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White Willow Bark: The Oldest New Natural Anti-Inflammatory/Analgesic Agent
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Special Feature
Written by David R. Seaman, D.C., M.S., D.A.B.C.N., D.A.C.B.N.   
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 20:06



ong before there was aspirin, there was white willow bark. Records suggest that, as far back as 6000 years ago, white willow was used in Mesopotamia. Subsequently, multiple ancient peoples recorded the use of white willow to cure pain and inflammation, including the Assyrian, Babylonian, Sumerian, Egyptian, Chinese, Greek and Roman civilizations.1

Hippocrates (460–370 BC) recommended chewing willow bark to patients suffering from fever, inflammation, and pain. He also prescribed a brew of willow leaves to ease the excruciating pains of childbirth.1  Since that time, white willow has continued to be used to ease pain and inflammation.

Interest in the chemical properties of willow bark led chemists in the early 1800's to identify a therapeutically active component that was named salicin. It was then determined that salicin consisted of a glucose molecule attached to a salicyl alcohol called saligenin. Oxidation of salicyl alcohol led to the synthesis of salicylic acid, which was found to be a gut irritant. Salicylic acid was acetylated and converted into the less irritating acetyl salicylic acid, which was registered by the Bayer Company Aspirin in 1899.1

During the period when chemists learned to convert salicin into acetylsalicylic acid, an article was published in the Lancet, in 1876, entitled “The treatment of rheumatism by salicin and salicylic acid.”2 The paper describes how patients were treated with salicin/salicylate, which resulted in a complete reduction of fever and joint pain/inflammation.

After the development of aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), little attention was given to white willow. More recently, a greater interest in white willow as an alternative NSAID is emerging.

A Modern View of White Willow

Patients who regularly take NSAID's for pain and inflammation are at risk for developing gut ulceration. Indeed, next to H. pylori infection, NSAID's are the most common cause of peptic ulcers. In this context, a key benefit is that the adverse effects of taking white willow are the same as placebo;3 however, white willow may also be as effective as NSAID's. In one study, when white willow was compared to Vioxx, pain reduction was identical in each group; however, there were less side effects in those taking willow  bark.4

In 2007, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a joint clinical practice guideline for the treatment of acute low back pain that was developed by the American Pain Society and the American College of Physicians.5 They concluded that the level of evidence supporting the use of white willow was fair and the net benefit was moderate, which is the same benefit as acetaminophen, NSAID's, and muscle relaxants.

For patients taking over-the-counter NSAID's who wish to avoid gastric complications, switching to white willow bark may be a good option. Adopting anti-inflammatory eating habits to reduce the reliance on NSAID's is also an appropriate step.6


Dr. Seaman is a Professor of Clinical Sciences at the NUHS branch campus at St. Petersburg College, Florida. He is also a Clinical Consultant for Anabolic Laboratories. He has written numerous articles on the treatment options for chronic pain patients, with a focus on nutritional management. He can be reached at deflame@deflame.com.



1. Mahdi JG, Mahdi AJ, Mahdi AJ, Bowen ID. The historical analysis of aspirin discovery, its relation to the willow tree and antiproliferative and anticancer potential. Cell Prolif. 2006;39:147-55.

2. MacLagan TJ. The treatment of rheumatism by salicin and salicylic acid. Lancet. 1876; I:342.

3. Chrubasik S, Eisenberg E, Balan E, Weinberger T, Luzati R, Conradt C. Treatment of low back pain exacerbations with willow bark extract: a randomized double-blind study. Am J Med. 2000;109:9-14.

4. Chrubasik S, Kunzel O, Model A, Conradt C, Black A. Treatment of low back pain with a herbal or synthetic anti-rheumatic: a randomized controlled study. Willow bark extract for low back pain. Rheumatology. 2001;40(12):1388-93.

5. Chou R, Qaseem A, Snow V et al. Diagnosis and treatment of low back pain: a joint clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians and the American Pain Society. Ann Intern Med. 2007;147:478-91.

6. Seaman DR. The diet-induced proinflammatory state: a cause of chronic pain and other degenerative diseases? J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2002;25:168-79.

Anti-Aging, Homeopathy, and HGH
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Written by Frank J. King, Jr., N.D., D.C.   
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 17:36

antiaginghghOur patients today are letting us know that their most pressing needs are keeping healthy naturally (solving health problems) and staying young (anti-aging). Anti-aging research has advanced in the 21st century to the point of becoming its own medical specialty. Countless companies are offering everything from replenishing moisturizers to invasive age-defying surgeries. No matter the method, the end result is an appeal to a vast and growing aging segment of the population, which realizes the importance of quality of life in their later years.

The subject of anti-aging is a primary focus as baby boomers age. Lifespan has nearly doubled in the last hundred years. Health experts predict that, in the next 25 to 50 years, Americans will be celebrating centennial birthdays in extremely good health.  As Americans live longer lives, it will become apparent that the quality of their lives must also improve. Both men and women want to age gracefully and healthfully. Natural approaches hold the secrets to making the golden years truly golden!

Homeopathy equips the chiropractor with the broadest therapeutic armamentarium beyond all other adjuncts to correct common health problems quickly, safely, and effectively. The successful doctors of the future will be the ones who are best able to address these common chronic, recurring health problems that plague our society.

The science of homeopathy, with its serial dilutions and succussions beyond the molecular level, works bio-energetically to correct interferences throughout the whole nervous system to more completely activate the proper healthy functions in the body. Homeopathy provides us a comprehensive compilation of our neuro-sensory and motor relationships to the substances of our world.  This information, recorded in various texts called “homeopathic materia medicas” and “repertories” help chiropractors to better impact the whole nervous system.

Homeopathy provides chiropractic a comprehensive approach to correcting the deeper dimensions of nerve interferences throughout both the central and peripheral nervous systems of the body. A chiropractor empowered by homeopathy is able to dynamically correct nerve interferences where the hands of the chiropractor alone cannot!

Homeopathy offers anti-aging and overall health enhancement solutions, such as human growth hormone (HGH), constitutional enhancement remedies, hormone balancers, and detoxification and drainage remedies, all of which safely and effectively broaden the scope of chiropractic. 


HGH is a protein produced in the anterior pituitary gland that activates growth and helps maintain youthfulness. It is the most abundant hormone produced by the pituitary gland, peaking during adolescence in the rapid phase of our growth process, and steadily declining with age. By the time we approach 65 years of age, our pituitary gland is secreting 75% less HGH than it did when we were teenagers.

Homeopathically prepared HGH formulations help maximize the positive effects of natural HGH through a number of advancements:

1. Multiple homeopathic potencies broaden the positive therapeutic potential upon the body. The lower 10X potency works at the more superficial levels of bodily function, such as skin and hair health. The middle potency works more in the realm of glands and organs. The mental and emotional functions are best enhanced with the higher potencies. The only legal way to get oral HGH is in a homeopathic potentiation of 8X or higher.

2. HGH formulas with additional homeopathic ingredients maximize the many other anti-aging potentials homeopathy has to offer.

3. Using a formula with a pure water base, instead of the old-style, traditional alcohol or sugar bases, unites the unadulterated function of homeopathic medicine with the purest base available.

4. HGH can enhance the growth and development of children. In fact, HGH is naturally produced through exercise.

5. HGH can be considered an adjunct with other treatments. While biochemical injection dosages of HGH can cause increase in unwanted cellular activity, homeopathic dilutions and potentizations of HGH can possibly decrease the undesirable activity by applying a verifiable law of pharmacology called the Homeopathic Law of Similars. This states  that, what a substance causes in concentration, it can correct in homeopathic potentization.

6. Homeopathically prepared HGH is not a stimulant, but may be balancing to the body that is producing either too much or too little HGH.  This modulating effect is achieved because the homeopathic therapeutic principles work to activate the regulatory networks to function optimally and create homeostasis. 

Provings of homeopathically prepared HGH have indicated it increased lean body mass, increased energy, decreased excess body fat, improved weight loss and physical strength, improved vision, enhanced sexual function, and improved sleep quality and breathing.  It also relieved minor depression, mood swings, bleeding gums, phlegm buildup, coughing, anger and apathy.

Homeopathic Detoxification and Drainage Remedies

Homeopathic detoxification and drainage formulas dislodge toxins such as heavy metals, metabolic toxins, drug residues, and environmental toxins, such as herbicides, pesticides, and plastics in the body.  They activate the proper eliminative functions to function more effectively and efficiently. This minimizes the detox traumas and maximizes proper function. “Drainage” means elimination. In our case, drainage is the elimination of toxins from the body using specific homeopathic remedies. This is the most comprehensive way of “detoxifying” the body. In other words, homeopathic detox and drainage formulas do something very special: they activate the eliminative functions of the body to work properly again!

Homeopathic detoxification will:

» Enhance overall health in most people;

» Provide results in resistant cases;

» Provide a more complete cure;

» Expedite the healing processes;

» Help achieve greater results with the standard homeopathic formula used;

» Activate further healing with cases that have plateaued, where only a partial correction has been achieved;

» Prevent further reoccurrences of an illness;

» Prevent further accumulation of toxins;

» Prevent severe healing or detox responses;

» Provide results in a broader scope of conditions, such as chronic or even so called “incurable” conditions.

Using properly formulated detox and drainage remedies along with a system of testing to confirm the appropriate formula (muscle testing, leg length check, or electrodermal) provides an accurate and time efficient system to determine the correct formulas needed at that time.

Homeopathy Works!

Homeopathy works to activate our body’s natural innate ability to heal and maintain vibrant health within our bodies. Without the valuable components of homeopathy, other treatments (whether conventional or nutritional) may not correct the malfunctions within the energetic and metabolic control systems of our body. Homeopathy equips us to go beyond the parameters of the biochemical realm of life and correct interferences within the bioenergetic control systems of our body. It gives us the opportunity to experience unprecedented high levels of health and wellness.


Frank J. King, Jr., N.D., D.C., is a nationally recognized researcher, author and lecturer on homeopathy. In addition, Dr. King is the founder and director of King Bio, an FDA registered homeopathic manufacturing company dedicated to completing chiropractic destiny with the marriage of homeopathy. These procedures can be used with any homeopathic company’s product line and are so easy you can apply them in one day. Call King Bio, 1-800-543-3245 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Money for Retirement
Special Feature
Written by Paul B. Bindell, D.C.   
Tuesday, 19 July 2011 14:31



re you financially “well off?”  Do you have enough money to continue living your lifestyle after you retire? What will happen to you if the auditor knocks on your door, says your SOAP notes are worthless and demands that you refund to the insurance company a fortune that wipes out your retirement funds? Do you want to collect more from insurance and be able to keep it for your retirement, or other personal pleasures?


Electronic Health Record (EHR) software can save you, IF you implement it BEFORE the auditors arrive. How? There are several features that give you audit protection built into EHR systems, provided that you use the system as it was designed. And this is in addition to the EHR features of increasing your income and PVA (patient visit average).

A complete EHR program generates the fees for each visit based on your SOAP notes. In other words, as you document what you are doing, the system produces the billing for it. This requires that you enter at least the services you provided while the patient is still in the adjusting/treatment/exam room. Note that both Federal and State rules, regulations and laws REQUIRE the timely entry of information in the patient file, whether it is paper or electronic. “Timely entry” varies from state to state, but is usually considered to be on the date of service while the patient is still in the office. And that SOAP note must be very thorough. Documentation that was considered super fantastic five years ago would not meet the newest Federal and State standards, making you liable for refunding substantial amounts to the insurance companies. EHR keeps you compliant with the current SOAP note requirements.

EHR keeps you compliant with the current SOAP note requirements.

EHR systems provide numerous options as to the depth of detail that should be in a SOAP note, empowering you to create documentation that meets the specific requirements of each and every insurance program that you work with. Just because a SOAP note meets the requirements of one program does not mean that it will meet the needs for all others. By complying with the specific demands of each insurance carrier, you are more likely to get paid and, when audited, be able to keep what you were paid.

When the patient attests to the fact that he/she received the care billed for, you have additional confirmation that protects you in both audits and collection proceedings. How do you get this attestation? Have the patient sign out electronically, placing his/her signature on a statement that says “I received the care described here-in and I am responsible for paying for it.” In this way, you not only document the charges in your SOAP notes, scheduling and billing, but also have the patient as a witness that you actually provided the services. Why is this important? Because some insurance companies are claiming that doctors have padded the bill charging for services they did not provide. The patient’s electronic signature makes it much more difficult for you to be falsely accused. The electronic sign out signature also means that you win every collection case.

Government certified software, which qualifies you for the Medicare stimulus incentive payments, includes another audit protector, the EHR Audit Log. This Audit Log is a non-editable report that records every entry, every access, every edit or modification, and every deletion that you make in a patient file. How does this protect you? The Audit Log proves that your entries were made in a timely fashion and that you did not “doctor” your notes.

EHR systems never forget an outstanding bill, whether it is patient direct or insurance. EHR never lets a missed appointment remain ignored. And EHR eliminates the time wasted going in and out of filing cabinets empowering your staff to be productive with recalls, collections, reactivation and practice building. Each of these features maintains or increases your income. Nothing falls through the cracks to be lost or forgotten.

The bottom line is that you can protect your retirement by audit proofing your practice with Electronic Health Record software. And using EHR programs now will help you to have the funds to keep you living the lifestyle to which you are accustomed.


Dr. Paul Bindell, a 1975 Palmer graduate, has been in practice in Rockaway, NJ, since 1976. He has lectured on chiropractic in Brazil and Israel and is a past Chairman of Public Relations for the Northern (NJ) Counties Chiropractic Society. The Chiropractic Answer produced by Dr. Bindell in the 1980’s was a cable television program, a newsletter, and a newspaper column. In 1991, Dr. Bindell and his family began Life Systems Software so chiropractors would have computer programs based on real practice. As a consultant, Dr. Bindell is the expert in assisting the profession and individual chiropractors to improve and succeed. Numerous articles have been written by Dr. Bindell and have appeared in several chiropractic journals. Dr. Bindell is available to speak to your group or organization and can be reached by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or you can call Life Systems Software at 800-543-3001.

Reversing Obesity and Diabetes with the Amazing Fat Burning Machine!
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Written by Galen O. Ballard   
Saturday, 25 June 2011 21:40


r. Mark Franks was perplexed by the number of his patients who were diabetic and clinically obese. During the 20 years he had been a chiropractic physician, the obesity rate had more than doubled to become the number 2 cause of preventable death in the United States.1 Not surprisingly, there had also been a 76% increase in Type 2 diabetes during this same period. Dr. Franks also understood that, if current trends continued, 1 in 3 Americans would develop diabetes in their lifetime and they would lose, on average, 10-15 years of life.2

As a D.C., he knew he needed to address the causes for these twin epidemics if his patients were to be helped. Of course, it was common knowledge obesity was caused by overeating and lack of exercise, while Type 2 diabetes was the result of obesity. But was it? Dr. Franks had his doubts.

He knew there was a well-documented overlap between this country’s staggering rate of hunger (euphemistically referred to as “food insecurity” by the USDA) and escalating obesity rates. Nine of the ten states with the highest poverty levels also rank in the top ten of obesity levels.3 How can one be simultaneously hungry and obese?

A brief investigation into this paradox revealed the cost per calorie for foods containing fats and oils, high fructose corn syrup and refined grains are extremely low, but are precisely the foods linked to high obesity rates. Healthy foods—those high in nutrition—like vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and seafood are several thousand times more expensive per calorie. Dr. Franks realized obesity is a form of malnutrition, not overeating! Individuals are ingesting more “food” in the form of empty calories, because their bodies are being starved from lack of nutrition.4

The typical “fast foods” consumed today are basically “junk food” devoid of nutrition and loaded with inexpensive fats, sugars and salt because it is cheap. To make matters worse, the food industry adds various chemicals and additives designed to make such foods addictive as well as look and taste appealing.5 Processed food is manufactured for profit, not to promote good health.

Upon further investigation, Dr. Franks uncovered another alarming truth; the American public is being systemically poisoned! Agri-business is being allowed to poison and pollute our food to extend product shelf life, and feed our food animals garbage while shooting them with hormones and steroids to enhance growth and size. Crops are being treated with pesticides and additives, while hybrids are being developed to ward off insects and pests at the expense of nutritive value.6 Currently, over 70,000 chemical compounds have been identified in our food, water, and environment.7 Additionally, the drug industry has been given carte blanche to lie and mislead the public and promote drugs as a necessary part of everyday life.

Processed food is manufactured for profit, not to promote good health.

It became clear to Dr. Franks that the reason many of his overweight and obese patients did not exercise was because their bodies were so undernourished, toxic, and fatigued, they simply didn’t have the vitality or energy levels!

If Type 2 diabetes was caused by obesity, then a diet program alone would appear to be the answer to the current diabetes epidemic. However, statistics indicate roughly one-third of obese individuals will never develop diabetes. Additionally, 15% of individuals who do have Type 2 diabetes are neither obese nor even overweight!8 Clearly, excess weight alone is not the major link to Type 2 diabetes.

Dr. Franks found the answer to this perplexing mystery in an article by Dr. Gerald Shulman, professor of internal medicine at Yale, who has studied the weight/diabetes link for 25 years. Dr. Shulman found that Type 2 diabetes is not caused by fat alone, but by fat accumulation in the liver and muscle where it disrupts normal biological processes, leading to insulin resistance. “When we eliminate fat from the liver, we reverse insulin resistance and Type 2 diabetes,” Dr. Shulman stated. He also discovered that beta cells, which release insulin into the blood, are damaged by environment insults.9 Studies have found that people who live in polluted areas are prone to Type 2 diabetes, as are individuals exposed to PCB’s and other chemical compounds.10


The Amazing Fat Burning Machine!

The liver is the major fat-burning organ in the body, more so than muscle tissue, which ranks a distant second. It regulates both fat and carbohydrate metabolism and glucose storage. The liver produces over 1,000 essential enzymes and regulates the level of sugars in our blood. It is the gateway to the body and responsible for breaking down, filtering, and detoxifying everything that is eaten, breathed, or absorbed through the skin.11 When over-taxed with junk foods, environmental poisons, trans-fats, and drugs, the liver develops steatosis, commonly known as “fatty liver” disease.12

Just as an automobile cannot operate efficiently with a clogged oil filter, the body cannot burn fat and regulate blood glucose efficiently with a clogged liver. A recent study found that individuals with fatty liver were five times more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those without fatty liver.13

Dr. Franks’ inquiry into the importance of proper liver function made him cognizant that detoxing the liver and ameliorating fatty liver disease was the key to reversing both obesity and diabetes!  He developed a 5-step patient protocol incorporating (1) detoxifying the liver; (2) stimulating thermogenesis with a healthy diet; (3) maintaining a sound gastrointestinal tract; (4) moderate exercise; and (5) reducing or eliminating patient drug use for “lifestyle” ailments.

The most effective liver detox herbs and nutrients, supported in the literature and by clinical research, are Dandelion root14, Milk thistle15, Artichoke leaf16, Turmeric17, Bupleurum root18, Schizandra berry19, DL-Methionine20, and Choline Bitartrate21. Many reputable supplement manufacturers offer formulations containing these ingredients.

Stimulating thermogenesis can be accomplished by a diet featuring thermogenic and low glycemic foods. Examples include green tea, whole grain foods, fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, and lean protein, such as chicken or turkey breast and lean sirloin.

Avoid “fast foods” containing large amounts of fats, salts, and sugars, especially sodas. Processed foods are a road map to chronic malnutrition, obesity, and diabetes!

fastfoodbadMaintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract. Most overweight and diabetic individuals fail to produce sufficient enzymes to fully digest their food and also do not consume sufficient fiber in their diet to satiate their appetite and maintain a healthy colon. Patients should be placed on a digestive supplement containing the three groups of food enzymes necessary for proper digestion.22 There are also excellent supplements available containing both soluble and insoluble fiber necessary for keeping the digestive tract cleansed and operating efficiently.

A moderate exercise program, including both cardiovascular and resistant weight training, will lower blood pressure and fats in the blood, while improving blood glucose, alertness, self-image, and life span.23 Exercise is vital, as losing weight without exercise results in lost muscle tissue.

Question the need for OTC and prescription drugs. There are approximately 18 prescription drugs to treat Type 2 diabetes, which is a lifestyle disorder. Most of these drugs have dangerous side effects, such as inducing thyroid tumors, pancreatitis, upper respiratory infection, heart attack, and sudden death!  All drugs are basically toxic and toxicity is what causes “fatty liver” and induces obesity and diabetes to begin with!  For example, NSAID acetaminophen products accounted for 39% of all acute liver failures!24

Dr. Franks educated his patients that there was absolutely no reason to use drugs on an on-going basis for lifestyle ailments such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, moderately high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, arthritis, heart burn, anxiety, GERD, or insomnia. These common ailments could—and should—be treated naturally, without the poisonous side effects of drugs.

Dr. Franks’ 5-step protocol for sustainable weight loss and mitigation of Type 2 diabetes proved successful because it addressed the root causes of his patients’ problems. His investigative efforts enabled him to think outside the box and solve two major health risks with one common sense 5-step protocol.


Galen O. Ballard is President of Titan Laboratories and directly responsible for the products division. His background includes undergraduate studies in research at the University of Denver with graduate work at the Universities of Wisconsin and Maryland. Galen may be reached toll free at 1-800-929-0945 or by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


1Organization for Economic  Cooperation  and  Development, Report dated Sept. 24, 2010.

2 National Institutes of Health Sheet, Updated June 2008.

3U.S. Census  Bureau,  Income,  Poverty  and  Health  Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2008.

4 Cotran; Kumar, Collins  (1998).  Robbins  Pathologic  Basis  of Disease. Philadelphia: W.B Saunders Company.

5Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, Harper Collins Publishers, 2002.

6Donna L. Hoyert, PhD; Hsiang-Ching Kung, PhD;  and Betty L. Smith, BS Ed. "Deaths: Preliminary Data for 2003." National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 53, Number 15.

7 Needleman, H, et al. Raising Children Toxic Free, 1994.

8Saaheh, S, Nonalcoholic  Fatty  Liver  disease and obesity, Nutr Clin Pract., Vol 22 (1): 1-10, 2007.

9Shulman, G, Diabetes Forecast Journal, Oct 2010.

10Preiss, D, et al. Non-alcoholic fatty liver  disease,  Clinical Science, Vol 115, p 141, 2008.

11 Sung,  K, Kim,S, et al.,  The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, Vol 1210/pp.2010-2190, 2010.

12American Liver Association website.

13Sung, K, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, News release, Endocrine Society, April 2011.

14Australian Journal of Medical Herbalism, Vol. 3, p4, 1991.

15Bode,  JC,  et  al., Med. Klin. (Munich) Vol 72 (12) p. 513-518, 1977.

16Kraft,  K,  Artichoke  leaf  findings  reflecting  effects  on  lipid metabolism, liver, and gastrointestinal tracts, Phytomedicine, Vol 4(4):369378, 1997.

17Soni KB, Rajan A, Kuttan R. Reversal of aflatoxin induced liver damage by turmeric and curcumin. Cancer Lett 1992;66:115-121.

18Yamamoto, M, et al., Arzniem-Forsh, Vol 25, pp 1021, 1975.

19 Ohtaki, Y, et al., Diochem Pharmacol, vol 46, pp 1081-85, 1993.

20Moschen, AR, et al. Nutrition in the pathophysiology and treatment  of  nonalcoholic  fatty liver disease, Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, Vol 11, p 620, 2008.

21Zeisel, SH, Journal of the Am. College of Nutrition, Vol 11:5, pp 473-81, Oct 1992.

22Kelsay, J, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 31, p 142, 1978.

23Bjorntorp, P, Clinics in Endocrinology and Metabolism, Vol 5, no. 2, p 431, July 1976.

24Lee,  WM,  Annals  of  Internal Medicine, pp 947-954, Dec 17, 2002

The Impact of Scoliosis on the People Living with It and Their Families
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Special Feature
Written by Glenn Robinson, D.C. and A. Joshua Woggon, D.C.   
Wednesday, 11 May 2011 16:58

coliosis is an abnormal curvature and rotation of the spine. It causes progressive deformity of the skeletal structure and changes in the overallscoliosisteen posture of the patient. Scoliosis can also cause serious emotional stress, especially in adolescents. However, it is quickly becoming a concern amongst the adult “baby-boomer” population, as indicated by a recent study that found scoliosis in 68% of adults over 60.1

The physical complications of scoliosis can be quite serious, ranging from pain and muscle soreness, to organ dysfunction.2 This can include gastro-intestinal complications likechronic constipation or diarrhea, and severe cardio-pulmonary distress as the ribs constrict and compress the heart and lungs. This dysfunction can become so severe that 60% of patients with scoliosis may die as a result of complications with the heart & lungs.3 Research and statistical analysis show that people suffering from scoliosis have a life expectancy that is 14 years less than that of the average population (for comparison, according to the National Cancer Institute, the average cancer patient loses 15.5 years off of their life).4, 5 Some of the other ailments associated with scoliosis include headaches, chronic fatigue, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, loss of concentration, and depression.6

The emotional effects of scoliosis can be every bit as real and serious as the physical effects. Research shows that three out of four women with scoliosis never marry.7 Children with this condition often suffer from jokes and teasing by their classmates due to the deformity associated with their scoliosis. They are commonly unwilling to be involved with school activities that require them to wear a swimming suit or other clothing that might easily reveal the curvatures in their spine, all of which leads to social isolation. To complicate the issue, many of these children are told to wear bulky and uncomfortable braces for up to 23 hours a day, further limiting their physical activities and involvement with other children. Long term statistical studies show these patients are more prone to depression and alcoholism later in life.8

Research and statistical analysis show that people suffering from scoliosis have a life expectancy that is 14 years less than that of the average population.

The financial effects of scoliosis can be extremely difficult on the families. The average cost of the bracing procedures can run up to $10,000 or more. Once the curve develops to around 45 degrees, the cost of the scoliosis surgery can approach $140,000, not including all the pre and post surgical medical needs. Even with good insurance coverage (say, eighty percent), the patient’s portion of the expenses can easily exceed $15,000 to $20,000. In addition, many surgeries need to be repeated, especially if they are conducted before the patient and their spine have finished growing. In healthcare, there is no “Money-back Guarantee;” if the fusion fails for any reason, the patient does not get a discount on the second (or third) operation.9, 10

While we chiropractors hold ourselves out as the spinal experts, we have historically had little to offer the scoliosis patient. This must change. We need to develop an understanding of the underlying causes of this condition so that we can develop the appropriate treatment protocols to effectively treat this condition. People living with scoliosis deserve more options than observation, bracing and surgery.


A search of the literature reveals that there have been around 9700 articles on chiropractic; 14.7% of these are on the topic of low back pain, whereas 1.4%,of them are about scoliosis.11 This is significant considering that there are more than ten musculoskeletal conditions that chiropractors manage besides low back pain! Currently, a case report published by three chiropractors on the chiropractic treatment of scoliosis is listed as the Most Highly Accessed Article of All-Time in its publishing journal.12 Doctors of chiropractic working with scoliosis have been featured in numerous media outlets around the country, including CBS, ABC, NBC, & FOX News, for their groundbreaking efforts. The recent report on the burden of musculoskeletal disorders in the United States published by The Bone and Joint Decade estimates that over 2.6 billion dollars are spent each year on hospitalization costs to treat scoliosis and scoliosis-related complaints each year.13 The need for chiropractors to get involved with scoliosis has never been greater than it is today.

Even if a chiropractor is not interested in dedicating the necessary resources to work with severe cases of scoliosis, we all have an obligation to understand it, and to be able to educate our patients with scoliosis effectively and responsibly. The biomechanical insight gained from working with patients with scoliosis can help you achieve better results in your patients without scoliosis, as well. There are seminars on scoliosis currently offered by chiropractic colleges and techniques that empower the doctor of chiropractic to better diagnose, educate, and manage patients with mild cases of scoliosis, and to develop a referral network of advanced specialists in this condition to refer severe cases to.

When someone is first diagnosed with scoliosis, it is logical for them to think of visiting a chiropractor—a doctor of the spine—to help them with their condition. We must respect our responsibility as primary care providers to provide these individuals with accurate information. We must know when it is appropriate to treat them, when it is appropriate to refer them to a chiropractic scoliosis specialist, and when referral to an orthopedist is necessary.

Above all, we must not take lightly the burden that scoliosis can impose upon the individual and upon our society.

A 1988 Graduate of Cleveland Chiropractic College, Dr. Glenn R. Robinson is the Director of the Frisco Chiropractic Clinic in Frisco, Texas, and is a member of the CLEAR Institute Board of Advisors. He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Dr. A. Joshua Woggon, a 2010 Graduate of Parker College, is the Director of the CLEAR Scoliosis Treatment and Research Clinic in Dallas, Texas (www.clearscoliosisclinic.com), and the Director of Research for CLEAR Institute, a Non-Profit Organization dedicated to advancing chiropractic scoliosis correction (www.clear-institute.org). He can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Research & References:

1) Adult scoliosis: prevalence, SF-36, and nutritional parameters in an elderly volunteer population. Spine, 2005 May 1;30(9):1082-5.

2) Natural history of untreated idiopathic scoliosis after skeletal maturity. Spine 1986 Oct;11(8):784-9.

3) Long-term prognosis in idiopathic scoliosis. Acta Orthopaedica Scandinavia, 1998;39:466-476.

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