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The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
January, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 01
Your Services Are Sorely Needed
With so many suffering from chronic pain and dissatisfied with allopathic treatment, is a new era of pain management on the horizon?
By Julie Engebretson
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released its 30th annual report on the health status of the nation, Health, United States, 2006.This document, prepared by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services for the President and Congress, frames a general picture of health and trends in health care utilization, resources and expenditures. While the overall health of the nation seems to be improving or holding steady in many areas, results from the National Health Interview survey highlight the need for appropriate management of one particular condition: pain. Pain was such a prevalent complaint among those interviewed, researchers devoted a special section of the 2006 report solely to this condition. Titled "Special Feature: Pain," this section of the report focuses on pain as it affects various anatomical locations, including the low back, head, neck, face and joints.
As noted, the health of the nation continues to improve in several respects. This kind of improvement is attributable in part to the significant resources devoted to public health programs, research, health care and health education. All in all, life expectancy in this country is continuing a steady, upward trend. But as Americans are living longer, the question remains, "Are they living well?" Between 1999 and 2002, more than 25 percent of Americans over the age of 20 reported suffering pain, of any kind, that persisted for longer than 24 hours. Nearly 60 percent of adults older than 65 who reported pain indicated their pain lasted for an entire year or longer.
Adults 18 years and older were instructed to report whether they had experienced any of four types of pain during the three months prior to interview: low back pain, migraine/severe headache, neck pain, and facial ache in the jaw or joint in front of the ear. Respondents were asked to report only pain in the above-listed regions that lasted an entire day or more, excluding minor aches and pains. Low back pain was the most commonly reported of the four types of pain, the most common cause of job-related disability, and a leading contributor to missed work and reduced productivity. Though the percentage of adults reporting low back pain has remained stable in recent years, women of all ages, race and ethnicity groups and income levels reported experiencing low back pain more frequently than men. According to a 2003 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine, more than 100 million people suffer from low back pain and approximately $25 billion a year is spent in search of relief. This study showed that massage therapy provided better results and reduced the need for painkillers by 36 percent, as compared to other therapies.
The second most frequently reported chronic pain type in the CDC survey was severe headache and/or migraine. "In 2004, 15 percent of adults reported migraine/severe headache and 15 percent also reported neck pain. Adults 18 to 44 years of age reported migraine/severe headache pain almost three times as frequently as adults 65 years and older." The survey also revealed that severe headache pain was particularly prevalent among women still in their reproductive years. According to an August 2006 study in the Annals of Behavior Medicine, people receiving massage therapy exhibited fewer migraines and better sleep quality during the weeks they received the therapy, as well as three weeks following their massage therapy treatments. Study participants who did not receive massage therapy did not fare as well in finding relief for their migraine headaches. Massage also is believed to increase serotonin levels, which help to regulate sleep, mood and appetite.
Overall, the prevalence of severe joint pain increased with age. The knee was the site of joint pain most commonly reported, followed by the shoulder, fingers and hips. According to the report, "almost one-third of adults age 18 years and over and one-half of adults age 65 years and over reported joint pain, aching, or stiffness (excluding the back or neck) during the 30 days prior to interview." Results varied also by race and income. On a related note, the number of hospitalizations to replace painful hips and knees has increased substantially since 1992 and 1993.
The prevalence of pain among U.S. adults also was measured by the use of prescription narcotics. The numbers are quite shocking. According to the report, "Between 1988-1994 and 1999-2002, the age-adjusted percentage of women reporting narcotic drug use in the month prior to interview increased by almost one-half, from 3.6 percent to 5.3 percent. During this period, use of narcotic drugs rose by almost 75 percent among women 45-65 years of age, to 5.7 percent; and by more than 50 percent among women 65 years and over, to 6.8 percent."
The impact of pain, particularly chronic pain, is far-reaching. It can affect everything from one's day-to-day activities and quality of life to the level of employee productivity at America's most powerful corporations. Conventional treatment of chronic pain is time-consuming and often very expensive, particularly over the course of several years. In a recent survey conducted by the American Massage Therapy Association, 98 percent of Generation X respondents believed massage was an effective way to relieve pain and 37 percent of those already have used massage therapy to ease and relieve chronic pain. In fact, pain is such a prominent health care issue that the 106th U.S. Congress passed Title VI, Sec. 1603, of H.R. 3244, declaring the period between Jan. 1, 2001 and Dec. 31, 2010 the "Decade of Pain Control and Research."
As Americans are living longer, frustration with conventional approaches to pain management is evident. In fact, the CDC report speculates that pain among older adults often goes unreported due to many simply giving up, "and skepticism about the beneficial effects of potential treatments." With so many Americans in pain and dissatisfied with conventional treatment options, massage therapists may have a real opportunity to take the lead in a new era of pain management.
For a copy of Health, United States, 2006, including the section, "Special Feature: Pain," please visit www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm. For a copy of the 2006 AMTA Consumer Survey, visit www.amtamassage.org.
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