Headaches

What are they? Any pain in the head. There are many different types. Headaches may be common, but they are definitely not normal.

◘ About 50% of adults experience headaches each year.

◘ Some reports show that nine out of ten Americans have experienced headaches in their lifetime.

◘ 5% of headaches are warning signals caused by an underlying disease. This is why you have a Doctor check it out.

◘ 95% are not. This is why you go to the Doctor for help.

How can Chiropractic care help headaches?

◘ Reports show that spinal manipulation can be an effective treatment for headaches that stem from the neck and also tension headaches.

◘ Another report found that spinal manipulation provides almost immediate improvement for headaches that start in the neck.

◘ Four weeks of chiropractic care has also provided headache sufferers with longer lasting relief from tension type headaches than prescription medicine another report shows.

What are the treatment options?

All medicines have side effects. There is a whole isle of medication devoted to treating headaches or just covering up the symptoms. While this approach is cheap, it has a drastic effect on your liver and kidneys.

Spinal manipulation has remarkably fewer side effects than prescription medicine. Chiropractic adjustments also correct the underlying cause of most headaches. Chiropractors will focus on helping any neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction causing your headache.

Why do they happen?

There can be Triggers such as stress.

◘ Physical stress-accidents, injuries and trauma, Muscle tension in the neck from sitting at a desk all day.

◘ Chemical stress-caffeine, chocolate, sodas, high salt/ high sugar foods, alcohol and smoking.

◘ Emotional stress-worry, financial, kids, traffic and deadlines.

What are you going to do about it?

◘ Get up and stretch after sitting for long periods of time.

◘ Try exercises such as walking, treadmill, elliptical and low impact exercises.

◘ Get a bite guard if you clench your teeth.

◘ Drink more water to prevent dehydration.

◘ Get your posture checked by your Chiropractor.

◘ They may perform a Chiropractic adjustment to help get your joints moving again.

◘ Ask your Chiropractor what changes you can do at home and at work to help with your ergonomics. Also ask about any exercise that can help alleviate the muscular tension in the neck/upper back.

Whenever you have headaches then go visit your Chiropractor. Be proactive with your health care. If you are sick and tired of suffering with those headaches then give us a call. When patients come into my office they get a comprehensive consultation and exam and even x-rays if needed. We figure out what is actually causing your headaches and develop a customized plan to fix it. Give us a call today and stop suffering from those headaches.

Lower Back Pain From The Chiropractic Perspective

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Approximately 80% of the US population suffers with lower back pain at least once during their lifetime.

Causes

– Herniated discs – when the disc becomes week and rips or tears open some material can leak out. If this material puts pressure on a nerve or the spinal cord itself, then you can experience a lot of pain. Sometimes it affects the sciatic nerve and runs down the back of the leg causing pain.

– Strains – Pulling a muscle due to strenuous activity and or overuse due to repetitive activities.

– Degenerative discs – the disc narrows between the vertebrae.

– There are many more causes of lower back pain. Some are more serious than those listed and this is why you should visit your Chiropractor, so they can find out the exact cause.

Anatomy

The spine is made up of 24 freely movable vertebrae (bones) with discs in between each bone, except in the upper neck (cervical) region. Discs are soft cartilage that acts as spacers between the bones in our spine. Most people refer to the discs as shock absorbers, but this is not entirely true. The actual curve acts more like the shock absorber. When the curve is increased and or decreased is how the discs get too much stress/pressure upon them and they start to wear (degenerate) and may even bulge or herniate. Most doctors tell patients that as they age their discs wear away which is referred to as degenerative disc disease. This age related/wear and tear analogy is partially correct. Let me explain.

If a man age 59 walks into my office with lower back pain and the  x-rays show a degenerative disc at L5/S1 yet the other lumbar disc have no degeneration then how can you explain that it is age related. Are not all of this man’s discs the same age?  It has to be care related. If this same 59 year old man has been under chiropractic care and the joint never had a chance to lock up and have less motion than it should then he would not have degeneration in that disc. How do I know that you ask? Well 20 years in practice and looking at thousands of x-rays will prove that theory. Most degenerative discs are more care related versus age related.

Things to do

Whenever you have lower back pain then go visit your Chiropractor. Be proactive with your health care. It is actually cheaper in the long run to stay healthy than it is to get healthy. When patients come into my office they get a comprehensive consultation, exam and even x-rays if needed. We figure out what is actually causing your lower back pain and develop a customized plan to fix it. Give us a call today and stop suffering from that lower back pain.

History of Chiropractic Care

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The roots of chiropractic care can be traced all the way back to the beginning of recorded time. Writings from China and Greece written in 2700 B.C. and 1500 B.C. mention spinal manipulation and the maneuvering of the lower extremities to ease low back pain. Hippocrates, the Greek physician, who lived from 460 to 357 B.C., also published texts detailing the importance of chiropractic care. In one of his writings he declares, “Get knowledge of the spine, for this is the requisite for many diseases”.

In the United States, the practice of spinal manipulation began gaining momentum in the late nineteenth century. In 1895, Daniel David Palmer founded the Chiropractic profession in Davenport, Iowa. Palmer was well read in medical journals of his time and had great knowledge of the developments that were occurring throughout the world regarding anatomy and physiology. In 1897, Daniel David Palmer went on to begin the Palmer School of Chiropractic, which has continued to be one of the most prominent chiropractic colleges in the nation.

Throughout the twentieth century, doctors of chiropractic gained legal recognition in all fifty states. A continuing recognition and respect for the chiropractic profession in the United States has led to growing support for chiropractic care all over the world. The research that has emerged from ” around the world” has yielded incredibly influential results, which have changed, shaped and molded perceptions of chiropractic care. The report, Chiropractic in New Zealand published in 1979 strongly supported the efficacy of chiropractic care and elicited medical cooperation in conjunction with chiropractic care. The 1993 Manga study published in Canada investigated the cost effectiveness of chiropractic care. The results of this study concluded that chiropractic care would save hundreds of millions of dollars annually with regard to work disability payments and direct health care costs.

Doctors of chiropractic have become pioneers in the field of non-invasive care promoting science-based approaches to a variety of ailments. A continuing dedication to chiropractic research could lead to even more discoveries in preventing and combating maladies in future years.

Education of Doctors of Chiropractic

Doctors of chiropractic must complete four to five years at an accredited chiropractic college. The complete curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. Approximately 555 hours are devoted to learning about adjustive techniques and spinal analysis in colleges of chiropractic. In medical schools, training to become proficient in manipulation is generally not required of, or offered to, students. The Council on Chiropractic Education requires that students have 90 hours of undergraduate courses with science as the focus.

Those intending to become doctors of chiropractic must also pass the national board exam and all exams required by the state in which the individual wishes to practice. The individual must also meet all individual state licensing requirements in order to become a doctor of chiropractic.

An individual studying to become a doctor of chiropractic receives an education in both the basic and clinical sciences and in related health subjects. The intention of the basic chiropractic curriculum is to provide an in-depth understanding of the structure and function of the human body in health and disease. The educational program includes training in the basic medical sciences, including anatomy with human dissection, physiology, and biochemistry. Thorough training is also obtained in differential diagnosis, radiology and therapeutic techniques. This means, a doctor of chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients, which separates them from non-physician status providers, like physical therapists. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education DCs are trained as Primary care Providers.

What is a Doctor of Chiropractic?

The proper title for a doctor of chiropractic is “doctor” as they are considered physicians under Medicare and in the overwhelming majority of states. The professional credentials abbreviation ” D.C.” means doctor of chiropractic. ACA also advocates in its Policies on Public Health that DCs may be referred to as (chiropractic) physicians as well.

Chiropractic Philosophy

As a profession, the primary belief is in natural and conservative methods of health care. Doctors of chiropractic have a deep respect for the human body’s ability to heal itself without the use of surgery or medication. These doctors devote careful attention to the biomechanics, structure and function of the spine, its effects on the musculoskeletal and neurological systems, and the role played by the proper function of these systems in the preservation and restoration of health. A Doctor of chiropractic is one who is involved in the treatment and prevention of disease, as well as the promotion of public health, and a wellness approach to patient healthcare.

Scope of Practice

Doctors of chiropractic frequently treat individuals with neuromusculoskeletal complaints, such as headaches, joint pain, neck pain, low back pain and sciatica. Chiropractors also treat patients with osteoarthritis, spinal disk conditions, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, sprains, and strains. However, the scope of conditions that Doctors of chiropractic manage or provide care for is not limited to neuromusculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractors have the training to treat a variety of non-neuromusculoskeletal conditions such as: allergies, asthma, digestive disorders, otitis media (non-suppurative) and other disorders as new research is developed.

A variety of techniques, treatment and procedure are used to restore healing which will be the topic of future education releases.

Chiropractic 101

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Chiropractic is a natural health care profession that focuses on the spine and nervous system.  We do this because the nerves that come out of your spine control your whole body. Our nervous system controls everything we do for example: for our eyes to blink, for our lungs to breath and for our stomach to digest.

Your brain (part of your nervous system) is protected by your skull.  Your spinal cord is an extension of your brain and is protected by your spine.  These nerves come off of your spinal cord and go to different parts of your body.

All of your bones should be in a certain place.  If any of the bones are out of place, even a little bit, it can put pressure on nerves. And whatever those nerves are going to aren’t going to work properly.

Have you ever had a pebble in your shoe? The pebble was irritating a nerve in your foot, sending a pain message to your brain. How did you fix it? You took the pebble out of your shoe. This is what Chiropractors do. We find where there is nerve interference and correct it. This nerve interference can be any pulling, displacement, stretching or pinching of the nerve.

What do some doctors do to help your pain? Give you muscle relaxers, pain killers, anti-inflammatories and even perform surgery. Do these things fix the problem or just cover up the symptoms?

Chiropractors find the cause of the problem.  That’s why we meet with the patient, perform a comprehensive exam and take any needed x-rays. We will use this information to figure out which nerves are being irritated and which bones are causing the nerve to be irritated.

Then we use natural techniques, called chiropractic adjustments, to gently put motion back into the joints to take the pressure off of the nerves.  We spend eight years learning how the body works and practicing specific adjustments that take pressure off of nerves so that the body can function at its best.

Have you ever broken a bone and had to wear a cast?  What did your arm look like when it came out of the cast?  It was skinnier. Your body is insanely efficient and it is not going to waste it’s time maintaining muscles you aren’t using.  Its busy, it has things to do. What about the joint?  Were you able to move the joint like before the accident? No! It was stiff and achy. Your body isn’t going waste time maintaining a joint you aren’t using either.

The bone wasn’t broken anymore… but you still couldn’t move the joint very well.  Chiropractic adjustments allow nerves to send the proper signal to your brain that says “Hey, I am using these joints now so send nutrients and keep me healthy.”  

People most commonly come to us for headaches, neck pain and back pain.  However; adjustments that take pressure off of pinched nerves can help all the organs and systems of your body (i.e., ear infections, sinuses, carpal tunnel syndrome and sciatica to name a few.)

We adjust and help people of all ages with a wide range of symptoms (babies, children, adults, seniors, pregnant women, people who have been in car accidents, athletes and people who have just had surgery can get adjusted). Healthy people get adjusted to stay healthy, taking care of small things before they become big things.  We figure out the cause of the problem and how we might help. Our approach will choose natural first, drugs second and surgery as a last resort.  

We only use safe and gentle techniques.

I adjusted 3 of my babies 30 minutes after they were born.

Chiropractic is a natural health care profession in which doctors use their hands to gently adjust the spine to take pressure off of pinched nerves. This allows the body to heal and function optimally.

Chiropractic works and “When it comes to your health, we’ve got your back!”

Give our office a call at 423-238-2999 and see if we might be able to help you too.

11 Foods That End Bad Moods

#1: Mussels

Mussels are loaded with some of the highest naturally occurring levels of vitamin B12 on the planet—a nutrient that most of us are lacking. So what’s B12’s mood-saving trick? It helps insulate your brain cells, keeping your brain sharp as you age. Mussels also contain the trace nutrients zinc, iodine, and selenium, which keep your mood-regulating thyroid on track. Another benefit? Mussels are high in protein and low in fat and calories, making them one of the healthiest, most nutrient-dense seafood options you’ll find. (Tip: For mussels that are good for your body and the environment, look for farmed—not wild—options raised in the good ol’ USA.)

#2: Swiss Chard

This leafy green is packed with magnesium—a nutrient essential for the biochemical reactions in the brain that increase your energy levels. A 2009 study in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry also found that higher magnesium intake was associated with lower depression scores. And Swiss chard isn’t the only way to get your magnesium hit. Spinach, soybeans, and halibut also contain healthy doses of the energy-enhancing nutrient.

#3: Blue Potatoes

Blue potatoes aren’t a common supermarket find, but they’re worth looking out for on your next trip to the farmer’s market. Blue spuds get their color from anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants that provide neuro-protective benefits like bolstering short-term memory and reducing mood-killing inflammation. Their skins are also loaded with iodine, an essential nutrient that helps regulate your thyroid. Other awesome anthocyanin-rich foods: berries, eggplant, and black beans. 

#4: Grass-Fed Beef

Animals raised on grass pastures boast much higher levels of healthy conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA), a “happy” fat that combats stress hormones and blasts belly fat. Grass-fed beef also has a lower overall fat count and contains higher levels of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids compared to grain-feed beef. Another great grass-fed option: lamb. It’s packed with iron, a nutrient vital for a stable mood (the areas of the brain related to mood and memory contain the highest iron concentrations).

#5: Dark Chocolate

Turns out chocolate’s delicious taste isn’t the only reason it makes you feel so warm and fuzzy. The cocoa treat also gives you an instant boost in mood and concentration, and improves blood flow to your brain, helping you feel more vibrant and energized. But sorry, Snickers bars don’t count. Cocoa is the chocolate ingredient that does your body good, so pure dark chocolate is your best bet if you want the mood-boosting benefits minus the extra belly flab. And don’t overdo it: A recent study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that a few ounces of dark chocolate a day is all you need to reap the benefits.

#6: Greek Yogurt

This dairy pick is packed with more calcium than you’ll find in milk or regular yogurt, which is good news for your mood. Calcium gives your body the “Go!” command, alerting your brain to release feel-good neurotransmitters. As a result, inadequate calcium intake can lead to anxiety, depression, irritability, impaired memory, and slow thinking. Greek yogurt also contains more protein than regular yogurt, making it a terrific stay-slim snack. Our Greek-yogurt pick: Fage Total 2%, which packs an impressive 10 grams of protein per serving.

#7: Asparagus

Your mom was on to something when she made you finish those green spears at the dinner table. This vegetable is one of the top plant-based sources of tryptophan, which serves as a basis for the creation of serotonin—one of the brain’s primary mood-regulating neurotransmitters. Asparagus also boasts high levels of folate, a nutrient that may fight depression (research shows that up to 50 percent of people with depression suffer from low folate levels). Some other terrific sources of tryptophan: turkey, tuna, and eggs. 

#8: Honey

Honey, unlike table sugar, is packed with beneficial compounds like quercetin and kaempferol that reduce inflammation, keeping your brain healthy and warding off depression. Honey also has a less dramatic impact on your blood-sugar levels than regular sugar, so it won’t send your body into fat-storage mode the way the white stuff can. Try adding some honey to your afternoon tea or morning bowl of oatmeal, but don’t go overboard; the sweet nectar has 17 g of sugar and 64 calories per tablespoon, so too much honey can make you heavy, rather than happy.

#9: Cherry Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, an antioxidant that protects your brain and fights depression-causing inflammation. And because lycopene lives in tomato skins, you’ll get more of the stuff if you throw a handful of cherry tomatoes into your next salad instead of slicing up one full-size tomato. Or enjoy them on their own with a little olive oil, which has been shown to increase lycopene absorption. And try to go organic whenever possible: Researchers at the University of California-Davis found that organic tomatoes have higher lycopene levels. 

#10: Eggs

Eggs are loaded with mood-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, B vitamins, and iodide, and because they’re packed with protein, they’ll also keep you full and energized long after you eat them. Need another reason to crack some shells in the morning? A 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who ate two eggs for breakfast lost significantly more weight than those who ate a bagel breakfast. (Tip: Don’t buy into unregulated supermarket-egg claims like “omega-3 enriched” or “free-range.” If you’re looking for the most natural eggs, hit up a local farmer.)

#11: Coconut

Coconut is chock-full of medium-chain triglycerides, fats that keep your brain healthy and fuel better moods. And although coconut is commonly found in high-calorie desserts, you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) stuff your face with macaroons to get your fix. My suggestion: Try throwing some unsweetened coconut shavings in your oatmeal or yogurt, or toss some in your next healthy smoothie for a flavor boost that will keep you smiling and skinny.

How To Survive The Holidays Without Over Eating

The holiday season is always a fun time, but for many, it is very chaotic and even stressful. Probably the most common response to stress is overeating. We often do not even realize that we are doing it. Many find the demands of black Friday shopping, cyber Monday shopping, all of the holiday parties and even family obligations to be overwhelming. If you feel overwhelmed then consider these 5 simple steps to reduce and even conquer your fear of holiday binge eating.


 

5 simple steps to reduce and even conquer your fear of holiday binge eating:

1. Plan ahead

2. Try to skip the appetizers

3. Start small

4. Eat slower than normal

5. Beware of the desserts


Plan Ahead: Most holiday meals are planned well in advance so there are no surprises. Eat lighter and cleaner for a few meals before the big one. Also, remember from my last blog,  you can enjoy a zero calorie beverage like iced tea (without the sugar) or water.  


Try to skip the appetizers: Sure have some, but not all of them.


Start small: Try a small amount of the things you would like to eat. You can always go back for more, but the more you put on your plate to begin with the more you are likely to eat.


Eat slower than normal: Enjoy the conversation and eat slower than you would normally eat. Your stomach will fill up and you will notice it. Sometimes when you eat too fast you don’t even realize it until you feel as stuffed as the turkey you just ate.


Beware of the desserts: If you know you are going to have some dessert, then follow all of the steps above and enjoy a little bit.


 

 

 

How To Go Out To Eat And Still Eat Healthy

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Almost every day I am asked this question; how do I eat out healthy and not overdo it?  Well that is a hard question to answer.  Usually when you go out to eat you tend to indulge a little, sometimes you indulge a lot. You can however, go out to eat and enjoy yourself without overdoing it. Today I will just focus on making smarter-healthier decisions.

Here is how you do it:

Enjoy a zero calorie beverage like iced tea (without the sugar) or water.  


Next skip the free stuff like the biscuits, chips or bread.  If you absolutely have to have one cheddar biscuit then ask the server to only bring one per person.  This is still a lot better than having 2 or 3 baskets while waiting on you entree.  


Now for the entree: Thinking of a nice healthy salad…ask for the dressing on the side.


Not up for a salad tonight?  Then think of looking at something with the words baked, broiled, grilled, steamed and/or roasted.  Stay away from the fried stuff if at all possible.


Also, you do not need a dessert after every meal.


I focused on just a few ideas today on how to eat out healthy. Remember it is not what you read but what you actually put into action that counts!

Nutrition Advice for a Healthy New You

There is no better way to rejuvenate your health than by eating more nutritiously. In fact, even a few simple changes in your diet and lifestyle can have a positive impact on your health-and can also prevent a variety of health problems in the future. The traditional coffee and doughnuts for breakfast; a hamburger for lunch-or no lunch; candy, cookies, and a soft drink for a snack; followed by a huge dinner with more protein than a person needs are unhealthy dietary choices. As a result, younger people are starting to suffer from heart disease-not only because of poor diet, but also because of an epidemic of inactivity. To reverse the alarming trend, many doctors of chiropractic urge patients to stop smoking, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water, exercise regularly, and augment their balanced diet with appropriate nutritional supplements. What Can You Do? The ACA offers the following prevention and wellness advice: Lifestyle Changes

-Exercise at least 20 to 30 minutes three or four days a week.

-Eat out more sparingly. Food preparation methods in restaurants often involve high amounts-and the wrong types-of fat and sugar.

-Brown-bag your lunch to control your fat and sugar content while adding nutritious fruits, vegetables, and grains.

-Limit your intake of alcohol and quit smoking. Drinking alcohol excessively and/or smoking hinder your body’s ability to absorb nutrients from your food.


Dietary Changes

-Eat more raw foods. Cooking and canning destroys much of the nutrition in foods. With the exception of canned tomatoes, which can help prevent prostate cancer,1 fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables always have more natural vitamins and minerals. Select organically grown foods when possible, because they have lower amounts of toxic elements, such as pesticides and heavy metals.

-Consume 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Whole-grain breads and cereals, beans, nuts, and some fruits and vegetables are good sources of fiber. High-fiber diets can help prevent digestive disorders, heart disease, and colon cancer.

-Drink eight to ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, and alcohol are dehydrators. Don’t substitute them for water.


Vegetarian Diets Research shows that a good vegetarian diet as part of a comprehensive health program can help prevent heart disease, cancer, and other diseases.(2,3) However, fried foods, hydrogenated fats, and commercial meat substitutes may contain more sugar and fat than a meat-eater would consume. If you are considering a vegetarian diet, keep the following tips in mind:

-Don’t rely on fruits and vegetables at the expense of grains and legumes. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables to consume a wide range of nutrients. Tiredness, malaise, and anemia can be signs of deficiencies. Have your B12 and iron levels checked at least once a year.

-Consume fortified foods or take supplements to obtain the nutrients you no longer get from animal-based products, such as vitamin B12.

-Before eliminating animal products from the diet, learn to do it right. Children, pregnant and breast-feeding women, and people recovering from illness should consult their health care practitioners.


Supplements According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, dietary supplements are not substitutes for foods, nor can a person sustain good health by just taking vitamin and mineral supplements.(4) When taken properly, however, supplements can play an important role in achieving maximum health. If you are considering nutritional supplements, keep the following tips in mind

-Remember to consume dark green vegetables, oils, nuts, and seeds, which are sources of magnesium, fatty acids, and many other vitamins and minerals

-Don’t “self-prescribe.” Consult a health care practitioner, such as a doctor of chiropractic, to determine what supplements are best for you. If you have symptoms such as headaches, chronic fatigue, or cardiac problems, seek professional advice from a health care provider who specializes in nutrition.


References 1. Pohar KS, Gong MC, Bahnson R, Miller EC, Clinton SK. Tomatoes, lycopene and prostate cancer: a clinician’s guide for counseling those at risk for prostate cancer. World J Urol. 2003 May;21(1):9-14. Epub 2003 Mar 22. 2.Beilin LJ. Vegetarian and other complex diets, fats, fiber, and hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr. 1994;59(suppl):1130-1135. 3.Dwyer JT. Health aspects of vegetarian diets. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988;48(suppl):712-738. 4.Economic Characterization of the Dietary Supplement Industry: Final Report. In “U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition” March 1999.

by The American Chiropractic Association

Research Demonstrates Effectiveness and Popularity of Chiropractic Care

by The American Chiropractic Association

WASHINGTON–A critical mass of recent surveys and studies document the fact that the public, and conventional health care providers and payers, have come to recognize that traditional medicine can’t answer all of consumers’ health care needs. In particular, more people are turning to chiropractic services. A study published in the July 1, 1998 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine shows that chiropractic treatment is appropriate for low-back pain in a considerable number of cases. This study by the Rand Corporation found that 46 percent of a sample of low-back pain patients received appropriate care from doctors of chiropractic – an appropriateness rating similar to that of common medical procedures. Poll results released in January 1998 by Landmark Healthcare, Inc., showed that one in every five adults ages 55 to 64 has used chiropractic care. A December 1997 report from the Federal Agency for Health Policy and Research (AHCPR) notes that the chiropractic profession is now the third largest group of doctoral-level providers in the United States (after medical doctors and dentists). That same AHCPR report shows that fully 80 percent of American workers in conventional insurance plans, preferred providers organizations (PPOs), and point-of-service plans now have coverage that pays at least part of the cost of chiropractic care. As the recent AHCPR report states, “In the areas of training, practice and research, chiropractic has emerged from the periphery of the health care system and is playing an increasingly important role in discussions of health care policy.” And, notes a March 1998 article in Business and Health magazine, “Many companies say chiropractic coverage has lowered their medical and workers’ comp costs, while raising overall health and productivity.  ‘It’s one of the best benefits possible from a quality, quantity and pricing perspective,’ says George McGregor, president of [a firm that is a third-party administrator].” The article also cites an Oregon study, which found that median work time lost for employees with back injuries who used chiropractic care was only 9 days as compared with 34.5 days for workers who used medical care. Quick relief of symptoms and sustained effectiveness have long attracted consumers to chiropractic care. In fact, in just one year — 1997 — more than 20 million adults used chiropractic services. The 1994 AHCPR guidelines for low-back pain concluded that spinal manipulation, chiropractic’s primary treatment technique, is one of only three treatments whose effectiveness is substantiated by rigorous research. According to a 1992 RAND Corp. study, patients see a chiropractor primarily for low back pain and neck pain, though many seek chiropractic care for mid-back pain, extremity problems, headaches and other symptoms as well. Because back pain is so pervasive in our society, a recent study published in the British Medical Journal pointing out that back pain doesn’t go away that easily confirmed what chiropractors have always known. Only 25 percent of low back pain sufferers had fully recovered 12 months after their first visit to a general practitioner, the study said. This low number is in conflict with the commonly-held notion that low back pain episodes go away by themselves after a month. “This hardly comes as a surprise to low back pain sufferers who have been told by their medical doctors not to worry – the pain will go away on its own,” said Dr. Michael Pedigo, president of the American Chiropractic Association. “In many cases, further treatment is necessary.” Doctors of chiropractic have long understood the cyclic nature of low back pain, and perhaps this is one of the reasons they consistently rate higher than MDs in patient satisfaction in this area. In a recent Gallup poll, 90 percent of all people who visited a chiropractor agreed that their care was effective. Successful outcomes in both effectiveness and patient satisfaction, have paved the way for chiropractors to enter the mainstream of health care services. Some have even begun to collaborate with medical doctors in integrated health care practices. As reported in the May/June 1998 issue of Health magazine, the prestigious Texas Back Institute (TBI) at one time included only surgeons and other M.D.s. Then, about ten years ago, when TBI’s medical doctors discovered chiropractic’s success with lower back pain, they hired their first chiropractor. Now, according to one administrator quoted in the article, about 50 percent of the Institute’s patients see a chiropractor first when beginning their treatment. Also, the Washington Post recently reported on the success of the 5-year-old company, American WholeHealth, whose clinics incorporate a consumer-driven mix of traditional medical and alternative health care including chiropractic. Due to years of criticism — and even an illegal boycott by the American Medical Association — chiropractic training was sometimes called into question. However, the fact remains, chiropractors must complete a minimum of 6 and, on average, 7 years of college and post-graduate study to earn their degrees. Their education includes at least 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience, and as much — and sometimes more than — course work in anatomy and physiology as most medical doctors. After they receive their degrees from one of the nation’s 17 accredited chiropractic colleges, they have to pass rigorous exams and be licensed by the state before they can open a practice. The practice of chiropractic is licensed in all 50 states, and in 1994 there were approximately 50,000 chiropractors licensed in the United States. This number is expected to double by the year 2010, according to the 1997 AHCPR report. “These recent surveys and reports finally vindicate the chiropractic profession after years of enduring doubt, questions and criticism about our training and practices,” said Dr. Pedigo. “What the health care and medical communities are just beginning to accept is what our patients have known all along — that our treatment is safe, effective and highly successful at improving their quality of life.”