resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
June, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 06
Newsweek Validates Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Back Pain
By Editorial Staff
Chalk up one more point for the publishers of Newsweek. The magazine devoted nearly half of its Dec. 18, 2002 issue to "The Science of Alternative Medicine," a series of articles that looked at the most popular forms of complementary and alternative care, and the April 26, 2004 issue goes one step further in its promotion of alternative therapies in treating back pain.
In a cover story, "The Great Back Debate," editor Claudia Kalb explores the role back pain has played in American society.While the article examines some surgical options used to treat back pain, it also gives a favorable review of massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and other forms of alternative care.
Back pain is a universal problem; according to the article, an estimated 80 percent of the U.S. population will suffer from back pain at least once, making it the second most common reason for seeing a doctor, following coughs and other respiratory infections. Between medical bills, disability payments, and lost productivity and time at work, the costs of back pain add up to more than $100 billion per year.
One of the reasons back pain is so common, Kalb asserts, is because of the spine's delicate nature. "Like an expensive, but temperamental sports car, the human spine is beautifully designed and maddeningly unreliable," she writes. To complicate matters further, myriad conditions can cause back pain, including physical injuries like degenerated discs, compressed nerves, muscle tears and spasms, and ligament or tendon injuries, as well as psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Small wonder, then, that Kalb labels back pain a "mystifying mix of physical symptoms and psychological underpinnings."
Americans try invasive and costly remedies to treat their pain. The article notes that between 1996 and 2001, spinal-fusion surgery procedures (which cost approximately $34,000 each) increased by 77 percent. In 2001 alone, more than 250,000 spinal-fusion surgeries were performed, the vast majority employed to treat disc problems; however, fusion surgery was originally developed to correct serious instabilities and deformities of the spine, not to treat damaged or herniated discs. As a result, Kalb notes, "many of these procedures simply don't work." The lackluster results seen in spinal-fusion cases and other types of surgery have caused some practitioners to consider simpler, less invasive forms of care.
We've come to the point where we have to think out of the box," said Dr. David Eisenberg, the head of the Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School. "The time is now." Even experienced spine surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein of the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases has cautioned that doctors need to be more selective about choosing candidates for spinal fusion surgery, and that "not everyone who has disc degeneration should have an operation."
So, what's a person with back pain to do? For millions of Americans, the choice has become some form of complementary and alternative medicine, including massage. According to the article, "Massage has seen an increasing number of addicted patients...research shows it can help knead out persistent pain; one study even found that patients took fewer medications during treatment."
The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York employs a variety of alternative health care options, including massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, tai chi, personal trainers and rehabilitation specialists; providers work together for the good of the patient. The facility, which sees about 13,000 patients a year, many of them with bad backs, uses "any noninvasive approach they can find" to relieve pain.
As alternative forms of back pain care have increased, so has the amount of research into these therapies. Dr. Dan Cherkin, a researcher at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Wash., has conducted several large trials on the effectiveness of chiropractic, massage and acupuncture for back pain.
And Dr. Eisenberg is leading a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, using chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, neurologists, orthopedists and other practitioners, to see if there are more efficient and cost-effective ways of treating back pain from a multidisciplinary perspective."
After centuries of agony, humanity could certainly use some relief" from back pain, Kalb concludes. "But more important than the success of any given treatment is the good news that both back pain sufferers and the medical establishment are embracing bold new ways to think about that most exquisite and frustrating work of art: the spine."
If nothing else, the Newsweek story illustrates the value of complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of back pain.
According to the World Press Group, Newsweek is one of the most widely read publications in the world; it is distributed in more than 190 countries and six languages, and has a weekly circulation of approximately 4.4 million (3.85 million in the United States).
Read "The Great Back Debate" Online
If you didn't pick up a copy of the April 26 issue of Newsweek at your local newsstand, fear not: The magazine has a partnership with the Microsoft Network and NBC that allows people to view its stories on the Internet via www.msnbc.com.
Copies of "The Great Back Debate," along with interactive features such as online polls and audio clips, are available www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4767268/
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