Dr. Scott MacAdam

Dr. Scott MacAdam

Dr. MacAdam is the owner and operator of Ladera Family & Sports Chiropractic. For over 20 years, he has been treating his patients with world-class care and service.

Friday, 14 December 2012 16:33

Prescription Overkill


Prescription Overkill


The Los Angeles Times published a story titled “Legal drugs, deadly outcomes” on Nov. 11, 2012 about deaths from prescription drugs.


When people think of deaths due to drug overdose, probably heroin and cocaine as the cause comes to mind before the prescription drugs in the medicine cabinet. An investigation of coroner’s records by the L.A. Times revealed that prescription drugs prescribed by a few doctors were at the root of many drug overdoses.


The L.A. Times investigation revealed that Van H. Vu,M.D., was the doctor responsible for prescribing drugs that were used in the deaths of six people due to drug overdose in a time period of 18 months. Ten more of Vu’s patients died from overdoses in the next four years.


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, 2.7 percent of Americans use psychotherapeutic drugs for non-medical reasons with pain relievers being the number one abused prescription drugs with 5.1 million American using the drugs non-medically.


Twelve thousand people died from prescription drug overdose in 2008, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. Cocaine deaths were numbered at 4,000 people, and heroin deaths were numbered at approximately 2,000 people. Both numbers are significantly less than the total of prescription drug overdose deaths.


Prescription drugs are obtained by teenagers helping themselves to drugs prescribed for their parents. The most common of these prescribed drugs are Oxycontin, Vicodin, and Xanax. Teens take the drugs for themselves and they also sell them to students at their schools. Pharmacies are threatened with drug robberies to obtain the prescription drugs.


The L.A. Times investigation revealed that prescription drugs caused or contributed to 1,762 deaths in Los Angeles, Orange, Ventura, and San Diego counties between 2006 and 2011. A small number of doctors were found to be associated with the drug prescriptions. Each of the doctors had prescribed drugs to three or more of the people who died. Vu prescribed the drugs for sixteen of the people who died.


"The data you have is something that's going to shock everybody," said Dr. Jorge F. Carreon, a former member of the Medical Board of California.


Only four of the doctors associated with this investigation have been convicted of drug offenses, and a fifth has been charged with second-degree murder due to the prescription drug overdoses of three patients. All other doctors, including Vu, have not been charged.


According to the L.A. Times article, doctors write around 300 million prescriptions a year for painkillers. This amount could allow every adult in America to be medicated 24 hours a day for a month. Pain relievers cause 3 out of 4 prescription drug overdoses. Additionally, for every death, 32 people go to the emergency room for non-fatal drug overdoses.

Many doctors don’t acknowledge the ease with which patients can become addicted to prescription drugs, or the dangers involved with prescription drug use, according to Dr. Lynn Webster, the president-elect of the American Academy of Pain Medicine.  "It leads them down a path that can be very harmful, and that's what physicians have to watch for," said Webster

Friday, 14 December 2012 16:32

Pregnancy and Low Back Pain


Pregnant Women with Low Back Pain Helped by Chiropractic

A qualitative study of pregnant women with low back pain, and their chiropractors was published on Oct. 9, 2012 in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies with the title of "The treatment experience of patients with lowback pain during pregnancy and their chiropractors: A qualitative study".

The pregnant women, all in their second or third trimester and suffering with low back pain, were interviewed by the study’s authors to investigate their feelings about the experience of chiropractic care during their pregnancy. Anonymity and confidentiality of the study’s respondents were protected by assigning a number to each respondent.

Low back pain is a common symptom during pregnancy. Between 50 to 80 percent of pregnant women report low back pain during pregnancy because of hormonal, postural, and structural adjustments to the body. Chiropractic care for low back pain during pregnancy is safe and effective according to previously published studies and reviews.

Positive results with no adverse effects were experienced by all the pregnant women in the study. A reduction in low back pain, increase in range of motion, and better function were some of the reported experiences.

“It really allowed me to function. I could barely walk before or stand, the pain was intense, but after I went to the chiropractor I found I could function day to day, I could walk from the bus stop to work, I could do these things, so that was pretty significant. It’s just helping me function. It’s just teaching me how to pick up my daughter so I don’t hurt myself. To still function, to still play with my daughter and be able to go to the grocery store and do all these things without really hurting myself. As well as it allows me to sleep at night,” said patient number 05.

In addition to the reduction or elimination of lower back pain, some of the pregnant women reported that chiropractic care increased their overall quality of life, and increased mobility.

“I can walk longer periods of time. So that’s excellent. I can go standing for four to five hours. Because prior to that I’d be standing 40 minutes to do the dishes and I’d be in agony. Even the basic things, like picking things up off the floor, you’d get stuck in that position, I haven’t experienced that yet [in this pregnancy]. Or just sitting for long periods of time, because I do work an office job from home, so I do sit long periods of time. I know for most people [they] have to get up and stretch for a couple minutes, even in doing that I’ve been doing okay,” said patient number 01.

Some respondents had sought chiropractic care for previous pregnancies due to low back pain, and continued with chiropractic care for later pregnancies because of positive results.

Pregnant patient number 11 said, “It worked so well the first time, I’d even come away from the appointment feeling better. It was almost an immediate fix. So because of my positive experience the first time, there was no question that I was going to use chiropractic care for the second pregnancy.”

The study results conclude that chiropractic care for pregnant women suffering from low back pain is effective for pain relief, increased range of motion, increased mobility, and overall better quality of life. “I think after the treatment, it was decreased pain and increased sense of mobility, increased range of motion and decreased sense of frustration and grumpiness,” said patient number 06.



Friday, 14 December 2012 16:26

Colic Baby helped with Chiropractic


Baby with Colic Helped with Chiropractic

A baby with colic who was helped by chiropractic was the focus of a study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal, & Family Health on Nov. 28, 2012.

Colic in babies has classic symptoms of crying for more than 3 hours a day, usually at the same time each day, and for at least 3 days a week. Infants may have a hard abdomen, burp and pass gas a lot, spit up frequently after eating, and cry while pulling their legs up and making tight fists. The crying sounds as if the baby is in pain.

Colic is distressing not only to the baby, but also to the mother and father who witness the suffering of their baby, and are frustrated by their inability to help the baby.

In this case an 8-week-old baby girl was brought into a chiropractic clinic with the classic signs of colic. The mother said that the baby cried constantly for up to 5 hours, and that the baby’s face showed pain when making a bowel movement. The baby also had diarrhea, and would scream and cry during these episodes.

A chiropractic examination of the baby was performed using static, motion, and muscle palpation. Subluxations were found in the atlas and T11, as well as observations of subluxation in other areas of the infant’s spine.

Specific chiropractic adjustments were begun with “…light impulse finger adjustments.” The adjustments were made to C1 (atlas) and T11. The care plan included two visits weekly for four weeks.

Immediate improvement was observed after the initial adjustment, and the colic symptoms disappeared after eight adjustments over four weeks.  The parents of the baby reported,  “after her first visit, she slept the entire night. She did not have the crying spells and we reduced the medication to once per day." After two weeks of chiropractic care the parents further noted, “she (the baby) no longer takes her medication daily. She is now a happy baby. She eats, sleeps and has regular bowel movements with no pain. For the first time since she was born, she slept through the night.” .




Breech Pregnancy Corrected with Chiropractic

A case study of a pregnant woman, whose fetus presented breech and was successfully turned with chiropractic care, was published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on December 4, 2012. The title of the case study was, Resolution of breech presentation after application of Webster Technique in a 35-year-old female: A case study.

The 35-year-old pregnant woman was in the 30th week of her pregnancy. The woman’s doula (a labor coach or midwife) established that the fetus was in breech position. The woman was in good health and had been receiving chiropractic care for headaches and low back pain with good results for the previous two years. This was the woman’s second pregnancy, with her first child delivered vaginally.

Previous studies have determined that breech presentations occur in 3 to 4 percent of all pregnancies, with the often resulting decision to birth by cesarean section rather than vaginally for the safety of mother and baby. Breech presentations often turn after the 35th week of pregnancy, but 87 percent of breech pregnancies are delivered by caesarian section.

Though safety is argued as the case for a caesarian section, the rate of morbidity was 3.6 percent in a study of 2,088 women birthing with caesarian section. Fetal morbidity can also result from caesarian section with reports of fetal heart-rate abnormalities, spinal cord injuries, skull fractures, long bone fractures, genital injury, and respiratory problems.

A chiropractic examination was performed, and postural abnormalities were found, as well as a decrease of lateral flexion of 5 degrees, and lumbar range of motion significantly decreased due to the pregnancy. Motion palpation found several spinal misalignments, and EMG scans and thermography correlated the determination that spinal subluxations were present in the patient.

Chiropractic care began for the woman using Webster’s Technique—a technique that uses sacrum adjustments and trigger point release in the abdomen area to reestablish pelvic function which can allow the fetus to turn to the desired head-down birth position. After four adjustments in four weeks using Webster’s Technique, the fetus turned from the breech position to the normal birth position.

A healthy female baby was delivered vaginally by the mother at a home birth. The use of the Chiropractic Webster’s Technique resolved a breech presentation, and a possible caesarean section into a normal, natural and healthy birthing experience.



Friday, 14 December 2012 16:17

Cancer Centers include Chiropractic Care


Cancer Treatment Centers of America Include Chiropractic

"Foundation for Chiropractic Progress applauds Cancer Treatment Centers of America for their patient care model," is the headline from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress's news release on Nov. 5, 2012, in Carmichael, Calif.  The Cancer Treatment Centers of America opened CTCA in the Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Newnan, Ga. and is now offering chiropractic services by licensed chiropractors to all patients.

The CTCA is a national network of hospitals that offers a complete and comprehensive method for treatment of complex and advanced staged cancer for its patients. The CTCA is now at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, as well as four other hospitals in Chicago, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Tulsa.

The chiropractic services are part of the Patient Empowered Care model in the CTCA where each member of a team of health professionals visits each patient in the comprehensive, integrated treatment plan. James Rosenberg, D.C., national director of chiropractic care at CTCA at Midwestern Regional Medical Center, and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, credits chiropractic care with positive patient results through increased utilization in the CTCA.

“Overall patient health improves with the noninvasive, non-drug approach of chiropractic care,” said Dr. Rosenberg. “Doctors of chiropractic are able to reduce stress to the nervous system by providing conservative care to musculoskeletal dysfunctions, which helps to improve the patient’s healing ability and functionality.”

Cancer, and the treatment for cancer like chemotherapy and radiation therapy, inflicts stress on the neuromusculoskeletal systems of cancer patients according to Dr. Rosenberg. Chiropractic care improves the quality of life for cancer patients, and provides positive patient outcomes. Demand is so high for chiropractic at CTCA that all chiropractors have a patient waiting list for their chiropractic services.

“Chiropractic care at CTCA is an important piece to the integrated healthcare approach by providing patients with an evidence-based, low risk approach to care,” said Dr. Rosenberg. “A steadfast commitment to excellence continues to fuel the demand for our services.”



Wednesday, 14 November 2012 16:21

Infertility helped with Chiropractic

Infertility Helped with Chiropractic Care

A case study published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on October 22, 2012, documents the case of a woman who was unable to conceive, who became pregnant shortly after starting chiropractic care. The study also reviews additional documentation on other cases and studies regarding infertility and chiropractic.

According to the study author, "Infertility is defined as the failure to achieve a pregnancy within one year of regular unprotected intercourse."  Estimates are that nationwide infertility affects between 6 to 7.3 million women. The author also notes that infertility rises with age. Eleven percent of women ages 15-29 experience a one-year infertility period, and this number rises to 23 percent of women ages 35-39 who cannot become pregnant after a year.

In this case, a 29-year-old woman went to the chiropractor with the primary complaints of lower back pain and left leg pain radiating down to her foot. Her history also revealed that she was a former athlete. Her menstrual cycles were abnormal being 40-60 days in length. The woman was not on birth control and she and her husband had unsuccessfully been trying to have a child for eight years.

A chiropractic examination was performed which included a spinal analysis, thermographic studies, and x-rays. From the results of the examination, it was determined that the woman had multiple vertebral subluxations. A specific course of chiropractic adjusting was initiated for correction of the subluxations.

The results showed that after the first visit the woman's back pain was significantly reduced and her ability to move was greatly improved. Care was continued and the woman continued to show progress with her initial pain issues.

It was noted that 4 weeks after her chiropractic care began, the woman tested positive with an early pregnancy test. She went to her obstetrician the following week, who confirmed that she had become pregnant.

The authors of this study also conducted a literature review for other studies of chiropractic helping women with fertility issues such as the one they had documented in this case. The search revealed 13 additional studies documenting cases of women between the ages of 22 and 37 who were infertile prior to beginning chiropractic care, and then became pregnant and had successful births due to receiving chiropractic.


Tuesday, 06 November 2012 18:45


For people who deal with chronic pain conditions, such as fibromyalgia, they will do just about anything to ease their pain. Sometimes, medications, procedures, and injections don’t offer enough pain relief for what plagues them daily. Patients can sometimes turn to alternative methods, such as herbal supplements, to help control what medical science has failed to relieve. Some of these patients opt for acupuncture in the hopes that it will finally relieve the pain.

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to cure everything from chronic back pain to the common cold. A great deal of research has been done on whether acupuncture is actually effective in treating any of these conditions. It is expensive, not often covered by insurance, and has a spotty track record when rigorously studied. If you are considering pursuing acupuncture for your pain, you should examine whether the benefits are worth the added expense.

What Is Acupuncture?

Acupuncture is based on the idea that all people have an inner river of qi, or life force, which flows through them. When the body is healthy, the qi flows normally, and it is unobstructed. However, when there is any disease or pain in the body, the qi is thought to be blocked. At different places on the body, there are areas that the qi flows close to the skin. These areas are considered qi hotspots and targeting them can cause a change in the flow of qi.

In acupuncture, a professional finds these areas of qi and inserts a small needle into the area. The needle helps the qi to move more effectively, destroys any blocks, and allows for the disease state to subside. In recent years, acupuncture has evolved into a procedure where small electrical currents are passed through the needles and into the qi hotspots. Research has found this to be more effective than traditional acupuncture, but the evidence for acupuncture as a single all encompassing treatment remains questionable.

Research Results

A study reported by Reuters looked at the efficacy of acupuncture in chronic pain, and it found interesting results. It examined 29 individual studies into acupuncture, and made a general consensus about the results. People who received acupuncture for chronic pain syndromes from back pain to osteoarthritis did have a moderate improvement in their pain after treatment. When the acupuncture patients were compared with patients who had no therapy at all, the bulk of the studies showed improvement in pain ratings.

However, the true nature of the study becomes clearer when acupuncture patients are compared with those who received sham treatments. Sham treatments are placebo treatments that do not follow the rules and regulations of acupuncture. This could include placing needles in random areas or using different techniques than a qualified acupuncturist would. It found that over 50 percent of the people who received the fake treatments also had improvement in their pain.

Although acupuncture did better than those who had no treatment and those who had fake treatment, it is still clinically significant that people who had fake treatments had any response at all. This strongly suggests that some of the relief felt from acupuncture may be from the placebo effect. In other words, just performing a procedure can make people believe that they are going to feel better. The belief that they are going to feel better is actually causing the pain relief and not the practice of acupuncture.


Tuesday, 06 November 2012 18:01

Scoliosis and Chiropractic

Scoliosis is a common spinal condition that many of our patients suffer from. Though generally a painless condition, scoliosis is an abnormal curvature of the spine that can cause other health problems if left untreated.

As scoliosis can develop over a long period of time, it can be difficult to diagnose early. However, there are a few preventative and precautionary measures you can take so that this condition can be detected and treated before it becomes a more severe problem.

Scoliosis is usually detected by simple observation. It is much more common in children, so as a parent, it is important to monitor your child for any changes in the curve or shape of their spine. Routine scoliosis screenings at school can be beneficial in early detection.


Since scoliosis is generally not a condition that causes noticeable pain, there are other things to watch for to detect it. Oftentimes when a patient has scoliosis, their head may appear off center, or one hip or shoulder will be higher than the other. As the condition progresses and becomes more severe, this side effect can restrict heart or lung function, potentially causing shortness of breath or chest pain.

If you have any of these symptoms and think you may be suffering from scoliosis, the best way to properly diagnose the condition and begin treating it is to schedule an appointment with Dr. MacAdam.

During the examination, your doctor should ask questions about your family medical history, any weakness, back pain, or other medical problems you have been having. The main way to diagnose the presence of scoliosis is for your doctor to examine the curvature of your spine. Your chiropractor will likely give you the “Forward Bend Test,” in which you bend forward with your arms stretched toward the floor, keeping your knees straight. Spinal curvature is much more visible in this position.

Other things your doctor should check for are: body symmetry (hips and shoulders in line with one another), skin changes (this can be a sign that scoliosis developed as a birth effect), general muscle strength and good reflexes.


If Dr. MacAdam thinks that you may be suffering from scoliosis, treatment is dependent on your skeletal maturity and the degree to which your spine is curved. There are three main types of treatment for scoliosis, including observation, bracing and surgery.

If your scoliosis is less severe and not fully developed, it’s possible that it will correct itself over time, as long as you continue to carefully monitor it. In this case, your doctor will likely ask you to return for more routine examinations in the future to detect any possible changes or worsening of the condition.

 Dr. MacAdam may also recommend taking x-rays of your back, which will allow for measurements to be made to determine the extent of the curve present in your spine. Each time your doctor examines your spine he can compare the measurements between x-rays and make sure the spinal curvature is not progressing.

Idiopathic scoliosis treatment is usually dependent on the age when it begins developing. Infants who suffer from this condition tend to improve without any treatment. However, it is still wise to carefully observe the infant as they continue to grow and develop.

Juvenile children who develop idiopathic scoliosis are extremely likely to see their condition worsen as they develop into adolescence. Bracing the spine can be effective in treating scoliosis in this age group if used early enough. However, there is a high chance of eventually needing to use surgical treatment.

Idiopathic scoliosis is most common among adolescents. As with adults, less severe cases of this type of scoliosis can be treated with routine observation and measurements taken through x-rays.

Beyond a patient’s skeletal maturity, the degree of spinal curvature is helpful in determining the best course of treatment for scoliosis. In general, if a patient’s spine is curved less than 25 degrees, further treatment is not necessary. However, if the curve is between 25 and 40 degrees, bracing the spine to prevent further curving is recommended and effective treatment.

In some cases, it is recommended that a patient wears the brace 24 hours a day, but in other cases it is only necessary to brace the spine at night. Unfortunately, bracing is not an effective way of treating idiopathic scoliosis in adults whose spines have finished growing, regardless of the degree of curvature.

Surgery is the most extreme form of treatment, but usually necessary when the spine is curved more than 40 degrees. This type of surgery can differ between patients’ individual cases, but generally the goal is to return the spinal curve back to as close to normal as possible. A spinal fusion, using screws, hooks and rods attached to the spinal bones is required to hold the spine in place and to prevent the spine from curving again in the future.

Unfortunately, exercise has not been proven to reduce or treat spinal curvature, but it is still recommended for scoliosis patients as it helps to keep muscles strong and flexible.

As with many other medical disorders, detecting scoliosis requires you to be aware of your body and observant of any changes that may be signs of bigger problems. If you have noticed any changes in the curve of your spine, body alignment, or any of the other symptoms described above, you should make an appointment with your doctor to be examined.

Dr. MacAdam has taken care of hundreds of patients with scoliosis and has a specific treatment protocol for those patients seeking treatment and correction of scoliosis.  Treatment is a combination of a home exercise regimen and specific adjustments and traction in the office.


Thursday, 01 November 2012 00:35

Importance of Chiropractic and Pregnancy

Pregnancy and Chiropractic Treatments

Numerous articles and reports have been seen in the press recently surrounding the subject of chiropractic care for pregnant women. One such news story aired on April 16, 2003 on the NBC TV affiliate from Providence, Rhode Island. The news report by Health Check 10 Reporter Barbara Morse, began by featuring a woman named Lee Ann, who recalled having severe pain during her pregnancy and was quoted, "Pelvic pain, mostly the bone. It felt like something was digging in to my bone. The doctors told me there was nothing that could be done."

Lee Ann then learned that chiropractic care was available at the medical facility, Women and Infants' Hospital. At this facility, she sought the services of Dr. Ron Tyszkowski, a chiropractor at Women and Infants' Hospital. "Chiropractic is an option for them and the doctors that are on staff at Women and Infants' use specific safe techniques for pregnant women that are gentle, natural and do a really effective job of controlling those symptoms," Dr. Tyszkowski said.

The story also highlighted on another chiropractic success story of a woman named Lucia. She recalled, "During my pregnancy I was living in a house which had two flights of stairs that I had to go up and down all the time. Eventually I got to a point where I could barely make it to the top of the stairs." She described the results of her chiropractic sessions by saying, "I probably would'nt have made it thru if it weren't for my chiropractor."

On their website, www.icpa4kids.com, the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) has many articles on chiropractic care during pregnancy. The articles state that a growing number of pregnant women are turning to holistic therapies, including chiropractic. Researchers at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School pooled data on 463 women who had recently given birth. In total, 31.3% of subjects used at least one type of complementary care during their pregnancies. Specifically, 5.2% visited a chiropractor; 2.8% had acupuncture or acupressure and 2.8% took vitamin supplements. 5.8% tried alternative techniques (biofeedback, meditation, yoga, tai chi, mental healing, imagery, Reiki, therapeutic touch, dance, reflex, art and aroma therapies); 24.2% used natural therapies (teas, herbs, oils and foods used for medicinal purposes). According to another study thats published on the ICPA website, 82 certified nurse-midwives in North Carolina were surveyed about chiropractic care. The results showed that 57.3% of midwives who participated in this survey claim to regularly recommend chiropractic to their patients.

ICPA Board member, Dr. Jeanne Ohm, sums up the benefits by saying, "Chiropractic care is essential for the pregnant mother. Her systems and organs are now providing for two and their optimal function is critical for the baby's healthy development. The mother's spine and pelvis undergoes many changes and adaptations to compensate for the growing baby and the risk of interference to her nervous system is increased. Specific chiropractic care throughout pregnancy works with enhancing nervous system function providing greater health potential for both the mother and baby."

Thursday, 01 November 2012 00:32

Pregnancy and Chiropractic

Pregnant Woman Has a Sucessful Natural Birth After Two Cesareans Thanks to Seeking Chiropractic Care -

From the March 11, 2008, issue of the the scientific periodical, the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research (JVSR), comes a case study involving a pregnant women who was experiencing lower back pain and thus sought out chiropractic care. This was her third pregnancy and the previous two pregnancies resulted in cesarean births. The 29 year old woman hoped she would be able to deliver this baby vaginally.

In this specific case, the woman started chiropractic sessions beginning in her 34th week of pregnancy in hopes of relieving her extreme back pain. She reported having experienced on and off back pain which had become unmanageable with this pregnancy. She had similar problems in the third trimester of her previous two pregnancies.

A chiropractic examination was performed and the determination of subluxations was made. Care was initiated focusing mainly on the lower spinal column. On the patient's 4th visit, she reported that her back pain had improved substantially and she has been "getting around better" since she started her sessions with the chiropractor.

In the 40th week of her pregnancy, the woman went into labor. She was in active labor for 12 hours at home with her husband before going to the hospital. Although she reported that the medical staff was extremely anxious, given her previous birth history, she delivered a healthy baby girl, naturally and without the use of medications or a Caesarean surgical procedure, thanks to her decision to seek out a chiroprator.
The authors of this study, Joel Alcantara, BSc, DC and Ingrid Hamel, DC, FICPA, concluded, "This case report described an example of a successful chiropractic management for a patient with pregnancy-related low back pain and essentially facilitated a successful vaginal birth despite having two previous Caesareans."



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