I am pleased that we offer our community convenient, safe, and effective healthcare. I was looking at one of the many flyers I received in the mail from one of the local hospitals. I find it interesting how aggressively they are marketing their services. The most popular health concerns deal with low back pain, weight control, arthritis and dementia. These represent conditions which more likely than not will bankrupt our health care system. While these conditions offer an opportunity for hospitals to market their treatments, I wonder if the regimen being offered is the best course of care.
Hospitals are offering “Open Houses” with hospital specialists discussing these conditions. There’s nothing wrong with information, but really nothing has changed in the last 10 years in managing these conditions, except that they are more prevalent.
We now know that: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) have serious side effects including addiction, over the counter drugs (OTC’s) like Ibuprofen and Tylenol are linked to heart and liver damage, epidural spinal injections (ESI) are palliative at best and pose the risk of spinal infection, and surgery is only indicated in 1 out of 200 cases.
The Open Houses are there to suggest that these therapies are necessary and are the best course of treatment. I realize that some conditions require invasive care. I think that it should be a last resort, not standard medical care. All of these treatments have side effects, none of them are preventative in nature and all of them are expensive; a consideration with the cost of health care shifting to the patient. Doesn’t it makes sense to focus instead on prevention?
It may surprise you that all of these conditions have at the core a common denominator: food. What we eat has an effect on how our body functions. Foods can cause inflammation and obesity. Inflammation is the central theme in most conditions that affect the human condition. From a bio-mechanical perspective; inflammation causes pain, pain will limit your activity, limiting your activity can result in weight gain, weight gain promotes degenerative joint and disc disease (DJD). My favorite example of this is the commercial where a patient is touting how great a particular surgeon/surgical center is because the patient had hip surgery 5 years ago and then knee surgery 3 years ago and now is going into the same outfit for ankle surgery! Doesn’t it make more sense to address the condition that caused this cascading event through the non-invasive means of chiropractic, diet and exercise?
Medicine focuses on reducing the symptomatology; prescription and over the counter pain relievers, steroidal injections and surgery. These treatments bring about a host of secondary side effects that have to also be managed. Consider the bigger issue of how medicine addresses: Obesity, Hypertension (HBP), Hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol) and diabetes. These four conditions are collectively referred to as “Syndrome X” and or “Metabolic Syndrome”. There’s no cure for these syndromes, only prevention. Prevention starts with looking at the cause versus managing the symptoms. It takes education, personal accountability and a desire to change. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka “Obamacare” has at its core a mechanism to try and change this. The government is tracking your weight, height and blood pressure. From this, they compute your Body Mass Index (BMI) not a great measure, but it’s better than nothing. We use the Body Composition Analysis (BCA) which is much more accurate in calculating your BMI). This is a basic indicator of your health as it relates to Syndrome X. In the Affordable Care Act, the healthcare provider that demonstrates a decrease in a patient’s BMI will be paid more per level of service in the future. This may take 5-7 years to come to fruition; but it’s a start in the right direction.
A guiding principle of Chiropractic has always been that there are three causes of disease: Physical (trauma and repetitive stresses), Chemical (toxins, food, drugs) and Emotional (stress). This holds true today as well. We have the resources and desire to help you regain your health and wellbeing. We look forward to serving you.