Posted tagged ‘back pain’

Another Low Back Pain Road Map

June 21, 2013

1076818_folded_map[originally published in KCN, January 2008]

In our ever changing healthcare environment, doctors are constantly learning  — so much so, that the treatments they hold fast to today, may be surpassed by another, more effective means tomorrow.  To not recognize this would be like freezing a physician in a time capsule with his dated professional diploma.  In an effort to stay abreast of the latest research regarding effective treatments for the myriad of conditions out there, doctors will often turn to the latest published practice guideline to assist them in their decision making process.  Why am I telling you all this?  Because a fresh set of guidelines just crossed my desk for Low Back Pain.  And chiropractic — as it has in guidelines past — has managed to find itself a comfortable spot in this set of recommendations, even if it was written for doctors of internal medicine.

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Off Label Chiropractic

October 29, 2010

[originally published in KCN, November  2010]

Every day in the practice of medicine doctors prescribe their patients “off label” medications.  And while some might confuse the term “off label” with “generic,” it really is quite different.  In fact, according to a study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, as many as one-fifth of all drugs are prescribed off label.

Basically, what this means is that the doctor has found a use for the medication other than its “on label,” or intended, purpose.  Examples of this include antiseizure medications to treat migraines, antidepressants to treat certain types of pain, and antianxiety medications to treat nausea.  A classic example of off label drug use is that of Rogaine.  Many are unaware that Rogaine is actually a blood pressure medication — a blood pressure medication that doctors (and their patients) soon found had an interesting side effect:  hair growth in balding men.

As common as the practice of off label prescribing is in medicine, it’s my contention that something very similar is practiced in chiropractic.  And while “off label chiropractic” isn’t actually a term… it should be. (more…)

Spare the “Spare Parts”

August 20, 2010

[originally published in KCN, August 2010 / cartoon provided by TomLamarCartoon.com]

Listen to Dr. Lamar’s Podcast on this subject!

Tonsils.  Appendix.  Gallbladder.

Quick!  What do these three body parts have in common?

This was the question I recently posed to my patients.  I heard many answers:  from “These are organs I no longer have,” to “They are all vestigial body parts.”

Here’s my take.  Apparently, some healthcare providers consider these “spare parts,”  and they are often removed by surgeons as an extreme form of symptom treating. And while I’d never argue against removing, say, an appendix that was ready to burst, I do wonder why it escalated to a point in which its removal became medically necessary.

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Anything But Spare

June 4, 2010

[originally published in KCN, June 2002]

We have 12 pair of them.  Two of the pairs “float.”  They are essential for breathing and the protection of our heart, lungs, and other vital organs.  God took one from Adam to create Eve.   Restaurants serve them:  short, spare, baby back, and prime.  And some condoms are accentuated by them.  Oh, did I mention, chiropractors adjust them.  What am I talking about?  I’m not “ribbing” you, I’m talking about our ribs.

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Up in Smoke

August 21, 2009

[originally published in KCN, March 2000]

smoking-camelI wonder what Joe Camel’s spinal X-rays look like.  Not very pretty in my estimation.  In fact, I’m even starting to question whether he really is  a camel after researching the impact cigarettes can have on the spine.  Perhaps under his cool camel persona lies a spinal deformed horse with a bad nose job.  If so, kudos to the ladies and gentlemen in Joe’s marketing department for fooling us all for so long.

Bad addictionSo what’s up with smoking and spinal health anyway?  Is there a link?  Will the courts order tobacco companies to provide lifetime chiropractic care for their puffing patrons?  Probably not.   After all, the bad habit hasn’t been “conclusively” linked to poor spinal health.  Hmmm.  Nevertheless, the physiology of the spine and pharmacology of the potent chemicals in cigarettes suggests that a connection is very plausible. (more…)

…But wait! There’s more!

August 14, 2009

[originally published in KCN, February 2000]

visceral-but-wait-guyToday it is becoming more and more accepted by the health care community and public at large that chiropractors are great back doctors.  I would agree.  The scientific literature certainly supports our primary method of treatment for back pain, and more insurance companies are covering our services for it.  Considering our history of long uphill battles to gain “acceptance”  as a viable health care profession,  it is understandable that we might be drawn to settle into this “comfortable chair” of being labeled as back pain specialists.  But to do so would really be undermining the true potential that the art, science, and philosophy of chiropractic has to offer. (more…)

Cost-Effective Strategies When Your Employee is on L and I

August 1, 2009

[originally published in GKCCC Newsletter, May 2009, and then in KCN, August 2009]

Counting moneyIronically, the biggest driver of  costs associated with work injury claims often is not the actual health care rendered to the injured worker, but rather the amount of time-loss wages paid to the worker themselves.  And, for us employers, this usually translates to the ever-dreaded premium hike.  So what’s a cash-strapped employer to do when one of his workers is stricken with a debilitating work injury?
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