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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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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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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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Research Review: Walking vs. Exercise for Low Back Pain

Current guidelines for the management of chronic low back pain (CLBP) suggest staying as active as possible and even increasing levels of physical activity, as reduced mobility can cause significant decreases in quality of life and overall health status. Walking can increase cardio-respiratory capacity, maximum oxygen uptake and endurance with a low risk of injury. As well, it is simple, accessible, and free. This review aimed to provide an up-to-date, specific systematic review and meta-analysis in order to determine the effectiveness of walking compared with other forms of physical exercise on pain, disability, quality of life and fear-avoidance in patients with CLBP.

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ACA and APTA Collaborate on Dry Needling Code

Following a successful nine-year collaboration between the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) and the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), a new CPT® code for dry needling will likely be available to providers sometime in late 2019, paving the way potentially for proper coverage, national standards and a greater understanding of how this relatively new modality helps patients in pain.

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5 Conditions Chiropractic Care Can Improve During Pregnancy

A recent study found that more than 75 percent of pregnant women experience pregnancy-related low back pain, pelvic pain, or a combination; and that this pain increases as pregnancy progresses. Chiropractic care is a safe, effective, and drug-free way to manage these and other musculoskeletal (MSK) symptoms during pregnancy. In this post, we review five common MSK conditions that respond well to chiropractic treatment. 

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House-Senate Opioid Bill Contains Provisions Related to Chiropractic

The president is expected to sign the massive legislation.

As the second session of the 115th Congress nears the election, members of the House of Representatives and the Senate recently agreed on a comprehensive legislative package to help end the scourge of opioid addiction.  The opioid issue, which federal and local legislatures across the country have been grappling with for several years, will soon see more federal dollars being focused on ways to help alleviate the destructive force associated with the addiction. 

Author: Jack Dusik
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Research Review: Clinical Practice Guideline: Chiropractic Care for Low Back Pain

It is now well known that low back pain (LBP) is the leading cause of disability worldwide and that chiropractors can play a pivotal role in the management of this condition. However, the chiropractic profession can achieve wider acceptance and improved cultural authority, particularly within integrated health care delivery systems, by embracing and integrating current scientific research into our approach to evidence-based health care. It is in this context that this Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) was developed. The aim of this systematic review was to update and combine three previously published clinical guidelines, while answering this question: “What is the effectiveness of chiropractic care, including spinal manipulation (SMT), for nonspecific low back pain?” 

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Go “Back to Basics” During National Chiropractic Health Month: Here’s How!

Back pain remains a persistent and debilitating problem for many people in the United States and around the world. News that the opioid crisis in America has been fueled in part by the overprescribing of pain medications for low back pain amplifies the need for the chiropractic profession to continue spreading its message about the value of a conservative approach to back pain treatment. To this end, National Chiropractic Health Month (NCHM) goes “Back to Basics” this year by focusing on overall health and injury prevention as key strategies in maintaining spinal health throughout a lifetime—and highlighting the growing body of research supporting a conservative approach to back pain treatment.

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Gallup Event Explores Non-drug Approaches to Pain

It’s pretty difficult to open up a newspaper these days without seeing an article on the devastating public health impact of the opioid epidemic in the United States. While there appears to be general agreement on the scope of the problem, there is less consensus regarding what can be done to solve it. Policy-makers and professional associations taking on this challenge have tended to focus on mortality statistics and/or expert opinion. These are obviously critically important pieces of the puzzle but it is also important to take a patient-centered approach. To facilitate discussion on this important topic, Gallup held a research release event on Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C., titled “Addressing the Opioid Epidemic With Drug-Free Pain Management.”
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A Typical Week at the St. Louis VA Medical Center

Part of a series on the chiropractic residency program in the VA health care system

I’ve had more than a handful of family and friends ask me, “What’s it like working for the VA in St Louis?” and my response is always the same—“It’s great!”  I usually then proceed to give them a rundown of what a typical week looks like as my activities vary from day to day and sometimes from month to month.  An average week is broken down into four different segments: outpatient clinic, interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation (IPR) program, scholarly activities, and clinical rotations. The majority of my time is spent in clinic helping veterans manage their pain and develop healthy habits for self-care. However, the time spent outside the clinic has also been beneficial for personal development and education.

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Article rating: 4.8
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