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The ACA blog provides readers with information to help them advance their knowledge, achieve their professional goals and strive for excellence, while also creating a greater sense of community among chiropractors nationwide through online engagement and information-sharing with their colleagues.

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Editorial Policy: Posts published in the ACA blog are screened by the ACA Editorial Review Board and ACA staff; however, neither ACA nor its contributors, officers and staff investigate, endorse, or approve any statements of fact or opinion, which are solely the responsibility of the authors and sources of information. They are published on the authority of the writer(s) over whose name they appear and are not to be regarded as expressing the views of ACA.

 

My VA Experience with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain

Chronic pain is a complex condition influencing behaviors, thoughts and mood. With opioid issues coming to light, there has been more emphasis and research into multi-faceted, biopsychosocial models to treatment. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a type of talk-therapy treatment that focuses on addressing and removing the negative impacts chronic pain has on thoughts and functions. The Office of Mental Health and Suicide Prevention (OMHSP) has implemented a national initiative to disseminate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain throughout the Veterans Health Administration to make this treatment widely available to veterans.

Author: Jamie Zeman
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Research Review: Can Pregnancy-related Pelvic Pain Be Predicted?

Approximately half of pregnant women will experience pelvic girdle pain (PGP) during their pregnancy. PGP is known to lead to pain-related restrictions on physical activity during and after childbirth, and to have a psychological impact on their perceived health, sexual life and general quality of life. The authors of this study aimed to explore the differences in demographics and clinical characteristics at mid-pregnancy and the weekly amount of days with bothersome symptoms throughout the second half of pregnancy in women sub-grouped based on the results of two valid and reliable clinical tests (P4 and ASLR) at 18 weeks of pregnancy. The authors hypothesized that sacroiliac dysfunction and failing force closure diagnosed at mid-pregnancy could be used to predict a course of bothersome symptoms throughout the second half of pregnancy.

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Opening the Door to Integrated Health Care: A Chiropractic Internship Spotlight

While preparing for graduation, many chiropractic students are carefully considering the next steps in their career. No matter your goals, clinical experience is the key to finding a great job, according to Logan University student Kaelyn Mead. As an intern in the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Chiropractic Services Program in Bethesda, Maryland, she is one of several chiropractic students immersed in the clinical care of members of the military and veterans, learning firsthand how integrated care enhances not only patient outcomes, but also the providers who serve them.

Author: Sienna Shoup
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Developing Person-Centeredness: A Continual Process

Person-centeredness is an approach to health care focused on the person, placing high importance on things such as being respectful and responsive to individual preferences, needs and values. Practitioners who adopt this approach to care report that it can transform the doctor-patient encounter and even re-energize providers. The path to patient-centeredness, however, is not always a natural one for doctors, many of whom report that they must continually work to adopt and refine this style of patient care. Learn what you can do to begin moving toward a more patient-centered approach in your practice.

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A Heavy Subject: The Impact of Weightlifting on Young Spines

Is weightlifting safe for adolescents? No, well yes, okay maybe…in the right situations.  That is about as clear as it gets concerning the growing epidemic of adolescent injuries via weightlifting and competitive sports. There is no disputing the facts that plague childhood athletics. A September 2018 systematic review found that injuries increase in proportion to sports specialization. However, few studies have linked the detrimental effects that any single sport has on the progression of spinal degeneration—until now. 

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Psychological, Social Factors in Chronic Pain: The Impact on Chiropractic Patients

The current opioid epidemic in the United States brings long overdue attention to nonpharmacological approaches to managing pain.  Among the recommended therapies for low back pain by the American College of Physicians, for example, are spinal manipulation, acupuncture, yoga and cognitive behavioral therapy.  While it may be clear why body-based therapies were recommended, the inclusion of a psychological approach, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, may raise some eyebrows. Researchers Margaret Chesney, PhD, and Christine Goertz, DC, PhD, explore how psychological factors play a role in the experience of chronic pain as well as what patients and their providers should know.

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ACA Announces Legislative Priorities for 116th Congress

With the new year and the first session of the 116th Congress underway, the American Chiropractic Association is ready to tackle a number of important legislative issues on behalf of ACA members, patients and the chiropractic profession. The push for full inclusion of chiropractic services in the Medicare program remains the No. 1 legislative priority for the association and its members. Find out what else made the list.

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Research Review: Non-surgical Treatment vs. Self-directed Care to Improve Walking in Lumbar Spinal Stenosis

Lumbar spinal stenosis (LSS) is caused by age-related degenerative changes in older adults and is a leading cause of pain, disability and loss of independence. LSS is also the most common reason for spinal surgery in older adults. However, most patients are managed non-surgically, despite the fact systematic reviews of non-surgical management suggest unproven benefit for improving walking outcomes. This research review looks at a recent, randomized controlled trial designed to compare the effectiveness of a structured, comprehensive, conservative treatment program with a focus on self-management and improved walking ability to a self-directed program in improving walking ability in patients with neurogenic claudication due to LSS.

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Catching Up with ACA President Dr. Robert C. Jones

Robert C. Jones, DC, has been busy since January assuming his new duties as ACA president, and eager to keep the progress moving on ACA’s priorities. The son of two chiropractors, a graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, and a strong proponent of evidence-informed practice and integration, he brings to ACA’s helm a respect for chiropractic’s history combined with an appreciation of what it takes to practice successfully in modern health care. ACA Blogs caught up Dr. Jones recently to ask him a few questions.

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Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction Techniques as a Treatment for Healthcare Provider Burnout

Burnout syndrome has been defined as a three-dimensional syndrome characterized by exhaustion, cynicism and inefficiency. It has also been described as the opposite to engagement, which is defined as energy, involvement and efficacy.  One aspect of inefficiency may be a sense of low personal accomplishment – an area often examined in studies on healthcare provider burnout. In her latest ACA Blogs post, VA resident Danielle Aslan, DC, explores how mindfulness-based stress reduction utilized in the VA for patients with chronic pain may also aid healthcare providers.

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