06.07.13

From Rio For Chiropractic Care

Posted in Disc Data, Marketing & Promotion at 9:16 AM by Dr. Greathouse

One of my longest traveled referrals. Welcome Anna Mariani from Rio de Janeiro, referred by her sister (right) Carmela Mariani. Thank you Carmela! Anna is making great progress!

Amazing considering doctors in Rio recommended surgery!

Many “surgical cases” have not properly ruled out other more effective forms of conservative care. Always exhuast noninvasive care first!

Go to http://www.greathousechiropractic.com subtopic Disc Herniation Care for more info on effective disc herniation care.

They have no chiropractors in Rio. Hmmm… perhaps I could semi-retire there.

05.17.13

Once Again Another Study Shows Manipulation Helps Back Pain

Posted in Chiropractic, Manual Therapy Works at 3:58 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Hey it works! Study after study demonstrates this and it’s safe too.

So, if you have back or neck pain, give it a go.

Spine:

01 April 2013 – Volume 38 – Issue 7 – p 540–548

doi: 10.1097/BRS.0b013e318275d09c

Randomized Trial

Abstract

Study Design. A randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled, parallel trial with 3 arms.

Objective. To investigate in acute nonspecific low back pain (LBP) the effectiveness of spinal high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA) manipulation compared with the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac (anti-inflammatory) and with placebo.

Summary of Background Data. Few studies have evaluated the effectiveness of spinal manipulation in comparison to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or placebo regarding satisfaction and function of the patient, off-work time, and rescue medication.

Methods. The subjects were randomized to 3 groups:

(1) spinal manipulation and placebo-diclofenac;

(2) sham manipulation and diclofenac;

(3) sham manipulation and placebo-diclofenac.

Results. Comparing the 2 intervention groups, the manipulation group was significantly better than the diclofenac group (Mann-Whitney test: P = 0.0134). No adverse effects or harm was registered.

Conclusion. In a subgroup of patients with acute nonspecific LBP, spinal manipulation was significantly better than nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac and clinically superior to placebo.

05.08.13

Homogenizing and Color Coding Back Pain?

Posted in Back Facts (spine), Guidelines for Treatment at 2:44 PM by Dr. Greathouse

If we could homogenize back pain and then color code it, we could get more people better quicker, at less cost!

Can you homogenize back or neck pain, and how the heck do you do it?

Well, the answer to the first part of the question is yes! As a matter of fact it’s been done already. As for how, I’ll explain as we go. As for color-coding, it could be done!

We’ve all heard of homogenized milk, but what does that mean? To homogenize something means to make uniform in consistency. Now, we’re not making back pain uniform or consistent, we are identifying uniform and consisted attributes to back pain that are more likely to respond to certain types of care.  You see, a very high percentage of all back pain is heterogeneous, meaning, made up of all sorts of causal factors, of which we aren’t really able to reliably diagnose as the cause of the pain.

This heterogeneous group, better known as nonspecific back/neck pain, makes up 85% or more of all back and neck problems, and this creates havoc for people with back and neck problems.

It creates havoc because the lion’s share of the studies done on what treatment works best has been done on the heterogeneous/nonspecific group of sufferers for the past 35 years or so. So, in effect, we find that certain treatments are beneficial in some people but we don’t really know why, or how to select which one will most likely benefit from which treatment. Thus, treatment essentially remains trial & error, at the time, expense and suffering of the individual.

We can now identify certain consistent (homogeneous) characteristics of certain subgroups within this constellation of nonspecific spinal pain sufferers and get better results. This is called “clinical prediction rules” and these are now given for a variety of problems which we have difficulty diagnosing.

As for color-coding, once a subgroup has been identified, it should be coded by a matching color to the type of treatment options that are more suited for that subgroup. That’s my recommendation.

05.06.13

Back & Neck Care – A few facts you should know!

Posted in Back Facts (spine) at 12:41 PM by Dr. Greathouse


Most diagnosis’s given by health care providers are no more than (poorly supported), educated guesses. Health science, (all disciplines with the exception of acupuncture, perhaps) cannot identify the true cause of back or neck pain 85% of the time. This 85% is more accurately called “Nonspecific Back or Neck Pain”.

Some of what we can accurately diagnose as a cause of spinal pain, when present, includes the following: Cancer, fracture, systemic arthritis (lupus, rheumatoid), nerve root compression (actual compressed nerve), visceral disorders and infections. Also, trauma or injury causing a sprain of the joint(s) or strain of the muscle(s), although the specificity of which joint(s) and how severe, is primarily educated guess work.

The following are commonly given diagnosis’s that have no basis or cannot not truly be correlated as the cause of back or neck pain: Subluxations (vertebra out of place), osteoarthritis, degenerative disc or joint disease, disc herniations, muscle spasms, muscle imbalance, muscle weakness, uneven pelvis, foot problems, tight hamstrings, tight hip flexors, weak abdominals, etc.

Most healthcare providers will give you a diagnosis, even if it’s poorly supported by science. That’s because, that’s what we’re taught to do and that’s what you want to hear.

Trauma, Injury, or Tissue Disruption
Most people equate injury to a specific event or occurrence that produces immediate pain or somewhat immediate pain associated with the event. Most case histories of back or neck pain do not bear this out. It’s believed that through repetition or prolonged load or stress, tissues (ligaments, discs, cartilage, tendons) can break down over time. This can lead to both mechanical and chemical pain syndromes. This is called Cumulative or Repetitive Stress Injury. Overload to the tissues as in an accident or overload in an acute abrupt manner is commonly called a Sprain/Strain Injury.

Spinal Sprain Healing Physiology
The healing process is broken down into three phases or stages:
1) Acute Inflammatory Phase: May last several days.
2) Repair Phase: May last up to12 weeks.
Beyond 8 to12 weeks, remedial therapeutic care has little to no value.
3) Remodeling Phase: May last up to 12 months or longer.
At this phase, regular therapeutic movement exercise, at home, benefits the most.
Supportive care may be beneficial, but only on an as needed basis!


Non-Specific Neck or Back Pain: This is a category of spinal pain not a diagnosis! As stated above, this category accounts for 85% of all back & neck problems. In the absence of the more serious causes of pain as listed above, the three most common subcategories of non-specific back or neck pain are mechanical, chemical, and chronic spine pain.

Understanding Mechanical Spine Pain
One form of mechanical pain is akin to bending your finger back until you feel pain. If your finger became stiff, it would hurt sooner if you bent it back, than it would if the joint were normal. For various reasons the spinal joints do stiffen and do hurt when we move. Some experts call this Joint Jysfunction. Therapeutic movement improves mobility and thus reduces pain associated with movement. Therapeutic movement is achieved by the clinician, “passively” or by the individual, “actively”. The ultimate goal is always to achieve results independent of the clinician whenever possible!

Mechanical pain can come from tissue disruption on the inside of the joint as well, similar to having a pebble in your shoe or a wrinkle in your sock that irritates or causes foot pain or discomfort. The internal components (cartilage, disc, meniscus, synovium, ligament) of joints can tear, migrate, swell, off-center or generally derange in all sorts of ways. This disruption can, but not always, produce mechanical pain until some return to normalcy is established. These types of mechanical pain syndromes can be demonstrated quite reliably and many times, will respond to therapeutic movements designed to reduce the deranged tissues in the joint. This type of joint problem is commonly called Joint Derangement. Mechanical pain can be associated with swelling or increased pressure on the tissue due to inflammation.

Chemical Pain
Chemical pain refers to the biochemical irritants associated with the inflammation process itself, and is usually associated with some sort of trauma/injury.

Chronic Back or Neck Pain: Chronic pain can be quite complex and difficult to manage. It’s not typically chemical and once assessed properly, many times responds favorably to mechanical forms of treatment.

Clinical Prediction Rules For Manipulation: In spite of this poor ability to diagnose, we can safely narrow down who might benefit from manipulation by means of established “Clinical Prediction Rules”: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2565597/

A McKenzie (mechanical diagnosis and treatment) assessment is the most reliable and valid way, not to mention successful and safe way, to more accurately assess and manage non-specific spinal pain!

If the problem is mild and purely chemical, it many times will resolve through natural course. If the problem is simple and mechanical, you may be able to work it out independently with movement exercises. At times you may need a little help from a healthcare provider to attain the necessary mechanical therapy (exercise, mobilization or manipulation) to resolve the problem. If the chemical pain is significant, along with a mechanical fault, you may need to resolve the chemical problem first, with medication or rest, before the mechanical issue can be addressed.

Surgery For Herniated Discs
In the absence of an obvious compressed nerve on MRI, associated with profound, progressive neurological deficits, surgery should not be performed unless all conservative measures have been exhausted. Studies show that outcomes are predominantly the same one-year later, with or without surgery, even with disc herniation and neurological deficit.

Alternative Anti-inflammatories
To treat chemical pain (inflammation) without drugs, and fewer side effects and less kidney & liver problems associated with anti-inflammatory drugs, Google, “alternative anti-inflammatory supplements”! Ice packs work well, too.

When you see a chiropractor, your plan of care should look and follow something like this:
Initial care will be directed at resolving potential acute/subacute pain and inflammation residuals with use of appropriate modalities as clinically indicated as well as protective activity modification (posture, body mechanics & ergonomic). Frequent breaks from prolonged standing, sitting, repetitive or prolonged activities are recommended. Specific restrictions given on a case-by-case basis.

Disc derangement (bulge/herniation) treatment and self-management procedures.

Remedial therapeutic care will be directed at preservation and improvement of joint & soft tissue mechanical properties by means of passive (doctor generated) and active (patient generated) mobilization procedures (progressive directional movement), as clinically indicated.

Further rehabilitative exercise may be necessary for functional stabilization. This is addressed on a case-by-case basis as clinically indicated.

This plan of care will be carried out on a trial probationary period of two weeks or less. An interim report will follow at that time with an outcome status and additional recommendations.

If in the event the patient fails to improve within this trial time frame or if the problem remains recurrent, a second medical opinion is advised. We will assist the patient in this referral process.

Treatment Expectations
If you are not experiencing good results within 3 to 5 visits (2 weeks), care is not likely going to benefit you. It’s time for another opinion or approach. The natural history of healing in spinal injury is 6 to 8 weeks. Ongoing treatment beyond this time frame rarely makes you better. Most cases are resolved within 3 to 6 weeks, or less.

04.18.13

Chiropractic vs Drugs

Posted in Chiropractic, Manual Therapy Works, Pain Management, Truths About Back & Neck Pain at 12:08 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Organized medicine considers chiropractic as a “first-line” solution to the opioid epidemic.

Prominent among prescription drug related deaths and emergency department visits are opioid pain relievers (OPR), also known as narcotics or opioid analgesics, a class of drugs that includes Oxycodone, Methadone, and Hydrocodone, among others. OPR’s now account for more overdose deaths than heroin and cocaine combined!
DeBar et al. (2011) reports alarming recent data showing the significant increase in pain med prescription use and the need to seek viable alternatives.

In 2012, Dr. William Owens, a chiropractor from Buffalo, New York, was conferred as an adjunct associate clinical professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Family Medical Practice. He was invited to participate in the research department, to consider a formal study showing the benefits of family practitioners comanaging cases with chiropractors.

Ciffuentes et al., 2011 showed that care provided by physical therapists or physician services was associated with higher disability recurrence than with chiropractic services. Additionally, those cases treated with chiropractic consistently tended to have lower severity, less pain med use and less surgery. Also, the cases were less costly and the patients experienced shorter initial periods of disability.

Other outcome studies show that when chiropractic care was pursued, the cost of treatment was reduced by 28%, hospitalizations reduced by 41%, back surgery was reduced by 32%, and the cost of medical imaging, including x-rays and MRIs was reduced by 37%.

Hey, for what it’s worth, this is pretty much par for the course! Chiropractic outcome studies have always been good. Of course, some chiros abuse the system and give us all a black eye, but, for the most part we do well in managing acute, subacute and chronic spinal problems as well as extremity problems too, like shoulders and knees etc.
Got a back or neck problem? I can probably help. Plus, I can probably teach you to help yourself! If I can’t help, I’ll send you to someone who can. I promise you that.

Chiropractic is a good place to start!

04.12.13

Low Back MRI’s… What are they good for?

Posted in Disc Data, Uncategorized at 8:02 AM by Dr. Greathouse

  1. MRI’s… What are they good for?

    Absolutely nothing! Or at least that’s what it seems when it comes to identifying what’s causing back/sciatic pain related to disc herniation identified on MRI, according to the study below.

    This is not ground breaking news. Other studies have indicated similar conclusions, that, in the absence of nerve root compromise (pinching or compression of the nerve root), identifying a protruding or even extruded disc on MRI has little to no relevance to symptoms of leg pain.

    As one of my high school football coaches (Mark Matheny) used to say, “What’s a mother to do”?

    I think what you must understand about these conclusions is that you should not “make a mountain out of a mole hill” when it comes to disc herniation findings. Some physicians will make a big deal about it and that’s just wrong.

    Most, and I mean most, disc herniations can be treated successfully without surgical intervention.

    We utilize two protocols to conservatively treat disc herniations. The one that works the best, in most cases, is the McKenzie protocol, and the other is Cox’s distraction protocol. The McKenzie protocol is effective for cervical disc herniations a well.

    So, if you have arm or leg pain associated with a disc problem, we can likely help! If you have questions about this topic, please don’t hesitate to call and discuss the issues with me.

    For more information on McKenzie or Cox work, go to my website and look under disc herniation or McKenzie: http://www.greathousechiropractic.com

    Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Follow-up
    Assessment of Sciatica

    The Hague Spine Intervention Prognostic Study Group*
    N Engl J Med 2013;368:999-1007.
    DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1209250
    Copyright ˝ 2013 Massachusetts Medical Society.

    One reviewer wrote: “A recent systematic review concluded that even in the acute setting of sciatica, evidence for the diagnostic accuracy of MRI is not conclusive.”

    Discussion: In summary, in patients who had undergone repeated MRI 1 year after treatment for symptomatic lumbar-disk herniation, anatomical abnormalities that were visible on MRI did not distinguish patients with persistent or recurrent symptoms of sciatica from asymptomatic patients. Further research is needed to assess the value of MRI in clinical decision making for patients with persistent or recurrent sciatica.

03.21.13

Cold Laser, Major League Relief

Posted in Cold Laser at 10:08 AM by Dr. Greathouse

Cold laser therapy devices have been in professional sports and the olympics for many years now. It’s currently now becoming more and more popular and used for the general population as well. Studies have shown that impaired or damaged cells elicit a stronger response to cold light than healthy cells, indicating that light produces the most beneficial effect towards where it’s needed most. Damaged cells absorb and become energized by photon energy. This function has been documented with thousands of clinical studies over the past 30 years. The stimulation produces ATP production and dramatically reduces inflammation,
pain and swelling. Therefore, this modality may be considered a healing process device as it augments compromised tissues and allows the body to heal.

Conditions that respond to cold laser include almost any musculoskeletal problem. This might include shin splints, tendinitis, rotator cuff strain, postsurgical knee pain, arthroscopic portal treatment, planter fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, Morton’s neuromas, carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, low back pain, tennis elbow, ankle sprains, shoulder sprains, and just about any other muscle joint problem you can think of. Our patient highlight includes Edna, who had low back region pain, which we ultimately narrowed down to a sacroiliac problem. Edna responded well to the blocking techniques in an effort to improve on asymmetry of the pelvis, however, she responded even more favorably with the addition of cold laser into the sacroiliac Joint.

On her last visit she told me she felt so good she forgot her cane!


Thanks for allowing me to share Edna.

02.12.13

Depression & Anxiety – Food For Thought

Posted in Mental Health at 3:52 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Mood altering medication is big business nowadays, but it’s not without risk. The meds themselves are implicated with suicidal and homicidal tendencies as some experts have eluded to in the Sandy Hook massacre.

I asked a patient recently if he would be interested in natural alternatives to the mood meds he was taking. Although I explained he should do this under medical supervision, he expressed he was afraid to go off the medication because his depression might return. It’s wonderful he has the depression under control but he did express his concern with the side effects of his medication, some of which are quite alarming! But, none-the-less, he felt he must remain on the medication. It’s a classic catch 22 whereby you must give up health or risk other ill health issues to maintain health. Which is the worse of the two evils? But, if there’s a valid & reliable alternative that’s effective and safer, why would one not explore that possibility?

At any rate, here’s a link with some information that  leads to alternative ways to effectively manage some common mental/psychological issues.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZPRNTjrrbY&feature=related

Remember, always work with your attending physician with these matters.

01.23.13

Cooking Oils Good Bad & Confusing

Posted in Alternative Care, Natural Health, Nutrition at 2:24 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Natural Health
Fats & Oils
Good, Bad, & Confusing

To the point!

Fats & oils, a health topic that is very conflicting, confusing, and as with many health related issues, has many elements of the seven deadly sins. Hopefully, this bit of information will help you to make better-informed choices about the foods you eat that have fats & oils in them.

Polyunsaturated (oils), contrary to some expert opinion, are considered bad by many experts because they are prone to oxidation and free radical production. Processed polyunsaturated oils are extremely pro-inflammatory because of their high reactivity to heat and light.

Soybean oil, cottonseed oil, corn oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil and other similar oils, have a lot of polyunsaturated fats. These are in almost all the baked goods (breads, crackers, chips, cookies, cakes, etc.) that we buy off the supermarket shelves. It seems we are always stoking the inflammation fire in our bodies! As a side note, white or processed flour and sugar are very proinflammarory as well, so we are being exposed to a triple whammy!

It is this inflammatory production that causes or is related to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and other degenerative diseases.

* A confusing but important distinction is polyunsaturated fat sources that are not processed (whole foods like nuts and seeds) are okay, and you need these foods in your diet.

Most vegetable oils that are used in cooking are heavily refined during processing and this makes them pro-inflammatory even before you cook with them.

Saturated fats are now becoming considered the healthiest oils to cook with by some experts. Old science and new science supports this recommendation as they are much more stable and less inflammatory than polyunsaturated oils.

The order of stability of fat when exposed to heat and light from the least stable to the most stable is as follows: polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturated.

Tropical oils such as palm oil and coconut oil (even animal fats such as butter) are best for cooking. They have very little polyunsaturated fat and are mostly composed of natural saturated fats. These are least reactive to heat and light and, therefore, the least pro-inflammatory in your body after cooking.

Many professionals feel that saturated fats are bad for you, however, according to other expert opinion; the reality is they are actually neutral in most instances.

The best cooking or baking fats are generally butter or tropical oils such as palm oil or coconut oil. Olive oil is okay for lower cooking temperatures since it’s mostly monosaturated. This makes it moderately stable. The mostly polyunsaturated oils such as soybean, grape seed, cottonseed, safflower, etc., are the least healthy for cooking or baking.

Look for the bad oils in the list of ingredients in the foods you buy in the store (i.e. breads, cookies & crackers) and avoid them.

Top choices for healthy cooking oils include: Virgin coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, (only low temp cooking), and real butter (grass fed if possible). One expert shared that extra-virgin olive oil was not as good as once thought because it had chlorophyll in it which went bad sooner making the oil rancid (free radicals).

*Bear in mind that even too much of a good thing can be bad as well. Moderation is the key.  Too much of anything is going to make you fat and unhealthy. As a matter of fact, some experts believe that over consumption is one of our main problems. From observation and personal experience, I tend to agree. Your body converts carbohydrates and protein into fat when in excess in the diet, and we all have a tendency to over eat.

Open attached link: The Truth About Saturated Fatshttp://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2002/08/17/saturated-fat1.aspx

Words to the wise, however, do not use this information as an excuse to go animal with your diet, pun intended. There’s plenty of sound evidence that whole food, plant based diets are far healthier for you.  It does; however, seem to leave a little wiggle room for animal fats.  Oils are oils, however, whether animal or plant based and you can get plant-based saturated fats without animals. Plants are more likely to have higher levels of polyunsaturated fats whereas animal fats are higher in saturated and monounsaturated fat. This isn’t a rule, though. For instance, olive oil and canola oil are mostly monounsaturated fat, and coconut and palm oils are mostly saturated fat. As long as the fat is from a natural source and is not cooked or refined it is fairly healthy.

Proteins, carbohydrates and fats are all considered macronutrients. All three are sources of energy. Proteins and carbs can, however, be converted to and stored as fat when consumed in excess. If you eat more food in general, than you need, your body will become a fat hoarder. That means, in effect, that you are unable to part with your obsession to eat.

A few interesting excerpts from The Truth About Saturated Fats:

One reason that polyunsaturates cause so many health problems is that they tend to become oxidized or rancid when subjected to heat, oxygen, and moisture, as in cooking and processing. Rancid oils are characterized by free radicals, that is, single atoms or clusters with an unpaired electron in an outer orbit. These compounds are extremely reactive chemically.

They have been characterized as “marauders” in the body for they attack cell membranes and red blood cells and cause damage in DNA/RNA strands, thus triggering mutations in tissue, blood vessels and skin. Free radical damage to the skin causes wrinkles and premature aging; free radical damage to the tissues and organs sets the stage for tumors; free radical damage in the blood vessels initiates the buildup of plaque.

Extraction: Oils naturally occurring in fruits, nuts and seeds must first be extracted. In the old days this extraction was achieved by slow-moving stone presses. But oils processed in large factories are obtained by crushing the oil-bearing seeds and heating them to 230 degrees.

The oil is then squeezed out at pressures from 10 to 20 tons per inch, thereby generating more heat. During this process the oils are exposed to damaging light and oxygen. In order to extract the last 10% or so of the oil from crushed seeds, processors treat the pulp with one of a number of solvents, usually hexane. The solvent is then boiled off, although up to 100 parts per million may remain in the oil. Such solvents themselves are toxic and also retain the toxic pesticides adhering to seeds and grains before processing begins.

Elevated triglycerides in the blood have been positively linked to proneness to heart disease, but these triglycerides do not come directly from dietary fats; they are made in the liver from any excess sugars that have not been used for energy. The source of these excess sugars is any food containing carbohydrates, particularly refined sugar and white flour. (Think About It !)

The Worst Cooking Oils of All Polyunsaturated fats are the absolute WORST oils to use when cooking because these omega-6-rich oils are highly susceptible to heat damage.

This category includes common vegetable oils such as: Corn, Soy, Safflower, Sunflower, Canola

Damaged omega-6 fats are disastrous to your health, and are responsible for far more health problems than saturated fats ever were.

Trans fat is the artery-clogging, highly damaged omega-6 polyunsaturated fat that is formed when vegetable oils are hardened into margarine or shortening.

I strongly recommend never using margarine or shortening when cooking. I guarantee you you’re already getting far too much of this damaging fat if you consume any kind of processed foods, whether it be potato chips, pre-made cookies, or microwave dinners…

Trans fat is the most consumed type of fat in the US, despite the fact that there is no safe level of trans fat consumption, according to a report from the Institute of Medicine.

Trans fat raises your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels while lowering your HDL (good cholesterol) levels, which of course is the complete opposite of what you want. In fact, trans fats — as opposed to saturated fats — have been repeatedly linked to heart disease. They can also cause major clogging of your arteries, type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.

Pure Virgin Coconut Oil is the most resistant to heating damage, but also a great source of medium chained triglycerides and lauric acid.

So, cleaning these oils out of your kitchen cupboard is definitely recommended if you value your health.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

The emerging medical consensus is that many of our modern day illness(s), as we traverse through our lives, are related to chronic low-grade inflammation of our systems, leading ultimately and indubitably, sooner or later, to a myriad of illnesses that health science calls degenerative diseases. Inflammation, free radical damage and oxidative stress lead to disease, and are implicated in cancer, heart disease, strokes, MS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, fibromyalgia, premature aging and almost any debilitating, degenerative condition you can name.

The sad irony is that many times these illnesses are avoidable, yet, for some reason we continue lifestyle choices that are unhealthy, in spite of the evidence to our detriment!

One reason for the above puzzling behavior on our part might be that we have been conditioned (duped) into believing that check-ups and visits to the doctor for treatment are the main pathways to health. Healthcare and health insurance are harmonious discords, better known as an oxymoron. Health care is actually illness care, and health insurance is illness insurance. It’s wonderful that we have good healthcare, but the reality is that our healthcare system is woefully inept at effectively treating degenerative diseases.

Much of our mind-set, both individuals and the healthcare system, is what I call the Redliner Mentality. We’ve all heard of hitting the redline when it comes to running an engine too hard, whereby if it continues it will become severely damaged. Well, that’s our “healthcare” mentality. We’ve also all heard the story of the patient who just had a health physical, passed with flying colors and died the next day of a heart attack, stroke, or was diagnosed with cancer a short time later, etc. That’s because our screening process for illness and disease, for the most part, only picks up on illness and disease when it is present or has redlined. Many diseases are insidious and only become apparent after redlining. In other words, most degenerative diseases develop by means of slow degradation until you finally present with the full-blown disease or an event such as a heart attack or stroke. In most instances, once the signs and symptoms of cancer are present, you have cancer!  You can’t depend on seeing the doctor!

Another reason we fail to stay healthy is we believe in the system without question.  The way our social system communicates and processes information to the public is thought to be straightforward and transparent; it’s not. Given just this topic, fats & oils, the data remains complicated and confusing.

There’s a multitude of things that contribute to chronic inflammation.   Food is a primary source and one that we have the ability to have a great deal of control over. Cooking oils are some of the primary suspects and a good place to start making positive changes to your diet.

So, in fact, to better ensure your health, you must stop being only a dependent, passive recipient of treatment and become a responsible, proactive steward of your own health as well as your family’s health!

In closing, with respect to the “seven deadly sins” comment; one must always remain vigilant, critically thinking about the data you are given, with respect to your health. That goes for this information I just put forth to you as well. The entities and conglomerates that influence what you are told about what you consume, even in the name of good, can and will pursue the profit margin over your well-being.

12.06.12

New & Improved Back Surgery?

Posted in Back Facts (spine), Disc Data, Guidelines for Treatment at 1:03 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Back Surgery
A recent Chochrane review of medical data bases & libraries to date finds that the latest & greatest modern medicine has to offer in the quest to successfully treat back pain, total disc replacement (TDR), falls short. The review reports that TDR has limited clinical advantage over fusion. In other words, there’s no clinically relevant improvement in outcomes.

This is bad news because the outcomes of spinal fusion are less than stellar in the first place, in fact, they’re poor.

We’ve seen the evolution of back surgery, including fusion, an attempt to stop movement in the offending joints, change 180 degrees, to the disc replacement, trying to preserve movement. Both have demonstrated limited utility in addressing back pain. There are exceptions to the rule but studies and reviews prove that the lion’s share of these procedures are ineffectual and can have significant complications.

Let’s not forget microdiscectomy, chymopapain injections, percutaneous discectomy, percutaneous laser discectomy, and percutaneous arthroscopic (endoscopic) discectomy. These procedures are touted as less invasive, which is a good thing because the other procedures leave behind a wound site that looks like a bad accident, with plenty of scar tissue to follow. Not good! The less invasive procedures did reduce iatrogenic complications, but were only successful for a “select few”! Determining who is a  good candidate for the procedure was and is the problem today.

So what’s my point? The rule in healthcare as it relates to spinal surgery for back or neck pain is; exhaust all conservative forms of care first. Statistically, once this is done your surgical success outcome increases a great deal!

Also note that the outcomes for all or no procedures are about the same in about nine months to a year. So, don’t rush to surgery, there’s usually no turning back after that fails and subsequent surgery outcome stats get worse and worse.

I practice two mechanical treatment protocols for disc problems, with a good success rate I might add, and with little to no complications. Go to GreathouseChiropractic.com for more information on conservative disc treatment protocols with good success rates.

Be Kind To Your Spine

Cochrane Reviews are systematic reviews of primary research in human health care, and health policy. Internationally recognized as the highest standard in evidence-based health care.

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