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|Chiropractic Care and Chronic Health Problems|
Chronic health problems such as high blood pressure and diabetes often require treatment plans from several different specialists. Effective treatment of high blood pressure may involve a person’s family physician, internist, and cardiologist. A person with diabetes may be receiving treatment from her internist and endocrinologist, and possibly from an ophthalmologist and even a neurologist. An additional key specialist involved in any of these scenarios is a chiropractor.
Of course, chiropractic care is not directed toward treatment of any disease. Rather, chiropractic care focuses on the health and well being of the whole person. By concentrating on biomechanics and the nerve system, that is, the integrity and functioning of the spinal column and spinal nerves, chiropractic care helps ensure that the body as a whole is working effectively. This means that whatever a person’s clinical circumstances may be, regular chiropractic care is essential to his or her long-term health. Your chiropractor is a key member of your health care team in any situation.
Not too long ago, the Eighth Joint National Committee (originally commissioned by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute) released a new set of evidence-based guidelines for evaluation and treatment of hypertension (high blood pressure). The guidelines committee, comprised of 17 academics, spent five years reviewing evidence as preparation for developing the new recommendations.
The committee’s report represents nothing less than a sea change in the treatment of patients with higher-than-normal blood pressure readings. The primary shift is from a long-held standard of implementing treatment when a person’s blood pressure is higher than 140/90 mmHg. The new guidelines recommend beginning treatment only when blood pressure readings are higher than 150/90 mmHg. The new standard is a huge modification of decades-old practice methods, and has generated substantial controversy.1.2 Of course, a good portion of the pushback is from those who have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo, such as physicians who dispense medications from their office and earn substantial income from selling antihypertensive drugs at multiples of their wholesale costs. In addition to physicians who act as pharmacies, drug companies who manufacture antihypertensive medications also stand to lose significant revenue. But aside from considerations related to the practice of medicine as a business, the real issues should be focused on the benefits and harms to patients. In this context, it may be reasonably stated that fewer medications are, by and large, a good thing.
The new blood pressure guidelines have two primary impacts. First, for people over age 60, treatment for presumed hypertension should be initiated when blood pressure readings are higher than 150/90 mm/Hg. More than 7.4 million Americans over age 60 will be in the new safe range. Many of these millions of people have been taking antihypertensive medication for years, possibly needlessly as implied by the new guidelines. Next, for all those under age 60, there is insufficient medical evidence that a systolic blood pressure (the first number in the reading) threshold exists that would dictate treatment. In other words, for many years the systolic threshold had been 140 (as in 140/90 mmHg). Higher systolic readings virtually mandated antihypertensive treatment. Although the committee expressed its opinion that the systolic threshold of 140 mmHg ought to be maintained for those younger than age 60, even though evidence for such a threshold is weak. Thus, it may be that many millions more people have been taking antihypertensive medication without such recommendations being backed by sound scientific research.
The point here is not that people should stop taking their blood pressure medication.3 All such types of decisions should be made in consultation with the prescribing physician. The main consideration is having the ability to make informed choices. Some medication regimens may be appropriate. Some may not. Some may need to be reevaluated. As always, regular chiropractic care is of value by providing you with the best opportunity to achieve maximum good health.
1Mitka M:Groups spar over new hypertension guidelines. JAMA 311(7):663-664, 2014
2Kieldsen SE, et al: Hypertension management by practice guidelines. Blood Press 23(1):1-2, 2014
3Sheppard JP, et al: Missed opportunities in prevention of cardiovascular disease in primary care: a cross-sectional study. Br J Pract 2014, Jan;64(618):e38-46. doi: 10.3399/bjgp14X676447
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Such nice office space. The Front Desk Manager was extremely helpful in scheduling me in for a same day appointment. With years of seeking medical attention for a severe neck/shoulder pain, Dr. Peter was the first Dr to sit with me and listen to my concerns. He was patient, attentive and created a treatment plan that I felt comfortable. His practice is modern, up to date and so comfortable. I highly recommend his practice if you're looking for quality treatment.
~ Emory S.
I saw Dr Peter to help me with some chronic back and neck pain. He did a fantastic job. Took his time to go over everything and explain what he was doing throughout the assessment. After the adjustment I felt so much better. Neck and back felt significantly better. I'll definitely continue seeing him.
~ Rachelle P.
Today, the "teacher" became the student/patient. In desperation and severe pain, I called my former chiropractic student, Dr. Kantzilieris to see if he could "fix" me. After a treatment by his gifted and truly magic hands, I walked out of the office totally upright for the first time today with an 80% reduction in pain. I never had a doubt. In the Paramus and surrounding area, look NO FURTHER than Next Step Chiropractic for your wellness needs!
~ Mary F.
After years of receiving treatment for a chronic pain condition at several other locations without much success, I visited Next Step Chiropractic in April. Dr. Peter is by the far one of the most understanding, respectful, and knowledgeable chiropractors out there. He genuinely cares about his patients and offers a variety of treatments, such as cold laser therapy and ultrasound. He came up with an individualized plan for me and for the first time in years, I have felt long lasting relief! I love that the office has individual treatment rooms for privacy. I highly recommend visiting Next Step Chiropractic and Dr. Peter.
~ Veronica C.
Amazing doctor. Had issues with my legs. After therapy and followed his instructions 3 months later I'm GREAT. Will I go again? 110% yes
~ Robert R.