Over 184,000 Global Deaths Each Year Caused by Sugary Drinks

Are Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Bad? Can Sugar Negatively Affect My Health?

Medical News Today (MNT) published an article on June 30, 2014, with the above headline addressing the issue of the health impact drinks with a high amount of sugar have on the population. The article is based on several studies including a study published on June 29, 2015, in the journal Circulation with the title, “Estimated Global, Regional, and National Disease Burdens Related to Sugar-Sweetened Beverage Consumption in 2010.”

Over 184,000 Global Deaths Each Year Caused by Sugary Drinks - Austin Health ClinicThe MNT article begins by reporting that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates show that men consume an average of 178 calories from sugary drinks daily, compared to women who consume around 103 calories from these drinks daily. While some may make the point that these types of drinks should not be part of anyone’s diet, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends consuming no more than 450 calories from these drinks in a week. This is equivalent to less than three cans of soda in a week.

Prof. Gitanjali Singh, research assistant professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy of Tufts University in Boston, MA, and his team analyzed sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) consumption data from 1980-2010 from 62 surveys involving 611,971 people in 51 countries. They reviewed the data to see how consuming sugary drinks impacted the death rate from diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

The results of the study showed that in 2010, sugar-sweetened beverages were responsible for around 184,450 deaths worldwide, with 133,000 deaths from diabetes, 45,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,450 deaths from cancer. The study also highlighted that younger adults were more negatively impacted by these drinks than were older adults. Prof. Singh commented, “The health impact of sugar-sweetened beverage intake on the young is important because younger adults form a large sector of the workforce in many countries,” he explains, “so the economic impact of sugar-sweetened beverage-related deaths and disability in this age group can be significant.”

Prof. Singh continued his concerns by adding, “It also raises concerns about the future. If these young people continue to consume high levels as they age, the effects of high consumption will be compounded by the effects of aging, leading to even higher death and disability rates from heart disease and diabetes than we are seeing now”

In the study conclusion, Prof. Gitanjali Singh and his coauthors wrote, “SSBs, are a single, modifiable component of diet, that can impact preventable death/disability in adults in high, middle, and low-income countries, indicating an urgent need for strong global prevention programs.”

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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Antipsychotics Too Often Prescribed For Aggression In Children

Are There Alternatives for ADHD Besides Medications? Does Chiropractic Help ADHD? Are Antipsychotic Drugs Overprescribed?

The headline above comes from a July 1, 2015, news story on the National Public Radio website. The story is based on a study published in JAMA Psychiatry also on July 1st. The NPR article begins with the warning, “Powerful antipsychotic medications are being used to treat children and teenagers with ADHD, aggression and behavior problems, a study finds, even though safer treatments are available and should be used first.”

Antipsychotics Too Often Prescribed For Aggression In Children - Austin TX Pediatric ChiropractorThe rate of usage of these types of drugs has significantly increased over the years and there is a concern that many children are being needlessly medicated and subjected to serious side effects. Many antipsychotic drugs, which were created for use with serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder, are being used for things not approved for such as ADHD and aggressive behavior.

Mark Olfson, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University who led the JAMA study, commented in the NPR article, “There’s been concern that these medications have been overused, particularly in young children. Guidelines and clinical wisdom suggest that you really should be using a high degree of caution and only using them when other treatments have failed, as a last resort.”

One of the issues pointed out by Olfson in the study was that many of the prescriptions for these powerful drugs were given by general practitioners with little testing, and without considering other alternatives first. “The results suggest that greater access is needed for child and adolescent psychiatric services as well as psychosocial services for young people who present with disruptive behaviors that appear to be common clinical targets,” he said. “A number of effective psychosocial treatments exist for impulsive aggression including interventions that emphasize anger control management and problem solving skills, but few children and their families are receiving them.”

Christof Correll, a professor of psychiatry at Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, who wrote an editorial to accompany the JAMA article stated, “Behavior modification and family treatment is something that should always come first, but less than one quarter of children and teens are getting that.” He continued, “Physicians use these medications too fast.”

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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Parkinson’s Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic

Can Chiropractic Care Help Parkinson’s Disease? How Does Chiropractic Care Slow or Stop the Progression of Parkinson’s?

The Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research published a case study on June 1, 2015, documenting a case of a patient with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) being helped over the course of a decade to have an improved quality of life. The authors noted the purpose of this study saying, “In this case study we will add to the small but growing body of evidence that reports on the association between chiropractic care and PD.”

Parkinson's Patient Helped to Live a Better Life with Chiropractic - Austin TX ChiropractorAccording to the WebMD website, “Parkinson’s disease affects the nerve cells in the brain that produce dopamine. Parkinson’s disease symptoms include muscle rigidity, tremors, and changes in speech and gait. After diagnosis, treatments can help relieve symptoms, but there is no cure.” The authors of this study add that PD affects about one percent of the population over the age of 65.

“PD has a major effect on the quality of life of patients, who gradually lose autonomy and cognitive function. The decline in quality of life proceeds at a rate that is five to seven times faster than the average yearly decline caused by normal aging in individuals without the disease,” state the study authors.

In this study, a 63-year-old man went to the chiropractor seeking relief from his lower back pain. He was also suffering with tremors in his right arm for five years and had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s two years prior. He was on a daily medication for his Parkinson’s. The case history showed that the man’s main complaints related to his PD were tremors in the right hand, gait disturbances in the left leg mainly caused by foot drop, and trouble walking with a loss of balance.

A chiropractic examination was performed including spinal range of motion, neurological and orthopedic tests, and spinal x-rays. The results led to the determination that subluxations of the spine were present. Based on these findings a specific series of chiropractic adjustments were begun.

The patient initially was seen 3 times per week for the first month. After the initial 12 visits the frequency of care was reduced to once per week. The man continued his chiropractic care for another 10 years before the writing of this study.

After 10 years, the now 73-year-old man reported that his PD symptoms had not worsened, but had actually improved since he started chiropractic care. He noted that the tremor in his right hand was not present as often and had not spread to any other part of his body. He reported that he was able to return to playing badminton more easily due to improvements in balance and an improved range of motion.

The study authors point out that this study and others they reviewed showed that some patients with PD had a slow down or stopping of the progression of their disease. They point out this is contrary to medical care alone which can treat the symptoms but does not seem to have any effect on the progression of PD.

“The aim of chiropractic care is to enhance nervous system function so the body is better able to heal itself. In contrast, the medical treatment of Parkinson’s relies on external input,” note the study authors. “The findings in our case study support previous literature which has examined the symptomatic progression, quality of life and neurological function of PD patients under 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.

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FDA Warns on Drugs to Treat Low Testosterone Levels in Men

What is Low-T? Do You Need A Testosterone Supplement? Is There Any Risk?

The above headline comes from a March 3, 2015, article in the Wall Street Journal.  This article, as well as several others on this subject, reported on an FDA Drug Safety Communication issued on March 3, 2015, warning about the use of “testosterone products for low testosterone due to aging.”

In the opening of their safety warning, the release states, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cautions that prescription testosterone products are approved only for men who have low testosterone levels caused by certain medical conditions.”

FDA Warns on Drugs to Treat Low Testosterone Levels in Men | Austin TX ChiropractorRecently, pharmaceutical companies have been advertising testosterone drugs for aging men that they have marketed as “Low T.”  This advertising is in spite of the fact that it is normal for testosterone levels to fall as men get older.

The FDA warning points out that these drugs were never approved for this type of usage and were strictly intended for medical conditions that create a decrease in testosterone.  The report says; “Testosterone is FDA-approved as replacement therapy only for men who have low testosterone levels due to disorders of the testicles, pituitary gland, or brain that cause a condition called hypogonadism.”

The market for selling testosterone prescriptions in the U.S. is very lucrative, with sales exceeding $2 billion in 2013 alone. In the warning, the FDA recognizes that these drugs are being sold for uses not intended. “FDA has become aware that testosterone is being used extensively in attempts to relieve symptoms in men who have low testosterone for no apparent reason other than aging. The benefits and safety of this use have not been established.”

The Wall Street Journal article points out that the Journal of the American Medical Association published a study in November 2013 showing that men treated with testosterone had a 30% increased risk of death, heart attack, or ischemic stroke compared with those who didn’t take the drug.

In an NPR article on the same day, Dr. Sidney Wolfe, founder of, the Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, criticized the FDA for not issuing a stronger warning sooner. He noted that the Canadian government acted months sooner, thus limiting the amount of testosterone prescriptions and the amount of harm done. He commented, “In the seven and a half months since the Canadian action, approximately 4 million prescriptions have been filled in the U.S.” He continued, “Had the FDA made this announcement last summer when the Canadian government acted, it would have reduced the number of U.S. prescriptions for and damage from testosterone, a medication of questionable effectiveness for a large proportion of users and one that increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.”.

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.

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.

One Chiropractic Adjustment Causes Lowering of Blood Pressure – Study Shows

Can Chiropractic Care Help Hypertension? How Does Chiropractic Help Lower High Blood Pressure?

The January 19, 2015, issue of the Journal of Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research documents the case of a single chiropractic adjustment causing a long term lowering of high blood pressure in a patient with chronic hypertension. A previous study published in the Journal of Human Hypertension in 2007 showed positive changes in 25 patients over a 8 week period. This study followed the changes over a longer period of time.

According to the study, “…one in three people are diagnosed as hypertensive and are at risk for other cardiovascular related diseases such as heart attack, renal failure, stroke, and increased mortality.” The study reports that 55% of people being treated with drugs for hypertension still have the problem – meaning they continue to be at risk.  The cost to the U.S. economy is estimated to be at $63.5 billion annually.

One Chiropractic Adjustment Causes Lowering of Blood Pressure | Austin TX ChiropractorIn this case study, a 55-year-old man came to the chiropractor with a history of having hypertension for 20 to 25 years. He did not have any other conditions or ailments that made him seek chiropractic. The man reported that he had been under regular medical care for his hypertension and had been put on a number of medications with no perceivable result in his blood pressure.  The study noted that the man had also been on a restrictive diet to help with his blood pressure.  His history also included a blow to the head 25 to 30 years ago.

A chiropractic examination was conducted which included a physical analysis, a postural analysis, leg length analysis, spinal x-rays, and thermography. The conclusion of these tests was that subluxation was present in the upper neck area.

A specific chiropractic adjustment was given to the patient and the patient was instructed to rest for 45 minutes.  Prior to the first adjustment, the patient’s blood pressure was measured as being 180/110 mm Hg. After the first adjustment and the rest period, the patient’s blood pressure was again taken and was reduced down to 164/94 mm Hg.

The patient was seen regularly over a seven month period to monitor his subluxation and blood pressure. During this time, no additional chiropractic adjustments were given. At the end of the seven month period, his blood pressure continued to lower and was measured as 136/82 mm Hg. The study recorded that after 2 months of care, the patient discontinued some of the medication he was taking for his blood pressure. By the fourth month, he had discontinued all blood pressure medications.

The authors of the study summed up the results by saying, “This case report outlines a 55 year old male undergoing upper cervical chiropractic care with 20-25 years of hypertension not successfully managed with medication. After seven months of care and one upper cervical chiropractic adjustment his chief complaint of high blood pressure was reduced from 180/110 mm Hg to 136/82 mm Hg. This reduction occurred even though all hypertensive medications were eliminated and no change in the patients diet or weight.”

If you, or anyone you know, suffers from hypertension or high blood pressure, please call us at 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson to see if chiropractic is right for you.

Injury Risk with Chiropractic 76% Lower Compared to Primary Care Physicians – Study Shows

How Safe Is My Primary Care Doctor? How Safe Is Chiropractic?

A study published in the medical journal Spine on Dec. 9, 2014, showed that among Medicare beneficiaries, a visit to the chiropractor was much safer than a visit to the primary care physician.  A second study published by Hindawi Publishing on Dec. 25, 2014, showed that there was no evidence of injury after chiropractic adjustments.

In the study published in Spine, researchers reviewed records for Medicare beneficiaries who had gotten chiropractic care in 2007 looking for reports of injuries. Specifically, they reviewed records for “…older adults with a neuromusculoskeletal complaint, to evaluate risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk following an office visit for chiropractic spinal manipulation, as compared to office visit for evaluation by primary care physician.”

Injury Risk with Chiropractic 76% Lower Compared to Primary Care Physicians | Austin TX ChiropractorThe results of this study clearly showed that a visit to the chiropractor who performed an adjustment was safer than a visit to the medical physician for an evaluation. The study did not take into account the possible increased risk for any form of medical treatment or drugs as the medical comparison was only done on “…those evaluated by a primary care physician.”

The study reviewed the records for up to seven days after either the chiropractic or medical visit.  In calculating the risk of injury for both the medical visit and the chiropractic visits, the researchers reported that “The cumulative probability of injury in the chiropractic cohort was 40 injury incidents per 100,000 subjects, as compared to 153 incidents per 100,000 subjects in the primary care cohort.”  This showed that although no form of healthcare is totally without some small risk, chiropractic care was much safer.

In their conclusions the authors wrote, “Among Medicare beneficiaries aged 66-99 with an office visit risk for a neuromusculoskeletal problem, risk of injury to the head, neck or trunk within 7 days was 76% lower among subjects with a chiropractic office visit as compared to those who saw a primary care physician.”

In the second study published by Hindawi researchers performed a “randomized controlled trial” to look at blood-work after chiropractic adjustments, to see if there were any chemical changes that would normally be present after spinal injury.  They compared these results to a control group that received placebo or fake adjustments.

The results showed no indications of increased levels of any chemicals that would have been present if the subjects were injured. From these results the researchers concluded: “Our data show no changes in any of the studied damage markers. Although this study examined the outcomes in an asymptomatic population, lower cervical and thoracic manipulative techniques seem to be safe manual therapies techniques which cause no harm to the health of the subject. These data may be used as evidence of the safe application of spinal manipulation to healthy subjects.”

Resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia Following Chiropractic Care

What Is The Suicide Disease? Can Chiropractic Care Help Trigeminal Neuralgia?

A study published on November 6, 2014, in the Annals of Vertebral Subluxation Research documented the case of a patient with trigeminal neuralgia being helped by chiropractic care.  According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, “Trigeminal neuralgia (TN), also called tic douloureux, is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal or 5th cranial nerve, one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head.” They further explain that, “The typical or classic form of the disorder causes extreme, sporadic, sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode.”

 Resolution of Trigeminal Neuralgia Following Chiropractic CareThe authors of the study reported that the pain associated with TN is commonly triggered by activities of daily living including shaving, washing the face, applying makeup, brushing teeth, chewing food, drinking, talking, or being exposed to different elements of weather, in particular wind. Due to the severity of the pain and the uncertainty of when it might occur, this problem has been known as “The Suicide Disease.”

In this case, a 77-year-old woman went to the chiropractor and reported suffering with severe TN for the past seven years. She was taking medication to try and help the problem, but the pain was made worse by chewing, talking, and smiling. When her TN was flaring, she was unable to eat or talk well. She entered the chiropractor’s office crying in agony. She rated the pain as a 10 out of 10 in severity.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included spinal palpation, range of motion, thermography, and spinal x-rays. The results of the examination revealed that the woman had subluxations specifically in the top of her neck. Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun at the rate of three visits per week.

The study results recorded that after just three visits, the patient reported that the twitches related to her TN had stopped and she started to recover quicker from her attacks. After six visits, the woman reported that her pain had decreased from a 10 out of 10, down to just 3 out of 10. As her care continued, she continued to improve to the point where she no longer needed her medication. After 6 months of chiropractic care with 31 visits, the woman declared that she was 100% pain free.

In their conclusion the authors reported, “The patient continues to be pain free at the time this paper was published. She reports that her quality of life continues to improve and admittedly, chiropractic drastically improved her health.”

To understand more of how chiropractic helps your nervous system, please read this informative health research report entitled Interference and Your Nervous System.

If you or someone you know is suffering with trigeminal neuralgia, please call 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson. We can help you!

Lowered Postnatal Depression in Mothers After Their Infants Receive Chiropractic

What Is Postnatal Depression? Can Pediatric Chiropractic Help Postnatal Depression?

The November 2014 issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics published a study showing that women who have recently had a baby will be less likely to suffer from depression if their baby receives chiropractic care. In this study, the mothers did not receive care, only their infants.

Lowered Postnatal Depression in Mothers After Their Infants Receive ChiropracticAccording to the study authors, Postnatal Depression (PND) is defined as “…the first occurrence of psychiatric symptoms severe enough to require medical help occurring after child birth and before the return of menstruation.”  They continue by noting that PND “…has the potential to be a destructive, damaging and even fatal condition.” They report that about 13% of women will experience this condition within the first 12 weeks after giving birth.

In this study, data was collected from mothers of infants who received chiropractic care at an out-patient public chiropractic teaching clinic on the south coast of England.  The data collected used a standardized test used to measure PND called the Edinburgh Depression Scale. The test was given to the mothers at the onset of their infants’ care and when the infants’ care ended.

The Edinburgh Depression Scale is a 10-item questionnaire with each question scoring between 0-3. A maximum score for this test would be 30. The higher the score, the more likely the mother is depressed and suffering from PND. Any score at or above 10 is considered possibly depressed, with certain questions being specifically geared toward looking mothers who could possibly harm themselves or others.

A total of 117 mothers participated in the study.  Even thought their infants were the only ones that received chiropractic care, the improvements from their care resulted in the mothers showing significant improvement in their depression scores. The study showed that, on average, the mothers in this study scored an average of 7.3 on the Edinburgh Depression Scale.  After the chiropractic care was rendered to their infants, that average score improved to 5.04, which is a significant improvement in their score.

In the conclusion and discussion sections of this study, the authors wrote, “This study into PND scores of mothers whose infants underwent chiropractic care showed statistically significant reduction in scores when concluding a course of chiropractic treatment.” They explain, “It is reasonable to think that mothers would feel better when their baby is better. The EPDS is considered a good surrogate measure for anxiety in mothers and therefore, should be used as a continuum and any lowering of scores is a benefit.”

To understand more of how chiropractic helps neurologically with child development, please read this informative health research report entitled Strengthening Your Child’s Immune System.

If you know of a mother or a child that could benefit from seeing a chiropractor, please call 512-452-2525 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Swanson.

When to Say No to Your Doctor

Are American’s Medically Over-Treated? Can Preventive Chiropractic Care Help?

The headline above is from an article in the October 2014 issue of  Men’s Journal. The article, written by Joseph Hooper, starts with an ominous warning, “Every time you walk into a physician’s office, you run the risk of overtreatment: Tests you don’t need, medications that are ineffective (or dangerous), procedures that cause more problems than they solve. In many cases the best thing for your health is to do nothing.”

Hooper reports that in the US we spend nearly twice as much per person on healthcare as do people in other western European countries, yet our life expectancy is actually several years shorter.  He goes on to report that the U.S. National Institute of Medicine says that we “…waste $210 billion annually on treatments of no or marginal benefit.”

When to Say No to Your Doctor - Chiropractor in Austin TXFurther strengthening his argument, Hooper continues, “In a study last year, researchers from the Mayo Clinic went through 10 years of the New England Journal of Medicine, from 2001 through 2010. Of the established tests and procedures reevaluated in studies in the journal, 40 percent were found to be worthless.”

The problem pointed out in the article is that procedures and tests are being done to find things that are marginally abnormal which initiates treatments and medications that are both dangerous and ineffective. Dr. Gilbert Welch, a professor at Dartmouth’s Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, points out, “As doctors, we have focused on the few we might be able to help. The time has come for us to give equal attention to the many who are dragged through the process unnecessarily.”

The article recommends several books including one by Dr. Otis Brawley, the chief medical officer at the American Cancer Society, titled How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks About Being Sick in America. Dr. Brawley is quoted as saying, “In the U.S., we don’t stress preventing disease. We stress finding disease early and treating it, which is a shame.”

In response to this article, Dr. Michael McLean, president of the International Chiropractors Association and practicing chiropractor in Virginia Beach, Va., commented, “One of the problems with the healthcare system in the U.S. is that it has primarily been a one-option system.” McLean continued, “Many people are not even aware that there is a choice in types of care. Chiropractic has always offered an affordable and safe alternative to the much more expensive and hazardous allopathic model. Chiropractic is not only for people with symptoms, but is even more beneficial as a lifestyle choice that leads to being healthy. This should be preferable over merely treating illness after it has been detected.”

If you or someone you know could benefit from chiropractic care or have questions about chiropractic care and if it may be right for you, please call us at (512) 452-2525.