04.29.11

One Illness Away From Bankruptcy

Posted in Marketing & Promotion, Uncategorized at 6:04 AM by Dr. Greathouse

Recently, Blue Shield of California announced its plans to raise rates by as much as 59%, and as the bellwether Golden State goes, so does the nation.

Most Americans fail to realize the huge economic impact of the medical industrial complex until they feel the crunch from unpaid medical bills that caused 62% of all personal bankruptcies filed in the US in 2007, according to study by Harvard researchers.  To the surprise of even the researchers, 78% of those filers had medical insurance at the start of their illness, including 60.3% who had private insurance coverage, not Medicare or Medicaid.

Dr. David Hemmelstein, the lead author of the study and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard, commented: “unless you’re Bill Gates you are just one serious illness away from bankruptcy”.

Not only are costs and bankruptcy skyrocketing, so is accountability.  During the health-care reform debate it was notable that the medical industrial complex — the American Medical Association, the HMOs, big Pharma and the American Hospital Association — was not called before Congress to explain why there is a healthcare crisis wrought with high costs and poor outcomes.

Unlike the Detroit auto executives and Wall Street bankers, whose feet were held to the fire at congressional hearings, the medical cartel avoided such public humiliation and offered no explanations.

In 2006, doctors performed at least 60 million surgical procedures of all types, one for every five Americans.  No other country does nearly as many operations on its citizens.

Although America is touted as the best of the best in healthcare, undoubtedly those many countries whose health statistics are superior to America’s might disagree.

Not only are surgeries rampant, but many are also ineffective and dangerous.  Barbara Stansfield, M.D., MPH of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, reported that medical care is now the third leading cause of death in the United States, causing 225,000 preventable deaths every year as tools to make them safer go unused.  Deaths from prescription drugs now ranks fourth only to cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2000 the US ranked number one in cost, number 72 in population health, 37th in healthcare delivery, with 48 million Americans lacking sick care coverage.

According to Forbes.com, back pain ranks in the top 10 of diseases in America, with over $40 billion spent annually for direct treatment costs and other estimates of indirect costs, including disability & work loss, totaling $100 to $200 billion per year.

Data Provided By J.C. Smith MA, DC

Editorial

Back pain is possibly in the top ten of most mismanaged diseases as well, which leads to higher cost and poor outcomes. This doesn’t have to be, newer data supports more effective and thus less costly assessment and treatment approaches to treating back, neck and extremity pain.We practice outcome orient care! If you need care, give us a call and lets us put things in better perspective in short order. Experience good results at less cost!

Dr. James E. Greathouse

Chiropractic Physician

(312) 725-6314

04.18.11

Declaring war on crap food habits!

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:17 AM by Dr. Greathouse

We’re declaring war on crap food habits! We grazed all day on organic bananas, oranges, sliced cucumbers, and fresh pealed and chopped beets (yes, beets). We also had kiwi for a special snack. Enough of the fatty foods, salty, sugary, refined, processed foods, and simple carbs (that turn to fat). Not to mention, we eliminated the pesticide residues from the fruit & veggies. By the way, the beets taste great, similar to raw carrots, but sweeter & softer, and are supposed to be effective at reducing high blood pressure.

Our organic fruit & veggie supplier is Danielle, in Melbourne Beach. A big perk is that the cost is comparable to nonorganic prices and sometimes cheaper than store bought! For those of you who buy organic, you realize that’s a big plus!

Below please find a notice from Danielle with contact information.

Hello. I just wanted to remind you that we will be receiving a fresh delivery of Organic fruits and vegetables on Tuesdays.  The food will be available from 1PM-6PM (possibly earlier if the truck arrives sooner than expected-feel free to call us to check- 321-373-4599) this Tuesday (5100 Palm DR).  Please note that if you are not able to make it during this time, we completely understand.  Feel free to call us for other times and arrangements at 321-373-4599.  Please note this is a co-op with the intention of delivering fresh, healthy, and cost effective produce to our neighbors and friends. If you think you may be interested this week, please reply to jgilberts@cfl.rr.com .  This will allow us to order appropriately for the amount of people interested.

Please note, all items are a la carte–you choose what works for you.

Special Order Items–Please let us know if you are interested in any of the following so we can pre-order the correct amount:

Organic Eggs (dozen)

Young Thai Coconuts

Organic Isreali Medjoul Dates (#)

Biodynamic Raisins (#)

Biodynamic Almonds (#)

Please feel free to forward this to any of your friends or neighbors who may be interested…

Thank you!

Danielle

321-373-4599

03.10.11

If you have sciatic leg pain… I CAN HELP!

Posted in Uncategorized at 2:15 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Of all the health care practitioners & specialties, with all the bells & whistles out there in the back care world, very few can reliably make an assessment of your problem and tell you, yes, it’s likely we can help you; (with 90% positive outcome ) or, no, it’s not likely we can help you with your sciatic pain. With the McKenzie Method we can!

I have such great confidence and success now with sciatic pain patients, that years ago, before learning this protocol, would have failed trial after trial of different treatment strategies by multiple healthcare providers.

Some sciatic problems do not respond and may indeed require surgery, but that should always be a last resort treatment.

I’m still always amazed when a patient comes in bent over 90 degrees with leg pain to the foot and they walk out upright, without leg pain!

If you or someone you know has mild to severe sciatic pain, it’s well worth a try!

Don’t go through weeks of unreliable meds, physical therapy, traction or standard chiropractic care with poor results, as most do.

Give us a call at 312 725-6314.

03.04.11

Depression After Car Accident Common

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:43 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Frequency, timing, and course of depressive symptomatology after whiplash.

Spine. 2006 Jul 15;31(16):E551-6. Link

CONCLUSIONS: Depressive symptomatology after whiplash is common, occurs early after the injury, and is often persistent or recurrent. This suggests that, like neck pain and headache, depressed symptomatology is part of the cluster of acute whiplash symptoms. Clinicians should be aware of both physical and psychologic injuries after traffic collisions.

We treat personal injury and represent in legal proceedings.

03.03.11

Mechanical Back & Neck Pain

Posted in Uncategorized at 3:13 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Mechanical Pain

Kuritzky, MD. Physician and Sports Medicine 1997;25(l):56-64.

Bend your index finger backward until it’s intensely painful. A biopsy of the finger won’t reveal a tumor, infection or any identifiable lesion, because there is none. But releasing the finger and letting it return to its “position of comfort” will allow the pain to subside.

I want practitioners to understand that surgery is a last resort. If we prescribe mobilization and allow sufficient time, with rare exception, people will get better.

Manual therapy is a viable intervention for back and neck pain!

02.24.11

Power of Positive Thinking Validated

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:49 AM by Dr. Greathouse

Website: http://www.normandoidge.com/normandoidge/MAIN.html

The result is this book, a riveting collection of case histories detailing the astonishing progress of people whose conditions had long been dismissed as hopeless. We see a woman born with half a brain that rewired itself to work as a whole, a woman labeled retarded who cured her deficits with brain exercises and now cures those of others, blind people learning to see, learning disorders cured, IQs raised, aging brains rejuvenated, painful phantom limbs erased, stroke patients recovering their faculties, children with cerebral palsy learning to move more gracefully, entrenched depression and anxiety disappearing, and lifelong character traits altered.

We learn that our thoughts can switch our genes on and off, altering our brain anatomy. Scientists have developed machines that can follow these physical changes in order to read people’s thoughts, allowing the paralyzed to control computers and electronics just by thinking. We learn how people of average intelligence can, with brain exercises, improve their cognition and perception in order to become savant calculators, develop muscle strength, or learn to play a musical instrument, simply by imagining doing so.

Using personal stories from the heart of this neuroplasticity revolution, Dr. Doidge explores the profound implications of the changing brain for understanding the mysteries of love, sexual attraction, taste, culture and education in an immensely moving, inspiring book that will permanently alter the way we look at human possibility and human nature.

02.22.11

Tune-ups

Posted in Spinal Hygiene, Uncategorized at 2:10 PM by Dr. Greathouse

Tune-Ups

Are Regular Interval Visits Good for You?

You Be The Judge

Dr. James E. Greathouse

What are tune-ups? A chiropractic tune-up may also be called palliative care, or wellness care, but in general it’s interval care on a regular basis, of variable frequency to work out the kinks that may be developing in your spine.

Supportive care is provided for those who, for various reasons, have recurrent problems and require care in order to prevent condition worsening.

This is a controversial subject within chiropractic as well as among lay people and other health care disciplines.

For a theoretical rational of why these tune-ups may actually be beneficial please see information below.

Spinal Problems Are Common If you haven’t experienced a back or neck problem yet, chances are you still will at some point. If you have suffered a back or neck problem, studies show you are likely to experience recurrent problems. The highest rate of incidence occurs between 30 and 50 years old, and typically does not involve a significant traumatic event. These are just a few statistical facts.

While chiropractic care isn’t the only effective way to treat spinal problems and it isn’t the end all to management; manual therapy may be a helpful component to prevention and management of problems once they do occur.

Ongoing Problems More Common Than Conventional Wisdom Reports: von Korff based his skepticism of low back pain’s benign natural history on his report that 69% of recent and 82% of non-recent onset patients were still experiencing back pain one year later (146). He later published that 33% of those contacted one year after their low back pain onset were still experiencing back pain with at least moderate intensity, 15% were still having severe back pain, and 25% continue to report substantial activity limitations (147).

In 1998, Croft et al. reported the results of interviews with 490 low back pain patients 3, 6, and 12 months after seeking care for their low back pain. (35) His results were similar to von Korff’s. Only 21% had completely recovered at 3 months. Interestingly however, just as in the 1996 Dillane study, 90% had stopped consulting with their doctors by three months, further discrediting care seeking as a surrogate for recovering. Even at 12 months, 75% of those surveyed indicated they were still not fully functional or without symptoms. A number of other studies also challenge the overly optimistic view of low back pain’s natural history. (26, 113, 142)

These data would seem to be a more accurate reflection of these patients natural history and also clearly portray a far less benign natural history than what guidelines continue to report.

Recoveries Followed by Recurrences Are Common: The second important characteristic of low back pain, and where there’s little controversy, is that it commonly recurs in the form of episodes; as many as 75% who experience their 1st episode of low back pain have a recurrence. (77, 119, 142) 
Croft: “the message from the figures is that, in any one year, recurrences, exacerbations, and persistence dominate the experience of low back pain in the community.” (35) 
Both Croft and van Korff’s data indicates that recurrent episodes often progressively worsen. (35, 147)

Waxman et al. conducted a three-year population based survey concluding that recurrent low back pain is “a mutable (variable) problem with acute episodes blending into longer periods resulting in more disability as time progresses.” (153) “Most persistent disabling back pain is preceded by episodes that, although they may resolve completely, may also increase in severity and duration overtime.”

Family physicians do notice this trend as well. A survey indicated there was nearly universal agreement as to the high rate of recurrences that commonly worsen overtime. (54)

Possible Contributing Factors To Spinal Pain

Sedentary or Inactive Lifestyles Lead to Spinal Stiffness: 
Experimental studies indicate that fixated (immobilized) joints eventually show signs of microscopic adhesions that limit flexibility and extensibility of the tissues. These fibrotic (scar) changes occur in the absence of trauma/injury. These changes result in a related loss of water (dehydration) necessary to lubricate the tissues. Furthermore, because movement affects the orientation of regular ongoing collagen synthesis, the collagen in the immobilized joints was found to be laid down in a more haphazard “Haystack” arrangement (non-conducive to movement). This orientation restricts tissue (and joint) mobility further by adhering to existing collagen fibers. (Maxey; Magnusson, Rehabilitation 2001, p 5)

Annotation: Although these studies are based on fixating joints, it’s reasonable to deduce, that over time, people who are more sedentary or do not regularly stretch or move the spine and maintain an active lifestyle will be prone to similar loss of joint mobility.

Spinal Stiffness & Degeneration Are Common Age Related Problems

It has been documented that the human spine shows signs of degeneration as early as four years old. This degeneration process continues in a linear pattern with varying degrees of severity, until death. It has been maintained that by age 30, there is no lumbar disc that does not show age related degenerative changes. (Ombregt, Bisschop & Veer: A System of Orthopedic Medicine; p729)

The spine stiffens as we age (Grieve).

Age related degeneration is not only due to inactivity but also from microtrauma (normal wear & tear) and repair, many times coupled with episodic, excessive, cumulative & repetitive stress and overload injury. Connective tissues do not regenerate if damaged, but are replaced by inferior fibrous scar tissue. (Evans 1980; Hardy 1989). Scar tissue is less flexible. 

The Stiffening Process is Slow and Insidious 
(Commentary) It’s likely that as gradual degeneration occurs and build-up of scar tissue takes place, the joints gradually become stiffer and joint movement is gradually reduced (hypomobility); which is a form of joint dysfunction.

As the process advances, it may become more evident on x-ray in the form of degenerative changes; ligament calcification and thinning joint spaces. It also becomes more self evident as stiffness and achiness is experienced.

The literature clearly recognizes that degenerative arthritis is a non-inflammatory process and commonly a non-painful, age related process. For example, it’s not uncommon for an individual to experience a painful back or neck, see a doctor, have x-rays taken, and discover that they have moderate to advanced degenerative arthritic changes, but never had prior episodes of pain.

Although a non-inflammatory condition, the stiffness of the tissues probably predisposes one to strains and sprains, which does lead to inflammation and pain to varying degrees.

Muscle Response

In stiffened joints, receptors (nerves that sense movement) can cause both abnormal facilitation (tightness) and inhibition (relaxation/weakness) of muscles (Liebenson, page 19). Thus, stiffened joints can potentially create muscle imbalances, which can lead to inappropriate or abnormal muscle responses to movement. Commentary: When muscular imbalance and joint dysfunction take place, strains and sprains are probably more likely to occur.

Supplementing With Hands On Joint Movement Possibly a Key Component

A key dynamic to getting things moving again is the passive (hands-on) component of spinal joint mobilization.

This is evidenced by x-ray stress studies, whereby it is demonstrated that when actively moving the spine, as in stretching or normal movement, the hypomobile (stiff) segments do not move. Consequently, actively stretching may not ensure all segments are re-establishing movement.

Passive forms of joint movement (hands-on), augments the movement that active stretching fails to achieve, ensuring that the hypomobile (stiff) segments are encouraged to regain movement and joint nourishment.

Remobilization: After repeated mobilizations, these joints gradually return to some degree of normalcy. (Maxey; Magnusson) Rehabilitation 2001, p 5)

Avert Back Problem With Spinal Hygiene

By combining passive joint and soft tissue mobility work (hands on manual therapy), on regular intervals, as well as regular active spinal movement exercises, it may be possible to preserve & improve joint and soft tissue mobility. Thus, in theory, this reduces the chances for acute episodes of pain or injury. In a sense, it’s very similar to dental hygiene.

Your Involvement Is Necessary

Regular active spinal movement exercise, as well as improved postural and body mechanic behaviors, continue to be a necessary continuum for optimal spinal joint and soft tissue health to maintain gains from passive procedures and to reduce the effects of daily stress on the joints. A more active lifestyle is necessary as well. Remember, moderation is a key!

You’ll Be Pleasantly Pleased With The Results!

You will be pleasantly pleased with how much better you feel after passive joint movement has been performed, especially when you are just feeling a little achy and stiff!

Our tune-ups typically include 10 minutes of moist heat, passive manual therapy, including muscle work; so it’s  much like a mini-massage with the extra component of spinal joint mobilization. Typically, these visits are very relaxing and relieving of aches & stiffness. A real feel good experience that likely helps preserve and improve joint & soft tissue flexibility and mobility.

“An ounce of Prevention”

02.09.11

What Causes Back Pain?

Posted in Uncategorized at 11:09 AM by Dr. Greathouse

When asked what causes back pain:

Dr. James N. Weinstein, editor of the medical journal Spine and chairman of the department of orthopedic surgery at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center said it quite honestly: “Probably the most common causes of back pain are just — what’s the best word? — Life’s events”.

02.05.11

Rationing of Healthcare?

Posted in Back Facts (spine), Uncategorized at 8:02 AM by Dr. Greathouse

Is that possible? I like Obama but these politics are concerning. It’s time to take a look!

01.07.11

Accurate Scientific Information Go To Pubmed

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:32 AM by Dr. Greathouse

Anyone can post information on the internet.  For accurate scientific information use the National Library of Medicine’s online site called PubMed.  It is free.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed

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