine Does Not Emphasize Musculoskeletal Care.” 

 
Considering the fact that our knees are failing as we age and that the number of knee replacement surgeries continues to rise, it is important to find a way to reduce symptoms that can help alleviate knee discomfort. 

This paper shows some real promise for Cold Laser therapy, also known as Low Level Laser (LLL). 
It’s also important to know and understand that many Doctors of Chiropractic offer Cold Laser therapy in their offices. It only takes 5 minutes on average per area of treatment and is very cost effective. Also of importance; this study is for osteoarthritis of the knee alone. However, Cold Laser therapy is useful in the treatment of MANY complaints such as sprains or strains, inflammation, and pain in general. It’s so effective that professional sports teams are employing its use every day. It’s top-of-the-line treatment for their athletes.Why They Did It
Osteoarthritis (OA) is more and more common in elderly and commonly leads to disability. Can Cold Laser help to either avoid surgery or lessen the symptoms?

 

Last week’s blog had to do with the category Scientific Research Recommends Chiropractic Spinal Manipulation Low Back Pain. It focused on research abstracts having to do with the low back specifically. This week will be under the same category but will focus specifically on the neck region. Again, this series is based on information provided to me personally by Mr. George McAndrews. Mr. McAndrews was the lead counsel in the Wilk vs. AMA case and won that case with his considerable skill but also these great resources that I will continue sharing with you throughout this series. These blog topics and research findings are all part of a wonderful article in Dynamic Chiropractic that Mr. McAndrews wrote. You can read that article at the following link: http://www.dynamicchiropractic.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=56938

 

This is the conclusion of this series called “Why Have 40 Million Americans Tried Chiropractic?” I really hope you found it useful and worthy of your time. Again, this series is based on information provided to me personally by Mr. George McAndrews. Mr. McAndrews was the lead counsel in the Wilk vs. AMA case and won that case with his considerable skill but also these great resources that I will continue sharing with you throughout this series. These blog topics and research findings are all part of a wonderful article in Dynamic Chiropractic that Mr. McAndrews wrote. You can read that article at this link. The final installment of this series has to do with Patient Satisfaction. Yes, that is something that can be measured and researched. It has been researched thoroughly as a matter of fact. Here are three of them that Mr. McAndrews chose to highlight. 

 
This study was held in the UK in 2011 so the information is recent. The study makes mention of “stratified” primary care management which refers to uses of alternative treatment such as manual therapy. So, if one reads through this paper, it would be appropriate to replace the word “stratified” with alternative treatments or manual therapy. Why Did They Do It?
The authors were well-aware that back pain remains a significant challenge for primary practitioners to treat and manage. They were also aware of the fact that co-management of back pain among primary practitioners and alternative therapies had yet to tested by them. How They Did It.

 
Here’s one on effectiveness for chronic spinal pain. Why Did They Do It?
The authors wanted to test and compare effectiveness of chiropractic manipulation in chronic spinal pain complaints. They used several different protocols including needle acupuncture, nonsterioidal anti-inflammatory medication, and/or chiropractic manipulation. How Did They Do It?

 

It has been my experience that many women are under the false impression that they are not supposed to be going to see the chiropractor during pregnancy. That information is, again, completely false. Different chiropractors are going to have different levels of comfort in dealing with different conditions and pregnancy is no different. Some chiros will feel more comfortable waiting until the first 12 weeks of pregnancy are over since they are usually the more “fragile” weeks of a pregnancy. However, if using the Activator-style, instrument-aided adjusting, a visit during this period of the pregnancy should be fine.Some chiros will feel uncomfortable adjusting a mommy-to-be after she has reached the 36 weeks mark. Again, using the instrument-aided adjustments beyond 36 weeks should be safe and uneventful.For most chiropractors though, for the period of pregnancy after the first 12 weeks and prior to the 36 weeks, regular chiropractic manual manipulation is not only perfectly safe, it is encouraged to combat the growing discomfort that a new mommy-to-be will begin experiencing before long. Most chiropractors have sections of their table that release and relax to accommodate the growing abdomen and to make it more and more comfortable for the pregnant patient.Massage therapists have also developed their techniques to include side-lying massages that allow the pregnant mom to have her sore and achey back worked on but avoid any uncomfortable positioning.

 
Low back is one of the biggest issues that is seen in physical medicine and primary care clinics. There have been questions as to the effectiveness of Mechanical-Assisted Manipulation when compared to regular Manual-Thrust Manipulation as well as to the effectiveness of manipulation compared to Usual Medical Care. Why They Did It
The authors in this study wanted to find out what the effectiveness was of the following treatment protocols:

Jeff Williams, DC


Serving the Panhandle for 15 years, and spending several of those years as an Amarillo chiropractor, Dr. Williams has seen it all with conditions ranging from various car wreck or auto injury to whiplash, scoliosis, herniated discs, sciatica, neck “cricks” and pinched nerves, neck pain, back pain, and low back pain, to migraines and sports injuries. I have a dream job in a dream practice where we get to help people on a daily basis. We have been very fortunate and truly blessed.


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