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Should I have Surgery??

Should I have Surgery??

 Cox technic

 Background:

Many people suffering from low back or neck conditions turn to surgery, instead of a “conservative care” option such as chiropractic, acupuncture or physical therapy.  Doctors sometimes urge surgery based upon their viewing the condition of a patient’s spine as shown on an MRI or Magnetic Resonance Image. MRI is a sophisticated technique that shows soft tissues as well as bone within the body.  But a recent study brings into question whether these images can accurately predict the outcome of surgery simply on the basis of MRI.

What Has Happened?

Journal Neurosurgery Spine is a peer-reviewed publication that carries a great deal of weight with the medical profession.  The June 2016 issue reports on a study designed to find out if spinal experts could determine by viewing MRI images which patients suffering from sciatica — radiating pain running down the leg — due to a herniated disc in their low back would fare better with surgery as compared with conservative care.

How was the Research Conducted?

A panel of three spinal experts studied a total of 283 MRI studies of  patients who had herniated discs in their low back as well as sciatic pain running down one or both of their legs.

What was the Conclusion of the Study?

Essentially, the study of these 283 patients concluded that experts could not determine ahead of time based on MRI findings if a patient would do better a year down the road if he or she had surgery or underwent conservative care.  Here’s how the authors of the study put it, “MRI findings seem not to be helpful in determining which patients might fare better with early surgery compared with a strategy of prolonged conservative care.”

What is the Take Home Message?

Here is what the study concluded: “If the sciatica is not intense, or MRI findings are not consistent with clear-cut nerve root compression, we advise withholding surgery.”

 

Yours for Better Health:

 

Jon Mills, DC

817-581-0123

www.MillsChiro.com

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Consumer Reports Recommends Chiropractic

Consumer Reports Recommends Chiropractic

 HEALTH

 

Background:

The latest issue of Consumer Reports – June 2017 – has as its cover article “Real Relief from Back Pain.”  It speaks of a “revolution” in treatment, prompted by research, that shows that chiropractic, physical therapy and yoga can help just as much for back pain as surgery or drugs, but with far fewer risks.

How Has This Happened?

Consumer Reports contends that too many tests and expensive treatments have driven up the costs of low back care, but have not provided better outcomes in terms of reducing pain or disability. The magazine points to a 2013 study reported on in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which found that between 1999 and 2010, “powerful narcotic medicines were being prescribed 51 percent more, CT and MRI scans jumped by 57 percent, and referrals to surgeons, neurologists and other specialists more than doubled.”  Furthermore, Consumer Reports contends that “opioid pain drugs and unnecessary tests and treatments can delay recovery and healing.”

What is Bringing About These Changes to Conservative Care?

Two factors have combined to shift the focus from drugs and surgery to conservative therapies like chiropractic:  evidence-based research and costs.  Every year more studies show that chiropractic is effective and safe.  And with the increasing focus on reducing costs, surgeries that cost tens of thousands of dollars do more than raise eyebrows among insurance company and government executives when such treatments offer no better outcomes than care often costing less than a thousand dollars.

The Mainstreaming of Alternative Medicine?

One individual is focused upon:  Thomas Sells.  His treatment from the Veterans Administration for his chronic low back injury suffered during the Vietnam War is very different from what he received years ago.  The VA, like about 80 percent of insurance carriers as well as Medicare, pays for chiropractic services.  As Consumer Reports says, “those treatments used to be considered fringe, but no more.  Growing research shows that a combination of hands-on therapies and other nondrug measures can be just as effective as more traditional forms of back care, including drugs and surgery.  And they’re much safer”

Drop by our office.  We would be happy to provide you with a copy of the Consumer Reports article.

 

Yours for Better Health:

Jon Mills, DC

817-581-0123  www.MillsChiro.comCox technic

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What Does the American College of Physicians Recommend?

Lower back pain pointWhat Does the American College of Physicians Recommend?

Background:
Just last month the American College of Physicians issued a guideline in their journal Annals of Internal Medicine recommending that physicians and patients should treat acute or subacute low back pain with non-drug therapies, specifically chiropractic.

How Common is Low Back Pain?
Low back pain is one of the most common reasons for all physician visits in the U.S. About a quarter of all adults will suffer an episode lasting at least a day in a three-month period.

What Does the College Recommend?
For acute pain (lasting less than 4 weeks) and subacute pain (lasting between 4 and 12 weeks) they recommend chiropractic, massage, acupuncture and heat. For chronic pain (lasting more than 12 weeks) they add these to the above recommendations: exercise, rehabilitation, mindfulness-based stress reduction, tai chi, yoga, motor control exercise, progressive relaxation, electromyography biofeedback, low level laser therapy, operant therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy.

What Treatments are Specifically Not Recommended?
Opioids are recommended only as a last resort and only in patients who have failed other therapies, as they are associated with substantial harms, including the risk of ddiction or accidental overdose.

What’s the Take Home Message
This is another study in a trend going back to 1993 when a federal organization, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, recommended chiropractic care for low back pain.

Yours for Better Health:
Jon Mills, DC
817-581-0123
www.MillsChiro.com

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Is Magnesium the “Wonder Drug that Works Wonders?”

Dr. Mills Office

Is Magnesium the “Wonder Drug that Works Wonders?”

Background:

You may recall the title of this article as being the catchy phrase that Bayer Aspirin used in commercials. A recent article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ Medicine [2016] 14:210) describes how increased magnesium levels reduced the risk of contracting many serious diseases, and even reduced the risk of death.

British Medical Journal Study:

This study was a meta-analysis, meaning that the results of forty studies with a total of more than 1 million participants were analyzed. Follow-up periods ranged from 4 to 30 years.

A Bit About Magnesium:

Magnesium is the eighth most common element in the earth’s crust. It is essential for life. It aids our bodies in processing sugar and producing proteins. It is especially found in whole grains, green leafy vegetables and nuts. Up to 15% of us are deficient in magnesium. The recommended daily allowance is 350 mg/day for men and 300 mg/day for women, with an additional 150 mg/day during pregnancy and lactation.

What Were the Results?

The analysis reported that increasing dietary magnesium intake by 100 mg/day had profound benefits:
Risk of Stroke: 7% lower
Risk of heart failure: 22% lower
Risk of type 2 diabetes: 19% lower
Risk of death from all causes: 10% lower

What’s the Take Home Message?

Although a blood test is necessary to show if one is deficient in magnesium, simply increasing our consumption of magnesium-rich foods and considering supplementation are measures that could have a significant effect on our health.

Yours for Better Health:

Jon Mills, DC, 817-581-0123, www.MillsChiro.com

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Does Spinal Decompression Help with Back Problems?

Does Spinal Decompression Help with Back Problems?

Background:Lower back pain point

We’ve been believers in Spinal Decompression since our office first started performing the procedure on patients back in 2003; it has been a great help for many patients over the years.  Peer-reviewed research has recently confirmed the benefits of Spinal Decompression.

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT) Study:

The November – December 2016 issue of JMPT reported on a study of patients who had pain down the leg (known as sciatica) because of a herniated disc pressing on a spinal nerve root in the low back.  The study was designed to compare the results of decompression done at lower weights versus that performed at higher force, however, individuals were found to significantly benefit no matter which weight was used.

What were the Results?

Patients in the study were treated ten times over a period of 14 days. Some notable results after this period included:

–         Patients reported that their pain was reduced by 40%

–         Flexibility improved by 58%

–         Use of drugs to ease pain and inflammation was reduced by 50%

What’s the Take Home Message

Not only did the patients improve following two weeks of treatment, but the improvement continued at follow-up visits two weeks after care ended.  I think that this study clearly demonstrates that Spinal Decompression is an excellent, non-surgical choice for treating patients suffering from leg pain due to pressure on a spinal nerve root in their low back.

 

Yours for Better Health:

Jon Mills, DC

817-581-0123

www.MillsChiro.com

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