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Health-E-News July 2012
empowering you to optimal health
Back and neck pain don't just affect adults, they also affect children.
According to a recent study that tracked the incidence of back and neck pain from childhood to adolescence, one in 10 children (age 9) suffer from neck pain and one in three suffer back pain. The percentages dip a bit at age 13, but then climb dramatically by age 15.
Here's what the research shows:
|Percentage Reporting Neck Pain
||Percentage Reporting Back Pain
|Age 9: 10%
||Age 9: 33%
|Age 13: 7%
||Age 13: 28%
|Age 15: 15%
||Age 15: 48%
By age 15, nearly one in six adolescents report neck pain and nearly one in two report back pain.
Back and neck pain affect people of all ages; that's the bottom line. If your children haven't been checked by us, there's no better time than now - regardless of whether they're complaining of pain in the back, neck or elsewhere.
Preventing pain and problems before they start is the secret to lasting health and wellness.
10 Very Bad Habits That Are Actually Good For You
- Daydreaming - Your teachers scolded you as a child, but it turns out daydreamers aren't the lazy procrastinators people think they are. When you daydream, your brain is actually very active, and that includes the brain region known as the "executive network," which is associated with high-level thinking and complex problem-solving. Letting your mind wander may be nature's way of helping you work through difficult issues in your life; studies show it also boosts creativity and helps you think abstractly, which may be useful for improving your empathy and social relationships.
- Eating Chocolate - It's ok to indulge in a bit of chocolate - particularly if its dark chocolate. The humble cocoa bean contains potent antioxidants that are quite good for your heart. One recent study even found that those who ate the most chocolate had a 37% reduction in heart disease and a 29% reduction in stroke compared to those who ate the lowest levels. As a general rule, the darker (and more bitter) the chocolate, the healthier it is.
- Eating Fat - Many types of fat are actually good for you. You're probably familiar with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats in foods like olive oil, nuts and avocado, but there's also omega-3 fats, found in fish and fish oil, which are also beneficial for your heart, your brain, cancer and much more. Another study found that supplementing your diet with coconut oil (rich in saturated fat) helps to reduce abdominal obesity.
- Drinking Alcohol - Light to moderate alcohol consumption has been linked to lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and cognitive decline. Red wine, which is rich in antioxidants, is often touted as the "healthiest" type of alcohol, but even beer has been linked to these benefits. The U.S. Department of Agriculture even said that moderate drinking may save 26,000 lives a year due to these benefits! What is moderate drinking? No more than 2 drinks a day for men and 1 a day for women. If you have an alcohol addiction, of course, it's best to abstain regardless.
- Getting Angry - Getting angry actually has psychological benefits when channeled appropriately. For starters, anger can motivate you to take action when it's necessary (such as standing up for a good cause) and it can help you communicate in your personal relationships. Hiding your anger in a relationship can be detrimental and may hinder your ability to solve problems or lead to a bigger blowup in the future. Many also find that getting angry allows for self-reflection, including insights into your own faults, which can prompt positive change. So letting your anger out, responsibly and appropriately, can indeed be a very good thing.
- Being Out in the Sun - If you're still shunning the sun for fear of skin cancer, you should know that many experts are now advising sensible sun exposure on a daily basis. When the sun hits your bare skin (i.e. without sunscreen), your body produces vitamin D, optimal levels of which can reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, depression, obesity, Alzheimer's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and much more. Many people are dangerously deficient in vitamin D, so some safe sun exposure would be beneficial (as long as you don't get burned).
- Grilling - Grilling foods can create the formation of cancer-causing chemicals called HCA's (heterocyclic amines). But, marinating meats for at least several hours beforehand in liquid mixtures that contain rosemary and other herbs/spices can dramatically help to reduce HCAs. It appears that the highly potent antioxidants in these herbs prevent HCA formation.
- Drinking Coffee - Coffee has antioxidant properties and drinking 1 to 2 cups a day has been linked to health advantages ranging from a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and gallstones to improved cognitive function. If you're going to drink coffee, dark roast appears to be the best, offering superior improvements in antioxidant levels and even helping people to lose weight, compared to lighter roasts. Try an organic, fair trade coffee to maximize the benefits.
- Playing Video Games - Video games do offer players some unique benefits, including greater dexterity, more acute eyesight, faster reflexes, quicker decision-making (without sacrificing accuracy), and even improvements in memory and creativity. One recent study even found that specially designed video games (such as one based on killing cancer cells in your body, designed for cancer patients) can boost positive motivation, leading to improvements in health and behavior.
- Taking Naps -
It's a shame napping is generally frowned upon in some cultures and recommended in others (like the Mediterranean). Naps lower your risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, but they've also been found to improve creating thinking, memory and learning. For best results, keep your naps short, from a few minutes up to a half hour (too much longer and it might make you groggy).
Research Shows Chiropractic is Cost-Effective
A news release issued on May 22, 2012, by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP) notes that a growing body of evidence shows that chiropractic is an affordable choice within emerging value-based health plans and may represent a significant advancement in cost and clinical effectiveness.
The release cites a research study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, titled, "A Hospital-Based Standardized Spine Care Pathway: Report of a Multidisciplinary, Evidence-Based Process". The evidence shows that, "of 402 low back pain patients treated exclusively by doctors of chiropractic at the low back pain program implemented at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, Mass., achieved successful clinical outcomes in an average of 5.2 visits at the low cost of $302 per case, while maintaining satisfaction rates above 95 percent."
Additionally, the study showed that the participants self-reported pain and disability scores were reduced by about 70 percent over the course of just a few weeks.
The F4CP release also pointed out that one insurance company has already started promoting more affordable and effective care by noting, "Highmark Inc., an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, recently introduced a new health plan that utilizes incentives to further engage employees in their healthcare. Specifically, employees are encouraged to better understand less invasive, less costly approaches, such as chiropractic care, before considering more costly and clinically variable procedures, like back surgery and/or knee/hip replacements."
"Research continues to accumulate in support of value-based approaches to inclusion of chiropractic services in employer health benefits design," stated Bruce Sherman, MD, former medical director, Whirlpool Corporation and contributing author of Outcomes-Based Contracting- The Value-Based Approach for Optimal Health with Chiropractic Services. "As employers expand their approach to implementing value-based plans, these additional findings increasingly demonstrate the potential value that inclusion of chiropractic services may provide."
Gerard W. Clum, DC, a spokesperson for the F4CP and an academic leader within the chiropractic profession for nearly three decades, summed up the trend by saying, "This is an exhilarating time for the (chiropractic) profession as employers seek to implement benefit plans with more valuable fundamentals. I expect that, as employers learn more about value-based plans with chiropractic, they will be pleased with the potential results - better outcomes, less costs and increased patient satisfaction."
Chiropractic Adjustments and Exercise Better than Drugs for Neck Pain
New research shows that seeing a chiropractor or doing simple home exercises relieve neck pain more effectively than taking medication.
New research from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota shows that seeing a Chiropractor or doing simple home exercises like neck bends can relieve neck pain more effectively than taking pain meds like ibuprofen, Tylenol, or even narcotics. Scientists tracked more than 270 people to find that 57 percent of those who saw a Chiropractor and 48 percent of those who did home exercises daily had a 75 percent drop in pain after three months; only 33 percent who took drugs reported the same relief. While popping a pill may be an instant palliative, therapy can trump prescription meds in as little as two weeks' time, says lead author Gert Bronfort.