A clinical trial published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Network Open compared active-duty military personnel receiving the usual medical care (medication, physical therapy, etc.) for lower back pain to another group with the usual medical care plus chiropractic. Not surprisingly, the addition of care by doctors of chiropractic brought significant reductions in pain and disability with high patient satisfaction.
This study is significant because the chiropractic profession, while considered mainstream today, historically faced opposition from the medical establishment. In 1987, following years of litigation, the AMA was found guilty of a conspiracy to contain and eliminate chiropractic in the Wilk antitrust trial. Today, medical doctors and doctors of chiropractic work together for the patient’s best interest. Veterans and active duty military personnel, however, still struggle to get access to chiropractic care as a covered service. Fortunately, this year congress passed the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 to expand access to chiropractic for veterans. Back pain and neck pain are leading causes of disability and the U.S. is facing an opioid epidemic. Expanding access for veterans and active duty military will help by providing a non-drug, non-surgical approach to spine and musculoskeletal pain.
Yes, however, while the science of chiropractic has progressed, Medicare chiropractic coverage hasn’t been expanded since 1974 and is limited to manipulation of the spine when necessary to correct a subluxation. A subluxation is described by Medicare as, “When one or more of the bones of your spine move out of position”. The subluxation must be associated with a symptomatic muscular and skeletal condition, for example, low back pain, disc herniation, sciatica, neck pain, etc. Medicare does not cover preventative chiropractic care.
In my experience most Medicare patients also have a supplemental plan. The supplemental plan almost always only covers the Medicare annual deductible and 20% coinsurance. Medicaid will not pay if it is secondary. Medicare Advantage plans generally follow Medicare coverage but may have a higher copay.
The bottom line is that Medicare helps pay some of the cost of chiropractic services but does not cover any other chiropractic services, such as evaluation, any necessary x-rays, extremity adjustments, massage, or physiotherapy modalities (electrical stimulation, ultrasound, cold laser, traction, decompression), orthotics, etc. In my opinion, services not covered by Medicare are usually needed to provide appropriate patient care and get a good outcome. Most Americans can easily afford chiropractic services and chiropractic care may take the place of more costly and invasive procedures.
Greenville chiropractor Dr. Luke Henry has been a participating provider in Medicare since 2006. He has been a postgraduate speaker at chiropractic colleges, for the South Carolina Chiropractic Association, and has presented at medical and public health conferences. Dr. Henry is credentialed as an expert witness for the Office of Medicare Hearings and Appeals.
Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic-Arizona State University Obesity Solutions Initiative and the inventor of the treadmill desk has studied the effects of sedentary lifestyle and has coined the phrase, “Sitting is the new smoking”. Evidence suggests that sitting too much increases risk of obesity and many chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and some cancers. Dr. Levine went so far as to say, “Sitting too much kills”. As a chiropractor, I see many patients with neck, shoulder and back pain caused by prolonged sitting. Sitting at a computer all day or extensive driving can lead to poor posture, chronic muscle strain and may accelerate degenerative changes in the discs of the spine. The intervertebral discs, the “shock absorbers” between the bones of the spine need movement to stay healthy. I frequently recommend a standing desk as an option for my patients, along with therapeutic exercises to improve posture and relieve repetitive stress. Stretching and adding movement throughout the day helps relieve aches and pains and increases productivity. If you need help with neck pain, back pain, disc problems or an auto accident injury, call my office for an appointment at 864-288-7797.
Greenville, South Carolina chiropractor Dr. Luke Henry was recognized by the South Carolina Chiropractic Association for 5 years membership in the Palmetto Club. Dr. Henry traveled to Myrtle Beach for the SC Chiropractic Association Annual Convention June 23-26, 2016. Henry first attended the convention by scholarship while a student at Sherman College of Chiropractic in 2005. Dr. Henry has been active in the SCCA since opening his practice in Greenville in 2006 and has served as a postgraduate speaker and on the committee to plan and approve continuing education programs. Dr. Henry stated, “It’s an honor to be part of such a great group of doctors of chiropractic”. Dr. Henry’s practice emphasis is on neck and back pain, nonsurgical disc decompression, cold laser therapy and whiplash. For an appointment call 864-288-7797 or for more information visit henryclinic.com.
“The South Carolina Chiropractic Association is a professional association whose mission is to promote and protect chiropractic in South Carolina. We provide leadership as a unified voice to safeguard the future of all chiropractors in South Carolina through:
(a) expanding the role of chiropractic in health care;
(b) public awareness;
(c) legislative involvement;
(d) communicating the current trends and issues important to our members;
(e) providing quality continuing education.”
Adopted by the South Carolina Chiropractic Association Board of Directors, February 12, 2000
Greenville, SC chiropractor, Dr. Luke Henry, will travel to Myrtle Beach, SC June 23-26, 2016 to attend the SC Chiropractic Association Annual Convention. Dr. Henry has been attending this convention since 2005. The Convention frequently hosts more than 300 chiropractic physicians and provides continuing education as well as a trade show with vendors offering he latest diagnostic and therapeutic equipment. Classes taught by nationally known speakers will include whiplash, chiropractic treatment of extremities, risk management, insurance coding and compliance, and nutrition. Chiropractors in South Carolina, like other professionals, are required to take continuing education for license renewal. Dr. Henry is a graduate of Clemson University and Sherman College of Chiropractic. He has been an active member of the SCCA since 2006 and is a member of the Palmetto Club. He also serves on a committee to help plan postgraduate continuing education for doctors of chiropractic. Dr. Henry practices at Henry Chiropractic Clinic, LLC, 1314 Pelham Road, Greenville, SC 29615 864-288-7797.
As a chiropractic physician, I help people with neck and back pain, which is commonly the result of disease of the intervertebral discs. The discs are like shock absorbers between the bones in the spine. When they bulge, herniate or degenerate it can pinch or irritate the delicate nerves and cause terrible pain. The pain may localize to the spine or can radiate to an arm or shoot down a leg. There may also be numbness, tingling or weakness associated with a disc problem. Bulging or herniated discs may result from an injury, such as improper lifting, sports injury or an auto accident. Disc problems may also develop gradually over time from wear and tear. Family history may play a role but while you can’t change heredity you can have a significant positive impact through lifestyle. In my experience as a practicing doctor of chiropractic, almost everyone knows that smoking is bad for health and causes lung cancer, but what most of the thousands of patients I’ve treated didn’t know is that smoking also contributes to disease of the spinal discs.
20% of American adults smoke, with 80% of those smoking daily. There is convincing scientific evidence that tobacco smoking leads to disc degeneration. Tobacco smoking causes DNA damage leading to premature aging of the disc cells. Nicotine is also a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it causes blood vessels to constrict and limits blood flow. Some authors have hypothesized that reduced blood flow may leads to disc degeneration by limiting nutrients to the discs. When the discs wear, it can cause neck or back pain. At my office we are well prepared to help patients with bulging, herniated and degenerative discs but I also expect patient to help themselves through lifestyle. Quitting tobacco eliminates the most common cause of preventable death. Quitting (AKA smoking cessation) reduces risk of cancer, helps with circulation and lowering blood pressure and will likely make you live longer. It’s not easy but there are resources to help.
Wang F, Cai F, Shi R, Wang XH, Wu XT. Aging and age related stresses: a senescence mechanism of intervertebral disc degeneration. Osteoarthritis Cartilage. 2016 Mar;24(3):398-408. doi: 10.1016/j.joca.2015.09.019. Epub 2015 Oct 9.
Feng C, Liu H, Yang M, Zhang Y, Huang B, Zhou Y. Disc cell senescence in intervertebral disc degeneration: Causes and molecular pathways. Cell Cycle. 2016 May 18:1-11. [Epub ahead of print]
Ogawa T, Matsuzaki H, Uei H, Nakajima S, Tokuhashi Y, Esumi M. Alteration of gene expression in intervertebral disc degeneration of passive cigarette- smoking rats: separate quantitation in separated nucleus pulposus and annulus fibrosus. Pathobiology 2005; 72:146-51; PMID:15860932; http://dx.doi.org/10.1159/000084118
Holm S, Nachemson A. Nutrition of the intervertebral disc: acute effects of cigarette smoking. An experimental animal study. Ups J Med Sci 1988; 93:91-9; PMID:3376356; http://dx.doi.org/10.1517/03009734000000042
Uematsu Y, Matuzaki H, Iwahashi M. Effects of nicotine on the intervertebral disc: an experimental study in rabbits. J Orthop Sci 2001; 6:177-82; PMID:11484105; http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s007760100067
Mattila VM, Saarni L, Parkkari J, Koivusilta L, Rimpela A. Early risk factors for lumbar discectomy: an 11-year follow-up of 57,408 adolescents. Eur Spine J 2008; 17:1317-23; PMID:18682991; http://dx. doi.org/10.1007/s00586-008-0738-2
Dr. Luke Henry – Serving Greenville with Chiropractic Care Since 2006
Greenville, South Carolina Chiropractic Physician Dr. Luke Henry is pleased to announce 10 years of serving patients in Greenville. Thousands of neck and back pain sufferers have sought help from Dr. Henry. While an engineering student at Clemson University, Henry himself was a chiropractic patient. He decided on a career as a doctor of chiropractic after having a positive experience recovering from an injury. Dr. Henry opened Henry Chiropractic Clinic, LLC in 2006 at the corner of Pelham Road and Highway 14 with the help of his wife, Tecora, as chiropractic assistant. The practice grew rapidly thanks to referrals from enthusiastic patients. Dr. Henry’s emphasis on evidence-based care also brought referrals from the medical community. Construction on their new office at 1314 Pelham Road was completed in 2012. Dr. Henry practice emphasis is on management of whiplash and motor vehicle trauma and nonsurgical solutions for pain, including spinal disc decompression and cold laser. Dr. Henry wishes to thank his teachers and mentors and the thousands of patients who have placed their confidence in him.
A May 5, 2016 report stated, “We commend you on the delivery of cost-efficient care.” The report from HNS, a managed care company, compared Dr. Henry’s utilization to other chiropractic providers in the network for Cigna and Medcost health insurance. Dr. Luke Henry has frequently been recognized for cost-effective, consistent best-evidence practice and is rated “Tier 1 Advantage” by Optum Health Physical Health, the managed care company for United and Aetna chiropractic, physical therapy and occupational therapy. Dr. Henry is a preferred provider for Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina, State Health Plan, Federal BCBS, Blue Choice, Cigna, Medcost, United Healthcare, Aetna and he participates with Medicare. Auto accident and worker’s compensation cases are also welcome. Dr. Henry has been serving Greenville since 2006 and is a published author. He is a member of the South Carolina Chiropractic Association and the South Carolina Public Health Association.
“When I came in I was all bent over and walking with a walker since 2000. Now I’m walking without a walker and I don’t ever want to go back to where I was. The staff are excellent!”
Thank you for your kind words, Patricia, and I’m glad we were able to help you!
As a chiropractic physician, my staff and I have helped thousands of neck and back pain sufferers and people who have been injured in auto accidents, work or sports injuries since opening in 2006. Although I pride myself on being a great chiropractor, I realized that there are people out there who continue to suffer from chronic spinal pain, even after they have tried medicine, chiropractic, physical therapy, injections, even failed surgery in some cases. That’s why I became interested in new technologies to help: nonsurgical spinal decompression and cold laser therapy. Since investing in these new therapeutic options, we have been able to help many patients with more serious neck and back problems, including bulging, herniated and degenerative discs, stenosis, facet syndrome, and radiculopathy. Don’t continue to suffer. Call my office at 864-288-7797 for a consultation to find out whether you are a good candidate. For more information, visit our decompression and laser pages.