Chronic Inflammation? Patients Deserve Your Help!
How rampant is chronic inflammation with chiropractic patients? Well, let me put it this way: The condition used to be called an epidemic; now the term used is pandemic.
For a chiropractor, the year they graduated often determines their opinion of the condition and if they have a protocol to treat it. If you graduated before 1982, you were taught that chronic inflammation is bad and causes chronic disease, but somehow when it came to treatment, acute inflammation protocols were all that was taught.
Today, because of what happened in 1982, the science is very clear and should be understood by every chiropractor in practice. The fact is acute inflammation is 100% different from chronic inflammation!
For starters, acute inflammation is a normal and healthy response to a musculoskeletal injury. Injured tissue in the presence of a healthy immune system and appropriate anti-inflammatory nutrients will heal within 48 hours to six weeks, all by itself.
Chronic inflammation however doesn’t work that way. Think of it this way: Acute inflammation hurts our patients, but chronic inflammation kills our patients!
Chiropractors who graduated after 1982 should know everything about this condition, but it depends on the school and their instructor. It never ceases to amaze me how many of my colleagues that graduated post 1982 don’t have the foggiest idea what I’m talking about when I ask, “How do you treat chronic inflammation?”
I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad; my goal is to help as many chiropractors as possible improve patient outcomes as fast as possible. If you don’t have a way to test, monitor and treat specifically for chronic inflammation, you won’t get the best results in the shortest amount of time.
The Centers for Disease Control states that chronic inflammation is caused from an omega-3 deficiency and is responsible for the sixth leading cause of “preventable” death, killing 96,000 people every year. So what happened in 1982 that changed the playing field for chiropractors and anyone who treats patients who are overweight and/or have musculoskeletal pain?
The Nobel Prize in Medicine That Changed Chiropractic
Three scientists were awarded the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering what causes chronic inflammation and leads to chronic disease. It’s no simple task to reduce the research work of three separate scientists to one sentence, but basically they were saying: ‘Too much “bad” prostaglandins (inflammatory hormones), primarily Omega-6 Arachidonic Acid in the diet, along with a deficiency of the “good” eicosanoid EPA, will turn acute inflammation into chronic inflammation.’
By the way, this all can be prevented and reversed with diet and nutritional supplements!
Drug Companies Jump on Nobel Prize Research
As it always seems to happen with Nobel Research in Medicine, pharmaceutical companies went to work on a way to patent a drug that would block the too much Omega-6 Arachidonic Acid problem. After all, that’s what drugs are designed to do, and so a whole new category of NSAID’s were developed, including the COX-2 inhibitors, like VIOXX, that ended up being removed from the shelf for killing people.
How Can Chiropractors Detect Chronic Inflammation?
If you’re a chiropractor, there’s good news and bad news. The bad news is the only way to know for sure if a patient has chronic inflammation – and estimates say 95% do – is by testing their blood. There are two rock solid, science-based blood tests that confirm the presence of it: the Omega-3 Index, which checks for Chronic Inflammatory Chemistry, and Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio, that measures for Cellular Fatty Acid Imbalance.
Since chiropractors can’t draw blood, their patients would have to go to a lab, have their blood drawn, sent off to a lab and probably get charged $200-$300 cash.
Good News for Chiropractors and Their Patients
The good news for chiropractors is that two research doctors, including a cardiologist, developed an FDA-approved, at-home, finger-stick blood test that received regulatory status and approval that allows all healthcare professionals to sell it as a general health and wellness product for “At-Home” use.
Let me be perfectly clear! This test CANNOT be performed in a chiropractic office; the patient must take it home and do it themselves. Further good news, however, is that the at-home test is simple for patients to do. The kit is about the size of two decks of cards and everything that’s needed is inside, including a pre-paid envelope for mailing the sample back to the lab.
There’s an instruction for use brochure inside the kit with color pictures and step-by-step procedures. There’s a test request form where the chiropractor puts in their clinic’s e-mail address to get the results sent directly to them to schedule a fee-for-service consultation to go over the results. This at-home, finger-stick blood test is supported in science with more than 200 studies and over 100 peer reviewed journals in collaboration with top institutions such as JAMA, Harvard and Stanford Universities.
Why Should Chiropractors Offer Chronic Inflammation Blood Testing?
A published study by a chiropractic researcher stated it’s “incumbent” on all chiropractors to recommend further testing on patients who are overweight to determine the presence of Chronic Inflammatory Chemistry, that could contribute to a chronic disease. Why? Years before, Harvard Medical School published a study that shows “inflammation precedes obesity,” In other words, patients don’t become fat and then get inflamed; they get inflamed and then get fat. In fact, lead researcher Dr. Eric Rimm said, “We don’t have an obesity epidemic, we have an inflammation epidemic.”
How big is the problem? The World Health Organization estimates that 70% of the population is overweight, affecting 1.4 billion adults and 400 million children.
The Prestigious Journal Spine Weighs In
Finally, the most noted journal in the world when it comes to musculoskeletal issues that chiropractors deal with every day published a study based on the findings of the 1982 Nobel Prize Research entitled “The Role of Inflammation in Lumbar Pain.” The paper concluded that all musculoskeletal pain has a Chronic Inflammatory Chemistry component that must be treated along with any other mechanical factor. In other words, all patients who show up with neck and back pain also have some level of chronic inflammation.
In part 2 we’ll discuss:
- What does a chronic inflammation lab test tell me?
- How do I use the lab results to improve patient outcomes?
- 6 Steps to Implementation
- Research Supporting Testing for Omega-3 Deficiency & Chronic Inflammation
- Additional benefits in Offering Chronic Inflammation Testing & Treatment
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