Dr. Bs Blog

Chiropractic vs. Medicine for Acute Low Back Pain: No Contest

Acute low back pain patients demonstrate significantly greater improvement with chiropractic than "usual care."


With the publication of the Chiropractic Hospital-based Interventions Research Outcomes (CHIRO) Study1 in The Spine Journal, one of the most frequently cited spine research journals in the world,2 the health care community at large may finally appreciate what the chiropractic profession has known for more than a century: Patients with acute mechanical low back pain enjoy significant improvement with chiropractic care, but little to no improvement with the usual care they receive from a family physician.

Published in the December 2010 edition of The Spine Journal, the study found that after 16 weeks of care, patients referred to medical doctors saw almost no improvement in their disability scores, were likely to still be taking pain drugs and saw no benefit with added physical therapy - and yet were unlikely to be referred to a doctor of chiropractic.

The inclusion of NSAIDs and manipulation/mobilization performed by physical therapists were no more effective in treating patients than family doctors who offered patients advice and acetaminophen. The study found: "[T]he addition of NSAIDs and a form of spinal manipulative therapy or mobilization administered by a physiotherapist to the lumbar spine, thoracic spine, sacroiliac joint, pelvis, and hip (compared with a detuned ultrasound as placebo manipulative therapy), to family physician 'advice' and acetaminophen were shown to have no clinically worthwhile benefit when compared with advice and acetaminophen alone."


  1. Bishop PB, Quon JA, Fisher CG, Dvorak MFS. The Chiropractic Hospital-based Interventions Research Outcomes (CHIRO) Study: a randomized controlled trial on the effectiveness of clinical practice guidelines in the medical and chiropractic management of patients with acute mechanical low back pain. Spine Journal, 2010;10:1055-1064. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20...
  2. Brunarski D. "Impact of the Chiropractic Literature." Dynamic Chiropractic, Dec. 2, 2010;28(25).
  3. Hancock MJ, Maher CG, Latimer J, McLachlan AJ, Cooper CW, Day RO, Spindler MF, McAuley JH. Assessment of diclofenac or spinal manipulative therapy, or both, in addition to recommended first-line treatment for acute low back pain: a randomised controlled trial. Lancet, 2007 Nov 10;370(9599):1638-43. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17..

Car Accidents, Whiplash and Chiropractic

Whiplash is most commonly associated with auto accidents, specifically accidents in which the vehicle has been rear-ended. Whiplash is when the head is thrown forward and backward rapidly. During a car accident a person who sustains whiplash will often hit the headrest as well which can cause more damage. Whiplash, or a neck sprain/strain, can cause damage to the joints, ligaments, cervical muscles, and nerves in the neck. Symptoms of whiplash can take a few days to develop. Some of the most common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the shoulder or between the shoulder blades
  • Low back pain
  • Pain or numbness in the arm and/or hand
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty concentrating or remembering
  • Irritability, problems with sleep, fatigue

Dr. Bloxton has been treating victims of car accidents for almost 25 years, and he has significant clinical experience in treating its effects. It’s very important to see a chiropractor because they specialize in soft tissue and spinal injuries. Most whiplash cases are not serious enough to require surgery, and most patients find that chiropractic care is the best option and provides the best results when it comes to recovering from whiplash. Chiropractic care is effective in diagnosing where injuries have been sustained and treating that specific area to alleviate whiplash symptoms. So, if you’ve been injured in a car accident, remember that chiropractic is an important option. Call us now at (760) 941-3132

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatica

Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) medicine regularly treat sciatica. Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates in the low back or buttock that travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity and frequency; minimal, moderate, severe and occasional, intermittent, frequent or constant.

Sciatica Is Caused by Nerve Compression:  Sciatica is generally caused by sciatic nerve compression. Disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebral body/ies), herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, or sitting on one's back pocket wallet.

Proper Diagnosis of Sciatica Is Essential:  Since there are many disorders that cause sciatica, the chiropractor's first step is to determine what is causing the patient's sciatica. Forming a diagnosis involves a thoughtful review the patient's medical history, and a physical and neurological examination.

Chiropractic Treatment of Sciatic Symptoms:  The purpose of chiropractic treatment is to help the body's potential to heal itself. It is based on the scientific principle that restricted spinal movement leads to pain and reduced function and performance. Chiropractic care is non-invasive (non-surgical) and drug-free.

Chiropractic and Migraine Headaches: One major study showed significant improvements in migraine frequency, intensity, duration and disability associated with migraine compared to detuned interferential therapy. A major cause of headaches that resemble the symptoms of migraines are called cervicogenic headaches and they are caused by malalignment of the upper cervical spine. If you’re a good candidate for chiropractic care, a thorough examination will be recommended. Most patients report that it is the most complete examination they’ve ever had. Give us a call and experience it for yourself. The results of your exam will be shared with you, along with a plan of action designed to resolve the problems that were found.

Coconut Oil Gets a Bad Rap From a Harvard Doctor with Little Expertise in Clinical Nutrition

First, I'd like to say it has been my observation that someone using the moniker as a "Harvard Graduate" somehow instills credibility, integrity or even honesty. Try Googling Harvard Graduates Guilty of Crimes if you want to see what I mean.

Is coconut oil really “poison”?

With current widespread interest and practice (some new, some resurgent) of low-carbohydrate dietary patterns (e.g. Atkins, ketogenic, Paleo, Whole30), Dr. Michels’ anti-coconut message has some people questioning the content of their kitchen cabinets, and a few folks were mid-scoop in coconut oil…

The basic premise of anti-coconut oil camp criticism is that coconut oil is a saturated fat, and saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol, which contributes to atherosclerosis and heart disease.3 Are the biochemical paths and clinical literature that clear cut? Before we go any further, let’s recap some fat biochemistry basics. Triglycerides (dietary fats) are made up of a glycerol backbone + 3 fatty acids. It’s the chemical structure of the majority of fatty acids (i.e., the number of double bonds, if any) in the triglyceride that dictates the classifications that humans created for them. Naturally occurring fats include saturated (think butter, solid at room temperature) and unsaturated fats (think oils, liquid at room temperature), which are further divided into monounsaturated fats (think olive or canola oils) and polyunsatured fats (think omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids). Trans fats also exist naturally in small amounts in meat and dairy products, but most trans fats in our food supply are artificially synthesized via the process of hydrogenation.

So, where does coconut oil fit into this classification system? Its fatty acid profile is 82% saturated, but the predominant fatty acid (~%50) is lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT), with the rest being long-chain saturated fatty acids (myristic, palmitic, stearic) and short-chain fatty acids.4 It’s noteworthy that the primary fat in coconut oil is an MCT, because they do not significantly contribute to fat accumulation due to their energy efficiency in the body via rapid liver metabolism and conversion to ketone bodies.5

Dr. Michels holds several academic professorships and is a specialist in epigenetic epidemiology, with particular expertise in breast cancer in association with Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center. Her pedigree and research contributions are impressive. I thought it would also be valuable to have researchers and clinicians with niche knowledge and experience in fat biochemistry and low-carbohydrate implementation weigh in on this coconut query.

Should You Stop Eating Coconut Oil?

Definitive answers are satisfying, but nutrition science and health queries are not usually binary, as much as we would like for them to be. There are a lot more gray areas in science and medicine than some would like to admit. Dietary patterns don’t exist in isolation when it comes to health outcomes (consider genetics, environmental inputs, microbiome effects, and other lifestyle choices), and the foods in those diets contain numerous, diverse bioactives (some are still being discovered) with pleiotropic effects in the complex human body. Instead of condemning one food, it seems more prudent to take a holistic approach, considering overall dietary patterns, which can be personalized and optimized via partnership with a HCP.


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