Dr Beecher’s May 2012 Monthly Chiropractic Newsletter

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“Simple kindness to one’s self and all that lives is the

most powerful transformational force of all.” ~ Dr. David Hawkins

Also in this issue:

  • S. Regulators Probe Painkiller Trials Suspecting “Joint Failure”
  • When Is A Headache Just A Headache & When Is It A Medical Emergency?
  • TV Doctor Gets “Schooled” About Chiropractors


DEAD MAN SUCCEEDING:  How Sam Cawthorn Became An Overwhelming Success After Being Pronounced Dead And Losing His Arm In A Tragic Car Accident.



ouston – Back pain is very common.  In fact, it has been estimated that up to 80% of people will suffer from back pain in their lifetime.  It is easy to search for that stat on the web but finding a solution for back pain has proven much more difficult.

For a long time, rest was the “treatment” of choice. In many cases, bed rest.  In recent years, experts have prescribed a more active approach.

Physical therapy and specific therapeutic exercises came to the forefront of many back pain treatments.  Now, results from new research are hinting at a different approach, an approach where both (rest and exercise) are right… and wrong.

Here’s what this is all about:  A study published February 29, 2012 in BMC Medicine compared rest vs. active treatment with low back patients with modic changes (MC).  Modic changes have been described as early disk degenerative changes only seen on an MRI.

Results: In total, 100 patients were included in the study. Data was available on 87 patients at 10 weeks and 96 patients at one-year follow-up and used in the intention-to-treat analysis.

Conclusions: No statistically significant differences were found between the two treatment approaches (rest vs. active treatment) in patients with persistent LBP and modic changes.

What does all this mean?  According to the study’s lead author, Rikke K. Jensen, MSc, “The results do not suggest that patients with MCs should not exercise… But I think clinicians should be careful; when patients come back and say this treatment didn’t work, it’s not because they did it the wrong way or they didn’t do it enough. It’s very possible that this treatment is just not very effective for this group of patients.”


It is estimated that 40% of low back pain sufferers have modic changes.  This means exercise may not be the best treatment protocol for 4 out of 10 sufferers.

The cause of modic changes is unknown. Jensen said, “We know that they are part of the degeneration process but we still don’t know what causes them.”

It is theorized they may be caused by mechanical stress. Mechanical stress can cause excessive loading, micro fractures and inflammation of the vertebral endplate and bone marrow.

“When you’re jumping up and down on micro fractures, they tend not to get better,” said Jensen. “It was important for us to test the hypothesis that people don’t improve with exercise if they have these MCs, and there are other treatment options that could prove to be more effective.”

Here’s something interesting:  One Chiropractic theory is that malfunctioning spinal joints cause abnormal mechanical stress.  Over time, this can cause degenerative changes.

So, is it possible that exercising on a spine with malfunctioning joints is doing more harm than good?

Some Chiropractors have theorized that these spinal malfunctions should be corrected BEFORE an exercise program is started.

More research needs to be done but it seems like there is no one answer when it comes to helping back pain sufferers.  Every case is individual and no one way is the ultimate solution.

Is the best way to treat back pain to first correct the mechanical malfunctions of the spine and then use exercise to regain strength and flexibility?

This and other questions still need to be answered.  Up-to-date doctors will see each case of low back pain as individual and devise a unique treatment plan.  They will also know when to adjust the treatment plan if it is not working.

WARNING:  FDA Links Pain

Drug To Joint Failure

Pharmaceutical company Pfizer thought they had a great new painkiller.  As it turns out, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says there is a clear association between the nerve-blocking medication and incidences of joint failure that led the agency to halt studies.

According to USA Today, “Problems with the [drug] began to emerge in the summer of 2010. Beginning in June, Pfizer halted studies of its experimental injection tanezumab in patients with osteoarthritis, low back pain and diabetic nerve pain. The action was requested by the Food and Drug Administration, after researchers reported that osteoarthritis actually worsened in some patients, causing joint failure in some cases.”

TV doctor gets “schooled” about Chiropractors.

Chiropractic has been through a lot.  Its founder, Daniel D. Palmer, was put in jail for practicing medicine without a license.  Many other Chiropractors were jailed for the same offense.

Times have changed.  Chiropractic has been licensed in every state for many decades and is accepted by mainstream medicine.  In fact, chiropractors and medical doctors work together every day in clinics around the world.

But, some ignorance still exists, such as this example taken from an ABCNews4 story:

         It’s Wellness Wednesday and that means our very own back expert, Dr. Ellen Rhame of the Southeastern Spine Institute, stopped by to answer today’s viewer question.

         Anita from West Ashley wrote in, “I have chronic back pain. Should I be seen at Southeastern Spine prior to getting regular adjustments from a chiropractor?”

            Dr. Ellen says there is nothing wrong with chiropractors. The only issue is she wants to make sure that people are getting evaluated properly before they look for alternate means of medicine.  At the Institute, they can show you what’s wrong with your back and give you some ideas on what your next steps should be.  Dr. Ellen says that she is just concerned that some people will go without being treated properly and do more harm than good.

Here is a comment posted by a reader on the program’s website: “Dr. Ellen is not well-versed about chiropractic physicians. By law, they are required to be able to differentially diagnose conditions that could mask as back pain. For example, chiropractors must take multiple tests at the state and federal levels to show proficiency in the ability to diagnose neurological, urinary, gynecological, intestinal, hormonal, cardiovascular, pediatric and other non-musculoskeletal conditions. You can be confident your chiropractic physician has the training to send you to the proper medical provider if your back pain is caused from some other condition.”

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 Have Been Changed To Protect Privacy)


How Sam Cawthorn became an overwhelming success after being pronounced dead and losing his arm in a tragic car accident…


Amazing.  Awesome.  Unbelievable.  We hear these words just about every day. 99.9% of the time, they describe something un-amazing,  un-awesome, un-unbelievable and quite frankly, pretty common.  In the case of Australian native Sam Cawthorn, things are very different.  If you used all these words to describe him, you would be at least accurate and you may even be under-exaggerating him. Sam has a passion for helping people.  He previously worked as a Regional Industry Careers Adviser and assisted local industry to identify skill shortages and provide solutions for youth entering the workforce.

That’s great, but not “Amazing.”  Here’s what’s amazing…

In October 2006, Cawthorn was involved in a head-on collision with a semi-trailer.  It was a horrific accident and Cawthorn was pronounced dead on the scene.  Miraculously, he was resuscitated… but he lost his right arm and has a permanent disability in his right leg.

Sam was hospitalized after the accident for more than 5 months and was told he may not survive and would never walk again.  A year later, he was still breathing and back on his fee.

In 2007, he started “Be Motivated,” a program aimed at providing young people with skills to improve their confidence and self-belief in order to attain personal goals while remaining positive when faced with adversity. To deliver this information, he regularly conducts motivational assemblies at schools in Australia and around the world.  Sam wants everyone he works with to discover their purpose and strive towards well-defined goals.  He believes having a great and positive mental attitude is extremely important and there are no excuses for not achieving whatever you want to achieve in life.

One of his major principles is “bouncing forward” after a setback.  Setbacks are simply challenges that will propel you forward, if you have the right approach and mindset, and if you let them.

Sam was awarded the 2009 Young Australian of the Year Award from Tasmania.  The same year, he also started the Cawthorn Foundation.  The goal of the foundation is to assist disadvantaged youth in developing countries to enjoy basic human rights.

Also in 2009, Cawthorn became Ambassador for CBM Australia’s human rights advocacy movement which creates awareness for people living with disabilities in developing nations. Under a campaign titled ‘Create2Change,’ Cawthorn traveled around India with a film crew to find stories of individuals living with a disability in the most poverty stricken communities.

Cawthorn is also a musician and one of the few people in the world able to play a guitar with an above elbow amputation.

Cawthorn loves working with children and was quoted as saying, “A lot of these young people come over to me and share with me their own journeys, and I guess by talking with me they feel encouraged and realize there is a light at the end of the tunnel because they can see someone who has suffered massive trauma, yet their attitude, positivity and happiness can shine through.”

Yes, he seems legitimately awesome!


            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?…

Fresh Juice For Your Health

Adding fresh juices to your diet may be one of the best everyday things you can do for your health. With juicing, you can take in far more nutrients from fresh fruits and vegetables than you ever could just by eating them straight. These nutrients both protect us from disease and boost our health and vitality.  For example, it’s easy to consume the nutrients of a couple of pounds of carrots in a day if you juice them. While carrots are well known to be rich in Vitamin A and help with our night vision, carrot juice is also a great juice to detoxify the liver. This means your liver can process out more of the chemicals that most people are regularly exposed to. Because your liver is also your prime fat burning organ, detoxifying your liver also means it’s easier to lose excess weight.  If you add some beets to your carrot juice, you can also take in hearty doses of betalains, which raises your body’s detoxification enzymes. This helps your body process out even more manmade chemicals that, without detoxification methods, can be hard to remove. Greens of any sort are another favorite for juicing. Greens are powerful because they add lots of chlorophyll to the body, a powerful blood cleanser and blood builder. With juicing, you can add in lots of fabulously healthy vegetables that you might not otherwise include much of in your diet (and these juices are delicious, too).

Tip Of The Month

When Is A Headache “Just A Headache” & When Is It A Medical Emergency?

Have you ever had a headache?  Most people have. Some get them quite frequently.  Well, has this thought ever crossed your mind: “Is this just another headache… or is this something serious?”  That is an important question that could save you or a loved one’s life.  But, before we differentiate headaches, the first thing to understand is that there is no such thing as “just a headache.”  While some are MORE dangerous and even life threatening, all headaches are a sign that something is wrong.  Know this: Pain is not normal.  It is your body’s way of telling you there is a problem.  For example, if you put your hand too close to a fire, it hurts.  The closer you get… the more it hurts.  Too close, and it starts to burn.  If you have a headache, there is a cause.  Your body is sending you warning signals and you should be examined by a health care professional trained to diagnose headaches, their causes and treatment options.  Chiropractors are trained to diagnose many types of headaches and have had success treating one of the most common types of headaches, the cervicogenic headache. A cervicogenic headache is a headache that is characterized by chronic head pain that is referred to the head from either bony structures or soft tissue of the neck.  So, if you get headaches, a Chiropractor is a good option for both diagnosis and treatment.

Now, what you should know about headaches and medical emergencies?  In a recent article in Tribune Newspapers, Joshua Miller, Medical Director at the Cleveland Clinic’s Strongsville Family Health Center, said, “The headaches that worry us are ones that start suddenly, like a thunderclap… especially if it’s accompanied by a stiff neck, nausea, fever, bright lights bothering your eyes… it could be bleeding on the brain, encephalitis, meningitis or some other viral or bacterial infection within the spinal fluid.”

Here are other signs and symptoms of a medical emergency:  Chest pain and squeezing/tightness of the chest, nausea and shortness of breath, and fluttering heart.   If you feel short of breath after doing an everyday task you usually do not get shortness of breath from, you should not ignore it.  Also, abdominal pain should not be ignored.  Fever, abdominal pain, vomiting can mean big trouble.  Kidney stones and gallbladder disease are possibilities.  Bottom line: you should not try to diagnose yourself.  No headaches are “normal” and sometimes, they can be quite serious.


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.