Health-E-News. June 2008
empowering you to optimal health
Most Extensive Study on Neck Pain Dispels Myths and Supports Chiropractic Care
In a release published on May 7, 2008 in the Park Forest Illinois online publication, ENews, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (www.F4CP.org) cited a neck pain study to help dispel common myths. The release started by noting, "Results of the most significant study on neck pain to date, conducted by The Bone and Joint Decade's Neck Pain Task Force and reported in the journal SPINE (1/18/08), uncover prevailing fallacies in the diagnosis and treatment of neck pain. The ENews article pointed out that the United Nations and the World Health Organization have designated the years 2000 to 2010 as the "Decade of the Bone and Joint."
According to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress the findings result from a six-year review of more than 31,000 research citations with subsequent analysis of over 1,000 studies. The Foundation notes that the multi-disciplinary report, involved people from 19 areas of study and from eight collaborating universities in four countries. They state that this study is widely regarded as one of the most extensive reports on the subject of neck pain ever developed, and it offers the most current perspective on the scientific evidence related to the care and management of neck pain. One of the key findings was that "the use of highly invasive practices such as surgery are not indicated when addressing the most common examples of neck pain."
Gerard W. Clum, D.C., president of California-based Life Chiropractic College West and speaking on behalf of the not-for-profit Foundation commented, "This study validates that interventions such as spinal manipulation or spinal adjusting that promote regaining function and a return-to-work are more beneficial than usual care, sham or alternative interventions."
Dr. Clum also noted how common neck problems are, "A pain in the neck is a common adage for a good reason- - it is a widespread, annoying, aggravating and disabling problem affecting up to 70 percent of the population annually." He continued, "While this type of condition does not carry the life-or-death reality of a heart attack or cancer, it often undermines a person's quality of life over decades. People often say that time heals all wounds, but neck pain may be an exception that does not resolve well over time. In fact, it tends to worsen over time unless addressed effectively and efficiently."
"This authoritative study offers health care professionals - including primary care physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, physical therapists and others - a thoroughly documented overview of the strategies that have been established in the scientific literature to address neck pain," says Dr. Clum. He concluded his remarks by saying, "From my vantage point as a chiropractor, their recommendations greatly support the approach and forms of care provided by chiropractors, especially spinal adjustments that have been central to the practice of chiropractic."
Warning for Plastic Baby Bottles - Banned in Canada
A number of articles in the press announced that Canada will be the first nation to ban the import and sale of plastic polycarbonate baby bottles which are made with a certain type of plastic, bisphenol A. One such article appeared in the April 18, 2008 edition of Reuters news from Ottawa, Canada. The article reported that Health Minister Tony Clement said he would bring in rules to outlaw plastic polycarbonate baby bottles, probably within the next year.
The April 18, 2008 issue of Scientific American also ran an article that noted that Canadian retail chains have already started removing bottles and containers containing bisphenol A, citing public concerns about possible health risks. The chemical is used in 9 out of 10 baby bottles.
An article on May 6, 2008 in the Daily Mail from the United Kingdom warned that the chemical, bisphenol A mimics the female hormone estrogen, and can pass from clear plastics into milk, water and juice, particularly when containers are heated. They point out that scientists in the U.S. have linked exposure to low levels with fertility problems, breast cancer and early puberty.
Belinda Phipps, the chief executive of the National Childbirth Trust said, "As a first step, it is important that bottles and other items that might reach a baby's mouth are labeled in a standard and easy to understand way".
Elizabeth Salter Green, from the group Chemtrust, called for bisphenol A to be banned from all plastic products where there is a risk of the chemical leaching into milk or any item to be ingested. She said, "It is unwise to make products for vulnerable sections of society using this chemical," she said. "Because of its ability to leach out into milk, it should not be used in baby bottles."
Look for bisphenol A free plastics, and use glass wherever possible.
Green Tea May Prevent Apnea-Related Brain Damage
Sleep apnea may trigger neurological damage. However, compounds in green tea may prevent this damage.
Obstructive sleep apnea may cause dips in oxygen intake, which may damage the brain. The new study in rats found that the catechin and polyphenols in green tea neutralize free radicals, in turn warding off apnea-induced neurological damage.
AJRCCMI - May 15, 2008;177:1135-41.
Lack Of Vitamin D Tied With Back Pain
"Because vitamin D deficiency and chronic pain are fairly prevalent in older adults, these findings suggest it may be worthwhile to query older adults about their pain and screen older women with significant back pain for vitamin D deficiency," conclude the study's authors.
Low vitamin D levels are linked with back pain in older women - but not in men - finds a new report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
The scientists evaluated blood levels of vitamin D in 958 people aged 65 and older. Specifically, vitamin D was measured according to radioimmunoassay, and deficiency was defined as 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) less than 25 nmol/L.
Women with vitamin D deficiency were nearly twice as likely to suffer from moderate or severe back pain, compared with women without the deficiency. However, vitamin D status was not related to back pain in men, or to any other musculoskeletal pain in either men or women.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society - May 2008;56:785-91.
Can Stress Be Good?
Believe it or not - yes, stress can be good. Short term stress can heighten your sensory acuity, enhance performance, and motivate you.
Consider some of the recent research that points to the "positive" influence of stress on the body:
- Short bursts of stress hormones can strengthen the immune system and may protect against diseases associated with aging, such as Alzheimer's
- Elevated stress levels prior to surgery increase the chances that a patient will have a better recovery
However, long-term stress is debilitating to the body and weakens the immune system.
So what can you do to benefit and minimize stress? Chiropractic adjustments remove irritation to your nerves, thereby letting your body handle stress more efficiently. Patients often say after a program of Chiropractic care, they can handle more stress and don't get as 'stressed out' as they did before. What else can you do? Use food as fuel, to power your body to handle stress. Eating a wide variety of vegetables is key as they contain vital B vitamins your body needs during times of stress. Even going for a 20 minute walk can dramatically reduce the harmful effects of stress.
You can also change your breathing. Here's a simple breathing exercise that is known to help reduce blood pressure and 'de-stress' the body:
- Sit up straight. Exhale.
- Inhale and, at the same time, relax the belly muscles. Feel as though the belly is filling with air.
- After filling the belly, keep inhaling. Fill up the middle of your chest. Feel your chest and rib cage expand.
- Hold the breath in for a moment, then begin to exhale as slowly as possible.
- As the air is slowly let out, relax your chest and rib cage. Begin to pull your belly in to force out the remaining breath.
- Close your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing.
- Relax your face and mind.
- Let everything go.
- Repeat 5 times.
If you know someone who can use help handling stress, forward this newsletter onto them and have them call for a Chiropractic assessment to see how we can help.