A conservative model of care encourages, when appropriate, the use of more cost-effective and safer approaches over potentially addictive medications, surgery and other invasive procedures for pain management. For example, conservative management of painful conditions may include spinal manipulation combined with exercise and stretching prior to moving on to treatments involving higher risk, such as opioids.Read More
Chiropractic Physicians Urge Conservative Treatments for Pain Amid Opioid Epidemic
During National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) this October, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) will bring attention to the public health crisis caused by pain, and in particular the overuse of prescription painkillers, with the theme #PainFreeNation. The campaign is part of the chiropractic profession's ongoing efforts to educate the public about the value of exhausting conservative forms of care for both acute and chronic pain before resorting to higher risk options, such as opioids.
National Chiropractic Health Month is a nationwide observance that helps raise public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic services and the profession’s natural, whole-person, patient-centered approach to health and wellness.
"Opioid medications involve the risk of overuse and addiction. Beyond this, prescription drugs that numb pain may convince a patient that a musculoskeletal condition is less severe than it is, or that it has healed. This misunderstanding can lead to overexertion and a delay in the healing process or even to permanent injury," explains ACA President Anthony Hamm, DC.
President Hamm notes that people in pain should be informed of all management strategies, including non-drug approaches such as chiropractic, to reduce their risk of overuse and addiction.
"Each patient is unique, and care plans should be tailored to focus on what is the safest, most effective treatment for the individual. Chiropractic physicians stand ready to work together with medical physicians to help address this epidemic that has caused unnecessary suffering, enormous loss of human potential and massive financial and personal costs," he adds.
Fortunately, health care quality organizations have begun to recognize the value of this conservative, multidisciplinary approach. Earlier this year, the Joint Commission, which certifies more than 20,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States, including every major hospital, revised its pain management standard to include chiropractic services and acupuncture. Clinical experts in pain management who provide input to the commission's standards affirmed that treatment strategies may consider both pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic approaches.
The American Chiropractic Association based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.
Take Steps to Reduce Falls in Seniors
Falls Prevention Awareness Day, Sept. 23, provides a great opportunity for seniors and their families to learn about ways to help minimize the chance of a fall, which can lead to serious consequences for many people. In 2013, there were 2.5 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults treated in emergency departments and more than 734,000 of these patients were hospitalized.
As we age, time takes its toll on the bodily systems that keep us balanced and standing upright. For example, sight or hearing loss can affect coordination. Nerves that carry information from the brain to muscles may fray and deteriorate, slowing reaction time and making it more difficult to move away from oncoming pedestrians or adjust to icy patches on a sidewalk. Normal declines in muscle strength and joint flexibility can hinder the ability to stand, walk and rise from chairs.
The American Chiropractic Association offers these suggestions to help reduce the chance of a fall:
Perform a home safety check
At least one-third of all falls involve hazards within the home. Most commonly, people trip over objects on the floor. See the National Council on Aging’s Home Safety Checklist and work with a family member or health care provider to evaluate your home for potential hazards and minimize risk of injury.
Build strength and balance through exercise
Consider a general exercise program that includes activities such as walking, water workouts or tai chi—a gentle exercise that involves slow and graceful dance-like movements. Exercise reduces the risk of falls by improving your strength, balance, coordination and flexibility.
The risk of falling may increase if you take certain prescription medications to treat age-related medical conditions. Many medications have side effects that can affect brain function and lead to dizziness or lightheadedness. Taking multiple medications magnifies the risk, as does combining prescription drugs with alcohol, over-the-counter allergy or sleeping medications, painkillers, or cough suppressants. Ask your prescribing physician to review your medications and reduce your chances of falling by using the lowest effective dosage. Also, discuss the need for walking aids or supports while taking medications that can affect balance.
Have your vision checked
Reduced vision increases risk of falls. Age-related vision diseases, including cataracts and glaucoma, can alter depth perception, visual acuity and susceptibility to glare. These limitations hinder the ability to move safely. It is important to have regular check-ups with your ophthalmologist. Also, regularly clean glasses to improve visibility.
Looking to make an appointment but don't know what to expect? Watch this video for a brief overview of your first appointment and learn what to expect from your chiropractor. When you are ready to make an appointment, just click HERE.
This video illustrates a surprisingly simple solution to low back pain and gives a great overview of various types of back pain and its causes.
In the video, Dr. Evans recommends seeing a chiropractor, getting acupuncture or a massage as well as changing your workstation, walking, and taking breaks from sitting and fixing your posture. These "active therapies" together with gentle exercise are proven effective to treat acute and chronic back pain. As Dr. Evans concludes, "movement is medicine."
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reports that eighty percent of people suffer from back pain at some point in their lives. Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections. Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic, i.e., not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture, or cancer.
If your back pain is not resolving quickly, visit your Doctor of Chiropractic. Your pain will often result from mechanical problems that your chiropractor can address. Many chiropractic patients with relatively long-lasting or recurring back pain feel improvement shortly after starting chiropractic treatment.1 The relief they feel after a month of treatment is often greater than after seeing a family physician.2
Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.3
Don't hesitate to call to set up your first consultation with Dr. Russell to discuss your acute, chronic or recurring back pain.
For more information on back pain, visit: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=66
- Stig LC, Nilsson O, Leboeuf-Yde C. Recovery pattern of patients treated with chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy for long-lasting or recurrent low back pain. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2001 May;24(4):288-91.
- Nyiendo J, Haas M, Goodwin P. Patient characteristics, practice activities, and one-month outcomes for chronic, recurrent low-back pain treated by chiropractors and family medicine physicians: a practice-based feasibility study. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2000 May;23(4):239-45.
- Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today February 2003;23(2):14-15.
Life is just better when you are well adjusted! Happy Thanksgiving to all our family, friends, and patients!