Dr. Manison, I have sometimes heard that there is an increased risk of getting a stroke with chiropractic manipulation. Is there any truth to this?
In February, 2008, a conclusive study was published in Spine (a medical journal, not a chiropractic journal) that basically put this issue to rest. It involved 109 million case studies over a 9 year period. The verdict is clear: Chiropractic manipulation is safe and does not increase your risk for stroke any more than care from your primary care doctor. Being that chiropractic care is safe, effective, and more conservative than most forms of medical intervention for neck pain, headaches, etc…, you should consider chiropractic care at the top of your list for such issues. View this study: Risk of Vertebrobasilar Stroke and Chiropractic Care: Results of a Population-based Case-control and Case-crossover Study.
Dr. Manison, I recently went to a chiropractic office where they insisted on taking many x-rays and then proceeded to schedule me for 3 times a week for 6 weeks, then 2 times a week for 6 weeks, and then told me they'd do an evaluation and determine the rest of my care plan at that time. Is this a normal care plan?
NO, this is unequivocally not a normal care plan. In regards to x-rays, many chiropractors still take them. Sometimes there is a need, but most times there is not. I prefer to send out for x-rays and/or MRIs when there is a medical need for such. Exposing patients to radiation is not always warranted. In addition, given that I implement the Cox technic and a lot of advanced soft tissue techniques, often times I prefer MRIs as x-rays do not tell us about discs or soft tissues.
In regards to the treatment plan, we do not practice this way. Each patient’s care plan is specifically geared toward his/her needs. Any office that has cookie cutter treatment plans is most likely not properly addressing your individual needs.
Dr. Manison, the last chiropractor I saw treated me for my low back pain. He did help me a decent amount, but he recommended that I continue care weekly to maintain those results. He said that I'd likely need to receive care for years. Is it necessary for me to need continual care for years to come?
The answer to this question is a resounding ‘NO’! The job of the chiropractor is help the patient with their musculoskeletal problem(s) and teach them how to take care of themselves so that they will not need continual care. Too many chiropractors are not trained in advanced soft tissues techniques and/or rehabilitative/stability exercises. Because of this, their ability to help the patient is limited. This limitation means that the patient will need excessive care and will not truly achieve optimal results. A chiropractor should not only be well-versed in the treatment of the joints, but also in the soft tissues and how to address them properly in order to maximize patient results.
Dr. Manison, my primary care physician advised me to avoid activity and rest until the pain in my low back goes away. You advise improving biomechanics and restoring proper movement mechanics. I'm a little confused...which is better for me?
Unfortunately, too many doctors who do not have proper training in a specific area of study offer their opinions without any factual basis. This is bad for the patient as lack of proper care can result in complications going forward. Just as you wouldn’t want to see a chiropractor for a kidney problem, you’d be better served listening to a chiropractor when it comes to neuromusculoskeletal issues. View this study: Doctors with a special interest in back pain have poorer knowledge about how to treat back pain.
I have had a desk job for years and when looking at my x-rays, it looks like I don't have a curve in my neck. Is this normal and can this lack of a curve be causing any of my neck pain? Can chiropractic care help with these issues?
It is not normal to lack a cervical lordosis and care should be geared, at least in part, to helping restore a proper lordosis so that the cervical spine can function as it should. In regards to your pain, when we lose the cervical lordosis, we are not only creating biomechanical stress but we are also ‘stretching’ the spinal cord, and this can create all types of undesirable effects. Chiropractic care can help to restore proper biomechanics and that will help to reduce pain. From that point, exercises and cervical extension/compression traction can be used to stabilize the upper back/neck and help restore a proper cervical lordosis. Please read the abstract below about the curve in your neck in regards to degeneration. View this study: Kinematic analysis of the relationship between sagittal alignment and disc degeneration in the cervical spine.
I am not too famliar with Dry Needling. How is it different from Acupunture? Is it used to treat the same conditions?
This is a great question. The only similarity between Dry Needling and Acupunture is the instrument, or the needle. Acupunture is based upon the meridian system, with points that are always there. Dry Needling only deals with actiive, pathological soft tissue problems, such as Trigger Points. So, the two systems have nothing in common with the approach. Dry Needling has current research (and more added each month) demonstrating its success with a whole host of musculoskeletal problems. Below is a great recent study that illustrates this point… The Effect of Dry Needling in The Treatment of Myofascial Pain…
I am an avid triathlete and I have benefitted from the Isagenix system that you have recommended. I am leaner, have more muscle, perform better, and recover faster! I read a lot about it online and through our discussions but I would like to have some of the research you talk about so that I can show my doctor and my peers. Where can I gain access to that information?
We have a lot of blogs on the topic of body composition/modification, necessary protein consumption, etc… and this is one way to learn. With that being said, the best way to keep up with the studies is to follow Dr. Manison on Instagram (@drmanison). Every so often, he posts studies on there with captions. By following him on Instagram, you can also see ALL the studies he has posted on this (and other) topics in the past. There is a lot of data already and it’s a growing database for those who are interested.