Dr Beecher’s April 2013 Monthly Chiropractic Newsletter
“The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good.”
~ Samuel Johnson
Research Shows Torn Knee Ligaments Heal Without Surgery – Does Your Body Relieve Back Pain The Same Way?
More this month:
- Is your wallet or cell phone causing your back pain?
- Why doing less may be more when it comes to back pain.
- Inspirational Story: How a poor child raised in the inner-city of Detroit became the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33. His message for you…
Houston – If you suffer with low back pain, you are about to discover some very important information about potential causes and treatments. But first, researchers have discovered something very important you should know about “anterior cruciate ligament” (ACL) injuries…
The ACL is one of the major supporting ligaments of the knee. You may or may not know, but one of the most feared injuries an athlete (or anyone else) can suffer from is a torn ACL.
When it is torn, the knee is usually left unstable. In other words, the ACL ligament helps keep the bones of the knee joint together. When there is a tear, the bones can actually separate or dislocate. This can happen when an athlete or person lands from a jump, tries to stop or attempts to change directions suddenly. Sometimes, the knee will just “give out” without warning while simply walking.
When a knee is injured, an MRI is often used to help diagnose the problem. If the MRI shows a torn ACL, it has been common practice for most doctors to recommend surgery to replace the ACL with either a cadaver ACL or one made from the person’s own patellar tendon, or Hamstring tendon.
This is MAJOR surgery with extensive and lengthy rehabilitation. Even an athlete in his or her physical prime may not be able to resume their sport for a minimum of six months.
Surgery for a torn ACL has been the common treatment because it was believed that once an ACL was torn, it could not heal. Now researchers say this is not true.
In fact, in a study that appeared online before its publication in the journal Knee Surgery Sports Traumatology Arthroscopy, researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York found that surgery shouldn’t be the first option for some cases. They found solid evidence that the ACL can, in fact, heal itself WITHOUT surgery.
According to Robert Marx, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in the Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), “Some patients who tear their ACL while skiing can get away without surgery. Their ligament heals by itself, they will have stable knees, and they will be able to do whatever they want, including skiing. It is a huge deal to avoid surgery.”
Dr. Marx also stated that patients who tear their ACL during recreational skiing should not rush into surgery. They should wait 6-12 weeks and be re-evaluated unless there is another obvious reason for surgery.
The study found two orthopedic tests that should be performed by a skilled physician to determine if the patient will need surgery or if the ACL can heal without it.
These two tests are “Lachman” and “pivot shift test.” These tests assess the integrity of the ACL, and if these two tests are negative, a good outcome and normal knee anterior laxity at more than 2 years after the injury is expected… without surgery.
A quick and important side note about this study: It was performed on recreational Alpine skiers. Researchers noted that ACL tears from skiing are often less traumatic than other sports. For example, the level of knee injury can be much greater in football or soccer.
This does not mean that an ACL tear from these sports cannot heal without surgery; it means THIS PARTICULAR STUDY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. Of course, not all ACL tears in football, soccer, and similar sports are super traumatic. The answer is to have your knee examined by a qualified and skilled physician who is up-to-date on the research and will assess your knee and give you the best recommendation for your individual case.
What Does All This Have To Do With Back Pain?
A lot, actually. There are two very big take home messages from the information above.
First, doctors are not always right. The best doctors use the best and most current research in an attempt to give the patient the best recommendations and treatments possible.
That is, of course, limited to the current research. No matter what some people think, science (and research) is not magic. It does not have all the answers, especially when it comes to the complexities of the human body.
The ability of the ACL to heal itself is a great example, but it is not the only one.
The body is truly amazing, and one of the most amazing things is its incomprehensible ability to heal itself.
Often, this means doing less, not more. This is one of the most difficult things for injured or sick people to understand.
When sick or injured, many people believe something must be done or the more treatment, the better. In reality, in many cases, the less the doctor does and the quicker he or she gets out of the way, the better.
This Is Often The Best Option
For Back And Neck Pain
Many Chiropractors are proud that their treatments help back and neck pain. This, however, is not true. If you understand how the body works and its amazing ability to heal itself, you will also understand that the reason why some Chiropractors have so much success with back and neck pain is because they simply do as little as possible and then get out of the way and let the body do its magic.
They understand that their “treatments” do not get rid of pain. Their “treatments” simply remove a roadblock or roadblocks the body had to healing itself.
That’s why they will recommend the LEAST treatments possible and re-evaluate. Their goal is to get you out of pain and out of their office as fast as possible… not commit you to huge and expensive treatment plans that last months or even years.
Of course, some patients have more serious causes of back or neck pain and need more care. Every case is individual and should be approached that way. But the results can be incredible if your Chiropractor simply removes the roadblock, steps aside, and lets the REAL healer take over.
Study Finds Headaches
Associated With Back Pain
A German study published in the Dec. 28, 2012 issue of Pain has found an association between both chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headaches with low back pain.
According to the study, the odds of having frequent low back pain were between 13.7 and 18.3 times higher in all chronic headache types when compared to those with no headaches. In other words, the odds of having low back pain are much higher if you have chronic migraine or chronic tension-type headaches.
Researchers mention nerve pathways as a possible explanation. But, one must not overlook the possibility of an unbalanced and malfunctioning spine as a possible cause of the headaches. If this is true, it would explain why so many chiropractors report success treating headaches.
Inspirational Story Of The Month
(Names And Details May Have Been Changed To Protect Privacy)
World Famous Brain Surgeon:
“My Mother Assigned and Graded My Book Reports, and She Couldn’t Read”
The fascinating story of how a poor child raised in the inner-city
of Detroit became the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at
Johns Hopkins Hospital at age 33. His message for you…
His mother married at 13. She was one of 24 children. He was an ethnic minority, and grew up in devastating poverty. These are not usually the ingredients for a successful career. If ever there was an excuse to fail, and fail miserably, Dr. Benjamin Carson had it.
But rather than of failing miserably, Dr. Carson refused to use the situation he was born into as an excuse. Instead, he used it as motivation and became one of the most prominent physicians in the United States, not to mention the author of several books.
How did he do it? According to Dr. Carson: Obviously, I had all the strikes against me: single parent home, dire poverty, poor self-esteem, and horrible temper. These things tend to preclude success. And they would have in my case also, but my mother, who had only a third grade education, refused to be a victim. That was the key. She never felt sorry for herself. And that was a good thing. But there was a problem, she never felt sorry for us either! So there was never an excuse that we could give that was good enough. And if we gave an excuse, she would come out with a poem called, ‘Yourself To Blame.’ And after a while, we just stopped looking for excuses. She worked 2-3 jobs at a time because she didn’t want to be on welfare. Even though she only had a 3rd grade education, she was very observant, and she noticed that no one she saw go on welfare came off of it. So she didn’t want to be dependant, and she didn’t want us to be dependant either, so she would work as long and as hard as was necessary. And one of the things she observed in the homes where she worked was that people didn’t watch a lot of TV. They spent a lot of time reading and strategizing. So one day, she just came home and turned the TV off and said, ”You guys watch too much TV… if you improve yourself… if you improve your brain… one day people will be watching YOU on television.” And of course, she was right about that.
That was taken from a television interview. So yes, she was VERY right about that. Dr. Carson talked about how much he hated reading. So, his mother made him and his siblings each read two books from the public library and submit written book reports to her. Dr. Carson knew his mother could not read, but she would actually mark up the book reports like she had graded them.
Dr. Carson HATED reading and doing the reports while all the other kids were outside playing. But as he continued reading, things began to happen. Suddenly he could spell. He learned grammar and how to express himself. He learned how to use his imagination rather than just observing someone else’s imagination. Within 18 months, Dr. Carson went from the bottom of the class to the top of the class, and he began to have a much different view of himself. The biggest key to Dr. Carson’s overwhelming success is obviously his mother’s ability to see things differently than most people, her refusal to be a victim, her capacity to never make an excuse, and her willingness to work hard and do whatever it took to succeed.
And here’s another great part of this incredible story: Dr. Carson’s mother now has her GED, college degree, and an honorary doctorate.
So what are you going to do tonight… watch TV? J
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?…
Low-Tech Tests Help Doctors Diagnose Complex Diseases and Predict Risks…
Sometimes, doctors can use common objects to gather preliminary information about a variety of conditions. Here are a few:
- The tape measure: A waist size over 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women indicates a higher risk for diabetes. It is also helpful as a test for sleep apnea, cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
- The bathroom scale: A weight gain of just a few pounds is a signal that heart failure patients are retaining fluid and at risk for hospital admission. Doctors and nurses ask heart failure patients to weigh themselves every day.
- The paper clip: A bent paper clip can be used instead of calipers to assess nerve impairment in patients with carpal tunnel syndrome. A patient should be able to feel both ends of the paper clip when they are pressed into a finger. It is less expensive than using calipers for the two-point discrimination test.
- A handshake: At no cost, a firm handshake can help assure that a patient is healthy enough to make it through heart surgery. A weak grip can warn of possible complications. Surgeons also judge frailty by how easy it is for a patient to get out of a chair or get up on a table for an exam.
- A stop watch: Testing how long it takes an elderly heart surgery candidate to walk 15 feet helps predict surgical risk. The gait speed test is a validated measure of frailty in elderly people and a predictor of physical and cognitive health. It should take no longer than six seconds to cross the finish line.
Tip Of The Month
If You Sit At Work (Or Sit At All), You Might Want To Read This!
Especially If You Keep Your Wallet Or Cell Phone In Your Back Pocket…
Everyone (at least everyone we know of) sits, but some people sit more than others. For example, if you have an office job, there is a very good chance you sit for the majority of your day. Even though sitting has been associated with low back pain (LBP) by many, research has shown that “sitting alone was not associated with the risk of developing LBP.”
But (and this is a very big BUT) sitting combined with either “whole body vibration” WBV or awkward postures did increase LBP. In fact, according to the study, “when the co-exposure factors of WBV and awkward postures were added to the analysis, the risk of LBP increased fourfold. The risk effect of prolonged sitting increased significantly when the factors of WBV and awkward postures were combined. Sitting by itself does not increase the risk of LBP. However, sitting for more than half a workday, in combination with WBV and/or awkward postures, does increase the likelihood of having LBP and/or sciatica, and it is the combination of those risk factors which leads to the greatest increase in LBP.”
Helicopter pilots showed the strongest association between WBV and LBP. Clearly, truck drivers, heavy machinery operators, etc. can be at risk as well.
Here is something important: Many people create their own “awkward posture,” even if they have an ergonomically designed work station and think their posture is perfect. They ruin everything simply by keeping a big, fat wallet in their back pocket. In fact, the wallet does not even have to be that fat to have a negative effect. Nowadays, we see a lot of people suffering because they keep their cell phone in their back pocket and sit on it. You see, when you sit on a wallet or cell phone, it un-levels your pelvis, which then un-levels your entire spine. This will cause abnormal stress and strain throughout your entire spine, muscular and nervous system. It can cause LBP, mid-back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches and more.
This is a major reason some people do not get the desired results from Chiropractic care. No matter what the doctors do, if you sit on a wallet (or have other bad posture) all day, it will simply work against the treatments. Many people do not see the connection between neck pain or headaches and sitting on a wallet or something else that is causing awkward posture. Advice: Simply put your wallet (or anything else like a cell phone) in your front pockets. Plus, you won’t break your cell phone as much. J
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.