Merolla Chiropractic

100 Bedford Street
New Bedford, MA 02740


Posts for: April, 2012

My profession will be getting some good press March 13th, 2012 when a segment featuring, Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, the President of Parker College of Chiropractic, airs on the Dr. Phil Show. 

Dr. Mancini is Dr. Phil’s personal chiropractor and he has recently written a book called The Power of Self-Healing: Unlock Your Natural Healing Potential in 21 Days!  

Here is a link to the book:

The preview is on YouTube:!

It should be a good show.  I hope everyone gets a chance to tune in! 


Dr. Mike.

By Dr. Mike Merolla
April 22, 2012
Category: low back pain
Tags: chiropractic   back pain   drugs   safety  

Big Pharma probably has its hooks into you and you don’t even know it. 

 This was brought home to me yesterday in a conversation I had at a party.  Big Pharma, in case you’re unaware, is the pharmaceutical industry. 

 The pharmaceutical industry spends billions of dollars every year on direct to the consumer advertising.  The only other country besides the U.S. that allows the pharmaceutical industry to advertise directly to consumers is New Zealand – it’s banned in all the others.  The industry makes billions more manufacturing those drugs and then distributing them to you through your medical doctor and pharmacy.

And most people are led to believe drugs are safe

I had a conversation with a friend’s mother that reminded me of all this.  She had recently fallen off a chair while cleaning her windows.  Over the next few days she developed back pain.  It would not go away, so she saw her primary doctor.  He placed her on two drugs: an anti-inflammatory and a muscle relaxant.  By the time we talked - it was now almost 3 weeks after the injury - she was also taking over the counter Tylenol (acetaminophen).  I asked her when she was to return to her doctor, and she told me a follow up visit had never been made or discussed.  In the meantime, she was getting no relief!

 I asked her why she had not talked to me (she knows me very well).  She told me she had thought of calling, but was afraid of having her “back cracked” and though it might not be safe since she was in so much pain.

You can imagine my surprise.  I knew that acetaminophen caused about 500 deaths a year from liver failure and was responsible for over 50,000 ER visits per year (just go to WebMD for a recent article:

But she didn’t know the dangers of medication and thought it was the chiropractor who was to be avoided.

 Why would she think this? 

Well as you might imagine, one answer is Big Pharma.  They have a poor track record when it comes to letting us know about the potential dangers of their medications.  They also have great difficulty stating the true benefits vs. risks of their drugs.  For a recent example, you can read about Johnson and Johnson, which has been fined more than $1.2 billion for deceptive marketing of Risperdal, its antipsychotic drug.  And this is just one of 11 lawsuits over Risperdal that Johnson and Johnson has been involved in over the last several years.  (See CBS news:$1.1b-in-risperdal-case/).

 This story does have a happy ending. 

As you might imagine, after talking with me, she made an appointment in the office and began feeling better after one treatment one!  More relief came from hands on care than almost 3 weeks on medication. 

And her liver is fine with the chiropractic adjustments!  I don’t think the same can be said for the drugs.

Once in a while the following happens to me in my office.  I am about to give someone their first chiropractic adjustment.  Often they have severe back pain.  You may know what I am talking about.  You can barely sit due to pain, are unable to sleep, and when you are awake pace about the room.  By the time I’m ready to treat, I have been with the patient for a while.  They have told me about their problem, imaging has been looked at, and an examination has been performed.  I have explained everything going on with them including how I can help, the relief they might expect to feel, and the remarkable safety of chiropractic.  And on the verge of this great moment in healthcare delivery, the patient stops the presses with a simple question: 

Is it bad to crack my knuckles?

Now, you might think that such a question is coming right out of left field.  After all, if your back was killing you, why start talking about your hands.  But over the years, I have come to realize that this is code.  It is the conscious or unconscious thought of someone thinking; what are the long term effects of chiropractic treatment.  Because everyone has heard that cracking your knuckles causes arthritis.  And therefore having the chiropractor “crack” your spine by simple extension cannot be good.

Well then, how did this individual come to lie upon my table?  The answer is obvious.  These are the actions of a desperate person.  By the time they get to my office, they have often been to the medical doctor, had the x-rays taken, seen the specialist, taken the medication, done the home stretches, or been professionally stretched at physical therapy.  And so far nothing has worked or worked well enough.  The chiropractor is stop number 3-4 on their quest for a better back.   And at this point, they’ll suffer anything for relief.  It’s true.  I have even had someone tell me, with their face set grim and eyes closed, to “do what you gotta do”.

Which is actually to deliver a chiropractic adjustment, which is extremely safe, feels great, is gentle, and yes at times can be a little noisy. 

But when you are at the chiropractor for the first time in your life for a problem no one seems to be able to get a handle on, you don’t know that.  Which brings us back to the safety of knuckle cracking.  There have been at least 5 studies trying to determine if knuckle cracking leads to arthritis.  And the results: it doesn’t.  The latest study was published in March 2011 Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine and entitled “Knuckle cracking and hand osteoarthritis”.  The conclusion was that habitual knuckle cracking did not increase osteoarthritis.  What we should really be looking at now is the performance enhancing properties of knuckle cracking.  Just ask any concert pianist! 

And by the way, the doubting Thomas that usually enters the clinic out of desperation often becomes one of the most satisfied of clients.  They really had nowhere to go but up!