August 2017 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Back Pain Healthcare Costs Enormous
» Headaches and Chiropractic
» Gain The Weight, Gain The Spinal Pain
» New Study Sheds Further Light on the Risks of Opioid Use
» More Exercises Are Proving Helpful for Optimal Brain Health & Function

Back Pain Healthcare Costs Enormous  
Back pain and spinal problems are increasingly burdening the healthcare system within the U.S. as well as many other countries throughout the world. The latest numbers come in close to $86 billion - the annual cost of treating spinal problems in the United States alone. This number equates to a 65 percent increase in the cost of treating back and spine related disorders in just the past decade. Worse yet, new research indicates people's back and spine related problems are no better off. So whatís the deal? Experts state increased spending on prescription drugs, more advanced diagnostic testing and increases in the number and cost of spinal surgeries are partly to blame. While this is unfortunate, it's clear that the current overall methodology of treatment is not successful since significantly increasing costs shouldn't result in a poorer outcome for back and spinal disorder sufferers. Chiropractic care is safe, non-invasive and highly effective in the management of many spinal disorders including some of the most common causes of back pain. Chiropractic care has also been shown to be a very cost-effective treatment for certain back and spinal problems. In fact, chiropractic doctors receive so much back and spine related training that most chiropractic students purchase models of the human spine to study extensively during their chiropractic training.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Journal of the American Medical Association. 2008;299(6):656-664.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2008


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Headaches and Chiropractic  
The title above is from a release by the American Chiropractic Association on August 2, 2013, that appeared in several news outlets including the American News. The release, and several associated news articles discuss how chiropractic helps people who suffer from headaches. The ACA release begins by noting, "If you have a headache, you're not alone. Nine out of ten Americans suffer from headaches. Some are occasional, some frequent, some are dull and throbbing, and some cause debilitating pain and nausea." Another article about chiropractic and headaches in the Merritt Herald from Canada on July 24, 2013, starts by stating, "Did you know that one of the most common forms of headache is actually caused by problems in the neck?" The ACA release reported on research of how chiropractic helps headaches by noting, "A report released in 2001 by researchers at the Duke University Evidence-Based Practice Center in Durham, N.C., found that spinal manipulation (adjustments) resulted in almost immediate improvement for those headaches that originate in the neck, and had significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief of tension-type headache than a commonly prescribed medication." Using chiropractic care for headaches is not a common medical procedure. This fact was illustrated in the Merritt Herald article, "Unfortunately, the medical understanding of headaches often does not take into account the chiropractic model, which remains foreign to many within the medical profession." The Merritt Herald article also reported that this information is not new, noting that, "In 1995, a team of MDs at Syracuse University established neck problems as the cause of many headaches with scientific, anatomical proof." The researchers were headed up by Dr. Rothbart, a medical doctor. In an interview after the research, Dr. Rothbart stated, "Some brilliant people have put their hearts, souls and minds to this (headache) problem and haven't come up with anything. All we've been able to do is treat people with an array of medicines, one after the other, and hope the side effects won't be too bad. We couldn't believe it at first. We've been able to put together a scientific explanation for how neck structure causes headaches ó not all headaches, but a significant number of them. It's true that chiropractors have been saying this for years. Unfortunately, many (medical) doctors tend to have a jaundiced view of chiropractors, but they were right about headaches."

Author:Dr.Rothbart
Source:American Chiropractic Association
Copyright:Dr. Rothbart 2013


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Gain The Weight, Gain The Spinal Pain  

A recent Norway study indicates that in both men and women obesity is strongly associated with chronic low back pain. The increased weight of being obese wreaks havoc on the spinal tissues that are placed under constant and increased stress due to the additional weight. Fortunately, most obesity is treatable and with loss of the additional weight, many experience significant improvements in their back pain complaints, not to mention the improvement or reversal of many other related health conditions. Fortunately, chiropractic care can still help before the additional weight comes off, or, if the additional weight cannot be lost. Chiropractors not only provide relief for many experiencing back pain due to obesity, but some additionally offer treatment programs directed at weight loss and strategies to improve oneís overall health. If youíve got extra pounds to lose and are suffering from back problems, you deserve an opportunity to try chiropractic care!

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:Spine. Volume 35. Issue 7.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2010


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New Study Sheds Further Light on the Risks of Opioid Use  

As you have probably heard, the country is currently in the grips of a massive opioid epidemic. In 2010, 16,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. That was four times as many as in 1999. By 2015, that number had nearly tripled to 52,000 deaths. The death toll continues to rise. This problem is formally recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services. This past March, the governor of Maryland even went so far as to declare a State of Emergency because of the problemís severity. While the epidemic is full of complexity, one factor certainly playing a role in its growth is that these powerful medications are prescribed to many patients after only minor operations.†

Factors That May Lead to Opioid Abuse

According to a recent study, patients are equally likely to become chronic opioid users after minor operations as they are following major ones. Among people who are prescribed opioids for reasons unrelated to surgery, only 0.4% will develop a problem. After a major surgery, the rate is 6.5%. However, that is only slightly higher than the rate for patients who have had minor operations, which is 5.9%. A better identifier for who will become a chronic user seems to be the personís history with chronic pain. Those who became addicted to opioids after any type of surgery were 50% more likely to have previously suffered from arthritis or chronic back pain. Smoking also played a role. Smokers were 34% more likely to abuse opioids they were prescribed following surgery. For those who had preexisting substance or alcohol use problems, the odds of becoming addicted were also 34% higher.† These factors have led many experts to call for better screening practices before opioids are prescribed.††

Donít Risk Becoming a Victim of the Opioid Epidemic

No one plans to become addicted to opioids, but when you combine the strength of these drugs and the pain people are often in when they begin taking them, itís not hard to see how we got to a crisis. It also shouldnít come as too much of a surprise that people with chronic back pain are especially susceptible to becoming addicted. The pain can be so severe that patients will accept just about any fate if it means some kind of relief. Fortunately, if you experience pain, your local chiropractor may be able to help. Their noninvasive treatments can be quick, are often highly effective, and importantly donít involve the use of prescription medications. In fact, some patients feel better than they have in years after just one adjustment. Call your local chiropractor today if youíre suffering from pain that wonít seem to go away.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:JAMA Surgery, online April 12, 2017.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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More Exercises Are Proving Helpful for Optimal Brain Health & Function  

How can you boost brain power? Itís an important question to ask, especially with the rise of dementia and Alzheimerís diseases. Is there really anything that can be done to achieve optimal brain health in an effort to ward off these debilitating diseases? Indeed there is! Reuters recently reported on a study that found more and more physical exercises are proving useful for brain health. Tai Chi seems to dominate the cognitive function category. But theyíre definitely not alone Ė which is great news for people who like activities that are more energetic. A variety of strength training and aerobic exercises have been shown to slow cognitive decline in adults over the age of 50. Neurons in the brain fire whenever people are engaged in a form of physical activity. Even something like walking regularly can have a profound effect on brain function. The neurons in the brain fire whenever people have to balance and contract their muscles. Not only does the rapid firing help the body to perform these functions even better, they keep the brain active and healthy. The Harvard Health Blog recommends walking at the very least. If people arenít into that, they can try:

  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics Classes

 

And even hiring a personal trainer. The goal here is not so much what type of physical activity a person engages in, but the regularity in which they do it. Exercising at least three days a week is a good start for achieving optimal brain health.

Author:ChiroPlanet.com
Source:British Journal of Sports Medicine, online April 24, 2017.
Copyright:ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


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