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A pair of media stories recently have shown chiropractic in a favorable light. The first story appeared on October 28, 2002 on a California television news show. The station, "Action News 8" is out of Salinas, Monterey and Santa Cruz. The story's title is "Chiropractors Offer Relief For Moms-To-Be". This news feature tells the story of a pregnant woman who was experiencing lower back pain. The woman told her story by saying, "Laying down was very difficult, changing positions was extremely, extremely painful. I was at the point where I really wasn't functioning very well." According to the news story a chiropractor found that the woman's pelvis was out of balance. She explains her story by saying, "I was here three days in a row (with) a weekend off and (there was a) drastic difference." The story goes on to explain that there are additional benefits to chiropractic care for pregnant women. The chiropractor of the woman featured in this news story ended by saying, "The actual time of labor, the length of it, is shortened. The delivery was very easy. The baby just literally, kind of, came out slowly and smoothly. Complications are very rare."
The second news story appeared in the October 28, 2002 issue of the Buffalo Business First Newspaper. In this story, the Erie County Medical Center (ECMC) has established a Department of Chiropractic, a level of service unique to hospitals across the state of New York. ECMC medical director Dr. Roger Kaiser gives the reason for this by explaining, "We recognized sometime ago the importance of offering a broad spectrum of service to our patients," said Kaiser. "Patients will frequently access chiropractors and we couldn't ignore that market force. If that's what the patients want, that's what we'll give them. To deny them that access just because of a turf battle didn't make sense." Dr. Stephen Zajac newly named head of the ECMC's Department of Chiropractic, explains the shift in thinking by removal of a professional wall that has existed between Chiropractic and Medicine. "Chiropractic is not included as an alternative (treatment) any more. We can't deny that the wall existed for a very long time. That wall isn't that solid here as it is elsewhere in the state and country," Zajac said.
On September 9, 2004, a startling report titled, "2003 National Survey on Drug Use and Health" was issued by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration. The study was a good-news, bad-news scenario in that it showed that fewer American youths are using marijuana, LSD and Ecstasy, but more are abusing prescription drugs.
The report noted that more people had tried prescription pain relievers who did not need them for medical reasons. The most striking increase was a 15 percent rise in prescription drug abuse by people 18 to 25. In the broader population of 12 and over, the study showed that 5 percent more people took those drugs recreationally. There were 6.3 million people using prescription medications non-medically in 2003, about 2.7 percent of the population ages 12 or older. Of these, an estimated 4.7 million used prescription pain relievers; 1.8 million used tranquilizers; 1.2 million used stimulants, including methamphetamine; and 0.3 million used sedatives.
The study found that young people who were exposed to anti-drug messages outside school took notice -- with rates of current pot use 25 percent lower than those who did not get those messages. Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson highlighted the good news by saying, "It is encouraging news that more American youths are getting the message that drugs are dangerous, including marijuana."
The study also noted that fewer youths were using marijuana, but alcohol abuse remains steady with no noticeable increase or decrease.
A news story on February 13, 2007 appeared on CBS-11 News out of Dallas - Fort Worth as well as on their website, that chronicled chiropractic helping children with ear infections. This story reported on a mother, Susan Lekborg who says her son Cooper had suffered from chronic ear infections for years. During this time medical treatments did little to ease her son's suffering.
In this report Ms. Lekborg recounted the long, sleepless nights and stated, "We were up all night, he was miserable, cranky. He was on antibiotics all winter and it just wasn't helping. It would go away and come back, go away and come back." After feeling frustrated and helpless she reluctantly decided to go to a chiropractor. "I'll be honest, I was a little skeptical, nervous about a chiropractor adjusting my baby."
The story reports that the chiropractor she took her son Cooper to was Dr. Peter Martone. Dr. Martone explained the rationale for care by saying, "Chiropractic care is simply the art and science of aligning the spine to take pressure off the nerve and ultimately allow the body to heal itself." He continued, "So what happens with the adjustment, it allows for those ear canals to open up and the ears will drain, preventing any ear infection."
The news article noted that after only one visit Cooper started feeling better. The news story also interviewed Pediatrician Linda Nelson who said there's a lot about the body doctors just don't understand. "I'm very open to anything that's benign," she said. "And it's certainly isn't going to hurt the child."
The article concluded with Susan Lekborg stating that it worked for her children. "This will be their third winter, no antibiotics, no Tylenol, no Motrin. They're clean. I just feel like they're healthier."
On June 1st 2000 the Associated Press ran a story that strongly suggested that many of the news releases on drugs commonly run on major news organizations may be very misleading. The AP news story was reporting on a study conducted by researchers from Harvard University and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and reported in the June 1st 2000 New England Journal of Medicine. In that study researchers reviewed 207 stories by U.S. news media of the benefits and risks of three medications that are used to prevent major diseases. These medications were pravastatin, a drug reported for the prevention of cardiovascular disease; alendronate, a drug reported for the treatment and prevention of osteoporosis; and aspirin, which has been widely reported recently as a preventative for heart problems.
The researchers noted inaccuracies in reporting the results but noted severe problems with researchers who had a financial interest in the drug they were reporting on. The article said, "Of the 170 stories citing an expert or a scientific study, 85 (50 percent) cited at least one expert or study with a financial tie to a manufacturer of the drug that had been disclosed in the scientific literature. These ties were disclosed in only 33 (39 percent) of the 85 stories." In their conclusion the researchers wrote, "News-media stories about medications may include inadequate or incomplete information about the benefits, risks, and costs of the drugs as well as the financial ties between study groups or experts and pharmaceutical manufacturers."