Celebrating 125 Years of Chiropractic

Celebrating 125 Years of Chiropractic

By Dr. Sherry McAllister, president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

September 18, 2020, marks the 125th birthday of the chiropractic profession! To celebrate the occasion, we thought it would be fun to take a brief look at the history of chiropractic care and how it all came to be.

Our story begins in 1895 in the small town of Davenport, Iowa. Daniel David Palmer, known to his friends and colleagues as “DD,” was an enthusiastic scholar who spent much of his free time reading scientific and medical literature.

Over the course of his studies, DD made a significant realization –– for thousands of years, humans had used various forms of manual manipulation to ease pain and improve health, but no one had drafted scientific documentation or developed a philosophical rationale to explain how it worked.

Inspired, he decided to translate his studies into action. Palmer believed all systems in the body were interconnected. DD theorized that manual manipulation, or chiropractic care, could restore balance to the neuruo-musculoskeletal system safely.

Following several years of study, he decided to put his research to the test. On September 18, 1895, DD Palmer performed the first-ever chiropractic adjustment. During this treatment session, he manually aligned a vertebra. Afterward, his patient, a deaf man, noticed an improvement in his hearing.

DD took these results and continued to hone his manual treatment technique. Two years later, in 1897, he opened the Palmer School of Cure in Davenport, Iowa. It’s still there today, but under a different name, the Palmer College of Chiropractic.

Palmer’s early research gained a following and by 1913, legislators passed the first state law licensing chiropractors. 18 years later, in 1931, 39 states officially recognized chiropractic care. Now, millions of Americans visit a doctor of chiropractic every year, including children, senior citizens and professional athletes.

Chiropractic care has come a long way over the last 125 years and we can’t wait to see where it goes next! If you’re interested in finding a doctor of chiropractic in your area, use our free online tool today.

 

How to Eat Like (Healthy) Royalty

How to Eat Like (Healthy) Royalty

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, Executive Vice President, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Americans love eating food that’s easy to make and packed with flavor. Unfortunately, these two features don’t always equate to a healthy diet.

If you want to keep your family healthy and nourished, it’s important to incorporate fruits, vegetables, legumes and lean proteins into your daily meal plans.

Doing this can improve energy levels, help you sleep better and lower your risk of chronic health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure and neuro-musculoskeletal pain.

1.) Stick to staples. Food staples such as beans, rice, potatoes and wheat aren’t very glamorous, but humans have incorporated them into their diets for hundreds of thousands of years. There’s good reason, too. These foods contain important vitamins, minerals and nutrients, but they’re also incredibly affordable. Additionally, you can make a pot of beans or rice and have it last for several days. This saves you the hassle of coming up with a new meal plan every night.

2.) Grow your own vegetables. Economic lockdowns in response to COVID-19 have encouraged many Americans to start their own gardens. Have you considered doing the same? Gardening can be good for your mental health, and it teaches you where your food comes from.

Even if you don’t have a “green thumb,” you can start out small. Planting herbs, tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers is a great way to add freshness and flavor to salads or sides. As you learn more, you can try more challenging plants such as melons or leafy greens. There’s a small investment up front, but the long-term benefits are sure to add up.

3.) Be brave. Do you regularly make the same three or four meals over and over? While there’s nothing wrong with this, it prevents you from trying new things. Social media platforms such as Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook are packed with recipe ideas that are healthy and easy to make.

You can also find recipes that adhere to special needs, including gluten sensitivities, peanut allergies and more. Don’t be afraid to try something new every once in a while. Plus, if you expose your kids to new dishes regularly, they’re less likely to be picky about what they eat.

Eating well is the foundation for good neuro-musculoskeletal health. By following these tips, you can improve your nutrition and overall quality of life.

 

What To Expect At Your First Chiropractic Care Appointment

What To Expect At Your First Chiropractic Care Appointment

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, Executive Vice President, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Every year, about 27 million Americans visit a doctor of chiropractic, and that number increases all the time. If you’ve just made your first appointment, you may be feeling nervous or apprehensive. This is perfectly normal, but there’s nothing to worry about! Chiropractic care is an integrative, holistic branch of medicine with a proven track record of more than 100 years. No two doctors of chiropractic conduct treatment the exact same way, but most initial consultations follow a similar process.

On the day of your appointment, try to arrive at your doctor of chiropractic’s office 10 to 15 minutes early so you have time to fill out any necessary paperwork. Usually, this includes a new patient intake form and a sheet of paper that shows a diagram (front and back) of the human anatomy. On this sheet of paper, you will mark areas of your body that cause you pain or discomfort. Your doctor of chiropractic might even ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10.

Next, you’re taken to an exam room. Before conducting a physical exam, your doctor of chiropractic will review your health history, asks you questions about the symptoms you’re experiencing and quiz you about your lifestyle. During this part of the exam, let your doctor of chiropractic know about any prescription medications, vitamins or nutritional supplements you’re taking. You’ll also discuss your sleep habits, exercise routine, and diet.

After gathering this information, your doctor of chiropractic will conduct several neurological and physical tests. This includes gathering your vital signs (heart and respiratory rate), testing your reflexes and asking you to participate in some range-of-motion exercises. If necessary, they might also take X-rays or order another type of diagnostic imaging.

Lastly, your doctor of chiropractic will develop a custom care plan based on your needs. If you suffer from chronic pain or a sports injury, your doctor of chiropractic might recommend a combination of treatments such as yoga therapy, spinal adjustments, and lifestyle changes such as changing your diet. If you’re relatively healthy and want to stay that way, they might recommend regular preventive checkups once a month.

Your initial consultation will take up to an hour. By the time you leave the office, you’ll have a foundation to work off. One designed to improve all aspects of your life. Feel free to ask questions or take notes. Your doctor of chiropractic is your partner on the road to a healthier lifestyle.

Congrats on taking the first step. You’re going to love the results!

tension headache

How can you stop tension headaches on your own?

 

How can you stop tension headaches on your own?

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

The outbreak of COVID-19 has forced many of us into self-quarantine to avoid getting sick.

During this period, you may feel a little more stressed than usual. You’re likely working and teaching your children in your living space. You may be worried about your job or economic pressures. Or dealing with increased childcare and homeschooling. You may even feel more significant strain on your mental health without the in-person social interactions with friends and family that you’re used to.

This is a challenging time. This added stress and lifestyle changes can lead to tension headaches, which feel like a tight pain around crown around your head. Tension headaches can be triggered by a few things including:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Staring at a computer or phone all-day
  • Poor posture
  • Sleeping on your stomach
  • Poor diet
  • Dehydration
  • Clenching your jaw

A chiropractic adjustment can help to reduce the tension in your shoulders and neck that may be causing the problem. However, if you are homeward bound for the foreseeable future, here are a few ways to manage your headaches on your own:

  • Stretching exercises to help ease your pain
  • Daily exercise
  • Relaxation techniques like meditation or deep breathing
  • Using a heating pad on sore shoulder and neck muscles
  • Taking screen breaks
  • Practicing good posture
  • Getting enough sleep
  • Eating healthy and drinking plenty of water
  • Fresh air

Once you’ve started a routine of chiropractic care, a disruption to your treatment plan can be hard on your body. Remember to take care of your physical and mental health in the best way you can. If you have any questions for your doctor of chiropractic, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Why Is Chiropractic Care Becoming So Popular?

Why Is Chiropractic Care Becoming So Popular?

by Dr. Sherry McAllister, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Are you new to the world of chiropractic care? That’s okay. New patients discover the wonders of chiropractic care every day. In the U.S., doctors of chiropractic treat almost 27 million Americans annually. That’s 1 million chiropractic adjustments performed every business day.

Chiropractic care is increasing in popularity. More people are turning to chiropractic care for everyday aches and pains to maintain their spinal health and for drug-free pain management. In fact, in the fight against opioids, chiropractic care is becoming increasingly important. People with lower back pain or chronic pain are looking for drug-free approaches, and care from a doctor of chiropractic can help manage their pain without the use of prescription drugs and opioids.

Another reason that more people are turning to chiropractic care is the financial benefits. Most health insurance plans offer some form of coverage for care. Research is also showing that chiropractic care can be cheaper than prescription drugs or other medical interventions. A review from The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine found that a chiropractic adjustment for back pain instead of a visit to a family doctor could save Medicare nearly $83.5 million/year. On average, a session of chiropractic care costs $65, though costs can vary from state to state.

If you are nervous about trying chiropractic care, seek out the advice of a doctor of chiropractic. They receive a minimum of seven years of higher-level education and are the third-largest group of doctorate level professionals in the healthcare industry. Doctors of chiropractic know their industry; they know the benefits of regular care and are passionate about helping their patients feel their best. Once you begin a regime of proper care, you will see the benefits quickly. You’ve got to give it a try!

Veterans Need Chiropractic Care

Veterans Need Chiropractic Care

By Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

This month we mark Veterans Day. It is a special day set apart to remember the sacrifices of our military members who have served for the sake of our freedom. We honor their sacrifice and the sacrifice of their families.

Our Veterans and active military personnel deserve our highest respect, yet many struggle to receive the healthcare and treatment that they need. Nearly 50% of the members of the military will experience one or more injuries a year. Most common injuries are to the musculoskeletal system as sprains, strains, fractures, especially in the neck, back and lower legs. The physical exertion of active service for our military members means that they are always putting their health at risk to serve our country.

Chiropractic care has been recognized as a suitable treatment for all eligible VA patients since 2002. However, only a portion of the 152 VA centers offer chiropractic care services, and many Veterans struggle to receive these medical benefits as they are entitled too. Chiropractic care has been studied and found to be a drug-free pain management treatment for back pain and other musculoskeletal injuries. It has been shown to reduce the use of opioid painkillers.

Each November, we honor the men and women who have served our country. They put their lives on hold and sacrifice their health to protect our freedoms. We should do our best to ensure that the access they need for healthcare services like chiropractic care is easy.

 

When is the right time for an adjustment?

When is the right time for an adjustment?

by Sherry McAllister, DC, Executive Vice President, 

Making time for your chiropractic care can be tough. It’s hard to balance another appointment with your busy life. Luckily most adjustments are pretty quick! If you want to make the most of your chiropractic care, it can’t hurt to be a little strategic about when you book an appointment. Here are five opportune times to get adjusted.

Before you go to the gym. A chiropractic adjustment loosens up your muscles and aligns your neuro-musculoskeletal system. If everything is properly in place, you can avoid injury. An adjustment will also help relieve pain, which will make your workout a little easier.

When you feel a headache starting. We all know the familiar pangs at the start of a headache or migraine. If you can manage to get in for a quick adjustment, you may be able to relieve some of the neck and back tension causing your headache.

After sitting all day. Book an appointment on your commute home and all the stress of sitting at your desk will melt away. An adjustment can address back and neck tension caused by poor posture and inactivity.

When you are in pain. If you wake up sore, have constant pain, or an injury that won’t heal, it’s time to make an appointment. Chiropractic care is a drug-free pain management option that can help you find long-term relief.

When you feel stressed. Stress causes your body to tense up, which can cause muscle fatigue and throw your spine out of alignment. A chiropractic adjustment can loosen up your neuro-musculoskeletal system and release that tension.

There is no wrong time for a chiropractic adjustment. But if you want to get the most out of your care, it can’t hurt to book an appointment at the right time. Talk to your doctor of chiropractic about how to maximize the benefits of your visit. They will help figure out a care plan designed for your body and its specific needs. If you stick with your chiropractic care routine, the long-term benefits will be amazing for your body.

 

5 Ways You Could Be Affected by The Opioid Crisis

September is National Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month. This month-long awareness campaign was created to help fight back against the nationwide opioid crisis. The goal is to raise awareness of nonpharmacological pain management tools like chiropractic care that can help, instead of prescription painkillers.

Since the 1990s, when rates of painkiller prescriptions soared, the opioid crisis has been mounting. Now, it is a significant health crisis that can affect nearly every American. No one is immune to this issue. This crisis may influence you in one of these ways.

1.     You may lose someone you love. In 2017, more than 47,000 Americans died as a result of an opioid overdose. Too many people are suffering from the loss of loved ones who suffered from opioid addiction issues.

2.     You may develop an addiction. If you receive a prescription for opioids, the powerfully addictive nature of the drugs may cause you to abuse it. Nearly 21- 29% of patients prescribed an opioid for chronic pain will begin to misuse the drugs. This misuse often leads to more substantial drug use, including heroin, cocaine and other street drugs.

3.     A baby you know may be born with neonatal abstinence syndrome. The rates of children born suffering from opioid withdrawal have steadily climbed. Nearly 32,000 children were born with this syndrome in 2004. That’s almost one baby every 15 minutes. This issue costs our nation $563 million in treatment costs, as well as causing significant harm to the most vulnerable members of our society.

4.     Your teen may develop a substance abuse disorder. The opioid crisis increasingly harms injured teen athletes. Many athletes who have been prescribed a painkiller begin to abuse the drug. The University of Michigan found that 11% of high school athletes had used a narcotic pain reliever or opioid for non-medical purposes. That means that nearly 1 in 9 students has abused a prescription to get high.

5.     Your healthcare needs may be restricted. The opioid crisis costs our nation $78.5 billion in healthcare, law enforcement and lost productivity in 2015. As this crisis grows, more money will have to be spent to combat this issue, leaving other vital healthcare services in the lurch. Medical research and training which could be devoted to other health care issues, must be used to study the effects of this crisis.

 There are so many ways we are all affected by the opioid crisis. These are only a few of the most prominent. As a nation, we need to start taking action to fight against this issue and look for healthier ways to deal with pain. That’s why National Drug-Free Pain Awareness Month is so important. This campaign was created to raise awareness of drug-free pain management, like chiropractic care. We have three free toolkits available for download, full of information to share with others about the dangers of opioids and the benefits of chiropractic care. Do your part to fight back against the opioid crisis by advocating for chiropractic care and sharing your positive experiences with it!

 

 

5 Ways to Avoid Injury During the Holidays

5 Ways to Avoid Injury During the Holidays

by Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress

Be safe while decorating. Lots of Christmas comedies inevitably feature characters injuring themselves while hanging lights decorating their home. It’s funny in the movies, but sadly it’s an all too common occurrence in the real world. If you are hanging lights this year, follow these safety tips. It’s better to go slow and be safe than to risk getting hurt.

Make time for the gym. Who doesn’t love lounging around during the holiday break? Your back and body sure don’t. If you’re feeling sore, or if a persistent pain keeps recurring during your lazy day, it’s time to move your body. Motion is the lotion for your body, and you’ve got to keep it up during the break!

Wear supportive shoes. Holiday parties are a great time to dress up and look great. But those sky-high heels come at a cost. They can cause foot and back pain or even injury. Choose supportive footwear, or bring an alternative pair to switch into when your feet start to hurt on the dance floor.

Watch out for the kids. Playing with your kids, nieces, or nephews, or even grandchildren is part of the holiday fun. But too much roughhousing or active play can lead to an injury, especially a back injury. Show the kids how to play safely and teach them to avoid using your body as their jungle gym.

Be careful outside. If you live in a colder climate, ice and snow are not your friends during the winter. Make sure to clear your sidewalks of ice and snow, wear proper footwear and go slow. If you live somewhere where it’s warm all year round, the rest of us are jealous.

There’s nothing worse than ruining your holiday with an injury or unexpected pain. If you try to stay safe this holiday season and protect your body, you should be able to enjoy all the holiday fun and traditions. If you do start to experience some pain, book an appointment before your local doctor of chiropractic closes up shop for the holidays!

September is Drug-Free Pain Management Awareness Month

You might wonder why, with 130 Americans dying every day from opioid overdoses, F4CP even needs to raise awareness about available drug-free pain management. Then, among all the statistics pouring out, comes one pointing out that less than 20 percent of the public consider chronic pain a major health problem.

Chronic pain affects more people than diabetes, cancer and heart disease combined, according to the PAINS Project. While it might be easy to dismiss the overdoses as an urban problem confined to junkies in dark alleys, the truth paints a far different picture. For starters, 80 percent of heroin addicts began with prescription painkillers, reported the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Even more telling, 68 percent of the 70,200 overdose deaths in 2017 involved prescription or illicit opioids. Prince and Tom Petty put a public face to the epidemic, but it reaches much deeper, from those struggling with chronic pain to teens raiding their family’s medicine chest and unborn babies who have no choice in sharing their pregnant mothers’ addictions.

But, as the 2017 Gallup-Palmer College of Chiropractic annual report discovered, 78 percent of Americans prefer to try other ways of dealing with their chronic pain before filling a prescription. And a growing number of groups, including the American College of Physicians, have called for drug- and surgery-free chiropractic care as a first line defense in fighting back pain.

Statistics, most recently a study involving active-duty military personnel, back up their support. The findings, reported by JAMA in 2018, found that chiropractic care, when added to standard care, brought moderate short-term improvements.

It’s a finding mirrored in other statistics. Ninety-five percent of Americans who sought chiropractic care in the past year said it was effective, according to the 2017 Gallup-Palmer College report, and 97 percent of them said they would see a doctor of chiropractic again if the pain returned.

Then there are public accounts, such as Ret. Army Staff Sgt. Shilo Harris, who was seriously injured in Iraq when his Humvee hit an Improvised Explosive Device (IED). Once addicted to his prescription painkillers, he now says his doctor of chiropractic “saved my life.”

How does it relieve the pain? According to Harvard Health, the spinal manipulation relieves the pain and improves the body’s functions, helping it to heal itself. Doctors of chiropractic often include physical activity, nutrition and other lifestyle changes in their treatment plans. And in talking with doctors of chiropractic, we often find that it was their own positive experience in receiving chiropractic care that prompted them to become a DC themselves.

If you see one of our new billboards around the country, you’ll see our simple message that says, “Back pain? See a chiropractor.”

Now you know why.