Posts by Dr. Robert Ramsey
Neck and headache pain are common problems that affect millions of people around the world. If you suffer from this type of issue, you're not alone. The good news is that chiropractic care is an excellent way to not only treat these common problems, but also help prevent future episodes.
Research Supports Chiropractic Helps With Neck Pain and Headaches
For many years, people with neck and headache pain in Gresham, OR have been helped by the chiropractic adjustments of Dr. Ramsey. Our experience is supported by a recent review done in Canada that found that non-surgical, non-drug treatments are the best choice for neck and headache pain.
The review looked at 15 studies from 1990 to 2015 and found that conservative treatment comprised of chiropractic adjustments, exercises, and stretches was recommended before turning to drugs or more invasive treatments.
Previous scientific studies have shown that chiropractic is effective and safe for neck pain and many other health conditions.
We Can Help Patients Find Comfort From Neck Pain and Headaches
If you're troubled with neck pain or headaches, Dr. Ramsey and our staff are here to help you feel better. Give our Gresham, OR office a call today at (503) 667-6744 for an appointment today.
Varatharajan S, Ferguson B, Chrobak K, et al. Are non-invasive interventions effective for the management of headaches associated with neck pain? An update of the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders by the Ontario Protocol for Traffic Injury Management (OPTIMa) Collaboration. European Spine Journal 2016; February 6:1-29.
There are many different kinds of headache, but one of the most common types is known as "cervicogenic headache," or those that start in your neck.
Dr. Ramsey sees a lot of patients in our Gresham, OR office who are suffering with frequent, reoccurring headaches. Fortunately, chiropractic can usually help, potentially reducing these types of headaches by 50 percent, and research confirms it.
Research Shows Chiropractic Helps With Cervicogenic Headaches
A study was conducted involving 80 participants who reported experiencing at least five cervicogenic headaches during the prior three months. The objective was to discover how effective chiropractic was for this type of head pain, as well as to ascertain the number of treatment sessions required to achieve a positive effect.
The patients were divided into four separate groups, so that each group was similar in age, gender, number of cervicogenic headaches, and their intensity. Of the four groups, two engaged in chiropractic treatments and two received light massage. Furthermore, one group assigned to each treatment received eight sessions and the other patients received double that amount.
Each person was assessed based on head pain, neck pain, and disability prior to the study and 12 and 24 weeks after treatment was complete. The researchers found that those who received chiropractic as opposed to massage reported fewer headaches at the conclusion of the study. Furthermore, improvements were maintained when checked six months after treatment ended.
Additionally, participants who were taking medications for their headaches were able to lower their intake after completing the study. Those who received chiropractic had lower drug usage 24 weeks post-study.
We Can Help Patients Find Relief From Head Pain
Dr. Ramsey has helped many patients who were suffering from headaches in our Gresham, OR office. Call us today at (503) 667-6744 for more information or for an appointment.
Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal 2010; 10: 117-128.
In our Gresham, OR practice, we see plenty of people who are struggling with back pain, and some of these patients have been advised they might need surgery to recover. Fortunately, Dr. Ramsey has helped many people get relief without the need for any type of surgical treatment. The scientific literature agrees with the results we see in our office. One research study published in the academic journal Spine found that seeing a chiropractor as your first move in dealing with your back problems may actually keep you off of the operating table.
In this scientific study, medical professionals from Dartmouth analyzed statistics from about 1,900 workers from Washington state who first saw either an orthopedic surgeon or a chiropractic doctor for their back pain issues. They then used three years' worth of follow-up medical records to ascertain whether the patients ended up having back surgery in an attempt to correct the problem.
What the authors found was that 42.7% of the individuals who first saw a surgeon for their back issues ended up with surgery in that 3-year time span, whereas only 1.5% of those who first saw a chiropractor had the same fate. The authors wrote:
"Even after controlling for injury severity and other measures, workers with an initial visit for the injury to a surgeon had almost nine times the odds of receiving lumbar spine surgery compared to those seeing primary care providers, whereas workers whose first visit was to a chiropractor had significantly lower odds of surgery."
These are remarkable outcomes. Consulting with a chiropractor considerably decreases your odds of getting back surgery, plus the chiropractic patients in this scientific study "had lower odds of chronic work disability" and they also had fewer expensive MRI tests.
Let's also keep in mind this important point: this study was carried out by orthopedic surgeons from Dartmouth College, and printed in the world's most influential medical publication on spinal injury.
Surgery: The Last Resort
Any surgery has risks, but a serious problem linked to spinal surgery is that there's a very high failure rate. In an important analysis in the European Spine Journal, researchers wrote:
"Failed back surgery is a problem that has become sufficiently widespread to even warrant its own special conferences, with recent reviews reporting failure rates ranging from 5 to 50%."
The experts in this same study concluded:
"It is extremely difficult to identify unequivocal predictor factors that can be used to accurately predict the outcome of surgery."
As a chiropractor, Dr. Ramsey believes that surgery should be the absolute last choice for treating back pain. Chiropractic works to restore your spine to its normal function--without risky surgery or drugs--and many scientific studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic for back pain.
If you live in Gresham, OR and you need care for your back pain, give our office a call today at (503) 667-6744 for a consultation or an appointment. We'll help get you back on the road to a pain-free life!
- Keeney BJ, Fulton-Kehoe D, Turner JA, Wickizer TM, Chan KC, Franklin GM. Early predictors of lumbar spine surgery after occupational back injury: results from a prospective study of workers in Washington State. Spine 2013;38(11):953-964.
- Mannion AF, Elfering A. Predictors of surgical outcome and their assessment. European Spine Journal 2006;15(Suppl 1):S93-S108.
We tend to a large number of patients in our Gresham, OR office, and Dr. Ramsey has helped many people manage a range of health challenges. However, the primary worry that seems to prevent some women and men from seeking care is whether or not chiropractic adjustments are safe. Fortunately, according to three separate studies (out of quite a few on the subject), the answer to this question is a clear: "Yes! Chiropractic is safe!"
Australian Study: Chiropractic is Safe
The first research paper(1) was published in Spine and involved 183 women and men. Each participant reported suffering from some kind of back pain, and half of the patients received real chiropractic adjustments whereas the remaining patients were given two fake chiropractic treatments. Information was obtained after each real or fake adjustment to discover if any unfavorable side effects were caused by the actual chiropractic treatments.
Researchers found that none of the patients reported any serious negative side effects in any way after getting one or two sessions of chiropractic care. Some individuals did report that they had a headache (just 9% of people) or muscle stiffness (about 1 out of 3) after treatment, but the effects were not of a serious nature.
National Survey Reports that Chiropractic Adjustments are Safe
A second study(2), also released in the important journal, Spine, was done in an attempt to establish the safety of chiropractic care. The test group was much larger as it involved just under 20,000 patients. Each participant received chiropractic adjustments of the cervical spine, with over 50,000 total adjustments for all patients.
Again, the investigators found no serious adverse side effects. The authors determined the risk of total side effects to be about 6 out of every 10,000 consultations or every 100,000 treatment sessions. Plus, just as with the first study, some volunteers did report non-serious, milder, unwanted effects such as dizziness (16 out of every 1,000 treatment consultations and 15 out of every 1,000 treatment sessions) or a headache (4 out of every 100), and this prompted the authors to determine that "the risk of a serious adverse event, immediately or up to 7 days after treatment, was low to very low."
Chiropractic Care Is Safe for Children
This third study(3) is unique from the first two pieces of research, as it concentrates on the safety of chiropractic care for children. In this case, the researchers analyzed results reported by both chiropractors and parents involving 816 children who participated in 7,173 chiropractic adjustments.
Out of 5,438 chiropractic appointments made for the children, chiropractors answering the survey documented only three cases where there were adverse effects. When parents were questioned, they indicated only two adverse side effects out of 1,735 visits. Furthermore, both chiropractors and parents reported "a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints."
Based on these three studies (and many more!), chiropractic has been judged safe and effective for everyone. To discover what chiropractic can do for you, call our Gresham, OR clinic and schedule an appointment today at (503) 667-6744.
- Walker BF, Hebert JJ, Stomski NJ, Clarke BR, Bowden RS, Losco B, French SD. Outcomes of usual chiropractic. The OUCH randomized controlled trial of adverse events. Spine 2013;38(20):1723-9.
- Thiel HW1, Bolton JE, Docherty S, Portlock JC. Safety of chiropractic manipulation of the cervical spine: a prospective national survey. Spine 2007;32(21):2375-8.
- Alcantara J, Ohm J, Kunz D. The safety and effectiveness of pediatric chiropractic: a survey of chiropractors and parents in a practice-based research network. Explore NY 2009;5(5): 290-5.
According to experts, about 2-5 percent of the population will experience painful conditions like frozen shoulder syndrome at some time in their lives. That makes shoulder pain a common occurrence and one that Dr. Ramsey sees in our Gresham, OR practice on a regular basis.
Research Proves Chiropractic Helps With Shoulder Pain
By and large, this condition is more prevalent for people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s, and it tends to affect women more often than men. While ice, heat, and gentle stretches can often times help relieve the pain, so too can chiropractic.
As an example, a study released in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine looked at 50 people with frozen shoulder who were given chiropractic care. The duration of care ranged from 11 days to 51 days, with 28 days being the average.
The doctors found that almost all of the study participants fared extremely well with chiropractic care. The authors found:
8 of the subjects reported 50-75 percent improvement
25 indicated improvement ranging from 75- 90 percent
1 participant had complete resolution of their frozen shoulder pain
Only one participant reported an improvement of 50 percent or less, so studies like this demonstrate just how effective chiropractic can be when it comes to decreasing shoulder pain and increasing quality of life.
We Can Help Clients Find Comfort From Shoulder Pain
Let Dr. Ramsey help you relieve your suffering by contacting our Gresham, OR office and scheduling your appointment today.
Murphy F et al. (2012, December). Chiropractic management of frozen shoulder syndrome using a novel technique: a retrospective case series of 50 patients. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine;11(4):267-272
Dr. Ramsey works with countless sciatica patients here in our Gresham, OR office, and quite a few of these individuals were concerned that they might need surgery to treat their pain. The most recent research indicates that many people don't require surgery for this prevalent issue, and that chiropractic is more beneficial at solving sciatic nerve pain.
A popular surgery for sciatica is microdiscectomy, and in a 2010 study, researchers examined 80 women and men with sciatica who were referred for this procedure.
Forty patients were then randomly sorted into one of two groups. The first group received surgical microdiscectomy and the second group was given chiropractic care.
Both groups got better; however, no apparent difference in outcome was reported one year post-treatment between the surgery group and the chiropractic group. Additionally, around 60 percent of the participating subjects who could not find relief from any other treatment approach "benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention."
Put another way, chiropractic delivered the same positive advantages as surgery without having to endure the greater amounts of surgery-based pain or suffer through drawn-out recovery times often affiliated with that particular treatment option. Plus, you also don't run the risks affiliated with surgical microdiscectomy, which includes nerve root damage, bowel or bladder incontinence, bleeding, or infection.
Surgery should be the last option for sciatica pain. If you live in Gresham, OR and you're suffering from back pain or sciatica, give Dr. Ramsey a call today at (503) 667-6744. We'll help identify the origin of your pain and work hard to get you relief.
- McMorland, G et al. Manipulation or microdiskectomy for sciatica? A prospective randomized clinical study. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2010;33(8):576-584.
- Solberg TK, Nygaard OP, Sjaavik K, Hofoss D, Ingebrigtsen T. The risk of "getting worse" after lumbar microdiscectomy. European Spine Journal 2005;14(1):49-54.
According to The American Academy of Pain Medicine, more people in the US suffer with chronic pain than diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and cancer combined. On top of that, neck pain is the third most documented type of pain, beat out only by back pain and headaches.
Not surprisingly, many people come to our Gresham, OR office looking for neck pain treatment, and Dr. Ramsey has helped many of them find relief. This is a smart choice, as some research shows that over 90% of neck pain patients benefit from chiropractic care.
Studies Confirm Chiropractic Works
A report published in The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy involved 64 people who were suffering with neck problems. Around half were placed in an experimental group and the other half were assigned to a comparison group. Both received chiropractic adjustments of the neck as well as a home exercise program, while the experimental group also received adjustments of the thoracic spine.
Data was gathered before treatment began and one week after the adjustments. Researchers found that 94 percent of the experimental group claimed "significantly greater improvements" in regard to pain and disability in their neck symptoms. Just 35% of the patients who received neck adjustments showed the same level of improvement, showing that looking at the entire spinal column is an important part of restoring the body's normal function.
Another study posted in Physical Therapy involved 60 individuals between the ages of 18 and 60 who were suffering with neck pain. Each man or woman was randomly allocated to one of two groups--thoracic spine thrust manipulation or non-thrust manipulation--with follow-up exams occurring two and four days after the adjustments.
Researchers found that the study patients who received the thrust manipulations (the same adjustments that provided such positive results in the first report) "experienced greater reductions in disability" than the group that received the non-thrust manipulations. Their pain was lower as well, which shows that this type of approach offers many benefits.
Help After Failed Neck Surgery
One study also found the same sort of positive outcomes after thoracic adjustments in a woman who had a failed neck surgical procedure. This particular case involved a 46-year-old patient who had recently had neck surgery but still endured neck pain, headaches, pain in her elbow, and muscle fatigue.
The woman reported reduced pain in her neck and lower headache intensity, right after the first chiropractic adjustments. After six weeks of care, which involved chiropractic, exercise, and patient education, the patient still placed her pain at a zero on a scale of 1 to 10. Her neck disability improved as well, with a rating score that represented that it was a "great deal better."
It is scientific studies like these that substantiate the effectiveness of chiropractic care, even if you've already attempted medical procedures that didn't provide relief. So, if you are dealing with neck pain and would like to find a solution that has a high success rate, try chiropractic. It may just be the help you're looking for.
We're located in Gresham, OR and Dr. Ramsey can help you recover from neck pain. Give us a call today at (503) 667-6744.
- AAPM facts and figures on pain. The American Academy of Pain Medicine.
- Masaracchio M, Cleland JA, Hellman M, Hagins M. Short-term combined effects of thoracic spine thrust manipulation and cervical spine nonthrust manipulation in individuals with mechanical neck pain: a randomized clinical trial. Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2013;43(3):118-127.
- Cleland JA, Glynn P, Whitman JM, Eberhart SL, MacDonald C, Childs JD. Short-term effects of thrust versus nonthrust mobilization/manipulation directed at the thoracic spine in patients with neck pain: a randomized clinical trial. Physical Therapy 2007;87(4):431-440.
- Salvatori R, Rowe RH, Osborne R, Beneciuk JM. Use of thoracic spine thrust manipulation for neck pain and headache in a patient following multiple-level anterior cervical discectomy and fusion: a case report. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy 2014;44(6):440-449.
Knee pain is a common issue for patients in our Gresham, OR chiropractic office, and Dr. Ramsey has happily provided many of these folks relief. This is largely because chiropractic care has been found to help with many forms of knee pain.
For example, some people experience pain in and around the knee area due to degenerative arthritis. Research has shown that this condition responds very well to chiropractic--and rather quickly, too. In fact, one article published in The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association found that individuals with osteoarthritis in their knees felt considerable pain relief and improved function after just two weeks of chiropractic care.
If your knee pain is due to a medial meniscus sprain, chiropractic could likely help with that as well. One study reported that integrating chiropractic with soft tissue therapy, rest, ice, and compression on the affected knee helped lower the intensity of the pain.
Of course, sometimes a knee replacement surgery is necessary in order to rectify the issue, and if that's the case, chiropractic can also help improve the outcome. How?
Research Supports Chiropractic Helps With Knee Pain
Research has found that people with low back pain often have less positive results after knee surgery. Therefore, dealing with your back pain through chiropractic before having a total knee arthroplasty can assist with your post-surgery healing.
No matter what your knee issue, Dr. Ramsey can likely help. Call our Gresham, OR office today and find out what we can do for you!
- Pollard H et al. (2008, December). The effect of a manual therapy knee protocol on osteoarthritic knee pain: a randomised controlled trial. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association;52(4):229-42
Boyle J et al. (2014, March). Influence of low back pain on total knee arthroplasty outcome. Knee;21(2):410-4
- Jarosz B & Ames R. (2010, December). Chiropractic management of a medial meniscus tear in a patient with tibiofemoral degeneration: a case report. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine;9(4):200-8
We see a lot of men and women with headaches in our Gresham, OR office, and Dr. Ramsey has been able to help many of them. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that half of all adults have difficulties with some manner of headache disorder, so this certainly isn’t surprising. One of the most prevalent kinds of headaches that our patients deal with is cervicogenic headache which, luckily for us, chiropractic can generally help.
Cervicogenic Headaches Defined
A cervicogenic headache is one that starts from issues in the cervical spine. It could be because of an issue with either the spine itself (particularly, the vertebrae, joints, or discs), or it may be due to a problem in the muscles and tendons of your neck. This problem in your spine creates squeezing or aggravation of the spinal nerves, which can generate headache pain.
How can you find out if the headache you are going through is a cervicogenic headache? Aside from being given a diagnosis from a healthcare professional, a frequent symptom of cervicogenic headaches is tenderness or pain in your neck. This is sometimes combined with pain in the back of your head or between your shoulder blades.
How Chiropractic Helps with Cervicogenic Headaches
Since cervicogenic headaches will not subside until whatever issue is generating them is corrected, it is essential to get treatment instead of just trying to "wait it out." Chiropractic care is an excellent solution, and one that provides a considerable amount of pain relief.
In one study released in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, experts followed 80 people who had recurring cervicogenic headaches. One-half were given chiropractic care and the other fifty percent engaged in light massage therapy. Each participant was evaluated 12 and 24 weeks after the procedures and it was found that chiropractic delivered the best outcomes.
Specifically, this study revealed that chiropractic adjustments gave patients better pain relief and reduced the frequency of headaches that occurred. What's more, it also lessened the disability that resulted from these painful headaches.
To find out what Dr. Ramsey can do for you and your headache pain, call us today. We'll do our best to get you the pain relief you deserve!
- Haas M, Schneider M, Vavrek D. Illustrating risk difference and number needed to treat from a randomized controlled trial of spinal manipulation for cervicogenic headache. Chiropractic & Osteopathy 2010 18(9).
- World Health Organization. (2012, October). Headache disorders. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs277/en/
We see many back pain patients in our Gresham, OR practice, and Dr. Ramsey has been able to help a lot of them get relief with chiropractic. However, dealing with back problems doesn't necessarily mean having to decide between chiropractic care and medical treatment, as many people utilize both types of care with great results.
Research Confirms Chiropractic and Medical Treatment Work Well with Each Other
In a study published by the medical journal Spine researchers1 looked at a group of active-duty military personnel between the ages of 18 and 35 who reported both acute pain and limited function due to back symptoms. Some of the patients engaged in treatment via standard medical therapy, while the remainder were given chiropractic care together with regular medical care, as researchers wanted to determine which group fared better.
Researchers found that the patients who received standard medical care combined with chiropractic scored "significantly better" than the group that got medical care alone; 73 percent reported positive benefits in comparison to just 17% of the medical treatment only group who reported the same amount of improvement. This was true regarding both pain and level of function at the two- and four-week marks.
Accordingly, integrating these two forms of treatment can greatly benefit you--the patient--offering advantages when compared to medical care alone. However, while chiropractic and medical approaches can work together, chiropractic offers some unique advantages over medical therapy.
Where Chiropractic Care Wins
Although it might seem as if each approach plays a 50/50 role, there is one major benefit that chiropractic care has over medical treatment and that is in patient satisfaction. In fact, a piece of research from UCLA2 that was printed in the American Journal of Public Health reports that, on average, chiropractic patients are generally more satisfied with their recovery than those undergoing medical care.
According to the researchers, the main aspects that patients favored over medical care were "self-care advice and explanation of treatment." This isn't surprising, as chiropractors commonly spend much more time advising their patients as to how they can better their health on their own, as well as explaining more thoroughly what to expect from chiropractic care.
Chiropractic Offers a Non-Invasive Approach
Certainly, the techniques associated with chiropractic are very different than those available with medical therapy, but a large amount of the difference is the fact that chiropractic is a natural approach to health and wellness. In contrast to focusing on only relieving the symptoms, chiropractic care means searching for the primary cause of your pain, which often results in greater improvement as you are tackling the problem at its source.
Additionally, while medication is sometimes helpful for managing certain conditions, many health issues respond well to a natural approach like chiropractic. This means fewer negative side effects from prescriptions and more permanent recovery.
You don't have to endure back pain or other health issues. Give our Gresham, OR office a call today at (503) 667-6744. We'll do our best to help you get and remain free from back pain.
- Goertz CM, Long CR, Hondras MA, Petri R, Delgado R, Lawrence DJ, Owens EF, Meeker WC. Adding chiropractic manipulative therapy to standard medical care for patients with acute low back pain: results of a pragmatic randomized comparative effectiveness study. Spine 2013;38(8):627-634.
- Hertzman-Miller RP1, Morgenstern H, Hurwitz EL, Yu F, Adams AH, Harber P, Kominski GF. Comparing the satisfaction of low back pain patients randomized to receive medical or chiropractic care: results from the UCLA low-back pain study. American Journal of Public Health 2002;92(10):1628-1633.