May Update

So, it’s gonna be May! (bonus points for who gets that throwback).

2016, so far has been an interesting one! I had made some big decisions in 2015, and was uncertain about what direction life would take me. I try never to have regrets and accept the road I have to travel. So far, it seems I will have more decisions to make in the upcoming months, but I’m going to take the spring and summer to just go with the flow,  and hopefully the best answer will present itself.

So what has Dr. Jen been up to?  I have been very fortunate to be asked by Sportside Medical Services to help out at some of their events. Here are some highlights:

Working  back stage and ringside at pro-wrestling events (photos by http://andreakellaway.com/)603675_584135091762323_2073303755295474094_n.jpg1918183_572711206238045_219114101651761453_n.jpg

Meeting Kurt Angle! (He’s super nice, guys!)13010634_10154162154659445_2438925943918419810_n

Watching rhythmic gymnasts contort and flex in ways I can only dream of, at the Salut Cup International Competition.

Here’s hoping to a just as eventful summer!

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Missing a Key Player?

Good reasons why a well-chosen chiropractor may be a necessary addition to your primary healthcare team: READ ARTICLE

Neck and low back pain are leading causes of morbidity and health care utilization, as well as one of the leading reasons for workplace absence and disability. A recent study showed that “Individuals seeking care for neck or back pain have worse health status than those who do not seek care. Patients consulting chiropractors alone report fewer comorbidities and are less limited in their activities than those consulting medical doctors.”

While I appreciate the pro-chiropractic message of the study, I have always believed in an integrative approach to healthcare. There is always a time and place for everything. My educational background is in science – biology, physics, and microbiology. I understand the need for research, and practicing evidence-based medicine. I am also a natural healthcare provider and clinician, and sometimes what works in the clinic for a patient cannot be proven through random-controlled trials or experiments. Maybe in that sense, the fact that something cannot be proven outside of patient-reported outcomes makes some medical physicians skeptical.

While chiropractors have the ability to diagnose and are well versed in differential diagnoses (including medical conditions), and treatment options, I would never suggest that a patient not be followed by their medical doctor. While 99% of my practice is generally neuromusculosketal complaints, there is always that 1% that may need more detailed imaging, or referral to specialists.

Therein lies the reason why a good working relationship with the patient’s medical doctor should exist and why an open-dialogue between all healthcare providers is very important. A well-chosen chiropractor can make a huge difference in the outcome of any neuromusculoskeletal complaint.

It is very difficult to communicate treatment, diagnoses, and prognoses if the patient’s medical physician is against chiropractic or has advised their patient not to seek alternative forms of healthcare. I have found that in most occasions, many physicians do not understand what chiropractors do. They hear “stories” and just generalize the profession as “quack” medicine. Most of the time when I am talking to those physicians, I am trying to educate them on what I do, how I practice, and how chiropractic care can benefit their patients.

I am not “reversing degeneration” or “re-aligning the spine” or “curing  illness by removing subluxations.” I do not believe that chiropractic is the “answer to everything.”

This rhetoric, unfortunately, has perverted our profession and it will be a long while before this will change, but I digress.

I know this post is a bit lacking in flow – initially this post was much longer, and sounded more like a rant, which is not what I intended this post to be so I  had to pare down some paragraphs which affected the overall flow. The main point I wanted to make was that having a well-chosen chiropractor may be a necessary addition to any primary healthcare team; and echoing the author of the first article:

It is my hope that someday in the near future, the primary care community will work hand in hand with primary spine practitioners engaged in a spine continuum of care pathway in order to bring about value-based spine care reform.

 

“Back Future” – A Toronto Star Article

I hope everyone takes a minute to read this article.
It is a very important step for the chiropractic profession as it moves forward.
St. Michael’s Hospital is definitely paving the way for the profession! As a chiropractic intern I was lucky enough to be chosen to participate in an interprofessional program and saw the early beginnings of this clinic. I am so glad that it has been so successful to date.

Some notable quotes from this article:

“People with back problems and back pain feel they need an MRI or expensive imaging, he says, “but in most cases that doesn’t tell us what’s wrong.”

“Many patients referred to the clinic do not need surgery,” says Erwin. “They’re referred there by someone who is not up to speed on who needs surgery and who doesn’t. And it’s a big waste of the neurosurgeon’s time to see patients with mechanical back pain.”

“There’s been some bad publicity about chiropractic, particularly around neck adjustments and a slight risk of stroke that happened in isolated cases. But the benefits far outweigh the risks. Absolutely I recommend chiropractic to other people. It’s actually a shame that more people don’t use it, especially in conjunction with massage therapy.”

Is Your Handbag Affecting Your Health?

handbag In my office, I have been seeing an influx of women coming into the office complaining of neck, shoulder, back pain, and arm numbness. I go through my usual questions about activity, stress, trauma, etc, but in the back of my mind, I know the culprit – the excessively large handbag sitting on the floor next to them.

When I question them about their handbags, they often say, “oh it’s not that heavy” however when I lift it, it feels close to 7-10 lbs.
A brick of a wallet, extra clothes, water bottles, books, IPad, perhaps an umbrella, it’s no surprise that these bags are the source of many musculoskeletal health issues. Carrying a heavy bag, particularly on one shoulder can definitely affect movement.

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Ellen and Myofascial Release Therapy

Check it out!

Ellen, who has publicly suffered from chronic back problems and a regular chiropractic patient discusses her experience with myofascial release therapy and how it helped her acute low back pain!

 

Myofascial Release Therapy is a form of soft tissue therapy used to treat somatic dysfunction (i.e. impaired or altered function of bodily structures) and the resulting pain and restriction of motion. This therapy works by releasing the level of tightness or scar tissue formation that has resulted from overuse, injury, or postural imbalances, thereby improving tissue texture, tension, movement, and function.