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Daily Archives: November 20, 2011

Clinical Geriatrics: A Diagnostic Compendium

By |November 20, 2011|Diagnosis, Education|

Clinical Geriatrics: A Diagnostic Compendium

The Chiro.Org Blog

We would all like to thank Dr. Richard C. Schafer, DC, PhD, FICC for his lifetime commitment to the profession. In the future we will continue to add materials from RC’s copyrighted books for your use.

This is Chapter 8 from RC’s best-selling book:

“Basic Chiropractic Procedural Manual”

These materials are provided as a service to our profession. There is no charge for individuals to copy and file these materials. However, they cannot be sold or used in any group or commercial venture without written permission from ACAPress.

Chapter 8: Clinical Geriatrics: A Diagnostic Compendium

The objective of this chapter is to focus attention on disorders witnessed in practice by those dealing with the geriatric patient. Following neurologic disorders, heart, vascular, and blood disorders are discussed. Digestive and gastroenterologic disturbances are then followed by disorders of the urinary system, skin, endocrines, and reproductive system. Next, eye, ear, and throat conditions are followed by orthopedic and respiratory considerations. The chapter concludes with information about the sexual aspects of aging, common complaints and symptoms, and other pertinent considerations.

The topics described in this chapter are not to be considered a complete reference for all geriatric conditions seen in practice. They have been chosen as those most likely to be encountered or because they present a unique situation necessary for differentiation and/or case management.

While some described disease states may not be commonly considered within the scope of chiropractic general practice, their diagnosis is. Thus, this general knowledge will help clarify when referral should be considered, thus serving the best interests of the patient and possibly avoiding a potential accusation of professional negligence.

It is the editor’s opinion that most errors in diagnosis or judgment do not occur from a lack of clinical knowledge. They occur as the result of a hurried history and examination. A clinician must be self-disciplined to give full attention to the patient at hand, without distracting concern for those patients waiting in the reception room.


In past years, it was a frequent fault of young practitioners of all disciplines to contribute age an important etiologic factor. It is emphasized that age alone is an inadequate factor in the cause of severe illness in the elderly. Careful examination, treatment of the whole individual, and prolonged follow-up is necessary for optimal results.

Most pathologists readily admit that disease is a process, not a state, but rarely is the process defined other than to say that disease of any tissue or organ is the result of disturbed function — normal physiology gone wrong. (more…)

Crack Research: Good news about knuckle cracking

By |November 20, 2011|Research|

One man’s long, noisy, asymmetrical adventure gets him a high five.

Source Scientific American

By Steve Mirsky

The latest physical anthropology research indicates that the human evolutionary line never went through a knuckle-walking phase. Be that as it may, we definitely entered, and have yet to exit, a knuckle-cracking phase. I would run out of knuckles (including those on my feet) trying to count how many musicians wouldn’t dream of playing a simple scale without throwing off a xylophonelike riff on their knuckles first. But despite the popularity of this practice, most known knuckle crackers have probably been told by some expert—whose advice very likely began, “I’m not a doctor, but …”—that the behavior would lead to arthritis.

One M.D. convincingly put that amateur argument to rest with a study published back in 1998 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism entitled “Does Knuckle Cracking Lead to Arthritis of the Fingers?” The work of sole author Donald Unger was back in the news in early October when he was honored as the recipient of this year’s Ig Nobel Prize in Medicine.

The Igs, for the uninitiated, are presented annually on the eve of the real Nobel Prizes by the organization Improbable Research for “achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think.” In Unger’s case, I thought about whether his protocol might be evidence that he is obsessive-compulsive. From his publication: “For 50 years, the author cracked the knuckles of his left hand at least twice a day, leaving those on the right as a control. Thus, the knuckles on the left were cracked at least 36,500 times, while those on the right cracked rarely and spontaneously.”

Unger undertook his self and righteous research because, as he wrote, “During the author’s childhood, various renowned authorities (his mother, several aunts and, later, his mother-in-law [personal communication]) informed him that cracking his knuckles would lead to arthritis of the fingers.” He thus used a half-century “to test the accuracy of this hypothesis,” during which he could cleverly tell any unsolicited advice givers that the results weren’t in yet. (more…)