Physiotherapy May Be the Next Evolution in Chiropractic Treatment

Close-up of laser treatment at physiotherapyEveryone somewhere down the line will experience the struggles of back pain. Whether it be from some type of accident or from the natural wear and tear of life, this pain can become so severe that it appears almost crippling to the individual.

Over the years, many treatments have been developed to rid the effects of back pain, including chiropractic methods, medications, and even surgery in extreme cases. Patented in 1957 by Dr. Clay Thompson, the Thompson technique is one of the most widely used procedures.

This treatment involves a specially designed drop table meant for adjusting to certain points on the body. After the area that needs adjusting is determined, segments of the table can then be slightly dropped, allowing the chiropractor to apply high speed thrusts with minimal support to relieve the tension in the joints.

However, according to The Observer, a specialist from the Life Link clinic in Namugongo, Uganda, named Peter Waiswa is working with a newer technique called physiotherapy for treating back pain, which has shown positive results. This method involves different types of electrotherapy, sending signals that interfere with the transmitting of neural pain signals.

One of his patients with more severe pain is Kasule Kawooya, a former professional squash player who received a serious back injury during a match in 1992. His injury was so severe that the pain prevented him from being able to sleep on a mattress. He would often find the need to sleep on the floor as it was the only surface that didn’t cause him constant pain.

The inability to sleep from back pain is another common symptom and can lead to even further back and other medical problems.

Waiswa has been treating Kawooya since 2012 and has seen great improvements in his physical health. He is currently in remission, with his symptoms appearing mild and with the potential to completely disappear.

Physiotherapy is becoming a more widely utilized treatment and has gained a lot of recognition from revered institutions recently. The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy reports that the West London Trust’s integrated community service received an award for outstanding efficiency and improvement in health care from the Health Service Journal value in healthcare awards.

They aim to prevent patients from being forced into hospitals for treatment by offering physiotherapy to patients from their homes.

So far, the West London Trust has supported 857 patients to early hospital discharges and 424 patients before entering a health care facility.

Lowering Rx Drug Prices Will Come at a Cost — But Will Big Pharma Be Paying?

Prescription pillsThis past August, American consumers were shocked to learn about a CEO named Martin Shkreli; in his short period of relative anonymity this year, Shkreli managed to raise the price of a life-saving drug from $13.50 per pill to $750 overnight.

Shkreli, former hedge fund manager and current CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, recently purchased the rights to a drug called Daraprim. This medication has been around for 62 years and is used by an estimated 2,000 American patients each year, according to Bloomberg; it treats a parasitic infection called toxoplasmosis which affects HIV/AIDS patients.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, all of this publicity has caused widespread public outrage about drug prices, which has led to increased pressure on lawmakers to make some changes — any changes — in order to lower prescription drug costs.

However, this will require an in-depth look at the country’s legislation on prescription drug pricing because, as the Huffington Post reminded readers, it’s completely legal for a pharmaceutical company to jack up the prices of a drug it manufactures. For the first 20 years that a drug is on the market, the manufacturer is given “manufacturing exclusivity” before a generic drug can come along under the Abbreviated New Drug Application at a much lower cost, thereby driving down the price of the name brand drug.

For diseases and medical conditions that affect few patients, however, pharmaceutical companies often don’t bother to invest in a separate generics manufacturing approval process. For a drug like Daraprim, this exclusivity rule doesn’t apply to Turing’s ridiculous price increase — but Shkreli’s decision to raise the price of Daraprim by over $700 has brought attention to the fact that pharmaceutical companies are protected quite thoroughly under U.S. legislation.

Changing this legislation isn’t likely to happen in a matter of weeks, or even months; it could take years for the pharmaceutical company lobbyists to negotiate an amended law with politicians in Washington.

In the meantime, the local businesses involved in the healthcare industry will likely face the brunt of the costs. As fewer people are able to afford their medications — even when they have health insurance plans — fewer customers will be visiting their pharmacies and making purchases.

Although pharmacies are able to track drug prices on specialized pharmacy software, patients and prescribing doctors rarely pay much attention to the pre-insurance prices — until the prices increase substantially and insurance companies decide not to foot the bill.

It seems inevitable that prescription drug spending will decrease eventually — but the path to get there may be more difficult than anticipated.

Widow Forced to Pay Car Repairs That Weren’t Her Fault

accidentMany car owners know the pain and frustration that comes with getting into an accident or needing car repairs. But one woman is stuck with a bill for something that wasn’t even her fault.

As Glenna Verret was driving along, a part of a tree trunk fell off of a truck that was passing her, leaving her with major car repairs needed that she cannot afford. The woman, who is in her 70s, expressed that she still can’t believe it even happened.

“It was a freak accident, and it happened so fast,” she told the Dispatch Argus in Moline, IL.

The problem now is that she is stuck footing a $2,500 bill in order to fix the damages done to her car. Her neighbor, Ray Brown, is trying to help her by creating a FundMe.com page for donations. The page is titled “Illinois Red Hatter Attacked by a Tree.”

While they wait for donations or some other kind of help, though, he also helped Verret make temporary fixes to her car in order to make it safe to drive for now. She says she lives on Social Security benefits, so she is unable to afford the permanent repairs or even full insurance to cover the damages. They hope the FundMe.com page will provide enough for those fixes.

The biggest issue is that the car repairs cost so much. Many auto repair shops place the blame for this on the manufacturers, who no longer allow them to use more generic parts when repairing cars. Instead, there are patented parts for different makes and models that must be used, with consumers footing the bill.

Brown was actually the one driving the car with Verret as a passenger when the incident happened.

“It was Sept. 22, about 3 p.m. It was a beautiful day, until our car was hit by a 70-pound piece of tree trunk.”

The pickup truck carrying the tree trunk had been going the opposite direction. Verret’s small car didn’t stand a chance as the tree rolled down the road.

“There was nothing you could do,” Brown said.

They were unable to catch up to the truck due to rush-hour traffic, but they did file a report.

“We filed an accident report about an hour later and were disappointed to find out that not one of the half dozen drivers that were behind us and the pickup bothered to take down the plate number and call it in,” Mr. Brown said.

The tree’s impact broke the car’s headlight in addition to damaging the fender and bumper.

Brown says Verret is a widow, a mother of four, a member of the Red Hat Society, and a wonderful neighbor. She has spent much of her life helping other people by taking neighbors such as Brown to doctors, stores and recycling centers. Now, they hope people will repay her for her kindness.

IOUs Continue to Pile Up for Illinois as Lottery Winners Still Can’t Collect

Man play lotteryWinners in Illinois remain stranded in lottery limbo as the state still hasn’t passed a new fiscal budget after the last one lapsed in July. Without a budget on the books the state is unable to legally pay many of its obligations, including lottery winnings. The number of winners continues to climb and with it the $6 billion worth of IOUs the state already owes, according to Bloomberg.com.

Danny Chasteen is one of the biggest winners waiting on his new-found wealth. He won $250,000 on a scratch-off ticket in July but has yet to see any of it. He’s one of many who have taken to legal action and is suing the state of Illinois over the matter.

“People are spending thousands of dollars a day on lottery tickets, and they don’t get paid?” said Chasteen’s girlfriend, Susan Rick. “That’s illegal, and that’s fraud.”

Lucky lotto winners aren’t the only ones affected by the budget delays either. Almost 150,000 current, retired, and contracted public employees, led by the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, are also suing to have their healthcare payments un-suspended.

While the amount of lottery payments varies among the 25+ winners so far, the cessation only applies to those over $25,000. What should be a time of celebration and relaxation has turned into a stress-filled, uncertain waiting game.

Chasteen, for example, was thinking about quitting his job as a factory supervisor. Another winner of $50,000, Rhonda Rasche, had plans to take a friend and her sister on a vacation after the recent death of their mother. Helen Whitfield won $400,000 and already has her boxes packed to move her family to Florida once she gets the money she’s owed, according to Today.com.

“We’re not going to be able to enjoy it as old as we are if we don’t get it,” Whitfield said.

Unless it’s possible for a private company steps in and purchase these deferred lottery winnings, the people are left to wait until the state legislature passes a new budget, which could be anytime between now and the end of time.

Global Market Strategist Predicts Increase in Longevity Annuities in the U.S.

Annuity InvestmentA new report by Schroders, the global asset management firm, has found that longevity annuities should increase in prevalence thanks in part to recent rules and regulation changes, according to the industry news site insurancenewsnet.com.

The Department of Treasury created qualifying annuity longevity contracts (QLAC) in July of 2014 to help bolster retirement income strategies for what had been a relatively underutilized market. Lesley-Ann Morgan is the head of Schroders’ Global Strategic Solutions division and person in charge of putting together the report, entitled “Investment Perspectives: Global lessons in developing retirement solutions.”

“There are lots of variables in retirement; how long people will live for, the costs of goods and services they will need, interest rates available on their accumulated savings, and so on,” Morgan wrote in the reports summary. “Faced with this amount of long-term uncertainty, people tend to suffer behavioral biases and often make poor decisions. We believe that retirees need help about what constitutes a good quality retirement solution to help nudge them in the right direction.”

In an interview with InsuranceNewsNet, Morgan went on to say that longevity annuities can be used to meet the post-retirement needs of the mid-market, in addition to the needs of those with corporate retirement plans already. According to Morgan, this “packaged” solution would allow the individual to get outcome-based investing in the early years of retirement and a longevity annuity kicking in when they turn 80 or so.

The Schroders’ report goes into a great amount of detail on retirement income trends in the United States and other countries around the world. The U.K.-based National Employment Savings Trust (NEST), released a sort of blueprint for this new sort of approach this summer. Morgan believes it’s only a matter of time before it catches on in America.

The type of plan in question might sound a lot like a variable annuity to those in the industry, but Morgan believes there’s a difference as variable annuities, “can be quite complicated since there are so many options,” and the market requires “something more simple.”

Additionally, while many advisers and money managers can provide reliable services in outcome-based investing, the people in the mid-market generally can’t afford those services. The package they have in mind would be marketed to the “average man in the street.”

Illinois Supreme Court Rules Crystal Lake’s Big Bleachers Cannot Stand

stadiumIn a case that’s been ongoing for a couple years, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled in late September that the abnormally large bleachers at Crystal Lake South High School must come down, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The battle was between the school district, who erected the 50-foot structures without the city’s permission, and local neighboring residents. The school lost at virtually every level of legal proceedings and has decided to take its latest defeat at the hands of the state’s highest court without dispute.

“We are disappointed with today’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling,” the district said in a statement, but it added that school officials will “move forward in a cooperative and respectful manner” with the city and neighbors.

The $1.2 million structure was built in 2013 to replace the old, small stands and better accommodate fans with disabilities or big crowds in general. The school district didn’t believe they were subject to the same zoning regulations as regular residents and thus built the bleachers without even proposing it to the city.

Unfortunately for them, the people who live directly in the shadow of the weatherproof structure, known locally as “the Berlin Wall of Steel,” did not appreciate the new eye sore or the potential privacy concerns.

Led by one of the neighborhood’s own residents, McHenry County State’s Attorney Louis Bianchi, community members filed a lawsuit alleging the obtrusive bleachers hurt property value and invaded their privacy.

QUOTE: Role the company building structure has in any of this? OR any similar legal cases client has heard about/been involved in?

For their part the school district said the main reason they continued to fight was because of the additional expenses that will now be placed on the taxpayer to remove the current bleachers and replace it again.

While the school district isn’t excited about the work and expenses entailed, both sides are happy the situation can be put behind them. Some residents do think the school at least owes them an apology, though.

“We’re very happy the court side of this is finally over,” Kim Maselbas-Gurba, a neighbor who lives behind the stands, said. “It’s been a nightmare for two years. We feel the district owes the city and all the taxpayers an apology. They should admit they were wrong.”

South Carolina Temporarily Bans Hunting

Due to the recent flooding in South Carolina, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has placed a temporary ban on hunting within five different coastal plain drainage areas. Flooding statewide has caused many issues, including pushing many people out of their homes due to high floodwaters.

“The Department has received contacts from numerous concerned sportsmen. The flooding has created potential for exploitation of game species that are deprived of their normal escape routes and confined to small areas of high ground,” the DNR said in a statement.

The hunting closures officially went into effect at midnight on Oct. 7 and are expected to be in place until midnight on October 11. The four-day closure bans hunters from hunting any animals other than alligator, dove, hogs, and coyotes. They will continue to monitor the affected areas to adjust the areas that are closed and the length of the ban.

“At this time, our thoughts are with the victims of the flooding and those rebuilding their homes and communities,” says Paul Kabalin, President, Engel Coolers. “In light of this devastating flooding, it only makes sense to enforce a temporary ban on hunting and we support this move. Many species are in distress, and the environment needs the time to recover. This will only benefit South Carolina’s hunting season.”

The DNR statement broke down the different areas that are closed to the public, outlining specific plots of land. The areas affected are the Wateree-Congaree Drainage area (Calhoun County, Kershaw County, Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County), the Santee Drainage area (Berkeley County, Charleston County, Georgetown County, Williamsburg County, Clarendon County), the Waccamaw Drainage area (Horry County, Georgetown County), the Black River Drainage area (Williamsburg County, Georgetown County, and the southside boundary), and the Edisto Drainage area (Orangeburg County, Bamberg County, Colleton County, Dorchester County, Charleston County, and the west side boundary).

South Carolina’s flooding drove numerous people out of their homes last week, and has sparked numerous health concerns throughout the state. The hunting ban is just the latest in an effort by state officials to keep their residents safe from any harm.

City Council Approves ‘Marquee’ Gazebo Project in Fort Calhoun

Gazebos have been around for thousands of years, according to gazebocreations.com. They were once much bigger than the ones usually seen today, but one being proposed in Nebraska could be reminiscent of the ones from ancient years past.

Fort Calhoun is a small city in Nebraska with just under 1,000 residents. It’s a generally quiet town with beautiful surrounding landscape, including the nearby Fort Atkinson State Historical Park. They could be adding another decorative piece to their landscape soon as the city council approved plans September 21 for a new park facility that could host concerts and other public events, according to the local news site enterprisepub.com.

The project will be funded primarily through the use of lottery funds; up to $24,000 were approved for use on the project. The West Market Square Park gazebo, as it’s being called, is estimated to cost $16,869 for necessary materials like concrete, lumber, and shingles. Unlike typical gazebos, which are usually relatively small structures, the Fort Calhoun project plans to be 32 feet wide with a two-tiered room.

After studying other public space gazebos, the park board president, Randy Schrum, decided adding features like a railing around the diameter will help it look classy and make it Americans with Disability Act compliant.

“It will really be a marquee structure for the city,” said Nick Schuler, a council member and park commissioner.

The gazebo will be located at the northeast corner of West Market Square Park, which is on Monroe and 15th street. It will be 804 square feet in total. They also hope to add lights, landscaping, painting, and staining to the gazebo at some point after its completion.

The city will save on costs through donations of labor and money as well. The local Welchert and Knight families are donating blueprints for the gazebo and labor, Rock Hard Concrete will offer concrete and labor services, and other citizens are offering money to help cover expenses.

Miracle Surgery Reattaches Toddler’s Head

Oftentimes, car accidents hurt collateral victims. Data shows that in 2013, auto accidents killed more than 3,000 people, and hurt another 424,000. Sometimes, those injuries are minor, insignificant. Other times, they can be rather grave, but luckily, modern medical science can do amazing things.

A 16-month-old boy was riding in a car with his mother and nine-year-old sister last month in northern New South Wales, Australia. Meanwhile, a teenage driver with two friends was busy doing doughnuts outside of a bend in the highway. The two crashed head-on, with Rylea Taylor and her children going about 70 mph.

The force of the catastrophic collision ripped Jaxon Taylor’s upper vertebrae, essentially decapitating him internally.

Amazingly, doctors were able to reattach his head. Surgeons used a fragment of one of his ribs to graft the severed vertebrae together in a six-hour operation.

“A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place,” said spinal surgeon Geoff Askin, the man who did the seemingly impossible. “And if they did and they were resuscitated they may never move or breathe again.”

Rylea was unharmed in the accident thanks to the car’s airbags. Her daughter sustained non-life-threatening abdominal injuries. She did suffer broken vertebrae, as well as internal bleeding, which took three hours of surgery to stop. She was then put in a body brace for eight weeks.

Jaxon will have to wear a neck brace for a couple months so that the tissues and nerves connecting his head to his spine will heal, but he seems to be making an amazing recovery.

“It is a miracle,” Rylea said. When she spoke to police, she was disgusted to learn that since Australia’s reckless driving laws vary depending on the location of an accident, the teenagers’ punishments will likely only result in fines and license suspensions. She has since started a petition on Change.org for stricter penalties on reckless drivers.

New Mexico Raises Odds to Win Powerball Jackpot, Lowers Odds for Smaller Winnings

Man play lotteryThe improbable odds of hitting the jackpot just got harder in the state of New Mexico. In a move that’s elicited mixed reactions, lottery officials in the state have announced earlier this week that the odds of winning the Powerball jackpot have gone up by over one in a million, according to the Albuquerque news station KRQE.com.

The exact ratio of hitting it big will now be one in 292 million, up from one in 175 million.

On the other hand though, the odds of winning something in the lottery overall have improved. They increased the chance of winning a smaller cash prize so now you have a one in 25 shot, up from one in 32, of scoring a win of some kind on the lotto.

The main reason for the shake-up was a recent decline in Powerball sales in the state. In 2015 the sale of Powerball tickets fell by about 18% in New Mexico, while instant win scratch off games have increased in popularity.

Not everyone is upset about the new changes to the system though. According to another local news station, KOB.com, New Mexican resident Mathew Tuttle has bought lotto tickets for a long time knowing the likelihood of a big win is almost impossible. He rationalizes the expense by thinking of his children’s education. People who win a lottery jackpot, no matter the value, lose or spend all of their money about 70% of the time. Winning an education for a child meanwhile is an invaluable thing.

“I do still buy tickets occasionally, knowing I’m not going to win, and knowing that my daughter’s college education was paid for that way,” Tuttle said.

In addition to the overall increase in winning percentage, they also rose the amount won for matching four white balls with the red Powerball from $10,000 to $50,000. So while the chances of winning a mega-jackpot have only gotten worse, there’s still a chance to win something in New Mexico’s state lottery.