New Evidence Showing “No Excess Risk Of Carotid Artery Stroke After Chiropractic Care”

In this article they state that patients with carotid artery dissection can present with neck pain and/or headache before experiencing a stroke. These are common symptoms seen by both chiropractors and primary care physicians (PCPs). This study aimed to find out what risks there are of a carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care by comparing association between chiropractic and PCP visits and subsequent stroke.

Here is what happened:

A population-based, case-crossover study was undertaken in Ontario, Canada. All incident cases of carotid artery stroke admitted to hospitals over a 9-year period were identified. Cases served as their own controls. Exposures to chiropractic and PCP services were determined from health billing records.

Results

We compared 15,523 cases to 62,092 control periods using exposure windows of 1, 3, 7, and 14 days prior to the stroke. Positive associations were found for both chiropractic and PCP visits and subsequent stroke in patients less than 45 years of age. These associations tended to increase when analyses were limited to visits for neck pain and headache-related diagnoses. There was no significant difference between chiropractic and PCP risk estimates. They found NO ASSOCIATION between chiropractic visits and stroke in those 45 years of age or older.

Conclusions

No excess risk of carotid artery stroke after chiropractic care was found in this study. Associations between chiropractic and PCP visits and stroke were similar and likely due to patients with early dissection-related symptoms seeking care prior to developing their strokes.

References: 2016 National Stroke Association. Published by Elsevier Inc.

Myths Regarding Stroke and a Chiropractic Adjustment

After a Chiropractor evaluates a patient and determines the patient is a candidate for chiropractic care, treatments are administered.  There is a lot of myths out there regarding what happens after an adjustment so I wanted to set the record straight with what I have experienced as a patient and as a doctor.

The most common reaction to chiropractic care is relief.  After a first time patient comes in for care, approximately 35% have aching or soreness in the spinal joints or muscles the day after an adjustment.  65% feel some sort of relief.  If soreness does occur, it feels like you worked out and the muscles are sore.  This is because of slight inflammation that occurs after your body is treated and muscles and joints are now moving differently than they are used to.  This normally does not last more than 24 hours.  Ice is normally recommended in such cases and works great.  If the aching continues, contact the chiropractor and they will gently work on areas (probably muscle and tissue work with inflammatory work) and this should solve the problem.

  • One big myth regarding chiropractic care is a stroke or On “vascular accident”.  This I have never heard of in the chiropractic community and have never experienced as a patient.  This myth has been compared with primary care physician (PCP) visits and stroke. According to the authors of this particular study:
  • According to Cassidy J D, Boyle E, Cote P et al. Risk of Vertebral Stroke and Chiropractic Care, It has been discovered that:

1. There was “no evidence of excess risk of VBA stroke associated with chiropractic care compared to primary care.”

2. The alleged correlation more likely had to do with patients seeking chiropractic treatment of already-existing VBA symptoms (headache and neck pain) before the stroke took place.

In the hands of experienced chiropractors, cervical manipulation usually renders beneficial results with few adverse side effects.  If a person is at risk of having a stroke, turning their head quickly, putting their head in a sink at a hair salon or any slight movement of the head and neck could trigger a stroke. Chiropractic treatment is no more dangerous than a visit to their own medical doctor.

Chiropractic is not only safe, but there are several studies out there showing that it helps boost the immune system and lower blood pressure.  The myths about stroke and chiropractic are outdated and are quite damaging to the profession. There is no research out there showing that chiropractors cause patients to stroke.  As a matter of fact, our malpractice insurance is low because we don’t hurt people.

References: http://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/reactions-following-a-chiropractic-adjustment

Waist Size Helps Predict Heart Risk In Teenagers

A new study uses waist measurements and body mass index to help predict health risks in teenagers.

Using waist measurements together with body mass index may better predict a teenager’s cardiovascular risk than using B.M.I. alone, a new study finds.

Pediatricians and medical groups routinely use B.M.I. as a measure of unhealthy weight in children.  This index, calculates by dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by the square foot of their height in meters.   It cannot differentiate between fatty and lean tissue. So if you are muscular and use just B.M.I, these measurements would classify you as obese even though you are not.

Some researchers have suggested using either a waist circumference or waist to height ratio to measure health.  A study in Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine disputes using either measure alone was not enough.

Dr. Brian W. McCrindle (and colleagues) performed a study at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.  They gathered detailed data on more than 4,000 14- and 15-year-olds. All kids selected had a B.M.I. in the 85th to 95th percentile for their age.  The 85th percentile classified them as overweight.   The 95th percentile classified them as obese.

They took measurements of the waist to height ratios, measured their cholesterol levels (good and bad).   Teenagers whose B.M.I. had put them in the obese category showed a trend toward higher blood pressure with higher waist-to-height ratios.

Waist size should be half of height or less, the researchers found. Above that ratio, they began seeing associations with cardiovascular risk factors.  This is in high school kids.

“While B.M.I. is a useful number,” Dr. McCrindle said, “using it together with waist circumference might give you a better indicator of what someone’s risk is for complications associated with obesity.”

References: Taken from article written by ANAHAD O’CONNOR, Reporter

Signs of Hyperthyroidism (Overactive Thyroid)

Hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. Hyperthyroidism can significantly accelerate your body’s metabolism, causing sudden weight loss, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, sweating, and nervousness or irritability.

Hyperthyroidism can mimic other health problems, which may make it difficult for your doctor to diagnose. It can also cause a wide variety of signs and symptoms, including:

  • Sudden weight loss, even when your appetite and diet remain normal or even increase
  • Rapid heartbeat (tachycardia) — commonly more than 100 beats a minute — irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or pounding of your heart (palpitations)
  • Increased appetite
  • Nervousness, anxiety and irritability
  • Tremor — usually a fine trembling in your hands and fingers
  • Sweating
  • Changes in menstrual patterns
  • Increased sensitivity to heat
  • Changes in bowel patterns, especially more frequent bowel movements
  • An enlarged thyroid gland (goiter), which may appear as a swelling at the base of your neck
  • Fatigue, muscle weakness
  • Difficulty sleeping

Who gets this problem?
Older adults are more likely to have either no signs or symptoms or subtle ones, such as an increased heart rate, heat intolerance and a tendency to become tired during ordinary activities.

Grave’s Ophthalmopathy:

Sometimes a problem called Graves’ Ophthalmopathy may affect your eyes. In this disorder, your eyeballs protrude beyond their normal protective orbits when tissues and muscles behind your eyes swell. This pushes the eyeballs forward so far that they actually bulge out of their orbits. This can cause the front surface of your eyeballs to become very dry. Signs and symptoms of Graves’ ophthalmopathy include:

  • Protruding eyeballs
  • Red or swollen eyes
  • Excessive tearing or discomfort in one or both eyes
  • Light sensitivity, blurry or double vision, inflammation, or reduced eye movement

What causes Hyperthyroidism?
A number of conditions, including Graves’ disease, toxic adenoma, Plummer’s disease (toxic multinodular goiter) and thyroiditis, can cause hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism can lead to a number of complications:

  • Heart problems. Some of the most serious complications of hyperthyroidism involve the heart. These include a rapid heart rate, a heart rhythm disorder called atrial fibrillation and congestive heart failure — a condition in which your heart can’t circulate enough blood to meet your body’s needs. These complications are generally reversible with appropriate treatment.
  • Brittle bones. Untreated hyperthyroidism can also lead to weak, brittle bones (osteoporosis). The strength of your bones depends, in part, on the amount of calcium and other minerals they contain. Too much thyroid hormone interferes with your body’s ability to incorporate calcium into your bones.
  • Eye problems. People with Graves’ ophthalmopathy develop eye problems, including bulging, red or swollen eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurring or double vision.
  • Red, swollen skin. In rare cases, people with Graves’ disease develop Graves’ dermopathy, which affects the skin, causing redness and swelling, often on the shins and feet.
  • Thyrotoxic crisis. Hyperthyroidism also places you at risk of thyrotoxic crisis — a sudden intensification of your symptoms, leading to a fever, a rapid pulse and even delirium. If this occurs, seek immediate medical care.
  • How is this diagnosed? A diagnosis can be confirmed with blood tests that measure the levels of thyroxine and TSH in your blood. High levels of thyroxine and low or nonexistent amounts of TSH indicate an overactive thyroid. The amount of TSH is important because it’s the hormone that signals your thyroid gland to produce more thyroxine. These tests are particularly necessary for older adults, who may not have classic symptoms of hyperthyroidism.

How can chiropractic help?
There is evidence that supports certain cases of thyroid disorders can result from the disruption or malfunction of nerves emerging from the brain and spinal cord which control the thyroid gland.  Eliminating improper curvature in the spine resulting in stretching or pinching the nerves that supply signals to the thyroid gland.

Causes of Low Blood Pressure (Hypotension)

Low blood pressure is also called hypotension.  We talk about high blood pressure a lot and want to keep our readings low but sometimes too low can cause serious problems.  Low blood pressure can cause symptoms of dizziness and fainting. In severe cases, low blood pressure can be life-threatening.

Although blood pressure varies from person to person, a blood pressure reading of 90 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg) or less systolic blood pressure (the top number in a blood pressure reading) or 60 mm Hg or less diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number) is generally considered low blood pressure.

What are the causes of Hypotension?

1. Pregnancy. Because a woman’s circulatory system expands rapidly during pregnancy, blood pressure is likely to drop. During the first 24 weeks of pregnancy, systolic pressure commonly drops by five to 10 mm Hg and diastolic pressure by as much as 10 to 15 mm Hg. This is normal, and blood pressure usually returns to your pre-pregnancy level after you’ve given birth.

2. Heart problems. Some heart conditions that can lead to low blood pressure include extremely low heart rate (bradycardia), heart valve problems, heart attack and heart failure. These conditions may cause low blood pressure because they prevent your body from being able to circulate enough blood.

3. Endocrine problems. An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) or overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause low blood pressure. In addition, other conditions, such as adrenal insufficiency (Addison’s disease), low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and, in some cases, diabetes, can trigger low blood pressure.

4. Dehydration. When you become dehydrated, your body loses more water than it takes in. Even mild dehydration can cause weakness, dizziness and fatigue. Fever, vomiting, severe diarrhea, overuse of diuretics and strenuous exercise can all lead to dehydration.

Far more serious is hypovolemic shock, a life-threatening complication of dehydration. It occurs when low blood volume causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and a reduction in the amount of oxygen reaching your tissues. If untreated, severe hypovolemic shock can cause death within a few minutes or hours.

5. Blood loss. Losing a lot of blood from a major injury or internal bleeding reduces the amount of blood in your body, leading to a severe drop in blood pressure.

6. Severe infection (septicemia). Septicemia can happen when an infection in the body enters the bloodstream. These conditions can lead to a life-threatening drop in blood pressure called septic shock.

7. Severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis). Anaphylaxis is a severe and potentially life-threatening allergic reaction. Common triggers of anaphylaxis include foods, certain medications, insect venoms and latex. Anaphylaxis can cause breathing problems, hives, itching, a swollen throat and a drop in blood pressure.

8. Lack of nutrients in your diet. A lack of the vitamins B-12 and folate can cause anemia, a condition in which your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, causing low blood pressure.

Depending on the reason for your low blood pressure, you may be able to take certain steps to help reduce or even prevent symptoms.

Here are Some suggestions to help manage this problem:

Drink more water, less alcohol. Alcohol is dehydrating and can lower blood pressure, even if you drink in moderation. Water, on the other hand, combats dehydration and increases blood volume.

 Follow a healthy diet. Get all the nutrients you need for good health by focusing on a variety of foods, including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean chicken and fish. If your doctor suggests using more salt but you don’t like a lot of salt on your food, try using natural soy sauce or adding dry soup mixes to dips and dressings.

 Move slowly when changing body positions. You may be able to reduce the dizziness and lightheadedness that occur with low blood pressure on standing by taking it easy when you move from a prone to a standing position. Before getting out of bed in the morning, breathe deeply for a few minutes and then slowly sit up before standing. Sleeping with the head of your bed slightly elevated also can help fight the effects of gravity. If you begin to get symptoms while standing, cross your thighs in a scissors fashion and squeeze, or put one foot on a ledge or chair and lean as far forward as possible. These maneuvers encourage blood to flow from your legs to your heart.

Eat small, low-carb meals. To help prevent blood pressure from dropping sharply after meals, eat small portions several times a day and limit high-carbohydrate foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta and bread. Your doctor also may recommend drinking caffeinated coffee or tea with meals to temporarily raise blood pressure. But because caffeine can cause other problems, check with your doctor before drinking more caffeinated beverages.

Hope this helps clear things up!

Chiropractic Adjustments Have An Affect The Autonomic Nervous System!

Your Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) controls and regulates your organs of your body, such as the heart, stomach and intestines.  The ANS is part of the peripheral nervous system and it controls many organs and muscles within the body. In most situations, we are unaware of the workings of the ANS because it functions in an involuntary, reflexive manner.  Our heartbeat, breathing and organ function is automatic.  We don’t have to tell our heart to beat or regulate our own breathing while sleeping.  The ANS does this for us automatically.

In a recent study published in the September 2000 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, researchers showed that chiropractic adjustments have an effect on the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).  This research was designed to measure the changes in “Edge Light Pupil Cycle Time” (ELPCT) which is one of the light reflexes of the eyes. This reflex is controlled by the Autonomic Nervous System. The results showed a decrease in the Edge Light Pupil Cycle Time therefore showing a direct link between a chiropractic adjustment and a response in the Autonomic Nervous System.  The implications of this research go well beyond the eye itself.

The Autonomic Nervous System is that part of the nervous system responsible for the control and function of internal body organs. Chiropractors have said for over 100 years that interference to the nervous system creates a situation whereby various parts of the body will not be functioning at their fullest innate potential. Despite all the reported cases of people with a variety of internal problems responding to chiropractic care, the medical community would always dismiss these cases as a coincidence.

This new research adds much credibility to the reports of miraculous results under chiropractic by scientifically showing a link between chiropractic adjustments of the spine and the part of the nervous system responsible for the control of internal organs. This clearly validates and reinforces the great results that chiropractors have reported to see over the last 100 years. Chiropractic care can have a positive affect on organ system health problems.

References: chiropracticresearch.org

Why Are Corporate Wellness Programs Important?

Corporate wellness programs are designed to help employee moral and prevent  health issues such as chronic stress, high blood pressure, heart conditions and illness.

Many of the diseases that lead to employee disabilities, workers compensation, absenteeism and inability to perform at optimum levels are related to lifestyle choices. Lifestyle and posture are learned behaviors that can be altered and reconditioned.  You may be thinking it is the employee, not the employer, who should take ownership of their health and that may be true, but sedentary lifestyles because of working at a desk for 8 or more hours a day without implementing any type of stress relief will only lead to illness and this will effect the company.

So, what are the effects of Corporate Wellness Programs?

  • Decreased use of health care benefits
  • Decreased rates of absenteeism
  • Decreased numbers of accidents and injuries
  • Reduction of  employee turnover.
  • Increased enthusiasm and passion for work
  • Increased energy and productivity

Studies:

The National Safety Council in 1999 estimated the cost of workplace injuries in the United States to be $125 billion.

A 4-year study of Xerox Corporation according to the Chicago Tribune:

Employers may have another reason to encourage employees to stay fit, trim and healthy: reducing the $128 billion lost each year to workplace injuries.

For years, advocates of workplace wellness programs have promoted them as a way to reduce the cost of health care and employer-financed health insurance. Now, a four-year study of Xerox Corp. workers has found significant reduction in the frequency and seriousness of workplace injuries among those who participate in a wellness program.

The study examined on-the-job injuries among 3,338 workers at a Xerox’s Rochester, N.Y., manufacturing complex in 1996-99. The results were published in the July issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Among those who participated in the health risk appraisal, 5.6 percent made workers compensation claims, compared with 8.9 percent of non-participants. And when they did get hurt on the job, the health appraisal participants had an average cost per injury of $6,506, compared with $9,482 for non-participants, the study found.

So, it can be costly for companies if they do not start helping their employees stay healthy.  On-site chiropractic can help keep disability and workers compensation costs down and keep employees productive and happy.  Call us today to see how we can help.

Chest Pain Could Be A Rib Out Of Place

Most people are amazed to find out that the ribs are not directly attached to the vertebrae.  There is tissue between the rib and vertebrae which allows them to move and expand when we breathe. When a rib is not in the right place, it will inflame causing pain and discomfort.

So, what does it feel like when a rib is out?

When a rib is out of alignment, pain can occur in the front of you chest, side or upper to mid back.  In the case of a rib out in front of out chest, it may sometimes feel like you are having a heart attack.  Many patients check into the emergency room only to find out that cardiac or pulmonary problems are ruled out.  If this occurs, it is probably a rib out of place.  I personally have had a rib out of place in the front from boxing and I can say from experience that it can be a bit scary until you know that you are not having a heart attack.

If a rib is out in the back, pin point pain will occur in the upper/lower back or side, especially when breathing.

So, what can be done?

A chiropractor can find the rib easily with a “hands on” assessment.   After finding the problem and guiding the rib back in place, the rib will stay in place and the tissues and nerves around the area will heal which will stop the pain.

Ribs are overlooked by many health practitioners but I have seen several patients with pain that just won’t go away and they are unsure what is causing the problem.
After finding a rib that is out of place and correcting it I have gotten amazing results!  The patient can normally get fast relief and reassurance that they do not have a serious health problem.

Agave Syrup: An UNSAFE Sugar Substitute

Agave syrup is a man-made sweetener which has been through a complicated chemical refining process of enzymatic digestion that converts the starch and fiber into the unbound, man-made chemical fructose. While high fructose agave syrup won’t spike your blood glucose levels as High Fructose Corn Syrup is reported to do, the fructose in it may cause mineral depletion, liver inflammation, hardening of the arteries, insulin resistance leading to diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity.

There are a few different natural sweeteners out there that give you your sweet fix without putting a lot of stress on your body and its organs. Try Stevia, this substitute is a lot sweeter than table sugar so if baking, use about half of what you would normally.

Hope that helps.