Migraines, Tension Headaches, and Arm Pain Resolved with Chiropractic

What To Do With Chronic Headaches? Can Chiropractic Care Help Migraines?

The Chiropractic Journal of Australia published a case study in their June 2016 edition documenting the resolution of long term migraine headaches, tension headaches, and arm pain through chiropractic.

Migraines, Tension Headaches, and Arm Pain Resolved with Chiropractic - Austin Chiropractor celebrity care best reviewsAccording to the study authors, headaches are the most common neurological problem affecting people. According to the World Health Organization, about 47 percent of the population will suffer at least one headache in any given year. Headaches can affect any age group. The study reports that there have been numerous studies showing chiropractic being effective for patients suffering from headaches. However, they note that few studies are available on chiropractic helping the elderly with headaches.

In this study, an 89-year-old man presented himself to the chiropractor for care. The man was suffering from chronic daily tension-type headaches in the front of his head. His headaches had developed into incapacitating migraine headaches every 2 to 3 weeks over the past several years. He also reported suffering from years of chronic right arm and neck pain.

The man’s history included significant trauma, including multiple motor vehicle accidents in 1957 and 1962 in which he suffered fractures in his right arm and spine respectively. The man was a World War II veteran and had suffered a blast injury during an artillery bombardment.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, a postural and balance assessment, range of motion (ROM), orthopedic and neurological tests, muscle strength and stretch reflexes tests, and sensory and cranial nerve testing. Spinal x-rays were also performed.

Based on the examination findings and x-rays, the diagnosis given was “…chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines without aura, musculoskeletal neck and arm pain, and concomitant vertebral subluxations.” Chiropractic care was started using a specific adjusting protocol to address the subluxations found.

The study reports that following the first adjustment the patient almost immediately noticed a considerable decrease in the intensity and frequency of his headaches, and arm and neck pain. After six weeks of care, the patient reported that he was continuing to improve and that his headaches were no longer daily and were much less in severity. He also noted that he had not gotten any migraine headaches.

After 12 weeks of care, the patient reported a complete cessation of all headaches and migraines, and also that his arm pain had completely subsided. He commented that he felt a lot more comfortable walking and he had more energy for daily activities. In a one-year follow up, the man reported no further headaches, neck pain, or arm pain.

In their conclusion, the authors wrote, “This case study describes the presentation, chiropractic care provided, and outcomes of care of an 89-year-old male experiencing medically diagnosed chronic daily tension-type headaches, episodic migraines and co-existing musculoskeletal neck and arm pain. The patient reported a cessation of longstanding headaches and musculoskeletal complaints after 12 weeks of chiropractic care.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We are located in north central Austin, TX.


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Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy Than Opioids

Are Opioids Safe? Can Chiropractic Care Help With My Pain?

The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) issued a news release on June 6, 2016, highlighting the publication of an encompassing white paper titled, “Chiropractic: A Safer Strategy Than Opioids.”

Chiropractic - A Safer Strategy Than Opioids - AUSTIN TX CHIROPRACTOR BEST REVIEWSAccording to the F4CP news release, the white paper “…articulates the value of a conservative, non-pharmacologic approach as an important option for pain management — particularly for back, low back and neck pain, headaches, neuro-musculoskeletal and other related conditions.”

The 28-page white paper begins by stating the growing concern about the problem, and offers a solution. “The United States has awakened on every level to the crushing impact of the opioid use/abuse epidemic. Calls have come from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) for a shift away from opioid use toward non-pharmacologic approaches to address chronic pain. An important non-pharmacologic approach in helping to solve this crisis is chiropractic care.”

Co-author of the white paper, Laura Carabello, Principal, CPR Strategic Marketing Communications, commented in the news release by saying, “According to a study reported by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, the problem remains that opioids frequently are prescribed for acute and subacute low back pain, despite low quality or inconclusive supporting evidence for their use in this circumstance.”

To help with the opioid problem, the F4CP white paper listed five calls to action.

  • Prescribers should heed CDC guidelines and begin prescribing safer alternatives such as chiropractic care for chronic pain management.
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers should institute more responsible marketing and physician education that will result in improved prescribing habits.
  • Hospital emergency rooms should evaluate their options for managing patients’ pain without the use of opioid painkillers.
  • Payers and plan sponsors – both government and commercial – should make chiropractic care an accessible, affordable, option for chronic pain relief, with reimbursement of DCs as covered providers.
  • Chiropractic services should be expanded in the Department of Defense and veteran’s health care systems since neuro-musculoskeletal pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the active military and veteran populations.

White paper co-author Gerard Clum, DC, President Emeritus, Life Chiropractic College West and Director, The Octagon, Life University, concluded the news release with an overview by saying, “The United States has awakened on every level to the crushing impact of the opioid use/abuse epidemic. This examination offers a greater understanding of the issues driving overprescribing of narcotics with corresponding initiatives that will help to extricate ourselves from this current, dangerous and often fatal reality.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from a better functioning nervous system, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.


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Chronic Shoulder Pain Resolved with Chiropractic in Elderly Woman

Do Chiropractors Help Shoulder Pain? Can Chiropractic Help Chronic Pain?

A case study published on February 19, 2015, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research reports on an elderly woman suffering from chronic shoulder pain being helped by chiropractic care. The authors of the study begin by pointing out that chronic pain in the elderly is a very common occurrence, ranking 6th as a health burden.

According to the study, chronic pain affects between 25 and 76 percent of the elderly living in the general community.  Estimates rise to between 83 and 93 percent for those elderly living in residential care.  Common care for pain among the elderly is medication. However, there is increasing concern that the elderly population is being overmedicated. Estimates from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics show that 88.4% of the population over 60 is on a prescription medication.

Chronic Shoulder Pain Resolved with Chiropractic in Elderly Woman | Austin TX ChiropractorIn this case, a 73-year-old woman came to a teaching chiropractic clinic with a primary complaint of left shoulder pain. She was also suffering with a variety of other health issues and symptoms including high blood pressure, hypercholesterolemia, a hiatal hernia, acid reflux, and arthritis. Additionally, she had a history of a stroke.

Her problems were progressively getting worse. They affecting her to the point were she was unable to work as an artist, thus forcing her to give up painting figures or making ornaments. She reported that she was taking Tylenol which only gave her minor temporary relief.

An visual examination was performed that showed that the woman carried her head very far forward of the normal upright position. Additionally, she has an excessive roundness in her upper back that is sometimes referred to as a hunchback. Spinal palpation showed multiple areas of increased sensitivity. The woman’s range of spinal motion was also reduced in a number of areas.

From the examination results, it was determined that the woman had “nerve root irritation” (subluxation) in her neck. This finding was later confirmed by an MRI which also showed mild to moderate degenerative changes in her spine. With these findings, chiropractic adjustments were begun.

On the woman’s second visit, a day after having received her first adjustment, the woman stated she felt, “100% improvement since yesterday’s treatment. There is no burning at all in my neck or shoulder.” By the woman’s 7th visit she stated that she only had pain or burning “once in a while.”

The study records that at one time during her chiropractic care, the woman was told by her medical doctor that she should get a shot in her neck and stay away from the chiropractor. To this the woman responded to her MD that she felt his recommendations were a “stupid idea” and she did not want any invasive procedures or drugs.

If you or someone you know is suffering with chronic pain, chiropractic care may be able to help. Call our office at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson today.

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Prescription Painkillers’ Overuse Has Become Silent Epidemic – US Warns

Are Painkillers Over-Prescribed by Doctors? Is Chiropractic Care a Safe Treatment for Chronic Pain?

The headline above is from a January 16, 2015, article in the U.S. edition of the British news publication The Guardian. The article is based on a position paper released on January 13, 2015, titled, “National Institutes of Health Pathways to Prevention Workshop: The Role of Opioids in the Treatment of Chronic Pain.”

The Guardian article begins by reporting that in 2012, Americans received nearly 260 million prescriptions for opiate painkillers.  This high number stands in contrast to the  National Institutes of Health (NIH) statement that there is “scant” research supporting the use of these drugs for chronic pain. The NIH paper is based on the work of a seven member panel of experts who studied the use of opioids in medicine. “Chronic pain affects an estimated 100 million Americans, or one-third of the U.S. population.”

Prescription Painkillers' Overuse Has Become Silent Epidemic | Austin TX ChiropractorOne of the key factors  the panel found was that there were no studies comparing the use of opioid therapy or no opioid therapy versus placebo for evaluating long-term outcomes related to pain, function, or quality of life.  “Unfortunately, a lot of these drugs are approved on the basis of short-term trials,” stated Roger Chou, MD, associate professor, medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, in an interview he gave to Medscape News.

In the paper summary, the panel states, “The rise in the number of Americans with chronic pain and the concurrent increase in the use of opioids to treat this pain have created a situation where large numbers of Americans are receiving suboptimal care.” They continue, “At the root of the problem is the inadequate knowledge about the best approaches to treat various types of pain, balancing the effectiveness with the potential for harm, as well as a dysfunctional health care delivery system that encourages clinicians to prescribe the easiest rather than the best approach for addressing pain.”

Perhaps the most disturbing comment from the paper speaks to the daily experience of a patient who is visiting a doctor for chronic pain.  The panel notes, “Particularly striking to the panel was the realization that evidence is insufficient for every clinical decision that a provider needs to make about the use of opioids for chronic pain, leaving the provider to rely on his or her own clinical experience.”

An article titled, “Mandatory Use of Prescription Drug Monitoring Programs” in the January 26, 2015, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) looked at the problem. It reported that, “The rate of fatal prescription drug overdoses involving opioids almost quadrupled from 1.4 deaths/100,000 people in 1999 to 5.4 deaths/100,000 people in 2011.”

“Chiropractic represents a drugless approach to health,” notes Dr. Michael McLean, president of the International Chiropractors Association. “The problem is not just the use of these dangerous and powerful drugs, the problem is a culture that looks to eliminating the symptoms rather that searching for the underlying cause of pain and other health issues.”

If you or anyone you know suffers with chronic pain, chiropractic may be beneficial. Please contact us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation today.

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