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Oakland Spine News

Whiplash Injury Prevention – Part II

Whiplash Injury Prevention

Last month, we discussed whiplash injury prevention by focusing on the physical characteristics of crashes. This included information about head restraints, collision speed, seat back position, body size differences, air bags, and more. This month, we’ll focus on the MOST important aspect of whiplash prevention: driver distraction!

According to a survey of 6,000 drivers conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 20% of those surveyed in the 18-20 years old age group and 30% of those 21-34 years of age claimed texting does not affect their driving.

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What to Do for Chronic Low Back Pain

What to Do for Chronic Low Back Pain

Low back pain (LBP) is a very common problem that many, if not most of us, have had at some point in life. In fact, about 80% of adults experience LBP in their lifetime, and it’s the leading cause of job-related disability and missed work days. According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 25% of adults have had a recent episode of LBP.

Men and women are equally affected by LBP, which can occur abruptly following a specific incident (such as over lifting), or it can develop slowly over time due to wear and tear. Studies show a sedentary lifestyle during the week can set the stage for developing LBP, especially when it’s followed by strenuous weekend workouts.

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Whiplash Injuries and Missed Diagnoses of Traumatic Brain Injury

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is also becoming a “hot topic” as it relates to motor vehicle collisions (MVC). The question is: how often is TBI missed?

The simple answer is: FREQUENTLY! This is due to the fact that attention is often drawn toward other injuries such as a neck injury or a limb injury. One study found that doctors were more likely to miss an mTBI diagnosis in patients who had sustained an arm or leg fracture. Among a total of 251 trauma patients, only 8.8% were diagnosed with mTBI at the time of injury vs. 23.5% who were eventually diagnosed at a later date. The authors of the study note the importance for healthcare providers to not be overly focused on the most obvious injury, as it may result in missing an mTBI diagnosis and the opportunity for early management of the condition—potentially leading to greater pain, suffering, and long-term disability.

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Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Good for the Heart (plus other health tips!)

Dark Chocolate and Olive Oil Good for the Heart.

Polyphenols are micronutrients with antioxidant properties found abundantly in whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, red wine, and cocoa. According to a new study, participants who consumed a small daily portion of dark chocolate with added natural polyphenols from extra virgin olive oil experienced both an increase in their high-density lipoprotein (“good”) cholesterol levels and a decrease in their blood pressure. European Society of Cardiology Congress, August 2017

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Women with Back Pain… The Silent Majority? Part 1

Women with Back Pain

Because humans are bipeds—that is, two-legged animals—our spines tend to experience greater loads than those our four-legged friends. This leads to men and women experiencing degenerative conditions such as osteoarthritis much earlier in life compared with lions, tigers, and bears (and your dog or cat). Also, the majority of us (about 90%) have one leg that’s shorter than the other (average 5.2mm or ¼ inch), which can tilt the pelvis downward on the side with the shorter leg, which increases the risk for both back pain and neck pain. Fortunately, this can be rectified with a heel lift in the shoe. However, women also face unique anatomical, physiological, and social challenges when it comes to back pain…

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Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: Is your knee in pain? Exercise may help (+ more daily health updates!)

Manage Knee Pain with Exercise

People who have knee pain are often tempted to rest instead of exercise; however, regular exercise can help strengthen the knees and ease pain. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends: start exercising slowly and increase repetitions or weights as you get stronger; some discomfort is normal, pain isn’t, so stop if you feel pain; don’t push yourself so hard that you’re in pain the next day; and consult with a therapist or doctor about how often to exercise and the types of exercise you should perform. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, July 2017

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Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: Enjoy a cup of coffee, or tea this morning! It may fight off liver disease

Drinking Coffee and Tea May Prevent Liver Disease.

Chronic liver disease is a leading cause of death in the United States, with nearly 32,000 people dying from it each year. Now, a new study suggests that a cup of coffee or tea a day may help prevent this disease. In the study, 2,424 participants underwent a full physical checkup, which included anthropometric measurements such as body mass index, height, blood tests, and abdominal scans. The data revealed that frequent coffee and herbal tea consumption consistently correlated with a significantly lower risk of liver stiffness, which suggests regular coffee or tea intake may prevent liver fibrosis before the signs of liver disease start to appear. Journal of Hepatology, June 2017

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