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The Opioid Epidemic and Chiropractic

13 Sep 2018 Blog

On October 26, 2017, the opioid crisis was declared a public health state of emergency. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2016, opioid overdoses were claiming the lives of 115 people a day across the nation. Opioid overdoses continue to rise and have become the leading cause of death for people under 50 years of age (42,249 in 2016), 40% involving opioid related prescriptions. To put this in perspective, opiate-related deaths are beginning to reach heights similar to the HIV epidemic at its peak.

With this has come a staggering increase in the number of babies being born addicted to opioids, from 5,000 in 2003 to 27,000 in 2013, because of maternal usage. When pregnant women use opiates, it elicits a condition called Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS). A horrific condition, NAS  causes newborns to endure withdrawal-like symptoms such as tremors, seizures, high pitched crying, rapid breathing, diarrhea, vomiting, and even death. Thousands of these children are being raised by their grandparents/relatives and if they are not available, then they are placed into an already overburdened foster care system or put up for adoption. The damaging effect on families has been astounding.

Opioids are a class of drugs that include the illicit drug heroin as well as the licit (legal) prescription pain-relievers, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others. Opioids are chemically related and interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the brain and nervous system, producing pleasurable effects and relieving pain. Addiction is a primary, chronic, and relapsing brain disease characterized by an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Through heavy medication marketing by drug companies, society has developed a belief that medication is the first go-to for just about every healthcare problem. This medication culture combined with the ease of availability has led to a widely accepted practice of doctors who were very willing to write opioid prescriptions in the early 1990’s. By 2004 the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) reported the presence of absurd amount of “Pill Mills” where patients had limited examinations, were in and out, and receiving one or more opioids, muscle relaxants, and anti-anxiety pills. Morphine prescriptions increased by 73 percent, Fentanyl by 226 percent, and Oxycodone by a whopping 402 percent. Addicts began to doctor shop within cities and outside of cities, even going to the ER with fake injuries to get their fix. As soon as addicts were unable get their pills any longer, they switched to heroin and fentanyl.

This crisis has hit home! In New York State the age-adjusted rate of all opioid overdose deaths per 100,000 doubled between 2010 (5.4) and 2015 (10.8), with heroin deaths increasing to over five times from 1.0 in 2010 to 5.4 in 2015. In Erie County alone, opioid deaths have skyrocketed from 103 in 2012 to 301 in 2016. As per the Erie County Department of Health, this unsettling data is predominantly composed of Caucasian males between the ages of 20 and 39, residing in the suburbs (45 percent) and is Fentanyl related (64 percent).

The alarm has finally been raised and we have seen increased efforts to educate the community through several outreach programs and the Erie County Opioid Task Force. Twenty-nine drug drop-off locations have been established in the county (visit google maps for Sheriff’s locations, or call 716-472-1998 to find one nearest to you), Methadone clinics developed and Narcan (opioid overdose reversal medication) training has become available to anyone and everyone. Additionally, healthcare providers are becoming more aware of alternative approaches to pain relief. Among them, an important non-pharmacologic approach in helping to solve this crisis is chiropractic care.

For the overwhelming number of people who suffer with chronic pain, chiropractic care offers a drug-free, non-invasive, and cost-effective alternative to opioid drugs. Chiropractors are equipped with the tools to make a significant impact on patients with musculoskeletal pain and patient satisfaction rates with care are very high. Through adjustments, exercises (stretching/strengthening), functional assessment, modalities (heat, ice, cold laser) and soft tissue muscle work, chiropractic can relieve pain symptoms and achieve sustained relief without the side effects of pharmaceuticals. In addition, chiropractors can recommend nutritional, musculoskeletal, and anti-inflammatory pain relief guidance.

As obvious as it sounds, we must remind one another that opioids are powerful drugs with a high tendency for addiction. They should be avoided at all costs and most certainly never be used for recreational or non-clinical reasons. Calls have come from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the institute of Medicine (IOM) for a shift away from opioid use toward non-pharmacologic approaches to address chronic pain. Now is the time to make a change, now is the time to educate those around you, now is the time to turn toward natural, alternative, pain management through Chiropractic.

5 Most Common Conditions that Chiropractors Treat

18 Apr 2018 Blog

5 Most Common Conditions that Chiropractors Treat

                Chiropractic is an area of healthcare that focuses on identifying and treating dysfunctions of the musculoskeletal system. Although the primary focus is on the spine, Chiropractors are trained to treat a wide array of complaints utilizing a holistic approach to viewing the overall biomechanics and functions of the human body. Through gentle, specific manual adjustments Chiropractors can restore motion to affected joints. They utilize several additional therapies to compliment this technique which may include soft tissue manipulation, electric muscle stimulation, heat/ice, and stretching/strengthening exercises just to name a few. Many patients experience noteworthy sustained relief with Chiropractic care for numerous conditions, here are some of the most common:

                Neck pain can have several different causes such as strains/sprains of muscles and ligaments, disc herniations, and joint dysfunctions. The initial goal is to identify the main origin of the pain through a thorough history and evaluation. Once a diagnosis is formulated the Chiropractor can begin treatment to the area in question. With advancements in technology that have lead to daily use of cell phones, computers, and tablets; Chiropractors are seeing more and more neck pain symptoms having roots in postural disorder.

                Low back pain can also have its origins in strains/sprains, disc herniations, and joint dysfunctions. Focusing on the ligaments, nerves, joints, and musculature associated with the lumbar region and pelvis can help specify the area of injury. Upon recognition of the root of the problem, the Chiropractor can employ an individualized, evidenced-based treatment plan to assist the patient to a speedy recovery.

                Headaches can have several different manifestations. The Chiropractor’s initial goal is classifying the type of headache in question. With this knowledge, the clinician can determine which muscles and joints to focus on. Many patients report nearly instant relief of headaches following a Chiropractic adjustment, in particularly those experiencing “Tension Headaches”. Tension headaches can be caused by tightness in the musculature of the head and neck as well as stiffness in the joints of the cervical vertebrate.

                Sciatica refers to pain that radiates down one or both legs. This pain can travel to the thigh and even as far as the foot. As with any other complaint, identifying the true cause of the pain and not simply treating the symptoms will be of the greatest benefit to the patient. Sciatica can have several causes such as muscular strain, lumbar disc herniation, and piriformis syndrome just to name a few. A proper initial diagnosis makes all the difference in the success of treating this condition.

                The Sacro-iliac Joint is a joint in the pelvis where the ilium (hip bone) and sacrum meet. This joint creates the foundation for most movements of the spine such as walking, bending, and lifting. The joint is stabilized by ligament and muscular tissue. In cases of injury these tissues can become inflamed. Due to the daily activation of these joints with normal routines, once injured the tissues can become easily aggregated, prolonging recovery time. Chiropractic adjustments, muscle work, accompanied with strengthening/stretching exercises work wonders in this region.

               Patient’s also visit a Chiropractor for “Wellness Care”, reporting significant enhancements of overall health and function when they receive routine adjustments. Each treatment method is catered to the individual and their respective condition. Through a thorough history and evaluation, a Chiropractor can uncover and treat the root of a problem. This type of approach leads to proper healing, more efficient recovery time, and sustained relief. The next time you find yourself in pain or are looking to stay ahead of the game with preventative care seek the help of a Chiropractor.


5 Things You Need to Know about GRASTON TECHNIQUE

18 Apr 2018 Blog

5 Things You Need to Know about GRASTON TECHNIQUE

                Graston Technique was developed and refined with a strong emphasis on accelerating and improving healing of soft tissue injuries. Since its inception it has gained significant traction in the healthcare community. It revolves around an evidence-based method of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization (IASTM), combined with rehabilitative exercises to improve musculoskeletal function. Incorporating the use of six specifically designed stainless steel instruments, the clinician is assisted in the detection and treatment of soft tissue dysfunction.

The clinician begins by gently scanning the tissue with the instrument, gathering diagnostic information through texture and feedback from the patient. Injuries to soft tissue typically create an inflammatory response that can leave irregularities in surrounding areas. If the instrument is placed over these areas it may feel gritty or fibrous, as if you were “running your fingers across a gravel road”.  Once identified, the clinician is able to utilize a combination of several strokes and instruments to treat the injured area. Each treatment is catered to the individual and their specific condition.

A typical Graston treatment involves four main steps: Warm-Up, IASTM, Stretching, and Exercise. For example, in treating a marathon runner with a quadriceps strain, the clinician would start by having the patient “Warm-Up” the tissue with an activity such as an isometric squat. Once the area in questions has been stimulated, the clinician will begin “IASTM” with the specifically designed Graston instruments. The next step is “Stretching” which can be done independently or with the help of the clinician. In this case the focus would be on the anterior thigh. Lastly, the clinician would instruct the patient to complete high repetition, low load “Exercise” for the quadriceps muscle group, such as a seated leg press. Each step of this process complements one another and is what makes Graston Technique so unique and effective.

Graston can significantly aid in the treatment of tendinopathies such as golfers elbow and tennis elbow, fascial syndromes such as plantar fasciitis and IT band syndrome, ligament sprains such as ankle sprains or injuries to the MCL/LCL of the knee, entrapment syndromes such as thoracic outlet syndrome and carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as post-surgical scar tissue, and edema reduction. It has been shown to increase fibroblastic activity, enhance blood perfusion, alter neural activity, and even increase stem cells to an area of concern. All of which result in more efficient, proper healing of tissue and a quicker recovery time for patients to return to the activities they love the most. Whether the condition is acute or chronic, Graston Technique has the ability to make a substantial impact through its multifaceted, specific approach.

For more information on Graston Technique, please visit: http://www.grastontechnique.com/




We Are Proud of our Patients

We are so proud of all our young athletes and their great accomplishments, this year and always. As an award for your great achievements, Complete Care Chiropractic is going to raffle off a $50.00 gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods.
When you bring in a photo of yourself playing your sport, we will enter your name into our raffle and post the pictures on our young athlete wall. The winner will be chosen on May 11, 2016.
The raffle is open to athletes of all kinds, from baseball to dance, karate to recreational athletes.
While we are highlighting athletic achievements, we are proud of all our patients and the great advancements they have made in their lives with our treatment. From attaining and maintaining overall wellness and leading healthy lives to making the team, perfecting playing an instrument to hitting a home run. Even walking to the curb to retrieve the mail is a success to be celebrated.
Success comes in many forms and we commend all our patients on their determination, improvements and achievements. We are very proud of all our wonderful patients and are so blessed to be able to work with such wonderful and inspiring individuals. You keep putting one foot in front of another, and then one day, you look back and you have climbed a mountain.
Be sure to bring in your picture at your next visit!