Older Americans Taking More Medications

What is Polypharmacy? Can Chiropractic Care Reduce My Need For Medication?

The headline above comes from a March 21, 2016, Reuters news story published in response to a pre-released study on this subject published in the April 2016 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine. This article, and several others on this same subject, reported on the growing usage of medication by the increasing elderly population.

Older Americans Taking More Medications - Austin Texas Chiropractor help for car accident injuryThe study showed that 87.7% of the population 62 to 85 years old used at least one prescription medication in 2010-2011. This was up from 84.1% in 2005-2006. Even more alarming was that the study showed that people using five or more prescription medications increased from 30.6% to 35.8% in the same five year period.

The Reuters article begins by noting that people using multiple medications, known as polypharmacy, was associated with an increase in major drug interactions in older Americans. Dr. Dima M. Qato, the study’s lead author from the University of Illinois at Chicago, commented, “That’s a concern from a public health standpoint, because it’s getting worse.”

The study showed that because of the increase in polypharmacy, the percentage of people at risk for serious or even life-threatening drug interaction has gone from 8 percent in 2005-2006 to 15 percent in 2011-2012.

Dr. Qato also stated in a CBS interview on this issue, “Many of these potentially deadly drug interactions involve prescription and non-prescription medications and supplements that are not commonly used, but are increasingly being used by older adults. While it is not known how many older adults in the U.S. die of drug interactions, the risk seems to be growing and public awareness is lacking.”

“It is time to take the next leap forward. We need to create systems that support an ongoing process of monitoring medications,” said Michael A. Steinman, M.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, in an accompanying editorial. “Such systems would help us periodically assess the benefits, harms and ongoing need for each of a patient’s medications, as well as the reasonableness of the medication regimen as a whole. These systems could also help physicians with deprescribing, for example by supporting gradual down-titration of a medication and monitoring patients for adverse drug withdrawal reactions after a drug is stopped.”

“As much as we need to support reforms in medication monitoring, we seriously need to examine the culture of taking so many medications,” says Robert Braile D.C. chairman of the International Chiropractors Association Public Relations Committee. “Americans represent about 5% of the world’s population, yet we consume about 50% of the prescription medication in the world. This, coupled with the fact that the U.S. ranks far below many other nations in almost all health statistics except spending, should lead us to question whether or not the culture of a pill for every ill is a healthy and prudent direction.”

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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Medicare Patients Using Chiropractic Reduce Costs

Is Chiropractic Care Cost Effective? By Seeing A Chiropractor Can I Avoid Surgery?

The January 2016 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published a study titled, The Association Between Use of Chiropractic Care and Costs of Care Among Older Medicare Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain and Multiple Comorbidities. The study showed that patients on Medicare who used chiropractic care decreased overall costs compared to those who did not seek chiropractic.

Medicare Patients Using Chiropractic Reduce Costs - Austin TX Chiropractor Personal Injury from Car and Truck AccidentsThe study’s objective was to determine if seeing a chiropractor saved money in healthcare expenses for Medicare beneficiaries. Researchers conducted a retrospective review of services for chiropractic care on Medicare patients between the years of 2006 and 2012.

The study reported the results of 72,326 Medicare beneficiaries who were 66 years or older and had chiropractic services that were covered by Medicare. Medicare currently only pays for chiropractic care for adjustments of subluxations.

The study compared the cost of total care for patients who received just chiropractic, with those who received chiropractic and medical care, and those who only received medical care without chiropractic. The study also only reviewed those who were seen for chronic lower back problems in order to have consistency in comparing results.

The results of the study showed that those patients who only received chiropractic care had the lowest costs for the care for their problem. This highest cost of care were those who only received medical care. Those who received chiropractic also had a much lower chance of having spinal surgery. Additionally, those who only received chiropractic care had a better outcome in a shorter period of time.

In response to this study, Dr George Curry, president of the International Chiropractors Association commented, “This study highlights the fact that those who receive chiropractic save money on healthcare expenditures. Although this study specifically looked at Medicare patients who were suffering from lower back issues, it should not be a far leap to extrapolate this out to a number of health issues that people seek chiropractic for. Chiropractic care should be viewed as a real solution to the spiraling costs of medical 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.


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Resolution of Infantile Colic in Infant after Chiropractic

What Do I Do With A ColiCky Baby? Does Chiropractic Care Help Colic? Do Chiropractors Treat Infants and Babies?

The Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health published a study on March 7, 2016, documenting the case of an infant with colic being resolved under chiropractic care. It is estimated that colic occurs at a rate of between 10% and 40% of infants up to 3 months of age.

Resolution of Infantile Colic in Infant after Chiropractic - Austin TX Chiropractor Pediatric Infants Babies Kids Children TeensThe study begins by noting that infantile colic was defined in 1954 by Dr. Morris Wessel who determined that a series of “threes” were needed to make the determination of colic. The “threes” were: an infant crying and/or fussing for more than three hours a day, on three or more days per week, for three weeks or more, in an infant less than three months of age who was well-fed and otherwise healthy.

Excessive crying seems to be the chief characteristic of infants suffering from colic. The authors note that the crying is usually difficult to console and associated with feeding problems that include spitting, poor sleep, and passing excessive gas.

In this case, a three-month-old baby boy was brought to the chiropractor with symptoms of colic and frequent crying spells. The baby would scream and cry without any noticeable reason. The boy’s parents described their baby’s situation by saying he “…screams and cries out of nowhere, not sure if its personality or something hurts, screams like he’s in pain.”

The history reported that the baby had severe signs of colic that seemed to reduce at seven weeks but then returned. The baby was also suffering from an overactive gastrointestinal and urinary tract that included increased frequency of bowel movements and increased urination. His colic issues were causing sleep issues as he would wake up crying in pain.

Chiropractic care was begun on the boy with specific modifications for his size and youth. Dietary recommendations were also given to the mother. By the fourth visit, it was reported that the baby boy was improving and was crying and screaming less. His sleep patterns had not yet improved at that point.

Over the next several visits, the boy continued to improve and was “doing great” according to his parents. The boy returned to normal and did not have a return of his colic or any other problems.

In their conclusion the author wrote, “This case study reports on the successful resolution of colic following the introduction of chiropractic care to reduce subluxations in a three-month-old infant.”

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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Resolution of Fatigue, Malaise and Depression with Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Help Depression? How Does Chiropractic Help Fatigue And Lack Of Energy?

The February 29, 2016, edition of the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study showing chiropractic helping a man suffering from general tiredness, fatigue, loss of energy and depression. According to the study authors, generalized fatigue and lack of energy are a common disorder accounting for about 5% of all adult visits to primary care physicians.

Resolution of Fatigue, Malaise and Depression with Chiropractic - Austin TX Chiropractor Health Wellness Family Medical CareIn this case, a 30-year-old married man presented himself to the chiropractor. His chief complaint was that he was suffering with general tiredness and loss of energy. He also reported having occasional headaches and acid reflux.

He described his condition as a generalized malaise and lethargy, with occasional feelings of sadness and depression. The patient did not recall any specific incident that triggered his problems but noted that he has had these symptoms for over 12 years.

He reported that there was not a regular time or day in which he felt his symptoms were worse, but he did report that it was difficult to wake up and “get going” in the morning. Although he was able to conduct the normal activities needed to take care of himself and his family, he felt he lacked the energy to engage in the additional activities he would like to do. He did report that strenuous activity or exercise seemed to give him more energy. The patient’s family also noted his lack of energy and depression. He was not under medical care, or taking any medications for his condition.

A chiropractic examination of the patient consisted of a history, a postural inspection, basic physical examination, spinal palpation, spinal thermal readings (heat), and spinal x-rays. The palpation examination showed areas of increased spinal sensitivity and edema with taut fibers. The thermal examination showed areas of heat changes along the patient’s spine. Postural irregularities were observed and there was a slight reduction in normal spinal range of motion. The spinal x-rays confirmed spinal malpositioning.

It was determined that vertebral subluxations were present resulting in neurological dysfunction throughout the patient’s body. From this, a series of specific chiropractic adjustments were performed to address the subluxations that were found. The results of the care were measured by re-examination as well as self reports from both the patient and his family.

As his chiropractic care progressed, the patient reported an increase in energy and positive attitude. His family also reported that he was able to handle stressful situations much better. The study noted that, “His wife confirmed that he was able to complete more responsibilities at home during the week and on weekends with less difficulty and less complaints about low energy or tiredness.” The patient also began engaging in family outings which included fishing and hiking.

In their conclusion, the authors noted that the chiropractic care and management of this case focused on the detection and reduction of vertebral subluxations found in this patient. They commented, “This case study demonstrates the efficacy of subluxation-based chiropractic care for the management of fatigue and malaise in a single patient.”

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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CDC Study Says Most People Seeing Chiropractors Are Paying for Care

A January 2016 report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics showed that even though insurance affects how people purchase healthcare, more people than ever are choosing to pay for their chiropractic care. The report was based upon the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) taken in the years 2002 and 2012.

CDC Study Says Most People Seeing Chiropractors Are Paying for Care - Austin TX Chiropractic Care for car truck accident collisionThe study reported on usage for what the researchers termed as “complementary health approaches” which included acupuncture, massage, and chiropractic. They checked the usage of these three services specifically in the years 2002 and 2012. Researchers also looked to see if those surveyed had insurance that covered those services, and if insurance coverage affected the amount of usage of those services.

The results showed that there was increased utilization in all three services from 2002 compared to ten years later in 2012. The rates of utilization in 2002 were: acupuncture – 1.1%, massage – 5.0%, and chiropractic – 7.5%. These figures all increased ten years later to: acupuncture – 1.5%, massage – 6.9%, and chiropractic – 8.3%.

When examining who had insurance coverage, it was noted that the group with insurance coverage did not show an increase in utilization, while those without insurance, who would have to pay for their care, showed a statistically significant increase in utilization. This means that having insurance did not cause more people to seek out these three services. The study stated, “Although increases were observed in the percentage of adults who saw a practitioner for acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage therapy and did not have health insurance coverage for these visits, no changes were observed among those who saw a practitioner and had coverage for these complementary health approaches.”

For chiropractic, the study noted that 18.7% of those who sought those services had full insurance coverage. Partial coverage for chiropractic made up 41.4% of those who went to the chiropractor, while 39.9% had no chiropractic insurance coverage at all. Both acupuncture and massage had considerably less insurance coverage than chiropractic.

In their summary the authors of the CDC study noted, “Increased use of acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage therapy between 2002 and 2012 was previously noted. There was a significant increase in the percentage of adults who saw a practitioner for acupuncture, chiropractic, or massage therapy but did not have health insurance coverage for these approaches. No change in use was observed among those with insurance coverage. These data suggest that consumers are increasingly willing to pay out of pocket for the use of acupuncture, chiropractic, and massage.”

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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