Thursday, January 31, 2008

High Blood Pressure Linked to Bone Loss?

The authors in a study that appeared in the September 18th issue of the Lancet note that bone loss, often related to calcium deficiencies, is a primary cause of fractures in postmenopausal women and the elderly, and that problems with our ability to metabolize calcium has been linked to high blood pressure. They use this background data to explore the potential relationship between bone loss and high blood pressure in 3,676 elderly Caucasian women.

By comparing initial measurements of blood pressure and bone mineral density (BMD) with BMD measurements taken 3-5 years later, the authors discovered that rates of bone loss increased with increasing blood pressure. These findings were maintained even after taking other variables into consideration, including age, weight, smoking and regular use of hormone replacement therapy (all of which can influence bone loss).

Ask your chiropractor for more information on keeping your blood pressure low, your
bone density high, and maintaining your health and wellness for a lifetime!

Cappuccio FP, Meilahn E, Zmuda JM, et al. High blood pressure and bone mineral loss
in elderly white women: a prospective study. The Lancet, Vol. 354, pp971-75.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"Bridge Night" May Prevent Disease

[This study shows how important the nervous system is to immune system function - Dr. Anderson]

The card game bridge is a favorite pastime of adults throughout the world. Now, research presented Tuesday at the Society for Neurosciences annual meeting in New Orleans, Louisiana indicates that playing the game may bolster player's immune systems.

Twelve elderly women played contract bridge for one and a half hours. Compared with blood samples taken before play, samples taken after play contained significantly more CD4-positive T-lymphocytes, which are associated with disease prevention. Researchers speculate that bridge
activates the dosolateral cortex of the brain, which has been shown to stimulate immune cell production.

Society for Neuroscience.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Body Fat and Breast Cancer

A number of factors have been implicated as substantial risk factors for breast cancer, including family history of the disease and early onset of menstruation. Recent research also hints at a link between hormone replacement and breast cancer (See "Hormone Therapy May Contribute to Breast Cancer" in the April 2000 issue of To Your Health).

A study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals another possible contributor to this devastating disease: body fat distribution. As part of the Nurses' Health Study (1986-1994), 47,382 U.S. registered nurses reported their waist and hip circumferences at entrance and were monitored for the next eight years for incidence of breast cancer.

Increasing waist circumference was significantly related to breast cancer in postmenopausal, but not premenopausal, women. This association was maintained even when considering overall obesity and other breast cancer risk factors, and was even stronger among women who had never received hormone replacement therapy. Consult with a health care professional to learn how to minimize your risk of developing breast cancer.

Huang Z, Willett WC, Colditz GA. Waist circumference, waist:hip ratio, and risk of breast cancer in the Nurses' Health Study. American Journal of Epidemiology, Dec. 1999: Vol. 150, No. 12, pp1316-24.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Study says chiropractors don’t raise stroke risk

Canadian researchers have found no evidence of increased risk of vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke associated with chiropractic care compared to getting care from a family medical doctor. Their results were published in the Spine (Vol. 33, No. 48).

As reported in The Globe and Mail, the researchers said the public perception of an increased is occurs because patients tend to seek care when they are having neck pain or headache. In other words, patients with these symptoms who have a stroke have already damaged the artery before seeking and then the stroke occurred after the visit.

Source: The Globe and Mail,; “Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care,” Spine (Vol. 33, No. 48).

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Chiropractic for PMS

No one's completely certain what causes premenstrual syndrome (PMS), but there's no denying the pain and distress millions of women suffer 7-10 days before menstruation every month. Different doctors have different recommendations for treating PMS, and there's one perspective you might be hearing more about soon -- Chiropractic.

A study involving 84 subjects (54 with diagnosed PMS and 30 without) evaluated the potential for chiropractic to help relieve PMS symptoms. Complete chiropractic examinations revealed that the PMS group was more likely to show signs of spinal problems (i.e., spinal tenderness, muscle weakness, neck disability, etc.) than the non-PMS group.

The study authors suggest that chiropractic care to correct these spinal problems may be an effective way to reduce some of the symptoms of PMS. If you're still searching for relief from the pain and frustration of premenstrual syndrome, make an appointment with your local chiropractor. A complete spinal examination could be an important step toward finding a solution.

Walsh MJ, Polus BI. The frequency of positive common clinical
findings in a sample of premenstrual syndrome sufferers. Journal of
Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, Vol. 22, No.
4, pp216-220.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Caffeine May Trigger Most Migraines

Linda M. Selwa, MD and colleagues at the University of Michigan Health System report that a dramatic percent of migraine headaches may be triggered by drug-rebound from caffeine.

“Many of my patients have told me stories about needing caffeine when they feel a headache coming on, or having headaches on the weekends when they haven’t had their usual work-day amount of caffeine,”
explains Dr. Selwa.

“In fact, caffeine is a key ingredient in almost all of the over-the-counter migraine medications. That’s because caffeine is useful in stopping a headache once it starts,” she continues. “The unfortunate thing is that, in patients who use caffeine chronically, they’re much more likely to get a migraine as the caffeine begins to
wear off.”

Participants in Dr. Selwa’s study are instructed to discontinue caffeine use for one month.

“In several patients, we’ve been able to get them off their migraine medications as long as they stay away from caffeine,” comments Dr. Selwa.

“Migraines are a significant cause of disability in this country, resulting in an estimated $13 billion dollars in lost work hours each year,” she notes.

University of Michigan – April 4, 2003.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Another Study Shows Back Belts Don't Prevent Low Back Pain

[Note: Using a Low Back support does two things, (1) it gives a false sense of security and (2) it allows you to lift more that you back is made to and (3) compromises your low back muscles to function properly. It is like wearing a cast on your back. The muscles will eventually wither and become weaker. This sets you up for even more injury. The take home message: Don use back supports. - Dr. A.]

The use of back belts for preventing low-back pain (LBP) is a point of hot debate. Now a report in today's Journal of the American Medical Association supports what many previous studies have found: back belts don't avert LBP.

In the largest prospective cohort study of back belt use to date, 6,311 newly-hired material-handling workers were followed for six months. Investigators reviewed injury claims and interviewed the subjects about their back-pain experience at the study's onset, and at six-month follow-up.

Findings showed that "neither frequent back belt use nor a belt-requirement store policy was significantly associated with back injury claim rates or self-reported back pain.

JAMA ;284:2727-32.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Chiropractic Gains Popularity with Seniors

The use of chiropractic is rocketing among older adults. According to a just-published survey of 2,055 Americans age 65 or older, 20% have visited an alternative care practitioner during the previous year. Most of these visits were to doctors of chiropractic. A total of 57% of subjects who used alternative therapies did not tell their medical provider that they had used such therapies.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2000;48:1560-1565.

Chiropractic Gains Popularity with Seniors

The use of chiropractic is rocketing among older adults. According to a just-published survey of 2,055 Americans age 65 or older, 20% have visited an alternative care practitioner during the previous year. Most of these visits were to doctors of chiropractic. A total of 57% of subjects who used alternative therapies did not tell their medical provider that they had used such therapies.

Journal of the American Geriatrics Society 2000;48:1560-1565.

Friday, January 18, 2008

A Healthy Heart May be A Laugh Away

Here,s a fun way to help patients prevent heart disease: tell them a joke. A life abundant with chuckles may ward off cardiovascular disorders, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association.

When confronted with a variety of humorous situations, a cohort of 150 people with heart disease were 40% less likely to laugh, compared to a group of 150 of their peers without heart disease.

"The old saying that laughter is the best medicine, definitely appears to be true when it comes to protecting your heart, noted Michael Miller, MD, FACC, director of the Center for Preventive Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center. "We don't know yet why laughing protects the heart, but we know that mental stress is associated with impairment of the endothelium, the protective barrier lining our blood vessels. This can cause a series of inflammatory reactions that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries and ultimately to a heart attack, "We could perhaps read something humorous or watch a funny video and try to find ways to take ourselves less seriously, Dr. Miller explained. "The recommendation for a healthy heart may one day be exercise, eat
right and laugh a few times a day.

American Heart Association

Eat Health Workshop: January 31, 2007

I'm excited to announce our workshop later this month on Smart Eating. The focus wil be how food can increase your energy and give you a boost allowing you to exercise easier and

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Exercise: The First Step toward Lifelong Health

When someone mentions the word "exercise," what's the first thought that jumps into your head? For many, exercise means discomfort -- hours spent at the gym, fighting through the tan, lean bodies to lift weights or pedal away on an uncomfortable exercycle.

Fortunately, exercise comes in many forms, and almost all of them help us stay healthy. Physical activity reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease and many other serious health problems, and evidence suggests that something as simple as walking may be just as effective as vigorous exercise.

Researchers compared walking, vigorous exercise and total physical activity with the incidence of coronary artery events (heart attack or death from heart disease) in 72,488 healthy female nurses. Data collected over the eight-year study revealed that three hours of brisk walking per week comparable to 1.5 hours of jogging, cycling, heavy gardening or heavy housework) in reducing the risk of coronary events.

So don't get overwhelmed by exercise, embrace it! You don't need to slave away in the gym to stay healthy. A brisk walk might be all it takes to get you started on the road to lifelong health. For a complete evaluation of exercise and nutritional guidelines specific to your needs, talk to your chiropractor.

Manson JE, Hu FB, Rich-Edwards JW, et al. A prospective study of walking as
compared with vigorous exercise in the prevention of coronary heart disease
in women. The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 341, No. 9, pp650-58.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Talk with Your Chiropractor about Stress

Whether you're fighting through traffic, paying the monthly bills, dealing with the noisy next-door neighbor or struggling with illness or disease, it can all add up to a considerable amount of stress. Stress is basically what we feel whenever we are faced with a difficult, unpleasant or challenging situation, and the way we deal with all this stress can substantially influence our overall health and well-being.

If stress is affecting your life, it's time to make an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic. Here's why: A study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) examined the contribution of stress as a potential disease trigger among 138 chiropractic patients attending one of 10 chiropractic clinics. Patients completed two questionnaires that asked about how their current stress affected their ability to function emotionally, mentally and physically.

Results showed that nearly one in three patients viewed their lives as moderately to severely stressful, and more than 50% felt that stress had a moderate or severe impact on their current health problem. Nearly three-quarters (71%) of the patients said that it would be helpful if their chiropractic care included strategies to help them cope with stress.

Chiropractic care might be just what you need to help relieve some of that stress in your life. And remember, evidence suggests that low back pain, a condition that chiropractors are experts at managing, may be caused or worsened by stress. So talk to your chiropractor about stress and about all of your health care needs. Trust and communication are important in any relationship, but perhaps no more so than between patient and doctor. After all, you're placing your health and wellness in their hands.

Jamison J. Stress: the chiropractic patient's self-perceptions. Journal of Manipulative
and Physiological Therapeutics, Vol. 22, No. 6, pp395-98.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Study Looks at Low Back Pain in Kids

What factors predict whether or not a child will suffer from low-back pain (LBP)? To find out, researchers tracked 1,046 youths, aged 11 to 14 years, for 1 year. All subjects were free of LBP at the study’s onset.

Youngsters were more likely to develop LBP if they had trouble relating to peers and teachers, especially conduct problems. Children who reported a high number of other pain disorders at baseline — such as stomachache, headache and sore throat — were also at an elevated risk of LBP.

“In contrast, we have been unable to demonstrate a strong association between daily mechanical load (schoolbag weight) and the short-term risk of new-onset LBP,” note the study’s authors.

Pediatrics – April 9, 2003;111:822-8.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bed Rest for Aches and Pains? Not an Effective Prescription

Bed rest has been recommended for many conditions, including low back pain and rheumatoid arthritis. The idea of prescribing bed rest for illness perhaps stemmed from a quote by the "father of medicine," Hippocrates: "In every movement of the body, whenever one begins to endure pain, it will be relieved by rest."

Hippocrates' advice was proffered in the 4th century B.C., but the practice of prescribing bed rest remains, despite little evidence of its effectiveness. In a review published in the journal Lancet, authors evaluated 39 different studies on bed rest prescribed for 15 different conditions, involving a total of 5,777 patients.

Results of the analysis revealed that bed rest was not an effective treatment recommendation. In 24 trials investigating bed rest following a medical procedure, no patients improved significantly and eight worsened significantly. And in 15 trials investigating bed rest as a primary treatment, no patients improved significantly, while nine worsened significantly.

Healing involves much more than rest, a fact which this study seems to emphasize but which many doctors seem to ignore. Don't settle for quick medical advice (pills, bed rest, etc.) that may end up doing more harm than good, or no good at all. Consult with your doctor of chiropractic for information on active, noninvasive approaches to managing a variety of health problems.

Allen C, Glasziou P, Del Mar C. Bed rest: a potentially harmful treatment needing more careful evaluation. Lancet 1999: Vol. 354, pp1229-33.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Adjustments Affect Nervous System, Study Says

Chiropractors are most concerned about the function of the nervous system. Adjusting the spine has a significant impact on the brain. Here is another study indicates that vertebral subluxations affect the nervous system. Specifically, spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) appears to activate descending inhibitory pathways from the periaqueductal gray area of the midbrain (dPAG), according to a report published in the current issue of Manual Medicine.

As part of the experiment, 30 patients with middle or lower cervical pain underwent SMT.

Results showed that SMT "produced a hypoalgesic effect as revealed by increased pressure pain thresholds on the side of treatment and decreased resting visual analogue scale scores. The treatment technique also produced a sympathoexcitatory effect with an increase in skin conductance and a decrease in skin temperature. There was a decrease in superficial neck flexor muscle activity at the lower levels of a staged cranio-cervical flexion test."

"The combination of all findings would support the proposal that SMT may, at least initially, exert part of its influence via activation of the PAG," conclude the study’s authors.

Manual Therapy – May 2001;6:72-81.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Chiropractic Helps Heal Ankle Sprains

According to a study by Justin Edward Pellow, DC and James W. Brantingham, DC, adjustments to the ankle facilitate healing of subacute and chronic grade I and grade II inversion sprains.

The investigators evaluated 30 patients with subacute and chronic grade I and grade II ankle inversion sprains. Subjects were divided into two cohorts. Half of the patients received mortise separation adjustments to the ankle joint, while half received a placebo treatment (five minutes of ultrasound therapy with the ultrasound turned off). Treatment lasted four weeks and consisted of up to eight visits.

Compared with the placebo group, subjects who underwent adjustments enjoyed significantly more improvement in measures of pain reduction, ankle range of motion and ankle function.

JMPT ­ January 2001;24:17-24.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Comparison of Hours of Basic Sciences Education in Medical and Chiropractic Schools


Chiropractic Schools

Medical Schools

Hours % of Total Hours % of Total















Public Health















Total Hours





Source: Center for Studies in Health Policy, Inc., Washington, DC. Personal communication of 1995 unpublished data from Meredith Gonyea, PhD.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Your Posture is your health

"Posture and normal physiology and function are interrelated. Abnormal posture is evident in patients with chronic pain-related conditions including backache, earache, and stress-related illnesses." AJPM 1994;4:36-39

In this article from the January 1994 issue of the American Journal of Pain Management, the authors state that the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians. I would add, that unfortunately, postural correction is not part of main stream chiropractic practice as yet either. However, as the authors go on to state, "posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture."

Obviously, the proper assessment, analysis, and if possible correction of abnormal posture is an extremely important component of modern health care.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Posture Affects Nerve Function in Heart Patients

A study reveals that posture affects sympathetic nervous modulation in patients with congestive heart failure (CHF).

Investigators analyzed heart rate variability and plasma norepinephrine concentrations in 12 patients with CHF in three recumbent positions: right lateral decubitus, left lateral decubitus and supine. Findings showed that the same position preferred by patients, the right lateral decubitus position, was also the position that most attenuated sympathetic nervous modulation.

The Lancet November 25, 2000;356.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Study Looks at Low-Carb Diets

The first large review study of low-carbohydrate diets reveals that people on diets of 60 or fewer grams of carbohydrates a day (a threshold used in some of the popular low-carbohydrate diets) did lose weight. But the weight loss was associated with restriction of caloric intake and longer diet duration, not with reduced carbohydrate intake.

“Low-carbohydrate diets have been extremely popular as of late, and the lay press has suggested they’re a safe and effective means of weight loss,” said lead author Dena Bravata, MD. “While these diets are effective in the short term, weight loss results from reduced calories, not carbohydrate restriction.”

“The findings suggest that if you want to lose weight, you should eat fewer calories and do so over a long time period” stressed Dr. Bravata.

As part of the analysis, investigators from Stanford University Medical Center and Yale University reviewed a total of 107 diet studies, which involved 3,268 people from around the world.

JAMA – April 9, 2003;289:1837-50.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

MS Patients Turn to Chiropractic

Many patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) report benefiting from holistic therapies including chiropractic, according to researchers at the New Jersey Medical School in Newark.

Investigators pooled survey data on 3,140 adults with MS. Findings disclosed that 57.1% of respondents had tried at least one complementary modality. The longer subjects suffered from MS, the more likely they were to report less satisfaction with traditional medical care and greater success with complementary approaches.

Chiropractic was the second most commonly employed holistic therapy (used by 25.5% of subjects) after herbal therapy (used by 26.6% of subjects). A total of 23.3% had tried massage and 19.9% had experimented with acupuncture. Women were 25% more likely than men — and whites were 30% more likely than non-whites — to use alternative modalities.

Clinical Rehabilitation – March 2003;17:181-91.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

On the Safety of the Chiropractic Adjustment

The term "chiropractic" comes from the Greek word "Chiropraktikos," meaning "effective treatment by hand." Effective treatment by hand is exactly what chiropractors do, delivering gentle adjustments to the spine and musculoskeletal system to maximize wellness and prevent dysfunction.

Complications resulting from any procedure are always unfortunate, regardless of the health care professional administering care. While a certain degree of risk accompanies all health interventions, specific concerns have been raised over the safety of spinal manipulation.

But have no fear: As a study in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia professes, the chiropractic adjustment is "one of the most conservative, least invasive and safest of procedures within the health care professions." The study compared complication rates, specifically cerebrovascular accidents(CVAs)and/or death attributable to spinal manipulation, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and numerous medical procedures. The author emphasizes that the potential risk of "catastrophic" side-effects from spinal manipulation is substantially lower than most common medical procedures.

If you're interested in safe conservative care for yourself and your loved ones, schedule an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic. For more information on chiropractic, go to

Rome PL. Perspectives: an overview of comparative considerations of cerebrovascular accidents. Chiropractic Journal of Australia, Sept. 1999: Vol. 29, No. 3, pp87-102.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Arthritis Patients Choose Chiropractic

Arthritis is the name given to more than 100 different diseases that cause pain, swelling, and limited movement in joints and connective tissue. One out of every six Americans suffers from some form of arthritis, and unfortunately, the condition can last a lifetime.

In 1997, Americans made an estimated 629 million visits to practitioners of "complementary and alternative medicine" (CAM), compared with just 388 million visits to primary care physicians that same year. A study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that many arthritis patients used CAM, and that chiropractic was the most frequently used type of care.

Even more significantly, chiropractic was also near the top of the list in terms of the number of patients who regularly used CAM, and the number of patients who found CAM helpful for their condition.

Don't let arthritis get the best of you. If you or someone you know suffers from the daily pain and frustration of arthritis, schedule an appointment with a doctor of chiropractic.

Rao JK, Mihaliak K, Kroenke K, et al. Use of complementary therapies for arthritis among patients of rheumatologists. Annals of Internal Medicine, Sept. 1999: Vol. 131, No. 6, pp409-16.