Health Report! Your Monthly
THE BACK PAIN
EPIDEMIC In 2006, doctors performed at least 60 million surgical procedures of all types — one for every five Americans. No other country does nearly as many operations on its citizens.
Ironically, now the chiropractic profession — long ostracized by the medical profession — has emerged as a fiscally conservative option to champion this call for reducing costs in health care. Despite the historic medical prejudice, spinal manipulation has now been shown to be the most clinically and cost-effective method for the epidemic of low back pain, which happens to be the single largest cause of disability today. And The Vinton Method™ multidisciplinary approach of extremely low-force, neuro-spinal alignment, VAX-D disc decompression therapy, biofeedback, and Foot Levelers™ arch support is in a league of its own, producing the highest achievable levels of success. According to Pran Manga, PhD, a health economist, “There is an overwhelming body of evidence indicating that chiropractic management of low back pain is more cost-effective than medical management.” He is not alone in this assessment. Numerous international and American studies have shown that manipulation was heads above all other treatments for nonspecific back pain. In fact, Anthony Rosner, PhD, testified before the Institute of Medicine: “Today, we can argue that chiropractic care, at least for back pain, appears to have vaulted from last to first place as a treatment option.” (Not that chiropractic ever was in last place, just for financial reasons in the minds of medical doctors.) Chiropractic care has not only catapulted to the top of the list for back pain care, but chiropractic patients are also extremely positive about their treatments. Tricare, the health program for military personnel and retirees, has evaluated patients’ responses to chiropractic care. The enormously high patient satisfaction rates astounded the Tricare administrators with scores of 94.3% in the Army; the Air Force tally was also high with 12 of 19 bases scoring 100%; the Navy reported ratings of 90% or higher; and even the Tricare outpatient satisfaction surveys (TROSS) rated chiropractors at 88.54%, which was 10% higher than “the overall satisfaction with all providers” (78.31%). But despite these glowing satisfaction rates for chiropractic care, Tricare continues to limit access to chiropractors to only 42 of 131 military treatment facilities due to intransigent medical bureaucracy within the Department of Defense. It’s not just that patients are well-satisfied with chiropractic care; in fact, the more investigators look into this back pain epidemic, the more the medical management has come under attack and, remarkably, chiropractic treatment has been found to be best for the vast majority of nonspecific low back and neck pain.
Surgeries are rampant, and many of them are ineffective and dangerous. Barbara Starfield, MD, MPH, of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, reported that medical error is now the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., causing 250,000 preventable deaths every year. Over 100,000 people die each year from complications during surgery, which far exceeds the number of people who die in car crashes annually. Deaths from prescription drugs now rank fourth only behind cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and when added to the deaths from botched surgery, over 3,000 Americans die weekly. Such deaths account for 23% of overall deaths in men and 32% of deaths in women. To put this cost into perspective, the U.S. spent twice as much on sick care as it did on food in 2006. In addition, the increase in U.S. health care spending during the next three years was more than the amount U.S. consumers spent on oil and gasoline during all of 2006, when energy prices began to reach new heights. BACK PAIN DILEMMA Undoubtedly, the annual cost of health care — nearly $2.4 trillion — could be reduced substantially if unnecessary treatments were decreased. Of the top 10 major conditions in America, back pain stands at No. 8, which, according to Forbes.com, costs over $40 billion annually for treatment costs alone. Other estimates that include disability, work loss, and total indirect costs range from $100–$200 billion per year. Back pain sent over 3 million people to emergency rooms in 2008 at a cost of $9.5 billion, making it the ninth most expensive condition treated in U.S. hospitals. “Work-related musculoskeletal disorders remain the leading cause of workplace injury and illness in this country,” according to OSHA head David Michaels. Although not the killer that heart disease or cancer is, crippling back pain is expensive, disabling, and often leads to osteoarthritis later in life, which ranks ahead of back pain on the top 10 list at $48 billion. When combined, these two musculoskeletal conditions rank fourth on the list at $88 billion. Recently, a new wave of data by researchers has revealed the high cost and ineffectiveness of most medical back treatments. Yet these revelations have fallen on deaf ears in the medical profession, as the use of opioids, epidural steroid injections, and spine surgeries has radically increased despite these warnings.
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JUNK IN EQUALS JUNK OUT WHY LIFESTYLE MEDICINE IS AN ESSENTIAL COMPONENT OF HEALTH
This is especially true if your only symptom is back pain . The AHRQ study also concluded that spinal manipulation was the preferred initial professional treatment for acute low back pain. The patient guide stated, “This treatment (using the hands to apply force to the back to ’adjust’ the spine) can be helpful for some people in the first month of low back symptoms. It should only be done by a professional with experience in manipulation.” For back pain lasting longer than four weeks, VAX-D is the best-known treatment to help the spine to heal. This recommendation was, in effect, an endorsement of chiropractic care, since chiropractors do 94% of all spinal manipulation in the U.S. After a century of defamation, it was a sweet vindication for the chiropractic profession to finally be endorsed by the U.S. Public Health Service. Of course, the North American Spine Society, consisting primarily of spine surgeons, took a dim view of this precedent and politicked to have the AHRQ’s mission to establish guidelines eliminated with help from Newt Gingrich’s Republican Congress. It should be noted that of the 14 guidelines done by AHRQ, the acute low back pain guideline was the only one attacked by the medical profession. Despite the medical resistance, these warnings are escalating as the call for restraint is growing from a whisper to a roar. Certainly when leading medical professionals from prestigious universities, journals, and the U.S. Public Health Service openly criticize the onslaught and ineffectiveness of spine surgery, this has become an epidemic of legitimate concern for payers and patients alike. READ INGREDIENT LABELS Nutrition facts are helpful, but the fine print under them is far more important. Anything with more than five ingredients, especially if you can’t pronounce them, is usually cause for concern. STOCK UP ON PLANTS Whole, plant-based foods are the cornerstone of a healthy diet. We recommend that about 70% of your calories come from fruits and veggies, with the remaining 30% consisting of lean protein. BE SKEPTICAL OF HEALTH CLAIMS “When whole grain Lucky Charms show up in the cereal aisle,” writes food expert Michael Pollan, “it’s time to stop paying attention to health claims.” Usually, a food branded as healthy is just a less unhealthy version of an existing processed product. If you want to receive more lifestyle medicine tips to help you feel better, call our office today. We can give you the tools for long-term success — no fad diets necessary.
After nearly a century of warfare against the chiropractic profession, defaming it as an “unscientific cult” that deserved to be “eliminated,” research now shows chiropractic care to be very effective and, ironically, now seriously questions the efficacy of the medical management of back pain — opioid drugs, epidural steroid injections, and spine surgery. Indeed, the claim to be unscientific and dangerous now seems to be on the other (medical) foot. THE CALL FOR RESTRAINT IN SPINE SURGERY It must be bitter medicine to swallow for the medical profession to realize that back surgery “has been accused of leaving more tragic human wreckage in its wake than any other operation in history,” according to Gordon Waddell, DSc, MD, FRCS. As director of an orthopedic surgical clinic for over 20 years in Glasgow, Scotland, Waddell determined, “Low back pain has been a 20th century health care disaster. Medical care certainly has not solved the everyday symptoms of low back pain and even may be reinforcing and exacerbating the problem.” Richard Deyo, MD, MPH, also mentioned the problems with medical treatments and physician incompetence in diagnosis and treatment of low back pain treatments: “Calling a [medical] physician a back pain expert, therefore, is perhaps faint praise — medicine has, at best, a limited understanding of the condition. In fact, medicine’s reliance on outdated ideas may have actually contributed to the problem.” Undoubtedly, another knife in spine surgeons’ backs occurred in 1994 when the U.S. Public Health Service’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) conducted the most thorough investigation into acute low back pain in adults and concluded the following finding in its patient guide: “Even having a lot of back pain does not by itself mean you need surgery. Surgery has been found to be helpful in only 1 in 100 cases of low back problems. In some people, surgery can even cause more problems.” When it comes to losing weight and feeling better, there are two pillars that never change: diet and exercise. We know that maintaining a healthy diet and practicing regular exercise are essential for wellness, but over time, we’ve come to realize just how crucial these factors are in helping patients recover from all sorts of ailments. Often, our lifestyles are contributing causes of what’s hurting us, and improving them is an essential component of living pain-free without the use of medication. That’s why we began offering “lifestyle medicine” in the form of nutritional coaching 10 years ago. We’ve seen great success using lifestyle medicine in conjunction with other treatments. Everyone’s nutritional needs are different. If you’re somebody who constantly works out, your caloric needs are greater than somebody who’s more sedentary. That being said, there are healthy eating tips that apply to people of all ages and activity levels. Basically, they boil down to the fact that if you put junk into your body, you can expect junk in return. But what constitutes junk food? Here are a few easy- to-follow tips to help you identify just that. ... continued from Cover
Until next month,
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FOOD FOR A CLEAR MIND
P aleo T omato B asil S alad
Can you imagine cooking without alliums, aka garlic, onions, chives, or leeks? In Buddhist temples in Korea, avoiding alliums is something that has been practiced for hundreds of years. Days are filled with prayer, meditation, and meals centered on vegetables and fermented foods — no meat, fish, or alliums. Monks and nuns who live in these temples cook with intention, to keep a clear mind and a healthy body. As one nun explains, “The food creates the entire human being.” A typical temple meal might include rice, mushroom fritters, fried potatoes, kimchi, fermented radishes, marinated tofu, and crispy greens. Despite missing the ingredients so many of us rely on for flavor, anyone who’s tried temple food attests to how aromatic and delicious it is. How is this achieved? With fermented foods, carefully aged sauces, and fresh ingredients picked straight from the source. Many temples grow their own food and use what’s in season, preserving vegetables and fruits at the end of summer to sustain them through the winter. Soy sauce is traditionally fermented in large jars throughout the year and can be aged for 50 years or more to elicit the deep umami flavor that makes temple cuisine so flavorful. Each meal is intended to be fulfilling and nourishing so residents can focus on their meditation. Several different cultures and religions, including Buddhism and Ayurvedic medicine, have traditionally avoided alliums because the pungent properties in them are believed to distract the mind. Those following a low-FODMAP diet (a diet restricting foods not well absorbed by the small intestine) and those suffering from IBS also opt to cut alliums from their diet to improve digestion. It may be worth avoiding alliums for a day or two and noting how you feel. Maybe, like the nuns and monks in Korea, you’ll find yourself graced with a clear mind and a happy belly.
Inspired by Nom Nom Paleo
ingredients • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced • 4–5 medium tomatoes, preferably heirloom, seeded and cut into wedges • 6–10 medium basil leaves, cut into ribbons The main course almost always works with paleo diets, but that isn’t always the case with sides and appetizers. This salad offers a great way to enjoy some paleo fare without having to resort to only eating grilled meats.
• 1 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil • Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Place shallots in balsamic vinegar for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry using paper towels. 2. Assemble tomatoes on a plate, top with basil and shallots, and season with salt and pepper. 3. Drizzle olive oil over top of salad and serve immediately. directions
SCRAMBLE YOUR BRAIN
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INSIDE Modern Back Pain Solutions PAGE 1 Are You Using Your Body as a Garbage Disposal? PAGE 2 Paleo Tomato Basil Salad PAGE 3 For for a Clear Mind PAGE 3 Famous Grove City Natives PAGE 4
GROVE CITY’S FAMOUS SONS AND DAUGHTERS PEOPLE FROM OUR SMALL TOWN WHO ACHIEVED BIG THINGS
Grove City is by no means a densely populated area. Technically, it’s not even a city at all, but rather a borough of Mercer County. The 2010 census numbered Grove City’s residents at 8,322. Despite our small number of residents, many highly accomplished people have called this place home over the years. Here is a brief list of some of our borough’s most famous inhabitants.
R.J. BOWERS To make it to the NFL from a small, Division III college is no easy feat, but R.J. Bowers was a very special athlete. After playing minor league baseball for a number of years, Bowers decided to transition to football and enrolled in Grove City College. Over the course of his college career, he broke nearly every record imaginable. After graduating, he was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers and played two seasons for the Cleveland Browns. PAULA KELLY Born in Grove City in 1919, Kelly joined Glenn Miller’s orchestra, one of the most popular of the big band era, as a singer, launching herself to fame. She was a member of the vocal group The Modernaires until the 1970s. Her vocal performance on “I Know Why (And So Do You),” recorded in 1941, is regarded as one of the most iconic of the era. You can check out her work on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Music, and more.
PATRICIA WETTIG Though she was born in nearby Milford, Ohio, actress Patricia Wettig was raised in Grove City. After graduating from Grove City High School in 1970, Wettig attended Ohio Wesleyan University and Temple University before beginning her career in film and television. Her most noteworthy role came as Nancy Weston on the show “Thirtysomething.” Her work on the show, which is now regarded as a forerunner of modern prestige TV, earned her a Golden Globe and three Primetime Emmys.
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