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Oakland Spine News

Sitting and Slouching Our Way to Back Pain

Sacroiliac Joint

The Back Pain Epidemic

Eighty percent of Americans will suffer from back pain in their lifetime, but what we are observing here at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy is that people are experiencing this all-too common aggravation at younger ages. It’s an ordeal that may lead to lack of mobility and disability at an age when you should be enjoying life at its fullest.

“Cases that we are used to seeing in people in their thirties and forties, we are seeing in teenagers,” reports Dr. Brad Butler, Chief of Staff at the Oakland Spine & Rehabilitation Centers in Oakland and Wayne, NJ. “Cases that we are used to seeing in sixty year olds, we are seeing in thirty and forty year olds.”

Why are we experiencing what might be described as an epidemic of back pain at a time when our challenges are supposedly being eased by technology. Our ancestors, after all, labored long hours every day in agrarian pursuits or working at industrial jobs. Their more physically demanding lives started at an earlier age, as adolescents and even young children, and chronic back injury would seem virtually inevitable.

There even seems to be a marked increase in back pain since the 1970’s and 1980’s when early technology were easing the load on farms and in factories and an increasing number were earning their pay as white-collar employees.

LaptopThe reason back pain is worse than ever, affecting people younger than ever, is that the world in which we live and work today is so different from the decades before computers, cell phones, and various technologies constantly available to us.

We spend an inordinate amount of our time squinting at laptop screens and scrolling through our cell phones. We’re sitting more and moving less, consuming hours every day huddling over digital devices with stress and strain moving down the body and into the neck and back.

Poor posture can exert extraordinary stress on your spine and even change its shape over time, impacting blood vessels and nerves. From there the stress can move to joints, muscles and the discs. Unchecked it will inevitable lead to back pain.

So if the effects of poor posture will inevitably lead to back pain and decreased mobility, is it possible that correcting your posture before it’s too late reverse the deterioration and save you from years of back pain?

The good news is yes. If there is no relief in sight, mobility will continue to worsen. That relief is up to you, and we’re here to help at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy.

—Call us today at (201) 651-9100 for an appointment at Oakland Spine & Physical Therapy…

 

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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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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Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: Avoid These Common Exercise Errors

Avoid These Common Exercise Errors

To reach your exercise goals, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends avoiding these seven mistakes: failing to keep a journal to monitor your progress, losing track of your goals, strength- training the same muscles on consecutive days, breathing incorrectly during exercise, not eating enough protein, getting distracted during your workout, and ignoring flexibility and balance training. American College of Sports Medicine, May 2017

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Dr. Brad’s Weekly Health Update: Kids Feeling Stressed? A Dog May Help

Pet Dogs Help Children Feel Less Stressed

Pet dogs can provide valuable social support for kids when they’re stressed. Researchers randomly assigned children to experience stressors, such as public speaking or a mental task, with either their dog or a parent present for social support, or no one at all. They found that children who had their pet dog with them reported feeling less stressed compared with having a parent for social support or having no social support. Furthermore, saliva tests revealed reduced cortisol levels among children who spent more time with their dog. Social Development, May 2017

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When Teenagers Get Headaches…

In 2016, researchers at Curtin University in Perth examined the seated posture and health data of 1,108 17-year olds in an effort to determine if any particular posture increased the risk of headaches/neck pain among late adolescents.

Among four posture subgroups—upright, intermediate, slumped thorax, and forward head—the researchers observed the following: participants who were slumped in their thoracic spine (mid-back region) and had their head forward when they sat were at higher odds of having mild, moderate, or severe depression; participants classified as having a more upright posture exercised more frequently, females were more likely to sit more upright than males; those who were overweight were more likely to sit with a forward neck posture; and taller people were more likely to sit upright.

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