Newsletter Archives > ChiroPlanet.com Monthly Health Newsletter: November 2016 Health Newsletter

November 2016 Health Newsletter


Current Articles

» Chiropractic Reduces Falling Risk in the Elderly
» Young Adults' Hard Work May Lead to Mid-Life Back Pain
» Chronological vs. Subjective Age: If You Think You Are Old, You Will Be
» Sugar and Cardiovascular Disease: New Concerns for Children’s Health

Chiropractic Reduces Falling Risk in the Elderly

 

Chiropractic Care Improves Senses and Reduces Risks of

Falling in the Elderly Population

 

By: Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP

 

As our population ages, our most senior are being told that their heart diseases or cancers won’t be as likely to cause death as sequella from a fall. Therefore, doctors are urging that sect of population to rely more and more on canes, walkers and other devices to help offer greater support when balance issues become even slightly problematic. According to Holt et. Al (2016) “Falls account for more than 80% of injury related hospital admissions in people older than 65 years and they are the leading cause of injury related death in older adults. Approximately 30%-40% of community-dwelling older adults suffer from at least 1 fall per year.” (pg. 267)

 

Holt et. al. listed the following risks associated with falls

  1. Lower limb weakness
  2. Recent History of Falling
  3. Gait Deficits
  4. Deterioration of the sensorimotor system that occurs regularly with normal aging

 

The National Institute of Health (NIH) expanded the list of risk factors in older adults to include:

  1. Muscle weakness
  2. Balance and gait
  3. Blood pressure drops
  4. Postural hypotension
  5. Reflexes slower
  6. Foot problems
  7. Sensory problems
  8. Vision issues
  9. Confusion
  10. Medications

(http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/causesandriskfactors/01.html)

 

Comparatively speaking, both the Holt et. Al. and the NIH are in agreement that falling can be a multifactorial issue with often no single cause or solution. However, if an older person, who has one or more of the above risk factors can minimize those risks, the likelihood of falling can be decreased and potentially extend their life. Holt et. al. continued “There is however, a growing body of basic science evidence that suggests that chiropractic care may influence sensory and motor systems that potentially have an impact on some of the neuromuscular risk factors associated with falling.” (pg. 268) In short, the evidence has suggested that chiropractic can reduce the risk of falling in older adults.

 

Holt et. al. found that the mechanisms where chiropractic may influence sensorimotor functions are:

  1. Neuroplastic processes in the central nervous system through altered afferent input.
  2. Pain and altered cognition as a result with respect to attention focus and physical function
  3. Muscle strength and muscle activity patters
  4. Deterioration of the sensorimotor system that occurs regularly with normal aging

Looking at those neuroplastic processes or effects of chiropractic on the central nervous system, Gay et al. (2014) reported, “…pain-free volunteers processed thermal stimuli applied to the hand before and after thoracic spinal manipulation (a form of MT).  What they found was that after thoracic manipulation, several brain regions demonstrated a reduction in peak BOLD [blood-oxygen-level–dependent] activity. Those regions included the cingulate, insular, motor, amygdala and somatosensory cortices, and the PAG [periaqueductal gray regions]” (p. 615). In other words, thoracic adjustments produced direct and measureable effects on the central nervous system across multiple regions, which in the case of the responsible for the processing of emotion (cingulate cortex, aka limbic cortex) are regarding the insular cortex which also responsible for regulating emotion as well has homeostasis. The motor cortex is involved in the planning and execution of voluntary movements, the amygdala’s primary function is memory and decision making (also part of the limbic system), the somatosensory cortex is involved in processing the sense of touch (remember the homunculus) and, finally, the periaqueductal gray is responsible for descending pain modulation (the brain regulating the processing of painful stimuli).

 

This is a major step in showing the global effects of the chiropractic adjustment, particularly those that have been observed clinically, but not reproduced in large studies.  “The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in FC [functional changes] between brain regions that process and modulate the pain experience after MT [manual therapy]. The primary outcome was to measure the immediate change in FC across brain regions involved in processing and modulating the pain experience and identify if there were reductions in experimentally induced myalgia and changes in local and remote pressure pain sensitivity” (Gay et al., 2014, p. 615). 

 

Coronado et al. (2012) reported that, “Reductions in pain sensitivity, or hypoalgesia, following SMT [spinal manipulative therapy or the chiropractic adjustment] may be indicative of a mechanism related to the modulation of afferent input or central nervous system processing of pain” (p. 752). “The authors theorized the observed effect related to modulation of pain primarily at the level of the spinal cord since (1) these changes were seen within lumbar innervated areas and not cervical innervated areas and (2) the findings were specific to a measure of pain sensitivity (temporal summation of pain), and no other measures of pain sensitivity, suggesting an effect related to attenuation of dorsal horn excitability and not a generalized change in pain sensitivity” (Coronado et al., 2012, p. 752).These findings indicate that a chiropractic spinal adjustment affects the dorsal horns at the root levels which are located in the central nervous system.  This is the beginning of the “big picture” since once we identify the mechanism by which we can positively influence the central nervous system, we can then study that process and its effects in much more depth.    

 

One of the main questions asked by Corando et al. (2012) “…was whether SMT (chiropractic adjustments) elicits a general response on pain sensitivity or whether the response is specific to the area where SMT is applied. For example, changes in pain sensitivity over the cervical facets following a cervical spine SMT would indicate a local and specific effect while changes in pain sensitivity in the lumbar facets following a cervical spine SMT would suggest a general effect. We observed a favorable change for increased PPT [pressure pain threshold] when measured at remote anatomical sites and a similar, but non-significant change at local anatomical sites. These findings lend support to a possible general effect of SMT beyond the effect expected at the local region of SMT application (p. 762).

 

The above mechanisms take the effects of chiropractic care out of the realm of theory and validates the processes through which chiropractic works based upon the scientific evidence (literature).

 

 

Holt et. Al found that outcomes measured for both sensorimotor and quality of life increased with chiropractic care. The primary outcomes of improvement choice stepping reaction time (CSRT)and sound-induced flash illusion. The CSRT involves feet placement in a timed scenario and sound-induced flash illusion involves multisensory processing to ascertain reaction to perceived illusions. Both have been significantly related to older populations and falling. Although the results of this study has its limitations, as many studies do. Holt concluded” The results of this trial indicated that aspects of sensorimotor integration and multisensory integration associated with fall risk improved in a group of community-dwelling older adults receiving chiropractic care. The chiropractic group also displayed small, statistically significant improvements in health-related quality of life related to physical health when compared with a “usual care” control. These results support previous research which suggests that chiropractic care may alter somatosensory processing and sensorimotor integration.” (pg. 277)  

 

As with many of our articles from here forward, I would like to leave you with a last and seemingly unrelated statement.  I felt it was important to add this at the end since many of our critics negatively portray the safety of chiropractic care.  This statement shall put that to rest leaving only personal biases left standing. Whedon, Mackenzie, Phillips, and Lurie (2015) based their study on 6,669,603 subjects and after the unqualified subjects had been removed from the study, the total patient number accounted for 24,068,808 office visits. They concluded, “No mechanism by which SM [spinal manipulation] induces injury into normal healthy tissues has been identified” (Whedon et al., 2015, p. 5). This study supersedes all the rhetoric about chiropractic and stroke and renders an outcome assessment to help guide the triage pattern of mechanical spine patients.

 

References:

  1. Holt K., Haavik H., Lee A., Murphy B., Elley C., (2016) Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function Associated with Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 39(4) 267-278
  2. Falls and Older Adults, Causes and Risk Factors (n.d.) National Institute of Health, retrieved from: http://nihseniorhealth.gov/falls/causesandriskfactors/01.html
  3. Gay, C. W., Robinson, M. E., George, S. Z., Perlstein, W. M., & Bishop, M. D. (2014). Immediate changes after manual therapy in resting-state functional connectivity as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging in participants with induced low back pain.Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 37(9), 614-627.
  4. Coronado, R. A., Gay, C. W., Bialosky, J. E., Carnaby, G. D., Bishop, M. D., & George, S. Z. (2012). Changes in pain sensitivity following spinal manipulation: A systematic review and meta-analysis, Journal of Electromyography Kinesiology, 22(5), 752-767.
  1. Whedon, J. M., Mackenzie, T. A., Phillips, R. B., & Lurie, J. D. (2015). Risk of traumatic injury associated with chiropractic spinal manipulation in Medicare Part B beneficiaries aged 66-69 years. Spine, 40(4), 264-270.

Author: Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP and William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
Source: US Chiropractic Directory
Copyright: 2016 2016


page toppage toppage top




Young Adults' Hard Work May Lead to Mid-Life Back Pain

Back pain is a global problem. Most adults will experience back pain during their lifetime, and according to the World Health Organization, low back pain is one of the top 10 worldwide contributors to disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) with a prevalence of up to 70 percent of all adults in industrialized countries. There are myriad causes for low back pain, and the origins are usually multifactorial. But a new study from Finland suggests that strenuous labor while young may result in low back pain later during mid-life. The study also highlighted radiating low back pain in particular as a common outcome of heavy physical labor early in life. As new research improves our understanding of the origins of back pain, we can better manage and eliminate this painful and costly condition. Back pain (particularly low back pain) is one of the most commonly treated ailments by doctors of chiropractic, who not only treat back pain but also help their patients prevent future occurrences. With new research on the effects of strenuous labor early in life on mid-life back pain, this even further emphasizes chiropractic care's focus on patient education through teaching proper techniques and form for lifting and moving through strenuous work. Chiropractic treatments provide a holistic approach to resolving pain from the source, combining non-invasive treatments such as spinal manipulation with a host of other regimens including nutrition, exercise, massage, and more. While many patients simply mask their pain with medications, this type of treatment does not treat the source of their symptoms, and can lead to serious consequences from long-term medication use. Chiropractic care, on the other hand, is a safe and effective method of both resolving and preventing low back pain throughout all stages of life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Occup Environ Med doi:10.1136/oemed-2016-103727
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


page toppage toppage top




Chronological vs. Subjective Age: If You Think You Are Old, You Will Be

"You're only as old as you think you are" has been a popular saying for many years. People who honestly feel this way really do act, and oftentimes look, younger than their age. Conversely, some people seem to age quickly and decline mentally and physically simply because they think they're old once they've reached a certain age. Is there scientific backing for the old saying: "You’re only as old as you think you are?" Research done in 2014 at the University of Montpellier in France studied the correlation between chronological age, subjective age, and changes in memory. What the researchers found is eye-opening. A person's subjective age is the age they feel they are mentally and physically. Someone in good physical and mental shape may be 60, 70 or 80 years of age, but feel like they aren't a day over 50. On the other hand, someone dealing with illness or chronic pain may feel like they’re 80 when they're only 60. Researchers have found that saying, thinking, or feeling older than one actually is can cause depression and memory problems. People who feel younger had a slower memory decline and quicker recall capabilities. A person's subjective age has a lot to do with how they feel physically and mentally. Implementing the following four practices will help one feel younger than ever:
1. Daily exercise
2. Eating nutrient dense foods
3. Regular mental exercises, like puzzles, reading or learning a language
4. Being surrounded by happy, positive people.
Chiropractic treatments are vital in pain reduction and management. In addition to a healthy diet and active lifestyle, getting regular chiropractic treatments are a great way to stay healthy and young.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci (2016) 71 (4): 675-683.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


page toppage toppage top




Sugar and Cardiovascular Disease: New Concerns for Children’s Health

Cardiovascular disease used to be something only older folks had to deal with. Unfortunately, this and other "adult diseases" are now becoming commonplace among the younger generations. Why are children now at risk? Is there anything parents can do to protect their children? The American Heart Association has released a scientific statement via their journal called Circulation. In this statement, the AHA states that poor lifestyle and nutritional choices are contributing to a child's risk of disease. The #1 risk factor for disease was high levels of added sugars to the diet. In their research, the ADA found that a high level of sugar was a contributing factor in the following diseases: 
1. Cardiovascular disease
2. Diabetes
3. Obesity
4. Hypertension
5. Obesity-related cancer
6. Dental decay
7. Fatty liver disease.
Children shouldn't be dealing with these types of diseases, and yet they are. The ADA stated that it was a high level of added sugars that increased the risk of disease. Therefore, the #1 key to reducing the chance of serious diseases, like cardiovascular disease, is to reduce sugar intake.  Families should focus on eating less processed foods that are laden with added sugars, salt and chemicals. Instead, their diet should be comprised of delicious, nutrient-dense, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. With a few simple dietary changes, as well as increased physical activity, parents can significantly reduce the risk of disease for the whole family. Chiropractors can help families reduce a child's risk of disease. With nutritional education and recommendations given by a quality chiropractor as permitted in most states, families have a higher chance of living the healthiest life possible.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Circulation, online Aug 22, 2016
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


page toppage toppage top






Articles 1-4 of 4 << first < previous next > last >