Monday, March 31, 2014
For years, older adults have relied on chiropractors to ease their aches and pains, but little is known about the everyday use of chiropractic by seniors, and whether chiropractic can be of benefit in routine care for the elderly. New research shows that chiropractic isn’t just helpful for back pain in older adults, it may even protect them from increased limitations in their daily activities.
A study from the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics analyzed data from a US national survey conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, called the survey on Assets and Health Dynamics among the Oldest Old (AHEAD).
Within the AHEAD survey, 1,057 Medicare recipients with back pain were identified for inclusion in the study. The study included a statistical analysis of patient surveys conducted in 1995 and 2006. Patients were asked about their overall health, ability to complete activities of daily living (ADL), and lower body function (LBF). ADLs included things like walking up the stairs or going grocery shopping. Researchers analyzed medical records to see who had received either medical care or chiropractic care for episodes of back pain during the 11-year period.
After adjusting for baseline characteristics, the researchers found that chiropractic patients were significantly less likely to have declines in ADLs and LBF than medical-care only patients. This meant that chiropractic patients were also less likely to have significant declines in self-reported health. Chiropractic care appeared to have a protective effect against increased disability with age.
“These results suggest that when chiropractic care is delivered in practice at care levels comparable to those used in clinical trials and relative to the types of services delivered within an episode of medical care only, chiropractic confers significant and substantial benefits to older adult functional ability and self-rated health,” the researchers concluded.
The study adds to earlier research showing that chiropractic is safe for seniors with back and neck pain, and provide substantial relief for spinal conditions, disc herniation, and arthritis. Aging causes the spinal discs to collapse and dehydrate, making you more prone to back injuries like bulging discs or pinched nerves. Like seeing a dentist twice a year helps you prevent gum disease and tooth decay, seeing a chiropractor for regular checkups can ensure that your spine is in good shape to prevent these kind of injuries and strains.
Weigal, et al. The comparative effect of episodes of chiropractic and medical treatment on the health of older adults. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2014; pii: S0161-4754(14)00032-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.12.009.
Chiropractic Protects Your Spine As You Age, Study Suggests
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Saturday, March 29, 2014
The brain controls every function of your body. The spine can interfere with this control if it isn't in alignment.
Friday, March 28, 2014
Most teens come home from school starving, throwing down their backpacks and reaching for anything convenient and tasty, without considering things like sodium or sugar. They’re young and relatively healthy, so what harm could a few chip or crackers do? A lot, according to new research.
Salty snacks don’t just contribute to weight gain in kids, they may accelerate aging, suggests the results from recent research presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology & Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism Scientific Sessions 2014.
The study tied high sodium intake in obese teens to faster aging at cellular level.Researchers specifically examined protective ends of chromosomes, called telomers, which shorten with age. Studies have shown that physical inactivity, smoking, and a high body fat percentage can also cause the telemores to shorten. This is the first study however to link sodium intake to shortened telomores.
In the study, 766 adolescents between 14-18 years old were divided into groups based on sodium intake. The lower group consumed an average of 2,388 mg of sodium per day–far more than the 1,500 mg per day recommended by the American Heart Association. The higher sodium group had an average of 4,142 mg per day.
Obese teens with high sodium intakes had telomere lengths that were significantly shorter than their peers. However normal weight teens with high sodium intake did not have significantly different telemore lengths. The researchers suggested that sodium intake and obesity may act “synergistically” to hasten cellular aging.
“The majority of sodium in the diet comes from processed foods, so parents can help by cooking fresh meals more often and by offering fresh fruit rather than potato chips for a snack,” said Dr. Haidong Zhu, lead author of the study and assistant pediatric professor at Medical College of Georgia.
Simply stashing away the salt shaker isn’t enough. The most common culprits of high-sodium foods include restaurant foods, cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, poultry, prepared soups and sandwiches, and many packaged foods. Chiropractors trained in nutrition can assist parents and their teens looking for ways to decrease their sodium intake, prevent obesity, and maximize their overall health.
McNamee David. Obese teens with a high salt intake “at risk of accelerated aging.” Medical News Today. March 21, 2014.
Sodium Accelerates Aging in Teens
Thursday, March 27, 2014
Symptoms are not the cause of sickness, but a manifestation. By removing the symptoms, are you leaving the sickness to advance?
With significant differences in manufacturing practices and the fact that they have only been on the market for a short period of time, little is known about the impact of e-cigarettes on health. A report from the American Medical Association had this to say:
“Because E-cigarettes have not been thoroughly tested, one cannot conclude that they do not produce any harmful products, even if they produce fewer dangerous substances than conventional cigarettes. In fact, analysis of two brands of e-cigarettes found detectable levels of known carcinogens and toxic chemicals (i.e., diethylene glycol, an ingredient used in antifreeze, small amounts of tobacco-specific nitrosamines, and certain other tobacco-specific impurities that may be harmful). To date, most research on e-cigarette ingredients, safety, health effects, and use by current smokers has been funded by manufacturers.”
Consumers will want to steer clear of e-cigarettes until manufacturing standards are established and there is sufficient data to better understand the potential health risks.
Are E-Cigarettes Safe?
Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Chiropractic is the second largest healing profession in the US. It uses only the body's own healing powers.
Chiropractic is the second largest healing profession in the US. It uses only the body's own healing powers.
Spinal disc surgery is one of the most commonly prescribed procedures for sciatica, but a new study suggests that treatment may not be the best option for many patients with back pain and sciatica. The study suggests that for a significant number of sciatica patients with lower back pain, herniated discs are not to blame for their symptoms, and therefore treatments aimed at spinal discs will do little to provide relief.
Sciatica is a debilitating condition caused by impingement or irritation of the sciatic nerve, leading to tingling sensations, numbness, and pain in the legs. These symptoms are frequently accompanied by lower back pain.
Researchers publishing in the journal PLoS One, tracked the progress of 379 patients with severe sciatica over the course of a year-long treatment. Overall, 221 suffered from sciatica without back pain, and 158 had sciatica with disability back pain. MRI scans revealed that only 68% of patients with sciatica and back pain showed signs of nerve root compression, compared to 88% of sciatica patients without back pain. Additionally, patients with sciatica had a higher likelihood of disc herniation than those with additional back pain (91% versus 76%).
The patients were randomly assigned to receive either lumbar disc surgery or conservative care managed by a general practitioner and/or a physiotherapist. At the one year follow up, the researchers discovered that sciatica patients without back pain had a better chance of recovery, regardless of treatment type. More surprisingly, patients who did have a herniated disc at the start of the study were actually more likely to recover. In contrast, the presence of lower back pain and/or the absence of a herniated disc was associated with more pain and disability after one year.
With the large percentage of patients suffering from sciatica in the absence of disc herniation or nerve compression, the researchers wrote, “The worldwide accepted mechanical compression theory therefore seems not to offer a sufficient explanation for the cause of the disabling back and leg symptoms in sciatica.” They pointed out that nerve root inflammation may be an additional cause of sciatica.
Research suggests that 15-40% of sciatica patients do find satisfactory relief one year after surgery. In fact, many of these patients develop recurring disc herniation, in what has been dubbed “failed back surgery syndrome.”
In order to successfully address sciatica, the study authors argued that patients be categorized into specific subgroups. “A shift from a ‘one-size fits all’ approach, where heterogeneous groups of patients receive broadly similar treatments, towards targeted treatments according to prognostic profiles or specific characteristics, may help to improve the treatment results,” the researchers wrote.
Chiropractors call on a broad base of non-invasive, drug-free treatment options when working with sciatica patients. Depending on your specific symptoms, your individualized treatment could include chiropractic adjustments, exercises, massage, physical therapy, spinal decompression, and more, depending on your chiropractor. If you suffer from both back pain and sciatica, chiropractic can help. Studies show that patients who receive chiropractic care and exercise therapies frequently find relief.
el Barzouhi, et al. Influence of low back pain and prognostic value of mri in sciatica patients to back pain. PLoS One 2014 ; 9(3): e90800.
Benefits of Disc Surgery for Sciatica Questioned
Tuesday, March 25, 2014
Studies over the past few years have begun to reveal that acetaminophen (the primary ingredient in Tylenol) is not as safe as it was once thought. A new study has shown an association between the use of acetaminophen during pregnancy and the “risk for developing attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)–like behavioral problems or hyperkinetic disorders (HKDs) in children.”
Researchers found that “children whose mothers used acetaminophen during pregnancy were at higher risk for receiving a hospital diagnosis of HKD, use of ADHD medications, or having ADHD-like behaviors at age 7 years. Stronger associations were observed with use in more than 1 trimester during pregnancy.” They ultimately conclude “maternal acetaminophen use during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk for HKDs and ADHD-like behaviors in children.”
What makes this study most profound is that acetaminophen is probably the most commonly used/prescribed drug for pain and fever during pregnancy. Women will want to look at more natural ways of addressing pain and discomfort during pregnancy like chiropractic and massage.
Tylenol Causes ADHD?
Monday, March 24, 2014
A new study demonstrates how chiropractic care provided significant pain relief for a basketball player with an elbow injury.
The case study, published in the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, involved a 41-year old man who had fallen on his left elbow during a game of basketball five weeks prior. The man reported moderate pain, and could not play basketball or perform other activities involving his left elbow without experiencing pain. After a physical examination, it was discovered that not only did the patient show signs of tendon injury in the elbow, he also had dysfunctional segments in the mid-back (thoracic spine), along with a forward shoulder posturing.
The patient was treated with multimodal chiropractic care which included high-velocity, low-amplitude spinal manipulation of the thoracic spine, as well as acupuncture and Active Release Technique applied to the elbow. Active Release Technique is a specific soft tissue therapy in which the practitioner applies deep tension to an area of tenderness as the patient actively moves the tissue through specific movements in order to release fibrous adhesions. The patient was also prescribed home exercises following the Brugger’s exercise protocol to address postural dysfunction.
One week after receiving his first session of the multimodal chiropractic care, the patient reported a near resolution of symptoms. His pain had dropped from a 5 out of 10 to a 1 out of 10, and he said he felt he could engage in his regular recreational activities with only minimal pain. These relief remained constant at the six-month follow-up. No adverse events were reported.
“A combination of acupuncture, ART® and spinal manipulation seemed to have been effective at resolving the patient’s complaints and allowing him to return to normal activities,” the researchers concluded. They wrote that theirs is the first study to observe the effects of such a combined treatment on elbow tendinopathy.
Although this study specifically examined the effects of chiropractic for an acute elbow tendon injury, chiropractic care can also help with chronic elbow pain caused by repetitive motions, like tennis elbow.
Gliedt JA and Daniels CJ. Chiropractic management of elbow tendinopathy following sports related trauma. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association 2014; 58(1): 52–57.
Chiropractic for Sports-related Elbow Pain
Saturday, March 22, 2014