Health-E-News. April 2009
empowering you to optimal health
Extension Type Exercises May Reverse Disc Prolapse
A new study indicates that repeated extension may cause a reversal of prolapse in intervertebral discs.
Scientists tested 18 porcine C3/4 discs. First, they used compression and repeated flexion, which caused prolapse of the disc nucleus into the annulus in 11 discs. Next, they subjected the prolapsed discs to repeated extension.
According to the report, "prolapsed nucleus was reduced in 5 of the 11 prolapsed specimens after the reversal testing, whereas the remaining 6 did not change."
The study's authors write: "This study showed that with repeated flexion, in porcine cervical spines, disc prolapse was initiated and that the displaced portion of nucleus can be directed back towards the center of the disc in response to particular active and passive movements/positions."
Spine - February 15, 2009;34:344-50.
Ask us which extension type exercise is best for you.
One In Seven American Kids Are Vitamin D Deficient
One in seven American adolescents is vitamin D deficient, according to a new study in the journal Pediatrics.
The study employs a new definition of vitamin D deficiency recommended by a group of scientists attending the 13th Workshop Consensus for Vitamin D Nutritional Guidelines in 2007. These experts collectively proposed that the minimum acceptable serum vitamin D level be raised from 11 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) to at least 20 ng/mL.
Using the newer criteria, the study finds more than half of African-American teens are vitamin D deficient. Girls had more than twice the risk of deficiency compared with boys. And overweight teens had nearly double the risk of their normal-weight counterparts.
"These are alarming findings. We need to do a better job of educating the public on the importance of vitamin D, and the best ways to get it. To meet minimum nutritional requirements teens would need to consume at least four glasses of fortified milk daily or its dietary equivalent. Other foods rich in vitamin D include salmon, tuna, eggs and fortified cereals. A vitamin supplement containing 400 IU of vitamin D is another alternative," says researcher Dr. Sandy Saintonge. "We should also consider a national fortification strategy, perhaps including routine supplementation and monitoring of serum levels, but more research is needed to determine optimal vitamin D levels."
Of the specific findings, the authors were particularly concerned about the role of weight in deficiency. "Because vitamin D is stored in body fat, simply increasing the dosage of vitamin D may not be effective in overweight adolescents," notes senior author Dr. Linda M. Gerber.
The study pooled data from 2,955 participants aged 12 to 19 years.
Pediatrics - March 2009;123:797-803.
Chiropractic Adjustments and Resistance Training Reduce Fibromyalgia
The combination of chiropractic care and resistance training is highly effective for improving functioning in women with fibromyalgia (FM), according to research conducted at Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.
As part of the experiment, 48 women with FM were assigned to one of two groups. Both groups completed 16 weeks of resistance training, which consisted of 10 exercises performed two times per week. One of the groups also received chiropractic care two times per week.
The study's authors explain that, "strength was assessed using one repetition maximum for the chest press and leg extension. FM impact was measured using the FM impact questionnaire, myalgic score, and the number of active tender points. Functionality was assessed using the 10-item Continuous Scale Physical Functional Performance test. Analyses of variance with repeated measures compared groups before and after the intervention."
The analysis concludes that "in women with FM, resistance training improves strength, FM impact, and strength domains of functionality. The addition of chiropractic treatment improved adherence and dropout rates to the resistance training and facilitated greater improvements in the domains of functionality."
Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine - February 28, 2009;Epub.
Weather Does Cause Headaches
A new study shows that higher temperatures and lower barometric air pressure may lead to a higher, short-term risk of headaches, but air pollution may not have a significant effect on headache. The research is published in today's issue of Neurology.
For the study, researchers looked at 7,054 people who were diagnosed with headache in a Boston emergency department over seven years. Scientists then compared temperature levels, barometric pressure, humidity and other air pollutant or weather factors during one to three days leading up to the hospital visit.
The study found that higher temperatures increased the risk of headache. The risk went up by 7.5 percent for every five degree Celsius increase in temperature. Lower barometric air pressure within the two or three days leading up to a person's hospital visit also increased the risk of non-migraine headaches. Air pollution levels had no affect on the risk of headache in the study.
"Air temperature and pressure have been widely cited as a possible trigger for headaches, particularly migraines, but the potential connection hasn't been well-documented," says study author Kenneth Mukamal, MD.
"There is growing interest in exploring whether there is any link between air pollution and headaches. While our study did not find an association, other studies have shown that air pollution has possible links to other health problems like heart disease and stroke," adds Dr. Mukamal.
Neurology - March 2009;72:922-927.
Stress and Healing
Chiropractors have known that stress can reduce healing time. Thus, along with Chiropractic adjustments, steps to reduce mental stress will go a long way in how fast your body heals itself.
A recent study shows that stress is a factor in the healing of wounds, according to findings presented last week at the American Psychosomatic Society's 67th annual meeting at the Chicago.
"We believe what may improve healing in one tissue type may possibly worsen healing in a different type of tissue," notes study author Christopher Engeland.
In the new study, 65 UIC dental students received a small circular wound and a small longitudinal wound on the hard palate of the mouth at two different times: during the high-stress week of examinations, and during their relatively relaxed summer vacation.
The researchers found that wound closure was delayed during high stress. The stress of examinations was associated with a state of "hyper-inflammation" in healthy tissue and higher inflammatory responses in wounded tissue, comments Engeland.
Previous studies showed that stress is associated with reduced inflammation in skin wounds, an effect that appears to be reversed in the mucosal tissue of the palate. The paradox suggests that attempts to improve healing by altering inflammation should be made in a tissue-specific manner, Engeland suggests.
American Psychosomatic Society - March 8, 2009.
Stay Active To Stay Young
A new report in the Mayo Clinic Health Letter recommends staying active in order to reduce some of the discomforts associated with aging.
While many tend to blame those stiff, aching joints and sore backs on their increasing age, experts believe that many of these aches and pains can be reduced if not eliminated by implementing an exercise regimen and/or simply remaining active.
Other studies show exercise and physical activity help to lower the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well as improve energy and immune function. It's never too late to start exercising, and simply going for a 20 minute walk has great benefits.
Want to maximize your exercise and feel even younger? Come in and get checked to ensure that your spinal joints are moving freely and your nerve system is working at it's best!