Dr. Gray's Straight Talk

Honest and blunt healthcare discussion and advice.

Posts Tagged ‘manipulation’

Does Chiropractic Care Cause Strokes?

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, September 11, 2008

Over the past several years, there has been a concerted effort by certain industries to give the impression that chiropractic care in the neck is dangerous. Obviously, the majority of these efforts can be traced back to individuals or industries who have a financial interest in taking patients away from chiropractic care, or in making chiropractic look bad. The point is, don’t believe everything you read and ask yourself, “Who has my best interest in mind?” Remember… follow the money.

Many of you who are patients of mine, or are patients of other chiropractors, have heard me discuss this issue many times. I have told you, and provided independent evidence and research articles, that the risk of having a stroke following a chiropractic is about 1 in a million. Well… I was wrong. The risk is actually 1 in 5.85 million!

Let’s put that in perspective. According to the National Safety Council, your odds of dying from tripping or stumbling is 1 in 6,455. Yours odds of dying by accidental drowning in your bathtub is 1 in 9,377. Your odds of dying due to the ignition or melting of your nightwear is 1 in 538,523. Your odds of dying from a lightning strike is 1 in 81,949. However, a research paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found there is only a 1 in 5,850,000 risk that a chiropractic neck adjustment will cause a stroke. This means that you are seventy times more likely to die from a lightning strike than you are likely to have a vascular event after manipulation.

New findings published recently in the prestigious medical research journal, Spine, found that patients are no more likely to suffer a stroke following a visit to a chiropractor than they would after stepping into their family doctor’s office. In fact, it mentioned that you are just as likely to suffer a stroke if you turn your head to check traffic while driving.

“We didn’t see any increased association between chiropractic care and usual family physician care, and the stroke,” said Frank Silver, one of the researchers and also a professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and director of the University Health Network stroke program. “The association occurs because patients tend to seek care when they’re having neck pain or headache, and sometimes they go to a chiropractor, sometimes they go to a physician. But we didn’t see an increased likelihood of them having this type of stroke after seeing a chiropractor.” The conclusions of the report basically state that the stroke or damaged artery has most likely already occurred… that’s why the patient sought treatment with the physician.

Well, I thought this was going to be a short little blurb. Sorry, I’ve run on too long. I just want to reiterate the importance of putting things in perspective. “News” stories and stuff on the television are driven by money, and the billion$ being spent on advertising. Do your own research, think for yourself, and you’ll be able to see through many of the myths that are being fed to you through the media.


Posted in General Back Pain, General Chiropractic, General Health, Headaches, Neck Pain, Other Pain Conditions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Spinal Manipulation Found Effective in Decreasing Menstrual Pain

Posted by Dr. Gray on Friday, July 25, 2008

Each year, an estimated fifty percent of all women are affected by primary dysmenorrhea, or the presence of painful menstruation not attributed to an organic pelvic pathology.1 100 million work hours are lost because of primary dysmenorrhea per year.2 This translates into a loss of more than $1 billion3 annually for employers.

Standard medical treatment relieves symptoms in 80 percent of all cases, but side effects can lead to more debilitating complaints that range from dizziness and stomach distress to abdominal bleeding and stomach ulcers.

Primary dysmenorrhea is believed to be caused by prostaglandins, a group of naturally occurring fatty acids found in various tissues that induce muscle contractions. Abnormally high levels of prostaglandin found in dysmenorrheic women during the first 48 hours of their menstrual cycle are thought to cause uterine contractions that result in pain. For this reason, both perceived pain and blood levels of prostaglandins were tested in this study.

While more testing is called for, this trial found that women who received chiropractic treatment, consisting of spinal manipulation, reported significant reductions in back pain and menstrual distress. A measurable reduction in the substance believed to be responsible for menstrual pain was also noted.

On the first day of their period, the 38 women participating in the trial received either spinal manipulation or a “sham” adjustment that did not have a therapeutic effect on the spine. The women were asked to fill out a menstrual distress questionnaire and rate their pain on a visual analogue scale, and blood was drawn and tested both 15 minutes before treatment and 60 minutes after treatment.

The results of the questionnaires showed the greatest reduction in perceived pain among the women receiving spinal manipulation when compared to the women who received sham adjustments. Visual analogue scale scores indicated that both abdominal and back pain decreased almost twice as much in the spine manipulated group compared to the sham group. A reduction in blood levels of prostaglandins was noted in both groups that will require further investigation.

The results of this study on dysmenorrhea were presented at the 75th annual meeting of the prestigious Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology and Medicine, and a proposal has been submitted to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to obtain funding for a more comprehensive study.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Other Pain Conditions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Back Pain… You Are Not Alone

Posted by Dr. Gray on Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sooner or later an amazing 8 out of 10 people in the United States will suffer with back pain. So many people have found relief from back pain through chiropractic care that chiropractors are often thought of as back doctors. Of course, they do specialize in the care of the spine, but spinal problems can not only cause back pain, but all sorts of health problems throughout your body. Still, chiropractic care is indeed effective for back pain. In fact, the U.S. Agency for Health Care Policy and Research recently appointed a panel of medical experts who reviewed some 3,900 studies on care for acute low back pain. The panel rejected bedrest, surgery (except rare cases), injections into the back, and all oral prescription drugs (such as antidepressants or steroids). In contrast, they found that spinal manipulation, which usually is performed by a chiropractor, “can be helpful for patients with acute low back problems.” For pain, they found over the counter medications (aspirin, etc.) worked as well as prescriptions but with less side effects.

There are fewer studies on long term chronic back pain than for short term acute back pain. Still, a recent study in the respected medical journal, Spine, found chiropractic care beneficial for ongoing chronic back pain. The traditional approach for patients with chronic back pain has been back pain school to teach patients how to cope and live with the pain. This was compared to chiropractic care in this study and the chiropractic group did significantly better. The researchers concluded, “Spinal manipulation is clinically useful in chronic pain patients who who’ve been suffering for seven weeks or more.”

So many scientific and government studies have proven the effectiveness of chiropractic care for back pain that in 1993, the government of Ontario, in a 216 page study of all available evidence, found chiropractic care of low back pain superior to medical management in terms of safety, evidence of effectiveness, evidence of cost effectiveness, and in patient satisfaction.

Posted in General Chiropractic, General Health, Herniated/"Slipped" Discs, Low Back Pain | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

%d bloggers like this: