October 22, 2014

A new review of the influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) has raised questions about both the efficacy of the medication

New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy

By Michael Smith, North American Correspondent, MedPage Today
Published: January 17, 2012
Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco.
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A new review of the influenza drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu) has raised questions about both the efficacy of the medication and the commitment of its maker to supply enough data for claims about the drug to be evaluated by independent experts.

It also raises questions about the entire process of systematic review.

Researchers led by Tom Jefferson, MD, of the Cochrane Collaboration, pored over 15 published studies and nearly 30,000 pages of “clinical study reports.”

But, they reported, the clinical study information – data previously shared only with regulators – was only a part of what internal evidence suggested was available.

And many published studies had to be excluded because of missing or contradictory data, Jefferson and colleagues reported.

Action Points  

  • Explain that a new review of an important flu drug has raised questions about the medication and the entire process of systematic review.
  • Point out that the review of oseltamivir showed that there was no evidence of effect on hospital admissions.

The drug’s maker, Switzerland-based Roche, had promised after a previous Cochrane review to make all of its data available for “legitimate analyses.” After a request for the data, Jefferson and colleagues reported, the company sent them 3,195 pages covering 10 treatment trials of the drug.
But, three of the reviewers noted in a parallel report in BMJ, the tables of contents suggested that the data were incomplete.
“What we’re seeing is largely Chapter One and Chapter Two of reports that usually have four or five chapters,” according to the BMJ article’s lead author, Peter Doshi, PhD, of Johns Hopkins University.
Roche did not immediately respond to a telephoned request for comment.
Requests for More Data
The researchers then asked the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for the data, under a Freedom of Information request, and obtained a further 25,453 pages, covering 19 trials.
But that data, too, was incomplete, they said, although the agency said it was all that was available.
The FDA is thought to have the complete reports, but has not yet responded to requests for them, the researchers reported.
Regulatory agencies such as the EMA and FDA routinely see the large clinical study reports, Jefferson and colleagues said in BMJ, but systematic reviewers and the general medical public do not.
“While regulators and systematic reviewers may assess the same clinical trials, the data they look at differs substantially,” they said.
The Cochrane group has been trying for several years to put together a clear-cut systematic review of the evidence on antivirals aimed at flu.
In 2006, the group concluded that the evidence showed that oseltamivir reduced the complications of the flu. But that conclusion was challenged on the basis that a key piece of data was flawed.
An updated review in 2009 – throwing out the flawed study — concluded there wasn’t enough evidence to show that the drug had any effect on complications.
For this analysis, the Cochrane reviewers had originally intended to perform a systematic review on both of the approved neuraminidase inhibitors – oseltamivir and zanamivir (Relenza), using the clinical study reports to supplement published trials.
In the end, they decided that for oseltamivir, they needed more detail in order to perform the review in its entirety. But, they reported, some conclusions could be drawn from published data on the 15 trials and from 16,000 pages of clinical study reports that were available before their deadline.
They also decided to postpone analysis of zanamivir (for which they had 10 trials) because the drug’s maker, GlaxoSmithKline, offered individual patient data which they wanted time to analyze.
The oseltamivir analysis showed:

  • The time to first alleviation of symptoms in people with influenza-like illness was a median of 160 hours in the placebo groups and about 21 hours shorter in those treated with oseltamivir. The difference, evaluated in five studies, was significant at P<0.001.
  • There was no evidence of effect on hospital admissions: In seven studies, the odds ratio was 0.95, with a 95% confidence interval from 0.57 to 1.61, which was nonsignificant at P=0.86.
  • A post-protocol analysis of eight studies showed that oseltamivir patients were less likely to be diagnosed with influenza.
  • The data “lacked sufficient detail to credibly assess” any effect on influenza complications and viral transmission.

Data Discrepancies Found
But discrepancies between the published trial data and the clinical study reports “led us to lose confidence in the journal reports,” Doshi and colleagues wrote in BMJ.
For example, they noted that one journal report clearly said there were no drug-related serious adverse events, but the clinical study report listed three that were possibly related to oseltamivir.
As well, the sheer scope of the clinical study reports meant that much was left out of journal reports. One 2010 study, on safety and pharmacokinetics of oseltamivir at standard and high dosages, took up seven journal pages and 8,545 pages of the clinical study report.
But the researchers were also shaken, they said, by the “fragility” of some of their assumptions.
For instance, they found that the clinical study reports showed that in many trials, the placebo contained two chemicals not found in the oseltamivir capsules.
“We could find no explanation for why these ingredients were only in the placebo,” they wrote in BMJ, “and Roche did not answer our request for more information on the placebo content.”
Jefferson and colleagues also reported they found disparities in the numbers of influenza-infected people reported to be present in the treatment versus control groups of oseltamivir trials.
One possible explanation, they noted, is that oseltamivir affects antibody production – even though the manufacturer says it does not.
Gaps in Knowledge Remain
That question is profoundly important, Doshi told MedPage Today, because it may offer clues to how the drug works – one of the gaps in knowledge about oseltamivir.
“You can’t make good therapeutic decisions if you don’t know how the drugs works,” he said – information that he and his colleagues suspect may be buried in the mass of missing data.
It’s also important, he said, because public health agencies have been making decisions to stockpile oseltamivir without a clear understanding of the facts.
Essentially, he said, those decisions have been based on the flawed study – a Roche-supported meta-analysis – that was thrown out of the 2009 Cochrane review.
“They’re taking the drug manufacturer’s word at face value,” he said.
The results seem unlikely to resolve conflicts over the medical value of the drug, which is a major cash cow for Roche, adding some $3.4 billion to the company’s bottom line in 2009 alone, according to Deborah Cohen, investigations editor of BMJ.
In an accompanying article, Cohen said that “clinicians can be forgiven for being confused about what the evidence on oseltamivir says.”
She noted that the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the CDC, and the World Health Organization “differ in their conclusions about what the drug does.”
As well, those conclusions are often contradicted by claims on the drug labels – themselves allowed by regulators, Cohen argued.

MRI Spine Course Just Completed

PRESS RELEASE
FROM:                 Pro Active Chiropractic Center, 219 S. Main St, Palmyra, MO  63461, USA (www.drscottstiffey.com)
CONTACT:           Scott Stiffey, Chiropractor, 573-769-2400, drscottstiffey@gmail.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MRI Spine Interpretation Training for Local Chiropractor

Pro Active Chiropractic Center is today announcing its Chiropractor, Scotty Stiffey, has recently completed advanced training at MRI Spine Interpretation form the University at Buffalo School of Medicine. 
Specialized areas in which Stiffey will concentrating are MRI History and Physic, MRI Spinal Anatomy and Protocols, MRI Disc Pathology and Spinal Stenosis , MRI Spinal Pathology, MRI Methodology of Analysis, and MRI Clinical Applications, and the clinical application of the results of space occupying lesions.
“Disc and tumor pathologies and the clinical indications of manual and adjustive therapies in the patient with spinal nerve root and spinal cord insult as sequelae, will also form part of my course of study,” said Stiffey, who sees this course of study as a plus for his patients.
As one of the leading chiropractors operating in the Tri-State area, Stiffey, who has been working in the field  11 years and has trained in over 100 hours on courses to help personal injury  patients that have been in car wrecks, said the course of studies he’s embarking on will enable him to help more personal injury patients and patients with more serious spinal conditions.
With his office located at 219 South Main Street in Palmyra in Missouri, Stiffey prides himself in offering state-of-the-art natural health care for our area. “We’re always attending seminars and learning new ways to help health-conscious Northeast MO and West Central IL-area residents,” he said.
Why so much focus on education? Stiffey, who helps with neck and back pain, but also can offer treatment for a variety of other conditions such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Migraine Headaches, said it is “because those who know what a chiropractor does and why seem to get the best results in the shortest amount of time.”
If you are looking for a chiropractor who offers clear explanations, then Stiffey advises you to look for a chiropractor that stays up to date on the latest treatments and research.

For further information, please contact: Scott Stiffey, Chiropractor, 573-769-2400, drscottstiffey@gmail.com, or visit www.drscottstiffey.com

90% of all low back-lumbar disc herniation patients got better with chiropractic care

Back and Leg Pain (Lumbar Radiculopathy)  as a Result of Disc Herniation and the Long Term Effect of Chiropractic Care
90% of all low back-lumbar disc herniation patients got better with chiropractic care

By

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

The term “herniated disc” has been called many things from a slipped disc to a bulging disc. For a doctor who specializes in disc problems, the term is critical because it tells him/her how to create a prognosis and subsequent treatment plan for a patient. To clarify the disc issue, a herniated disc is where a disc tears and the internal material of the disc, called the nucleus pulposis, extends through that tear. It is always results from trauma or an accident. A bulging disc is a degenerative “wear and tear” phenomenon where the internal material or nucleus pulposis does not extend through the disc because there has been no tear, but the walls of the disc have been thinned from degeneration and the internal disc material creates pressure with thinned external walls. The disc itself “spreads out” or bulges.

There are various forms and degrees of disc issues, but the biggest concern of the specialist is whether nerves are being affected that can cause significant pain or other problems. The problem exists when the disc, as a result of a herniation or bulge, is touching or compressing those neurological elements, which is comprised of either the spinal cord, the nerve root (a nerve the extends from the spinal cord) or the covering of the nerves, called the thecal sac.

With regard to the structure that we have just discussed, the doctor must wonder what the herniation of the neurological element has caused. In this scenario, there are 2 possible problems, the spinal cord and nerve root. If the disc has compromised the spinal cord, it is called a myelopathy (my-e-lo-pathy). You have a compression of the spinal cord and problems with your arms or legs. An immediate visit to the neurosurgeon is warranted for a surgical consultation. The second problem is when the disc is effecting the spinal nerve root, called a radiculopathy. It is a very common problem. A doctor of chiropractic experienced in treating radiculopathy has to determine if there is enough room between the disc and the nerve in order to determine if a surgical consultation is warranted or if he/she can safely treat you. This is done by a thorough clinical examination and in many cases, an MRI is required to make a final diagnosis. Most patients do not need a surgical consultation and can be safely treated by an experienced chiropractor.

While herniations can occur anywhere, it was reported by Jordan, Konstanttinou, & O’Dowd (2009)  that 95% occur in the lower back.  “The highest prevalence is among people aged 30–50 years, with a male to female ratio of 2:1. In people aged 25–55 years, about 95% of herniated discs occur at the lower lumbar spine (L4/5 and L5/S1 level); disc herniation above this level is more common in people aged over 55 years” (http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/conditions/msd/1118/1118_background.jsp#incidence).

It was reported by Aspegren et al. (2009) that 80% of the chiropractic patients studied with both neck and low back (cervical and lumbar) disc herniations had a good clinical outcome with post-care visual analog scores under 2 [0 to 10 with 0 being no pain and 10 being the worst pain imaginable] and resolution of abnormal clinical examination findings. Anatomically, after repeat MRI scans, 63% of the patients studied revealed a reduced size or completely resorbed disc herniation. A study by Murphy, Hurwitz, and McGovern (2009) focused only on low back (lumbar) disc herniations and concluded that, “Nearly 90% of patients reported their outcome to be either ‘excellent’ or ‘good’…clinically meaningful improvement in pain intensity was seen in 74% of patients (p. 729).” The researchers also concluded that the improvements from chiropractic care was maintained for 14 1/2 months, the length of the study, indicating this isn’t a temporary, but a long-term solution. It was reported by BenEliyahu (1996) that 78% percent of the low back-lumbar disc herniation patients were able to return to work in their pre-disability occupations, which is the result of the 90% of all low back-lumbar disc herniation patients getting better with chiropractic care as discussed above.

These are the reasons that chiropractic has been, and needs to be, considered for the primary care for low back-lumbar disc herniations with resultant pain in the back or legs. This study along with many others concludes that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions for herniated discs and low back or leg pain. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.USChiroDirectory.com and search your state.

References:

1. Jordan, J., Konstanttinou, K., & O’Dowd, J. (2009, March 26). Herniated lumbar disc. Clinical Evidence. Retrieved from http://clinicalevidence.bmj.com/ceweb/conditions/msd/1118/1118_background.jsp#incidence
2. Aspegren, D., Enebo, B. A., Miller, M., White, L., Akuthota, V., Hyde, T. E., & Cox, J. M. (2009). Functional scores and subjective responses of injured workers with back or neck pain treated with chiropractic care in an integrative program: A retrospective analysis of 100 cases. Journal Manipulative Physiological Therapy 32(9), 765-771.
3. Murphy, D. R., Hurwitz, E. L., & McGovern, E. E. (2009). A nonsurgical approach to the management of patients with lumbar radiculopathy secondary to herniated disk: A prospective observational cohort study with follow-up. Journal Manipulative Physiological Therapy, (32)9, 723-733.

4. BenEliyahu, D. J. (1996). Magnetic resonance imaging and clinical follow-up: Study of 27 patients receiving chiropractic care for cervical and lumbar disc herniations. Journal Manipulative Physiological Therapy, 19(9), 597-606.

Chiropractic care rendered significantly greater relief of pain and significantly more mobility

Arthritis and Low Back Pain:
Chiropractic Care vs. Heat Treatment

Chiropractic care rendered significantly greater relief of pain
and significantly more mobility

By
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP
 

“31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time” (The American Chiropractic Association, 2010, https://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68)

Interesting facts about back pain:1

  1. One-half of all working Americans state that they experience back pain each year.
  2. One of the most common reasons people call out of work is back pain.  It is also the second most common reason for a visit to the doctor’s office.
  3. Back pain is often mechanical or non-organic, meaning it is not caused by a serious condition, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  4. At least $50 billion per year is spent by Americans on back pain.
  5. Experts estimate as much as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.


What Causes Back Pain?


The back is made up of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. Ligaments can be sprained, muscles can be strained, disks can rupture, and joints can be irritated.  All of these can result in back pain. It doesn’t always take a major event like a sports inury or an accident to cause back pain. Even the simplest of movements, like picking a small object up from the floor, can have painful results. There are also numerous conditions that can cause or complicate back pain, such as arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress. Disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss, can also result in back pain.1


The most common form of arthritis is called osteoarthritis. It is also known as degenerative joint disease and is a disease of the joints. It affects more than 20 million American adults. The cause of osteoarthritis is a breakdown of cartilage, the connective tissue that provides a cushion between the bones of the joints. Healthy cartilage is what permits bones to move over one another and acts as a shock absorber during physical movement. Those afflicted with this disease experience a breakdown of cartilage that wears away. As a result, the bones under the cartilage rub together, resulting in pain, swelling, and loss of joint motion.2


What Causes Osteoarthritis?2

There is often no known cause of osteoarthritis. Risk factors include:

  1. Age – More people over the age of 45 are affected by osteoarthritis
  2. Female – Osteoarthritis more often affects women than in men
  3. Particular hereditary conditions like defective cartilage and joint deformity
  4. Joint injuries that result from sports, work-related activity or accidents
  5. Obesity


Signs and Symptoms of Osteoarthritis2

Osteoarthritis often begins at a slow rate. Early on, joints may be sore after physical work or exercise. The pain of early osteoarthritis dissipates and then returns over time, particularly as a result of overuse of the affected joint . Other symptoms may include:

  1. Swelling or sensitivity in one or more joints, especially when related to a change in the weather
  2. Loss of joint flexibility
  3. Stiffness in the joint(s) after getting out of bed
  4. Either a crunching feeling or sound resulting from bone rubbing on bone
  5. Bony lumps on the finger joints or at the base of the thumb
  6. Intermittent or regular pain in a joint


In 2006, “…an experimental design was used to compare the effects of chiropractic care (and moist heat) to the effects of moist heat alone for treating lower back pain that is secondary to [arthritis] of the lumbar spine” (
Beyerman, Palmerino, Zohn, Kane, & Foster, 2006, p. 107).  This was the first study of its kind. There were 3 parameters measured, pain, mobility and activities of daily living. The results conclusively revealed in every metric analyzed that chiropractic care rendered significantly better results, rendering greater relief of pain and significantly more mobility had been restored.

Low back pain and osteoarthritis is a very common condition treated daily in chiropractor’s offices nationwide. This study confirms scientifically the clinical results treating chiropractors have been experiencing for over 100 years. The degree to which pain interferes with aspects of daily living was statistically measured, specifically with walking, sitting and social life and those test subjects under chiropractic care had superior results that simply utilized moist heat.3

These studies along with many others conclude that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions for patients with low back pain and arthritis. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.USChiroDirectory.com
 and search your state.

References:

1.  The American Chriopractic Association. (2010). Back pain facts and & statistics. Retrieved from https://www.acatoday.org/level2_css.cfm?T1ID=13&T2ID=68
2.  Dawson, E. G., & Shaffrey, C. I. (2009, December). Osteoarthritis: Degenerative spinal joint disease. Spineuniverse. Retrieved from http://www.spineuniverse.com/conditions/spondylosis/osteoarthritis-degenerative-spinal-joint-disease 3.  Beyerman, K. L., Palmerino, M. B., Zohn, L. E., Kane, G. M., & Foster, K. A. (2006). Efficacy of treating low back pain and dysfunction secondary to osteoarthritis: Chiropractic care compared with moist heat alone. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 29(2), 107-114.

The overall patient satisfaction rate was 94%

Acute Neck Pain (Torticollis), Disability
 and Chiropractic:
Patient Satisfaction Results

The overall patient satisfaction rate was 94%

By
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
William J. Owens DC, DAAMLP

 

“Acute neck pain means immediate neck pain.  Neck pain that just started. This type of pain comes on suddenly and affects the ability to properly move your head in its proper range of motion. One serious type of acute neck pain is whiplash – the sudden jarring motion of your head going backwards and forward. This often occurs with a rear end collision. Acute neck pain can also be the result of a fall, sleeping awkwardly, a trauma or even a fall.. Often times when someone has just strained or irritated their neck in some way the pain is most severe. There is usually inflammation, immobility, and muscle tenderness. Often with acute neck pain, the muscles or ligaments are involved” (The Neck Pain Relief Shop, n.d., http://www.neckpainreliefkit.com/acuteneckpain).

The “real life” issue for the patient who either wakes up with this debilitating pain or is in an accident that causes it, is that taking drugs without narcotics is insufficient for relieving the pain. With the narcotics, one can be severely hampered and may not be able to go about his/her life. It is often a double-edged sword; take strong drugs and compromise your life or don’t take drugs, receive no chiropractic care and suffer.

A 2006 study examined “…the extent to which a group of patients with acute neck pain managed with chiropractic [adjustments]…and the degree to which they were subsequently satisfied…A total of 115 patients were contacted, of whom 94 became study participants, resulting in 60 women (64%) and 34 men. The mean age was 39.6 years…The mean number of visits was 24.5…Pain levels improved significantly from a mean of 7.6…before treatment to 1.9…after treatment…The overall patient satisfaction rate was 94%(Haneline, 2006, p. 288).

“There were reductions in disability recorded during the study that were statistically significant. Approximately 84% of the patients related that their activities were restricted before chiropractic treatment because of their neck pain, whereas only 25% still had activity restrictions at the time of the interview. Furthermore, 57% of those with physical restrictions described their disabilities as moderately severe or greater before treatment, whereas at the time of the interview, just 12% did (Haneline, 2006, p. 294).

“When comparing trauma with no-trauma cases, Trauma cases received more than 3 times as many visits. This difference may be related to tissue damage that often accompanies trauma, which, many times, heals imperfectly. In addition, patients with this type of problem may have ensuing long-term pain and physical impairment, which further shows that trauma complicates the recovery of acute neck pain (Haneline, 2006, p. 294).
 
This study along with many others concludes that a drug-free approach of chiropractic care is one of the best solutions to acute neck pain and returning to a normal life. To find a qualified doctor of chiropractic near you go to the US Chiropractic Directory at www.USChiroDirectory.com and search your state.

References

1.  The Neck Pain Relief Shop. (n.d.). Acute neck pain. Retrieved from http://www.neckpainreliefkit.com/acuteneckpain
2.  Haneline, M. T. (2006). Symptomatic outcomes and perceived satisfaction levels of chiropractic patients with a primary diagnosis involving acute neck pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 29(4), 288-296.

Acute (Severe) Low Back Pain, Early Intervention and Chiropractic 87% of chiropractic patients showed improvement

http://uschirodirectory.com/index.php/chiropractic-research/item/264-acute-severe-low-back-pain-early-intervention-and-chiropractic-

Fever Increases Immune System Defense, Study Shows

Fever Increases Immune System Defense, Study Shows

Fever Immune System
The Huffington Post   Posted: 11/3/11 06:05 PM ET

A new study adds more reason to why our bodies employ fevers as a defense against sickness.
Researchers from Roswell Park Cancer Institute found that a higher body temperature can help our immune systems to work better and harder against infected cells. The finding was published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.
“Having a fever might be uncomfortable, … but this research report and several others are showing that having a fever is part of an effective immune response,” John Wherry, Ph.D., deputy editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, said in a statement.
Before, researchers thought that fevers worked by hindering dangerous microbes from multiplying, Wherry said.
But “this new work also suggests that the immune system might be temporarily enhanced functionally when our temperatures rise with fever,” he said in the statement, though he noted that the finding should only prompt people to reconsider how they treat mild fevers, and not fevers that are dangerously high.
The secret is in a kind of immune cell, or lymphocyte, called a CD8+ cytotoxic T-cell. This kind of lymphocyte is able to destroy cells infected with viruses and even tumor cells, researchers said. Researchers found that a higher body temperature (like one achieved in a fever) raises the number of these CD8+ cytotoxic T-cells, which means a greater body response against infection.
To find this, researchers injected mice with an antigen and saw how the CD8+ cytotoxic T-cells activated to react to the antigen. Then, they raised the body temperatures of half the mice by 2 degrees centigrade, while leaving the temperatures of the other = mice alone. They found that the mice whose body temperatures were raised had more of the CD8+ cytotoxic T-cells than the mice without raised body temps.

The rise in mouse’s body temperature is “similar to that that happens in fever,” study researcher Elizabeth Repasky told the Toronto Star.
University of Pittsburgh Medical Center clinical associate professor Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, who wasn’t involved with the study, told MSNBC that the finding shouldn’t mean a fever should never be treated because too-high fevers can lead to brain cell damage. Parents should still take care to lower fevers in children, particularly if the fever is above 102 degrees Fahrenheit, since high fever can lead to seizures, Adalja told MSNBC.
MSNBC reports:

Adalja also warns it”s also not worth the risk to your own health if you have heart disease, have suffered a stroke or endure other medical complications. “This is not a blanket recommendation,” he says. “Secondary consequences to the fever can cause other conditions in the patient to occur or worsen. If someone has a persistent fever of 104, it’s a sign of infection, and it”s not just some viral thing you are going to get over.”

This is certainly not the first research to suggest that fevers ramp up our body’s immune responses. Discover magazine reported in 2007 on another Roswell Park Cancer Institute mouse study, which showed that mice that were heated up produced more immune cells to fight disease than mice that weren’t heated.

Arthritis Prevention and Chiropractic

Arthritis Prevention and Chiropractic
Chiropractic prevents arthritis in accident victims, the elderly and the sedentary
By Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP
 

According to the Arthritis Foundation (2007), “Forty-six million [46,000,000] Americans are currently living with arthritis, the nation’s leading cause of disability, and we are all paying a high price for it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that the annual cost of arthritis to the United States economy was $128 billion in 2003 and increased by $20 billion between 1997 and 2003.

CDC attributes the dramatic increase to the aging of the population, predominantly baby boomers, and increased prevalence of arthritis. CDC also estimates an additional 8 million new cases of arthritis will be diagnosed in the next decade” (http://www.arthritis.org/cost-arthritis.php).
Arthritis, A.D.A.M., Inc. (2010, February 5), “…is inflammation of one or more joints, which results in pain, swelling, stiffness, and limited movement. There are over 100 different types of arthritis…
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Arthritis involves the breakdown of cartilage. Cartilage normally protects the joint, allowing for smooth movement. Cartilage also absorbs shock when pressure is placed on the joint, like when you walk. Without the usual amount of cartilage, the bones rub together, causing pain, swelling (inflammation), and stiffness.
You may have joint inflammation for a variety of reasons, including:

- An autoimmune disease (the body attacks itself because the body immune system believes a body part is foreign)
- Broken bone
- General wear and tear
- Infection (usually cause by bacteria or viruses)… 

With some injuries and diseases, the inflammation does not go away or destruction results in long-term pain and deformity. When this happens, you have chronic arthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common type and is more likely to occur as you age. You may feel it in any of your joints, but most commonly in your hips, knees or fingers. Risk factors for osteoarthritis include:

- Being overweight
- Previously injuring the affected joint
- Using the affected joint in a repetitive action that puts stress on the joint (baseball players, ballet dancers and construction workers are all at risk)
Arthritis can occur in men and women of all ages. About 37 million people in America have arthritis of some kind, which is almost 1 out of every 7 people” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002223). With hypomobility (less mobility or movement), adhesions occur in a joint (the region where 2 bones connect).
According to A.D.A.M., Inc. (2010, March 30), “Adhesions are bands of scar-like tissue that form between two surfaces inside the body and cause them to stick together. As the body moves, tissues or organs inside are normally able to shift around each other. This is because these tissues have slippery surfaces.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
Inflammation (swelling), surgery, or injury can cause adhesions to form almost anywhere in the body…Once they form, adhesions can become larger or tighter over time. Symptoms or other problems may occur if the adhesions cause an organ or body part to twist, pull out of position, or be unable to move as well.
Adhesions may form around joints such as the shoulder…or ankles, or in ligaments and tendons. This problem may happen:

- After surgery or trauma
- With certain types of arthritis
- With overuse of a joint or tendon

Symptoms
Adhesions in joints, tendons, or ligaments make it harder to move the joint and may cause pain…Adhesions in the pelvis may cause chronic or long-term pelvic pain.
Signs and tests
Most of the time, the adhesions cannot be seen using x-rays or imaging tests” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002462).
Over time, with a sedentary lifestyle as seen in many portions of the population and increasingly with the elderly, joints become hypomobile. Hypomobility is also seen in trauma-related cases and repetitive use injuries, such as reading while looking down for extended periods, carrying heavy items, holding the phone between one’s shoulder and ear, prolonged use of hands, wrists, back and neck, excessive use of computers, etc. As time progresses, internal scar tissue or adhesions continue to develop and further increases the loss of mobility.
Cramer, Henderson, Little, Daley and Grieve (2010), cite previous studies that have shown that adhesions have been found in numerous hypomobile (loss of normal movement) joints and that spinal adjusting separates the articular surfaces of the joint. The researchers inquired as to whether connective tissue adhesion developed in lumbar articular joints as a consequence to intervertebral hypomobility and utilized animal studies.  They concluded that “…hypomobility results in time-dependent [adhesions]…” (Cramer et al., 2010, p. 508). In other words, internal scar tissue (arthritis) developed within the joints over time.

Cramer et al. (2010) sited previous studies that found the spinal adjustment separates the joints which could break up intra-articular adhesions. In other words, in their animal studies, spinal adjustments/manipulation increased the “Z gap” or spacing between the joints/bones and the mobility of the joints. If this applied in humans, the adjustments would then prevent further development of adhesions and degeneration and osteophytes, which is how the arthritic process progresses.
While arthritis affects approximately 1 in 7 Americans, the prevention of and/or correction of arthritis would relieve a great strain on our economy. While not all arthritis is a result of hypomobility, much of it is. If every person was under chiropractic care, we could not only positively affect the lives of every American, we could potentially rescue the economy of the United States and every other country and insurer in the world that assumes risk for an aging and hypomobile society.
 

 
References:
1. Arthritis Foundation. (2007, January 17). Cost of arthritis increases to $128 billion annually. Retrieved from http://www.arthritis.org/cost-arthritis.php
2. A.D.A.M., Inc. (2010, February 5). Arthritis. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002223
3. A.D.A.M., Inc. (2010, March 30). Adhesion. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002462
4. Cramer, G. D., Henderson, C. N. R., Little, J. W., Daley, C., & Grieve, T. J. (2010). Zygapophyseal joint adhesions after induced hypomobility. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 33(7), 508-518.

Scoliosis and Chiropractic Care


The average reduction of thoraco-lumbar scoliosis was 17.2° and was maintained for 24 months.
Function improved 70% and pain was reduced by 60%.
BY Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

According to the Mayo Clinic (2009), Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine that occurs most often during the growth spurt just before puberty. While scoliosis can be caused by conditions such as cerebral palsy and muscular dystrophy, the cause of most scoliosis is unknown. Most cases of scoliosis are mild, but severe scoliosis can be disabling. An especially severe spinal curve can reduce the amount of space within the chest, making it difficult for the lungs to function properly. Children who have mild scoliosis are monitored closely, usually with X-rays, to see if the curve is getting worse. In many cases, no treatment is necessary. Some children will need to wear a brace to stop the curve from worsening. Others may need surgery to straighten severe cases of scoliosis” (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/scoliosis/DS00194). They go on to say that signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include, uneven shoulders, “Signs and symptoms of scoliosis may include: uneven shoulders, one shoulder blade that appears more prominent than the other, uneven waist, [and] one hip higher than the other” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/scoliosis/ DS00194/ DSECTION=symptoms).
“If a scoliosis curve gets worse, the spine will also rotate or twist, in addition to curving side to side. This causes the ribs on one side of the body to stick out farther than on the other side. Severe scoliosis can cause back pain and difficulty breathing. Go to your doctor if you notice signs or symptoms of scoliosis in your child. Mild curves can develop without the parent or child knowing it because they appear gradually and usually don’t cause pain” (Mayo Clinic Staff, 2009, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ scoliosis/DS00194/ DSECTION=symptoms).
According to Lou et al. in 2010, three-dimensional lateral curvatures of the spine affect 2-3% of the adolescent population. According to ACT Youth who utilizes the 2000 US Census Bureau statistics, the number of adolescents in the United States is 41,747, 962. Averaging 2.5% of all adolescents having scoliosis equates to 1,043, 699 children facing issues as result of scoliosis. Lou et al. (2010) continue, “Brace (orthotic) treatment is recommended for growing children with curves of 25–45° Cobb angle. Surgery is the final treatment option for curves greater than 45° and its goals are to obtain safe correction, to produce a solid spinal fusion of the curve region, and to bring the spine and body into a more balanced position (p. 292). However, they conclude, “ Although brace treatment for scoliosis has been used for more than fifty years, its effectiveness is still debatable… Most studies used the amount of curve progression (as measured by the Cobb angle) to determine the effectiveness of brace treatment. Some defined success as 5° or less curve progression” (Lou et al., 2010, p. 292).
While allopathic medicine is still entrenched in the debatable practice of bracing and eventually surgery with the eventual progression of scoliosis, there are proven solutions. Morningstar concluded in 2011 that as a result of chiropractic spinal adjusting and chiropractic spinal manipulation, a thoracolumbar curvature (scoliosis) averaged a 17.2° reduction that was maintained for 24 months, the length of the study. Across all spinal groups, an average of 10° reduction was realized that persisted for 24 months, again the length of the study. Morningstar also concluded that pain scales reduced by 60% at 24 months and function improved by 70% while respiratory capacity increased 7%. Although this was a limited study with 28 patients, it is the first scientific conclusion that documents and reflects the results of what chiropractors have been realizing in their offices for over a 100 years.
The real issue is that if adolescents have their curvatures reduced by 10°-17.2°, then bracing and surgery are not an option because they will not be indicated. As bracing has been deemed “highly questionable” in the literature and now the literature reflects chiropractic as a highly effective modality, the standard of care across professions should be chiropractic care for scoliosis as first line treatment and should be standardized in every discipline.

REFERENCES
3. Lou, E., Hill, D., Hedden, D., Mahood, J., Moreau, M., Raso, J., (2010). An objective measurement of brace usage for the treatment of adolescent idiopathic scoliosis. Medical Engineering and Physics, 33(3), 290-294.
5. Morningstar, M. (2011). Outcomes for adult scoliosis patients receiving chiropractic rehabilitation: A 24-month retrospective analysis. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, 10(3), 179-184.

Headaches and Migraines: Chiropractic Saves Federal and Private Insurers $13,680,000,000

A great article published by a friend of mine…
Headaches and Migraines:
Chiropractic Saves Federal and Private Insurers $13,680,000,000
and Resolves Many Issues Facing Emergency Rooms Today
by Mark Studin DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

Published in Dynamic Chiropractic, Volume 29, Issue 22
It was reported by Doheny in 2006 that migraine headaches cost U.S. employers more than $24 billion annually, including direct health care costs and indirect expenses such as absenteeism. Doheny goes on to report that according to Michael Staufacker, director of program development for StayWell Health Management in St. Paul, Minnesota, “The programs are so few and far between because many companies ‘don’t perceive it as a priority’” (p. 10).
Much of the public perceive headaches and migraines as normal occurrences. For example, a patient will enter a doctor’s office and report they get normal headaches, not realizing that pain is never a normal occurrence. Symons, Shinde and Gilles (2008) highlighted a statement from http://www.iasp-pain.org saying that pain is “‘an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage’” (p. 277). As a result of the public not taking many types of headaches as potential serious problems, they let the condition linger and that can lead to negative sequella.
According to Munakata, Hazard, Serrano, Klingman, Rupnow, Tierce, Reed and Lipton (2009) “…neuroimaging studies have provided compelling evidence that suggests progressive brain changes in persons with migraines…migraine frequency is associated with posterior circulation infarcts and diffuse white-matter lesions…Welch et al. showed that impairments in iron homeostasis in periaqueductal grey areas that were associated with migraine duration and chronic daily headache” (Munakata et al., 2009, p. 499).
Munakata et al. also reported that the economic impact of migraines in both direct healthcare costs and indirect costs of absenteeism is a huge economic burden. The direct cost of migraines ranges from $127 to $7,089 per and the indirect cost due to absenteeism ranges from $709 to $4,453 per victim, making migraines an economic burden to the individual, the insurer, the employer with absenteeism and increased benefits paid and local, state and federal entities who will experience a lowered tax base from lost wages. It was also reported that between 2005 and 2006 there were 1,729,555 physician office visits, 186,603 advanced imaging procedures, 59,589 other diagnostic procedures, and 22,168 hospital days with a primary diagnosis of migraine or headache; all of which are paid by private or public insurers or out of the pockets of individuals. In short, the costs are staggering and a burden to the economy.
Friedman, Feldon, Holloway and Fisher (2009) reported that acute headaches account for 5% of emergency department (ED) visits in hospitals. In addition, they also reported that “…the ED environment that may also contribute to unsatisfactory treatment response include limited physician contact time that may preclude a detailed history, overuse of ED by patients with substance abuse problems, the need for rapid triage, the competing distraction of patients with life-threatening conditions, and directives (or lack thereof) for care dictated by the referring physician…Thus, the treatment of migraine patients in the ED appears to be suboptimal and the high rate of recurrent headache may be attributed to underutilization of relatively ‘migraine specific’ treatment” (Friedman et al., 2009, p. 1164).

Nelson, Suter, Casha, du Plessis and Hurlbert (1998) reported on randomized clinical trials that took place over an 8-week course. The results showed there was minor statistical differences in outcomes for improvement during the trial period for chiropractic care and for amatriptyline and over-the-counter medications for treating migraine headaches. It was also reported that there was no statistical benefit in combining therapies. However, the major factor is that in the post-treatment follow-up period, chiropractic was 57% more effective in the reduction of headaches than drug therapy. In addition, it was reported that, with the drug group, “…58% experienced medication side effects important enough to report them. In the amatriptyline group, 10% of the subjects had to withdraw from the study because of intolerable side effects. Side effects in the SMT (Spinal Manipulative Therapy) group were much more benign, infrequent, mild and transitory. None required withdrawal from the study (Nelson et al., 1998, p. 511). Although this study was conducted 13 years ago, a more current study by Chaibi, Tuchin and Russell (2011) reported that that massage therapy, physiotherapy, relaxation and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy might be equally effective as propranolol and topiramate in the prophylactic management of migraine, supporting the previous findings. Although more research is desperately needed, the above conclusions give the public clear directions with migraines and headaches.

Using the 57% increased effectiveness that chiropractic has over drug therapy (leaving out the overlap that chiropractic could help without drugs) and the $24,000,000,000 ($24 billion) Americans pay for headaches and migraines, the savings would result in $13,680,000,000. back in the insurers, the public’s and the government’s pockets. In addition, if chiropractic reduced the necessity for emergency room visits by 57%, then the ED doctors could focus on what their primary purpose is, to save lives in urgent scenarios.
Chiropractic offers solutions to the federal government, local government, public and private insurance companies, eases the burden on emergency rooms and prevents unnecessary side effects of drugs that are not clinically indicated, with a more viable and proven drugless solution. Although much more research is desperately needed to explore the benefits of chiropractic with migraines and headaches, the research that is available clearly reports that chiropractic offers immediate solutions. These solutions will add to the economy of local, state and federal governments by increasing the tax base and productivity in the marketplace as a result of keeping workers at work and circulating money into local economies with increased paychecks at the end of the year and productivity avoiding absenteeism. The research is conclusive and chiropractic has solutions to many of the economic and societal problems in the United States and worldwide.
References:
1. Doheny, K. (2006). Recognizing the financial pain of migraines. Workforce Management, 85(16), 10-12.
2. Symons, F. J., Shinde, S. K., & Gilles, E. (2008). Perspectives on pain and intellectual disability. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 52(Pt 4), 275-286.
3. Munakata, J., Hazard, E., Serrano, D., Klingman, D., Rupnow, M. F. T., Tierce, J., Reed, M., & Lipton, R. (2009). Economic burden of transformed migraine: Results from the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention (AMPP) Study. Headache, 49(4), 498-508.
4. Friedman, D., Feldon, S., Holloway, R., & Fisher, S. (2009). Utilization, diagnosis, treatment and cost of migraine treatment in the emergency department. Headache, 49(8),1163-1173.
5. Nelson, C. F., Bronfort, G., Evans, R., Boline, P., Goldsmith, C., & Anderson, A. V. (1998). The efficacy of spinal manipulation, amitriptyline and the combination of both therapies for the prophylaxis of migraine headache. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics, 21(8), 511-519.
6. Chaibi, A., Tuchin, P. J., & Russell, M.B. (2011). Manual therapies for migraine: A systematic review. The Journal of Headache and Pain, 12(2), 127-133.