Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Vitamin D Sufficiency and Decreased Pain

Can Vitamin D Supplementation Promote Chronic
Pain Relief from Traumatic Injury?

August 2012 Advocate Article
By Melissa D. Carter, Attorney at Law

Empirical Evidence

It is well known that vitamin D promotes both bone and muscle strength.  Less known is the extent that a deficiency can increase diffuse pain and impair neuromuscular functioning in individuals suffering from traumatic injury.  Recent studies have shown that vitamin D supplements can aid in chronic pain relief, as well as other significant health issues.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chronic pain is the leading cause of disability in the United States.  Patients suffering from chronic pain following a traumatic injury often end up taking narcotics such as Morphine, Fentanyl or Oxycodone to cope.  A 2009 Mayo Clinic study showed that patients who require narcotic pain medication and who also have inadequate levels of vitamin D took much higher doses of pain medication, nearly twice as much, as those who had adequate levels of vitamin D.[1]  The patients of this study also self reported worse physical functioning and worse overall health perception than those with adequate levels of vitamin D.  Moreover, the study found a correlation between decreasing body mass index and increasing levels of vitamin D.

A smaller, concentrated study on 28 U.S. veterans in 2012 revealed similar results. Researchers from Emory University School of Medicine reported a case series that found patients with multiple areas of traumatically induced chronic pain and low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations at baseline reported improvements in pain, lack of sleep and quality of life after vitamin D supplementation.[2]  The authors of this study reported in the Clinical Journal of Painthat participants had no side effects during the study and that improvements were significant, compared with baseline, in terms of the pain score, sleep latency, sleep duration, bodily pain, general health, vitality and social functioning.

How Much Vitamin D is Enough

Vitamin D blood levels of 30-40 ng/ml are considered ideal.[3]  Supplements of at least 1000 to 2000 IU per day of vitamin D may be warranted, depending upon the individual’s needs (such as chronic pain), geography (living in northern climates without year round sun), and demographics (per a 2003 study conducted by Allina Center for Health Care Innovations of Minnesota, Caucasian women of child bearing age tend to have the lowest blood levels of vitamin D), according to Harvard School of Public Health.[4]  Supplements should contain vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol), rather than vitamin D2.  Health care providers should discuss the individual needs of each patient and consider specific benefits and risks.

As with any nutraceutical supplement, vitamin D supplemental (a vitamin D supplement?) is part of an integrative approach to treatment of patients with chronic pain.  Supplementation can be a valuable part of the treatment regimen and many practitioners are beginning to recommend this as part of an anti-inflammatory protocol.

Patients who have suffered traumatic injury and/or struggling with the aftermath of chronic pain due to the negligence of another should seek consultation with legal counsel versed in the variety of approaches to management of traumatic injury. If you or your patient requires consultation regarding a traumatic injury, the attorneys of Adler Giersch are available to assist you.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Win a year's subscription to The New Yorker...

and help others feel and be healthier by being the first practice member to do a video testimonial! Here's how:

  1. Come to the office
  2. Sign a release form
  3. We will record your short video testimonial -- your name, how you felt before you received care, how you feel now
We will post your video testimonial on our blog and sign you up for a free, one year's subscription to The New Yorker magazine.

Good Grief!

I often wonder how low people in our government can go, and being a child of the Watergate era, really nothing surprises me, but if you still think our so-called regulatory agencies are there to protect us, forget about it! We now find that the FDA approves drugs, sometimes without even reading their scientists' reports and that it is spying on them. Moral of the story: the best defense is a good offense. Make healthful lifestyle choices and seek care that offers support that is compatible with human biology.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Doctors of Chiropractic Answer London's Call

With the London Olympic Games in full swing, it's worth remembering that in 1979, track and field star Dwight Stones broke barriers and thrust chiropractic care into the Olympic spotlight in an interview on national TV, where he spoke about the important work being done by Leroy Perry, DC.

Now, a little more than 30 years later, there will be 28 DCs in the Olympic polyclinic — a multidisciplinary medical services team provided by the London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games — led by Tom Greenway, DC. In addition, there are 27 other DCs working with foreign countries and teams from around the world, including Angela Salcedo, DC, who is the team doctor of chiropractic for the British Virgin Islands.

Doctors of chiropractic across the country have been making news over he past couple of months. James Parker, DC, a former hammer-throwing Olympian, provided chiropractic services for athletes at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials in June. While they're at the games, the U.S. track team will be treated by Joel Bienenfeld, DC.

It's no surprise that athletes and coaches both sing the praises of the services provided by doctors of chiropractic. Swimmer Michael Phelps, the star of the Beijing Olympics who is competing at his third Olympic games, cites [chiropractic] as essential to his recovery after hard workouts. Additionally, Terry Schroeder, DC, head coach of the U.S. water polo team, makes sure his athletes receive regular chiropractic care to improve their long-term health and to maximize their performance at the Olympics.

Source: American Chiropractic Association,