Monthly Archives: August 2013

Vigorous Exercise and Parkinson’s Disease

263503_highParkinson’s disease (PD) is a common, disabling, neurodegenerative condition, and the disease prevalence is expected to increase worldwide in the next few decades. A major focus of PD research has been on “disease-modifying” or “neuroprotective” agents to slow PD progression. No drugs to date unequivocally have that property. However, accumulating evidence, albeit indirect, suggests that ongoing vigorous exercise may have a neuroprotective effect in PD, beyond general health promoting effects. Evidence suggests that vigorous exercise should be given a central place in our treatment of PD. It should be encouraged and emphasized as a potential strategy for a more favorable disease course.

Chiropractic and neck and arm pain

neckpain2Symptomatic compression of a cervical nerve root (otherwise known as a ‘pinched nerve’) occurs in approximately 83.2 of every 100000 persons and is caused by disk herniations, and degenerative spinal conditions most typically.  The C6 and C7 nerve roots are most frequently involved, often resulting in severe pain and disability.  Typically, patients with this type of compression often have neck pain with associated arm pain following the distribution of the involved nerve root, although the arm pain may be the predominant symptom.

A recent study found that patients with neck and arm pain (confirmed to have cervical spine disk herniations) treated with chiropractic care  reported high levels of clinically relevant improvement at 2 weeks, 1 month, and 3 months after the first treatment.  At 2 weeks, 55.3% were “improved,” 68.9% at 1 month and 85.7% at 3 months.

Antioxidants in the treatment of chronic low back pain

648135_highAlpha (α-) lipoic acid is a potent antioxidant.  Current studies support its use in the ancillary treatment of many diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, autoimmune diseases, cancer and AIDS.   A July, 2013 article in the European Journal of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine found that oral treatment with alpha lipoic acid (600 mg/day) and superoxide dismutase (140 IU/day) significantly reduced chronic low back pain and medication use while improving function.  After 60 days of treatment, only 8% of patients still used analgesics (pain killer) versus 73.5% at the beginning of the study.



Optimizing pain relief during pregnancy with chiropractic and massage


An article in the August 2013 issue of the Canadian Family Physician (Official Journal of the College of Family Physicians of Canada) discusses the safety and effectiveness of chiropractic and massage therapy for pain relief during pregnancy.  As pregnant women move into their second and third trimesters, their centers of mass shift forward, causing a change in spinal curvature which causes low back and pelvic girdle pain. Increasing recent evidence attests to the effectiveness and safety of treating this pain using manual therapy. The authors state that massage therapy and chiropractic care are highly safe and effective evidence-based options for pregnant women suffering from mechanical low back and pelvic pain.  Access to manual therapy can be facilitated by family physicians and obstetricians by making this information available to their patients.

Massage for premature infants


Premature infants lack the tactile stimulation they would have otherwise experienced in the womb. Infant massage is a developmentally supportive intervention that has been documented for several decades to have a positive effect on both full term and preterm infants. In a recent study, 32 infants received massage therapy by their mothers compared to a control group that did not receive massage. Infants who were massaged had significantly lower scores on the infant pain scale after a heel-stick compared to before the massage and had lower pain scores at discharge compared to the control group. Massaged infants also had higher cognitive scores at 12 months corrected age. Weight gain, length of stay, breastfeeding duration and motor scores did not differ between groups. Stable preterm infants benefit from massage therapy given by their mothers and may serve as a means to improve the outcomes of preterm infants.

Why Exercise Works Magic

752747_highRoutine physical activity of moderate or vigorous intensity substantially reduces the risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer and other ills.

Scientists have recently identified numerous previously unknown ways in which habitual exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, can help control diabetes and can even facilitate learning. Prolonged sitting may, however, cancel some of the health advantages gained through regular exercise.

Most people do not realize that regular moderate to vigorous physical activity completely changes our bodies from the inside out.

A few of the less widely known effects of regular exercise include:  improving cognitive function, protection from inflammation, boosting the immune system, prevention of fractures and falls, reducing risk of cancer, decreasing the risk of diabetes, turning on/off specific genes.

Chiropractic and Immediate Pain Relief

  • A new study suggests that spinal manipulation evokes statistically significant short-term increases in pressure pain thresholds in segmentally related myofascial tissues in young adults
  • Decreased pressure sensitivity (increased PPT score) was observed at all time intervals beyond baseline within neurologically linked infraspinatus muscle after real, but not sham, manipulation
  • The peak antinociceptive effect was measured as a 36% decrease in pressure sensitivity from baseline values and was recorded at 5 minutes postSM

Non adherence to clinical guidelines for low back pain reduces chiropractic visits

Despite clinical guideline recommendations that advanced imaging, such as MRI, should not take place in the first 6 weeks of low back pain (LBP) symptoms, in our sample of workers with uncomplicated, nonspecific acute LBP, we found that 19.0 percent of workers with LBP received at least one MRI within this time frame. This nonadherence to guidelines was associated with increased likelihood of surgery, injections, PT/OT and outpatient visits, but decreased risk of lumbar CT imaging and chiropractic visits despite adjustment for baseline symptom severity and propensity scores predicting adherence to the guidelines.