The latest statistics show that there are over 500,000 spinal surgeries each year in the US. Although sometimes it's necessary to have back surgery, the reality is that if you can avoid this type of invasive procedure, you're often better off.
Dr. Mark Holland is here to make sure that people in North County, St. Louis, MO have a natural, non-surgical option for back pain. We've helped many people heal from back pain without the need for surgery.
There are many reasons to avoid unnecessary medical treatments: Surgeries often result in a longer recovery time and additional complications, neither of which is an acceptable scenario. Luckily, as one study has found, chiropractic may actually keep you off the surgeon's table entirely.
In this report, 1,885 workers with back injuries were examined over a three year period. When the workers first sought care with a surgeon, over 42 percent wound up having back surgery. For patients who saw only a chiropractor, only 1.5 percent had surgery!
These findings indicate that chiropractic care can help you heal from back pain without surgical treatments.
If you live in the North County, St. Louis, MO area, Dr. Mark Holland can probably help you with your back pain. Give our office a call today at (314) 867-8888 for more information or an appointment.
Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, et al. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
Chiropractic Relieves Frozen Shoulder
A new case study suggests chiropractic can provide significant relief of frozen shoulder syndrome.
What Is Frozen Shoulder Syndrome?
Frozen shoulder syndrome, or FSS, is a painful condition causing night pain and restricted shoulder range of motion. Medical treatments for FSS often include stretching or injections of medications and steroids. Unfortunately, these treatments do not always provide lasting results in many patients.
Chiropractic Treatment of FSS
To see if chiropractic could help, a recent case study evaluated the effects of chiropractic spinal adjustments in patients with FSS. After 1-2 months of chiropractic care, 98% of patients had significantly improved range of motion, and 32% of patients had completely regained normal shoulder adduction.
Chiropractic Lowered Pain Scores
Patients also experienced substantial improvements in pain, with the median average pain score dropping from a 9 out of 10 to a 2 out of 10.
Study Confirms Previous Research
This case study suggests chiropractic care is a viable option for patients with frozen shoulder syndrome. Earlier research has shown that manual therapies like chiropractic are effective for pain in the shoulder and upper back.
Murphy F. Chiropractic management of frozen shoulder syndrome using a novel technique: a retrospective case series of 50 patients. Journal of Chiropractic 2012; 11: 267-72.
Neck pain is very common, affecting an estimated 70% of people at some point during their lifetime. While there are many potential treatments available, there is little research regarding their comparative effectiveness. A recent study published in the medical journal The Annals of Internal Medicine reports that chiropractic care is a more effective treatment for neck pain than medication.
The study involved 272 patients with acute or subacute neck pain. They were given one of three treatments: chiropractic care, medication, or exercise under the direction of a medical professional. After 12 weeks of treatment, those who received chiropractic care or exercise therapy experienced the most significant reduction in pain. Participant-rated pain was measured periodically for one year following the treatment.
When compared with patients receiving medication, both chiropractic and exercise therapies more than doubled the likelihood of complete pain relief. Chiropractic and exercise were the most effective treatments in both the short and long term.
Chiropractic patients found that these benefits lasted a year or more, showing that chiropractic care can provide long-term relief of neck pain. The researchers believe the success of chiropractic treatment stems from its ability to address the causes of neck pain, rather than solely treating the symptoms.
Bronfort G, Evans R, Anderson AV, Svendsen KH, Bracha Y, Grimm RH. Spinal Manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2012;156(1):1-10.
According to a recent study, patients treated with chiropractic adjustments experienced a 50% reduction in the number of cervicogenic headaches they experienced.
What Are Cervicogenic Headaches?
Cervicogenic headaches are non-throbbing, steady headaches felt at the back of the head, with pain extending downwards through the neck and between the shoulder blades. Some patients also experience dizziness. Such headaches are caused by dysfunction in the cervical spine (the portion of the spine located in the neck).
Previous studies showed that chiropractic treatments can alleviate both the pain and disability resulting from cervicogenic headaches. This study showed that chiropractic treatments can also reduce the frequency of such headaches.
The research involved 80 people with chronic cervicogenic headaches. Patients received either light massage or chiropractic adjustments. Within each group, half received high doses of the treatment, while the other patients received lower doses. The light massage treatments involved several minutes of gentle neck and shoulder massage, while the chiropractic treatments consisted of high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments of the upper back and neck.
Improvements with Chiropractic
Patients who received chiropractic treatments improved substantially more than those receiving massage. On average, chiropractic patients saw their headaches cut in half. At the conclusion of the study, chiropractic patients required one-third less pain medication than at the start, and reported a 50% reduction in symptoms.
The researchers found no major differences between patients receiving 8 chiropractic treatments and those who received 16 treatments. Those who received more treatments did have slightly more improvements in terms of neck disability. More research is needed to determine the optimum number of chiropractic treatments, but the researchers have concluded that chiropractic adjustments are an effective method of treating cervicogenic headaches. Research shows that chiropractic can also relieve migraine headaches.
Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal 2010; 10: 117-128.
A recent study has demonstrated the effectiveness of a multi-modal, drug-free intervention program in treating children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Researchers recruited children diagnosed with ADHD who displayed inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity, and problems with academics and/ or behavior. Some participants served as a control group, while the rest completed a 12-week program at Brain Balance Achievement Centers. The intervention involved sensory motor exercises, cognitive exercises, and nutritional counseling. Professionals involved in the program were focused on achieving physiologic balance and temporal coherence in the brain, in addition to improving skills that would more closely match each child's age and grade level.
The 122 children in the experimental group attended the multi-modal program for three hour-long sessions each week, for a total of 36 hours of treatment. After the 12-week study, 81% of the kids who participated in the program no longer fit the criteria for ADHD. They improved in the areas of attention, focus, impulsivity, and behavior problems. In addition, 60% of the experimental group achieved an academic increase of at least two grade levels, and half of these achieved an increase of four grade levels.
As a controlled study, researchers compared the group who did not participate in the intervention program, and they found that these children experienced very little change academically and that their behavioral symptoms worsened slightly.
"The groundbreaking study proves that medication is not the only option to help eliminate the symptoms associated with ADHD, and it validates what we have been practicing at Brain Balance for 10 years," said Dr. Robert Melillo, founder of Brain Balance. "Drug-free, multi-modal programs, like the one offered at Brain Balance Achievement Centers, are ultimately more effective when it comes to achieving long-term results and eliminating symptoms both academically and behaviorally. This study shows that our program actually addresses the primary problem in the brain that is the root cause of ADHD and learning difficulty, and that it actually improves brain function."
The study was published in the peer-reviewed Frontiers, a fast-growing publication dedicated to more transparent and democratic processes in science.
Leisman G, Mualem R, Machado C. The integration of the neurosciences, child public health, and education practice: hemisphere-specific remediation strategies as a discipline partnered rehabilitation tool in ADD/ ADHD. Frontiers Public Health 2013. doi: 10.3389/fpubh.2013.00022.
(2013, July 29). "New Control Study Finds Drug-Free Program is Successful for Eliminating ADHD Symptoms." The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved from http://www.sacbee.com/2013/07/29/5606019/new-control-study-finds-drug-free.html.
Work Is a Pain in The...
Back pain and headache are common health complaints among workers in almost every industry, and are responsible for substantial suffering and disability, along with lost productivity. Two recent studies attempted to determine which risk factors are more likely to lead to musculoskeletal pain and headaches among workers.
Studying Office Workers
The first study examined office workers with a high degree of computer usage. Questionnaires were used to determine the musculoskeletal symptoms reported by the employees and the associated risk factors. The leading areas of pain among computer users were found to be the shoulder, neck, and upper back regions, with more than 60% of surveyed workers reporting pain in at least one of these areas.
Physical and Psychological Issues
High psychological distress was significantly associated with upper back and shoulder complaints, while a high workload was found to be significantly associated with lower back complaints. Women were more likely to report shoulder pain. The researchers concluded by emphasizing the importance of developing an intervention that addresses both physical and psychological complaints.
The second study focused on headaches as a possible outcome of the types of occupational and psychological factors examined in the first study. The aim of the study was to determine the occupational psychological, social, and mechanical factors that predicted the presence and severity of headaches among workers. The factors most strongly related to headache severity were role conflict, lower decision control, control over work intensity, job satisfaction, and higher quantitative demands.
Chiropractic Can Help
Stress has been shown to worsen chronic pain so managing stress could play a significant role in minimizing symptoms. Studies suggest that chiropractic can help the body cope with stress while improving the symptoms of headache and back pain.
Chiung-Yu Cho, Yea-Shwu Hwang, Rong-Ju Cherng. Musculoskeletal symptoms and associated risk factors among office workers with high workload computer use. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2012; (10.1016/j.jmpt.2012.07.004).
Christensen JO, Knardahl S. Work and headache: A prospective study of psychological, social, and mechanical predictors of headache severity. Pain 2012; doi 10.1016/j.pain.2012.07.009.
What Is Thoracic Outlet Syndrome?
Thoracic outlet syndrome is felt as numbness, tingling, pain or decreased circulation in the shoulders, arms or hands.
The thoracic outlet is a bottleneck where an important bundle of nerves and blood vessels travel between the head and arm. The space is narrow and injury to the neck can cause inflammation of the muscles in the area, which can compress the nerves and result in symptoms.
Because the neck is complex, it can be tricky pinpointing the exact source of your pain, and other conditions can mimic the symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome.
Chiropractic May Help
If you have symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome after an injury, we might be able to help. Your chiropractor can pinpoint the root cause of your pain and develop a treatment plan to help you reclaim your health.
Chiropractic care may be more effective in preventing recurring episodes of low-back pain than traditional treatments. In a recent study, patients receiving chiropractic had lower rates of recurring disability than patients under the care of a physician or physical therapist. With a growing body of research pointing to the recurring nature of acute back pain, the findings could help with efforts to prevent persistent pain in these patients.
The study, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, included 894 cases of work-related low-back pain gathered from the data of a major US insurer. Patients were divided into groups based on the provider type: chiropractic, physician, physical therapist, a combination of physical therapist and chiropractic or a combination of other health-care providers. During the initial episode of back pain, patients in the traditional care groups had longer durations of disability and higher usage of pain medication than chiropractic patients. (The mean average duration of disability days for physician group was 119 versus 58 for the physical therapy group and 49 for the chiropractic group.)
The researchers also looked at the health maintenance period after the initial episode of back pain to analyze whether patients experienced recurring episodes of pain. After controlling for various demographic and pain severity factors, patients in the physician and physical therapy groups were significantly more likely to have recurring disability compared to chiropractic patients. Despite the advantage of chiropractic over other provider care in terms of disability recurrence, the risk of recurrence among chiropractic patients was as low as patients who weren't seeing any provider during the health maintenance period. This interesting result led researchers to hypothesize that during the maintenance period, the success of chiropractic could lie in preventing patients from receiving treatments of "unproven cost utility or dubious efficacy" from traditional providers.
Avoiding expensive procedures and tests likely contributed to the reduced cost of chiropractic care for patients during the health-maintenance phase. The weekly cost of health maintenance care for the chiropractic group was $48 compared to $87 for the physician group and $129 for the physical therapy group.
The findings suggest that chiropractic care could be a more affordable and effective method of preventing recurring back pain than medical treatments.
Cifuentes M, Willetts J, Wasiak R. Health maintenance care in work-related low back pain and its association with disability recurrence. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 2011; 53(4): 396-404.
Of the over 2 million rear-end collisions in the US annually, a significant number of men and women find themselves dealing with long-term pain and impairment. Some studies have shown that 18% of people are still in pain a year after a collision.
Dr. Mark Holland sees many accident cases in our North County, St. Louis, MO location, and we often see patients who have been suffering for many years and have not been able to find relief. Dr. Mark Holland has great success in treating these patients.
The Cause of Chronic Pain
During a collision, the tissues of your spinal column can be stretched or torn. The injured area becomes swollen and irritated and sends pain impulses to the spinal cord and central nervous system.
Pain tells your central nervous system that something is wrong, which tells the muscle tissues in the injured area to contract to protect the area from further damage.
If the injury isn't managed right away, a negative cycle develops. The hurt tissues keep sending pain signals and each time, your nervous system reacts. This brings about a feedback loop in your nervous system that experts refer to as "central sensitization." Your nervous system literally becomes hypersensitive to any kind of stimulation, triggering chronic pain.
Dr. Mark Holland is able to help this kind of issue, as chiropractic is a proven way to restore the nervous system's healthy functioning. Research shows that adjustments are effective at relieving pain from car crashes and shows that chiropractic actually has positive effects on the pain centers of the brain.
If you live in North County, St. Louis, MO and have been in a collision, you don't have to suffer with chronic pain. Give Dr. Mark Holland a call today at (314) 867-8888 for a consultation or appointment.
- Ferrari R. A prospective study of the 1-year incidence of fibromyalgia after acute whiplash injury. Rheumatic & Musculoskeletal Disease 2015; doi:10.1136/rmdopen-2014-000007.
- Stone AM, Vicenzino B, Lim EC, Sterling M. Measures of central hyperexcitability in chronic whiplash associated disorder - A systematic review and meta-analysis. Manual Therapy 2012;18(2):111-7.
Stock up on your favorite summer fruit while you'll can: a new study found that watermelon juice can naturally alleviate muscle soreness after exercise.
Watermelon juice has previously been found to have antioxidant properties which may boost muscle protein and aide in athletic performance. The key to its effects lie in an amino acid known as L-citrulline.
Researchers publishing in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry sought to test the effects of watermelon juice on a group of healthy volunteers. They wondered whether watermelon juice enriched with extra L-citrulline could be more beneficial than natural watermelon juice or control beverage. The volunteers drank one of the three beverages before exercise, and were tested for heart rate and muscles soreness 24 hours after their work out.
Both forms of watermelon juice, enriched and un-enriched, reduced muscle compared to the control beverage. The un-enriched, un-pasteurized juice actually appeared to be more bioavailable than the enriched juice, meaning it was easier for the body to access the amino acid L-citrulline.
Drinking watermelon juice is just one way to naturally prevent and relieve muscle soreness. Massage therapy was also found to assist the body in cell regeneration and recovery after vigorous exercise in one study. Pain medications, while they can relieve symptoms, may actually suppress the body's natural response to inflammation, which can prolong the pain of a difficult workout. A study last year showed that people who took an anti-inflammatory painkillers after vigorous exercise actually experienced longer periods of soreness compared to people who went drug-free.
Athletes looking for effective recovery after a workout may find better relief with non-drug options like massage therapy, chiropractic, and improved nutrition.
Crane JD, et al. Massage therapy attenuates inflammatory signaling after exercise-induced muscle damage Science Translation Medicine. February2012; 4 (19): doi 10.1126/scitranslmed.3002882.
Tarazona-Díaz, MP, et al. Watermelon juice: potential functional drink for sore muscle relief in athletes. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2013; 61 (31): 7522-7528.