Around the world, low back pain (LBP) is a leading cause of disability and ranks sixth in terms of “overall disease burden.” Chronic low back pain (cLBP) has a profound socioeconomic impact on individuals, families, and communities—so much so that the World Health Organization has identified LBP as a major disabling condition.

Older people tend to have greater physical disability caused by LBP compared with younger individuals, and old age is often associated with non-recovery and poor outcomes. One study found that more than a quarter of older people in the United States had cLBP upon entering retirement and that baby-boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) account for 51% of all costs (over $10 billion) associated with cLBP.

So the question of the month is: how safe and effective is chiropractic care for older patients with cLBP? To help answer this question, researchers searched multiple sources for studies that included patients over 55 years of age with cLBP (more than three months of LBP), that utilized some form of manual therapy, that included tools that measured pain and disability, and that utilized a randomized control trial design. Researchers excluded data from experiments in which subjects had prior back surgeries, had pelvis-only pain (e.g. tail bone pain), or had received only a single treatment without follow-up.

Though only four studies met these stringent criteria, the authors did conclude that manual therapies, which include spinal manipulation delivered by doctors of chiropractic, can improve pain and function in older patients with chronic low back pain with very few adverse side effects.

This study supports the benefits of chiropractic care for the aging population and emphasizes the need for effective treatment options for cLBP with a low risk for serious adverse effects. With the size of the senior population expected to double over the next several decades, Chiropractic care will surely continue to play an important role in improving the quality of life of the elderly.


For most of us, neck pain has reared its ugly head more than once. In fact, there are estimates that anywhere from one-in-ten to one-in-five people will experience an episode of neck pain in a given year. Though some studies report that between 33% and 65% of these people will recover within twelve months, many individuals will experience either a relapse of their neck pain or their neck pain will become a chronic health issue.

So what can a doctor of chiropractic do about it? The answer is simple: spinal manipulation (SM) and exercise. Spinal manipulation is the most common form of treatment delivered in a chiropractic setting, and many studies note that neck pain is the second most common reason patients seek chiropractic care (back pain is number one). Regarding exercise, patients may be advised to engage in stretching exercise, strengthening exercises, or both.

For example, after an hour of seated computer work, one might experience muscle fatigue from prolonged static postures, especially for those outside of a neutral position. For this scenario, here’s a great STRETCH option to do every 30-60 minutes (yes, SET A TIMER): 1) Tuck the chin (and keep it tucked); 2) reach with the right hand over the top of the head and gently pull the right ear toward the shoulder while the left hand reaches down to the floor (as if to pick up a dollar bill); 3) next, nod the head (as if gesturing “yes”) multiple times; 4) follow this by shaking the head left to right (as if gesturing “no”); 5) repeat steps one through four with the head/neck flexed forward and backwards, “searching” for the tightest spots and “work” them until they loosen up. Repeat on the opposite side.

Here is an exercise to STREGTHEN the neck muscles. 1) Tuck in the chin while looking straight ahead; 2) place the back of your second and third fingers under your chin and nod (up/down) against mild resistance; 3) repeat five to ten times SLOWLY; 4)  repeat steps one through three with head/neck flexed forward and then again backwards (looking towards the ceiling). Repeat multiple times each day.

The KEY is to set the timer to remind you to do these! If you have significant forward head carriage and rounded shoulders, your doctor of chiropractic can show you addition important exercises, but this will be a great start for you to gain control over that chronic, recurring neck pain that you’ve been putting up with for far too long!

The term “jumper’s knee” was first coined in 1973 to describe an injury to the tendon that attaches the lower (most common) to the prominence (tibial tuberosity) on the proximal shin bone (tibia) or the upper pole of the kneecap or “patella” to the quadriceps femoris muscle.

Jumper’s knee is one of the more common tendinopathies that affect up to 20% of all adult athletes in sports with frequent jumping, typically among adolescent basketball and volleyball players. Individuals who are obese or who are bow-legged or knock-kneed or whose lower limbs are unequal in length have a higher risk for jumper’s knee. Poor jumping technique can also increase the risk for this condition as can cause overtraining, especially on hard surfaces.

The disease process for jumper’s knee can be divided into four stages: 1) pain only after activity without disability; 2) pain during and after without disability; 3) prolonged pain during and after which affects function; 4) complete tendon tear that requires surgical repair.

Treatment for jumper’s knee can include: 1) reducing jumping activity;  2) icing the knee for 15-30 minutes, four to six times a day, especially after the activity; 3) a thorough exam of the hip, knee, ankle, and foot to assess joint function; 4) stretching the hamstrings, calf, quadriceps, hip flexors, gluteal (buttocks), iliotibial band, and tissues around the knee cap; 5) strengthening exercises focused on specific parts of the quadriceps (vastus medialis oblique especially) and other leg muscles; 6) ultrasound and other therapies that may help speed recovery; and 7) taping to help patellar tracking.

Doctors of chiropractic are trained to evaluate and treat the whole person and frequently treat athletic injuries. A successful treatment outcome for jumper’s knee requires both local knee care and the management of the entire lower “kinetic chain” which includes the foot, ankle, knee, hip, and pelvis.

Low back pain (LBP) affects about 80% of adults at some point in their life, and its impact on work, recreation, and overall quality of life can be devastating if it transitions into chronic LBP (low back pain that persists for more than three months).

So, is there really a simple remedy for chronic LBP (cLBP)? Since back pain is often multifactorial in its causation, the simple answer is “probably not”. BUT, a 2017 study reports that simply taking vitamin D can offer significant benefits for the cLBP patient.

In the study, researchers provided participants (68 patients with a history of cLBP and low vitamin D levels) with an oral dose of 60,000 IU of vitamin D3 every week for eight weeks. The research team measured pain intensity and disability using common outcome assessments at baseline and at two, three, and six months post treatment. They also collected blood samples to measure vitamin D serum levels.

The data show that not only did the patients’ vitamin D levels improve from 12.8 ng/mL (+/- 5.73) at baseline to 36.07 (+/- 12.51) at eight months with 45 (66%) of the patients attaining a normal level of >29 ng/mL, but the participants also report significant improvements in pain and disability throughout the course of the study.

The authors conclude that vitamin D supplements can improve pain and function in cLBP patients with vitamin D deficiency. Hence, this is a VERY SIMPLE remedy!

It is well known that vitamin D deficiency is a very common problem, with up to 75% of teens and adults having suboptimal levels. Past research has demonstrated vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for many disorders including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and depression. It appears that we can now add cLBP to the long list of conditions that vitamin D supplementation may benefit.

Chiropractic services frequently include nutritional counseling, diet management, and other wellness-related services in the quest of optimizing patient health, well-being, and quality of life.

According to a World Health Report, migraines are the nineteenth most common patient complaint worldwide with an 18% of women and 6% of men in the United States experiencing at least one migraine headache episode each year.

There is evidence that patients with migraines have an energy deficit disorder associated with their glucose intake. As such, adopting a strict ketogenic diet (in which ketones are the primary source of energy for the body in place of glucose) does appear to benefit patients with migraines.

A 2017 study set out to determine if it was the absence of glucose or the increase in ketone bodies that made the difference for patients. In the study, researchers provided four female migraine patients with a specially designed ten-gram beverage containing a specific type of ketone called B-hydroxybutyrate or bHB twice a day for four weeks.

After one month, their migraine frequency rate dropped 50% to eight days/month on average without any serious side effects.  The patients also lost weight, presumably due to consuming less glucose in their diet. An additional benefit of higher levels of ketones in the body is that they have an anti-inflammatory effect.

A larger double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial is now underway with a group of 90 patients that will last three months The goal of the study is to determine if this nutritional supplement is capable of reducing migraine headaches without the significant side effects and associated disabilities that are currently associated with many migraine medications.

Chiropractic care often includes nutritional counseling as an important part of caring for the whole person. In fact, there is research supported evidence that spinal manipulation alone has a very positive benefit for migraine headache patients as noted in the 2010 and 2014 UK studies regarding the effectiveness of manual therapies. Based on the outcome of this large-scale study, the use of ketone-based supplementation for migraines may become a new standard.