Jan

31

Despite the multitude of dramatic success stories associated with chiropractic medicine over the past 200 years, the profession is ridden with myths, wives tails and many unfortunate beliefs, or as it may be, disbeliefs.  I have been running a center, which, very successfully, treats patients with vertigo, dizziness and dystonia for over ten years now.  Because of my success in this area, I have attracted many patients from many states, who come to see me because there is hope.  Many of my patients are referred to me by their doctor, but there are many others who are on the fence because of the assumptions they make based on the myths.  I know this because many of my patients confess after I get them better that they have been reading my articles for some time but assumed inappropriately that I could not help them. The obvious calamity here is the prolonged and needless suffering. Making matters worse is the simple fact that individuals with dizziness have increased risk of fall, and falls are the leading cause of accidental death and non-fatal injuries as reported by the CDC.  Because of this fact, centers such as mine are instituting fall risk screening and fall prevention programs, which are now becoming required by hospital regulatory boards.  Fortuitously, I have been doing this since before these regulations came along; realizing the endemic threat fall risk poses.  So what makes my practice so different?  Well, through education, training and board certification, I chose to limit practice to my specialty to assist other physicians in the diagnosis and treatment of patients suffering from a variety of neurologic conditions.  Typically, I serve in the same consulting manner as a medical neurologist. Patients come in for medical history and examination, they may or may not require specialized testing, which we either perform or prescribe, they get diagnosed, and they get treated according to their diagnosis.  No big surprises here.  The difference is that my therapies and applications do not include drugs or surgery. Our office uses an integrative functional neurologic rehabilitative approach to treatment paradigms. As a result, although many conditions may require drugs or surgery for efficacious treatment, many more do not.  And these would be the individuals best served by me.

Jan

24

For over twenty years in my practice, I have personally witnessed the impact of helping people recover from various disorders, not just in terms of their health, but also in their ability to improve their quality of life.  Dizziness is a very common and growing problem of modern life.  One whose implications are largely unrecognized by the traditional medical establishment.  This has left millions of people suffering from an untreated problem that interferes not only with their ability to function, but also with their quality of life.  Worse still, many are treated with drugs that will antagonize and complicate their problem making their dizziness worse.  To complicate this even further, managed care organizations now call the shots leaving doctors hands virtually tied when it comes to appropriate management of patients.  Al though patients will typically complain of dizziness, clinically patients will fit into three categories; vertigo, (spinning), dysequilibrium, (imbalance) or true dizziness, (lightheadedness).  Again to complicate matters, each one of these can cause the others.  So if a patient suffers with vertigo, it won’t be long before they begin to notice imbalance.  And if you have ever had vertigo, you know that dizziness and nausea follow each attack.  Because of this progression of disorders, individuals who have suffered any of these symptoms should be assessed for fall risk, due to the complications associated with falls, especially the elderly.  Falls are such an endemic problem that there are now federal requirements requiring various institutions be assessing individuals for fall risk.  Our office happens to be one that complies with this and we screen many individuals daily. We offer this free of charge as a community service due to the number of lives it can save.  We use a simple 20 second test having the individual stand on a computerized board which measures their overall stability as well as every possible statistic that can be calculated from the information it derives during the 20 seconds.  We can use this information to treat and formulate simple exercises, which will reduce the risk of fall and greatly improve the stability score on follow-up testing. You can see and find out more about this equipment in our laboratory on our website.

Jan

15

Right up there with headaches and back pain, as the first two reasons which people seek medical attention.  Invariably the standard medical treatment approach for vertigo and dizziness is to prescribe meclizine, (Antivert), a vestibular suppressant drug, which doesn’t work.  Here is why.  50% of patients complaining of dizziness in a primary care setting do not get a diagnosis, yet 70% receive a prescription for meclizine.  The drug, essentially a CNS depressant, slows things down.  In addition to causing lethargy, the drug’s tendency is to produce a slowing effect on reaction time equal to a blood alcohol level of .04 to .06%.  This reduced reaction time is a leading cause of falls in the elderly.  Falls, especially in the elderly cause hip fractures, shoulder fractures, strokes, etc.  Nearly 50% of elderly patients admitted for hip fractures become chronic patients.   Nearly 50% of elderly patients admitted for hip fractures die within one year. If all of this isn’t enough, meclizine is known to hinder the natural vestibular compensation process, meaning not only doesn’t it help; it actually retards the natural recovery process.  So why then is this drug so routinely prescribed inappropriately?  Well, I wish that I could answer that question, but I can’t.  But I can tell you that it will not work and could actually lead to a fall, and the older you are, the more likely this becomes.  The real irony here is that most causes of vertigo and dizziness are actually very easily treated.  But the problem is that if your doctor has no training in treating them appropriately, or doesn’t refer you to someone trained to treat them appropriately, you’ll get the prescription for Meclizine instead.  It is at this time that you must realize that there are better options available to you, and that as it is your body, you are entitled to a second or even third opinion.  Actually, most of my patients have been to as many as 6 doctors prior to coming to see me.  And it is for this reason that I write these articles, to let people know that there are better options.