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Oakland Spine News

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic Care Recommended For Low Back Pain

Chiropractic: Recommended For Low Back Pain.
According to a study based in the United Kingdom, chiropractic patients with low back pain improved markedly during the first three months of care with high patient satisfaction scores. Considering all costs of care, the study’s author suggests that chiropractic care be considered “in the wider context of health care delivery in the United Kingdom” for all patients with low back pain.
University of Portsmouth, May 2013

Mental Attitude: Stress and Problem Solving.
People under high levels of chronic stress appear to have impaired problem-solving skills. In a study setting, they solved 50% fewer problems than their non-stressed peers.
PLOS ONE, May 2013

Health Alert: Texting While Driving.
Teens in the United States receive hundreds of text messages a day, but one message they aren’t getting is that they shouldn’t text and drive. 43% of high school students of driving age reported texting while driving at least once in the past 30 days. The specific act of texting while driving has been found to increase the risk of a crash by 23 times, leading many to conclude that texting while driving is more dangerous than driving while intoxicated.
Pediatric Academic Society, May 2013

Diet: Low Vitamin D Levels and Cardiovascular Problems.
Increased levels of vitamin D in the body result in lower levels of CRP (c-reactive protein) in the blood. High levels of CRP are associated with the hardening of blood vessels and a greater risk of developing cardiovascular problems.
American Journal of Medicine, May 2013

Exercise: Fibromyalgia and Exercise.
For many people who have fibromyalgia, the thought of exercising is painful. However, a recent study shows that light to moderate exercise (light jogging or brisk walking for 20 minutes a day) over a prolonged period of time improves overall symptoms, such as fatigue and trouble sleeping, without increasing pain.
Arthritis Care & Research, May 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Helmet Laws.
900 Americans die each year in bicycle crashes, with three-quarters of the fatalities from head injuries. Bicycle helmets save lives but only 21 US states have laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets. States with mandatory helmet laws have lower rates of fatalities/incapacitating injuries after bicycle-motor vehicle collisions than states without helmet laws.
Pediatric Academic Society, May 2013

Weekly Health Update: I Like Those Odds!

Chiropractic: I Like Those Odds!
Patients who went to a chiropractor first had were less likely to undergo surgery than those who went to a surgeon first. 42.7% of workers with back injuries who first saw a surgeon had surgery, in contrast to only 1.5% of those who initially saw a chiropractor.
Spine, December 2012

Mental Attitude: Depression and Dementia.
Those with late-life depression are 1.85 times more likely to develop all-cause dementia, 1.65 times more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease, and 2.52 times more likely to develop vascular dementia. The phrase “all-cause dementia” refers to all dementia syndromes, the most common of which is Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60-80% of all dementia cases. Alzheimer’s is associated with memory problems and apathy in early stages, and impaired judgment, confusion, disorientation, behavior changes, and difficulty speaking in later stages. Vascular dementia is the second most common cause of dementia, and is associated with impaired judgment or ability to plan and complete tasks, as opposed to memory loss that is common in early stages of Alzheimer’s.
British Journal of Psychiatry, May 2013

Health Alert: What Concussion?
Many United States high school football players think it’s okay to play with a concussion even though they know they are at risk of serious injury. Over 90% of players polled recognized a risk of serious injury if they returned to play too quickly, but only 54% would always or sometimes report their concussion symptoms to their coach.
Pediatric Academic Society, May 2013

Diet: Fight Inflammation!
Chronic inflammation is a condition that can be triggered by obesity and can ultimately lead to both cardiovascular and metabolic disease. Some foods that are known to combat unhealthy inflammation are citrus fruits, leafy greens, tomatoes, wild salmon, and whole foods high in fiber.
University of Alabama at Birmingham, March 2013

Exercise: ‘Walkable’ Neighborhoods.
Preschool children are less likely to be obese if they live in a neighborhood that is safe and within walking distance of parks and retail services.
Pediatric Academic Society, May 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Brain Power Boost.
Regularly consuming the healthy fats found in fish, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts may assist in maintaining cognitive functions in older individuals.
British Medical Journal, May 2013

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic Care and Asthma

Chiropractic: Asthma?
A review of published literature shows that patients with asthma who incorporate chiropractic care into their current asthma treatment plan may experience a decrease in the severity of their symptoms.
Logan College of Chiropractic, December 2012

Mental Attitude: Suicide Rates Rise!
Suicide rates among middle-aged (35-65) Americans have risen 28% in the past 10 years with the largest increase among people in their 50s at nearly 50%. Suicide deaths have become more common than deaths from car crashes. In 2010, there were 33,687 deaths from car crashes and 38,364 suicides in the United States. Suicide prevention strategies include improving social support and community connectedness, increasing access to mental health and preventive services, and decreasing the stigma and barriers linked to asking for help.
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, May 2013

Health Alert: Heart and Brain Function.
People with the greatest risk for heart disease performed 50% worse on cognitive tests when compared to people with the lowest risk profile. Diabetes, bad cholesterol, and smoking were all negatively linked to poor cognitive scores.
Stroke, May 2013

Diet: Just One Meal.
A single fatty meal can cause the heart to beat harder and increase blood pressure. Researchers analyzed the effects of eating a high-fat fast food meal (42 grams of fat) and eating a meal with no more than 1.3 grams of fat. When subjected to a series of standard stress tests, those who ate the high-fat meal saw their blood pressure go up 1.25 to 1.5 times higher than the those who ate the low-fat meal.
Journal of Nutrition, April 2007

Exercise: Only 1 in 5 Adults…
Only 20% of American adults perform the recommended amount of exercise as outlined in federal guidelines. Adults should get at least two and a half hours each week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like walking), or one hour and 15 minutes each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (like jogging), or a mixture of both. Adults should also engage in muscle strengthening activities, including sit-ups, push-ups, or exercise using resistance bands or weights. All major muscle groups should be involved in these activities and should be done at least two days every week.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Celery and Cancer Cells Mortality.
One way cancer cells thrive is by simply not dying as other cells are pre-programmed to do. Apigenin, a compound found in plant based foods like parsley and celery, has been observed in a laboratory setting to re-educate breast cancer cells to die as scheduled.
Ohio State University, May 2013

Weekly Health Update: Satisfied Low Back Pain Patients

Chiropractic: Satisfied Low Back Pain Patients.
Patients with chronic low-back pain treated by chiropractors showed greater improvement and satisfaction after one month of care than patients treated by family physicians. Satisfaction scores were higher for chiropractic patients. A higher proportion of chiropractic patients (56% vs. 13%) reported that their low-back pain was better or much better, whereas nearly one-third of medical patients reported their low-back pain was worse or much worse.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, 2000

Mental Attitude: Happily Married?
A recent study concludes that young and happily married newlyweds are more likely to gain weight than their young and unhappily married counterparts. For each unit increase in satisfaction, on average, males and females both gained one tenth of a BMI unit every 6 months – or about one pound a year. According to Dr. Andrea Meltzer, lead author of the study, “These findings challenge the idea that quality relationships always benefit health, suggesting instead that spouses in satisfying relationships relax their efforts to maintain their weight because they are no longer motivated to attract a mate. Interventions to prevent weight gain in early marriage may therefore benefit from encouraging spouses to think about their weight in terms of health rather than appearance.”
Health Psychology, April 2013

Health Alert: Less Salt, More Potassium.
Reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure, which ultimately reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. Results show that four or more weeks of modest salt reduction leads to notable decreases in blood pressure. Increased potassium intake was associated with a 24% reduced probability of stroke in adults and may also have an advantageous impact on blood pressure in kids.
British Medical Journal, April 2013

Diet: So How Much Salt and Potassium Should You Consume?
The World Health Organization recommends adults should reduce salt intake to 5g per day and consume at least 3510mg of potassium per day.
World Health Organization, January 2013

Exercise: More Reasons.
Exercise helps to retard bone loss as you age, thereby reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis. Exercise also helps improves pain tolerance and mood if you already suffer from osteoarthritis.
Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, 1996

Wellness/Prevention: Sleep Well.
Increasing the number of hours adolescents sleep each night may reduce the prevalence of adolescent obesity. A recent study shows that fewer hours of sleep is associated with greater increases in adolescent body mass index (BMI) for participants between 14 and 18 years old. Increasing sleep from 8 to 10 hours per day at age 18 could result in a 4% reduction in the number of adolescents with a BMI above 25. This would translate to 500,000 fewer overweight adolescents.
Pediatrics, April 2013

Weekly Health Update: Effectiveness Of Chiropractic

Chiropractic: Effectiveness Of Chiropractic.
183 patients with neck pain were randomly allocated to manual therapy (spinal mobilization), physiotherapy (mainly exercise), or general practitioner care (counseling, education, and drugs) in a 52-week study. Manual therapy resulted in faster recovery than physiotherapy and general practitioner care. Total costs of the manual therapy were about one-third of the costs of physiotherapy or general practitioner care.
British Medical Journal, 2003

Mental Attitude: Dementia Cost!
Caring for people with dementia costs $157 billion a year in the United States (US) — higher than the costs of treating heart disease ($102 billion) and cancer ($77 billion). 75-84% of dementia costs are for nursing home care and care at home. 14.7% of people in the US aged 71+ years are affected by dementia.
New England Journal of Medicine, April 2013

Health Alert: Heart Drug and Cancer Risk!
Amiodarone, a drug used to treat arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats), may increase cancer risk. People taking a high dose of amiodarone had close to twice the risk of developing cancer when compared with those taking a low dose of the drug.
Cancer, April 2013

Diet: Diet and Exercise.
While many experts advise to start eating a more healthy diet before starting an exercise program, recent research points to doing both at the same time for optimal results. Participants were separated into four groups: 1) Start exercise program first. 2) Start diet first. 3) Start both diet and exercise at same time. 4) Do neither. Participants who started eating healthier at the same time they started an exercise routine were more likely to exercise 150+ minutes a week, eat 5-9 servings of fruits/vegetables daily, and keep calories from saturated fats to <10% of their daily caloric intake.
Nature Medicine, April 2013

Exercise: Computer Exercises For Alzheimer’s Patients.
A new technology using computer brain exercises may help Alzheimer’s patients. The NeuroAD system has patients solve computer exercises ranging from identifying colors, shapes, and letters to solving memory games. Simultaneously, the very same regions of the patient’s brain responsible for memory and learning receive electromagnetic stimulation, which reactivates brain cell activity.
Harvard University, April 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Safer Teen Drivers.
A new report on teen driver safety in the United States (US) shows encouraging trends. There has been a 47% decline in teen driver-related fatalities over the past six years. In the past three years, the number of teen passengers killed in crashes who were not wearing seatbelts decreased 23%, the number of teens driven by a peer who had been drinking declined 14%, and 30% fewer teen passengers were killed in crashes involving a teen driver. Despite this progress, auto accidents remain the leading cause of death for US teens.
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, April 2013

Weekly Health Update: Lowering Blood Pressure

Chiropractic: Lowering Blood Pressure.
Chiropractic adjustments to the upper neck were shown to lower high blood pressure. Researchers found a 14 mm Hg greater drop in systolic blood pressure, and 8 mm Hg greater drop in diastolic blood pressure following a cervical adjustment. This effect was greater than would result from two blood pressure medications given in combination, and it was adverse-event free.
Journal of Human Hypertension, March 2007

Mental Attitude: A Later Life Crisis?
32% of males and 33% of females ages 60-69 have experienced a so-called “later life crisis”. The most common stimuli for these episodes were bereavement, sickness, injury to themselves or to others, and caring for a sick or disabled loved one. The stressful life event can make the individual aware of their own frailty and death. Some people react with resilience and set new goals, while others focus more on the present, trying to enjoy life more than they did before.
British Psychological Society, April 2013

Health Alert: Hip/Knee Replacement?
Joint damage from osteoarthritis is responsible for 80% of hip replacements and 90% of knee surgeries. Only 50% of individuals with arthritis who had a hip or knee replacement reported a significant improvement in pain and mobility after surgery. 25% of patients who get a single joint replacement will have another within two years.
Arthritis & Rheumatism, April 2013

Diet: Unleaded Please!
Levels of lead in rice imported into the United States (US) ranged from 6-12 mg/kg. For adults, the daily exposure levels from eating imported rice are 20-40 times higher than the Food and Drug Administration’s accepted levels. For infants and children, the daily exposure levels are 30-60 times higher. Lead is a neurotoxin that can damage the brain, and in young children whose brains are still growing, it can seriously diminish their capacity to learn and develop. It can disrupt children’s behavior, such as make them more aggressive, impulsive, and hyperactive. Lead increases blood pressure and causes cardiovascular diseases in adults.
American Chemical Society, April 2013

Exercise: Walking vs. Running.
Brisk walking can reduce a person’s risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol just as much as running can. The risk for first-time hypertension was notably reduced 4.2% by running and 7.2% by walking. The risk for first-time high cholesterol was reduced 4.3% by running and 7% by walking. The risk for first-time diabetes was lowered 12.1% by running and 12.3% by walking. The risk for coronary heart disease was lowered 4.5% by running and 9.3% by walking.
Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Vitamin D.
A hormone produced in the skin with exposure to sunlight, Vitamin D is also found in fish, fish liver oils, and egg yolks. Muscle function and recovery from fatigue has been shown to improve with Vitamin D supplementation, which is thought to enhance the activity of the mitochondria – the power plants of the cell.
Newcastle University, April 2013

Weekly Health Update: Spinal Manipulation Therapy & Neck Pain Relief

Chiropractic: Neck Pain Relief!
75% of Americans deal with neck pain at some point in their lives. In a study comparing spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) and prescription medication as treatment options, researches concluded that SMT was more effective both in the short and long-term. At the end of 12 weeks, 57% of participants in the SMT group reported at least a 75% reduction in pain, while only 33% of the medication group had similar results. One year later, patients in the chiropractic group were still experiencing benefits, as 53% still saw at least a 75% reduction in pain.
Annals of Internal Medicine, January 2012

Mental Attitude: Teenaged Smoking, Depression, and Osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a costly health problem. Although it is primarily evident in postmenopausal women, its roots can be traced to periods of growth, including adolescence. A recent study showed that smoking and depressive symptoms in adolescent girls had a negative impact on adolescent bone growth and may lead to future low bone mass or osteoporosis and higher fracture rates in postmenopausal years.
Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2013

Health Alert: World’s Population To Stop Growing?
A research team predicts that the Earth’s population will stabilize by 2050. The world population in 2100 will be within a range of 15.8 billion people (according to the highest estimates with a high fertility variant) and 6.2 billion (according to the lowest estimates with a low fertility variant). The lowest estimate is actually lower than the current world population of 7 billion. In fact, the world-wide fertility rate has already fallen by more than 40% since 1950.
United Nations, February 2013

Diet: Heart Disease and Red Meat.
Carnitine, a compound abundant in red meat and added as a supplement to popular energy drinks, has been found to promote atherosclerosis (hardening or clogging of arteries).
Nature Medicine, April 2013

Exercise: Walking and Smoking.
Teens who increased the amount of time they exercised by at least 20 minutes (equivalent to a short walk) were more likely than their peers to resist lighting up a cigarette.
Journal of Adolescent Health, April 2013

Wellness/Prevention: Kidney Disease and Being Overweight.
Being overweight in young adulthood may significantly increase individuals’ risks of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD) by the time they become seniors. Those who were overweight in their late 20s and early 30s were twice as likely to have CKD at age 60-64 years compared with those who first became overweight at age 60-64 years or never became overweight. Larger waist-to-hip ratios (“apple-shaped” bodies) at ages 43 and 53 years were also linked with CKD at age 60-64 years. Researchers estimate that 36% of CKD cases at age 60-64 in the United States population could be avoided if nobody became overweight until at least that age.
Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, April 2013

The Most Common Type of Headache

At some point, everyone will have a headache, whether it’s from stress, lack of sleep, hormonal related or even self-induced after having way too much fun the night before! In fact, 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. But the most common form of headache is the tension-type headache.

Tension-type headaches (TTHA) are defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a diffuse, mild to moderate pain that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around your head.” Ironically, even though this is the most common form of headache, the causes of TTHA are not well understood. These are sometimes described as muscle contraction headaches but many experts no longer think muscle contractions are the cause. They now feel that “mixed signals” coming from nerve pathways to the brain are the cause and may be the result of “overactive pain receptors.”

Regardless of the cause, the triggers of tension headaches are well known and include stress, depression/anxiety, poor posture, faulty or awkward workstation set-ups, jaw clenching and many others. Risk factors for TTHA include being a woman (studies show that almost 90% of women experience tension headaches at some point in life) and being middle-aged (TTHA’s appear to peak in our 40s, though TTHA’s are not limited to any one age group). Complications associated with TTHA’s may include job productivity loss, family and social interaction disruption, and relationship strain. The diagnosis is typically made by excluding other dangerous causes of headaches and when all the test results return “normal,” the diagnosis of TTHA is made.

Treatment utilizing over-the-counter-medications are commonly used as long as side effects of stomach irritation and/or liver and kidney issues don’t arise. The use of heat and/or cold is often helpful as some prefer one over the other. Alternating between ice and heat is sometimes most effective. Controlling stress by trimming out less important duties or “…taking on less” can help. Yoga, meditation, biofeedback and relaxation therapy are also great! An “ergonomic” assessment of a workstation and how it “fits” the headache patient can also yield great results. Other highly effective therapies include acupuncture, massage therapy, behavior and/or cognitive therapy as well as chiropractic. Chiropractic is a good choice compared to standard medical care, especially when side effects to medications exist. This is because manipulation of the cervical spine addresses the cause of the headache and doesn’t just try to cover up the pain. In 2001, Duke University reported compelling evidence that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those with headaches that originate in the neck with significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief compared to commonly prescribed medication. Chiropractic treatment approaches can include spinal manipulation, trigger point therapy, mobilization techniques, exercise training, physical therapy modality use, dietary and supplementation education/advice, lifestyle coaching and ergonomic assessments.

Reprinted with permission from Think Teachers Magazine