December 2021 Health Newsletter

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» Studies Explore the Connection Between Back Pain and Mortality
» The ACA Offers "12 Days of Health and Wellness" for Healthy, Happy Season
» Nighttime Needs To Be Nighttime
» ACA Responds to Report on Construction of Essential Benefits Mandated by Health

Studies Explore the Connection Between Back Pain and Mortality

Back pain and mortality? What craziness is this?

It's true, though. While back pain may not be the leading cause of death, it's a strong indicator of other health issues that can lead to mortality. The Boston University School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota School of medicine both performed a scientific review (meaning the evaluated a large collection of scientific studies) to first determine whether or not there actually is a link between back pain and mortality. And there was. Research also shows what patients and chiropractors can do to promote a happy, healthy and back-pain-free life.

The Research on Back Pain and Mortality

The mere presence of back pain was associated with an increased risk of mortality, and patients with more severe back pain measured at a 26% increased risk. Severe pain patients were marked by those who struggled to operate through their daily lives, experienced decreased mobility, weight gain and cardiovascular disease.

One link that's not so surprising is the use of drugs to find pain relief, which boosted mortality numbers for reasons like opioid overdose and overusing pain pills so much that it led to heart issues. Heart issues then led to mortality. Research also linked back pain to poor balance, resulting in falls that sometimes were deadly. And one surprising link: back pain and suicide, which makes sense because of the presence of pain pills and opioids and the potential for drug abuse.

What You and Your Chiropractor Can Do for Back Pain

The good news is you don’t have to sit or lie there and suffer, and you don't have to try and fix your back pain yourself. Instead, you can seek out quality chiropractic care for back pain relief. And it comes with many great perks:

  • Chiropractic is drug-free, which protects you from drug overdose and inadvertently abusing pain pills. 
  • Chiropractic can treat both acute and chronic back pain
  • Chiropractors can coach you through back pain prevention tips, lifestyle habits and ergonomics in your workspace
  • Research backs chiropractic as a method of treating and preventing back pain
  • You seriously reduce the potential need for surgery to alleviate back pain with chiropractic care
  • Chiropractic can reduce the duration and severity of back pain, if not eliminate it

So, got back pain? Skip the suffering and reduce your mortality risk by seeing your chiropractor.

Source: J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Oct;36(10):3148-3158.

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The ACA Offers "12 Days of Health and Wellness" for Healthy, Happy Season

The upcoming holiday season is full of reasons for good cheer, but the added demands of the season can also stress the capacities of our bodies. Research shows that stress and unhealthy behaviors contribute to some of our country's biggest health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. This stress can also build up inside the body and manifest as back pain, neck pain or headaches...making matters even worse. Doctors of chiropractic are experts in spinal adjustment and other manual therapies that can relieve the aches and pains caused by holiday stress. They also provide nutrition counseling, exercise recommendations, ergonomic tips and other advice to promote good health year-round. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), in an effort to promote health and wellness this holiday season, offers "12 Days of Health and Wellness," a campaign designed to give consumers tips on ways to manage the holidays more healthfully.  Each day focuses on a different topic such as choosing nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and stretching after tree-trimming or gift wrapping to help ease back pain. "The holidays are synonymous with frenzied activities, parties, shopping and stress, so it is imperative that people take steps to address these issues in healthier ways," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "It's the perfect time to use ACA's tips to take control of your health and to discover chiropractic's natural approach to wellness. A doctor of chiropractic can customize a wellness program that's right for you."

Author: American Chiropractic Association.
Source: American Chiropractic Association. November 20, 2009.

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Nighttime Needs To Be Nighttime

Artificial nighttime light may be a significant contributor to obesity, according to new research. In the study, researchers found that nighttime light along with lack of exercise and poor diet accounted for approximately 73 percent of the variation in rates of obesity and excess weight among women and 68 percent among men. Another very recent study found those using tablets for 30 minutes prior to attempting sleep were not only less tired, but their electrical brain activity was also modified. Researchers believe artificial light later in the evening contributes to both unhealthy weight gain and lack of tiredness by suppressing melatonin – a hormone essential in regulating sleep cycles as it anticipates the daily onset of darkness. Using artificial light later in the day when your body begins preparing for sleep confuses the body and as shown by new research, is associated with negative consequences including both unhealthy weight gain and difficulty in getting to sleep. If you’re experiencing unwelcomed weight gain and difficulty in getting and staying asleep, try cutting out all computer work and exposure to bright lights at least 1-2 hours prior to bedtime.

Source: International Journal of Obesity, online 2/23/16. Sleep Medicine, online 3/1/16.

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ACA Responds to Report on Construction of Essential Benefits Mandated by Health

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has reviewed the recommendations outlined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommending a methodology for constructing an essential health benefits package to be included in qualified health plans developed as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). “We look forward to working with HHS Secretary Sebelius over the next several months on this issue,” said ACA President Keith S. Overland, DC. “We will make our position crystal clear: that doctors of chiropractic can provide services in many of the broad 10 essential benefits categories in the newly regulated environment created by the PPACA – and we will work to ensure no language is adopted at the federal level relative to ‘essential benefits’ that would specifically exclude services provided by, or the participation of, chiropractic physicians.” At the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) late last year, IOM undertook a study to make recommendations to HHS on the criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits package. When ACA testified in January before the IOM panel charged with developing a set of recommendations for HHS, one of the items ACA stressed must happen is transparency throughout the essential health benefit determination process. The IOM keyed on this request and made sure in its recommendations that transparency is a vital focal point in the process going forward.  Another ACA proposal, urging that HHS considers the wide range of patient protections at the state level in determining an essential benefit package, was also included in the IOM report. The IOM stated in its report that while state patient protections, or mandates, should not be given preferential treatment, they should indeed be subject to the same inclusion criteria as any other service. In addition, in an effort to protect patients, ACA recommended that HHS also create an extensive review process for patient appeals if essential benefits are denied. The IOM also recommended that HHS create a strong framework for appeals and other protections when implementing and updating essential health benefits. The next step in the process may be a proposed rule, open to public comment, issued by HHS. The department may also create a series of public “listening sessions” where individuals may be able to voice their concerns orally and in-person. The exact scenario for public feedback should be determined in the next several weeks. “Transparency during this entire process will be fundamental in its success,” said Dr. Overland. “We believe that through research, evidence and patient satisfaction, the services provided by doctors of chiropractic will not only be deemed essential, but vital, to the health and well-being of all Americans.”

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source:, October 7, 2011.

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