March 2018 Health Newsletter


March 2017


Following you will find an article that I have submitted for publication in our local newspapers.  Please share this important article with your family and friends.




By Dr. Craig W. Brue, DC


If you are experiencing a battle with your health, you will need a strategic plan to find your way back to improved wellness and function.  This story about Steve’s battle with back pain might help you understand your personal options for spinal care.


Steve, now 70 years old, was born with a scoliosis, a spinal curvature, and he has had episodes of back pain since he was in his mid 20’s.  Has Steve ever consulted with a chiropractor for evaluation and management?  No.  His treatment for back pain has always come from the medical profession. 


What do medical doctors typically recommend for back pain?  The answer:  MD’s give medication for pain management.  When Steve consulted with his medical doctor the recommended treatment was anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants.  Did prescription drugs help Steve?  Maybe a little, but medication did not address the underlying cause of Steve’s chronic lower back pain.  No one is experiencing back pain because of a Tylenol, aspirin or ibuprofen deficiency.


After repeated episodes of chronic back pain and sciatica (leg pain), Steve decided to consult with an orthopedic surgeon.  What does a surgeon recommend for back pain?  The typical answer: surgery, because that’s what surgeons do.  The orthopedic doctor recommended a fusion of the 5th lumbar and sacrum, and Steve opted to accept the surgeon’s recommendations for care.


Did Steve’s spinal surgeon tell Steve that a lumbar spine fusion carries with it a 70% post-surgical incidence of sacro-iliac degeneration within a 5-year period?  No.  Did Steve’s surgeon tell him that the discs above the fusion will degenerate within a short period of time?  No. Did the surgeon tell Steve that the spinal curvature and pelvic imbalance was still going to be there after surgery?  No.

Did Steve’s surgery help?  It did for a short time.  However, the improvement didn’t last for long.  Approximately one year after the fusion, Steve began to experience bi-lateral sacro-iliac pain along with bilateral leg pain.  Steve went back to his surgeon for advice. Because the doctor knew that more surgery was unlikely to help, he recommended a referral to a pain management clinic.


What do pain management doctors typically recommend for back pain?  The answer:  stronger drugs and cortisone shots.  Are epidural steroid injections (ESI’s) effective?  According to medical literature, these shots are seldom effective on a long-term basis, and there are many potential side effects, including death, paralysis and infection.  However, there is great incentive to give these shots because of the lucrative reimbursement for the procedure.





What did the pain management doctor recommend for Steve’s continuing back and leg pain?  The answer:  Three epidural spine injections. Did that procedure help?  Yes, for a short time.  But, the back and leg pains soon returned, and the recurring episodes were even more severe.


At this point Steve decided to try the only remaining option; a chiropractor.  Is it possible that chiropractic care could now help?


During our initial consultation, this is what I told Steve.  “I can’t cure you.  These discs are not going to grow back, the spinal curvature isn’t going to go away, and the rods, screws and bone fusions are there to stay.  However, there are a still a lot of things that we can do to help you reduce and manage the pain.”


We began his care with a few simple spinal adjustments, a heel lift to balance the pelvis, and some simple rehab exercises, including a walking program.  Within a month the pain was reduced from a 10 (most severe) to a 1.  For the first time in a year, Steve was able to function without incapacitating pain. How much do you think that pain relief was worth to Steve?  The answer:  priceless.


”THERE’S A WAR OUT THERE.”  There is a battle when it comes to the proper treatment of back and neck pain, and too many people are making the wrong choices.


Instead of trying conservative chiropractic management, many patients are looking for the “magic bullet” to get rid of pain.  Are you hoping for the magic shot…the miracle drug…or the latest laser spine surgery that will instantly cure their pain?  I will advise you that any hope for a miracle cure is unlikely when it comes to the management of chronic back pain.


What is the best way to get rid of back and neck pain?  The simple fact is this.  If you have a pinched nerve, you have to un-pinch the nerve to get rid of the pain.


 If your finger is pinched in a doorway, the only effective way to get rid of the pain is to open the door. Chiropractors specialize in “un-pinching” nerves with specific spinal adjustments and spinal balancing procedures.  Does chiropractic care always work?  No, but if one is experiencing back or neck pain, it’s certainly the most common sense place to start.


This is my personal advice. If you really want relief from chronic back and neck pain, I would suggest that you put an excellent chiropractor on your health team.  You may not have anything to lose except the pain that you are experiencing.


Dr. Craig W. Brue, DC






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Current Articles

» House Introduces Bill to Expand Chiropractic Access...Military Retirees Families
» Jump For Your Adjustment!
» Obesity Linked to Chronic Back Pain

House Introduces Bill to Expand Chiropractic Access...Military Retirees Families  

A bill introduced last week in the House of Representatives and supported by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) would expand access to chiropractic services to military retirees, dependents and survivors through the Department of Defense TRICARE health program. The legislation (H.R. 4973), introduced by Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) and Rep. Dave Loebsack (D-Iowa), would not only enable those who currently receive chiropractic care to continue their treatment but would also establish, in the wake of the nationwide opioid crisis, an important non-drug option for pain management in the program. "Chiropractors have become valued members of the military health care team. Their non-drug, non-addictive and noninvasive approach to pain management has proven effective in helping members of the military to recover from injuries, manage chronic pain and enhance their readiness for duty," said ACA President David Herd, DC. "This bill would ensure that military retirees and military family members have access to the same quality care." Chiropractic services were first made available to active-duty military personnel following the enactment in 2000 of legislation to create a permanent chiropractic benefit within the Department of Defense health care system. As part of the pilot program before full implementation, retirees, dependents and survivors were also granted access to chiropractic services on a space-available basis. At the time, it was found that the benefit was valued within the TRICARE community. Today, chiropractic is available only to active-duty service members at more than 60 military treatment facilities in the United States, as well as bases in Germany and Japan. Chiropractors focus on disorders of the musculoskeletal system, most often treating complaints such as back pain, neck pain, pain in the joints of the arms or legs and headaches. Widely known for their expertise in spinal manipulation, chiropractors are also trained to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, and to provide dietary and lifestyle counseling.

Author:American Chiropractic Association online, February 14, 2018.
Copyright:American Chiropractic Association 2018

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Jump For Your Adjustment!  

Looking to increase athletic performance and possibly your vertical jump height? Give an adjustment a try! A small blinded trial was conducted recently in young female athletes who were suffering from ankle joint dysfunction to see if an adjustment to the joint could affect their vertical jump height. The ankle joint, more technically referred to as the talocrural joint, is the joint formed from the ends of the lower leg bones (tibia and fibula) and the top bone of the ankle, the talus. Half of the female athletes with ankle joint dysfunction received an adjustment to their ankle joint once a week for three weeks while the other half received a sham treatment once a week for three weeks. On average, those receiving the adjustment to their ankle joint saw an average 0.47 cm increase in their vertical jump as compared with the sham group. Its important to recognize that adjustments provided by doctors of chiropractic can be delivered to and benefit more than just the joints of the spine. If you or someone you know is suffering from pain or dysfunction, or is simply looking to enhance their physical performance and overall health, give your local chiropractor a call today!
Source:JMPT. February 2014. Vol. 37; Issue 2. LLC 2014

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Obesity Linked to Chronic Back Pain  

In a study published in the January 2013 issue of Spine, researchers in Norway have established a positive link between obesity and chronic lower back pain. The study was backed by census data of nearly twenty thousand men and women, aged 30-69 years and collected over a decade. Participants were divided into two groups; people without chronic back pain and those already experiencing chronic back pain. For the purposes of the study, 'chronic back pain' was defined as pain persisting for at least three months continuously over a year. The results, adjusted for age, physical activity levels, and other health factors indicated that the subjects who were 30 or more pounds overweight were 28 percent more likely to experience chronic lower back pain. The researchers pointed out that while the obesity may lead to the lower back pain, it is also possible that the lower back pain may lead to an increase in the subjects' obesity, due to decreased physical activity.
Source:Spine: 15 January 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 2 - p 133139. LLC 2013

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