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News in Brief
Cancer Treatment Centers of America Continues Support of Chiropractic; ACBOH Announces 2013 Practical, Written Exam Dates; PCORI Approves Funding for Research on Spinal Stenosis; Macquarie University to Cease Offering Chiropractic Program.
Medical Payola (Part 2)
Not only has Medtronic made billions selling expensive screws and hardware for highly controversial spine fusions, but a Senate investigation also found Medtronic felt compelled to write and edit medical journal articles attributed to outside physicians that downplayed the risks of the company's best-selling bone graft, Infuse.
Covering Chiropractic as a Profession, Not a Single Service
Recently Dynamic Chiropractic published a front-page article about various state essential health benefits and referred to Oregon and four other states not currently providing chiropractic as a covered benefit.
Let's face it – patient evaluation takes time. Unless you are really into the diagnostic evaluation game, you probably have found the formal exam protocol tedious if not downright annoying.
In a previous column, I discussed the history and definition of evidence-based practice (EBP), and expressed concerns with how the concept has been narrowly construed by some academics and payers.
Calcium Supplements and Mortality
When the National Institutes of Health's AARP Diet and Health Study reported that men who took calcium supplements had a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared those who didn't, it was the third large cohort in six months with alarming findings regarding calcium supplements.
Peer Points: Stories of Practice Success
When patients go see Arizona-based acupuncturist Jing Liu, it is to get top care from an practitioner well versed in all aspects of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Helping Infertility Patients with the Spirit Essence
As many of you know, when it comes to treating infertility, we are dealing with a patient population that is, generally speaking, in emotional turmoil. These patients often experience fear, anxiety, despair, hopelessness, grief and anger.
Chiropractic Research: A Moral Issue
This year I've had the opportunity to go to three great chiropractic research conferences; the ACC-RAC, the Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport (FICS) Congress and the World Federation of Chiropractic Congress.
Spinal-Cord Injuries: Saying No to Steroids
With steroids, epidural and otherwise, in the news lately for their overuse when treating back pain (and their danger when tainted by fungal meningitis), it was high time for a policy change, and we've got one, from the Congress of Neurological Surgeons and the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.
The Pallof Press for Core Stability Evaluation
Many people become injured because of instability, weakness and poor neural-sequencing patterns in the core. Lack of bracing and support from the inner core cylinder during coronal and transverse movements makes the body vulnerable to compensation injuries.
Economics of Complementary/Integrative Care
Although this column doesn't usually feature a book review, we're going outside of our usual public health format to discuss a new book written by Patricia Herman ND, PhD.
History Repeating Itself in Wisconsin?
Thirteen years ago, the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA) "agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that [the association] orchestrated a conspiracy among WCA members to increase prices for chiropractic services and to boycott third-party payers to obtain higher reimbursement rates."
You are What You Eat Part II: Integrative Protocols
In the previous installment of this article I discussed important ideas concerning gastrointestinal health and foundational ideas from TCM, which can provide key insights into creating effective protocols for healing the gut.
Happenings in Our Evolving Profession
Good things seem to be happening for our profession and recent developments show we are all on board. Talking about being on board, this September The Veterans Express-Purple Heart Tour is expected to make its way out of the station.
Herbal Medicine: Go Mainstream
When it comes to practicing herbal medicine in a mainstream setting, there are a number of important points to understand when it comes to prescribing formulas. Some important questions to ask are - what method of prescribing and dispensing is most effective in this setting?
Telecommuting and Technology: Ergonomic and Worker's Comp Considerations
As our world becomes more and more reliant on technology, equipment becomes more dependable and we become increasingly more comfortable with e-mail, the fax machine, the Internet and the smartphone, it is becoming easier and easier to work away from the office.
Exercises for Back Pain: Low-Compression Training Program
This program is intended for two groups of people: 1) those who want to engage in resistance exercises for the major regions of their body without developing back pain in the process; and 2) those who already have back pain and want to do resistance exercises, but consistently re-irritate their back when trying to do so.
There Are No Secrets: Treating Complicated Conditions with TCM
Including standardized extra points, there are just over 400 acupuncture points on the body. You get 400 and I get 400 - same. Yet, time and time again treatment protocols are coveted as if they were some secret formula only intended for the right and privileged.
Energy is a hot commodity. Society pays dearly for it and for the expertise of those who know how to cultivate it.
Repeating Bone-Density Tests
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends that women older than age 65 undergo bone-density testing. However, organizations in general have not stated when repeat bone-density testing should be done.
The Spirits of the Points: The Gall Bladder Official
The Gall Bladder is known as The Official of Decision Making and Judgment. In any given day, this Official makes countless decisions – conscious and unconscious, which influence every aspect of our being.
Wisconsin Exam in the Spotlight
You've passed your national boards with flying colors, including Part IV, the practical examination, at a combined cost of more than $3,000.
Business Building: What's Your Strategy?
I know some in our profession love to debate about whether or not spinal curvatures change as a result of our chiropractic adjustment, but I have a question that hits a little more close to the belt than that: Are chiropractors capable of change?
Dealing with Painful Foot Injuries, Part 2
In part one of this two-part series, published in the April issue, we began talking about foot pain and discussed several different injuries that affect that area of the body. Now we're going to move on to give you practical tips for soothing the feet. (Remember that any recurrent, persistent or severe pain should first be thoroughly assessed and checked out by a physician.) We invite you to share this information with clients who suffer from aching feet, as well as using it yourself. With the amount of standing we do in our line of work, many of us could benefit greatly from better foot care.
Self-Care Routine for Aching Feet
Many people have reduced or completely eliminated their foot pain by following a dedicated self-care routine. Below are some key actions that get results.
First of all, rest. Stop doing whatever it is that aggravates your pain. If a certain pair of shoes causes you pain, stop wearing them. If daily runs on pavement end in pain, find another way to exercise. Listen to your body's cues and discontinue any activity that interferes with the healing process.
You should also consider ice massage. This is a simple way to reduce inflammation. Fill a small paper cup with water and freeze it. Gently move the cup over and around the injured area, stopping when the tissue begins to feel numb. Keep the motion constant, so you're not holding the cup stationary in any one spot.
You might also try stretching. Start by stretching your toes. Bring all your toes into extension and then grasp one toe and stretch it slowly into full extension for a moment or two. Do this with each toe four or five times. Next, take each toe and bring it into flexion all the way. Then grasp two toes at a time and gently stretch them apart for a few seconds. Repeat with all the toes. Then go on to stretch all the joints in the foot and ankle, the extrinsic and intrinisic muscles of the feet, the muscles of the lower legs, the hamstrings and the quadriceps. Use a towel, rope or stretching strap if you need to.
Another important step is strengthening. To strengthen the intrinsic muscles of your foot, toss a dozen large marbles on the floor, sit in a chair, and pick up a marble with your toes. Then cross that leg over the other, tailor-fashion, and remove the marble. Repeat until you have picked up all the marbles and then switch to your other foot and pick up all the marbles again.
It is also important to develop better footwear habits. Many of our foot-related woes are caused, either directly or indirectly, by the shoes we wear. Consider taking some of the these simple steps:
If you live near a beach and take barefoot walks, you can invite the muscles of your feet to strengthen in a healthy, natural way. Walking or gently running on sand is excellent for the health of your feet. You can also establish morning and evening routines for your foot health. Before getting out of bed in the morning, remember to stretch and massage your feet. Then, when you're relaxing in the evening, try a combination of the following:
Evening Reflexology Protocol
Reflexology is a non-invasive complementary modality involving the use of alternating pressure applied to reflexes in the feet. Reflexology reduces tension in the muscle tissue and improves circulation of the blood, lymph and neurons, resulting in reduced pain and better functioning.
Following your foot soak, fully extend, flex and separate your toes. Take each stretch as far as you can. Invert and evert your foot. Range-of-motion exercises will increase blood flow to the feet, loosen up the joints and relax the connective tissue.
Use a knuckle to "walk" the plantar surface of the calcaneus. Stop on any sensitive points and apply slow micro-friction to break up adhesions of excess nerve and/or scar tissue that has been laid down in response to trauma.
Use your thumb to apply rhythmical, alternating pressure to the remaining plantar surface of the foot. Imagine your thumb as a little inchworm, taking small "steps" over the entire surface of the foot. Stop on sensitive points and apply micro-friction.
Use your fingers to walk the dorsal side of the foot and work on any points that get your attention.
Finish with ice massage, followed by massage with a lubricant made with unprocessed castor oil (which has proven analgesic properties ), infused with organic essential oils that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. (Examples include German chamomile, peppermint, ravintsara, helichrysum, and lavender.)
Drink some water, turn off the light and go to sleep! Remember to wear footwear with arch support if you get up in the middle of the night and stretch your feet and calves before rising in the morning.
Remember, when you treat your feet well, they tend to return the favor.