Iris City Chiropractic Center, P.C.

Robert A. Hayden, D.C., PhD, F.I.C.C. (770) 412-0005

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Office Hours

Clinic Hours: 8:30 AM until the needs of our last patient for the day have been met. We take lunch from about 12:30 till 2 o'clock.
Drug screens: 9:00-3:00pm Monday - Thursday and 9:00-2:00pm on Friday for drug screen collections.
Physicals:  We do physicals (DOT, pre-employment) during the same hours the clinic is open, but call to be sure Dr. Hayden is in clinic when you need your exam done.

Educational News Blog

We recommend educating yourself as much as possible about your health and wellness. Here are a few articles written by Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC. But by all means continue your education beyond what you find here.

When You Just Hurt Everywhere: Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) is not fully understood, but it is common. It is described as an "all over pain" that lasts longer than three months, which defines it as a chronic pain. Most often the patients who suffer from FMS have tried multiple treatments and medications, and most of these interventions only decrease the symptoms to a hopefully tolerable range.

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Yard Work Does Not Have To Hurt You

Question: Now that summer is here, my husband is working a lot outside on the yard, where he hurts himself every year. Can you give us some tips so that I can keep him out of a doctor's office?

Sometimes when business is slow at the clinic, we look toward warm weather hopefully because we know that someone like your husband is going to need us. Seriously, our business at the clinic is somewhat seasonal for that reason.

The equipment available today for lawn and leaf management may turn the average homeowner into a lawn specialist overnight, but the use of weed trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge clippers can also send aspiring landscapers to their local chiropractor. I think this is especially true early in the season when so many who are working in our yard have been on the sofa sense the beginning of football season last fall.

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Chiropractors Not Strictly Hands-On Anymore

April 16, 2012

Breanne Coats

Business Examiner

Even though the injury happened when he was a young athlete, Dr. Richard Leone remembers how frustrating it was that the physicians couldn't eliminate the feeling he had that someone was stabbing him in the back with a knife.

"They didn't know what to do with me. They could only medicate me," he said. "I said, 'The medications are not solving my knife. I want someone to get the knife out of my back.'"

However, Leone said his pain ended once he started going to a chiropractor.

Fast forward and Leone now has been a chiropractor for 44 years. He owns Back and Joint Pain Institute in Tacoma. But even after all this time, he is still moved by that pain he felt years ago.

While he doesn't have cutting back pain anymore, Leone has seen patients with the same pain he felt. The problem is that some of these patients can't be healed by typical chiropractic methods.

But rather than just sending these people off to have expensive back surgery, which may or may not eliminate the pain, Leone decided it was time to upgrade his practice with new methods of treatment and new technology.

"The ability to help these people is a new challenge," he said. "There's a tremendous need out there. It kind of breaks my heart when I see some of these cases out there. You only have one time through this life."

The Back and Joint Pain Institute has three decompression tables and Leone plans to add two more. The office also has one MLS Laser, but Leone also plans to add more of these machines in the future.

He said this technology has helped the Back and Joint Pain Institute to reach a 90 percent success rate.

And Leone is not the only chiropractor that has decided to invest in new technology.

"A lot of practices, like mine, are looking toward as much help from technology as they can get because we want to be efficient," said Robert Hayden, spokesman for the American Chiropractic Association and owner of a private practice in Georgia. "We want to get people healthy as fast as we can."

Hayden said that while there are some chiropractors who may have resisted technology, the threat of health care reforms and Medicare requirements have moved things forward.

"That really forced a lot of practices to embrace technology that they really were not comfortable using before," he said.

Decompression

When doctor Leone started practicing, surgery was the typical method prescribed for fixing a herniated disk.

But now, Leone and other chiropractors, have been able to use decompression tables to move disks back to their normal positions between two vertebrae.

Spinal decompression therapy is able to slowly release pressure inside a disk and create suction to pull the disk back into place.

While it's not necessarily an easy process, Leone said patients benefit from the treatment because it doesn't require any downtime — and it doesn't pose the health risks that come with any surgery.

But perhaps Leon's biggest argument for decompression is that it's improving his patient's health. He said there are many cases in which surgery doesn't address the real problem.

"That's not going to help," he said about trying to find quick fixes through surgery. "That's like, if you have a rock in (your) shoe every day and you take ibuprofen to not feel the pain. When that wears off, you will still have the rock in the shoe."

Hayden said he originally invested in a decompression table to help treat his own spinal stenosis. But he soon found success treating patients.

"Decompression is not a new concept, but the decompression tables have really taken off in the last 10 to 15 years," he said. "That technology has advanced."

Other technology

The other form of technology Leone and other chiropractors are investing in is laser therapy, particularly the MLS laser.

"The use of (cold lasers) I think is going to proliferate," Hayden said. "That's cutting edge technology a lot of us are using."

Laser therapy is typically used when injured areas often become tight and spasm. Leone said many doctors have worked to find a way to release that spasm.

MLS laser therapy features different wavelengths and different emission modalities, which make it a more effective laser for stimulating parts of the body that have tightened and are spasming.

"Your body heals itself," Leone said. "The only thing doctors do is help your body heal."

Laser therapy also is a useful tool for patients who can't undergo decompression therapy, including those who have had back surgery.

Hayden said there are a several technologies available to chiropractors that weren't on the market just a few years ago, including new forms of electric therapy, digital X-ray machines — and even a device that can take an X-ray of a finger and from that calculate the bone density in the person's spine.

With technology advancing so quickly, both Hayden and Leone have their sites set on devices that will hit the market during the next few years.

"Some of this is driven by a desire and a need to keep patients happy," Hayden said.

Specialized

One of the problems facing chiropractors is the stereotype many people have about chiropractors' limitations.

"Chiropractors have been affected by the explosion of technology like every other business has been," Hayden said. "People still have an image of a chiropractor adjusting a spine and extremity by hand, which we still do. But I think they are totally unaware of the adjunct therapies we use and how we do them."

This is not to say every doctor needs every device on the market. Rather, Hayden believes it depends on the chiropractor's practice and patients.

Hayden said that when he was starting out, he needed to distinguish himself from the rest of the chiropractors in his area. So, he began investing in particular equipment.

"That helped to define my practice, not only to separate it from other practices in my area that weren't using that technique, but it also defines the patients I will see," Hayden said. "I'm saying to myself, from a business standpoint, I need to toot my own horn that we have these technologies and treatment modalities."

The problem for Leone is that he doesn't have time to meet with medical doctors to tell them about the treatment methods which are available at his institute. But because education is key, Leone decided to hire a new employee to specifically meet with other doctors.

Leone also hosts two open houses a month to make the general public aware that there are more options than the traditional chiropractic methods.

However, Hayden said it's important that when chiropractors are investing in and using new technology, they don't get caught up in the "quick fix" mentality.

"We live in a fast paced society where there is kind of an aspirin mentality," Hayden said. "People want to take an aspirin and have it go away. Sometimes these things take time."

Writer Breanne Coats can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The He-Said-She-Said about NSAIDs

The He-Said-She-Said about NSAIDs

Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC

Question: I have heard a lot said about over-the-counter pain medication and how it might not be safe to take under certain circumstances. What are your thoughts?

A couple of years ago, I was treating a patient that I have known for a long time. She had a friend with her who had a small child. My patient asked me if I would take a look at her friend, Shelley, who was feeling a little woozy. Shelley was sitting in the floor leaning against the wall. I helped her to a standing position just as she lost consciousness and fell into my arms.

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Deadly Skin Cancer Rises with Use of Tanning Beds

Deadly Skin Cancer Rises with Use of Tanning Beds

Robert A. Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC

Yesterday I had a conversation with the patient who suffers from fibromyalgia. Heat helps her pain. She is young and attractive in appearance, and likes to look her best. She has helped her pain and her appearance by lying in a tanning bed.  This young lady is one of a growing cohort at risk, as women under age 40 are most frequently affected by the rising incidence of melanoma, according to a Mayo Clinic study published in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

This study examined decades of records in a single county in Minnesota. It focused on first-time diagnoses of melanoma inpatients from 18 to 39 years of age from 1970 to 2009. The long period of time strengthens this study's findings, so it is very significant that melanoma cases increased eightfold among women and fourfold among men during this time.

We live in a society that rewards physical attractiveness.  Over and over we see people, mostly women, engaging in behaviors that sacrifice health to have the "right look."  We see it in fad diets that sacrifice nutrition. We see it in high impact exercise programs that lead to early arthritic degeneration in knees and spines. Now this trend that results in a life-threatening cancer appears to be linked to the use of tanning beds. The authors of the Mayo study note, "Young women are more likely than young men to participate in activities that increase risk for melanoma including voluntary exposure to artificial sunlamps."

The literature on this topic describes the "Jersey Shore" effect. Characters portrayed on that television program are seen as attractive and healthy because they tend to have deep tans. Young people seek that look in order to make themselves feel attractive. It is unfortunate that peer pressure can lead to such a deadly disease. The effect of culture is all the more apparent in light of another government-funded study released this week that shows that cancers generally are trending downward, while melanoma is trending upward, despite a lucrative sun block industry.

I have pointed out health behaviors before in this column that have generated controversy or backlash, and this one likely will from one or more owners of tanning bed establishments. As you can imagine, the Indoor Tanning Association, an organization that promotes this industry, strongly contends that there is no relationship between ultraviolet light exposure from the sun or a sun bed and melanoma. This assertion, however, runs contrary to objective evidence.

Some exposure to sunlight is actually healthy.  Vitamin D, which is required for bone health and many other physiological processes, is manufactured by skin in response to ultraviolet light exposure. What, you might ask, is the difference between sunlight and a tanning bed?

When I talk to patients about this issue, I point out that exposure to natural sunlight in moderation with appropriate sun block is healthier than a tanning bed in my opinion because sunlight is filtered by the atmosphere. There is no filtering effect from a tanning bed. This is a matter of individual judgment. Every time someone chooses to use a tanning bed, the chance of melanoma is increased. That risk is real with sunlight as well, but it was the use of tanning beds that showed up as a strong risk factor in the Mayo study.

Melanoma is a very serious life-threatening condition. The man who installed my x-ray unit was claimed by this disease. I knew a dynamic young pastor who felt to this disease and left his family and his congregation too early.  Everyone should take it seriously. If you have a suspicious mole or skin lesion that does not heal, go to a doctor and get it checked. If it looks dangerous, you will be referred to a dermatologist. You may think that a visit to the doctor is expensive, but that expense will pale compared to that of an undiagnosed melanoma.

My advice to teenagers and young adults is simple: find a way to get comparable in your own skin!

Poisons You May Have Lying around the Home

Question: A lady's husband was very ill, so she eliminated or removed every toxic product in their household - bleach, harsh cleaners, tin cans of food, anything perfumed, etc. What are the things in our homes that might be harmful or toxic?

There is a list of things that maybe your home, car, workplace, or anyplace else you may want to visit. Most of these things we assume are harmless because they are, in fact, things we encounter everyday. If they do not emit fumes, flames, or radiation, we may not perceive them as harmful. Let's look at some of the things you encounter every day that can bite you.

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