Posts for: July, 2015
The potential health consequences of obesity include diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer, and that's just for starters.
What's worse, even if you manage to avoid those health risks, a recent study suggests life won't be roses if you're carrying significant extra weight. According to research published in the Journal of Pain, obesity is associated with multi-site lower-body joint pain. Specifically, 26.3 percent of obese participants reported joint pain at two sites; and 31.6 percent reported pain at three sites. Only 20 percent of obese participants reported no joint pain.
If you're struggling with your weight, talk to your doctor. As a health care provider, it's their job to help you tackle the issue head on; after all, it's a health issue that can have major consequences. And remember, in the vast majority of cases, proper diet and consistent exercise are fundamental principles to help you achieve a healthy, long-term weight – not medication, surgical procedures or other "quick fixes." Why? Because in general, the latter may address the weight, but they won't address the underlying lifestyle issues that promoted weight gain in the first place.
If you've ever experienced a migraine headache, you know how debilitating it can be. According to the Mayo Clinic, "a migraine headache can cause intense throbbing or pulsing in one area of the head and is commonly accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraine attacks can cause significant pain for hours to days and be so severe that all you can think about is finding a dark, quiet place to lie down."
Nearly 30 million American suffer migraine headaches, with women more than three times as likely as men to be victims. Too often, medication is the first-line treatment strategy to control symptoms – particularly the pain – despite the fact that natural options are being shown to be just as, if not more, effective.
Case in point: a recent study that divided 91 adult migraine sufferers into three groups for comparison. One group received topiramate (brand name: Topamax), an anti-convulsant also approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment and prevention of migraines; a second group exercised 40 minutes a day, three times a week; and the third group performed relaxation exercises over the course of the study period. After three months, results showed no significant differences between the three groups: all three interventions reduced the frequency of migraine occurrence.
If you suffer from migraines, your doctor of chiropractic may recommend exercise or relaxation techniques to help treat your problem without having to resort to drugs, all of which come with a substantial list of side effects that can make you feel even worse. For example, among the potential side effects of topiramate are nausea, diarrhea and fatigue – just what youdon't need when you're dealing with a debilitating migraine.
Of course, your chiropractor may also perform chiropractic adjustments, which have been shown to be effective for headache symptoms. One study showed spinal manipulation to be as effective as amitriptyline for migraine symptoms; another study showed a significant reduction in frequency, duration and severity of migraines, as well as need for medication, following chiropractic manipulation. And nutritional support, such as magnesium supplementation, has also proven to be effective.
If you suffer from migraines, talk to your doctor of chiropractic about the drug-free options. Say no to medication and yes to natural care.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, approximately 31 million Americans are experiencing some level of back pain right at this moment.
Unfortunately though, back pain isn’t just a major issue in the U.S.—it is the top ranking cause of disability around the globe. That makes protecting its health a priority.
As Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” So, if you want to do what you can to reduce your risk of adding to these all-too-high statistics, following these seven basic healthy back tips.
1. Watch your posture
Perhaps the easiest thing you can do when it comes to having a healthy back is pay attention to your posture while you are sitting, standing, and walking. Your shoulders should be back and down, your head looking forward, and your pelvis tilted slightly in. If you work at a desk job, having an ergonomically correct desk and chair can help with this, as well.
2. Lift with your legs
Bend down with your knees and use your legs muscles to lift something versus bending over at the hips and using the muscles in your back. This applies to both heavy and light items, as both have the ability of causing back-related pain.
3. Maintain a healthy weight
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons states that obese individuals are four times more likely to suffer from back pain than a person who is at a healthy weight. The academy also points out that your risk of back pain increases with your weight, which means that even minor weight loss is enough to lower your back pain risk. Ideally, you want your body mass index (BMI) to be under 25, and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute offers an online calculator to help you determine yours.
4. Give up cigarettes
Research conducted by Northwestern University revealed “that smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic back pain.” Fortunately, quitting reduces your risk. Certainly, this isn’t always easy to do, but the American Cancer Society offers a Guide to Quitting Smoking that just may help.
5. Engage in regular physical exercise
Build the muscles in your core (your abdomen and back) via regular physical exercise, and they will likely be strong enough to help support your posture while you engage in the activities you enjoy most. The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that you do strength training exercises at least twice a week on non-consecutive days to achieve this goal.
6. Sleep on a good mattress
In an interview with WebMD, Arya Nick Shamie, MD, associate professor of orthopedic surgery and neurosurgery at Santa Monica UCLA Medical Center, advised choosing a mattress that properly supports your body. This generally means avoiding mattresses that are either too soft or too firm, as you want to support the natural curvature of your body.
7. See a chiropractor
Most people think of going to a chiropractor after being in pain, but the reality is that regular chiropractic visits are just as important when it comes to preventing health issues as going to the dentist semi-annually or seeing your family doctor for a physical once a year. To find one in your area, the American Chiropractic Association has an online searchable directory that lists their members.
Don’t let yourself become a statistic. Take care of your back today, and it will take care of you tomorrow.