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Oakland Spine News

Weekly Health Update — Why Does Your Back Hurt?

Chiropractic: Why Does Your Back Hurt?
The American Chiropractic Association offers the following explanation on what causes back pain: “The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements—for example, picking up a pencil from the floor— can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.”
ACA, December 2014

Mental Attitude: Full-Day Preschool Increases Readiness for Kindergarten.
Children who attend preschool full-time score better in areas such as language, math, socio-emotional development, physical health, literacy, and cognitive development when compared with kids who attend preschool for half the day. Lead author Dr. Arthur J. Reynolds writes, “Full-day preschool appears to be a promising strategy for school readiness… In addition to increased educational enrichment, full-day preschool benefits parents by providing children with a continually enriched environment throughout the day, thereby freeing parental time to pursue career and educational opportunities.”
JAMA, November 2014

Health Alert: ER Visits on the Rise in the US.
The number of emergency room visits in the United States (US) has risen from approximately 130 million in 2010 to an estimated 140 million in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nearly 30% of visits were for injuries, with the highest rates among individuals 75 years of age and older. Dr. Michael Gerardi, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, adds, “Given that our nation’s population is aging, and emergency departments have a critical role as the front line of responding to disasters and infectious disease outbreaks in America… we need to prepare for increased numbers of patients.”
American College of Emergency Physicians, November 2014

Diet: Get Kids Cooking to Promote Healthy Eating.
According to a new report, getting kids involved in cooking may make them more likely to choose healthier foods. The study found that cooking programs and classes for children seem to positively influence children’s food preferences and behaviors. Cooking education programs teach children about healthy foods and how to prepare them. These programs also stress the importance of eating five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. If parents are unable to enroll their kids in a cooking class, then they can achieve similar benefits by simply having their children help them while they prepare meals at home in their own kitchen.
Preventing Chronic Disease: Public Health Research, Practice and Policy, November 2014

Exercise: Lowers Hypertension Risk.
Using data from treadmill stress tests and blood pressure measurements from over 57,000 older men and women, researchers determined that individuals who are in good physical shape have at least a 20% lower risk for hypertension than those who are out of shape.
JAMA, December 2014

Wellness/Prevention: Simple Breath Test May Help Detect Type 1 Diabetes Earlier in Children.
Researchers claim to have identified a chemical marker for type 1 diabetes that could pave the way for early diagnosis in children by using a simple breath test. Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) occurs when a severe lack of insulin causes the body to break down fats for energy. This process leads to an elevation of ketones in the blood, which can lead to diabetic coma or even death. In the study, researchers found the sweet smelling ketones disposed of through the breath may be used as an early indicator of ketone build-up in the blood. Researcher Dr. Gus Hancock adds, “After clinical trials, we hope that this will be used by people with type 1 diabetes to test whether or not they are heading for DKA when they are not feeling well.”
Journal of Breath Research, November 2014