Posts for: February, 2016
Are you suffering from back or neck pain?
You're definitely not alone, and we mean on a global scale.
A series of studies emerging from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 Project, a massive collaboration between the World Health Organization, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, the University of Queensland School of Population Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and the University of Tokyo, Imperial College London, clarifies the worldwide health burden of musculoskeletal conditions, particularly back and neck pain, in crystal-clear fashion, with low back pain identified as the number-one cause of disability worldwide and neck pain the number-four cause. Overall, musculoskeletal conditions represent the second leading cause of global disability.
Findings emphasize the shift in global health that has resulted from disability making an increasingly larger footprint on the burden of disease compared to a mere 20-30 years ago. In addition, while more people are living longer, the flip side is that they do so with an increasing risk of living with the burden of pain, disability and disease compared to generations past.
Dr. Scott Haldeman, a neurologist and doctor of chiropractic, provides a summary of the project's findings that should make it abundantly clear that conditions many people may consider relatively harmless actually have tremendous potential for long-term health consequences:
- Musculoskeletal conditions such as low back pain, neck pain and arthritis affect more than 1.7 billion people worldwide and have a greater impact on the health of the world population (death and disability) than HIV/AIDS, tropical diseases including malaria, the forces of war and nature, and all neurological conditions combined.
- When considering death and disability in the health equation, musculoskeletal disorders cause 21.3 percent of all years lived with disability (YLDs), second only to mental and behavioral disorders, which account for 22.7 percent of YLDs.
- Musculoskeletal conditions represent the sixth leading cause of death and disability, with only cardiovascular and circulatory diseases, neonatal diseases, neoplasms, and mental and behavorial disorders accounting for more death and disability worldwide.
- Low back pain is the most dominant musculoskeletal condition, accounting for nearly one-half of all musculoskeletal YLDs. Neck pain accounts for one-fifth of musculoskeletal YLDs.
- Low back pain is the sixth most important contributor to the global disease burden (death and disability), and has a greater impact on global health than malaria, preterm birth complications, COPD, tuberculosis, diabetes or lung cancer.
- When combined with neck pain (21st most important contributor to the global disease burden – death and disability), painful spinal disorders are second only to ischemic heart disease in terms of their impact on the global burden of disease. Spinal disorders have a greater impact than HIV/AIDS, malaria, lower respiratory infections, stroke, breast and lung cancer combined, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, depression or traffic injuries.
- Current estimates suggest that 632.045 million people worldwide suffer from low back pain and 332.049 million people worldwide suffer from neck pain.
"The Global Burden of Disease Study provides indisputable evidence that musculoskeletal conditions are an enormous and emerging problem in all parts of the world and need to be given the same priority for policy and resources as other major conditions like cancer, mental health and cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Haldeman.
The seven studies from Global Burden of Disease 2010, as well as accompanying commentaries, appear in The Lancet. To review the studies and all relevant material, click here. And by the way, when it comes to preventing and treating musculoskeletal issues, particularly back and neck pain,chiropractic care has been shown in numerous research studies to be an effective conservative option.
Find out what could be causing all your back problems and how your Brunswick, GA chiropractor can help.
It’s important to note that back pain isn’t a diagnosis, but a symptom of a health problem. Because it can be challenging to know the root cause of your pain, you’ll want to turn to your Brunswick, GA chiropractor Dr. Trek Smith to find out what is going on and what you can do to treat it:
When we talk about mechanical problems we are talking about the way your spine moves. One of the common causes of back pain is a disorder known as disc degeneration, in which the discs between the spinal vertebrae begin to break down. This is a common issue that occurs more frequently as we age. As the discs deteriorate back pain can set in due to the stress being placed on these regions of the spine. Muscle tension, spasms and ruptured/herniated discs are also mechanical causes of back pain.
A sprain or a fracture to your spine can cause both acute and chronic back pain. When you sprain your back it causes tears in the ligaments of the spine. If you have osteoporosis then you are at an increased risk of developing a fractured spine. While not as common, accidents can also cause serious spinal injuries that produce back pain.
Many disorders could be contributing to your back pain. From scoliosis (an abnormal curvature in the spine) to several different types of arthritis (e.g. rheumatoid arthritis; osteoarthritis) to spinal stenosis (a condition that causes the spinal column to narrow so much that it puts pressure on the spine), there are countless medical conditions that could be responsible for your back pain.
Of course kidney infections, fibromyalgia, pregnancy and endometriosis can also be responsible for back pain.
If you are dealing with persistent back pain it’s time you did something about it. Turn to the spinal experts in Brunswick, GA at Back to Health Chiropractic to get you back on track.
By Editorial Staff
According to the Mayo Clinic, "back surgery is needed in only a small percentage of cases. Most back problems can be taken care of with nonsurgical treatments, such as anti-inflammatory medication, ice, heat, gentle massage and physical therapy." Accurate on face value, but missing an important piece of the puzzle.
Yes, while back pain is rampant, surgery is rarely required; even the Mayo Clinic admits that while "back pain is extremely common ... surgery often fails to relieve it." However, chiropractic is glaringly absent from the nonsurgical recommendations, despite ample research evidence supportingchiropractic care for back pain and increasing reliance on chiropractic as a first-line treatment option.
So, what determines whether a patient undergoes spinal surgery? A recent study attempted to answer that very question and came up with several predictive variables, perhaps the most interesting of which is the type of health care provider – namely a surgeon or a doctor of chiropractic – the back pain patient sees first. The study authors, who note that "there is little evidence spine surgery is associated with improved population outcomes, yet surgery rates have increased dramatically since the 1990s," found that Washington state workers with an occupational back injury who visited a surgeon (orthopedic, neuro or general) first were significantly more likely to receive spine surgery within three years (42.7 percent of workers) than workers whose first visit was to a doctor of chiropractic (only 1.5 percent of workers). This association held true even when controlling for injury severity and other measures.
Of the 174 workers (9.2 percent of the subject population) who had a surgery during the three-year time frame, the vast majority were decompression procedures (78.7 percent), with 3.4 percent undergoing fusion without decompression and 17.8 percent undergoing both on the same day.
For more insights into the perils of spine surgery, read "Back Surgery: Too Many, Too Costly and Too Ineffective" by clicking here.
In order to benefit America's Medicare patients, The American Chiropractic Association’s House of Delegates passed a resolution in February 2015 making Medicare parity a top legislative priority of the association. Chiropractic inclusion in the Medicare program, which is essentially coverage of one service: manual manipulation of the spine to correct a spinal joint dysfunction (subluxation), was established in 1972. This coverage has seen little change since, other than elimination of the X-ray requirement in 1997 – despite aggressive lobbying efforts by ACA and its members for decades. This means seniors are being denied the full range of chiropractic services, i.e., examinations, x-rays and ancillary therapies, that could help them lead healthier and happier lives with much less out of pocket expense.
Petition to White House and Members of Congress
Give Seniors the Medicare Coverage They Need and Deserve: Full Access to and Reimbursement for Services Provided by Doctors of Chiropractic
Studies have shown that essential services provided by doctors of chiropractic (DCs) can help aging Americans live healthier and happier lives, yet every day our nation's seniors are being unjustly denied full access to Medicare covered services by doctors of chiropractic that could improve their quality of life.
Why? Because the federal government continues to rely on an antiquated statute that discriminates against Medicare’s chiropractic patients by not covering medically necessary and mandated services delivered by DCs.
This needs to stop. Our aging population deserves the best health care this nation has to offer. And research has shown that safe and effective services provided by DCs are a part of the solution.
I urge you to help pass legislation to correct this inequity in Medicare.
Sign the Petition*
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has launched a major grassroots campaign to enact federal legislation that would achieve full physician status for doctors of chiropractic in Medicare. This initiative would significantly improve the health and wellness of our nation's aging population.
National Medicare Equality Petition
The Time for Change is NOW
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has launched a major grassroots campaign to enact federal legislation that would achieve full physician status for doctors of chiropractic in Medicare. This initiative would significantly improve the health and wellness of our nation's aging population -- and your support is urgently needed.
The National Medicare Equality Petition will raise awareness of how the current Medicare system shortchanges seniors who want and need the essential services provided by doctors of chiropractic (DCs) to stay healthy, pain free and mobile, and how DCs can be a part of the solution for what ails the U.S. health care system.
ACA is encouraging doctors of chiropractic across the country to ask their patients and other chiropractic supporters to sign the petition (links below) and add their names to a growing list of Americans who want rightful access to and full reimbursement for services provided by doctors of chiropractic for themselves or their loved ones who are Medicare patients. The plan is to let signers of the petition have their voice heard in Washington through a series of targeted grassroots campaigns to contact their members of Congress and demand a solution to this problem. The ultimate goal is to create a groundswell of support that Congress cannot ignore.
Sign the Petition*
By Editorial Staff
Everyone knows Feb. 14 is Valentine's Day, but not as many people are aware that the entire month of February is American Heart Month! So while you're showing that special someone how much you care, don't forget to show your heart some love and help it do what it needs to do every second, every day for what is hopefully a long, enjoyable life: work nonstop without failing.
Help make it easier on your heart by yes, taking these four heart-healthy tips to heart.
1. Make Your Heart Work (So It Will Work for You): Any heart health conversation begins with a discussion of exercise, particularly the kind that helps strengthen your heart. Cardiovascularexercise ("cardio") is a great way to strengthen the heart, but any form of moderate-intensity exercise is heart healthy, particularly when it's performed consistently (at least 150 minutes a week). Tip: Even taking a brisk, 30-minute walk most days of the week is good for your heart, particularly compared to the all-too-common alternative: sitting around.
2. Handle the Pressure: Blood and oxygen are both fairly important to your livelihood, correct? Well, if the heart and its affiliated arteries aren't functioning well, blood and oxygen don't move as well throughout the body, which as you might expect, can create serious problems – most dramatically in the form of a heart attack or stroke. Tip: To keep blood pressure in the safe range, limit saturated fat and sodium (salt) intake, exercise regularly and relieve stress whenever possible.
3. Let Your Heart Rest: A good night's sleep is a vastly underestimated contributor to heart health (and overall health, by the way). Research suggests approximately seven hours a night is ideal when it comes to artery health (better than five or nine hours a night). Tip: Create a sleep routine that prepares you for relaxing, refreshing slumber.
4. Don't Stress Your Heart: Stress is a killer, literally and figuratively, and in the case of your heart, too much stress can lead to a heart attack, pure and simple. In fact, research suggests more heart attacks occur on Mondays than any other day of the week, suggesting stress associated with the impending work week / return to the workplace may be the cause. Stress also makes people more likely to abandon healthy behaviors that protect the heart, such as exercising, eating right, not smoking, etc. Tip: Try these easy stress-reducing tactics to keep your stress levels low and your heart-health levels high.
You've only got one heart, so treat it the way it deserves to be treated. Your doctor can assess your heart health, and discuss these and other ways to keep your heart healthy this month and every month, year after year.