Oakland Spine News

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic and Chest Pain.

Mental Attitude: Live To Be 120?
When people were asked whether they would want medical treatments to extend their lives by decades so they could live to be 120 or more, 56% of adult Americans aged 18 and over declined the offer. When asked how long they would like to live, 69% gave an answer of between 79 and 100 years. The median ideal age is 90 years, about 11 years longer than the current life expectancy of Americans.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, August 2013

Health Alert: Destroy Your IQ?
Two serious fight-related head injuries can impact a teenage boy’s IQ to the equivalent of losing a whole year of school. For girls, a similar loss of IQ is possible after just one serious fight-related head injury. Falls in IQ are linked to lower academic and professional performance, behavioral problems, mental disorders, and decreased life spans. Each fight-related injury resulted in a drop of 1.62 IQ points for boys and a fall of 3.02 IQ points for girls. Missing a whole academic year is equivalent to a loss of between 2 and 4 IQ points.
Journal of Adolescent Health, August 2013

Diet: Antioxidents and Conception.
Women undergoing fertility treatment often take dietary supplements, including antioxidents, to improve their chances of becoming pregnant. However, a study of over 3,500 women who attended fertility clinics found that antioxidents had no effect on conception, either in improving pregnancy rates or hindering them.
Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2007

Exercise: Little Girls Not Exercising Enough.
Just 38% of seven-year-old girls in the United Kingdom (UK) get the recommended amount of daily exercise, compared to 63% of boys in the same age group. UK guidelines call for children to exercise just one hour per day.
BMJ Open, August 2013

Chiropractic: Chiropractic and Chest Pain.
Over six million Americans suffer from angina pectoris (chest pain), the most common form being stable angina pectoris. A study of 50 patients with cervicothoracic angina (a form a stable angina pectoris) found that 70% benefited from eight chiropractic treatments over a four week period with improvements in chest pain, emotional health, mental health, and vitality. Patients in a control group who received no treatment reported no such improvements.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, November 2005

Wellness/Prevention: Resetting Your Clock.
According to new research, camping in the wilderness for a week can synchronize our internal clocks to the solar day, allowing our bodies to normalize melatonin levels. On average, study participants went to bed and awoke two hours earlier when only exposed to sunlight and campfire light. All of the participants’ sleep patterns synchronized with sunset and sunrise, despite the fact that the study included both early birds and night owls.
Current Biology, August 2013

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic Care is Effective!

Mental Attitude: Healthcare Incentives?
When faced with paying higher health insurance premiums for not exercising, a study found that 97% of enrollees met or exceeded a set fitness goal of 5,000 steps per day within one year.
Behavioral Translational Medicine, May 2013

Health Alert: Painkiller Drug Overdoses!
From 1999 to 2010 there was a five-fold increase (48,000 deaths) in women dying from prescription painkiller overdoses. Painkiller deaths greatly outnumbered overdoses from illegal drugs and from motor vehicle crashes. Overall, drug overdose suicide deaths accounted for 34% of all suicides among women, compared with 8% among men in 2010.
Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, June 2013

Diet: Western Diet?
Children of women with a “Western dietary pattern” (characterized by high intakes of organ meat, red meat, processed meat, pizza, legumes, potatoes, French fries, condiments, and mayonnaise, but low intakes of fruits) had a higher risk of giving birth to a child with a cleft lip or cleft palate. Women who consumed the greatest amount of these foods had nearly double the risk compared with those who consumed the least.
Obstetrics & Gynecology, 2007

Exercise: Good Reasons.
Exercise makes your heart a more efficient pump and helps to decrease left ventricular hypertrophy (a thickening of the walls of the left ventricle) in people with hypertension.
Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996

Chiropractic: Effective Care!
Many companies say chiropractic coverage has lowered their medical and workers’ comp costs while also raising overall health and productivity. Work time lost for employees with back injuries who used chiropractic care was only nine days as compared with 34.5 days for workers who used medical care.
Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, December 1997

Wellness/Prevention: Lower Your Risk.
During a decade long study, participants who slept 7 hours or more per night, exercised 3.5 hours or more per week, ate a healthy Mediterranean-style diet, consumed only moderate amounts of alcohol, and didn’t smoke had a 65% lower risk of a cardiovascular disease event and an 83% lower risk of dying from one.
European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, July 2013

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic Training

Mental Attitude: Optimism and Stress.
A six-year study of 135 older adults (>60 years old) found that pessimistic people have a higher baseline level of stress and have a more difficult time handling stress than their more optimistic peers.
Health Psychology, May 2013

Health Alert: Decrease Your Heart Disease Risk.
High blood pressure affects 33% of U.S. adults and doubles their risk for heart disease. 32 million Americans have dangerously high total blood cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL or greater. Simultaneously controlling your high blood pressure and high cholesterol may cut your risk for heart disease by half or more.
Circulation, July 2013

Diet: Don’t Skip Breakfast!
A 16-year study of nearly 27,000 male health care professionals found that those who skipped breakfast were 27% more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease.
Circulation, May 2013

Exercise: Does Eliminating Video Games Increase Physical Activity?
A three year study of Australian pre-teens replaced sedentary video games (played with a gamepad/joystick) with either active video games that require physical movement or no video games at all to see if either increased daily moderate or vigorous physical activity (MVPA) and/or decreased sedentary time. When the study concluded, researchers did not find a significant change in either the children’s MVPA (+3.2 minutes/day for active games and +3.8 minutes/day for no games) or sedentary time (-6.2 minutes/day for active games and -4.7 minutes/day for no games).
British Medical Journal Open, July 2013

Chiropractic: Chiropractic Training.
What does it take to become a Doctor of Chiropractic? In most countries, chiropractors must complete a minimum of 6 years of college and post-graduate studies (the average is 7 years) to earn their degree. Their education includes at least 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. Then, graduates must pass National and/or State Board examinations and become licensed by the state or province before they can practice.
World Health Organization, 2005

Wellness/Prevention: Dad’s Lifestyle Choices?
Germ cells are sperm and egg cells and their precursors. Mutations to a father’s germ cells caused by lifestyle choices (like smoking) are present in all the cells of his progeny. These mutations are also present in his children’s own germ cells. This means that a father’s lifestyle has the potential to affect the DNA of multiple generations and not just his immediate offspring.
The FASEB Journal, July 2013

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic is Very Popular!

Chiropractic: Very Popular!
Patient surveys show that chiropractors are used more often than any other alternative provider group, and patient satisfaction with chiropractic care is very high. According to a 1997 survey, the number of Americans utilizing chiropractic care tripled from 1980-1997.
Annals of Internal Medicine, 2002

Mental Attitude: Music and Pain.
A research trial involving 42 children (ages 3-11) found that those who listened to music during unpleasant procedures (such as administering an IV) experienced lower perceived pain levels and less discomfort.
JAMA Pediatrics, July 2013

Health Alert: Brain’s Motivation Blunted!
Long-term cannabis users tend to produce less dopamine, a chemical in the brain linked to motivation. Dopamine levels in a part of the brain called the striatum were lower in people who regularly smoke cannabis, especially those who began taking the drug at a younger age. This explains why some cannabis users appear to lack motivation to work or pursue their normal interests. The lowest dopamine levels were seen in users who met diagnostic criteria for cannabis abuse or dependence, raising the possibility that this measure could provide a marker of addiction severity.
Biological Psychiatry, July 2013

Diet: The Gut and Autism?
Autism rates have risen over recent years. Heightened awareness and more diligent efforts at diagnosis account for some of the increase, yet researchers believe an epidemic is occurring. One possible factor is the overuse of antibiotics at an early age. This lowers the diversity of the gut microflora and lower diversity of gut microbes is positively correlated with the presence of autistic symptoms. Bacterial richness and diversity are essential for maintaining a robust and adaptable bacterial community capable of fighting off environmental challenges.
PLOS ONE, July 2013

Exercise: Forced Stress Relief.
It’s known that physical exercise reduces a participant’s stress and anxiety levels. Interestingly, in a study setting, people who exercised even when they didn’t want to received the same anxiety and stress reducing benefits as those who actively chose to exercise.
Journal of Neuroscience, May 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Turmeric.
Turmeric, an ingredient found in most yellow mustards, has long been known to have medicinal values. New research has found that curcumin, a substance in turmeric, provides lasting protection against potentially deadly lung damage (bronchopulmonary dysplasia) in premature infants.
American Journal of Physiology, July 2013

Weekly Health Update: Drop That Blood Pressure

Chiropractic: Drop That Blood Pressure.
Patients who had upper thoracic chiropractic adjustments showed statistically significant decreases in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Placebo and control groups demonstrated no such changes.
Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapeutics, 1988

Mental Attitude: A Happy Marriage.
People in happy marriages live less “in sickness” and enjoy more of life “in health.” Couples in positive marital relationships sustain health over the long run. Those with higher marital conflict are more likely to report poor health. The implication is that marital conflict is a risk factor for poor health. Couples who fight or frequently argue should seek professional help to reduce their conflict because it is affecting their health. Happily married spouses encourage one another to stay current on doctor’s appointments, sleep better, drink less alcohol, and participate more in healthy activities. In a happy marriage, when spouses have a bad day, they’re more likely to support each other and empathize with each other. This support reduces stress and helps buffer against a decline in health.
Journal of Marriage and Family, June 2013

Health Alert: Tobacco Control!
Tobacco control measures put in place in 41 countries between 2007 and 2010 will prevent some 7.4 million premature deaths by 2050. These policies can lead to other benefits such as fewer adverse birth outcomes related to maternal smoking (including low birth weight), reduced healthcare costs, and increased productivity due to less smoking-related disease.
World Health Organization, July 2013

Diet: Fish Oil DHA.
Chronic inflammation is a major factor in a wide range of health issues from arthritis to cardiovascular disease, and DHA (found in fish oil) is known to temper this problem. Researchers found that macrophages (a type of white blood cell) use DHA to produce “maresins,” which serve as the “switch” that turns inflammation off.
The FASEB Journal, July 2013

Exercise: Good Reasons.
Exercise improves your mood and helps to increase your overall health awareness.
Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996

Wellness/Prevention: Tea Tree Oil.
Treating fungal infections of the nails (onychomycosis) with a cream containing 2% butenafine and 5% tea tree oil cured 80% of patients. Topical application of tea tree oil cream for athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) reduces the symptoms of tinea pedis as effectively as tolnaftate, an over the counter antifungal medication.
Australasian Journal of Dermatology, July 2013

Weekly Health Update: Cost Effective Chiropractic Care

Chiropractic: Cost Effectiveness.
According to a study that analyzed data from 85,000 Blue Cross / Blue Shield beneficiaries over a 2-year span, low back pain treatment initiated with a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) saved 40% on health care costs when compared with care initiated through a Medical Doctor (MD). The study population had open access to MDs and DCs through self-referral, and there were no limits applied to the number of MD/DC visits allowed and no differences in co-pays. Researchers estimated that allowing DC-initiated episodes of care would have led to an annual cost savings of $2.3 million.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, December 2010

Mental Attitude: The Future You and Smoking.
Smokers in their early twenties who viewed a simulation of what they would look like after 20 years of smoking were more likely to have negative views of smoking and were more willing to try to quit.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, June 2013

Health Alert: Painkillers and Heart Attack!
High doses of some of the most common painkillers, including ibuprofen and diclofenac, can increase the risk of heart problems by 30%. Of all the NSAIDs analyzed, “Naproxen” didn’t appear to increase major vascular events or vascular deaths.
The Lancet, June 2013

Diet: Artificial Sweeteners?
The artificial sweetener sucralose can change the body’s insulin response. When study participants drank sucralose, their blood sugar peaked at a higher level than when they drank only water before consuming glucose. Insulin levels also rose 20% higher. This could be detrimental because when people constantly secrete high levels of insulin, it can lead to type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes Care, June 2013

Exercise: Active Commuting?
Active commuting (physical exercise, such as bicycling or walking, as a way to travel to and from work) is one way to help adults integrate activity into their daily routine. People who walk or bike to work are likely to influence their co-workers and partners to do the same. 80% of American adults do not meet government guidelines for aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities. The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week or one hour and 15 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity a week.
American Journal of Health Behavior, June 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Sunscreen Use.
Daily sunscreen use slows skin aging. After a 4 year study, the daily sunscreen group showed 24% less skin aging. The skin-saving effect of sunscreen was observed in all daily-use participants, regardless of age.
Annals Of Internal Medicine, June 2013

Oakland Spine Offers Treatment Options for Spinal Stenosis

Most of us remember last summer’s scare when 14 people died after contracting spinal meningitis after infected epidural steroid injections. For weeks these stories were in the news, and as a result, medical laboratories across the country were closed down due to contaminated steroid injections sickening hundreds of people. But the question seldom asked is why did these individuals get these injections in the first place? Why are ESIs – or Epidural Spine Injections – so common, even if the risk of infection or other complications can be so high?

ESIs are commonplace procedures for people with persistent back pain, such as lumbar spinal stenosis. Last year, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimated that 14,000 people might have received spinal injections that were potentially infected. Even prior to the 2012 outbreak, this type of surgical procedure was deemed risky.

What can be done to treat spinal stenosis without the use of drugs and surgery? According to Dr. Brad Butler of Oakland Spine and Physical Therapy in Oakland, NJ, there are effective treatments for spinal stenosis that are non-invasive. “Using laser therapy and other treatment protocols, we’re able to significantly reduce the amount of pain and discomfort patients suffer from with lumbar and cervical spine stenosis,” said Dr. Butler. “Laser therapy is drug and pain free. It helps by stimulating tissue healing, circulation and fights inflammation of the spine. We have had amazing success with our program and, in some cases, completely resolved back pain issues with our patients.”

What causes spinal stenosis? Stenosis is, by definition, an abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal that can occur in any region of the spine. The most frequent types of stenosis are lumbar and cervical stenosis. Lumbar stenosis is a narrowing and compression of the spine at the lumbar vertebra, causing lower back pain and, in its severity, causing leg pain and problems walking. Cervical stenosis causes the same issues in the neck area, which can affect the neck, shoulders, arms and, for some, debilitating headaches. Why does narrowing of the spinal canal occur? As the body ages, many changes take place that can affect the spine. “The spinal cord is a collection of nerves leading from the brain to the lower back,” explains Dr. Butler. “When the spinal cord compresses, a squeezing of the nerves and cord in the spine changes how the spinal cord functions and causes stiffness, pain, and numbness.”

Dr. Butler’s therapy approach centers around combining traditional therapies, like physical therapy and chiropractic manipulation, with state of art technology, like spinal decompression and the LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) laser therapy, the most targeted, powerful and therapeutic laser system available in medicine today. “The wavelengths, power density and optics of the LCT 1000 Deep Tissue (Class IV) laser system allow us to precisely target and deliver a therapeutic dose of laser that immediately stimulates tissue growth,” says Butler. “This type of therapy is critical for helping stenosis patients repair and regrow lost tissue. The energy used in laser therapy is actually helping the entire body by promoting better circulation. We have patients who immediately feel the relief of their pain.” Dr. Butler’s program also incorporates alternative therapies such as acupuncture and therapeutic massage.

What about painkillers? Do they work? For many years, patients were prescribed multiple varieties of pain medication to help alleviate pain and told to ‘rest.’ Dr. Butler explains that this outdated mode of thinking doesn’t really get to the root of the problem. “What we now know, through years of research and practice, is that pain medications only mask the problem. They’re simply not a cure,” he says. “While you may feel relief from pain, pressure and soreness, as soon as you stop taking these oral medications, the pain very commonly comes back. The only way to see long-term relief is through treating the cause of the problem. Our goal is to help patients heal and live healthier, more active lives. We don’t just treat patients in crisis mode; we aim to see our patients feeling their best and maximizing their care to help them stay active, healthy and happy.”

To learn more about Dr. Butler and make an appointment for a free evaluation, call (201) 465-4731 or visit their website at www.oaklandspinenj.com.

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic Success!

Chiropractic: Success!
A study compared the effectiveness of manual therapy (performed by a Chiropractor), physical therapy (performed by a Physical Therapist), and medical care (delivered by a Medical Physician) for patients with neck pain. The success rate at 7 weeks was twice as high for the manual therapy group (68.3%) compared to the medical care group. Patients receiving manual therapy had fewer absences from work than patients receiving physical therapy or medical care for their neck pain. Manual therapy and physical therapy also resulted in statistically significant less analgesic (pain relief medication) use.
Annals of Internal Medicine, 2002

Mental Attitude: Obsessed With Forbidden Pleasures.
When individuals are forbidden from everyday objects, their minds and brains pay more attention to them. Obsession is not as strong if others are also denied. When an object is forbidden to a group, the allure of the object drops dramatically. This helps to explain why group diet programs can be more successful than dieting alone.
Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience, June 2013

Health Alert: Kids Poisoned.
Every 10 minutes a child in the United States is taken to the Emergency Room because of poisoning from swallowing a prescription or over-the-counter medicine. The most common drugs associated with children’s poisoning include those used to treat diabetes, high cholesterol (statins), pain (opioids), and cardiovascular diseases (beta blockers).
Pediatrics, June 2013

Diet: Soda, Illegal Drugs, and Teeth.
Drinking large quantities of soda can be as damaging to your teeth (tooth erosion) as methamphetamine and crack cocaine use. Tooth erosion occurs when acid wears away tooth enamel. Without enamel, teeth are more susceptible to developing cavities, as well as becoming sensitive, cracked, and discolored. The citric acid present in both regular and diet soda is known to have a high potential for causing tooth erosion. The ingredients used in preparing methamphetamine can include extremely corrosive materials such as battery acid, lantern fuel, and drain cleaner. Crack cocaine is also highly acidic in nature.
General Dentistry, June 2013

Exercise: Quantity Over Frequency?
A study of over 2,300 Canadian adults found that those who exercised 150 minutes over just a few days of the week received the same health benefits as those who spread out 150 minutes of exercise over the entire week.
Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism, June 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Prevent Stress.
Among women who reported stress, 40% had psychosomatic symptoms in the form of aches and pain in their muscles and joints, 28% suffered from headaches or migraines, and 28% reported gastrointestinal complaints.
University of Gothenburg, June 2013