Access to Chiropractic for Military Families

The NavyTimes reported on a possible revamping of the military medical system recently

Washington policymakers will soon begin consideration of the biggest overhaul of the military health care system since Tricare replaced CHAMPUS in the early 1990s — changes that would shift millions of beneficiaries to commercial, private-sector health plans.

This plan is purported to save the Pentagon billions of dollars as well as improving access to care for over 9 million military families.

Participants would have to provide the same services now covered by Tricare, including inpatient and outpatient services, medical and surgical care, mental health and substance abuse treatment, maternity care and pediatrics, preventive care and more.

But some plans could offer benefits that the current Tricare program doesn’t — chiropractic care, fertility treatments, acupuncture and more — at various costs.

The commission, whose members included six retired military officers, a Navy reservist and a Medal of Honor recipient, all with legislative and professional expertise in military pay-and-benefits issues, says the program, called Tricare Choice, would give families more choice of doctors, better access and improved treatment.

For the full article visit

chriscapitolstraightTo support improved access to chiropractic for our military and their families you can sign up for alerts about legislation affecting chiropractic at or you can visit the legislative action center for the ACA ( to find current issues and contact your representative or senator to make your voice heard.  There are currently 3 federal issues that affect chiropractic and the military. Take a look and support our troops.

Low Back Pain, Right Here! – Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

Many people suffer from Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction even if they don’t know it by name. Most often people come in complaining of low back pain right along the belt line usually radiating to the glutes. They can usually point to the source of their pain and they point right to the S.I. joint. This is usually Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction, and it can cause serious pain. It often affects pregnant women more easily than others because of the hormone-induced relaxation of the pelvis along with increased weight and low back stress.

It is usually caused by trauma such as lifting heavy items while bending and twisting at the same time. It can be exaggerated by the same motion such as loading a dishwasher or front loading clothes dryer, or even vacuuming. SI dysfunction will often produce a functional inequality in leg length (one leg appearing longer than the other). This pain is often one sided and also confused with sciatica. If you have S.I. Dysfunction it can produce pseudo sciatica. S.I. Dysfunction is the cause of about 25% of all low back pain.

What can you do if you have S.I. Dysfunction. Chiropractic is the treatment of choice having about a 75% success rate in research ( Stretching the hip flexors and gluteal regions can help relieve some of the pain. The best thing to do is to see a chiropractor to restore proper function to those joints. If you have low back pain there is a 1 in 4 chance that it is S.I. Dysfunction.


Go to Your Chiropractor for Your High Blood Pressure

IMG_2825Hypertension is the most common primary diagnosis in the country. It is a serious public health issue affecting over 30% of the adult population of the USA. Hypertension and hypertension related conditions are a leading cause of death with nearly 350,000 per year. It is also a very manageable condition. In most cases Chiropractors should be managing these patients in their offices. Chiropractors are trained to make the diagnosis and in the treatment methods required. For some treatments they are the only practitioners trained.

Hypertension is broken into two categories, essential and secondary hypertension. Essential Hypertension is the most common and the one that we know least about. It is linked to lifestyle, genetics, age and so much more. Secondary Hypertension is easier to understand. In these cases the increase in blood pressure (BP) is caused by another condition such as kidney disease, or endocrine problems. Patients with secondary hypertension should be referred for the appropriate medical care.

Diagnosis and classification of hypertension is simple:

Systolic BP (SBP) mmHg Diastolic BP (DBP) mmHg
Normal <120 <80
Prehypertension 120–139 80–89
Hypertension Stage 1 140–159 90–99
Hypertension Stage 2 >160 >100

Blood Pressure will vary a little each time you take it so it is important to take multiple readings in a systematic manner using the same arm and technique each time. Readings over time will give you the best idea of where a BP truly is, and at least 3 readings on separate occasions are suggested.

The following is a small list of common drugs or drug categories that can increase BP:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (ibuprofen, naproxen)
  • Decongestants, Cough and Cold Medications
  • Headache Medications
  • Weight Loss Medications
  • Corticosteroids such as asthma medications
  • Oral contraceptive hormones
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Adrenal steroid hormones
  • Licorice (including some chewing tobacco)

The home remedy is really the only remedy, if by remedy you mean cure. You see high blood pressure is usually a lifestyle issue. That means the things that you do from day to day are causing your high blood pressure. Change those things and your blood pressure normalizes. If it doesn’t then you’re blood pressure is just a symptom of something else that needs to be addressed medically (small % of the cases). High blood pressure is just a symptom and not a disease in and of its self.

SaladThe recommendations for management of hypertension start with lifestyle modifications such as achieving and maintaining normal body weight, BMI of less than 25. Blood pressure can be reduced between 5-20 mmHg by achieving and maintaining a normal BMI. Weight loss of even 10lbs can show significant reductions in BP. Good diet, specifically the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH), has been shown to decrease your BP between 8-14 mmHg. Diet can also help to decrease your weight. Reducing sodium intake as a part of your diet can reduce your SBP by 2-8 mmHg. Exercise, even just brisk walking for 30 min a day, 5 days a week, can reduce SBP by up to 9 mmHg. Limiting alcohol consumption and quitting smoking also have significant effect on reduction of SBP.

It is not unreasonable to expect a 10-20 mmHg drop in BP with just lifestyle changes. Because all of the lifestyle changes are interrelated you cannot just add the possible reductions from each together to determine how much this treatment should reduce BP. It is important to keep a balance in treatments and utilize all of the lifestyle modifications possible.

The medical recommendations of the Joint National Committee on Prevention, Detection,Ragnar Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Pressure suggest that medication should be used in conjunction with lifestyle modification for Stage 1 and 2 Hypertension.  Lifestyle modification has been shown to be effective at reducing BP even without medication, and so suggests that most cases of hypertension can be brought under control without medication.  Chiropractors can provide benefit in these cases in multiple ways.  The Journal of Human Hypertension and others report that in initial studies chiropractic treatment was found to have the long term effectiveness equivalent to using two medications for reducing hypertension and it had no negative effects.  The results showed an average reduction of 17 mmHg Systolic BP and 10 mmHg Diastolic BP.  The nature and frequency of chiropractic treatments lends to more frequent contact with patients which provides greater opportunity to educate, encourage and to monitor BP levels.
In other words chiropractors use the only remedy/home remedy to treat high blood pressure. You can do it on your own or ask your chiropractor about it.

Winter Blues and Joint Pain

winter-bluesFor many people winter is a time of sadness and pain for no other reason than the season. It some times has to do with the cold, sometimes with the lack of light. During the winter we also decrease our activity and water intake while increasing our calorie intake. All of these things can contribute to winter depression and aching joints. While some winters are mild and some extreme you will likely still hear people lamenting their aching joints. Arthritis in particular is increased with no real known reason. Chiropractic can help.

It is a good thing that Christmas is in winter as positive social interaction is one way we can combat these mental and physical conditions. Other great ways are a good diet and exercise. Often the most difficult part about health conditions is knowing what is causing them. If you are aware of what happens to you in the winter then you may already know exactly what you need to do to feel better. If you know someone having difficulty please check up on them. Just a visit will help, but you can go the extra mile by inviting them to activities and encouraging healthy attitudes. Please let them know that your chiropractor is also there to help and can often provide relief from the pain and lifestyle guidance, as well as positive social interaction.

Remember to move well to be well. Give us a call Dr. Duncan and the Utah Spinal Care Team. 880 E 9400 S. Sandy, UT 84094 (801)523-0073

“Ugly giant bags of mostly water!”

This quote is from Star Trek the Next Generation. It is an alien life form describing humans and Hydrateis very apt. I don’t know about the ugly part, but we are mostly water. While estimates differ, our bodies are made up of 55-75% water. Water affects every aspect of our function. Many of us are not getting enough of it. Some experts feel that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. While working out you can loose 6-10% through sweat, and everyone knows you need water when you exercise, but that is obvious and our body is demanding water at that point.

Chronic mild dehydration has unknown effects. We don’t know what it does to us to be a little dehydrated for years. We do know that as little as 1% dehydration can cause a 5% decrease in cognitive ability and physical performance. This is the first time that our body will start to feel thirsty. You should be drinking before you get thirsty. If you’re thirsty then you’re already having symptoms of dehydration. We also know how important water is for us. Here are some symptoms that you may not associate with dehydration.

Some Lesser known Symptoms of Dehydration:

  • Craving for sugar
  • Headaches
  • Bad breath
  • Irritability
  • Chronic Illness
  • Chronic Pain

Some lesser known benefits of drinking water are:

  • Weight loss
  • Increased cognitive ability
  • Increased physical ability
  • Clearer skin
  • Decreased joint and muscle pain
  • Improved immune system

The next time you get the munchies, or a headache, or feel a little out of control or tired, try a glass of water.

Merry Christmas – He is the Gift

We all know the reason for the season. Somewhere under the layers of stress and commercialism that have been heaped upon us we can still recall. God has given us everything. He gave us our life, and He gave us His Son. We need to take care of the life that he has given us so that we can share that gift with others. Take care of your body, mind and spirit this Christmas. Remember that you are a child of God. Merry Christmas!

National Chiropractic Health Month 2014

October is National Chiropractic Health Month.

Chiropractic is utilized by about 10% of the population of the USA, but 80% of the population will have back pain. With stats like that not to mention all of the other conditions that chiropractic can help with. Many more people should be seeing chiropractors. To help get the word out to people that there is an alternative to simply masking their pain with drugs, I am participating in National Chiropractic Health Month. You can participate too.  This year’s theme is “Conservative Care First.” Take a look and come join in the sharing at it begins next week. 

Drivers Need Chiropractic

Let’s talk about drivers.  Truck drivers, couriers, commuters and more.  Anyone who spends a significant portion of time driving in a vehicle knows that it can cause problems for your body.  You don’t need to wait till an accident happens for you to benefit from chiropractic.

If you look at a car seat particularly the driver’s seat you will notice that the seat has been designed to fit a spine, with curves in all the right places.  That design is a great idea with many flaws.  First of all we are all different sizes and shapes, and many of us do not fit that seat’s design.  Secondly even if we did match the design, most of us don’t sit in the chair properly to take advantage of it’s ergonomic design.

Our bodies are not designed to be stationary.  We are designed to move.  Movement improves circulation and overall health.  Sitting in a car for an extended period of time is uncomfortable, and doing it repetitively (every day) can lead to improper posture, weak or at risk joints, muscles and ligaments.

There are things you can do to reduce your risk.  Sit back in your seat, and prop it upright so you aren’t slouching.  Use a towel or other support device to fit your seat to you if you don’t fit it.  Adjust your headrest properly.  Plan stops into your travel so that you can get out and stretch.  When it is safe to do so move the parts of your body that you can, don’t keep them in the same position for longer than is necessary.  As always, eat right get a good nights sleep and exercise.  Your body will heal it’s self and protect it’s self if you give it what it needs.

The most common complaints of drivers are by far low back issues, but shoulder and neck issues are high on the list as well due to the unmoving positions that are required for driving safely.  If you drive, and have any of these, or other aches and pains, contact your chiropractor for help.

Road Trip Tips

Road trips are hard on the body.Sitting still for long periods causes some problems for your back.These problems can normally be repaired with a good nights sleep.However, you rarely get a good night’s sleep on road trips.When you’re sleeping on a strange bed, no matter what kind of bed it is, it’s not yours.But not to worry as long as you eat right, you’re body will be able to cope with these difficulties.Oh, that’s right; when you’re traveling you will probably be eating out, and unable to control a vast majority of your food preparation.

Honestly though, even if you are in good condition road trips will take a toll on your body. Here are some tips from your chiropractor to make your next road trip a little better. First and foremost get adjusted before you go if you are able. You know these trips are going to be hard on your body. It is good to give your self the best start possible. Sitting for a long period will be much easier if you are aligned properly.

Try to sit in a good posture. There are many posture aids for your car, and I recommend a few of them, but if time and money don’t permit, a good thick towel will mold to just about any position that you need.Putting something at the small of your back will help you to remember to sit properly.

From: Road Trip America

Take healthy snacks. I know it’s so much easier to grab some prepackaged junk or candy to eat in the car, but with a little preparation time you can be more awake, alert and pleasant. Try sliced vegetables or fruit. With your body sitting still so much you don’t need a whole lot of calories, but you still need energy. Vegetables will give you that energy without making you feel sluggish. Additionally, if you have children traveling with you, you can avoid the wild sugar induced mood swings. The same goes for drinks; water is what your body needs.

You’re not going to be able to take your bed with you, but there are some things that you can do to get a better nights sleep.Most hotels have a gym of some kind, and if you’re going to be watching TV before bed anyway you might as well do it on the treadmill, or bike.I prefer being outside.This will tire you out as well as giving your joints a chance to get the nutrients they need.You don’t need to go all out but even a short 15 minute stroll is going to be better than nothing.

When you get home from your trip make sure that you have an appointment scheduled with your chiropractor, and massage therapist. You want to be back in pre-trip shape or better as soon as possible, and these people are the ones to make it happen.

Chiropractic Humor Page


Here is my chiropractic humor page.

I always believe that people should get credit for their work. So I have linked or cited the source of everything I can. I would love to create a larger collection of chiropractic humor, so as you submit things for inclusion please try to keep in mind these rules: give credit, keep it clean, and if at all possible make sure it’s at least slightly funny. Thanks and enjoy.