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Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: June 2010 Health Newsletter

June 2010 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Mountain Biking Hazardous To Your Spine
» New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Multiple Sclerosis
» House Passes Bill to Expand Chiropractic Care to All Major VA Medical Centers
» Food industry to Obama: We'll Improve Nutrition

Mountain Biking Hazardous To Your Spine
New research indicates the increasingly popular recreational sport of mountain biking may be just as dangerous as other sports like football, hockey, skiing and rugby. Canadian researchers reviewed 107 patients seen at a spinal referral center during a 13-year period who were injured while mountain biking. The majority of those injured were male with the average age of 33. Of those injured, almost two-thirds required surgery and 40 percent sustained spinal cord injuries. Worse yet, of those 40 percent who had spinal cord injury, almost half resulted in complete paralysis. Moreover, at discharge 2 patients remained on a ventilator. Surprisingly, the study also found that helmets didn’t appear to help in reducing spinal injures, although, they protected the head. Thus, while helmets are important in protecting the head and brain, they offer little protection to the cervical spine when riders go over the handle bars or fall from heights and land on their heads. Researchers advise mountain bikers and for that matter all bikers, to use extreme caution when thinking about or performing any tricks or jumps. They also advised to ride with others and to stay together just incase someone becomes injured.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The American Journal of Sports Medicine. May 20, 2010.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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New Research Sheds Light on Chiropractic and Multiple Sclerosis

Recent research reported in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health - Chiropractic revealed improvement in symptoms related to multiple sclerosis in a woman undergoing chiropractic care suggesting that chiropractic may play an important role in managing people with such disorders.

The 51 year old woman reported on in the study also suffered from gastroesophageal reflux disorder (often called GERD), asthma and a number of other problems which were all helped through chiropractic care. The research includes a review of the literature on the role of chiropractic in such disorders.

"Research is revealing that there is a relationship between abnormalities in the spine, the nervous system and brain," stated Dr. Ben Lerner, lead author of the paper. "Researchers from different fields are now showing that trauma, problems in the upper neck and problems with blood flow to and from the brain may be playing a significant role in multiple sclerosis."

Research has shown that in many cases people who have multiple sclerosis have a history of head and/or neck trauma and researchers studying this in chiropractic suggest that this trauma also cause misalignments of the bones in the neck. The trauma along with the misalignments can lead to compression of nerve structures as well as alterations of blood flow leading to the degenerative conditions and other problems associated with multiple sclerosis.

"It makes perfect sense when you think about it" stated Dr. Sheri Lerner, a co-author on the paper. "Our study is one more example of how people with these debilitating conditions can be helped through specific chiropractic adjustments to restore normal spinal and nervous system function."

According to Dr. Matthew McCoy, a chiropractor, public health researcher and editor of the journal that published the study, "Chiropractors have been talking about these links for some time now and I think research in this area will soon reach a critical mass because its not just chiropractors saying this any more. You have researchers in several different fields coming to similar conclusions. The real challenge with these models is going to be showing what works best and chiropractic has a respectable foundation of research in this area" stated McCoy.

In the case reported on in the article the initial application of chiropractic was followed by nutritional advice which included eliminating sugar and grains from the patient's diet. Correction of the spinal and related neurological interference was the first priority however. Abnormal position or movement of the spinal vertebra can develop and this can lead to nerve and vascular interference. It is this interference, called vertebral subluxations, that chiropractors correct.

The woman reported on in the study suffered from a number of health challenges including multiple sclerosis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), asthma, osteoarthritis, and scoliosis. She also had complaints of neck pain, back pain and jaw pain. She had been under the care of several healthcare professionals prior to presenting to the chiropractic office. These practitioners included the family medical doctor, a neurologist, allergist, rheumatologist, gastrointestinal specialist, cardiologist, and dermatologist. She was taking several medications.

The patient began to report improvement in pain levels throughout her body after just 12 visits, had better mobility and was able to increase her physical activity. Her lung function and posture improved and she was gradually able to discontinue all her medications. Follow-up x-rays revealed an improvement in the crucial curve in her neck.

The authors of the study call for more research on the role of chiropractic care in these types of disorders. 

Author: MSRC
Source: http://www.msrc.co.uk/index.cfm/fuseaction/show/pageid/2990
Copyright: MSRC 2010


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House Passes Bill to Expand Chiropractic Care to All Major VA Medical Centers

The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1017, the "Chiropractic Care Available to All Veterans Act," tonight, putting America's veterans one step closer to gaining access to chiropractic care at all major Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers. The bill was approved 365:6.  

H.R. 1017 requires the VA to have doctors of chiropractic on staff at no fewer than 75 major VA medical centers before the end of 2011 and for all major VA medical centers to have a doctor of chiropractic on staff before the end of 2013. There are nearly 160 VA treatment facilities nationwide. Currently, the VA provides chiropractic care at 32 treatment facilities across the country. 

The bill comes after a recent VA report, "Analysis of VA Health Care Utilization Among Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veterans," from Feb 2010 which cites "diseases of Musculoskeletal System/Connective System," such as back pain, as the number one ailment of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans accessing VA treatment. 

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) believes that the inclusion of chiropractic care in the VA health care system would speed the recovery of many of the veterans returning from current operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chiropractic care has been proven to be a cost-effective and beneficial treatment option. In fact, a 2010 study published in Clinical Rehabilitation found that spinal manipulation provided better short and long-term functional improvement and more pain relief in follow-up assessments than other physiotherapy interventions. Furthermore, a 2003 study published in the medical journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications.

House VA Committee Chairman Bob Filner (D-CA), a strong supporter of extending chiropractic care benefits to military retirees and active-duty personnel, introduced the legislation. Over the years, Rep. Filner has worked closely with ACA in securing support for a number of pro-chiropractic measures.  Rep. Michael Michaud (D-ME), Ranking Member Steve Buyer (R-IN) and Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS) also deserve recognition for their support of this legislation.

"For too long, veterans have been denied access to the chiropractic care that they want, need and deserve through the VA," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "I am proud that ACA has worked closely with our congressional allies, such as Rep. Filner, on behalf of our nation's heroes and in support of this important bill."

Prior to congressional intervention over the past decade, no doctors of chiropractic served on the staff of any VA treatment facility. The availability of chiropractic care for eligible veterans was limited to VA "referrals" to doctors of chiropractic serving in private practice outside of the VA system. Such referrals were so rare that chiropractic care was essentially non-existent within the VA system.

"I am especially proud that the member institutions that comprise the Association of Chiropractic Colleges will play a pivotal role in preparing the next generation of doctors of chiropractic to serve our military veterans throughout the United States and overseas," said Frank J. Nicchi, DC, MS, President of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges. "This legislation will assist in making that possible."

In the U.S. Senate, a companion bill (S1204) has been introduced by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), who is a member of the Senate VA Committee. This legislation would also expand access to chiropractic care within the VA system.

The American Chiropractic Association, based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of ethics and patient care, contributing to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.com. May 24, 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010


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Food industry to Obama: We'll Improve Nutrition

The U.S. food industry is willing to let the White House take the lead on making foods healthier in schools, but said on Friday it could improve what is sold on store shelves without government intervention.

"The school environment is a special environment where having a government play a role in setting the standards for what's sold makes sense," Scott Faber, a vice president at the Grocery Manufacturers Association, told reporters.

"I think the public marketplace is a different environment," he said.

The Obama administration has launched an initiative, led by first lady Michelle Obama, to combat growing levels of obesity among children. She has urged food makers to work faster to reformulate or repackage food to make it healthier for children.

"They respect our ability to find ways to produce more products that offer consumers more choices including choices with less sodium, less sugar, less fat," said Faber.

The food industry group said its members improved the nutritional value of more than 10,000 products between 2002 and 2006 and plans in May to update that total to include changes through 2009.

A separate initiative called the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation -- which includes many GMA members -- will announce pledges to improve the health content of its products later this month.

Obesity rates among U.S. children have doubled in the past 20 years, and almost a third of American children are either overweight or obese.

Obesity causes a host of health problems such as heart disease and diabetes and costs the United States an estimated $150 billion each year, according to U.S. federal agencies.

"We've heard from consumers and you can see this in the companies in terms of how they've changed their recipes," said Pamela Bailey, president and chief executive of GMA.

In an effort not to miss the lucrative push toward healthier foods, major food manufacturers have recently changed some popular products.

Kraft Foods, the maker of Oreo cookies and Velveeta cheese, announced it would cut sodium levels in its North American products by about 10 percent over the next two years -- eliminating more than 750 million teaspoons of salt.

PepsiCo, the world's No. 2 soft-drink maker, vowed in March to cut the levels of salt, sugar and saturated fats in its top-selling products by 2020.

Author: Christopher Doering
Source: Reuters. April 10, 2010.
Copyright: Reuters 2010


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