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Making Sense of Guidelines for Care

Senior Health Can Benefit from Chiropractic Care
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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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

    ~Amy Hawker
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

    ~Patsy Dimond-Spencer
     Fenton, MI

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig
     Fenton, MI

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan
     Fenton, MI

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!

    ~Nancy Matson
     Fenton, MI

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle
     Fenton, MI

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs
     Fenton, MI

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

    ~A.H.
     Fenton, MI

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