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Chiropractic More Effective Than Drug for Back Pain

If you live in Salem, OR we can help you recover from back pain without the risks of drugs.

Although medications can provide temporary relief from back pain, they fail to address the actual root of the problem. Most back pain starts with some type of strain, stress, or misalignment in your spine, which is exactly what our chiropractors specialize in treating.

A new study in the prestigious medical journal, Spine, reports that if you suffer from back pain, chiropractic is more effective than a common pain drug, dicoflenac.

In addition, chiropractic is safe and doesn't have the risks involved with powerful anti-inflammatory drugs. Some of the side effects of dicoflenac include gastrointestinal problems, liver or kidney damage, and even depression.

Chiropractic is a proven effective way to treat both acute and chronic back pain. We work to determine the root of your pain and help your body naturally restore its normal function.

You don't need to suffer. Give Dr. Geary Michels a call today at (503) 399-7607, and see how we can get you back to a pain-free life.


von Heymann, et al. Spinal high-velocity low amplitude manipulation in acute nonspecific low back pain: a double-blinded randomized controlled trial in comparison with diclofenac and placebo. Spine 2013; 38 (7): 540-48.


Jaw Symptoms – Common Among Whiplash Patients

Most people still find it a little difficult to completely understand whiplash. The term is used for neck injuries that occur due to a motor vehicle accident. Though the pain associated with whiplash typically dissipates within a few days, the injury may take several months to completely heal.

It is a common observation that people suffering from whiplash usually report diverse symptoms and conditions. Jaw pain and disorder is one of the most common symptoms that are reported by whiplash patients. Nevertheless, healthcare experts and analysts have not been able to learn much about the occurrence or reason of jaw symptoms after whiplash trauma.

An Attempt to Learn More

In the year 2010, a research study was conducted to obtain extensive information about the symptoms associated with whiplash. In this research, analysts made efforts to learn about jaw symptoms that occurred during the first twelve months after a neck injury caused by a motor vehicle accident. This study involved as many as 146 individuals, both male and female, who suffered from whiplash. Researchers examined the conditions of all patients and recorded their respective jaw, neck, and head symptoms for initial 12 months after the accident.

What was Reported?

A total of six patients, including three women and three men, initially mentioned that they experienced jaw symptoms. Nearly a year following the crash, as many as eight female patients mentioned the prevalence of jaw symptoms. This fact made the researchers state that in the first 12 months after the accident, jaw symptoms are likely to affect women more frequently than they do male patients.

Researchers also observed that jaw dysfunction was closely associated with severe neck issues, post-accident anxiety, headaches, whiplash-associated disorders, and cranial cervical conditions. A year after the initial trauma, individuals experiencing jaw dysfunction continued to bear outstanding neck problems and pains, headache, and post-accident anxiety.

It was also concluded by researchers that all patients suffering from whiplash need to be thoroughly checked for possible symptoms of jaw disorder. It is also a prerequisite to evaluate such patients for neck issues, headaches, cranial neck conditions, or post-accident stress. It is critical to address possible signs and symptoms of jaw disorder in the early stages, as people experiencing whiplash can have temporomandibular joint disorder.

Salem Chiropractic Clinic Implements Ideal Procedures

Though it may be difficult to address and treat jaw symptoms, Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates can treat and prevent your pains and problems. Call our office today at (503)-399-7607.


Severinsson Y, Bunkertorp O, and Wenneberg B. Jaw symptoms and signs and the connection to cranial cervical symptoms and post-traumatic stress during the first year after a whiplash trauma. Disability and Rehabilitation 2010; 32 (24): 1987-1998.




Chiropractic for Whiplash-Associated Disorders

Whiplash is the cause of no less than 30% of injuries that are reported after auto accidents. Although whiplash does not always pose significant risks to the overall health of a patient, it can become a major concern, if not handled properly. People who don't consider the post-accident pain, aches, and soreness to be serious may have to face substantial problems in the long run. While over-the-counter painkillers can help temporarily, they do not address the underlying issues causing inflammation and pain.

Ignoring whiplash symptoms can be a major mistake. Whiplash occurs when the human neck is pushed forward beyond its actual range of movement. Such an injury can make you experience excessive and extreme pain in the neck, back, shoulders, or even arms. If left unaddressed and untreated, whiplash can cause the cervical spine area to deteriorate. Such degenerative changes can bring about further deterioration, cervicogenic headaches, shoulder ache, and limited mobility.

Research has found that patients who suffer from neck problems at any point in time are likely to relate their aches and soreness with a previous neck injury that was not handled and treated correctly.

Can Whiplash Be Treated?

Whiplash can be treated quite successfully via non-invasive treatment methods. Insurance policies usually cover chiropractic treatment that is utilized for whiplash right after the accident. Dr. Geary Michels can help you alleviate your pain in the neck and prevent further complications.

A Special Study

It was revealed in recent research that spinal adjustments, like those we offer at Michels Spinal Rehab, can offer great benefits to patients suffering from whiplash. A female patient in her late-thirties was observed for a year to check if non-invasive treatments would assuage her pain in the shoulder region and neck after a whiplash injury. She was treated for more than six weeks. That period comprised of 11 visits in which she was provided with chiropractic manual therapy and targeted exercises with a physical therapist.

It was found out in the research that her pain had reduced to a great extent by the time the treatment was finished. When asked to score her pain on the scale of 10, the patient reported that it had shifted from 9 to 2. She had also informed that her pain was manageable even six months after the treatment. By the end of the final session, her Copenhagen Neck Foundation Disability Scale had also reduced from 23 to 4 (on the scale of 30).

Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates: Effective Relief Services

Do you need a chiropractor? Look no further. Dr. Geary Michels has the expertise, techniques, and tools to help you cope with your symptoms and reduce your pain.


Lowry CD, O’Hearn MA, Courtney CA. Resolution of whiplash-associated allodynia following cervicothoracic thrust and non-thrust manipulation. Physiotherapy Theory and Practice 2010;October 5.


Salem Chiropractor Prevents Chronic Whiplash and Auto Injuries

The term "whiplash injury" can be confusing . Besides being a form of injury, whiplash represents several symptoms related to that injury. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that most whiplash injuries are caused by collisions. Moreover, the insurance claims associated with such collisions are likely to cost over $8 billion each year.

Whiplash is often caused by motor vehicle accident or auto injury. Whiplash-Associated Disorders (WAD) involve a variety of symptoms, including headaches, back pain, shoulder pain and stiffness, neck pain, dizziness, fatigue, and even vision problems. Nevertheless, not much is known about the long-term effects of whiplash.

Effects of Whiplash on the Cervical Spine

A question that has still not been answered is whether whiplash injuries have any direct relationship with the natural deterioration of the cervical spine. In a study conducted by experts in Japan, the MRI results of patients suffering from WAD were compared with that of a control group. According to the findings of the research, though whiplash-related symptoms could persist for quite a long time, they did not seem to have an impact on spinal degeneration.

Who Was Examined?

Almost 133 people suffering from WAD and 223 with no previous history of WAD-related symptoms were examined in the research. These individuals had already taken part in a whiplash survey conducted ten years earlier. All participants were not only physically examined, but were also asked about possible spine or neck-related problems. WAD patients were also asked if their whiplash injuries had shown any improvement since the previous study.

What Was Found?

An extensive number of WAD patients stated that their injuries had become much better over the duration of 10 years. However, when their reports were compared with the control group, they were found to be suffering from neck pain, shoulder pain, arm numbness, and headaches.

Two expert neurologists were hired to evaluate the MRI reports of participants. The following table indicates WAD symptoms that persisted even 10 years after the incident:











































After Crash


















Neck Pain










Arm Pain










Stiff Shoulder









What Was Concluded?

The results of the survey support the idea that whiplash injuries can have a long-term effect on the patient's overall health. However, the study researchers believe that whiplash injuries are not able to speed up spinal deterioration even ten years after an accident.

Let Michels Spinal Associates Treat Whiplash-Associated Disorders

Chiropractic adjustments, like those that Dr. Michels provides, have been found to decrease pain in patients with whiplash. Dr. Michels and his team have successfully relieved symptoms related to auto injuries in hundreds of Salem patients. Michels Spinal Associates provide Salem patients with effective treatments to relieve and prevent chronic symptoms from auto injuries.


Matsumoto M, Okada E, Ichihara D, Chiba K, Toyama Y, Fujiwara H, Momoshima S, Nishiwaki Y, Hashimoto T, Inoue T, Watanabe M, Takahata T. Prospective ten-year follow-up study comparing patients with whiplash-based disorders and asymptomatic subjects utilizing magnetic resonance imaging. Spine. 2010. 34:18. pp. 1684-1690.












































Nurses Suffer High Levels of Back Pain

Nurses are at a high risk of back injury due to the amount of physical labor they do during their jobs every day. Critical care nurses are at an even higher risk of musculoskeletal problems than other nurses or people in other jobs. They frequently lift or handle heavy patients and equipment of awkward sizes for long shifts. These movements cause a lot of strain on the back, shoulder, and neck muscles. Injuries to these areas are common in nurses and can become long-term if not treated or not allowed to heal.

Due to the high volume of these work injuries, many hospitals and health-care employers have put in place equipment to take away some of the physical labor for nurses. This equipment includes lift aids, so that nurses do not have to lift the patients themselves. However, the availability to nurses of these devices in hospitals has been relatively unknown. Also, the actual use of these lifts by nurses has not been clear.

A recent study, conducted in 2013, sought the answers to these unknowns. Researchers sent surveys to critical nurses throughout the United States to get a random sample of participants, and 361 nurses responded. Data was collected about pain in the neck, shoulders, and lower back, as well as the availability of lifts and frequency of use. Other information was also gathered, such as socio-demographics, physical conditions, and psycho-social job factors.

Of the 361 nurse participants in the study, only 46% noted that their hospital or employer actually had lift equipment in the hospital for them to use. For the participants who did have lifts in their place of work, 60% said that the equipment was readily available, while 25% said it was moderately available, and 14% had low availability of the lifts.

The study found that nurses who did not use the lifts, for whatever reason, were two times as likely to have work injuries and work-related pain in their backs, compared to the nurses who frequently used the lift equipment. Shoulder pain was documented in more than three times the nurses who did not use the lifts on a regular basis and neck pain was also reported to be three times higher for nurses who had infrequent use of the lifts.

Having lifts in the hospital is effective in reducing back and neck injuries in nurses. However, this is out of the nurses’ control. For the nurses who do suffer from theses work injuries, a chiropractor, such as Dr. Geary Michels in Salem, OR, can provide treatment,. Exercises to strengthen muscles, learning proper lifting techniques, and chiropractic adjustments are helpful in reducing symptoms and preventing these injuries when lift equipment is not yet available.


Lee SJ, Faucett J, Gillen M, Krause N. Musculoskeletal pain among critical-care nurses by availability and use of patient lifting equipment: An analysis of cross-sectional survey data. International Journal of Nursing Studies May 3 2013. doi:10.1016/j.ijnurstu.2013.03.010. [Epub ahead of print].



Neck Pain Relief in Just One Session with Salem Chiropractor

Many of our patients walk into our Salem chiropractic office with significant neck pain but experience immediate relief after a single session with Dr. Geary Michels. This immediate pain reduction isn't just something we have casually noticed at Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates. It is an advantage to chiropractic care that is backed by scientific research.

A 2008 research review determined the immediate pain-relieving benefits of a single session of manual therapy by a chiropractor. Researchers analyzed existing data about how just one spinal adjustment affected patients' neck pain.

The meta-study included nine randomized clinical trials involving spinal manipulation, spinal mobilization, non-manipulative manual therapy, or manual trigger point therapy for the treatment of chronic neck pain.

The authors of the meta-study found evidence that immediate, clinically significant improvements are seen after just one session of spinal adjustments. On average, neck-pain patients experienced a pain score change of -18.9. This result provided the research team with an indication of the magnitude of change that can be expected from a single session of spinal adjustments by a chiropractor.

The other manual therapies used also improved patients' neck pain immediately, although the benefits were less substantial.

These results provide further evidence of the efficacy of chiropractic adjustments for neck pain. Another study demonstrated that a combination of spinal adjustments and exercise therapy may provide the most substantial results for relieving neck pain and showed that this safe combo of chiropractic care worked better than drugs.

At Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates, we treat neck pain with spinal adjustments, exercise therapy, and other natural and proven chiropractic modalities. Whether they're suffering from neck pain after an auto injury or from work-related causes, we've helped hundreds of Salem patients find lasting relief.

Contact us today to find out more about how Dr. Geary Michels can get you out of pain and back to your life.


Vernon H, Humphreys BK. Chronic mechanical neck pain in adults treated by manual therapy: a systemic review of change scores in randomized controlled trials of a single session. The Journal of Manual and Manipulative Therapy 2008; 16(2): E42–E52.

Bronfort, Gert, Roni Evans, Alfred Anderson, Kenneth Svendsen, Yiscah Bracha, and Richard Grimm. Spinal Manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine  2012; 156 (1): 1-10.


Salem Chiropractor Prevents and Relieves Headache

According to recent research, chiropractic adjustments can reduce the frequency of cervicogenic headaches by half.

Cervicogenic headaches are steady, non-throbbing headaches felt at the back of the head, with pain radiating downwards through the neck and between the shoulder blades. In addition to pain, dizziness is a common symptom. Cervicogenic headaches are caused by, and named for, dysfunction in the cervical spine, which is the upper portion of the spinal column located in the neck.

Previous research demonstrated the effectiveness of chiropractic care at alleviating both pain and disability associated with cervicogenic headache. This study showed that chiropractic can also reduce the number of headaches patients suffer, suggesting spinal adjustment as an option for preventing this type of headache.

The study involved 80 people with chronic cervicogenic headaches. Participants were assigned to either chiropractic adjustments or light massage. The chiropractic treatments included high-velocity, low-amplitude adjustments of the upper back and neck. The massage therapy involved several minutes of gentle neck and shoulder massage.

The chiropractic group experienced significant improvements in headache pain, with far better outcomes than the massage group. Researchers also discovered that spinal adjustments reduced headache frequency by 50%. At the conclusion of the study, participants in the chiropractic group required one-third less pain medication than they had at the start, and they reported a 50% reduction in overall headache symptoms.

Within the cervical-spine-adjustment group, half of the patients received eight chiropractic sessions while the other half received 16 treatments. The only difference the researchers found between the two treatment plans was that the longer duration of therapy resulted in slightly better improvements in neck disability. While more research is needed to determine the ideal number of treatments, the researchers concluded that chiropractic adjustments are an effective method of treating cervicogenic headaches.

Do you suspect you might have cervicogenic headaches? No matter what type of headache you suffer from, Dr. Geary Michels can help you. Call our Salem office at (503)-399-7607 to learn more.


Haas M, Spegman A, Peterson D, Aickin M, Vavrek D. Dose response and efficacy of spinal manipulation for chronic cervicogenic headache: a pilot randomized controlled trial. The Spine Journal 2010; 10: 117-128.


Salem Chiropractor Treats Sciatic Pain

Sciatica causes low-back pain that is often severe and disabling. Studies suggest that compared to other types of back pain, sciatica results in the highest level of disability. Public health records in Norway have revealed that patients with sciatica are disabled for an average of 72 days per year.

If you're among the sufferers of debilitating sciatic pain and work injuries, Dr. Geary Michels can help you. Chiropractic techniques like those we use at Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates have been shown to speed sciatica recovery, allowing patients to return to work faster.

In a recent study, researchers evaluated 44 Norwegian workers who visited a hospital with severe sciatic pain. Most of the workers reported at least three weeks of severe pain before being admitted to the hospital.

While there, a chiropractor evaluated each patient, examining and recording posture, gait, and range of motion of the lumbar spine. The chiropractor then performed spinal adjustments. Participants also received chiropractic adjustments to treat pain in other joints, resulting from the patients' compensating for their low-back pain over time. During their hospital stay, patients were treated with chiropractic care daily, and then three times a week for two weeks after being discharged.

Within 21 days of chiropractic treatment, 91% of participants had returned to work full-time. The remainder of the patients were back to work on a part-time basis. The authors of the study concluded that their findings demonstrated the potential benefit of chiropractic for treating sciatica patients.

If you have sciatica, we can help you get back to work and stay there. Dr. Geary Michels uses spinal adjustment and other chiropractic modalities to relieve debilitating and chronic pain in his Salem patients. Our goal is to help our patients return to their lives, including their jobs. Call Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates for work-injury relief today.


Arana E, Marti-Bonmati L, Vega M, et al. Relationship between low back pain, disability, MR imaging findings and health care provider. Skeletal Radiology 2006;35(9):641-7.

Orlin JR, Didriksen A. Results of chiropractic treatment of lumbopelvic fixation in 44 patients admitted to an orthopedic department. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2007;30:135-139.



Got Whiplash? Salem Chiropractor Can Help You

Whiplash, which occurs as a result of a soft-tissue injury of the cervical spine, encompasses a number of symptoms. Most people know that the most common cause of whiplash is an auto accident, but did you know that studies show that 43% of people with a whiplash injury will suffer long-term symptoms? Once whiplash patients have passed the three-month mark since their injury, if they are still experiencing pain, the likelihood of long-term, chronic pain jumps to 90%.

How can you beat these statistics? Research shows that chiropractic care offers safe and effective relief for early whiplash symptoms as well as for treating chronic whiplash pain.

In one such study, researchers examined the efficacy of chiropractic in treating 28 patients with chronic whiplash. The patients were referred to a chiropractor an average of 15.5 months after their auto collisions. All participants were experiencing long-term symptoms, most of them labeling them as either "intrusive" or "disabling".

After their chiropractic treatment plans, 26 of the 27 patients had improved. To eliminate bias, the patients were interviewed by both a chiropractor and an orthopedic surgeon, and the positive results were maintained. This was a 93% success rate for chiropractic care improving chronic whiplash symptoms.

If you want to experience the same success, call Dr. Geary Michels at Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates today. Whether your car accident was yesterday or a year ago, we are specialists in treating whiplash symptoms and can help you win the battle against pain. We use a multidisciplinary approach to diagnose and treat our Salem patients, and can get you on the road to recovery.


Woodward MN, Cook JCH, Gargan MF, Bannister GC. Chiropractic treatment of chronic ‘whiplash’ injuries. Injury: International Journal of the Care of the Injured 1996;27(9):643-645.


Chiropractic Care Beats Drugs for Healing Neck Pain

An estimated 70% of people will experience neck pain at some point in life. There are many treatment options out there for the condition, but there has been little research about the effectiveness of some treatments compared to others. A recent study has sought to change that, with the intent of comparing three common neck pain treatments: chiropractic care, medication, and exercise.

Researchers recruited 272 patients with acute or subacute neck pain. Each participant was randomly chosen to receive either chiropractic treatments, medications, or exercise under the direction of a medical professional. Researchers compared the efficacy of the three treatment options after 12 weeks of treatment. They also measured the patients' pain periodically for one year following the treatment.

Both chiropractic care and exercise therapy were found to be significantly more effective than drugs for reducing pain. In fact, patients treated with either chiropractic or exercise were twice as likely to achieve complete pain relief than those who used medication.

In the regular follow-up examinations, researchers also discovered that most of the chiropractic patients achieved pain relief that lasted a year or more, highlighting the long-term benefits of chiropractic care in treating neck pain.

The study authors concluded that the success of chiropractic is likely because chiropractors are able to address the root causes of neck pain rather than just masking the symptoms. Studies also show that combining chiropractic with exercise can lead to improved outcomes in patients with spinal conditions.

By using a combination of chiropractic adjustments and active rehabilitation, our Salem chiropractic team can provide effective relief of neck pain after a work injury or auto accident. At Michels Spinal Rehab + Associates, we help our Salem patients get rid of their neck pain and get back to their lives. Call Dr. Geary Michels today.


Bronfort, Gert, Roni Evans, Alfred Anderson, Kenneth Svendsen, Yiscah Bracha, and Richard Grimm. Spinal Manipulation, medication, or home exercise with advice for acute and subacute neck pain: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine  2012; 156 (1): 1-10.