The Natural Health and Healing Center

 

 

Chiropractic

What is chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a natural, hands-on method of healing. The Greek word Chiropraktikos, meaning “effective treatment by hand” is the origin of the word chiropractic. Chiropractors correct subluxations in the spine. Subluxation is a $10 word that means the vertebra is out of place. Not necessarily dislocated, but it is not quite where it belongs.

A subluxated vertebra does not move quite normally. Have you ever had your arm in a cast? When a joint doesn’t move for weeks, it becomes hard to move it. It is stiff and sore. It is the same when joints in the spine become subluxated. Along with the stiffness and pain from a subluxation, much of the nervous system can be affected. Most of the nerves in your body must travel through openings in the spine in order to get to your central nervous system. When the joints of the spine become stiff, sore and swollen from a subluxation, the nervous system is adversely affected. A chiropractor corrects subluxations.

Correcting subluxations can help to restore health. It can also prevent future health problems. If a vertebra is subluxated and doesn’t move very well, it becomes prone to degenerative changes (arthritis)

Since chiropractic does such a good job in relieving musculoskeletal pain, many think of them as bone doctors. In reality a chiropractor is a doctor who helps the nervous system to help the body to heal itself. Any person, with any disease process like asthma, allergies, digestive disorders, headaches, and, of course, neck and back pain can benefit from chiropractic adjustments.

How long has chiropractic been around?

Chiropractic, as we know it, was developed in 1895 by Daniel David Palmer. In truth, spinal manipulation has been an effective healing art for thousands of years. In the 19thcentury there were “bonesetters” who practiced a healing art much like chiropractic. The ancient Egyptians and the ancient Chinese both practiced spinal manipulation as a healing art. Hippocrates also used spinal manipulation.

Is a chiropractor a “real” doctor?

Usually when people say the word “doctor” they mean doctor of medicine. There are other kinds of doctors, doctors of osteopathy, doctors of dentistry and doctors of chiropractic. Every state in the union licenses chiropractors as one of the three major providers of health care, along with medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy. A chiropractor, after his undergraduate education, is required to have 4,500 hours of classroom study—comparable to the number of hours a medical doctor goes to school. Several board exams must also be passed for a chiropractor to obtain a license. Doctors of chiropractic and doctors of medicine must pass the same basic science National Board Examinations. In addition, each state administers its own State Board Examination which chiropractors must also pass.

What kind of education does it take to become a chiropractor?

The Council on Chiropractic requires 4,200 hours of education. The chiropractic colleges require between 4,800 hours and 5,200 hours for graduation (depending on the college). The average total number of hours of anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, public health, physiology, and pathology taught in the chiropractic schools is a little over 1,400. In three medical schools sampled, it was around 1,200. Chiropractors spend a significant amount of time with hands-on learning of adjusting and other manual therapy (a little under 2,000 hours on average). They must also spend time in a clinical internship.

To quote the American Chiropractic Association, “Doctors of chiropractic — who are licensed to practice in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in many nations around the world — undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. In some areas, such as anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition and public health, they receive more intensive education than their MD counterparts.”

Will I have to have x-rays?

The decision to have x-rays is on an individual case basis.

Are chiropractic adjustments safe?

Chiropractic care can help you to avoid drugs and surgery, both of which are much more risky than chiropractic. A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine on June 3, 2003, proves that spinal manipulation, or chiropractic adjustment, is an effective alternative to drugs and surgery for back pain. Chiropractors have known this for decades.

To quote the article, “Spinal manipulation was more effective than sham therapy and therapies already known to be unhelpful.” The article goes on to say that chiropractic is at least as effective as general practitioner care, pain killers, physical therapy, exercise, or back school.

Not only is spinal manipulation/adjustment by doctors of chiropractic safe, it also saves money and gets patients back on their feet faster than other forms of care. Chiropractic adjustments cost less per-visit than visits to other providers of musculoskeletal care. In addition, patients receiving chiropractic care take fewer prescription drugs and undergo fewer expensive diagnostic tests.

Can I have chiropractic care after back surgery?

Yes, in fact it is beneficial. Surgery and scar tissue create imbalances that can be effectively corrected by a chiropractor. Chiropractors are thoroughly trained to safely, and gently correct spinal imbalance.

Chiropractors spend far more time in the classroom learning manipulation than any other profession. Although the osteopathic profession has a history of performing spinal manipulation, osteopathic schools generally only offer instruction is spinal manipulation on an elective basis. Medical doctors receive no training in spinal manipulation. Of ten physical therapy schools surveyed, none taught spinal manipulation.

Chiropractors on the other hand have an average of 555 hours in adjustive techniques/spinal analysis. In addition, during internship, two years of hands-on clinical experience are focused on manipulation/adjustment as the primary treatment procedure. Under the auspices of all chiropractic colleges, students are required to pass a practical examination on their manipulation/adjustment skills and a clinical competency exam prior to this internship.

How long will I have to come for treatment?

Every individual is different, as are their goals for care. Treating to relive pain takes less time than does rehabilitating and stabilizing the situation to prevent future problems. Some people like to get regular chiropractic care to balance and optimize the function of the nervous system.

Could I become addicted to chiropractic?

Chiropractic is a healthy, natural thing, not an artificial thing that you can become “hooked” on. The relief chiropractic care will provide after an injury will last quite a while, just as you would expect any other effective treatment to work. Once the health problem is brought back into control, therapy (chiropractic or any other therapy) can cease.

Chiropractic has benefits that extend beyond pain relief. It is a feeling of being in balance and of having optimum health. People who receive chiropractic adjustments are often surprised at the sense of well-being associated with being in balance. If they take care of themselves, exercise and eat right, this feeling lasts.

Some people like the feeling of being in balance and return for chiropractic care from time to time. It is like massage, exercise or anything else that you do that is of benefit to your health. But if you think that you “have” to keep coming to a chiropractor once you start, you are mistaken.

Celebrities Use Chiropractic

San Diego Padres players, Tony Gwynn, Trevor Hoffman and Woody Williams were featured in Chiropractic Products magazine. Two hours before a game several players receive chiropractic adjustments. U.S.Olympic speed skater Derek Parra, holder of three American records is a chiropractic patient. The ACA officially sponsors Parra who says, “I’ve always believed in chiropractic care. I’ve used a lot of other treatments for injuries and pain, but the problem doesn’t get fixed until I go to a chiropractor. I tell other athletes about chiropractic care, too.”

Three-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong is a chiropractic patient. According to USA Today, after a Tour stage, he’ll get fluids and amino acids, take a shower, get a massage and get a chiropractic adjustment.

Singer Janet Jackson is a chiropractic patient. An article in the Chicago Tribune reports that Janet Jackson credits chiropractic for helping her to handle pressure.

Chiropractic is widely used by NFL players. According to JMPT,77% of NFL trainers have referred a player to a chiropractor. Thirty-one percent of NFL teams have a chiropractor on staff. An additional 12% of teams refer to chiropractors but do not have one on staff.

To quote Arnold Schwartznegger, who praises the chiropractic profession, “Chiropractic is about health and fitness. Chiropractic is about natural, preventive health care. I have experienced this for the last 30 years myself on my own body, that whenever I have a problem or even if I don’t have a problem and I go to a chiropractor, my problems are gone for a long time.”

If chiropractic is good enough for these elite stars and athletes, shouldn’t you give it a try?

Chiropractic a Question of Balance.

Perhaps the best known form of maual therapy is chiropractic. There are many techniques and professions that address the musculoskeletal system, using it to have a profound effect on health.

Posture and Muscle Balance

To simply say that poor posture stresses the spine doesn’t really convey how much of a burden poor posture is on your health. The most obvious problem caused by poor posture is muscle tension. Muscle tension is merely the tip of the iceberg. Poor ergonomics (which is Latin for “rules of work”) causes stress and strain. Habits like reading in bed and cradling the phone between your ear and shoulder can create problems.

Your body doesn’t know the difference between a muscle that is doing work and one that is in spasm. The body has to supply nutrients and oxygen to a muscle that is in spasm, and that muscle produces waste products. Muscle tension requires energy and is a major cause of chronic fatigue.

Subluxations

Poor posture creates tension in the small muscles in the spine, called multifidi. These muscles are an inch or two long and connect individual vertebrae. Chronically poor posture creates spasms in these muscles, which in turn cause distortions in the alignment of individual vertebra These misalignments are called subluxations. Other areas of the spine may not be subluxed but do experience a lack of normal motion; these are called fixations.

Have You Ever Had Your Arm in a Cast?

Have you have ever had a cast on your arm, leg or other broken bone, and that cast kept a joint from moving? Remember how hard it was to move the joint when the cast was removed? The spine is dozens of joints and is meant to be highly mobile. Chronic subluxations and fixations create stiffness and lack of mobility similar to that of a joint that has been placed in a cast.

The Whole Nervous System is Affected

Virtually every nerve in the body passes through the spine. When the spine contains subluxations, fixations, and muscle spasm the nervous system is affected. The obvious manifestation of this is pain and discomfort. Pain and discomfort is caused by stimulation (or irritation) of the nerves that emerge from the spine.

Sometimes the pain is severe, sometimes it is merely annoying. Pain is what brings most people to chiropractors. Chiropractors adjust (manipulate) subluxations and fixations to relieve pain and discomfort. It works very well. Chiropractic, as we know it, has been around for a hundred years. Spinal manipulation, however, has been practiced since the time of the ancient Egyptians and has a pretty good track record of improving health and relieving pain.
The Spinal Nerves

The spinal nerves are responsible for feeling pain (and other sensations) and for the movement of muscles. They emerge from the spinal column and are responsible for feeling and movement throughout the body.
Pain, weakness and other symptoms caused by irritation of spinal nerves are what usually bring people to chiropractors. To most people, the value of chiropractic is its ability to relieve neck, back and other musculoskeletal pain. Even chronic distortions of the spine, while taking a little more time, can be relieved through chiropractic care.

The Autonomic Nervous System

While it is clear to many people that chiropractic is effective in treating neck, back and musculoskeletal pain, they may not fully realize that chiropractic helps the function of another part of the nervous system, the autonomic nervous system.

In the autonomic nervous system there are clusters of nerves, called ganglia along side of the spine. The ganglia handle automatic functions (they work autonomously). When you eat, you don’t have to tell your stomach to produce acid for digestion. When you run, you don’t have to tell your heart to beat faster to supply blood and oxygen to your legs. These functions happen automatically. Think of the brain as the president of the company. The president isn’t involved with every detail of the running of that company. There are heads of various departments, marketing, accounting, sales etc. These department heads are like the ganglia of the autonomic nervous system.

Chiropractic Care Can Improve Every Function of The Body

People often think of chiropractors as treating bones, but in reality they treat the nervous system. If you take a rubber band and put it around your arm, your hand will become numb, tingle and then ache. You have interfered with the nerve and blood supply. Similarly, subluxations and fixations affect your body. Spinal nerves are affected, causing pain and weakness and the autonomic nervous system is affected causing dysfunction in various organs. When you place a rubber band around your arm, the effects are felt in a few minutes. Pressure from subluxations and fixations, when chronic, are usually more subtle and their effects are felt over time.

Relieving subluxations and fixations create a sense of well-being and improves health. Ask any person who has been going to a chiropractor for a long time. Chiropractic is effective for relieving pain, but its real strength lies in its ability to improve the health of the nervous system and the rest of the body. Chiropractic is a holistic profession which helps to ensure a lifetime of good health.

Chiropractic and PMS

A study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics (Nov/Dec 1999:22(9), pp582-85) shows that chiropractic may be beneficial to women suffering with PMS. It was a small study; 25 women were given either chiropractic adjustments or “sham” adjustments and evaluated over 9 months using a standard PMS questionnaire. The women receiving the chiropractic care reported a decrease in symptoms.

Chiropractic Benefits Fibromyalgia Patients

In this study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics(23(4): 225-230. May 2000.), researchers tried to determine if spinal manipulation and ischemic compression could effectively help fibromyalgia patients. The goal was to reduce the sleep disturbance, the intensity of pain, and the fatigue associated with fibromyalgia. After 30 treatments, more than 3/4 of the study participants had reduced pain intensity. Sleep quality improved in almost 2/3 of the participants. 3/4 of the participants experienced less fatigue. These improvements were sustained even one month later. The findings suggest that chiropractic can benefit fibromyalgia patients.

Chiropractic Best for Spinal Pain

Research shows manipulation is better than acupuncture or drugs for spinal pain. In a controlled, clinical trial (published in Spine 2003; 28: 1490-1503). Patients were treated with spinal manipulation, acupuncture or Celebrex (unless the patient had used it previously. The next drug of choice was Vioxx, followed by paracetamol).

Patients were evaluated on the first visit, and at two, five and nine weeks after the first treatment. Pain was evaluated with subjective questionnaires and objective orthopedic tests.

Chiropractic was found to be superior to both medication and acupuncture with objective tests in all area but one. The exception was the visual analog scale for neck pain, in which acupuncture produced slightly better results.

Range of motion tests all show the superiority of chiropractic adjustments. An interesting note, the group receiving chiropractic adjustments showed 47% improvement on the health questionnaire. This was a better result than acupuncture, which scored 15% improvement. It was also a better result than medication, which showed an 18% improvement.

The authors said that spinal manipulation may be superior to needle acupuncture or medication for patients with chronic spinal pain (with the exception of those with neck pain—where it was outperformed by acupuncture).

To quote the authors, “Considering that the patients in this study had experienced chronic spinal pain syndrome for an average of 4.5 years in the medication group, 6.4 years in the acupuncture group, and 8.3 years in the spinal manipulation group, it is notable that manipulation, during a maximum treatment duration of nine weeks, achieved asymptomatic status for every fourth patient (27%). This result is superior t the percentages for acupuncture (9.4%) and medication (5%) for short-term outcomes…

“Medication apparently did not achieve a marked improvement in chronic spinal pain and caused adverse reactions in 6.1% of the patients. The adverse symptoms disappeared once medication was stopped.”

Chiropractic Better Than Hospital Outpatient Management of Low Back Pain

Research appearing in the British Medical Journal (1995; 311:349-351), studied 741 men and women between the ages of 18 and 64 suffering from low back pain. Spinal manipulation was not contraindicated in any of the subjects. According to total Oswestry questionnaire scores, patients treated by chiropractors experienced nearly 30% more improvement than the patients treated by the hospitals.

Chiropractic Gives PMS Relief

According to the Journal of Manipulative and Physiologic Therapeutics, (Nov/Dec 1999:22(9), pp 582-65) chiropractic adjustments can help relieve the symptoms of PMS. In a small study consisting of 25 women, one group received a chiropractic adjustment; the other received a “sham” adjustment. The study was nine months long, and researcher using a standard questionnaire found that symptom scores decreased for most of the women in the group receiving the actual chiropractic adjustments.

Chiropractic Good for Golfers

According to the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association, (August, 2000), golfers have learned that chiropractic can both improve their game and speed recovery from injuries. Tom La Fountain, DC, DABCO, has toured with the PGA. He states that up to 85% of the injuries on the PGA Tour and Senior Tour are spinal because golfing puts a great deal of stress on the spine. About 70 to 75% of those golfers receive regular chiropractic treatment.
Fitness and balance are key ways to improve one’s golf game. Professional golfers tend to be in shape all year long. Some pros stretch as much as two hours each day. Chiropractic care can give balance. A balanced foundation is essential for initiation of movement during the golf swing, and a golfer needs a firm foundation to effectively develop force, accuracy, speed, and consistency.

Proper nutrition also plays a role. Adequate essential fatty acids, calcium and magnesium help keep muscles relaxed. Glucosamine and chondroitansulfates can help with degenerative changes.

Chiropractic is Effective for Treating Migraines

127 subjects were involved in this controlled study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (Feb. 2000:23(2), pp91-5). The subjects all had at least one migraine headache per month, based on the International Headache Society standard. The response of the group receiving treatment showed improvement in migraine duration, frequency, and disability. Those receiving chiropractic treatment used less medication than the control group. Of those receiving chiropractic adjustments, 22% reported a greater than 90% reduction in migraines after just 2 months of care. Additionally, another 50% of the group receiving chiropractic adjustments reported significant improvement in the severity of migraines.

This is not the first study supporting the benefits of chiropractic care in the treatment of headaches. Many previous scientific studies have demonstrated that chiropractic care is safe and effective in treating headaches.

Chiropractic Lowers Health Care Costs

A study appearing in the Archives of Internal Medicine (2004; 164:1985-1992), shows that having access to chiropractic care lowers medical costs. Back pain is the second leading reason for physician visits and hospitalization with an annual cost of about $100 billion. The researches analyzed data over a four-year period for health expenditures in 1.7 million health plan members. Of the group, 700,000 had chiropractic coverage and 1,000,000 did not. Those with chiropractic coverage had lower annual expenditures for health care than those without the coverage. The average cost per year for a member with chiropractic coverage was $1463, compared to $1671 per year cost for a member without chiropractic coverage.

The authors concluded that access to chiropractic may reduce overall health care expenditures. There are several reasons for the reduction in cost. Substituting chiropractic for medical care for spine conditions is less expensive. Those with chiropractic coverage were more likely to use conservative, minimally invasive treatment. Access to chiropractic care is not only good for patients clinically, it saves money.

Chiropractic More Widely Used for Worker’s Compensation

According to research published in the July, 2000 issue of the Journal of the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic is more effective at getting injured workers back to work faster and for less cost than standard medical care. The effectiveness of chiropractic to help injured workers is wearing down the medical prejudice against chiropractic. As a result, medical doctors are referring more patients with work-related injuries to chiropractors.

Several studies comparing medical and chiropractic care for work- related back injury, reflect favorably on chiropractic. One study showed that chiropractic consistently offered a 2-to-1 superiority in results. Chiropractic care is also cheaper; another study found that treatment costs in cases managed by doctors of chiropractic increased only 12% between 1986 and 1989, compared to treatment costs for cases handled by medical doctors, which increased by over 70% during the same period. Doctors interviewed for the article report that the most common injuries they treat are back injuries. Also common are postural-type strains to the neck and upper back and repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis.

Chiropractic adjustments have proven effective in reducing pain and returning employees to work sooner, but worker’s compensation laws vary so much around the country and there is still some lingering medical bias against the profession. As a result, some injured workers are prevented from seeing a chiropractor.

There is some confusion with certain employers. Some managers in small to medium sized companies may not understand their responsibilities as employers. Some do not even know that injured workers are allowed to see chiropractors.

There is still some medical bias against chiropractic in America, more so than in other countries. For example, the Japanese favor the most cost-effective healthcare provider, but American companies favor medical doctors, even when chiropractic may be less expensive or more effective. The prejudice against chiropractors is eroding because of the effectiveness of chiropractic and because of the lower cost—saving money for companies and their insurers.

Chiropractic Safe and Effective for Back Pain

A study published in Annals of Internal Medicine on June 3, 2003, proves that spinal manipulation, or chiropractic adjustment, is an effective alternative to drugs and surgery for back pain. Chiropractors and their patients have known this for decades.

To quote the article, “Spinal manipulation was more effective than sham therapy and therapies already known to be unhelpful.” The article goes on to say that chiropractic is at least as effective as general practitioner care, pain killers, physical therapy, exercise, or back school.

Information not contained in the Annals of Internal Medicine article: The Canadian Manga Reports found that chiropractic care is safer, more effective and less expensive than medical care. Many medical treatments for low back pain are questionable, untested, or even harmful in nature. The federal government’s guidelines on low back problems found that spinal manipulation was the only treatment that can relieve symptoms, increase function and hasten recovery.

Low back pain is one of the most pervasive conditions afflicting Americans today. It is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor (followed only by upper respiratory infections). Medical doctors now refer patients to doctors of chiropractic more than at any time in the past.

Chiropractors: Your Best Choice for Spinal Manipulation

More and more research is demonstrating the effectiveness of spinal adjustments for the treatment of a variety of health problems. Spinal manipulation is becoming more popular and is beginning to be practiced by professionals other than chiropractors. While other practitioners may take a seminar or add manipulation as an adjunct, chiropractors have been doing spinal adjusting for over a century and are extensively trained in it.

Chiropractors spend far more classroom time learning manipulation than any other profession. The osteopathic profession has a history of performing spinal manipulation, but as a profession, they have gotten away from it. Most osteopathic schools now only offer instruction is spinal manipulation as an elective. Medical doctors do not recieve training in spinal manipulation. Of 10 physical therapy schools surveyed, none taught spinal manipulation.

Chiropractors on the other hand have an average of over 500 hours in spinal analysis and adjusting (spinal manipulation) techniques. In addition, they receive two years of hands-on clinical experience that is focused on manual manipulation (also called “adjusting”) as the main treatment procedure. In chiropractic colleges, all students are required to pass a practical examination on their adjusting (manipulation) skills and a clinical competency exam before entering their internship.

Not only is chiropractic adjusting safe, it saves money and it gets patients back on their feet much more quickly than other forms of care. Chiropractic adjustments are cheaper per-visit than visits to other professional who provide musculoskeletal care. Chiropractic can further reduce health care costs because patients receiving chiropractic care take fewer prescription drugs and undergo fewer expensive diagnostic tests.

Lung and Asthma

The lungs are two sacks of a soft, spongy like material. The trachea is a rigid tube that connects the mouth with the bronchia. The bronchia are two tubes that come off of the trachea and go into each lung. The bronchia further split into several bronchioles, and the tubes split further and further, and get smaller and smaller until they end at the alveoli. The alveoli are thin air sacs at the ends of the bronchioles. The average adult has 600 million of these air-filled sacs. The membranes of the alveoli are where the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide occur with the pulmonary capillaries.

The capillaries bring carbon dioxide rich air to the alveoli, which are rich in oxygen. The gasses are exchanged across the membrane of the alveoli. These membranes are prone to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is when chemicals or other toxins release an electron that causes damage (see antioxidants). Think of the free electron as a chemical “bullet”. Antioxidants are like bullet proof vests that protect the cells.

The alveolar membranes are easily damaged by smoke and chemicals. Damage to the alveoli makes them useless for oxygen/carbon dioxide exchange, turning them into inert sacs. The lungs make use of water-soluble antioxidants like vitamin C, glutathione and N-acetyl cysteine for protection.

Here are some facts about lung disease:
•Lung disease and breathing problems are the number one cause of death for babies under one year old, accounting for about one-third of infant deaths.
•The lung is a major target of infection in people with AIDS.
•Lung disease is the number one disabler of American workers.
•Lung disease strikes people of all ages and races, but the overall lung disease death rate for black Americans is a little over 20% higher than it is for whites.
•Acute respiratory diseases account for almost two-thirds of school absenteeism attributed to acute conditions.
•Cigarette smoking is the major cause of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
•Americans spend over 400 million days in bed each year due to acute respiratory conditions such as influenza (flu) and the common cold.

A pulmonary function test can help diagnose lung disease if you have early warning signs of lung disease such as shortness of breath or fatigue. These tests can assess the severity of functional impairment, determine your suitability for certain jobs or activities, and follow the progress of the disease and its response to treatment and cardiopulmonary rehabilitation.

One quick and easy test to see if you have adequate lung function is to light a match and hold it at arms length. See if you can blow it out without pursing your lips. If you cannot, you may need to look further into the health of your lungs.

Lung cancer

Lung cancer is the most common fatal cancer in the U.S., and has increased in recent years more than any other cancer. The main cause of lung cancer is cigarette smoking, which is responsible for about 87% of lung cancer cases.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)

Two lung diseases fall under the category of COPD: bronchitis and emphysema. Both conditions are largely caused by smoking and often occur together.

Bronchitis

Bronchitis affects 13.5 million Americans and is the sixth-ranking chronic condition in the country. Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of the bronchial tubes that connect the windpipe to the lungs. When the lining is inflamed, excess mucus is secreted and airflow to the lungs is disrupted. This creates a cough to get rid of the mucus and unclog the tubes.

Emphysema

Emphysema is a severe lung disease that develops gradually over a period of time. It affects about 1.9 million Americans, most of whom have been smokers for years. Portions of the lungs become so damaged they will not expand or contract with breathing. The lungs become rigid with trapped gases in the alveoli that cannot escape. Because the lungs are not efficient in exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide, the heart has to work harder and becomes damaged. The damage is irreversible, and death due to heart disease is often the result of emphysema.

Occupational lung diseases

People who are exposed to particles in the air such as coal dust and asbestos fibers are at risk for developing occupational lung diseases called pneumoconiosis, including the following:
•Occupational asthma: Dusts and chemicals at the worksite may trigger an asthma attack.
•The most effective treatment of occupational asthma is to avoid the substance triggering the attack.
•Black lung: This lung disease is a common name for coal worker’s pneumoconiosis, caused by exposure to coal dust over many years. The result is impaired lung function.
•Asbestosis: This lung disease is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers, which irritate the lungs and cause thickening of the walls of the lung’s alveoli. Lung cancer may be a result of asbestosis, especially if the worker also smokes. Workers may not show signs of disease for 30 years or more after exposure to asbestos.
•Silicosis: Breathing silica dust, such as that found in rock, granite and marble industries, cause this lung disease.
•Berylliosis: A disease of the lungs caused by inhaling dust from the metal beryllium usedin nuclear reactors and missile systems.

Major acute pulmonary infections (influenza and pneumonia)

People at risk for pulmonary infections are those with weakened immune systems, such as the very young, very old, those with chronic respiratory or circulatory problems, and those with weakened immune systems from congenital deficiencies, medications and AIDS.

Obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a breathing disorder in which the upper airway frequently collapses during sleep. This results in cycles of subconscious awakenings that, in severe cases, can occur several hundred times a night. Suffers of sleep apnea experience excessive daytime sleepiness or reduced cognitive function such as memory loss and lack of concentration. They may also experience oxygen desaturation, an increase in heart rate, and elevated blood pressure during the apnea episode. Sleep apnea has also been associated with increased risk of cardiovascular morbidity and mortality due to angina, stroke and heart attack, and accidents caused by excessive daytime sleepiness.

The National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research estimates that about 20 million people in the U.S. suffer from sleep apnea, yet less than 3% of those afflicted know the cause of their fatigue or other symptoms. There are over 1500 sleep disorders clinics in the U.S., which have “sleep labs” to diagnose this disease.

Asthma

Asthma, the seventh-ranking chronic disease in the United States, is a condition where a person’s airways are often inflamed or swollen, making breathing very difficult. Affecting more than 15 million diagnosed Americans (some experts estimate an equal number are undiagnosed), asthma is triggered by substances or events which cause the airways leading to the lungs to become more inflamed or swollen than usual. This may cause a person to feel breathless, wheeze, and/or cough.

Unfortunately, asthma can kill — almost 5,000 Americans die from asthma every year. And, asthma is on the rise, especially among children. This year, asthma will cost the U.S. economy over $3.6 billion in direct health care costs with an additional $2.6 billion in indirect costs.

Asthma will often respond to treatment of the adrenal gland, hidden allergies or digestion. Fixing underlying health issues is often valuable for the asthmatic patient.

Dietary / Lifestyle Guidelines:

This is an area where you want to have adequate diagnosis and treatment. Diet and lifestyle changes are directed toward general health—in other words the same habits that are good for every other condition will apply here. These include:

1. Drink an adequate amount of water each day:(adults): Water is necessary to keep the cells hydrated and protected, to eliminate waste and ensure the health of mucus membranes.

2. Eat plenty of vegetables: Plenty means that at least half of the food eaten (by volume). Vegetables are very high in fiber, vitamin C, folic acid and minerals.

3. Avoid deep fried food, partially hydrogenated oil and hydrogenated oil: As time passes, we keep finding out more and more bad things about hydrogenated oil and fried foods. Hydrogenated oils are pro-inflammatory and can be incorporated into membranes, weakening them and making them more prone to microbial and chemical invasion.

4. Avoid refined sugar: Refined sugar increases insulin and adrenal hormone production and can cause the body to excrete essential minerals and increases the body’s need for vitamins B & C.

5. Avoid refined carbohydrates: They create all of the same health problems created by refined sugar.

6. Avoid chemical additives: Avoid processed foods and chemicals. The average American consumes 10 pounds of chemical additives every year. This has had a devastating effect on our health.

7. Eat slowly, chew your food thoroughly:Ideally, you should chew food until it is liquid.

8. Exercise regularly:Your health care practitioner will discuss exercise with you.

Manual Therapy Works Well for Neck Pain

Manual Therapy Works Well for Neck Pain

According to Annals of Medicine (May 21, 2002;136:713-722, 758-759), manual therapy may be more effective than other treatments like exercise or pain medication. Manual therapy is a “hands on” technique, in which the neck is manipulated to improve mobility (not unlike a chiropractic adjustment). In the study, researchers slowly moved the neck, within the patient’s range of motion, using pressure, slowly applied.

Subjects included 183 patients were given exercise therapy, manual therapy, or care from their doctors (pain medication, exercise advice, etc.). Patients were allowed to continue with any medication that they were taking. More than two-thirds of the patients receiving manual-therapy experienced either complete recovery or much improvement. A little over half of those on exercise therapy and just over a third of patients continuing their usual care experienced improvement.

Olympic Athletes Choose Chiropractic

Olympic athletes have found that chiropractic is not only good for injuries, but also helps to improve performance. Nicole Freedman of Stanford, California, qualified for the 2000 USOlympic squad as a cyclist at the Olympic Team trials in Jackson, Mississippi, after being receiving a chiropractic adjustment. She had told her chiropractor that she thought she needed an adjustment to be at her peak performance.

Dr. Jan Corwin, a past president of ACA’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness, said of the athletes he treated in Korea(1988), “They were totally into it. I had so many patients while I was there, I didn’t even have time to eat. By the time I left SeoulI had lost 12 pounds.” Dr. Corwin went on to say, “At least 50% to 75% of all the athletes I treated had prior chiropractic care and were very aware of the benefits of chiropractic to them as athletes.”

Chiropractic has grown in popularity among athletes because of the good care athletes have received from chiropractors all over the country. The list of athletes who have been treated with chiropractic is impressive. Olympic stars like Carl Lewis, Greg Louganis, Willi Banks, Edwin Moses are among the athletes who benefit from chiropractic.

In the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia Sheila Taormina (gold medallist in swimming) and Marisa Pedulla (U.S. Judo Team) each received care from Dr. Steven Horowitz who was the chiropractic physician for the U.S.Olympic medical staff in 1996. Each woman wrote to thank Dr. Horowitz for their care. According to Dr. Horowitz, the athletes were very excited about the chiropractic care given to them. He also notes that the athletes wanted to be sure that he was there for American athletes only. The athletes felt that they did not want Dr. Horowitz to give an advantage to other athletes by providing chiropractic care.