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Oakland Spine News

Weekly Health Update — Vitamin D Can Improve Pain & Movement in Obese Osteoarthritis Patients.

Chiropractic: Vitamin D Can Improve Pain & Movement in Obese Osteoarthritis Patients.
Chiropractors often recommend vitamin D because is a common deficiency and optimum levels are associated with several health benefits. In a new study, researchers analyzed blood samples, surveyed arthritic knee pain, and measured the functional performance of 256 middle age and older adults and found that higher levels of vitamin D may decrease pain and improve function in overweight and obese patients with osteoarthritis. Lead author Dr. Toni L. Glover concludes, “Vitamin D is inexpensive, available over-the-counter and toxicity is fairly rare. Older obese patients with chronic pain should discuss their vitamin D status with their primary care provider. If it’s low, take a supplement [and/or] get judicious sun exposure.”
The Clinical Journal of Pain, January 2015

Mental Attitude: Dementia Increases Odds of Complications During a Hospital Stay.
During a hospital admission, older patients with dementia have a 2.5 times greater risk for experiencing preventable complications such as urinary tract infections, pressure areas, pneumonia, and delirium. According to experts, these complications can result in an eight-fold increase in the amount of time the dementia patient remains under inpatient care.
BMC Health Services Research, March 2015

Health Alert: Short People at Greater Risk of Coronary Heart Disease.
Researchers at the University of Leicester claim that shorter men and women have proportionally smaller coronary arteries that place them at a greater risk for heart disease than taller people. The investigators found that every 2.5 inch (~6.35 cm) change in height affects coronary heart disease risk by 13.5%. Study leader Dr. Nilesh Samani explains, “While our findings do not have any immediate clinical implications, better and fuller understanding of the biological mechanisms that underlie the relationship between shorter height and higher risk of coronary heart disease may open up new ways for its prevention and treatment.”
New England Journal of Medicine, April 2015

Diet: Dietary Fiber Supplement May Help with Weight Control.
An animal study found that rats fed a fiber supplement along with a high-fat and high-sugar diet gained less weight than subjects fed the same diet without the supplement. Despite having constant access to food high in both fat and sugar, researchers found that rats given supplemental oligofructose fiber gained about 30% less weight than the control group. Senior author Dr. Keith Sharkey notes, “Our data shows that a simple dietary intervention with a prebiotic oligofructose fiber reduced weight gain and this may also lead to the long-term maintenance of a lower body weight in the face of continued dietary challenge.”
Obesity, March 2015

Exercise: Exercise Is Good for Lung Cancer Patients.
Physical activity should be considered as a treatment option for lung cancer patients as it reduces symptoms, increases exercise tolerance, improves quality of life, and potentially reduces the length of hospital stays and complications following lung cancer surgery. Lead researcher Dr. Gerard A. Silvestri advises that “clinicians should (at [a] minimum) consider physical activity early, counsel against inactivity, and encourage physical activity in all stages of lung cancer patients and lung cancer survivors. This review shows uniform recognition that exercise and physical activity are safe for those with lung cancer, patients are requesting increased activity counseling, and multiple studies and reviews show potential clinical benefit in quality of life, exercise tolerance, and post-operative complications. Further, we know that inactivity in cancer patients is associated with worse outcomes.”
Journal of Thoracic Oncology, March 2015

Wellness/Prevention: Cancer Deaths Decreasing in America.
According to a new report, the United States is slowly and steadily winning the war against cancer as mortality rates from the disease continue to decline. Between 2002 and 2011, the overall cancer death rate fell an average of 1.5% per year, and the rate of new cancer rates declined an average of .5% per year. Co-author Dr. Ahmedin Jemal writes, “These numbers reflect a combination of factors that include prevention, early detection, and improved treatment.”
Journal of the National Cancer Institute, March 2015

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