First Line of Defense

There’s an old Chiropractic saying that goes… Adjustments first, drugs second, surgery last. It’s a conservative philosophy of care for those who’d rather give their body a chance to heal naturally first, before calling in the medical cavalry. When it comes to back pain, science is finally in agreement.

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In 2017, The American College of Physicians developed new guidelines and recommendations for noninvasive care of lower back pain. On the top of that list, before the use of NSAIDs and/or muscle relaxants, are conservative methods like heat, massage or spinal manipulation (we’d rather call it a Chiropractic Adjustment). The study also emphasizes that while pharmacological treatments are easy to prescribe, they all carry varying risks of harm.

Your Chiropractor knows with the right environment (a clear, Subluxation free spine) and TIME, your body can innately recover from just about anything, including simple mechanical back pain. The next time you experience back pain, save yourself an extra step and call the Chiropractor first.  If your MD is up on his or her research, they’ll recommend you do so too.

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. Austin chiropractor located in north central Austin, TX.

Source: The American College of Physicians: Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of Physicians. February 2017: Amir Qaseem, MD, PhD, MHA et.al.

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Chiropractic Adjustments Better Than Self-Manipulation: Study Shows

Is It Okay To “Crack” My Own Back? Can I Adjust Myself?

A common question from patients in a chiropractic office is, “Can I adjust myself?”  A study published on April 22, 2015, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research demonstrates that self-manipulation of the spine is not as effective as a specifically given chiropractic adjustment.

The study begins by pointing out that forms of spinal manipulation have been used in the treatment of lower back pain by many different types of practitioners. The study authors stated the purpose of the study by saying, “It is hypothesized that self-manipulation of the lumbar spine, without the utilization of an experienced practitioner, can result in therapeutic benefits but can also cause instability and chronic low back pain.”

Chiropractic Adjustments Better Than Self-Manipulation - Austin TX ChiropractorThe authors report that prior to this study there have been no scientific studies showing that self-manipulation is either beneficial or harmful. They note that there has been much research on the benefits of spinal manipulation for those suffering from back pain. The difficulty in a study of self-manipulation is that there is a wide variety of variables in self-rendered care of any kind.

In the specific case documented for this study, a 17-year-old boy came to the chiropractor suffering from chronic lower back pain that he had been experiencing for over a year. The boy was very active in sports and his problem may have coincided with a weightlifting injury he sustained near the time his problems started to appear.
The boy was treated with pain medications and injections, but these provided little help.  As a result, he resorted to self-manipulation of his lumbar spine. Multiple times per day, the boy would twist his body to create tension in his lumbar spine resulting in a popping sound in his lower back. This procedure seemed to create some relief and an increased range of motion. He would perform this self-manipulation as frequently as every 20-30 minutes every day in order to get relief.

 

Upon going to the chiropractor, the boy was instructed to discontinue the self-manipulation. A chiropractic examination with x-rays was performed to evaluate the boy’s condition. The examination did show that several segments of the boy’s lower spine was less movable than normal, while the entire area of the spine was more movable than normal. This was probably the result of the self-manipulation.

Chiropractic care was begun at the rate of 3 visits per week for 3 months. Adjustments were given to the areas of the boy’s spine that were less movable. The results reported in the study showed that the boy improved significantly from the chiropractic care with a reduction in his back pain. Additionally, there was an increased  stability of his spine due to the chiropractic care without the self-manipulation.

In their conclusion the authors wrote that specific chiropractic adjustments are different from self-manipulation in several ways including safety, specificity, and effectiveness. They note that while self-manipulation can produce similar popping sounds in the spine, the effects of a specific, “…chiropractic adjustment cannot be reproduced without the expertise of a skilled practitioner.”

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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NIH Report Says Spinal Manipulation Unlikely to Cause Stroke

Does Chiropractic Care Cause Strokes? Is Chiropractic Dangerous?

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has issued a report stating that chiropractic care is unlikely to cause stroke as some opponents of chiropractic care have asserted. The report was based on a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics on January 14, 2015.

Spinal Manipulation Unlikely to Cause Stroke | Austin TX ChiropractorThe NIH report, first published January 14, and updated on March 3, 2015, starts by stating, “An analysis of Medicare claims data from older Americans who sought care for neck pain from chiropractors suggests that cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke.” This newest study adds to the growing body of scientific evidence that shows that chiropractic care is safe and does not increase the risk of stroke. The NIH report further noted, “This is the first population-based study in the United States to examine the risk of stroke after spinal manipulation and the first such study on older adults.”

The study was conducted by researchers from Dartmouth College and the Southern California University of Health Sciences and was supported by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. The authors note that this study research plan was reviewed and approved by the Dartmouth College Committee for Protection of Human Subjects.

Researchers reviewed 1.1 million Medicare claims from 2006 through 2008. Cases included in the data were all Medicare patients ages 66 to 99 who had a diagnosis of neck pain and who had visited either a chiropractor or a medical doctor for that condition.  The researchers then checked the records to see how many of these patients had suffered a stroke within 7 days or within 30 days of their visit to either provider.

The results of this study showed that the rate of vertebrobasilar stroke, the type of stoke some had tried to suggest was associated with chiropractic adjustments, is extremely rare. The researchers noted that when reviewing the data for all types of strokes, there was no statistical risk shown when comparing Medicare patients who went to medical doctors or chiropractors for the complaint of neck pain.

In their conclusion, the researchers noted how small the risk of stroke was for seniors under chiropractic care and summed up the results by saying, “Chiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.”

Dr. Michael McLean, a practicing chiropractor and president of the International Chiropractors Association commented, “For many years, there have been opponents to chiropractic who have tried to falsely claim that chiropractic is dangerous. The facts show that chiropractic is the safest form of healthcare available.” Dr. McLean further noted, “While no procedure in healthcare is 100 percent risk free, this well-done large study should finally put to rest any speculation that chiropractic care creates an increased risk for stroke.”

If you or anyone you know could benefit from having your nervous system functioning without interference, please call our office at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.

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