Author: joerosscr

Chiropractic Techniques for the Treatment of Drug Addiction

Chiropractic Techniques for the Treatment of Drug Addiction

A combination of specific spine adjustments and traditional addiction treatment may be the most successful way yet to address chemical dependency

By John Delehanty, Editor CR News

A novel combination of chiropractic spinal adjustments and traditional drug addiction therapies has been shown to improve recovery rates in patients diagnosed with alcohol and drug dependencies. This combination of treatments was derived by a partnership between New York Chiropractic College and New York-based addiction treatment organization Bridge Back to Life. 

Chiropractic has historically been used to address chronic pain, and so has often been sought after as an alternative to highly addictive drug-based pain interventions. Recent research has shown that chiropractic care can be used as an effective treatment for drug and alcohol addiction as well. 

” A novel combination of chiropractic spinal adjustments and traditional drug addiction therapies has been shown to improve recovery rates in patients diagnosed with alcohol and drug dependencies.”

Spearheaded by Bridge Back to Life medical director Dr. Russell Surasky, this combination of treatments utilizes specific spinal adjustments to address the source of chronic pain, as well as to improve brain and nervous system function more generally. Clinical research studies have shown that patients receiving spinal adjustment while undergoing chemical dependency treatment see higher recovery rates, and significantly improved program retention.

The anatomical basis for chiropractic success appears to involve spinal adjustments that affect the limbic system. The limbic system is responsible for mood and instinct, including major behavioral drivers such as hunger, fear, and pleasure – and it is precisely what gets hijacked in patients suffering from chemical dependency. 

” Clinical research studies have shown that patients receiving spinal adjustment while undergoing chemical dependency treatment see higher recovery rates, and significantly improved program retention.”

The limbic system extends into the upper cervical spine and begins with the atlas bone, or C1 vertebrae, which serves to protect the cervical portion of the limbic system and is part of the connection between the skull to the rest of the vertebral column. It is through careful manipulation of the atlas bone that treatment providers can improve limbic system health and generate a more positive response to addiction therapy.

Chiropractic treatment of the cervical spine might offer additional benefits. Misalignment of the cervical vertebrae, including the atlas bone, may also disrupt the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, or CSF. CSF surrounds the brain and spinal cord, and acts to flush waste metabolites that accumulate as a result of normal brain activity. Mounting evidence shows that by readjusting misaligned cervical vertebrae, CSF might better carry these waste deposits before they can accumulate and lead to neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

As more clinical research is conducted, it seems the benefits of targeted chiropractic care extend beyond what is typically associated with the practice. Recently, the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs integrated chiropractic treatment as a part of their health providers repertoire. Chiropractic care may see even greater application in future as its general utility is further investigated. 

Sources:

A Specific Spinal Adjustment is the Latest Development in the Science of Treating Drug Addiction. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.abc-7.com/story/41178842/a-specific-spinal-adjustment-is-the-latest-development-in-the-science-of-treating-drug-addiction.

Chiropractic Care and Addiction: What Are the Recovery Benefits of an Aligned Spine? (2017, November 23). Retrieved from https://www.recovery.org/pro/articles/chiropractic-care-and-addiction-what-are-the-recovery-benefits-of-an-aligned-spine/.

The limbic system. (2019, January 24). Retrieved from https://qbi.uq.edu.au/brain/brain-anatomy/limbic-system.

New Research Reveals Potential Alternative to Invasive Heart Surgery

New Research Reveals Potential Alternative to Invasive Heart Surgery

Recent studies point toward the viability of exclusively drug-based therapies for treating arterial blockages

By John Delehanty, Editor CR News

Arterial plaques and narrowing of blood vessels can have any of a number of deleterious downstream effects, including heart attack and stroke. Bypass and stents are traditionally viewed as an effective means of treating arterial narrowing, thus preventing potentially fatal complications. However, new research points to noninvasive methods that are as effective for some patients.

A federal study on invasive bypass and stent procedures seems to indicate that these procedures may not be any more effective than a combination of medication and life-style changes in correcting blocked coronary arteries. The study, appropriately titled Ischemia, found that patients whose arterial blockages were treated with only drug therapy did not experience more heart attacks or a higher associated mortality rate than those who also received bypass or stent surgeries in addition to drug treatment.

” A federal study on invasive bypass and stent procedures seems to indicate that these procedures may not be any more effective than a combination of medication and life-style changes in correcting blocked coronary arteries.”

The basis of analysis for this study was a group of patients seeking treatment for narrowed arteries. This narrowing typically results from plaque buildup on the interior of vessels which obstructs blood flow. These plaques may exist singly, or throughout the coronary arteries, with either scenario resulting in limited blood flow and overall poor cardiac health. 

The Ischemia finding was true for patients diagnosed with multiple arterial blockages. Stenting and bypass interventions did help in resolving intractable chest pain, or angina, associated with arterial obstruction.

The study focused on patients experiencing light to moderate ischemia, or a restriction in blood supply to tissues resulting in a shortage of the oxygen needed to keep those tissues alive. All patients were generally regarded as low-risk, for whom lifestyle and drug interventions would prove adequate or even ideal in treating their condition. Patients experiencing more severe blockages were not the focus of the study, and bypass or stent intervention for this higher-risk group remains a lifesaving intervention. 

” Bypass and stents are traditionally viewed as an effective means of treating arterial narrowing, thus preventing potentially fatal complications. However, new research points to noninvasive methods that are as effective for some patients.”

This is not the first study to find that bypass and stent applications are potentially overprescribed. However, these past studies were criticised for not controlling for factors like LDL cholesterol, nor for advances in stent technology that allows for the slow release of pharmaceuticals that prevent arteries from closing. In correcting for these variables, the research plainly shows that for some patients there exists a viable alternative to invasive treatments.

Sources:

Saacks, B. (2019, November 16). Heart surgeries like bypasses may not be necessary for blocked arteries, according to groundbreaking new research. Retrieved from https://www.businessinsider.com/federal-study-shows-that-some-heart-surgeries-arent-needed-2019-11.

International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness With Medical and Invasive Approaches. (2019, November 16). Retrieved from https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/clinical-trials/2019/11/15/17/27/ischemia.

Kolata, G. (2019, November 16). Surgery for Blocked Arteries Is Often Unwarranted, Researchers Find. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/16/health/heart-disease-stents-bypass.html.

Opioids prescribed to 1 in 4 patients under 24 seeking ER treatment for sports-related injuries

Opioids prescribed to 1 in 4 patients under 24 seeking ER treatment for sports-related injuries

By John Delehanty, CR News

Opioid abuse in the United States is of epidemic proportions and overprescription of opioids is a contributing factor. Exacerbating the problem of overprescription is the demographics for whom opioids are being prescribed. 

Younger patients seeking medical treatment can be particularly vulnerable to the addictive quality of opioids. Brain development continues until around the age of 25, meaning children and young adults can be even more vulnerable to opioid addiction. Studies show that even with prevailing public awareness of the dangers of opioid addiction, opioid use among adolescents and young adults in the US is among the highest in the world.

Part of the issue is the rate at which children and young adults seek treatment for sports and recreation related injuries. Children and young adults account for the overwhelming majority of sports- and recreation-related emergency room visits: over 70% of all such ER visitors are between the ages of 5 and 24.

One in eight children ages 5 through 9 seeking emergency room treatment for a sports-related injury are prescribed an opioid painkiller. Children ages 10 to 14 are given opioids in 1 of 5 ER visits. Nearly half of all patients seeking sports-related injury treatment receive opioid-based pain management when the age range includes young adults (ages 5 to 24).

Age RangePercentage Prescribed Opiate Painkiller
5-912.5%
10-1420%
15-1925%
20-2446%

While about half of all youth and young adults acquire their drugs illegally, there remains a considerable percentage that get them through legal prescriptions. In addressing the spread of opioid abuse in the U.S., public awareness of the sources of opioid addiction from must be strengthened. Cracking down on criminal drug proliferation is only one method by which to address this crisis. 

The vulnerability of younger ER patients to the highly addictive opioids poses a specific and pervasive threat to their general and ongoing well-being. A more conservative approach to pain management, particularly with regards to youth and young adult pharmaceutical intervention, must also be explored if a comprehensively effective solution is to be found.

Sources:

Emergency Department Visits for Sports- and Recreation-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries Among Children – United States, 2010–2016. (2019, March 14). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6810a2.htm.

Understanding the Teen Brain . (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051

DeMio, T. (2019, November 15). 1 of 4 US youths hurt in sports gets opioids at the ER, CDC report says. Retrieved from https://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2019/11/15/25-percent-american-youths-hurt-sports-gets-opioids-emergency-room-cdc-says/2574260001/.

Health & Happiness

Evidence is growing that the connection between mind and body is real, leading to well-being and physical health.

Most of us want to live a long, happy and healthy life, one without disease. But the absence of disease is not necessarily equal to good physical health (just like if you don’t have depression, doesn’t mean you are optimistic). Most research has been on researching the disease itself. It’s assumed that if we can address disease itself, we will achieve optimal health.

But there is a real practical and ethical value in focusing on the positive side of health and identifying those attributes and conditions in life that make it possible to be happy AND healthy.

How Chiropractic Affects the Brain and Nervous System

Haavik’s research suggests that a dysfunctional spine segment (vertebral subluxation) leads to a change in information influences how the brain perceives and responds to all other sensory information.

The brain uses the spine to receive information from the rest of the body. A dysfunctional spine segment can result in faulty information, which disrupts the brain’s ability to process and integrate sensory information. The brain uses the spine as an indicator of your core body position.

Chiropractic adjustment restores the proper processing and integration of sensory information to the brain which in turn restors control of our muscles.

The straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Misalignment is often a result of a compilation of small events and habits that negatively impact the spine over time.

A small sample of these straws can include: poor sleep, awkward posture, repetitive moments, using improper technique when lifting objects, being unaware when stepping off a curb, and minor accidents.

These straws build up, which in turn affects how the brain processes all other incoming sensory information. The brain goes into high alert as a response and changes the way the brain perceives future pain signals. This alters the reality of the brain and its understanding and relationship to the body and the world around it.

These kinds of maladaptive (bad) plastic brain changes are through to be involved in the initiation of chronic pain conditions.

100% Mindfulness Will Make You More Happy

“Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: clear out the junk, tune your talents, and get in touch with yourself,” writes Emma Seppala, the Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education.

Meditation is one way to practice returning to the present moment. There can be a lot of hesitation and misconceptions about what meditation is and isn’t.

A very simple meditation is to focus on each breath you take. Take 10 deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Focus on the feeling and sensation of taking a breath. Repeat this 2-3 times throughout your day.

Try doing this exercise when you begin noticing your mind starting to wander throughout the day and it will help re-orient you into the present.

• Take a break from technology, get out into nature without a schedule

• Give full attention on a project for 10 minutes (it’s good practice to do on a project you don’t want to do). Notice every detail.

• Truly experience pleasure – be 100% present.  Research shows that learning  to bask in pleasurable experiences will also help to extend feelings of satisfaction and result in less cravings.

Be Mindful Today

Havard research psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert studied 2,250 people and found that adults spend only 50% of their time in the present moment.  (We’re mentally checked-out 50% of the time)

This mental wandering appears in the form of being distracted by events that happened in the past, could possibly happen in the future or may never happen at all.

Most importantly, the research suggested that this mind wandering was the root cause and not a consequence of unhappiness.

Often people get caught up in the idea that some future event will bring them happiness. This may be a promotion, the weekend, a vacation, or some other event.

Research shows remaining present—(instead of jumping from task to task) – makes you more productive, happier, and more charismatic. Being completely absorbed into what we are doing (whether you like the task or not) creates more productivity and happiness.

They found when we are in the present moment, we are the happiest – because we fully experience the things going on around us. We slow down, delve into conversations and are fully engaged in projects.

MAC Doctors Helped Get Prescription Drugs Out of Medicine Cabinets 

MAC doctors helped get prescription drugs out of Michigan homes during Take Back Day held on Saturday, April 28.

Participating Doctors’ photo posts on Facebook reached 107,724 Michigan residents that contributed to destroying a whopping 23,000 pounds of unused medications.

The average reach for each doctor post was over 2,000 local residents. These posts were used to educate people on the importance of proper disposal of medications and to consider a non-drug approach to pain management involving chiropractic.

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Highest reach with 4.4K people

From 10a to 2p, Michigan residents brought in their unused meds to law enforcement agencies around the state where they were safely disposed of. Almost one million pounds of prescription drugs were collected across the U.S.

“This is only the beginning of the role MAC doctors will play in reducing the amount of drugs used in Michigan,” said Dr. Christophe Dean, MAC PR Committee Chairman.

“People were coming into the State Police Headquarters during Take Back Day saying ‘Is this the chiropractic drug return place?’” said Kathy Schaefer, MAC PR consultant.