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Why Chiropractic is Superior for Musculoskeletal Pain

Posted on 18 November, 2019 at 6:45 Comments comments (0)

Countless studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care is a safe and effective way to treat musculoskeletal complaints like back pain, neck pain, or sciatica. Now a new study from Switzerland has looked at the relative benefits of chiropractic compared to medical care for the most common types of pain issues.


In this study, the authors examined data from people who reported spinal, hip, or shoulder pain. 403 patients saw a medical doctor for relief; 316 people saw a chiropractor. Four months after treatment, the patients were asked to fill out a survey reporting on their recovery.


The authors found that:


“Patients initially consulting MDs had significantly less reduction in their numerical pain rating score…”

Patients who saw MDs were significantly less satisfied with the care they received and the outcome of that care.

Patients who saw a chiropractor had significantly lower healthcare costs for their treatment.

The authors conclude that patients should first be sent to a chiropractor for musculoskeletal problems, rather than a medical doctor:


“The findings of this study support first-contact care provided by DCs as an alternative to first-contact care provided by MDs for a select number of musculoskeletal conditions. Restrictive models of care in which patients are required to contact a medical provider before consulting a chiropractic provider may be counterproductive for patients experiencing the musculoskeletal conditions investigated and possibly others. In addition to potentially reducing health care costs, direct access to chiropractic care may ease the workload on MDs, particularly in areas with poor medical coverage and hence enabling them to focus on complex cases. The minority of patients with complex health problems initially consulting a chiropractic provider would be referred to, or comanaged with, a medical provider to provide optimal care.”

9 Risk Factors for Developing Sciatica

Posted on 4 November, 2019 at 4:00 Comments comments (0)

Sciatica is a common pain problem that affects about 5% of adults. Sciatica is a symptom rather than a specific diagnosis: sciatic pain can have a number of different causes, and getting a proper diagnosis is key in getting relief from this condition.

While pinpointing the root cause of sciatica can be challenging, the medical research has established the factors that increase the risk of a person developing sciatic nerve pain.

Here are the nine most common risk factors for developing sciatica:

1. Aging

As we get older, we lose flexibility and it takes us longer for our body to heal from injuries. One of the most common types of pain associated with aging is lower back pain, and back pain is very closely linked to sciatica.1,2

2. History of Low Back Pain

Research shows that patients who have problems with low back pain are more likely to eventually develop sciatica. Low back pain can result in a general inflammation in the lumbar spine, and this can start to spread to the sciatic nerve.

3. Smoking

It’s no secret that smoking is bad for your health, and it’s also clear that smokers are more likely to suffer from back pain and sciatica.3

Smoking isn’t just bad for your lungs and cardiovascular system; it’s also associated with inflammation, poor circulation, and a weakened immune system. This makes it harder for your body to function properly and makes it more difficult for your body to heal from injuries.

4. Overall Poor Health

Wellness is about flexibility and movement, and if our general health is poor, it’s difficult to stay active and healthy. Research shows that physical fitness is a great way to prevent and treat back pain.4 

In addition, poor cardiovascular health is closely associated with a general inflammatory response in the body, which also increases the chances of musculoskeletal pain and sciatica.5

5. Obesity

Being overweight is one of the strongest predictors of back pain and other musculoskeletal problems, including sciatica.

Research shows that adipose tissue actually creates inflammatory markers which can affect our whole body, including our cardiovascular and nervous system. Remember: all sciatica pain is caused by inflammation of the sciatic nerve, and sciatica is more likely if your whole body is in an inflammatory state.

6. Work-Related Injuries

Repetitive movements or being too sedentary are detrimental to your musculoskeletal health, and this holds true for sciatica, as well.

Studies show that work-related activities can lead to sciatic nerve pain. Here are a few of the work conditions that have been associated with sciatica in the medical literature:

Standing or walking for long stretches.

Driving for long periods of time.

Pulling or kneeling for more than 15 minutes at a time.

Whole-body vibration.

If your work includes any of these activities, it’s critical to take breaks frequently, rest, and stretch a bit to prevent muscle injury and pain.

7. Sleep Problems

Research shows that poor sleep quality is associated with back pain and sciatica. This is a difficult issue, as poor sleep is also associated with other health issues, such as poor general health, obesity, and chronic pain. Sleep dysfunction is also associated with generalized inflammation, which is also linked to chronic pain.

8. Direct Injury

Less frequently, sciatica can be caused by an injury to the hip or buttocks, resulting in pain. One example of this would be sitting on a bulky wallet, which puts pressure on the nerve directly.

9. Psychological Distress

Low back pain and sciatica are linked to stress, as well. Monotonous or unsatisfying work and general stress can lead to chronic musculoskeletal pain.

A Whole Body Approach to Recovery

As you can see, many different factors play a role in the development of sciatica. Typically, it’s not just a single issue that results in pain, but a combination of factors. That’s why the most effective treatment and prevention of future episodes require a whole-body approach that looks at the root cause of your pain.

Chiropractic for Sports-related Elbow Pain

Posted on 21 October, 2019 at 4:25 Comments comments (0)

A new study demonstrates how chiropractic care provided significant pain relief for a basketball player with an elbow injury.

The case study, published in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, involved a 41-year old man who had fallen on his left elbow during a game of basketball five weeks prior. The man reported moderate pain, and could not play basketball or perform other activities involving his left elbow without experiencing pain. After a physical examination, it was discovered that not only did the patient show signs of tendon injury in the elbow, he also had dysfunctional segments in the mid-back (thoracic spine), along with a forward shoulder posturing.

The patient was treated with multimodal chiropractic care which included high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation of the thoracic spine, as well as acupuncture and Active Release Technique applied to the elbow. Active Release Technique is a specific soft tissue therapy in which the practitioner applies deep tension to an area of tenderness as the patient actively moves the tissue through specific movements in order to release fibrous adhesions. The patient was also prescribed home exercises following the Brugger’s exercise protocol to address postural dysfunction.

One week after receiving his first session of the multimodal chiropractic care, the patient reported a near resolution of symptoms. His pain had dropped from a 5 out of 10 to a 1 out of 10, and he said he felt he could engage in his regular recreational activities with only minimal pain. His relief remained constant at the six-month follow-up. No adverse events were reported.

Although this study specifically examined the effects of chiropractic for an acute elbow tendon injury, chiropractic care can also help with chronic elbow pain caused by repetitive motions, like tennis elbow.

Chiropractic Care Can Improve Respiratory Function

Posted on 7 October, 2019 at 5:40 Comments comments (0)

Chiropractic Can Help Asthma, COPD and More…

The World Health Organization reports that some of the most common chronic respiratory diseases include asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and pulmonary hypertension, the last of which is high blood pressure in the arteries connecting the heart and lungs.

Though some of these conditions can be passed down through genetics, lifestyle factors play a role as well, with risks rising with increased exposure to cigarette smoke, high levels of air pollution, and chemicals and other toxins found in various work or home environments. Obviously, your genes are your genes and removing these types of environmental toxins can go a long way to avoiding the development of lung-based diseases. Find out how Chiropractic care plays a positive roll.

A Study Shows Regular Chiropractic Visits Can Help!

One study has discovered that another way to keep your lungs breathing easier is with regular chiropractic visits. In September of 2016, the Journal of Physical Therapy Science published a study involving 30 subjects between the ages of 20 and 38 who were not currently being treated for any type of respiratory issue, nor were they experiencing any pain in their thoracic region. One-half were randomly assigned to an experimental group, which is the group that received actual spinal manipulation therapy. The remainders were assigned to the control, receiving sham treatments instead.


At the onset of the study, each subject’s respiratory function was tested and recorded. Approximately ten minutes later, depending on which group they were in, they either received high-velocity, low-amplitude manipulation directed to the thoracic area of the spine or sham chiropractic. Follow-up respiratory testing occurred immediately following the actual or sham treatment session.

After studying the lung-function data collected, researchers noted that the experimental group, which is the group that received actual chiropractic, had “significantly increased” their forced vital capacity and forced expiratory volume in one second. The group that received the sham treatments experienced no difference in their respiratory function at all.


These findings suggests that chiropractic care likely plays a more important role in healthy lung function than most people realize. This information may be helpful to patients who are already experiencing chronic respiratory issues and looking for relief, but it may also work to reduce the likelihood of lung-related diseases in the first place.

As the COPD Foundation states, generally speaking, “once lung function is gone, it is gone for good.” That’s why they recommend engaging in activities which can maximize lung capacity. These include: getting some type of regular exercise, performing physically demanding exercises during the times when it’s easier to breathe, and staying indoors when extreme temperatures are expected or pollution is high.


Coffee could prevent dementia

Posted on 30 September, 2019 at 4:10 Comments comments (0)

Coffee can provide a little more than your morning jolt of energy. A growing body of research suggests that drinking coffee could lower your risk of Alzheimer’s disease. The latest study suggests that drinking several cups a day could decrease dementia risk.

In the study, researchers took blood samples from 124 adults aged 65 years and older. Adults who later developed dementia tended to have lower caffeine levels in their blood and reduced levels of three key cytokines known to protect against cognitive decline. Caffeine increased these cytokine levels when researchers fed lab mice with caffeinated water.

This corroborates the results of a 2009 study that revealed that people who regularly consumed coffee reduced their risk of Alzheimer’s disease by 65%. But caffeine isn’t the only source of coffee’s cognitive benefits. Coffee is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds known to decrease dementia risk.

The catch? To experience the same benefits as the caffeinated mice, humans would have to drink five cups of coffee a day. If the thought of that much of coffee makes you jittery, there may be other ways to ward of cognitive decline like exercise, social activity, taking steps to avoid heart disease and hypertension, and eating foods rich in antioxidants.