Friday, May 17, 2013

Chiropractic Adjustments Superior to Medication for Low Back Pain

Low back pain is one of the most common conditions that affects Americans today and it affects approximately 31 million every year. It is the most common cause of missing work and 20% of workers that take leave for low back pain become disabled.

Many traditional medical treatments used for low back pain are costly and inefficient which leads to the further budget and health care cost constraints for the US. The cost of low back pain is astounding and is a severe detriment to our health care system and our national budget. In 1998, the direct costs associated with low back pain were estimated at $26.3 billion.  This cost does not include indirect costs such as lost income from work, decreased productivity, or costs associated with care of daily activities that cannot be performed.

Traditional medical treatments rely on medication to cover up the pain, physical therapy to strengthen muscles but ignore the underlying joint issue, or surgery to cut out painful tissues without prevention for future injury. This treatment model can lead to recurrent injuries or medication addiction that can cause further health issues but a feeling of helplessness for the patient.

A recent double blind study looked at effectiveness of current treatment options including the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac, spinal adjustments, and placebo in three separate groups. Participants reported  physical disability, function, off work time, adn rescue medication usage. The results revealed the chiropractic adjustments were superior to diclofenac and placebo with faster pain relief and better function and quality of life improvements. In addition, the spinal adjustment group used 3 times less rescue medication than the diclofenac group with the number of days of usage of that rescue medication being half that of the diclofenac group.1

This study is revolutionary in the fact that the author demands the replacement of ineffective treatments with better alternatives such as chiropractic adjustments in an effort to provide better patient care and outcomes as well as reduce the costs associated with low back pain.

As a Peoria chiropractor, I have helped many patients who've failed to respond to traditional medical treatment or have had their back pain return after treatment. Here at AlignLife, I focus on finding the root cause of the problem and correcting that first, followed by recommended the proper nutrition required for optimal healing and the preventative exercises necessary to prevent the injury from recurring. I want to make sure that patients have the tools they need to get better, stay better, and live better.

If you've been dealing with back pain and haven't been seen by a chiropractor, then you need to try it now. Call 309-689-6200 to schedule a free low back pain consultation at AlignLife today.

1 von Heymann et al. Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute nonspecific low back pain: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo. Spine 2013 April 1; 38(7):540-8

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Is Medication Causing Your Erectile Dysfunction?

If you've experienced erectile dysfunction, you are not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health over 30 million Americans frequently have problems developing or keeping an erection. Your risk for ED goes up as you age, so its very important to be proactive in keeping your sexual health brimming before you have an issue in the first place.

The are many situations and stressors that can affect libido and the ability to have an erection, however in many cases the problem may be "under the hood". There are four things that need to be working correctly in order for men to sustain a normal erection.
  1. The stimulus from the brain must be present.
  2. The nerves directing the process must be functioning at 100%.
  3. The blood circulation to the penis must be adequate.
  4. The veins must be able to trap and keep the blood within the penis.
In many cases the nerve supply from the brain or nerves of the spine can be inhibited due to poor posture habits, previous spinal injury, or arthritis in the spine. As a Peoria chiropractor, I have seen huge improvements in nerve function with simple chiropractic adjustments to align the joints of the spine. Chiropractic adjustments are a safe and conservative treatment that works to restore nerve function in many different areas of the body. In addition, many postural issues and limited mobility due to arthritis can be corrected or improved with simple strengthening exercises.

In some instances, the blood supply to the penis can be affected due to muscle tension that restricts blood flow to the pelvic organs. When you relax musculature with therapeutic massage and restore normal posture with strengthening exercises, you can increase the blood flow necessary to sustain an erection.

Many men are not able to rely on the prescription medication that traditional medical doctors suggest due to negative interactions with their current medication. However, a recent study revealed that men taking medications may actually have an  INCREASED risk of erectile dysfunction. The 2012 study published in BJU International found erectile dysfunction was more prevalent the more medications men were taking. 

Increased risk percentages are listed below.
Men taking 0-2 Medications had a 15.9% increased risk of ED.
Men taking 3-5 Medications had a 19.7% increased risk of ED.
Men taking 6-9 Medications had a 25.5% increased risk of ED.
Men taking 10+ Medications had a 30.9% increased risk of ED.

1. Londono et al. "Population-based study of erectile dysfunction and polypharmacy". BJU International , 2012; 100(2):254-9. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Can Chiropractic Care Help with Pregnancy Back Pain?

During pregnancy, the soon-to-be mom's center of gravity begins to shift forward in her pelvis as the uterus grows in size and she gains an average of 25 to 35 pounds over the course of her pregnancy. This increased weight and change in disbursement can cause increased stress on the spine and low back specifically. Recent studies report that approximately half of expectant mothers will develop back pain at some point in their pregnancy.1-3 In addition, baby's head can also place pressure on nerves causing pain into the buttocks and legs. It is important to realize the normal anatomy before you can begin to understand how chiropractic can benefit pregnant mothers.

The uterus is attached to your spine and pelvis by three ligaments that help suspend the uterus in the abdomen without twisting. However due to postural imbalances or malposition of the bones of the spine or pelvis, the uterus can become tipped or twisted which can not only increase constraint on the growing babe within you but also cause back pain for the expectant mother.

As a Peoria pregnancy chiropractor, I have found that its a great idea for women to get their spine checked when they first become pregnant, throughout pregnancy, and after birth. Any imbalances within the spine and pelvis can be corrected before they can contribute to pregnancy discomfort, problems during childbirth, or chronic pain conditions. Some chiropractors, such as myself, have also undergone additional training with regard to modified adjusting procedures or specialized pregnancy techniques such as Webster Technique that can make chiropractic care safe for the mom-to-be.

Chiropractic care is safe for the mom to be and is especially useful for mother's wishing to avoid harmful medications that can injury their unborn baby. Doctors of Chiropractic can also offer advice on nutrition, exercise, and ergonomics that can aid expectant mothers in a healthy pregnancy and reduce injury.

A February 1991 study published in the Journal of Manipulative Physiologic Therapy found that 84% of pregnant mothers reported relief of back pain during pregnancy. There was also a significantly less likelihood of back labor when chiropractic adjustments were provided.4

17 cases of low back pain during pregnancy treated with chiropractic care were reviewed. Average pain scale improved from 5.9 at first visit to 1.5 at the termination of care. The average number of visits before pain relief was reported was 1.8 days with an average time of 4.5 days after the first visit. 94.1% of cases demonstrated significant improvement. No adverse events were reported.5

In one specific case, a 29 year old female presented with low back pain and history of two previous Caesarean deliveries due to failure to advance during labor and associated fetal distress. The patient underwent chiropractic care utilizing Thompson drop and Webster Technique. She reported alleviation of low back pain and successful vaginal birth.6

Want more information about how chiropractic can help your pregnancy? Call my office (309) 689-6200 to schedule a free pregnancy consultation today!

  1. Östgaard HC, et al. Prevalence of Back Pain in Pregnancy. Spine 1991;16:549-52.
  2. Berg G, et al. Low back pain during pregnancy. Obstet Gynecol 1988;71:71-5.
  3. Mantle MJ, et al. Backache in pregnancy. Rheumatology Rehabilitation 1977;16:95-101.
  4. Daikow et al. Back Pain during pregnancy and labor. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1991 Feb;12(2):116-8
  5. Lisi AJ. Chiropractic spinal manipulation for low back pain of pregnancy: a retrospective case series. J Midwifery Womens Health 2006 Jan-Feb; 51(1):e7-10
  6. Alcantara J The Chiropractic Care of a Gravid Patient with a History of Multiple Caesarean Births and Vertebral Subluxation. Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Res. March 11, 2008