Category Archives for "Medicine"

What if drug side-effects were provided like this?

You have to wonder how many of us would resort to taking medications if they were advertised like this!  No one wants the “side” effects.  Who wants flatulence because they are taking a drug to combat…fill in the blank?  In fact, who wakes in the morning saying they want to try a new drug on the market?  No one!  We resort to taking a medication because we don’t know what else to do.  We go to the person we’ve grown to trust in the system we grew to trust because, most likely, our parents brought us to the doctor in the white coat at a young age when they didn’t know how to solve the medical mystery themselves with a home remedy.

So we are often left with options found in the physician’s desk reference.  Take this drug, that drug, or take this one to combat the side-effects of that one.  It is a slippery slope my friend.

What is the choice you are thinking?  If your mind-set is in the world of solving your health issues by taking a medication, then this is where you will hang your hat.  If you believe health comes from within us; that health is something that doesn’t need to be put in us, but drawn from us; that to heal, we need to remove the obstructions that keep us from healing, then you are a vitalist.  How does one draw health out of our body?  Healthy eating, movement or exercise, positive mental attitude, adequate rest along with meditation or deep breathing (yoga style breathe work).    These are all important.

Keep in mind food you digest needs a proper nerve function so the brain can communicate between those organs responsible for that task.

Keep in mind to exercise with efficiency one needs a proper nerve function so the brain can communicate between those organs responsible for that task.

Keep in mind to allow your body to rest, the chemistry of your body needs to regulate, which is a direct function of brain to body and back nerve flow.  Any pressure on nerves exiting the spine will alter this chemistry and possibly affect your sleep.

I think you get the picture.  Hopefully Boyz 2 Men won’t show up at your local pharmacy to sing the drug side-effects on your next prescription.

Consider less harmful and more conservative measures such as natural chiropractic care.

Opioid Addiction

The extent of the opioid addiction and overdose death epidemic in Pennsylvania is appalling, causing at least seven victims to die everyday from drug overdoses. There were over 2500 overdose deaths in Pennsylvania in 2014.

University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study showed that fatal drug overdoses in Pennsylvania increased 14 fold, from 60 million grams – 126 million grams between 1979 and 2014.

Additionally the highest rates of drug overdose deaths were found in counties in southwestern Pennsylvania, those surrounding Philadelphia and in the Northeast near Scranton.

Some estimates are that 80% of current heroin users switched to heroin when prescription opioids became too expensive or too difficult to procure.

In mid February 2016 modern Healthcare took a closer look at the root of the country’s opioid abuse problem and trace it back to 1996 when Purdue Pharma began promoting a new drug to fight pain called Oxycontin. Early on, the medication was billed as being safe because it would slowly release narcotic ingredients, making it unlikely to become addictive.

Nearly Ten Years Later in 2007 Purdue would plead guilty in federal court to criminal charges that they misled regulators, doctors, and patients about the drug’s risk of addiction as well as its potential to be abused.

We need physicians to consider conservative measures first before resorting to prescribing addictive drugs.

Chiropractic has been seen for many years as a suscessful nonpharmalogical way of restoring health.  Many chiropractic studies show high effectiveness and patient satisfaction with the lowest malpractice rates among most healthcare practitioners.

More recently, the Ohio State Attorney General filed a lawsuit at the end of May 2017 against the big drug companies allegedly arguing that these companies knew about, advertised and took advantage of addiction as part of their planned marketing of these drugs to create huge profits… knowing that addicts would drive the money coming in.  

Chiropractic and the “Common Cold”

Chiropractic has been utilized as a treatment for many ailments, but primarily those related to musculoskeletal (MSK) problems, especially back and neck pain. However, there are many people who seek chiropractic services for ailments other than MSK conditions such as colds, flus, or just to “feel better.” Similarly, as chiropractors, we have observed in our own practices that patients will sometimes demonstrate improvement related to the immune system such as reduction of allergy symptoms, a quicker recovery, decreased frequency and/or severity of colds or other respiratory infections, and so on. Back in 1975, the National Institute of Health sponsored a meeting of all the professions that utilize spinal manipulative therapy (SMT). The purpose of the meeting was to review what research existed to support the various theories of SMT benefits and to determine what additional research was needed. The immune system was included as an area of research that was promising but required additional studies. So the question is, what research exists today that supports the theory that SMT does indeed stimulate the immune system and hence, enhance our body’s ability to fight infections and other disease processes?

As one might imagine, conducting research in this area is very challenging. Case reports of isolated cases are available, but due to the difficulty of having a non-treatment control group, being double blinded in the study design, and having a large enough study group to draw strong conclusions (among other factors), gives rise to criticism that chiropractic adjustments or SMT enhances immune function. There is however, a growing body of research that is building the case that SMT does indeed benefit the immune process. For example, a decrease in “pro-inflammatory cytokines” (the “bad guy” chemicals that increase inflammation), and an increase in blood levels of “immunoregulatory cytokines” (the “good guy” chemicals that help stimulate and regulate the immune system) has been reported to occur when SMT is received.

Within the last 10 years, a series of studies have been published that describes this interplay between the nervous system and the immune system as “neural immunoregulation.” In other words, there is a balanced communication (reflexes) between our neurological and immune systems (through cytokines and neurotransmitters). This involves the discovery of a close relationship between the autonomic (sympathetic and parasympathetic) nervous system with white blood cells (macrophages and lymphocytes), which helps explain the “how” SMT helps to support the immune mechanism. The discovery of reflexes between the nervous system and neurotransmitters is an integral part of this process. This process has been shown to occur by a single thrust adjustment applied to the upper back region where the physiologic response by white blood cells increases via this “spinovisceral reflex,” thus reducing the inflammatory response that occurs with colds, flus, etc. This response is best achieved with spinal manipulation producing an audible release of gas (cavitation) or, the “cracking” sound typically found with SMT. Pain generating chemicals have also been found to decrease when SMT was applied in cases with headaches, neck pain/stiffness, and in post-whiplash cervical disk herniations. Other immune markers (IgG and IgM) were also found to increase at least temporarily in subjects receiving upper back SMT.

The “take-home message” here is that there is accumulating evidence that with little to no negative side effects, SMT does indeed enhance and support the immune system. Though these preliminary findings are exciting, we cannot conclude that SMT has the ability to stop or reverse infection, inflammation, or a disease processes. But, it appears appropriate to consider including SMT with other treatment approaches in this patient population – yet another needed area for future research!

If you, a friend, or a family member requires care, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family both presently and into the future.