Health-E-News February 2012
empowering you to optimal health
"Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic,
I feel like I'm about three inches taller and everything's in place.
And as long as I see the Chiropractor, I feel like I'm one step ahead of the game."
Chiropractic Adjustments Alleviate Chest Pain
Chiropractic adjustments may alleviate chest pain, according to investigators at the University of Southern Denmark.
The researchers explain that "the musculoskeletal system is a common but often overlooked cause of chest pain."
The study followed 115 patients with acute chest pain of no coronary or other medically diagnosed cause.
The patients were randomly assigned to four weeks of either chiropractic care including adjustments or self-management. While both groups experienced improvement, the Chiropractic group enjoyed significantly more pain resolution, compared with the self-management group.
JMPT - January 2012;35:7-17.
Chiropractic Adjustments Significantly Better Than Medication For Neck Pain
According to a paper published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, chiropractic adjustments are significantly more effective than medication for neck pain.
The experiment enrolled 272 people, ages 18 to 65, who had suffered from nonspecific neck pain for two to 12 weeks. They were randomly assigned to one of three intervention groups: 1) spinal manipulative therapy (SMT), 2) medication, or 3) home exercise. Treatment lasted for 12 weeks.
SMT was performed by chiropractors. Medication included NSAIDs, opioid analgesics and muscle relaxants. Home exercises were taught to patients by therapist during two 1-hour sessions. The exercises included gentle mobilization for the neck and shoulder joints.
Outcome measures were assessed at 2, 4, 8, 12, 26 and 52 weeks after the study began. Measures included participant-rated pain, self-reported disability, global improvement, medication use, satisfaction, Short Form-36 Health Survey physical and mental health scales and adverse events. Blinded evaluation of neck motion was performed at 4 and 12 weeks.
Results revealed that SMT had a statistically significant advantage over medication after 8, 12, 26, and 52 weeks and HEA was superior to medication at 26 weeks. In addition, members of the medication group reported significantly more adverse events and were significantly more likely to increase medication usage.
Annals of Internal Medicine - January 3, 2012:1-10.
Chiropractic Adjustments Lower Blood Pressure
A new study in the Journal of Human Hypertension, one of Nature Publishing Group's journals, reveals that chiropractic adjustments to correct subluxation of the atlas vertebrae lower blood pressure (BP).
The double blind, placebo-controlled study enrolled 50 patients with Stage 1 hypertension, who were not taking medication for the condition. During an eight-week period, half of the subjects underwent chiropractic care for restoration of atlas alignment using a National Upper Cervical Chiropractic (NUCCA) procedure. A control group received a sham procedure.
Compared with members of the placebo group, those undergoing chiropractic care enjoyed significant drops in both systolic BP and diastolic BP. No adverse effects were detected. However, chiropractic care did not appear to influence heart rate.
"We conclude that restoration of atlas alignment is associated with marked and sustained reductions in BP similar to the use of two-drug combination therapy," conclude the study's authors.
Most Recurrent Disc Herniations Don't Need Surgery
Nearly one-fourth of patients who undergo lumbar discectomy show radiographic evidence of a recurrent disc herniation. However, most of these cases are asymptomatic and these patients should not be subjected to a second surgery. These findings are from a study published in the journal Spine.
As part of the analysis researchers tracked 108 people who underwent discectomy for a single-level lumbar herniated disc.
According to the report, "computed tomography (CT) and MRI of the lumbar spine were obtained every 3 months to assess reherniation and disc height loss. Leg and back pain visual analog scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI), and quality of life (SF-36 physical component) were assessed 3, 6, 12 and 24 months after surgery."
By two years, 23.1% of the patients had radiographic evidence of a recurrent herniation. However, only 10.2% of patients were symptomatic. Asymptomatic herniation was not associated with any clinical outcome measures. And, even among those who did experience leg pain and disability, the recurrent herniation did not affect quality of life or disc height loss.
"Clinically silent recurrent disc herniation is common after lumbar discectomy," conclude the study's authors. "When obtaining MRI evaluation within the first 2 years of discectomy, providers should expect that radiographic evidence of reherniation may be encountered and that treatment should be considered only when correlating radicular symptoms exist."
Spine - December 1, 2011;36:2147-2151.