Monday, January 25, 2010

Governor Corzine Signs Bill Expanding Scope of Chiropractic Medicine into Law

The Association of New Jersey Chiropractors and all Doctors of Chiropractic in New Jersey are delighted that Governor Corzine signed an updated Scope of Practice into law on Monday, January 18. This law enables Doctors of Chiropractic to expand the scope of treatment and health care services that they can offer to patients in New Jersey. The prior scope of practice was last amended in 1953 leaving New Jersey chiropractors with one of the most restrictive statutes governing their scope of practice in the nation. The previous scope of practice also left chiropractors unable to fully incorporate their medical knowledge into practice; thereby limiting the extent of their therapeutic care.

This new Bill expands the scope of practice of chiropractic medicine beyond adjusting the articulations of the spinal column to include a person’s extremities. It covers the reduction of misalignment, as well as examination, diagnosis, assessment, adjustment and treatment of joints and soft tissue. Chiropractors can now also order and administer physical therapy and rehabilitative and strengthening exercises.

Chiropractic Physicians receive extensive medical training. This expanded scope allows them to use their extensive training to provide more treatment options to health care consumers in New Jersey.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Bill Expands What New Jersey's Chiropractors Can Do

By Ben Leach, Staff Writer of Posted January 12, 2010.

Chiropractors in New Jersey are going beyond the back.

Thanks to a measure that passed in both the state Senate and Assembly on Monday, state-licensed chiropractors would be able to treat extremities, prescribe medical tests and give nutritional advice as well as sell nutritional supplements in their offices.

The bill brings New Jersey in line with many other states that have similar regulations.

For example, under New Jersey’s current standards, a chiropractor can treat problems in the extremities such as hands and feet only if they directly relate to problems in the spine, according to Dr. James P. Farrell, a chiropractic physician at Farrell Chiropractic and Rehabilitation in Cape May Court House.

“If someone came into my office with carpal tunnel syndrome, I would have to relate it to the spine or I couldn’t treat it,” Farrell said.

Farrell explained that patients such as athletes, who might need immediate treatment, would be in a difficult position if the injury they sustained wasn’t along the spine. “There’s only so much time in the day to be writing notes to the insurance companies,” Farrell said.

Farrell said today’s chiropractors are trained to treat beyond the spine, and that includes giving nutrition advice to their patients. “It brings us into the 21st century,” said Dr. Robert Olivieri, a chiropractic orthopedist at Olivieri Chiropractic and Rehabilitation Center in Rio Grande.

Olivieri said chiropractors are trained to consult patients about nutrition — for example, skeletal pain might not be the result of an injury; it could be related to a vitamin D deficiency, which can lead to bone problems such as rickets and osteomalacia.

Under the new legislation, chiropractors still would not be able to write prescriptions for medications, but they would be able to recommend them. “Your body’s not lacking Lipitor,” Olivieri said. “But it might be lacking in vitamin D.”

Some opponents of the legislation argued that since chiropractors could sell nutritional supplements in their offices, it could create a conflict of interest. “We prohibit physicians from selling prescription drugs because if they sell they have a profit motive,” said Assemblyman Sam Thompson, R-Monmouth. “The same would apply to chiropractors.”

Local chiropractors disagree with that argument.

“We sell pillows and other supplies in our practice, and no one has said anything against that,” Farrell said.

Another argument some legislators presented against the bill was one concerning a chiropractor’s ability to perform pre-employment screenings, since they could apply to conditions related to the brain or heart and not to injuries or the spine. Farrell said that chiropractors are more qualified to give the screenings than nurse practitioners who are currently allowed to give the same pre-employment screenings in the state.
While the bill expands the definition of a chiropractor’s duties in New Jersey, it also requires chiropractors to participate in continuing education programs. Chiropractors have to complete 30 additional credits of annual training, while those who want to give out nutritional advice must participate in 45 hours in a nutritional study program.

The Assembly passed the bill 64-4 with eight people declining to vote. The Senate voted 23-11. Gov. Jon S. Corzine has to sign the bill for it to become law.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back Pain Facts and Statistics

Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.1

A few interesting facts about back pain:
· One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
· Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor’s office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
· Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic—meaning they are not caused by
serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
· Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain—and that’s just for the more
easily identified costs.3
· Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at
some time in our lives.4

What Causes Back Pain?
The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries, or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems
Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today's growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.5

In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research—a federal government research organization—recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. It recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.6

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how chiropractic manipulation may help you, contact a Doctor of Chiropractic in your area. Dr. Brenda Rooney, a member of the American Chiropractic Association, as well as a member of the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors (ANJC) recommends the following tips for back pain prevention in accordance with the ACA.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain:
· Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
· Remain active—under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
· Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
· Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
· Maintain proper posture.
· Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
· Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
· Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
· Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to
spinal tissues.
· Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is
ergonomically correct.

1. Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.
2. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.
3. This total represents only the more readily identifiable costs for medical care, workers compensation payments and time lost from work. It does not include costs associated with lost personal income due to acquired physical limitation resulting from a back problem and lost employer productivity due to employee medical absence. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville, MD, Summer 1994.
4. In Vallfors B, previously cited.
5. Time to recognize value of chiropractic care? Science and patient satisfaction surveys cite usefulness of spinal manipulation. Orthopedics Today 2003 Feb; 23(2):14-15.
6. Bigos S, Bowyer O, Braen G, et al. Acute Low Back Problems in Adults. Clinical Practice Guideline No.14. AHCPR Publication No. 95-0642. Rockville, MD: Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Public Health Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, December, 1994.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Optimal Family Chiropractic to Participate in Rotary Club Fundraiser

The Netcong-Stanhope Rotary Club will be sponsoring a Spa & Wellness Luncheon to benefit local elementary and high school scholarships. The luncheon will be held at The Black Forest Inn in Stanhope on Saturday, January 9. This will be an afternoon of pampering that includes a delicious German style lunch and the sampling of many different Spa and Wellness Services. Services will include chiropractic consultations, facials, makeovers, massage, bioimpedance analysis, body energizing, shiatsu, weight management, photo portraits, reiki, intuitive readings and much more! Each practitioner’s service has a minimum value of $65 - $85.

Dr. Brenda Rooney will provide spinal scans and answer questions about the benefits of chiropractic therapy for a variety of conditions.

Only 55 tickets will be sold priced at only $75 which includes 10 Door Prize Tickets, German buffet and dessert, and a choice to sit with at least 3 different health and beauty practitioners. There will be a cash bar. Attendees must be 18 or over. Please dress for comfort.

January 9, 2010
Snow Date: January 23, 2010
12:00 Noon – 3:00 PM
The Black Forest Inn
249 Route 206
Stanhope, NJ 07874


For tickets, please contact Robin Olson of the Netcong-Stanhope Rotary Club at (973) 713-8402.

Dr. Rooney is a member of the American Chiropractic Association and the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors. For more information about chiropractic, please contact Optimal Family Chiropractic, LLC at (973) 584-4888 or visit

Chiropractic: A Safe Treatment Option

Chiropractic is widely recognized as one of the safest drug-free, non-invasive therapies available for the treatment of back pain, neck pain, joint pain of the arms or legs, headaches, and other neuromusculoskeletal complaints says the American Chiropractic Association. Although chiropractic has an excellent safety record, no health treatment is completely free of potential adverse effects.

The risks associated with chiropractic, however, are very small. Many patients feel immediate relief following chiropractic treatment, but some may sometimes experience mild soreness or aching, just as they do after some forms of exercise. Current literature shows that minor discomfort or soreness following spinal manipulation typically fades within 24 hours.1

In addition to being a safe form of treatment, spinal manipulation is incredibly effective, getting patients back on their feet faster than traditional medical care. A March 2004 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care is more effective than medical care at treating chronic low-back pain in those patients who have been experiencing the symptoms for one year or less. In addition, a study published in the July 15, 2003, edition of the journal Spine found that manual manipulation provides better short-term relief of chronic spinal pain than a variety of medications.

Neck Adjustments
Neck pain and some types of headaches are sometimes treated through neck adjustment. Neck adjustment, often called cervical manipulation, works to improve joint mobility in the neck, restoring range of motion and reducing muscle spasm, which helps relieve pressure and tension. Neck adjustment is a precise procedure that is generally applied by hand to the joints of the neck. Patients typically notice a reduction in pain, soreness, stiffness, and an improved ability to move the neck.

Neck manipulation is a remarkably safe procedure. Although some reports have associated upper high-velocity neck manipulation with a certain kind of stroke, or vertebral artery dissection, there is not yet a clear understanding of the connection. While we don’t know the actual incidence of stroke associated with high-velocity upper neck manipulation, the occurrence appears to be rare—1 in 5.85 million manipulations2— based on the clinical reports and scientific studies to date.

To put this risk into perspective, if you drive more than a mile to get to your chiropractic appointment, you are at greater risk of serious injury from a car accident than from your chiropractic visit.

It has also been suggested that sudden, severe upper-neck pain and/or headache, which may indicate a pre-stroke condition, could cause someone to visit a doctor of chiropractic. In addition, some common activities, such as stargazing, rapidly turning the head while driving, and having a shampoo in a hair salon may cause an aneurysm—a widening of an artery resulting from the weakening of the artery walls—of the neck arteries, resulting in stroke. Such events remain very difficult to predict.

It is important for patients to understand the risks associated with some of the most common treatments for neck and back pain—prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS)—as these options may carry risks significantly greater than those of manipulation. According to a study from the American Journal of Gastroenterology, approximately one-third of all hospitalizations and deaths related to gastrointestinal bleeding can be attributed to the use of aspirin or NSAID painkillers like ibuprofen.3
Furthermore, surgery for conditions for which manipulation may also be used carries risks many times greater than those of chiropractic treatment. Even prolonged bed rest carries some risks, including muscle atrophy, cardiopulmonary deconditioning, bone mineral loss and thromboembolism.4

Dr. Brenda Rooney obtains very specific information about symptoms from her patients with upper-neck pain or headache. “This will help me provide the safest and most effective treatment,” says Dr. Rooney. "If the issue of stroke concerns you, do not hesitate to discuss it with me. Depending on your clinical condition, instead of manipulation, I may recommend joint mobilization, therapeutic exercise, or soft-tissue techniques.”

Research Ongoing
Today, chiropractic researchers are involved in studying the benefits and risks of spinal adjustment in the treatment of neck and back pain through clinical trials, literature reviews and publishing papers reviewing the risks and complications of neck adjustment.

All available evidence demonstrates that chiropractic treatment holds an extremely small risk. The American Chiropractic Association points out that the chiropractic profession takes this issue very seriously and engages in training and postgraduate education courses to recognize the risk factors in patients, and to continue rendering treatment in the most effective and responsible manner.

Dr. Rooney is a member of the American Chiropractic Association. For more information about chiropractic and the issues mentioned above, contact Optimal Family Chiropractic, LLC at (973) 584-4888 or visit

1. Spine 1997 Feb 15; 435-440.
2. Can Med Assoc J 2001; 165(7):905-906.
3. Am J Gastroenterol 2005;100:1685–1693.
4. Contemporary Chiropractic. New York: Churchill Livingstone, 1997, p. 230-238