Your Low Back Pain Diagnosis And Why It Is Important

Houston Chiropractor Comments: With any health condition, most doctors agree an accurate diagnosis is important. But with low back pain, it seems that many sufferers postpone the visit to the doctor in hopes that it will go away on its own. It’s no wonder many patients take this approach, since advertisements continually tell us that relief comes in a bottle of little pills. We are almost led to believe that finding out what is wrong with our back is of little importance, that we just need to block the pain, and get on with our lives.

But we need to understand that pain is a signal the body puts out to get our attention-to tell us to take it easy, move less and so on. Despite what pill advertisers would like you to believe, pain is not the problem, it is a signal there is a problem.

If you don’t immediately reach for the pain pills, then maybe you think taking to bed rest for a couple of days and saying the five magic words, “…maybe it will go away..,” would do the trick? Sometimes it does help the pain, but this approach rarely helps the actual problem. Doing this over and over can actually lead to more significant problems, because you are not getting the care you need. A reason why you may not be getting the care you need, is because no one has actually diagnosed what is actually the problem.

And when one says diagnose, that doesn’t mean looking you over from behind a desk and handing you a prescription for some strong medications. While talking over how you’ve been doing is important, it is not a thorough examination. In our office we will attempt to determine the CAUSE of your pain…and not surprisingly, it’s rarely a lack of pills in your diet. We perform mechanical tests to see how your spine moves and when necessary perform imaging studies such as x-rays, to see the positions of the bones in your spine.

Sometimes, a consultation is all that is needed to see if you may be a good candidate for specific chiropractic care. Or maybe you would just like to see what kinds of techniques and services we offer in our office? Please remember that an accurate diagnosis of the cause of your pain is the first step to getting back your quality of life. Dr. Ward Beecher practices at Beecher Chiropractic Clinic at 1001 Pineloch, Ste 700 Houston, TX 77062. You can schedule an appointment at or by calling (281) 286-1300. If you have any questions regarding this blog, please e-mail them to .

Dr Beecher’s February 25 Weekly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Weekly Newsletter, please click here!


Week of Monday, February 25th, 2013

Mental Attitude: No Interruptions Please. Short interruptions (such as the few seconds it takes to silence that buzzing smart phone) have a surprisingly large effect on one’s ability to accurately complete a task. Interruptions of just three seconds can double your chances for making errors.

Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, January 2013


Health Alert: American Health. Americans have shorter life expectancy and higher rates of injury and disease than citizens of other industrialized countries. A 2011 report showed that the US ranked 50th in life expectancy. In most health issues (infant mortality, teenage pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, heart disease, chronic lung

disease, disability, obesity, diabetes, drug-related deaths, homicides, injuries, and HIV/AIDS), the US is either at the bottom or near the bottom of the list of industrialized nations.

Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council, January 2013


Diet: Diet Linked To Depression? Though there is plenty of evidence for an association between diet and depression, and that fast food increases risk of depression (while the Mediterranean diet decreases it), most studies do not show causality. It is difficult to be sure if diet is responsible for depression. It’s just as likely that depressed people simply make bad food choices. BMC Medicine, January 2013


Exercise: Not At School! In the 1920s, 97% of US college students were required to take Physical Education (PE); today, that number is at an all-time low of 39%. 34% of adolescents and teens ages 12-19 are overweight and 17% are obese. These rates have roughly doubled since 1980. The median PE budget for schools in the US is $764 per school year in K-12 and 61% of PE teachers report an annual budget of less than $1,000. Obesity will cost the US

$344 billion in medical-related expenses by 2018, about 21% of the nation’s total health-care spending.

Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, January 2013


Chiropractic: Inflammation! Inflammation is your body’s natural response to injury and is part of the healing process. However, if proper care is not received, inflammation can hinder the healing process and may lead to scarring, improper motion, and additional pain. Signs of inflammation include: pain, heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. Chiropractic adjustments and care can reduce inflammation and pain naturally!


Wellness/Prevention: Obesity and Car Accident Fatalities. An analysis of over 57,000 automobile collisions concluded obese drivers are 21-80% more likely to die after the accident, depending on the severity of their obesity. Two possible reasons for the increase include: vehicle design and safety features that are optimized for normal weight adults, and the greater likelihood of underlying health problems that accompany obesity.

British Medical Journal, January 2013


Quote: “A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.” ~ Tom Stoppard


This Weekly Health News Update is compliments of Dr. Ward Beecher and Beecher Chiropractic Clinic. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 281-286-1300 or .


Dr Beecher’s February 18 Weekly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Weekly Newsletter, please click here!


Week of Monday, February 18th, 2013

Mental Attitude: Unaware? Only 5% of Americans realize obesity raises cancer and respiratory disease risk! The majority of the public believes obesity to be the second most serious health issue in the country, after cancer. When asked whether their weight was normal, 50% said, “Yes.” According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 67% of American adults are either overweight or obese. This means many people are probably not completely aware of their own physical health.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, January 2013


Health Alert: Less Weight Counseling? 145 million adult Americans are overweight or obese, and while the number of overweight and obese Americans has increased, the amount of weight counseling offered by primary care physicians has decreased, especially for patients with high blood pressure and diabetes. Despite the current obesity epidemic, overweight patients seen in 2007-2008 had a 46% lower chance of receiving weight counseling than other patients, and counseling occurred in only 6.2% of doctor office visits. At the same time, the percentage of adults who were overweight or obese increased from 52% in 1995 to 63% in 2008. Medical Care, January 2013


Diet: Sugary Drinks. People who regularly consume sugary drinks are more susceptible to becoming obese or overweight. Annually, the average American consumes 100 lbs of sugar from drinks. Regularly drinking sugary beverages may amplify obesity in those genetically predisposed to being overweight.

New England Journal of Medicine, September 2012


Exercise: Walking. Women who walked more than 3 hours a week were 43% less likely to suffer a stroke compared to those who didn’t do any physical activity. Stroke, January 2013


Chiropractic: Why Did You Wait? Patients often wait before seeking Chiropractic care. They hope the problem will go away on its own or they try home remedies (drugs, ice, heat, other therapies, etc.) first. Injuries are almost always slower to recover when care is put off, so the longer you wait, the harder it may be to “fix” your problem. Optimum care should start right away. As you wait, muscles become tighter, muscles atrophy, muscles weaken, soft tissue adhesions form, proprioceptive function decreases in the joint, and fluid flow to and from the cells decreases. This usually results in the pain lasting longer. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 1992


Wellness/Prevention: Alcohol and Calories. Alcohol contains 7 kcal/g (second only to fat, which contains 9

kcal/g). A glass of wine has 178 calories and takes 38 minutes of brisk walking to burn off. A regular alcohol drinker may get up to 10% of their total calorie intake from alcohol. World Cancer Research Fund, January 2013


Quote: “I’ve made a promise to myself to be a 100% healthy person if nothing else.” ~ Picabo Street


This Weekly Health News Update is compliments of Dr. Ward Beecher and Beecher Chiropractic Clinic. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 281-286-1300 or .


Dr Beecher’s February 11 Weekly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Weekly Newsletter, please click here!


Week of Monday, February 11th, 2013

Mental Attitude: Depression Risk. People who drank more than 4 sodas (sugar-sweetened or diet) per day were

30% more likely to be diagnosed with depression than those who consumed none. Those who drank 4 cans of fruit punch per day (sugar-sweetened or diet) were 38% more likely to become depressed. Consuming diet versions of soda and fruit punches was associated with a greater risk for depression than consuming versions sweetened with regular sugar. Interestingly, those who drank 4 cups of coffee per day were 10% less likely to develop depression than those who drank none. National Institutes of Health, January 2013


Health Alert: Prescription Drug Abuse. Prescription drug abuse is just behind marijuana as the United States’ most widespread drug issue, with 22 million people beginning use of non-medically prescribed pain alleviating drugs

since 2002. Rates of abuse span from 3.6% in Iowa to 6.4% in Oregon. Addressing prescription drug misuse remains a top public health priority. The key is educating the public on the serious health risks involved.

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, January 2013


Diet: Fast Food and Asthma. Children who eat three or more fast food meals a week have a 39% greater risk for severe asthma. British Medical Journal, January 2013


Exercise: Good Reasons. Exercise reduces blood viscosity, enhances your muscles’ abilities to extract oxygen from your blood, and increases your productivity. Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996


Chiropractic: Macro vs. Micro Trauma? Macro-trauma is an accident such as a car accident or falling down. Many people think this is the only way injury occurs. Micro-trauma is a cumulative effect from simple acts of daily living over a long period of time (weeks, months, or years) that ultimately leads to pain and dysfunction. These activities may be just one thing (like excessive computer use with bad posture) or multiple things you do throughout the day.


Wellness/Prevention: Drowsy Drivers. 4% of United States adults have fallen asleep or dozed off while behind the wheel. Sleepy driving is more common among adults who sleep less than six hours per night, snore, or fall asleep randomly during the day, compared with people who do not. Ways used to stay awake while driving, such as

opening the window, turning up the AC and radio, are usually unsuccessful. Warning signs of sleepiness include hitting a rumble strip, drifting from one’s lane, missing exits, yawning or blinking, and trouble remembering driving

the last few miles. CDC, January 2013


Quote: “Poor health is not caused by something you don’t have; it’s caused by disturbing something that you already have. Health is not something you need to get, it’s something you have already if you don’t disturb it.”

~ Dean Ornish


This Weekly Health News Update is compliments of Dr. Ward Beecher and Beecher Chiropractic Clinic. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 281-286-1300 or .


Dr Beecher’s February 2013 Monthly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Monthly Newsletter, please click here!

“Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment.”

~ Rita Mae Brown


 New Research Reveals…

Two Things You Should Do

If You Don’t Want Back Pain


More this month:

  • Sick? Flu? Should You Stay In Bed And Rest Or Go Exercise? It Depends…
  • Want To Feel Fuller While Eating Less? Here Is How With “One Of The Most Potent Hormones For Suppressing Appetite.”
  • Researchers Discover Why This Type Of Meal Makes You Feel Fuller.


Inspirational Story: The Weight Loss King? How Did A 32-Year-Old Man Lose 111 Pounds In 101 Days? 


Houston – It’s funny how the more we learn about ourselves and the world around us, the more established “facts” turn out to be completely wrong and the opposite of what is “true.”

For example, new research concludes that people with low back pain will achieve greater benefits by exercising more, not less.

In a study done by the University of Alberta on 240 men and women with chronic lower back pain showed, those who exercised 4 days a week had a better quality of life, 28 percent less pain, and 36 percent less disability. Those who hit the gym only 2 or 3 days a week did not show the same level of change.

“While it could be assumed that someone with back pain should not be exercising frequently, our findings show that working with weights 4 days a week provides the greatest amount of pain relief and quality of life,” said Robert Kell, lead author of the study and an Assistant Professor of Exercise and Physiology at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus.

Here is something really important from the study…  The participants were split into four groups of 60.  One group exercised with weights 2 days a week, another 3 days a week, and a third group 4 days a week.  The fourth group did not exercise with weights.

All groups were tracked for 16 weeks. At the end of the 16 weeks, the level of pain reportedly decreased by 28% in the 4-day a week group, by 18% in the 3-day a week group, and by 14% in the 2-day a week group.

So What Does This Mean To You?

It depends.  Every case of back pain is individual and you should not just run out today and start lifting weights.  That could be a disaster.

If you have back pain, your first move should be to get a complete examination by a qualified doctor who treats back pain every day.

Chiropractors are specially trained to diagnose and treat low back pain and can tell you what the probable cause of your back pain is and the best treatment methods for your individual case.

But clearly, for many low back sufferers, exercise is a very good thing.

Now for something else that can possibly help your back pain…

As If Lung Cancer Wasn’t Bad Enough…

For quite some time, researchers have known that smoking is a risk factor for chronic pain disorders.  More specifically, smoking has been linked to increased risk for low back pain, spinal disk problems, and poor outcome after surgery.

Now, a new study published in the December 2012 issue of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that smokers suffering from spinal disorders and related back pain reported greater discomfort than spinal disorder patients who stopped smoking during an eight-month treatment period.

The study analyzed the pain reported by more than 5,300 patients with back pain and related conditions.

The results as reported in Science Daily: “At the time of entry into care, patients who had never smoked and prior smokers reported significantly less back pain than current smokers and those who had quit smoking during the study period. Current smokers reported significantly greater pain in all visual analog scale (VAS) pain ratings — worst, current and average weekly pain — when compared with patients who had never smoked.”

It was also noted that patients who quit smoking reported greater improvement than those who continued to smoke and the group that continued to smoke had no reported improvement in pain.

The leading author of the study said that nicotine increases pain. According to the study, if you quit smoking, your condition should improve.  If you continue to smoke, you may see no improvement, regardless of what treatment you receive. If you smoke, you are dramatically decreasing your chances of getting better from any treatment, including surgery.

Here is the conclusion of the study: “Given a strong association between improved patient-reported pain and smoking cessation, this study supports the need for smoking cessation programs for patients with a painful spinal disorder.”

Sick? Flu? Should You Exercise Or Stay In Bed?

Starve a cold, feed a fever.  Just go “sweat it out.”  Yes, there are many urban legends on how to defeat the common cold, and even the flu.  But what do the experts have to say about all this?

It depends.

Depending on what is going on with your specific condition, exercise can be a good thing… or a bad thing.

Exercise is a good thing at the right time.  But sometimes your body needs a break and you have to learn to listen to it.

According to Keith Veselik, M.D., Director of Primary Care at Loyola University Health System, whether or not you should exercise can depend on your specific disease. When you’re sick, your body is fighting an illness and that takes energy. The added stress to the body can be dangerous for people with heart conditions. If you have diabetes, you may need to monitor your blood glucose levels more often. If you have a medical condition and you’re not sure if it’s safe to exercise, consult with your doctor.

Still, Veselik says a general rule is that it’s okay to exercise if your symptoms are “above the neck, such as a sore throat or runny nose.”

It is also important to understand that you should not exercise at the same level when you are sick as when you are healthy.  A little exercise at the right time can help you feel better and fight sickness.  Too much can break your body down and make things much worse.

The difference between exercise helping and hurting can be a very fine line.  When in doubt, err on the “exercise light” side.

It may be dangerous to exercise if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Shortness of breath or chest congestion
  • Body aches
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • If you feel dizzy or light-headed when you stand up.

            And don’t forget, if you ever have any questions or concerns about your health, talk to us. Contact us with your questions. We’re here to help and don’t enjoy anything more than participating in providing you natural pain relief.

Inspirational Story Of The Month

(Names And Details May Have Been Changed To Protect Privacy)


The Weight Loss King?

How Did A 32-Year-Old Man Lose 111 Pounds In 101 Days?


Just about everyone wants to lose weight.  Some want to lose a lot.  Some just want to lose a little.  No matter how much weight you want to lose, you probably would like to know who “The Weight Loss King” is and how this 32-year-old lost 111 pounds in 101 days. Here’s the story…

“The Weight Loss King” was seriously overweight at 333 lbs.  His health was spiraling out of control and he sat himself down and decided he had to make a change.  That change was going to be a 10-day juice fast.

By the third day, things looked bleak.  Hunger and the detoxification process was waging war on him.  But he kept his promise to himself and made it to the fourth day.  That’s when things started to get a little better…

Each day he just tried to make it to the next.  By the 8th day, he shot a video about his progress.  He had lost 16 lbs., but he said something much more important happened than the amount of weight he had lost.  He said that his initial goal was to make it 10 days.  But now on the 8th day, he changed his goal.  His new goal was to stay on the juice fast for another 10 days, and possibly 10 after that, for a total of 30 days.

This meant he was going to miss Thanksgiving, but by this time, he knew he was creating a whole new life for himself.  He admitted he didn’t even think he was going to make it the initial 10 days.  It’s amazing how things can change…

He made another video update on day 15, and reported that he was down 23 lbs.  This time, he said he was going for 30 days and it was clear by the conviction in his voice that he was going to make it.  In this video, his entire face was beginning to change and he was becoming a completely different person.

By day 22, he had lost 30 lbs. He said he had one week to go and he wanted to drop another 10 lbs. in his final week.

On day 30, you could see everything had changed.  He was down 38 lbs. and he looked and talked like a new person.  He said, “I’m on day 30 of a 10 day juice fast which means I’ve done better than I thought I could.”  The most important thing was the self-confidence he now possessed, and the incredible positive momentum he was building.

He announced that he changed his goal once again and he planned to do a full 60 days on the juice fast.  By day 33, he was down 41 lbs.  He said that he was feeling the best he had ever felt in his life.  The days went by and the weight continued to come off.  Each video update was better than the previous one, until he reached his ultimate goal by dropping a whopping 111 pounds in 101 days.

So what do a juice fast and all this weight loss have to do with you?  The weight loss actually has nothing to do with you, but there is something much more important here that does…

On his last video update, he said he thought reaching his juice fast goal would be the end, but when he got there, he realized it was just the beginning.  The important thing here is that he did not attempt a 101 day juice fast.  He only attempted 10 days.  He committed himself to something small and believable and then he took action.  He just tried to make it through each day, one day at a time.  When he did, the momentum grew.  That’s how big changes take place, one small step at a time.

No one is telling you or anyone else to do a juice fast.  For this newsletter, the juice fast is merely symbolic of the process of change and how you can achieve major accomplishments in your life by making a commitment to a small, attainable goal and taking one small step at a time.  The key is taking that first step.


We love helping our patients and their friends and relatives through their tough times and getting them feeling better!  We are here to help you stay feeling better and looking younger!  Don’t be a stranger.  You really can afford Chiropractic care! Don’t wait until you can no longer move!

Did You Know?…

Taste Buds and Smell 


You have several thousand taste buds on your tongue. Taste buds are actually tiny nerve endings that allow us to perceive different tastes, including Salty (i.e. french fries, peanuts), Sweet (i.e. cotton candy, strawberries), Sour (i.e. sour tarts, lemons), Bitter (i.e. black licorice, radishes), and Umami (a specific taste in meat).

Another major component to taste is smell. By smell alone, you can often tell the difference in foods or beverages; while without smell, it can be difficult to distinguish between different tastes. You may notice this when you have a cold or stuffy nose and food does seem to taste normal. As you get older, you tend to lose taste buds and your sense of taste weakens. Taste buds can be dulled or even damaged if they are irritated by extreme heat or cold, infections, a dry mouth, smoking, spicy foods, extremely sour foods, and some medications. Some people are sensitive to a particular food, such as walnuts, which may cause soreness in their mouth. Fortunately, damaged taste buds can heal, so your sense of taste is not lost.


Tip Of The Month

Want To Feel More Full While Eating Less? 

       Do you want to feel full while eating less?  Everyone does because it allows you to lose weight without being hungry.  Well, researchers have just discovered that eating a meal with a low GI (glycaemic index) increases gut hormone production which leads to suppression of appetite and the feeling of fullness.  Many people already know that low GI meals make you feel fuller, but now researchers have discovered WHY. The glycemic index (GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 according to the extent to which they raise blood sugar levels after eating. Foods with a high GI are those that are rapidly digested and absorbed, and result in marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels. Low-GI foods, by virtue of their slow digestion and absorption, produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, and have proven benefits for health.

In a new study, author Dr. Reza Noroury concluded, “Our results show for the first time the direct effect of a single GI meal on gut hormone levels. We already know that the hormone GLP-1 and a low GI meal independently lead to suppression of appetite. This study builds on these findings by providing a physiological mechanism to explain how a low GI meal makes you feel fuller than a high GI meal. GLP-1 is one of the most potent hormones for suppressing appetite. Our results suggest that low GI meals lead to a feeling of fullness because of increased levels of GLP-1 in the bloodstream. This is an exciting result [that] provides further clues about how our appetite is regulated, and offers an insight into how a low GI diet produces satiety. This is a preliminary study that only involved a small number of people.  We now need to expand these findings and look at the effects of low versus high GI meals in a larger cohort of people.”

Do You Feel Less Hungry Because You Think You Ate More Than You Actually Did?

            New research done by the Nutrition and Behaviour Unit, School of Experimental Psychology, University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom, has come to a surprising and possible useful conclusion.  In the study, subjects had the amount of soup they ate secretly altered through a special pump hooked up to their soup bowl during lunch.  Basically, one group thought they ate more than they actually did.

According to the study, immediately after lunch, participants reported the degree to which they were still hungry. Their scores aligned with the actual amount of soup they ate, not the perceived amount. However, 2-3 hours later, the opposite was true and hunger scores correlated with how much soup they perceived they ate. Researchers believe this may prove memory is an important and independent part of satiety.

A very wise man once said, “Thoughts become things.”  It sounds like he was somewhat correct, at least for hunger.


Remember, we’re always here to help your body heal

and maintain the pain free body you deserve.


This information is solely advisory, and should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice.  Any and all health care concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history. We cannot be held responsible for actions you may take without a thorough exam or appropriate referral. If you have any further concerns or questions, please let us know at 281-286-1300 or

Dr Beecher’s February 4 Weekly Chiropractic Newsletter

To download Dr. Beecher’s Weekly Newsletter, please click here!


Week of Monday, February 4th, 2013

Mental Attitude: Smoking and Anxiety. The belief that smoking relieves stress is pervasive, but likely wrong. Smoking is actually anxiogenic (causes anxiety) and successful quitters usually experience a drop in anxiety. British Journal of Psychiatry, January 2013


Health Alert: Stroke! In males and females ages 5-14, the number of ischemic stroke hospitalizations increased

31% and 36%, respectively, from 1994 to 2007. For ages 15-34 the increase was 51% for males and 17% for

females. For ages 35-44, the increase was 47% for men and 36% for females. The increase in obesity seems to be the primary cause. CDC, February 2011


Diet: How Much Protein? An estimator used for daily protein intake is 0.36 grams per 1 pound of body weight (or

.8g/kg). For example, if you weigh 155lbs, you should consume 56 grams per day (155 * .36 = 56 grams/day). Note: If you are overweight to begin with, do not use this estimator for your current body weight because this will

calculate a higher protein intake number than you really need.


Exercise: Aerobic or Resistance Training? A study of 234 obese/overweight adults compared the effects of

aerobic training (AT), resistance training (RT) and both aerobic training and resistance training (AT/RT). Researchers found the participants in the AT/RT group both increased lean mass (muscle) and decreased body fat, while the RT group did not decrease body fat, and the AT group did not increase lean mass. According to Leslie H. Willis, an exercise physiologist at Duke University Medical Center and the study’s lead author, “If increasing muscle mass and strength is a goal, then resistance training is required. However, the majority of Americans could experience health benefits due to weight and fat loss. The best option in that case, given limited time for exercise, is to focus on aerobic training. When you lose fat, it is likely you are losing visceral fat, which is known to be associated with cardiovascular and other health benefits.” Journal of Applied Physiology, December 2012


Chiropractic: Pregnancy and Back Pain. 20% of women who suffer from severe back pain during pregnancy refrain from having more children out of fear their severe back pain would recur with another pregnancy. Obstetrics & Gynecology, February 1998


Wellness/Prevention: How Are You Doing This Year? Only 8% of people succeed in achieving their top New

Year’s Resolution. Journal of Clinical Psychology, December 2012


Quote: “Leave all the afternoon for exercise and recreation, which are as necessary as reading. I will rather say more necessary because health is worth more than learning.” ~ Thomas Jefferson


This Weekly Health News Update is compliments of Dr. Ward Beecher and Beecher Chiropractic Clinic. If you have any questions or comments, please contact us at 281-286-1300 or .