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Health-E-News. October 2008
empowering you to optimal health

Another Study Shows Chiropractic Is Safe

A comprehensive analysis concludes that the possible adverse effects of chiropractic care are typically very mild, and that serious adverse events are extremely rare.

The researchers write: "This synopsis provides an overview of the benign and serious risks associated with chiropractic care for subjects with neck or low-back pain. Most adverse events associated with spinal manipulation are benign and self-limiting. The incidence of severe complications following chiropractic care and manipulation is extremely low. The best evidence suggests that chiropractic care is a useful therapy for subjects with neck or low-back pain for which the risks of serious adverse events should be considered negligible."

JMPT - August, 2008;31:461-4.


Chiropractic Helps Pregnancy Related Low Back Pain

A review study indicates that chiropractic care is beneficial for pregnancy-related low back pain (LBP). However, more high-quality studies are needed.

Six studies met the review's inclusion criteria in the form of 1 quasi-experimental single-group pretest-posttest design, 4 case series, and 1 cross-sectional case series study; their quality scores ranged from 5 to 14 of 27.

All of the six studies included showed positive results for chiropractic care of LBP during pregnancy. "However, the low-to-moderate quality of evidence of the included studies preclude any definitive statement as to the efficacy of such care because all studies lacked both randomization and control groups. Given the relatively common use of chiropractic care during pregnancy, there is need for higher quality observational studies and controlled trials to determine efficacy."

JMPT - August, 2008;31:447-54.

Eat Broccoli For Healthy Lungs

broccoliChemicals in broccoli may alleviate chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in smokers, say scientists.

When compared to non-COPD lungs, the lungs of patients with COPD showed markedly decreased levels of key components of the lung's defense system against inflammatory injury called NRF2-dependent antioxidants. There was also a decrease of other chemicals that prevent lung disease, such as DJ-1, which stabilizes NRF2.

"NRF2-dependent antioxidants and DJ-1 expression was negatively associated with severity of COPD," wrote principle investigator, Shyam Biswal, PhD. "Therapy directed toward enhancing NRF2-regulated antioxidants may be a novel strategy for attenuating the effects of oxidative stress in the pathogenesis of COPD."

"This has been achieved in vitro and in vivo by isothiocynate compounds, such as sulforaphane, which occurs naturally in broccoli and [wasabi]" adds Peter Barnes, DM.

AJRCCM - September 2008;178:578-604.


Smile And Be Happy For Better Health

Healthy people might be happier, and people who are happy and satisfied with their lives might be healthier, according to a new report. And, the benefit comes with a quick turnaround time, with greater happiness possibly boosting health in as little as three years.

"Everything else being equal, if you are happy and satisfied with your life now, you are more likely to be healthy in the future. Importantly, our results are independent of several factors that impact on health, such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and age," comments lead author Mohammad Siahpush, PhD.

The researchers looked at data from two waves of an Australian survey conducted in 2001 and 2004. Nearly 10,000 adults responded to items about health indicators including the presence of long-term, limiting health conditions and physical health.

"We found strong evidence that both happiness and life satisfaction have an effect on our indicators of health," Dr. Siahpush explains.

Specifically, happiness and life satisfaction at the baseline survey were both associated with (1) excellent, good or very good health; (2) the absence of long-term, limiting health concerns and (3) higher levels of physical health three years later.

In addition, "there are indications that as you become happier and more satisfied with your life, you tend to become healthier as well," Dr. Siahpush notes.

American Journal of Health Promotion - September/October 2008;32(1).

Walk A Little More And Take Stairs For A Healthier Heart

Researchers in Switzerland have found that simply switching from taking the elevator at work to taking the stairs may have a dramatic impact on cardiovascular health.

The investigation followed 69 sedentary employees of the University Hospital in Geneva. For 12 weeks the subjects used the stairs, rather than the elevator at work. Their average use of stairs climbed from 23 stories a day, compared with 5 stories prior to the study. This equates to a substantial gain in cardiovascular fitness and a 15% drop in the risk of dying from any cause.

European Society of Cardiology - September 3, 2008.

Benefits of Walking

You don't need to become a member of an expensive gym to go walking. And except for a good pair of walking shoes, it requires virtually no equipment.

A sedentary lifestyle has a debilitating influence on people's health as they age, therefore exercise is imperative. Walking accomplishes all of the following and more:

  • Improves cardiovascular endurance
  • Tones muscles of the lower body
  • Burns calories: about 80 if walking 2 miles per hour, and about 107 if walking 4.5 miles per hour
  • Reduces risk of heart disease

Selecting Shoes

The first item of business when beginning your walking program is to select the right pair of shoes. Too many people choose fashion over function when purchasing running shoes, not realizing that poor-fitting shoes can do more than hurt their stride; they can also lead to pain throughout the body.

  • Make sure the shoes you purchase fit properly. The balls of your feet should rest exactly at the point where the toe end of the shoe bends during walking.
  • Select shoes with plenty of cushioning in the soles to absorb the impact.
  • Shop for sneakers at the end of the day or after a workout when your feet are generally at their largest. Wear the type of socks you usually wear during exercise.
  • When trying on shoes, be sure to wear them for at least 10 minutes at the store.

Once you have purchased a pair of shoes, don't walk them into the ground. While estimates vary as to when is the best time to replace old shoes, most experts agree that between 300 and 500 miles is optimal.

Getting Started

Walking just 12 minutes every other day can offer important health benefits. But in order to increase your longevity, try to eventually work up to 30 minutes, five days per week. Experts generally agree that to be considered "active," adults should try to take 10,000 steps each day. Wearing a pedometer is an easy way to track your progress.

The following tips can help you get started on your walking regimen:

  • Move your arms freely, in coordination with the opposite leg.
  • Don't stoop your head or look down as you walk. This will challenge the normal forward curve of your neck, which, in turn, will cause you to carry your weight improperly.
  • Don't carry weights or dumbbells while walking. They're better used as a separate part of your exercise regimen.
  • Expect a little soreness in the thighs and calves for the first week or two. If you experience more than soreness, check with your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Walk briskly, with "purpose." Simply sauntering, while relaxing and enjoyable, is not an effective form of cardiovascular exercise.

Walking Surfaces

Some walking surfaces are better than others on your musculoskeletal system.

  • Walking on a cushioned or rubberized track is ideal, because the cushioning of this type of track absorbs most of the impact of your walking. Many recreation centers offer this type of track free of charge.
  • Grass is another good surface, but watch out for hidden dips or holes in the ground.
  • Walking on a surface with no give, such as concrete or a mall floor, is not your best choice, because this type of surface will not absorb much of the impact your body will experience. If you do choose to walk on such a surface, be extra careful to select highly cushioned shoes.

Please consult with us before beginning any exercise program.



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