2014 – February Newsletter

Posted on: February 2nd, 2014

Reef Chiropractic Care            

Dr. Brian C. Baker



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 Cervical Disc Herniation

 Pain Interventions to Avoid

 Obesity and Discs
 Sugar and the Brain

 Muscle Pain Relief

 Brief History of Medicine

 Healthcare Technology
















The Paleo Diet


Food Politics














February 2014


Snow and more snow!   Be careful driving and shoveling. Contrary to what you might think, chiropractors do not wish for snow, and its not great for business.  Be safe.


Looking for something fun and meaningful?  How about becoming active in the community?  I’ve been a member of the Kiwanis Club of Fairfield since moving here in 1987.  It started as a way for me to become known in town and help establish my practice. What I found was an opportunity to get involved with community fundraising and volunteerism and at the same time work and socialize with some great men and women.  Needless to say I’ve remained a member.


For 2014, Fairfield Kiwanis is looking to increase their membership. If you’re working (or retired) or living in town and are interested in becoming involved with a terrific international organization like Kiwanis, I’d like to invite you, as my guest, to one of our weekly lunch meetings.  Need to learn more about Kiwanis and what we do?  Simply respond to this newsletter or give me a call.  I’d love to tell you more! 


By the way, due for a tune up?   Use this opportunity to call or go to our website to request an appointment.  Shane is awaiting your phone call.




Cervical Disc Herniation Eased by Chiropractic

New research shows the chiropractic can produce clinically significant reductions in pain for patients with cervical disc herniation.
Often patients with neck pain experience tingling, numbness, and pain emanating from their neck down the arm. These symptoms are characteristic of cervical radiculopathy or radicular pain. Cervical radiculopathy results from compression of the nerve root in the cervical spine (the part of the spine in your neck), and can cause pain to travel down the nerve pathway in the arm.
Disc herniation is the second most common causes of cervical radiculopathy. Unfortunately, few medical studies have analyzed the effectiveness of conservative treatments for cervical disc herniation. A team of Swiss researchers sought to fill that gap in knowledge by observing the effects of chiropractic care on patients with disc herniation in a new study.
The study included 50 patients with cervical disc herniation confirmed on MRI scans and orthopedic tests. The patients were treated by chiropractors who used spinal adjustments applied directly to the affected area observed on the MRI scans. After two weeks of treatment more than half of patients had significantly improved. By the three month mark, 85.7% of patients had significant improvements in pain and disability. Additionally, none of the patients experienced adverse effects as result of treatment.
Patients with acute pain at the start of the study (with symptoms lasting under 4 weeks) had a greater chance of recovery compared to patients with subacute/chronic pain. However, the majority of patients with of subacute/chronic pain patients (76.5%) still experienced significant improvements.
“This is clinically important as the chronic patients are the ones who are usually the most costly in terms of health care cause and quality-of-life disruption,” the researchers wrote.
These findings add to earlier research demonstrating the efficacy of chiropractic care for lumbar disc herniation and radiculopathy.  Research



Top Five Pain Interventions to Avoid

In the latest response to the call from the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation for recommendations on the most overused interventions, the American Society of Anesthesiologists has issued its list of top 5 tests and therapies that are of questionable usefulness in the field of pain medicine.
Of the top five interventions that doctors were advised to avoid, I’d like to highlight two of them:
1. In treating chronic non-cancer pain, consider multimodal therapy, including non-drug treatments, such as behavioral and physical therapies, before pharmacologic intervention. If drug therapy appears indicated, try non-opioid medication, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or anticonvulsants, before starting opioids.
2.  Avoid imaging tests, such as MRI, CT, or x-ray, for acute low back pain without specific indications. Avoid these interventions for low back pain in the first 6 weeks after pain begins if there are no specific clinical indications (eg, history of cancer with potential metastases, known aortic aneurysm, progressive neurologic deficit). Most low back pain doesn’t require imaging, and performing such tests may reveal incidental findings that divert attention and increase the risk of having unhelpful surgery.
 ASA’s Committee on Pain Medicine



Abdominal Obesity and Disc Degeneration

Conventional wisdom leads most to assume low back pain is due to obesity.  This study tried to determine whether there is an association between obesity and the incidence of lumbar disc degeneration in early adulthood.  The researchers looked at MRIs of 325 females and 233 males with an average age of around 21 years old.  They took measurements of obesity, like waist circumference, abdominal diameter, subcutaneous fat thickness and then looked at the incidence of disc degeneration.


Conclusion: They found a total of 155 (48%) females and 147 (63%) males  with disc degeneration.  After analysis, measures of abdominal obesity in MRI and waist circumference were associated with disc degeneration among the 21-year-old males, however there was no association found with females.


What I find most interesting, is the number of 21 year olds with disc degeneration!



How sugar affects the brain 
When you eat something loaded with sugar, your taste buds, your gut and your brain all take notice. This activation of your reward system is not unlike how bodies process addictive substances such as alcohol or nicotine — an overload of sugar spikes dopamine levels and leaves you craving more. Nicole Avena explains why sweets and treats should be enjoyed in moderation. Video


Spinal Adjustments Relieve Muscle Pain Instantly

Chiropractic adjustments can provide immediate relief for people with chronic muscle pain, according to new research.
Chronic muscle pain, also known as myofascial pain syndrome, affects an estimated 25% of the general population, and 85% of middle-aged people. Myofascial pain can be caused by an injury to muscle fibers, repetitive motions, or a lack of activity. Frequently patients have specific trigger points, or hyper-irritable spots of pain.
In a new study, 36 patients with myofascial pain were treated with either chiropractic spinal adjustments or a sham treatment. The researchers measured patients’ pressure pain threshold, or their ability to withstand pain at trigger points. Having a lower pressure pain threshold indicates more pain sensitivity and tenderness.
Immediately after receiving spinal adjustments, chiropractic patients had significantly improved pressure pain thresholds and reduced sensitivity compared to the control group.
This adds to earlier research showing that chiropractic is a safe, effective way to reduce chronic pain. If you suffer from ongoing muscle pain, chiropractic can help.

A Brief History Of Medicine

2000 B.C. — Here, eat this root.
1000 A.D. — That root is heathen. Say this prayer.
1850 A.D. — That prayer is superstition. Drink this potion.
1940 A.D. — That potion is snake oil. Swallow this pill.
1985 A.D. — That pill is ineffective. Take this antibiotic.
2008 A.D. — That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.

Healthcare Technology



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