Got neck pain? New study says chiropractic care and simple home exercises work better than painkillers
(NaturalNews) Painkilling drugs are associated with dangerous side effects, addiction and overdose. And it turns out they are also much less effective than harmless natural treatments. A new study shows that simple remedies like chiropractic treatments and home exercises relieve sub-acute neck pain better than pharmaceutical drugs – and without all the negative side effects.
Dangerous painkillers can (and should) be avoidedIt’s estimated that 75 percent of Americans deal with neck pain at some point in their lives. Neck pain accounts for millions of trips to the doctor every year. The pain can be acute and severe enough to interfere with our everyday lives, but modern medicine offers little help. At best, you get over-the-counter pain relievers or narcotic drugs, all of which come with dangerous side effects and are often not effective enough to get rid of pain.
A new study published on January 3, 2012 inThe Annals of Internal Medicine demonstrates the power of alternative therapies for neck pain. Participants in the study were divided into three groups: one group made regular visits to the chiropractor, one group received traditional drug therapy, and the third group was instructed on how to perform therapeutic exercises at home to combat their neck pain.
At the end of 12 weeks, it was clear participants who engaged in non-drug therapy fared better than those who received painkillers. In the chiropractic group, 57 percent of individuals reported at least a 75 percent reduction in pain. In the home exercise group, 48 percent reported similar pain relief. However, only 33 percent of the painkiller group saw such results.
The long term benefits are equally impressive. Even one year later, patients in the chiropractic and home exercise groups were still experiencing benefits. About 53 percent in each of these groups still saw at least a 75 percent reduction in pain. In the painkiller group, only 38 percent reported this kind of pain relief.
Besides being less effective, the painkiller group was also increasing their medication over time, which can lead to more serious side effects.
“The people in the medication group kept on using a higher amount of medication more frequently throughout the follow-up period, up to a year later,” says Dr. Gert Bronfort, research professor at Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota and an author of the study.
He adds, “If you’re taking medication over a long time, then we’re running into more systemic side effects like gastrointestinal problems.”
It’s clear that pharmaceutical drugs are not only dangerous, but ineffective compared to safer natural alternatives for dealing with neck pain.
Chiropractic is Health Care, Not Disease Care
(NaturalNews) Chiropractors have, for the past 112 years, treated sickness and infirmity without the use of drugs and with the goal of avoiding surgical removal or repair of any of the body’s organs or structures. Chiropractic’s message is that the proactive care of one’s body and wise lifestyle choices are necessary to achieve health. Chiropractors have held and maintained this view, even before it became fashionable and long before evidence made it clear that the drug and surgery model of “health care” is really nothing more than “disease care”, waiting for disease to occur and then treating the effects. Chiropractic takes a preventive approach to health care: eliminate the cause of disease.
Chiropractors have always maintained that interfering with the transmission of the electro-chemical signals that connect your brain, the master control system for the human organism, to every organ and cell in your body has a detrimental effect on health.
This system is so delicate and of such vital importance that the body has designed the most elaborate set of protection, armor if you will, to protect it. The skull is a protective vault that houses and protects the most sensitive of systems: the eyes, the mouth, the ears and most importantly, the brain. The next critical organ in your body, the spinal cord, is guarded by your spine. This masterpiece of engineering is 24 vertebrae, each one a unique bone, that serves not only as the axis of your musculoskeletal system, giving you the unique ability to walk upright, but also has a unique set of nerves that run through it to every other system of the body through individual holes called foramen.
What travels through the spine and the foramen that protect them is the very essence of your being. From your brain, your spinal cord and the millions of nerves that branch out from it are the core from which your body functions. Before you came into the world, you formed a brain and a spinal cord and developed a body around it. And so it is today that the brain regulates the rest of your body through this delicate system of nerves protected by your spine.
Chiropractors maintain the proper position of these delicate joints and the precious cargo which they protect, your nerve system.
Pressure on the root nerves that leave the spine through the foramen to control and regulate all of the other organ systems of the body can affect millions of nerve fibers. Pressure on the brain stem, where it leaves the skull and enters the spine can also affect millions of nerve fibers. Interfering with these nerve fibers can have disastrous affects on your health.
Chiropractors detect and correct the cause of this interference, allowing your body to self regulate, adapt and heal. The care and maintenance of the spine and nervous system is a necessary component of any natural approach to health and wellness.
Chiropractors have been outspoken opponents of water fluoridation, mass vaccination, over-use of prescription drugs, food additives and have always maintained that it is better to find and correct the cause of disease, rather than merely treat or cover up symptoms.
Today, chiropractors embrace and support the growing body of evidence that health is a result of – a fully functioning nerve system, consuming natural, nutrient rich food, clean pure water, proper exercise, natural sleep and emotional/spiritual well being. A healthy spine allows your body to adapt, regulate and fully realize the benefits of all of these other natural methods of avoiding disease and achieving health. See your chiropractor today to have your spine checked and begin to extricate yourself from the disease care system of treating symptoms.
Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease
We physicians with all our training, knowledge and authority often acquire a rather large ego that tends to make it difficult to admit we are wrong. So, here it is. I freely admit to being wrong. As a heart surgeon with 25 years experience, having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries, today is my day to right the wrong with medical and scientific fact.
I trained for many years with other prominent physicians labelled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, we opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol.
The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course we insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease. Deviations from these recommendations were considered heresy and could quite possibly result in malpractice.
It Is Not Working!
These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.
The long-established dietary recommendations have created epidemics of obesity and diabetes, the consequences of which dwarf any historical plague in terms of mortality, human suffering and dire economic consequences.
Despite the fact that 25% of the population takes expensive statin medications and despite the fact we have reduced the fat content of our diets, more Americans will die this year of heart disease than ever before.
Statistics from the American Heart Association show that 75 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease, 20 million have diabetes and 57 million have pre-diabetes. These disorders are affecting younger and younger people in greater numbers every year.
Simply stated, without inflammation being present in the body, there is no way that cholesterol would accumulate in the wall of the blood vessel and cause heart disease and strokes. Without inflammation, cholesterol would move freely throughout the body as nature intended. It is inflammation that causes cholesterol to become trapped.
Inflammation is not complicated — it is quite simply your body’s natural defence to a foreign invader such as a bacteria, toxin or virus. The cycle of inflammation is perfect in how it protects your body from these bacterial and viral invaders. However, if we chronically expose the body to injury by toxins or foods the human body was never designed to process,a condition occurs called chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation is just as harmful as acute inflammation is beneficial.
What thoughtful person would willfully expose himself repeatedly to foods or other substances that are known to cause injury to the body? Well, smokers perhaps, but at least they made that choice willfully.
The rest of us have simply followed the recommended mainstream diet that is low in fat and high in polyunsaturated fats and carbohydrates, not knowing we were causing repeated injury to our blood vessels. This repeated injury creates chronic inflammation leading to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and obesity.
Let me repeat that: The injury and inflammation in our blood vessels is caused by the low fat diet recommended for years by mainstream medicine.
What are the biggest culprits of chronic inflammation? Quite simply, they are the overload of simple, highly processed carbohydrates (sugar, flour and all the products made from them) and the excess consumption of omega-6 vegetable oils like soybean, corn and sunflower that are found in many processed foods.
Take a moment to visualize rubbing a stiff brush repeatedly over soft skin until it becomes quite red and nearly bleeding. you kept this up several times a day, every day for five years. If you could tolerate this painful brushing, you would have a bleeding, swollen infected area that became worse with each repeated injury. This is a good way to visualize the inflammatory process that could be going on in your body right now.
Regardless of where the inflammatory process occurs, externally or internally, it is the same. I have peered inside thousands upon thousands of arteries. A diseased artery looks as if someone took a brush and scrubbed repeatedly against its wall. Several times a day, every day, the foods we eat create small injuries compounding into more injuries, causing the body to respond continuously and appropriately with inflammation.
While we savor the tantalizing taste of a sweet roll, our bodies respond alarmingly as if a foreign invader arrived declaring war. Foods loaded with sugars and simple carbohydrates, or processed with omega-6 oils for long shelf life have been the mainstay of the American diet for six decades. These foods have been slowly poisoning everyone.
How does eating a simple sweet roll create a cascade of inflammation to make you sick?
Imagine spilling syrup on your keyboard and you have a visual of what occurs inside the cell. When we consume simple carbohydrates such as sugar, blood sugar rises rapidly. In response, your pancreas secretes insulin whose primary purpose is to drive sugar into each cell where it is stored for energy. If the cell is full and does not need glucose, it is rejected to avoid extra sugar gumming up the works.
When your full cells reject the extra glucose, blood sugar rises producing more insulin and the glucose converts to stored fat.
What does all this have to do with inflammation? Blood sugar is controlled in a very narrow range. Extra sugar molecules attach to a variety of proteins that in turn injure the blood vessel wall. This repeated injury to the blood vessel wall sets off inflammation. When you spike your blood sugar level several times a day, every day, it is exactly like taking sandpaper to the inside of your delicate blood vessels.
While you may not be able to see it, rest assured it is there. I saw it in over 5,000 surgical patients spanning 25 years who all shared one common denominator — inflammation in their arteries.
Let’s get back to the sweet roll. That innocent looking goody not only contains sugars, it is baked in one of many omega-6 oils such as soybean. Chips and fries are soaked in soybean oil; processed foods are manufactured with omega-6 oils for longer shelf life. While omega-6′s are essential -they are part of every cell membrane controlling what goes in and out of the cell — they must be in the correct balance with omega-3′s.
If the balance shifts by consuming excessive omega-6, the cell membrane produces chemicals called cytokines that directly cause inflammation.
Today’s mainstream American diet has produced an extreme imbalance of these two fats. The ratio of imbalance ranges from 15:1 to as high as 30:1 in favor of omega-6. That’s a tremendous amount of cytokines causing inflammation. In today’s food environment, a 3:1 ratio would be optimal and healthy.
To make matters worse, the excess weight you are carrying from eating these foods creates overloaded fat cells that pour out large quantities of pro-inflammatory chemicals that add to the injury caused by having high blood sugar. The process that began with a sweet roll turns into a vicious cycle over time that creates heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and finally, Alzheimer’s disease, as the inflammatory process continues unabated.
There is no escaping the fact that the more we consume prepared and processed foods, the more we trip the inflammation switch little by little each day. The human body cannot process, nor was it designed to consume, foods packed with sugars and soaked in omega-6 oils.
There is but one answer to quieting inflammation, and that is returning to foods closer to their natural state. To build muscle, eat more protein. Choose carbohydrates that are very complex such as colorful fruits and vegetables. Cut down on or eliminate inflammation- causing omega-6 fats like corn and soybean oil and the processed foods that are made from them.
One tablespoon of corn oil contains 7,280 mg of omega-6; soybean contains 6,940 mg. Instead, use olive oil or butter from grass-fed beef.
Animal fats contain less than 20% omega-6 and are much less likely to cause inflammation than the supposedly healthy oils labelled polyunsaturated. Forget the “science” that has been drummed into your head for decades. The science that saturated fat alone causes heart disease is non-existent. The science that saturated fat raises blood cholesterol is also very weak. Since we now know that cholesterol is not the cause of heart disease, the concern about saturated fat is even more absurd today.
The cholesterol theory led to the no-fat, low-fat recommendations that in turn created the very foods now causing an epidemic of inflammation. Mainstream medicine made a terrible mistake when it advised people to avoid saturated fat in favor of foods high in omega-6 fats. We now have an epidemic of arterial inflammation leading to heart disease and other silent killers.
What you can do is choose whole foods your grandmother served and not those your mom turned to as grocery store aisles filled with manufactured foods. By eliminating inflammatory foods and adding essential nutrients from fresh unprocessed food, you will reverse years of damage in your arteries and throughout your body from consuming the typical American diet.