Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: April 2017 Health Newsletter

April 2017 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Survival Tips for Standing in Line This Holiday Season
» For Low Back Pain, the ACP Recommends Drug-Free Treatments First
» Multi-Tasking Surgeons: What People Don’t Know
» Research Shows Link Between Obesity and Developing 11 Types of Cancer

Survival Tips for Standing in Line This Holiday Season

The holiday season is here and with it comes lots of reasons for good cheer…but it can also bring added demands and stress for our bodies. Whether you're shopping for presents, waiting to pick up the perfect dessert or checking out a holiday performance, chances are you'll spend a good deal of time standing in line this season.  The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers the following tips to help you avoid muscle cramps, neck stiffness and back pain while waiting in line.  First, dress the part. If you're planning to spend the day shopping or strolling around town checking out the holiday displays, wear comfortable, supportive shoes—not high heels. It's also a good idea to dress in layers so that you will be comfortable going from outdoors to indoors, and vise-versa. And leave huge shoulder bags at home; bring only those items that are necessary for your day—wallet, keys, cell phone—and consider carrying a fanny pack or a backpack rather than a one-shoulder purse.  Once you're actually in line, there are several stretches that you can do to keep your legs from cramping and your back from aching. Start with your toes and work your way up:

  • Spread your toes out as wide as you can and hold for a few seconds and then bring them back to neutral.
  • Stand on one foot while you rotate the opposite ankle and then switch legs.
  • To stretch your calves, lean forward on your toes keeping your legs straight.
  • Bend your knees a little bit, just 5 to 10 degrees, and then straighten them.     
  • Tighten the muscles in your thighs and bottom and hold for 5 seconds and then release.
  • Tuck your butt underneath while sticking your bellybutton out then switch and stick your butt out. This pelvic tilt can be a very small movement, but it is great for taking the pressure off your lower back.    
  • Roll your shoulders backwards several times and then push your shoulder blades together to stretch out your chest.    
  • Open your hands as wide as you can and then gently close them.    
  • In addition to stretching, shift your weight and alter your stance every 3 to 5 minutes to give your body a postural break.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: American Chiropractic Association. November 03, 2010.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2010

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For Low Back Pain, the ACP Recommends Drug-Free Treatments First
The American College of Physicians (ACP) recently released brand-new guidelines regarding treatment for low back pain.  The Annals of Internal Medicine published the ACP's updated guidelines, which are based on a "systematic review of the evidence." This means that a variety of studies were reviewed that examined the effectiveness of both non-drug and drug-based low back pain treatments. Overwhelmingly, non-drug treatments came out ahead.  The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) fully backs these new recommendations, as chiropractic champions treatments without drugs and conservative approaches to back pain. Likewise, the guidelines recommend trying treatments like acupuncture, massage, heat therapy, and others for relief. If these don't work, then patients can try treatments like muscle relaxants or over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen.  For patients who still have pain after trying all of the above, prescription drugs like opioids should only be used as a final measure. The reason is that opioids are notorious for being highly addictive and come with a risk of overdose – negatives which make them highly undesirable and to be used in extreme cases as a last resort option. As the ACA notes, the ACP's guidelines push the current in the right direction, as chiropractic has been proven effective for a wide array of bodily pain. Common treatments include spinal manipulation, physical therapy, and a combination of healthy diet and lifestyle changes

Source: American Chiropractic Association, online Feb 14, 2017.
Copyright: LLC 2017

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Multi-Tasking Surgeons: What People Don’t Know

A recent study by the Journal of the American College of Surgeons looked at how many people had heard of something called "overlapping surgery." Overlapping Surgery is when a surgeon performs a critical part of an operation, then leaves a non-critical part to a different surgeon in training, or a physician's assistant, so they can head to a totally different surgery and do the same thing. A common scenario is when the main surgeon leaves closing incisions to an underling so they can move to a different procedure with a different patient. According to the study, although common practice, only a tiny margin of the people surveyed had heard of this practice (4% out of over 1,400 respondents). Almost all of the respondents thought that the patient should be informed of it before going under the knife. Specifically, they thought that patients should know who will perform what aspect of the surgery, including who would be in the room and the role of trainees. Therefore, if you or a loved one is going under the knife, ensure to thoroughly ask who will be involved with all aspects of the surgery so you remain fully informed.

Source: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, online Feb 11, 2017.
Copyright: LLC 2017

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Research Shows Link Between Obesity and Developing 11 Types of Cancer

According to a recent review of research by The BMJ, the tie between obesity and 11 different types of cancers has been strengthened. According to Reuters, the review looked at a larger group of hundreds of studies published in the past that specifically examined the relationship between obesity and 36 types of cancers. Scholars looked for signs that the already-established link between cancer and obesity had been exaggerated, and in the process found a stronger correlation between obesity and 11 specific cancers. In particular, cancers of the organs in the digestive tract as well as women’s reproductive organs were found to have the strongest links to obesity. These include kidney, colon, pancreas, and rectal cancer as well as bone marrow, ovarian, and breast cancer. In addition to these findings, the research review also found a strong connection between a high BMI (body mass index, which measures the ratio of weight to height) and cancers in the pancreas, kidney, esophagus, liver, and bone marrow. Excess weight carried around the midsection also has risk factors for cancer, as women with extra weight and belly fat were found to have an increased chance of developing endometrial cancer. In fact, the risk increases the higher the waist-to-hip ratio (the measurement for belly fat). The takeaway? People can lower their risk for cancer by staying at a consistently healthy weight.

Source: The BMJ, online Feb 28, 2017.
Copyright: LLC 2017

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