Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Chiropractic Care Lowers Doctor Visits

According to the American Board of the Journal of Medicine, chiropractic care is estimated to reduce the number of primary care physician (PCP) visits by 370,000 which is a savings of approximately $83.5 million!

In a cross sectional study published in July 2015 looking at 17.7 million Medicare patients from 2010-2011,
when chiropractic care was utilized the number of PCP visits for back and neck pain lowered by 8%. This means that chiropractic care utilization could help to lower the cost of your healthcare, lower the number of visits to your doctor for neck and back pain, and lower the workload on PCPs who are getting overwhelmed more and more everyday with the magnitude of patients they are treating.

Chiropractic care is safe, effective and non invasive and it is touted as one of the safest forms of health care in the world. In fact, every year 140,000 US patients are injured from drug related reactions (2) and another estimated 210,000-440,000 die from hospital medical errors (3). Medical errors deaths are an all time high and account as the 3rd largest cause of death in the US behind heart disease and cancer.

Isn't it time to look at PREVENTING sickness and disease? Don't take your body to the doctor like its a repair shop! Get educated on your health problems including how to prevent them from getting worse and what you can do at home to slow the progression or change the direction of your condition. Want personalized help? Call my office at 309-689-6200 to setup a free consultation.

1.    Davis et al. "Regional Supply of Chiropractic Care and Visits to Primary Care Physicians for Back and Neck Pain".  2015 Jul-Aug;28(4):481-90. doi: 10.3122/jabfm.2015.04.150005. Click Here to Read More

2.  "To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System". National Institute of Medicine November 1999 Click here to read more

3. James PhD, John "A New Evidence Based Estimate of Patient Harms Associated with Hospital Care" Journal of Patient Safety September 2013 - Volume 9 - Issue 3 - p 122–128

Teenage Scoliosis Associated with Low Bone Quality

A new research study published in the Journal of Manipulative Medicine in July 2015, reveals that bone
quality is lower in teenagers suffering from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS) (1). This study measured ultrasound sound waves traveling through the bones to compare bone quality to conduct sound in two groups, patient with AIS and control patients with no scoliosis.

In general the patients in the AIS group had lower measured sound values compared to the control group indicating they had a lower bone quality compared to individuals without scoliosis. In addition, 25% of the AIS group were found to have low bone quality however the curve type and magnitude of the curve were not shown to be a factor in bone quality. There was also a correlation found in bone quality between those in the AIS group that had begun menstruation and those that had not begun menstruation.

The researchers concluded that AIS patients may have lower bone quality due to slower bone maturation. However, I think more research needs to be conducted on the "WHY" they have a slower bone maturation, but I do have a hypothesis to present. In many of the children and adult with scoliosis that I've seen in my office, there are some serious nutritional deficiencies and gut flora imbalances that can lead to reduced growth and healing rates as well as impact muscle function that can contribute to spinal curvatures.

For instance, there have been studies that have linked low levels of Vitamin D with AIS (2). There has also been research on melatonin deficiency linked to AIS, however some controversy exists as circulating levels of melatonin are no different for those with or without AIS but the osteoblasts (bone building cells in bones) melatonin signaling in those with AIS shows impairment and distinct mutations that can effect melatonin signalling. (3) This last study looking at melatonin and mutations may yield more information about a genetic factor for scoliosis as in some cases you may see this conditions run in families.

In moving forward with a more active care approach to scoliosis, I think practitioners need to focus on an integrative treatment approach blending chiropractic care to restore joint mobility, diet and nutritional assessments to check for nutritional deficiencies and make dietary recommendations, and functional exercise aimed at balancing spinal musculature bilaterally to restore normal posture and positioning would be the best answer to a multi-facted problem. Our current medical approach of watch and wait until it gets bad enough to require surgery (which is a completely different issue in itself) is NOT good enough. Every patient deserves to know their options when it comes to their health including alternative care options and they should DEMAND to make an informed choice on what treatment(s) they will consent to.

1. Du et al. "Qualitative Measurements of Bone Quality in Female Adolescents with Idiopathic Scoliosis Compared to Normal Controls" 2015 Jul 18. pii: S0161-4754(15)00074-3.

2. Batista et al. "Association between Vitamin D levels and Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis". Scoliosis. 2014; 9(Suppl 1): O45. Click Here to Read More

3. Moreau et al. "Melatonin Signaling Dysfunction in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis".  2004 Aug 15;29(16):1772-81. Click Here to Read More

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Is the Government Taking Away Your Right to Informed Consent?

With all of the new bills regarding vaccine exemptions, mandated vaccine programs for child care workers, and threats of bioterrorism there is a lot of unrest and confussion for Americans that are concerned for their rights being violated. The SB 277 bill that is in process right now would take away your religious and philosophical right to exempt your child from vaccination. This bill would make it nearly impossible for your child to be exempt from a vaccine without a medical exemption from a medical doctor (MD) or osteopath (DO). These medical exemptions are granted based on a strict set of guidelines published by the CDC.  In addition, another bill proposed in California CA SB 792 will require all child care providers in public and private employment get vaccinated or they will deny employment.

I am a huge proponent of making an educated decision when it comes to your child and your families healthcare. You as a parent need to understand the benefits of the vaccine, the risks of the vaccine and vaccine injury, and you need to understand what the disease is and your families likelihood of contracting the disease. Once you understand these things you may find that vaccinating, not vaccinating, or delaying vaccination is the right choice for your family. The key is that is is the RIGHT CHOICE FOR YOUR FAMILY.

Your right to informed consent was established by the US Court Laws in 1957 and as a part of this right you Applebaum's book with a collaboration from a physician, lawyer, and social scientist, informed consent is obtained when the "treating healthcare provider discloses appropriate information to a competent patient so that the patient may make a voluntary choice whether to accept or refuse treatment".
have a legal and ethical right as a patient to direct what is happening to you or your family's body and your doctor has a ethical right to involve you in your healthcare. According to

Informed consent includes these things:

  • The nature of the decision/procedure
  • Reasonable alternatives to the procedure/intervention
  • Relevant risks, benefits, and uncertainties related to each alternative
  • Assessment of patient understanding
  • Acceptance of the intervention by the patient

If you or your child haven't received informed consent from your doctor before being given a medical procedure or vaccination, your rights have been violated. Your right includes reading the vaccine insert BEFORE you or your child is given a vaccine. If you haven't read a vaccine insert before or haven't received one after your child has been vaccinated, I highly recommend you do. Many vaccine inserts now include autism, seizures, paralysis, and death as a side effect of the vaccine. 

Want more information or how to obtain a medical exemption? Call my office to setup a free consultation 309-689-6200.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Are Your Feet the SOURCE of Your Pain?

Your feet are the foundation of your body, your spine, and your gait. They act as shock absorbers and
levers to propel you forward while walking, running, and jumping. However when there is a breakdown in structure of your foot, like flat feet or ankle collapse, it can contribute to a number of different issues including arthritis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain, hip or groin pain, and even low back pain.

Check out the picture to the right, this shows the left ankle and foot collapsing inward, this motion is known as pronation or hyperpronatin in this case. This pronation of the foot and ankle can cause twisting of the bones that make up the knee to lead to arthritis, cartilage wearing, and increased stress on the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) in the knee. Repetitive pronation especially when under high forces of running or sudden movements while playing sports can actually weaken those ligaments until they tear completely which is an immediate need for surgery!

In addition, the loss of shock absorbing power in the foot due to this pronation can also increase the shock that the knee, hip, and spine have to absorb which can lead to degeneration in the spine and lower extremity.

How do you know if you have an issue?

1) You may have an issue if you have a history of health conditions such as plantar fasciitis, achilles tendonitis, shin splints, bunions, hammer toes, knee or ankle pain or injury, degeneration or arthritis in the spine or legs, or a history of disc herniation or degenerative disc disease.

2) Stand on your feet and have someone look at your feet and ankles. Do they bow inward or does the achilles tendon bow rather than staying straight up and down? (Reference the picture above for what bowing looks like.)

3) Perform a navicular drop test at home. To do this you'll need an index card and a pen. Sit down and use the pen to draw a dot on the hard bone on the middle of your foot. Place the index card on the inside of your foot and draw a line on the card next to the dot you made on the foot. Stand up and then draw another line where the dot has dropped. If the lines are more than 8mm apart, you have an issue. (check the picture below for what this should look like.)
If you do have an issue, there are a number of great options to help correct pronation and help to reduce your risk of injury or arthritis. In many cases a home exercise and stretching program can strengthen and balance muscles to get rid of pronation all together, however some folks will need additional help with an orthotic to support their arch. Depending on your daily activities and how your body responds to the exercise program, you may need additional support from a custom fitted orthotic that is designed specifically for you. In my office, we have many styles available including orthotics that can be worn in high heels or dress shoes and heavy duty orthotics for those that are on their feet or support additional weight from work equipment (such as firemen or police officers) or from lifting.

If you'd like more information or would like to setup a free consultation, please call my office at 309-689-6200 today.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Top 3 Most Dangerous Pain Relievers

Over the counter pain medications are frequently used in the United States. In fact, there was $1,750,600,000 spent on over the counter prescription medication last year. (1)

The fact that these pain relievers are common does not make them safe. Every year more than 100,000 Americans are hospitalized due to OTC complications with 16,000 deaths annually as a result of these medications.

So What are the Top 3 Most Dangerous Ones?

1) Acetaminophen (aka tylenol)
This medication can cause liver, brain and kidney damage when taken in staggered overdose by taking more than recommended overtime. In addition, prolonged use is responsible for 50% of ALL cases of acute liver failure.

2) Non-steriodal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs aka advil, aleve, ibuprofen, naproxen)
Long term use of these medications can cause gastrointestinal disorders including severe and often fatal gastric bleeding, cardiovascular disease, and kidney failure. In addition, taking these with alcohol can increase your risk factors for gastrointestinal bleeding and perforated ulcers.

3) Aspirin or acetylsalicylate (also considered an NSAID)
This medication is actually an NSAID and long term use, even the buffered or coated variety, can increase your risk factors of gastrointestinal bleeding and ulcers. Aspirin also has serious side effects for young children and even young adults including swelling of the brain and liver which is called Reye's Syndrome. This syndrome can lead to death.

Be careful not to overdose and don't underestimate the danger of OTCs, because when you combine tylenol with acetominophen and have a prescription with NSAIDs you can have TOXIC levels of pain relievers that can cause lasting damage and possibly even cause an overdose that can lead to death.

If you want safe alternatives, call my office to setup a free consultation (we also provide phone consultations) to talk more about safe pain management. AlignLife of Peoria can be reached at 309-689-6200 or peoria@alignlife.com.


(1)Annual Sales of the leading OTC pain relief products in the US in JUly 2014 in million US dollars. http://www.statista.com/statistics/322991/sales-of-otc-pain-relief-products-in-the-us/