Episode 029 — Off Label Chiropractic
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Title: Off Label Chiropractic

Episode Number: 029

Host: Dr. Thomas Lamar

Show Date: 11/05/2010

Run Time: 8:05

Description: The practice of “off label” drug prescription occurs on a daily basis in the medical profession.  “Off label,” as it relates to drugs, means prescribing a medication for uses other than their original, intended purpose.  Before we decide to cast judgment on this common pattern in medicine, we need to realize that the chiropractic profession does it too!

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• Dr. Lamar’s SpinalColumnBlog article: Off Label Chiropractic


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[Dr. Jay Handt: Hi this is Dr. Jay Handt of New Beginnings Chiropractic Weekend and you’re listening to Spinal Column Radio.]

Spinal Column Radio, episode number twenty-nine.

Coming up next on Spinal Column Radio — Off Label Chiropractic.


[intro theme music]

And welcome back to another exciting and information packed episode of Spinal Column Radio.  My name is Dr. Thomas Lamar, chiropractor and Dad of 6.   And this is the podcast that gets you to think.  To think about your health in a whole new way.  We’re the podcast for your backbone… the podcast with backbone.  Who knew that spinal education could be this much fun?

We’d like to invite you to visit our podcast website at SpinalColumnRadio.com where you can learn more about us, check out our world-renowned “What’s a Podcast?” page, and can access the show notes for this episode.  Also, we encourage you to leave comments and ask questions through our website, or, if you prefer, you can email me using DrLamar AT SpinalColumnRadio DOT com.


[transitional sfx]

You know, every day in the practice of medicine doctors prescribe their patients “off label” medications.  Have you heard of that term before?   While some might confuse the term “off label” with “generic,” it really is quite different… and actually it’s pretty common.  In fact, according to a 2006 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, as many as one-fifth of all drugs prescribed off label…. That’s 20%!

So what is “off label?”  Basically, off label means that the doctor has found a use for a medication other than its “on label,” or intended, purpose.  Examples of this include antiseizure medications to treat migraines, antidepressants to treat certain types of pain, and antianxiety medications to treat nausea.  Oh, and there’s a classic example of off label drug use… that would be the example of Rogaine.  Many are unaware that Rogaine actually started out as  a blood pressure medication — a blood pressure medication that doctors (and their patients) soon found had a very interesting side effect:  hair growth in balding men.


[transitional sfx]

doctor: Well Mr. Harrison, let’s go ahead and see how your Rogaine treatment is affecting your blood pressure today.

patient: Blood Pressure?!  Who cares about blood pressure, Doctor!  I’ve got hair everywhere!


[transitional sfx]

Here’s the deal… As common as the practice of off label prescribing is in medicine, it’s my contention that something very similar is practiced in chiropractic… and it’s way more common.  And while “off label chiropractic” isn’t actually a term… I believe it should be.

You see, mainstream chiropractic has fallen into a deadly, insidious snare in its attempts to be “liked” by insurance companies — a trap that has forced us, as chiropractors, to sell our birthright in exchange for third party reimbursement.  By medicalizing chiropractic and focusing on the effectiveness of spinal manipulation for musculoskeletal aches and pains, we have diverted our focus from the intended purpose of the chiropractic adjustment.  The intended purpose of chiropracTIC that our chiropractic forefathers endured persecution to uphold.

Chiropractic is not about back pain.  It’s not about neck pain.  And it’s not about headaches.  And it’s not about sickness or disease either.  You see, those are all “off label” uses of chiropractic — and, truth be told, effective uses.  But chiropractic, in its true and pure form — in its intended form — is about health and wellness.  It’s a lifestyle.  By allowing the nervous system to function at its optimum potential, the body simply works better.  And when the body works better, amazing things happen:  symptoms go away and the body becomes energized.

The irony in this whole “off label health care” thing is that insurance companies often balk at paying for medications prescribed for off label purposes and instead restrict their reimbursement to intended purposes only.  In chiropractic, however, the opposite is true.  Off label purposes are paid for, and the on label, intended purpose of chiropractic, is not.  In fact, there is not an insurance company on this planet that would ever align themselves with the intended purpose of chiropractic, because, insurance companies are not about health and wellness; they are about sickness and disease.  I think we as a society are all coming to realize that.

A wise chiropractor I recently had a chance to interview on SpinalColumnRadio while in New Jersey at New Beginnings Chiropractic Weekends — Dr. Jay Handt — summed it up like this…  Logan go a head a play Dr. Handt’s clip please:


[transitional sfx]

Jay Handt: When you are 97, do you want to be driving a wheelchair or a Ferrari?  My goal is to get you in the Ferrari.  And the way to that is by maintaining your health over a lifetime.  It’s a process — not trying to fix it every time it breaks down.


[transitional sfx]

I just love that.  You see, true chiropractic — unlike its allopathic counterpart — is not about avoiding death, it’s about encouraging LIFE!

It’s time to take responsibility.  Because no one’s going to do it… but you.  No one’s going to solve this health care crisis that we are in…. but you.

[sports car sfx]

So what do you say?  It’s time to step up to the plate and reclaim your health!  It’s time to find those Ferrari keys and get ready for some “on label” — on purpose — high octane  –CHIROPRACTIC!


[outro theme music]

You know, I thing that’s a challenge for patients and chiropractors alike.  If you are interested, you can find the article version of this podcast at SpinalColumnBlog.com. I’ll put the link in the show notes.

Spinal Column Radio would like to remind you that true health comes from the inside out — not outside in.  As such, the content of this podcast, along with the show notes and related links, is not intended to cure, diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease.  But, instead, is meant to inform and inspire you in asking better questions regarding your health.  Since the circumstances surrounding your particular situation are unique, you are encouraged to consult with a Doctor of Chiropractic — or other health care practitioner of your choosing.

Next time on Spinal Column Radio… Another interview from our amazing New Beginnings Chiropractic Weekends collection.  That’s next week. So, until then, for my son Logan, tweaking the knobs on the mixer board, this is Dr. Thomas Lamar, your podcast chiropractor.


Spinal Column Radio is a production of Spinal Column Communications in conjunction with AnchorChiropractic.net.  Copyright 2010.

Download a PDF version of these Show Notes


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