"If you aren't seeing a chiropractor, you must be on drugs."

May 17, 2005 [Volume 6, Issue 11]

Headache Relief With Regular Chiropractic Care

Nobody likes headaches. They can strike with little warning and cause debilitating pain -- especially cervicogenic headaches (HA), which are defined as pain that originates in the cervical spine, or neck area, and refers up to the head.

Researchers investigated the effect of chiropractic treatment on HA in 20 randomized patients, specifically focusing on the relationship between the number of chiropractic treatments and pain relief. Participants were assigned to one of three treatment groups for comparison: Group one received a total of three office visits, one visit per week, for chiropractic manipulation; group two received a total of nine office visits, three visits per week, for chiropractic manipulation; and group three received 12 total visits, four visits per week.

Researchers discovered a correlation between the number of chiropractic visits and positive outcome in headache patients. "For HA pain, substantial differences were found between participants receiving 1 treatment per week and those receiving either 3 or 4 treatments per week," the researchers wrote. The researchers indicated that a larger clinical trial testing the relationship of HA and chiropractic treatment is warranted, and concluded that there are benefits to "9 to 12 [chiropractic] visits over 3 weeks for the treatment of HA/neck pain and disability. A larger number of visits than 12 in 3 weeks may be required for maximum relief and durability of outcomes."

If you suffer from headaches, your doctor of chiropractic can help. Make an appointment for a chiropractic evaluation today.

Reference: Haas M, Groupp E, Aickin M, et al. Dose response for chiropractic care of chronic cervicogenic headache and associated neck pain: a randomized pilot study. JMPT 2004;27(9):547-553.

Go Nuts for Your Health

Many people avoid eating peanuts and other nuts because of their high fat content; however, a large body of evidence also associates nut consumption with a reduced risk of coronary heart disease (CHD).

Using data collected in a continuing food survey from 1994-1996, researchers sorted respondents by "use" or "nonuse" of peanuts. Data were based on a national sample of 14,262 men, women and children who completed two-day food intake records. Differences between peanut users/nonusers were analyzed relative to energy and nutrient intake, health eating index (HEI) scores, and body mass index (BMI). Peanut consumption included peanuts, peanut products, peanut butter, peanuts as part of a sweet snack, peanuts as part of a savory snack, and peanuts or peanut oil as ingredients in a meal.

Respondents tended to have generally good diets, with higher HEI scores among individuals consuming peanuts than non-consumers. Results demonstrated improved diet quality of peanuts users indicated by higher vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron and dietary fiber intake, and lower intake of saturated fat and cholesterol. Energy intake was significantly higher for peanut users compared with nonusers, and BMI was lower in users compared with nonusers.

Conclusion: "In summary, the results of the present study have shown that peanuts and peanut products enhance the nutrient profile of the diet," note the authors. "Moreover, inclusion of this energy dense food can be done in a manner that does not result in weight gain provided that energy intake does not exceed energy expended over time. … Encouraging the use of peanuts and peanut butter, both popular and familiar foods, gives additional options that may promote adherence to a healthy diet that reduces risk of chronic disease."

So go nuts! And remember that peanuts are relatively high in protein, which means that in addition to the health benefits, they are a satisfying snack.

Reference: Griel AE, Eissenstat B, Juturu V, et al. Improved diet quality with peanut consumption. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 2004;23(6): 660-68.

Say "Yes" to Exercise, "No" to Surgery for Shoulder Injury

Shoulder injuries are common and often referred for treatment through surgical means. Researchers compared surgery vs. exercise training in patients suffering from shoulder pain to determine which has the more positive outcome. Shoulder pain in this study was defined as rotator cuff disease and nerve impingement.

Eighty-four participants were randomized into a surgical intervention group (41 patients) or physiotherapeutic exercise group (43 patients). All patients were evaluated before intervention and filled out a questionnaire regarding pain and impairment. The exercise group received 19, 60-minute sessions consisting of the application of heat, cold packs, or soft-tissue treatments, followed by muscle training and rotator cuff strengthening exercises.

Results: Both groups were evaluated at three, six and 12 months. Pain was measured using the Constant score totaling 100, which includes pain measured on a visual analogue scale, as well as measures in daily activity limitations, range of motion and shoulder strength. Before intervention, the exercise group Constant score was 34.8, while the surgery group was 33.7. After intervention, the exercise group Constant score improved to 54.8, 55.5, and 57.0 after three, six and 12 months, respectively, while the surgery group’s scores were 49.2, 53.8 and 52.7. After one year, 20 participants (10 in each group) reported a score of 80 or higher.

Although the researchers note some study limitations, they ultimately concluded that they "are now more reluctant to recommend surgery" for shoulder impingement.

Reference: Haahr JP, Østergaard S, Dalsgaard J, et al. Exercises versus arthroscopic decompression in patients with subacromial impingement: a randomised, controlled study in 90 cases with a one year follow up. Ann Rheum Dis 2005;64:760-764.