It was in this setting that five members of the Slovakian Chiropractic Assn. (DCs Richard Bogue, Craig Morris, Gregory Volek, and MDs John Lane and Theodore Georgis) were invited to join with and lecture to approximately 150 physicians specializing in manual medicine. The Congress, held Oct. 14-15, 1994, allowed the attending physicians to better understand chiropractic and share advances in treatment of locomotor dysfunction. The chiropractors dispelled several myths by clarifying the high standards of chiropractic education, and the multidisciplinary approach to health care.
Among the non-DC presenters were Karel Lewit, MD, a leader in manual medicine in Europe for decades; noted researcher F. Vele, MD; and leaders of Slovakian manual medicine, Jitka Durianova, MD, and Viera Agnerova, MD.
Dr. Craig Morris, president of the Slovakian Chiropractic Assn. (SCA), proposed a joint research venture between the SCA and the Slovakian Assn. of Myoskeletal Medicine (SAMM) in 1995 or 1996. The study would investigate the benefits of spinal adjustment techniques versus mobilization techniques in the cervical spine, as a follow-up to Dr. David Cassidy's 1992 controlled randomized comparative cervical spine study of manipulation versus mobilization. The chiropractic research proposal for the joint SCA/SAMM study has been funded entirely by Pacific Chiropractic Resources, a Calif. based PPO.
Dr. Morris also reviewed chiropractic assessment treatment protocols, and demonstrated MUA treatment procedures and its clinical basis.
Richard Bogue, DC, a member of the SCA board, presented an algorithm for treating low back pain that included conservative care, diagnostic testing, epidural steroid injections, and surgery. The algorithm was developed by Dr. Bogue and MDs Georgis and Lane.
Theodore Georgis, MD, an assoc. professor of orthopedics at the University of Calif., San Diego Medical School and SCA board member, is an ardent supporter of a multidisciplinary approach to health care, including chiropractic. Dr. Georgis told the attendees of the vital role of chiropractic in low back pain.
John Lane, MD, SCA board member, an assoc. prof. at UCSD Medical School, presented surgical techniques for extremity trauma and compound fractures. He presented a technique known as "muscle flap graphs" that can save infected limbs from being amputated. This technique transplants muscle and blood vessels to the traumatized extremity, providing soft tissue over the bone to which skin can adhere. Dr. Lane supported Dr. Georgis' statements supporting chiropractic and medical management for musculoskeletal dysfunction and injury.
Many of the attending physicians were extremely receptive and enthusiastic in learning about chiropractic and its standards of care. Others remained somewhat skeptical about chiropractic, feeling more comfortable thinking of chiropractors as ludovy napravac (bone setters), crude practitioners of manipulation who have plied their therapy for centuries in this part of the world.
A surprise appearance at the Congress was made by Ludmila Lapackova, MD, DC. Dr. Lapackova earned her medical degree in the Czech Republic and a chiropractic degree from the Anglo-European Chiropractic College. She translated for Dr. Morris during practical rounds.
For Gregory Volek, DC, of New Orleans, Louisiana, the trip wasn't all business. Dr. Volek's parents, Alfred and Mary, accompanied him on the trip. Both of Alfred's parents were natives of Slovakia, and Dr. Volek vividly recalls listening to stories of Slovakia from his grandfather. Despite never having been to Slovakia before, Alfred speaks the Slovak language. The high point of the Volek's journey was locating the house where Alfred's mother was born, and meeting a first cousin, Justina.
The Slovakian Chiropractic Assn. gave special thanks to Dr. Jan Zvonar, SAMM president, for his invitation to attend the Congress, and Mrs. Jana Morris for organizing the trip. The SCA is a young organization with little financial means; each of the SCA doctors paid for their own trip.
Editor's note: The particulars of this trip to Slovakia were provided by Craig Morris, DC, president of the Slovakian Chiropractic Association. Dr. Morris may be contacted at 22924 Crenshaw Blvd., Torrance, Calif., (310) 530-4460.