Park Ridge Wellness Center

Epidural Corticosteroids for Sciatica: More Trouble Than They're Worth

Date: January 26, 2015 | Time: 7:07am

By Deborah Pate, DC, DACBR

Use of epidural steroid injections has increased dramatically in recent years, despite the fact that studies have failed to demonstrate evidence this procedure is clinically helpful (while other studies suggest it may actually be dangerous).

Steroid Injections for Sciatica: Small, Short-Term Relief Only

In a recent meta-analysis of 23 randomized trials involving more than 2,000 patients in which epidural steroid injections were compared with placebo for sciatica, epidural steroid injections produced small, statistically insignificant short-term improvements in leg pain and disability (but not less back pain) compared to placebo. This improvement also was only over a short period of time - two weeks to three months. Beyond 12 months, there was no significant difference between groups.1

Side Effects Including Skeletal Deterioration, Fracture Risk

Besides infection, there are other side effects associated with epidural steroid injections: bleeding, nerve damage and dural puncture. Then there are side effects associated with the steroid medication, which include the following: a transient decrease in immunity, high blood sugar, stomach ulcers, avascular necrosis (mainly in the hip joint), cataracts and increased risk of fracture.

This last complication is certainly not emphasized in clinical circles. Therapeutic steroids may reduce pain, however the use of steroid injections seem to promote deterioration of skeletal quality, which is not surprising since other forms of steroid medication have long been associated with osteoporosis.

A retrospective study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery looked at lumbar epidural steroid injection (LESI), and the potential impact on bone fragility and vertebral fractures (spinal fractures). Researchers identified a total of 50,345 patients who had medical diagnosis codes involving the spine; within that group, a total of 3,415 patients had received at least one LESI.

Three thousand patients were randomly selected from the 3,415 injected population and 3,000 additional patients were selected from the non-injected group as a control group. There was no significant difference between the injected and non-injected groups with respect to age, sex, race, hyperthyroidism or corticosteroid use.

When incidence of vertebral fractures was assessed, researchers discovered that an increasing number of injections was associated with an increasing likelihood of fractures, and each successive injection increased the risk of spinal fracture by 21 percent.2 Based on this evidence, LESIs clearly exacerbate skeletal fragility. They promote deterioration of skeletal quality similar to the use of exogenous steroids, which is the leading cause of secondary osteoporosis. In fact, the rate of vertebral fracture following epidural steroid injections may be underestimated.

Both European and American guidelines, based on systemic reviews, conclude that epidural corticosteroid injections may offer temporary relief of sciatica, but do not reduce the rate of subsequent surgery.3 This conclusion is based on multiple randomized trials comparing epidural steroid injections with placebo injections, and monitoring of subsequent surgery rates.4 Facet joint injections with corticosteroids seem no more effective than saline injections.5-6

Rising Costs, Limited Benefits

Despite the limited benefits of epidural injections, Medicare claims show a 271 percent increase during a recent seven-year interval.7 Earlier Medicare claims analyses also demonstrated rapid increases in spinal injection rates. For patients with axial back pain without sciatica, there is no evidence of benefit from spinal injections; however, many injections given to patients in the Medicare population seem to be for axial back pain alone.7

Charges per injection have risen 100 percent during the past decade (after inflation), and the combination of increasing rates and charges has resulted in a 629 percent increase in fees for spinal injections.7 Yet during this time, the Medicare population increased by only 12 percent.

It all begs the question: Why such a huge increase in the use of a procedure that has limited benefit? Patients need to be informed about treatment options including the best evidence for effectiveness, uncertainties and risks, so they can take an expanded role in decision-making.

Clinical Pearls

  • Epidural steroid injections have little clinical benefit (short or long term) and are associated with significant risks.
  • Steroid injections cause deterioration of bone quality, elevating the risk of spinal fracture.
  • Use of epidural steroid injections has increased dramatically despite lack of evidence to justify the procedure.

http://www.parkridgechiropractic.com

References

  1. Pinto RZ, et al. Epidural corticosteroid injections in the management of sciatica: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med, 2012 Nov 13; [e-pub ahead of print].
  2. Mandel S, Schilling J, Peterson E, et al. A retrospective analysis of vertebral body fractures following epidural steroid injections. J Bone & Joint Surg, 2013 Jun;95(11):961-964.
  3. Armon C, Argoff CE, Samuels J, Backonja M. Assessment: use of epidural steroid injections to treat radicular lumbosacral pain. Report of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology, 2007;68:723-9.
  4. Arden NK, Price C, Reading I, et al. A multicentre randomized controlled trial of epidural corticosteroid injections for sciatica: the WEST study. Rheumatol,2005;44:1399-406.
  5. Airaksinen O, Brox JI, Cedraschi C, et al. European guidelines for the management of chronic nonspecific low back pain. Eur Spine J, 2006;15(Suppl 2):S192-S300.
  6. Chou R, Rosenquist R, Loeser J. ACP-APS Guidelines for Surgical and Interventional Procedures for Chronic Low Back Pain. Presented at Symposium 312 of the American Pain Society's 27th Annual Scientific Meeting, Tampa, Fla., May 8, 2008.
  7. Friedly J, Chan L, Deyo R. Increases in lumbosacral injections in the Medicare population: 1994-2001. Spine, 2007;32:1754-60.

Besides infection, there are other side effects associated with epidural steroid injections: bleeding, nerve damage and dural puncture. Then there are side effects associated with the steroid medication, which include the following: a transient decrease in immunity, high blood sugar, stomach ulcers, avascular necrosis (mainly in the hip joint), cataracts and increased risk of fracture.


b gif host naturalspinalhealthcoach com blog 70356677 post 163 subd parkridgechiropractic ref  feed <view entire article>





Beat sleep apnea naturally

Date: January 23, 2015 | Time: 8:36am

(NaturalNews) Sleep apnea is a terribly uncomfortable syndrome where an individual is unable to breath effectively at night while sleeping. This condition not only impairs an individual's quality of life but greatly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease as well. Beat sleep apnea with natural lifestyle interventions.

Sleep apnea occurs when air is not adequately able to get through the respiratory tract, creating irregular breathing habits while sleeping. Central sleep apnea refers to a lack of breathing effort while obstructive sleep apnea happens when there is a physical blockage in normal breathing patterns despite regular efforts.

Sleep apnea is a dangerous condition

Sleep apnea is characterized by snoring, choking while sleeping and snorting when oxygen levels drop. The individuals are not able to get a deep sleep and they wake up groggy and tired. They often are sleepy throughout the day because they never get adequate rest.

The majority of individuals with sleep apnea are overweight, however, up to 25% are either normal weight or even under weight. For some, weight loss is a critical component to getting well, but all individuals with this disorder must work to improve their posture, breathing habits and diet. Untreated sleep apnea not only destroys one's quality of life but also leads to a greatly increased risk of stroke, hypertension, heart failure, irregular heart beat and heart attack.

Anti-inflammatory nutrition plan:

Food allergens and intolerances can cause an inflammatory process that leads to obstructive sleep apnea. Removing the most common food allergens, including gluten containing grains, pasteurized dairy, soy products, corn and peanuts, is essential. Many individuals notice an immediate change in their symptoms after removing these inflammatory foods.

The ideal diet should focus on good fats as the primary calorie source in the form of coconut, avocados, olive oil and sprouted nuts and seeds. Clean animal protein in the form of grass-fed beef and bison, wild fish and organic poultry should be consumed regularly. The nutrition plan should feature phytonutrient rich vegetables and herbs and low-glycemic fruit like lemons and berries.

Regular exercise is important for improving breathing mechanics

High intensity cardiovascular exercise and weight training is important for individuals with sleep apnea. Interval training where the individual works up to 90+ percent of their heart rate for periods of time challenges their respiratory tract to become stronger and more efficient. Weight training enhances muscle strength and improves the respiratory system to function well under increased intrathoracic pressure.

Chiropractic care is critical for full recovery

Most individuals with sleep apnea deal with subluxations in their upper cervical spine and often times, their lower cervical and upper thoracic regions. Subluxation is the term for misalignments of the spine that cause compression and irritation of nerve pathways affecting organ systems of the body.

One of the most common problems seen with individuals with sleep apnea is forward head posture. When the head is shifted further forward than it normally should, it adds additional stress and abnormal leverage on the lower cervical and upper thoracic spine, which house the nerves that control the respiratory pathways. This includes the pharynx, larynx, trachea and lungs.

Correct forward head posture and spinal subluxations

Corrective chiropractic care aims to address the forward head posture and subluxation problems. They do this through specific chiropractic adjustments to remove nerve pressure and corrective spinal exercises to balance and improve the postural deficits. This process minimizes physical nerve stress and allows for optimal nerve supply and proper breathing mechanics.

This is vitally important for individuals with sleep apnea to effectively address subluxation and most see remarkable results often in as little as a week with corrective chiropractic care. Others who have more damage in these spinal regions take longer to get over their faulty posture and sleep apnea.

By Dr. David Jockers

b gif host naturalspinalhealthcoach com blog 70356677 post 161 subd parkridgechiropractic ref  feed <view entire article>





Bone density sharply enhanced by weight training, even in the elderly

Date: January 19, 2015 | Time: 3:43pm

As people reach old age, osteoporosis is a major determining factor in quality of life. In Healing Moves, Dr. Mitchell and Carol Krucoff write, "Age-related declines in muscle and bone mass ... can lead to frailty and fracture - the primary reason older adults wind up in nursing homes." If you don't want to spend your later years resting in a nursing home, losing your independence and draining your or your family's financial resources, you need to do something to remain independent. According to numerous studies and aging manuals, that "something" is strength training, an activity known to increase bone mass and thus decrease the possibility of osteoporosis.

Postmenopausal women are especially prone to osteoporosis because they lack estrogen. Most women know this and begin to take calcium supplements to ward off the debilitating disease. Calcium supplements are important, but according to Kathy Keeton's book, Longevity, they are not enough. Not only does your body need magnesium and other nutrients to assimilate calcium into your bones, it also needs strength training to retain calcium. Keeton quotes nutritional biochemist Dr. Neil S. Orenstein: "Without consideration of these effects, no amount of calcium supplementation will prevent osteoporosis."

Numerous studies demonstrate strength training's ability to increase bone mass, especially spinal bone mass. According to Keeton, a research study by Ontario's McMaster University found that a year-long strength training program increased the spinal bone mass of postmenopausal women by nine percent. Furthermore, women who do not participate in strength training actually experience a decrease in bone density.

In Prescription Alternatives, Professor Earl Mindell and Virginia Hopkins detail these findings: "In a recent study on bone density and exercise, older women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by one percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent. The women who exercised also had improved muscle strength and better balance, while both decreased in the non-exercising group."

Increased bone density, improved muscle strength, better balance - these three things will dramatically improve your later years and increase your longevity. Only these health improvements can help prevent a bad fall, which is often a turning point in an elderly person's life. One bad spill can result in a broken hip, an injury that can lead to an elderly person's immobility and dependence on others. Only strength training can provide these benefits, but what exactly does "strength training" or "weight training" mean?

A little training goes a long way

Strength training does not mean that you have to train for the Olympics or tediously do the same exercise over and over. According to Healing Moves, a variety of exercises will yield bone-building benefits: "Physical impact and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it.

The best bone builders are exercises that put force on the bone, such as weight-bearing activities like running and resistance exercises like strength training. In general, the greater the impact involved, the more it strengthens the bones." However, it is important to distinguish the exercises that will increase bone density from the ones that will not. "Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity ... Dancing, stair-climbing and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote (good) mechanical stress in the skeletal system, contributing to the placement of calcium in bones. Aerobic exercises such as biking, rowing and swimming do not strengthen the bones," writes Gary Null in Power Aging.

Now, aerobic exercise is great for your cardiovascular system, so you still should do it along with strength training. You don't have to devote a lot of time to strength training to experience the benefits. Null believes that only 15 to 30 minutes of weight training, two to three times per week, can provide you with the bone density you need to prevent osteoporosis. Just make sure that you work all your different muscle groups and allow a 24-hour lapse between sessions.

For best results, women should start strength training long before menopause; however, women can experience the benefits at any age. "A 1994 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that women as old as 70 who lifted weights twice a week for a year avoided the expected loss of bone and even increased their bone density slightly," writes Robert Haas in Permanent Remissions. According to Dr. George Kessler's Bone Density Program, "One study of people in their 80s and 90s living in nursing homes who exercised with weight machines three times a week for just eight

The experts speak on strength training and bone density:

Without resistance exercises to strengthen muscles and bones, most people face a midlife slide into flabbiness and its associated ills. And as we age, strength training becomes even more important to offset age-related declines in muscle and bone mass that can lead to frailty and fracture- the primary reason older adults wind up in nursing homes.
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Osteoporosis. Bone-thinning osteoporosis can lead to fractures, especially hip fractures, a major medical problem for the elderly. One way to maintain strong, healthy bones is to get plenty of calcium. Certain kinds of exercise, including strength training, also help keep bones healthy. In addition, weight training helps prevent fractures by strengthening the leg muscles, contributing to improved balance and decreasing the likelihood of falls, the cause of most fractures in the elderly.
Natures Cures by Michael Castleman, page 452

Because nine out of 10 hip fractures result from falls, engaging in activities that increase strength and balance helps decrease the risk. strength training is one of the best ways to increase bone density in the spine naturally and prevent falls.
Overdosed America by John Abramson MD, page 219

Postmenopausal women are at the greatest risk for brittle bones

Men also can have brittle bones, but women - especially thin women who are past menopause - are at greater risk. If you're thin, you have less weight bearing down on your bones during normal activity, and that means your bones will weaken faster. It's particularly important for you to start a regular program of weight-bearing exercises such as walking, jogging, or strength training. Studies have found gardening is also good at pumping up your bones so if you enjoy that activity, keep it up. The fresh air and sunshine are an added bonus.
Eat and Heal by the Editors of FC&A Medical Publishing, page 278

Calcium suplements are not enough

Simply increasing your calcium intake doesn't guarantee that the calcium is going to get into your bones. To properly absorb calcium the body needs other nutrients as well-magnesium, for one, and other vitamins. Exercise, particularly weight training, helps the bone retain its calcium. "Without consideration of these effects," says the nutritional biochemist Dr. Neil S. Orenstein of Lenox, Massachusetts, "no amount of calcium supplementation will prevent osteoporosis."
Longevity by Kathy Keeton, page 120

Numerous studies demonstrate strength training's ability to increase bone mass, especially spinal bone mass

There's even some evidence that increasing muscle mass can increase bone mass. When researchers at McMaster University in Ontario put a group of postmenopausal women on a year-long program of anaerobic strength training, not only did their muscle size increase by 20 percent, but their spinal bone mass rose by 9 percent. It's possible, then, that strength training might help ward off osteoporosis.
Longevity by Kathy Keeton, page 160

In a recent study on bone density and exercise, older women who did high-intensity weight training two days per week for a year were able to increase their bone density by 1.0 percent, while a control group of women who did not exercise had a bone density decrease of 1.8 to 2.5 percent. The women who exercised also had improved muscle strength and better balance, while both decreased in the nonexercising control group.
Prescription Alternatives by Earl Mindell RPh PhD and Virginia Hopkins MA, page 20

We know that weight lifters have much denser bones in their back and legs than do runners, for example. Studies do show that walking prevents bone loss in the spine, but strength training has been proved to build bone mass in the spine and hip. One study that (deservedly) got a lot of media attention followed a group of postmenopausal women who were generally healthy-but sedentary. None were taking HRT, or any other bone-related medicines, or taking calcium supplements. Half performed a simple weight-lifting routine twice a week, while the other half stuck with their couch potato ways. After one year, the weight lifters built their bone mass 1 percent on average, at both the hip and spine. That compares favorably to what you'd see with HRT alone. To give you perspective, consider this: the women who did not lift weights lost up to 2.5 percent of their bone mass over the same time period- and also lost muscle mass and gained body fat and weight. The weight lifters became much more active in general (as the researchers calculated it, a 27 percent increase), while the sedentary group became less active. The weight lifters lowered their body fat, gained muscle, and had better balance and more strength. And here's a wonderful bonus: the researchers had the daughters of the women who lifted weights come in and do the tests their mothers were acing. In every case, the weight-lifting women outperformed their own daughters!
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 279 and 280

A Journal of the American Medical Association article reported a Tufts University study in which forty postmenopausal women. 50 to 70 years of age, were tested and measured by their participation in different levels of exercise. The conclusion of this study was that high intensity strength training exercises are an important, effective and feasible means to preserve bone density. In other words, exercise prevented the onset of osteoporosis.
Milk The Deadly Poison by Robert Cohen, page 268

Still, we were confident that Ramona could do even better, so we told her to work harder and to try some strength training as well. When Ramona came back to see us one year later, her bone density was 10 percent higher. And she had become a fanatic about strength training, working out four times a week.
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 102

Strength training does not mean that you have to train for the Olympics or tediously do the same exercise over and over: A wide variety of weight-bearing exercises yields bone-building results

Physical impact and weight-bearing exercise stimulates bone formation. Just as a muscle gets stronger and bigger the more you use it, a bone becomes stronger and denser when you regularly place demands upon it. The best bone builders are exercises that put force on the bone, such as weight-bearing activities like running and resistance exercises like strength training. In general, the greater the impact involved in an activity, the more it strengthens the bones. That's why the bones in the racket arms of tennis players are denser than the bones in their nondominant arms. When muscles and gravity aren't pulling on the bone, humans can lose bone mass rapidly. This is dramatically illustrated when people are forced by injury or ill health to undergo complete bed rest and, as a result, lose about 1 percent of their bone mass per week. This is similar to the devastating effects on bone mass seen in young, healthy male astronauts in outer space, due to the loss of gravity.
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Exercise for Skeletal Health. Weight-bearing exercises are very important to help avoid osteoporosis. Weight lifting, including curls and bench presses, is a beneficial activity. Women should not resist going to gyms as they age. But even if you don't go to a gym, you can still profit from taking a little one-pound weight and curling it throughout the day. In fact, you can take a five-minute break every hour to do exercises. Dancing, stair-climbing, and brisk walking are all weight-bearing exercises, which promote mechanical stress in the skeletal system, contributing to the placement of calcium in the bones. Aerobic exercises such as biking, rowing, and swimming do not strengthen the bones.
Power Aging by Gary Null, page 363

Not only is weight training safe, it is important for preventing osteoporosis. As muscles are pulled directly against the bone, with gravity working against it, calcium is driven back into the bones. It also stimulates the manufacture of new bone. This adds up to a decrease in the effects of osteoporosis by 50-80 percent. Women need to do weight training two to three times per week for fifteen to thirty minutes. All the different muscle groups should be worked on. Twenty-four hours should lapse between sessions to rest muscles. For best results, an exercise program should be started long before the onset of menopause.
Womans Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Dr Gary Null, page 277

Walking may be the best all-around exercise, but as far as bone building goes, strength training is the cream of the crop. The pull of muscle against bone stresses a bone, and that kind of stress is what makes a bone become stronger. Impact also strengthens a bone, but the impact that comes from running or jumping, say, can be otherwise harmful to the body. Muscle working against gravity provides another kind of impact for the bones, stimulating bone formation and slowing loss. Strength training with free weights (including light hand and ankle weights) or weight machines is the most direct way to provide that stress and impact of muscle on bone, which is what makes it ideal for building and preserving bone density.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 279

Since stronger muscles do a better job of holding joints in their proper places, resistance training can lessen the joint wear and tear associated with osteoarthritis, the type of arthritis that most often afflicts older adults. What's more, studies find, weight training can strengthen your bones, offering added insurance against osteoporosis. That's because your bones and muscles are intimately connected. When you work your muscles against resistance, they pull on the bones they're attached to. In medical lingo, your muscles exert stress on your bones, and your bones, under stress, respond by laying down more calcium to reinforce themselves, explains Dr. Ades.
Healing with motion by the editors of-Prevention health books, page 332

Not only is weight training safe, it is important for preventing osteoporosis. As muscles are pulled directly against the bone, with gravity working against it, calcium is driven back into the bones. It also stimulates the manufacture of new bone. This adds up to a decrease in the effects of osteoporosis by 50 to 80 percent. People need to do weight training two to three times per week...
Get Healthy Now by Gary Null, page 15

Do strength-building exercises, such as weight lifting, three times a week for at least ten minutes. This is particularly important for women, since it helps maintain bone density.
The Real Age Diet by Michael F Roizen MD and John La Puma MD, page 39

Strength training is also one of the proven ways to reduce the risks associated with osteoporosis, because strong muscles can support the bones more effectively. Strength training also slows the aging process, improves posture and balance, and increases energy, strength, and stamina.
Active Wellness By Gayle Reichler MS RD CDN, page 151

Almost any type of vigorous exercise will maintain or build bone. Dr. Lee recommends walking, biking, tennis, or weight lifting.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 473

The physical stresses to which bones are subjected during exercise stimulate new bone growth. Get at least 30 minutes of walking, weight lifting or another weight-bearing exercise, three times a week.
Bottom Line Yearbook 2002 by Bottom Line Personnel, page 18

Exercises that put stress on your bones, such as jogging and weight training (even light weights), will also strengthen your bones, whereas exercises that do not stress your bones, such as swimming, will not improve bone strength.
Complementary Cancer Therapies by Dan Labriola ND, page 198

For best results, women should start strength training long before menopause; however, women can experience the benefits at any age.

Extensive research has shown that muscles and bones will get stronger in response to strength training regardless of your age. Some health experts call strength training "the closest we've come to a fountain of youth."
Healing Moves by Carol Krucoff and Mitchell Krucoff MD, page 144

Aerobic exercise has long been touted as a way to prevent or slow bone loss, but researchers increasingly emphasize the benefits of strength training, such as weight lifting, to prevent bone loss at any age. A 1994 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that women as old as 70 who lifted weights twice a week for a year avoided the expected loss of bone and even increased their bone density slightly.
Permanent Remissions by Robert Haas MS, page 205

One study of people in their 80s and 90s living in nursing homes who exercised with weight machines three times a week for just eight weeks showed improvements in strength, balance, and walking speed. Even people who are already frail can, with proper exercise using light weights, build up enough leg strength to walk without a cane. I've no doubt of the bone benefits that went along with these results, even though they weren't tracked by the researchers.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 281

Strengthening exercises such as weight training are as important as calcium for strong bones, and they can be started at any age. Even someone age 80 or older can be helped by weight training or isometrics-a form of exercise that involves contracting and releasing specific muscles. Your hospital, community recreation center, or senior center is likely to have more information on this exercise technique.
The Herbal Drugstore by Linda B White MD, page 442

The more bone you build early in life, the better you will be able to withstand the bone loss that starts to occur by about age 35. Years later, the loss of bone mass can result in the debilitating disease called osteoporosis. To develop bone mass, you need to make weight-bearing exercise part of your daily life-with activities like walking, running, and weight lifting.
Wellness Self-Care Handbook by John Edward Swartzberg MD FACP and Sheldon Margen MD, page 41

Weight lifting is not just for the young. Gerontologists and others who study aging now know that muscles built when you are 40, 50 and 60 can help more than just your self-esteem. Developed leg, trunk and arm muscles help protect older bodies from injuries related to frailty. These muscles help keep bones, which peak in density between ages 21 and 30, stronger longer.
Uncommon Cures for Everyday Ailments by the editors of Bottom Line Health, page 112

As with every other strategy in this book, it is never too late to benefit from strength training. You know you should be getting 30 minutes of weight-bearing aerobic exercise three times a week. Strength training is a valuable addition because we know it builds bone more directly and efficiently than any other kind of exercise you can do.
The Bone Density Program George Kessler DO PC, page 293


b gif host naturalspinalhealthcoach com blog 70356677 post 158 subd parkridgechiropractic ref  feed <view entire article>





Fast food lowers student test scores by 20%

Date: January 16, 2015 | Time: 9:53am

(NaturalNews) Eating out at fast food joints seems to be a way of life for most families. After all, how common is it to see a car filled with children pulling out of a McDonald's lot or to catch the glimpse of a parked car, toys and French fry boxes scattered about the back seat?

Sadly, though, one study has discovered a link between consumption of fast foods and a decline in testing ability among grade-school children. So detrimental are the changes in their body, say researchers at Ohio State University, that these children tend to score lower in science, math and reading tests. Their findings transcend the common thought that children who eat fast foods are just prone to the health setbacks resulting from weight gain.

Lower levels of academic achievement discovered among children who ate significant amounts of fast food

"There's a lot of evidence that fast-food consumption is linked to childhood obesity, but the problems don't end there," says Kelly Purtell, lead author of the study and assistant professor of human sciences at Ohio State University. "Relying too much on fast food could hurt how well children do in the classroom."

For the study, researchers studied over 11,000 students whose fast food consumption was high, testing them in the areas of reading/literacy, mathematics and science while also learning about their eating habits via a food consumption questionnaire.

The study, titled "Fast Food Consumption and Academic Growth in Late Childhood," was published in the journal Clinical Pediatrics. It state the results as follows:

More than two thirds of the sample reported some fast food consumption; 20% reported consuming at least 4 fast food meals in the prior week. Fast food consumption during fifth grade predicted lower levels of academic achievement in all 3 subjects in eighth grade, even when fifth grade academic scores and numerous potential confounding variables, including socioeconomic indicators, physical activity, and TV watching, were controlled for in the models.

While this particular study shows the impact that fast foods have on test scores, it doesn't explain what it is about such junk foods that leads to such results. However, other studies have pointed to the fact that fast foods are void of certain memory-

Dietary suggestions to boost memory and improve cognitive ability

To boost memory and learning ability in both children and adults, turn to a diet that focuses on fresh fruits and vegetables as well as nuts and seeds, rather than undesirable fast foods. Several sources of iron exist such as pumpkin seeds, white beans, blackstrap molasses, spinach and lentils.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also notes that such foods are essential to maintain proper iron levels. They state that feelings of fatigue, slowed cognitive and social development during childhood and decreased immune function are among some of the sings of an iron deficiency and that "Iron deficiency may also affect memory or other mental function in teens."

The CDC notes:

In general, you can eat a healthful diet that includes good sources of iron. A healthful diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat free or nonfat milk and milk products, lean meats, fish, dry beans, eggs, nuts, and is low in saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars. In addition to a healthful diet that includes good sources of iron, you can also eat foods that help your body absorb iron better. For example, you can eat a fruit or vegetable that is a good source of vitamin C with a food or meal that contains non-heme iron. Vitamin C helps your body absorb the non-heme iron foods you eat, especially when the food containing non-heme iron and the vitamin-C rich food are eaten at the same meal.

Non-heme means that it's derived from plant sources rather than animal products such as poultry, meat and fish.

boosting nutrients, like iron, that are ideal for cognitive development. They also show that the high-sugar and high-fat diets that are typical in a fast food lifestyle are harmful when it comes to learning and immediate memory.


b gif host naturalspinalhealthcoach com blog 70356677 post 156 subd parkridgechiropractic ref  feed <view entire article>





Back Pain Facts & Statistics

Date: January 15, 2015 | Time: 12:38pm

Although chiropractors care for more than just back pain, many patients visit chiropractors looking for relief from this pervasive condition. In fact, 31 million Americans experience low-back pain at any given time.1

A few interesting facts about back pain:

  • Low back pain is the single leading cause of disability worldwide, according to the Global Burden of Disease 2010.
  • One-half of all working Americans admit to having back pain symptoms each year.2
  • Back pain is one of the most common reasons for missed work. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor's office, outnumbered only by upper-respiratory infections.
  • Most cases of back pain are mechanical or non-organic-meaning they are not caused by serious conditions, such as inflammatory arthritis, infection, fracture or cancer.
  • Americans spend at least $50 billion each year on back pain-and that's just for the more easily identified costs.3
  • Experts estimate that as many as 80% of the population will experience a back problem at some time in our lives.4

What Causes Back Pain?

The back is a complicated structure of bones, joints, ligaments and muscles. You can sprain ligaments, strain muscles, rupture disks, and irritate joints, all of which can lead to back pain. While sports injuries or accidents can cause back pain, sometimes the simplest of movements-for example, picking up a pencil from the floor- can have painful results. In addition, arthritis, poor posture, obesity, and psychological stress can cause or complicate back pain. Back pain can also directly result from disease of the internal organs, such as kidney stones, kidney infections, blood clots, or bone loss.

Manipulation as a Treatment for Back Problems

Used primarily by Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) for the last century, manipulation has been largely ignored by most others in the health care community until recently. Now, with today's growing emphasis on treatment and cost effectiveness, manipulation is receiving more widespread attention.

Chiropractic spinal manipulation is a safe and effective spine pain treatment. It reduces pain, decreases medication, rapidly advances physical therapy, and requires very few passive forms of treatment, such as bed rest.5

In fact, after an extensive study of all currently available care for low back problems, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research-a federal government research organization-recommended that low back pain sufferers choose the most conservative care first. And it recommended spinal manipulation as the only safe and effective, drugless form of initial professional treatment for acute low back problems in adults.6

A patient information article published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association also suggested chiropractic care as an option for people suffering from low back pain-and noted that surgery is usually not needed and should only be tried if other therapies fail.7

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) urges you to make an informed choice about your back care. To learn more about how the services of doctors of chiropractic may help you, review the results of recent research studies and contact a Doctor of Chiropractic in your area.

Tips to Prevent Back Pain

  • Maintain a healthy diet and weight.
  • Remain active-under the supervision of your doctor of chiropractic.
  • Avoid prolonged inactivity or bed rest.
  • Warm up or stretch before exercising or other physical activities, such as gardening.
  • Maintain proper posture.
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
  • Sleep on a mattress of medium firmness to minimize any curve in your spine.
  • Lift with your knees, keep the object close to your body, and do not twist when lifting.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking impairs blood flow, resulting in oxygen and nutrient deprivation to spinal tissues.
  • Work with your doctor of chiropractic to ensure that your computer workstation is ergonomically correct.

If you or someone you know is suffering from back pain or other types of pain please contact us at 770-457-0584 for a Free Consultation to see if chiropractic can help you get out of pain naturally! Feel free to go to our main practice webpage at: http//www.parkridgechiropractic.com for more information about our office.

References:

1. Jensen M, Brant-Zawadzki M, Obuchowski N, et al. Magnetic Resonance Imaging of the Lumbar Spine in People Without Back Pain. N Engl J Med 1994; 331: 69-116.

2. Vallfors B. Acute, Subacute and Chronic Low Back Pain: Clinical Symptoms, Absenteeism and Working Environment. Scan J Rehab Med Suppl 1985; 11: 1-98.

3. This total represents only the more readily identifiable costs for medical care, workers compensation payments and time lost from work. It does not include costs associated with lost personal income due to acquired physical limitation resulting from a back problem and lost employer productivity due to employee medical absence. In Project Briefs: Back Pain Patient Outcomes Assessment Team (BOAT). In MEDTEP Update, Vol. 1 Issue 1, Agency for Health Care Policy and Research, Rockville,


b gif host naturalspinalhealthcoach com blog 70356677 post 153 subd parkridgechiropractic ref  feed <view entire article>





4 Reasons To Ditch Dairy From Your Diet

Date: January 14, 2015 | Time: 10:04am

(NaturalNews) There are many myths that we are led to believe, particularly where food is concerned. One of the most controversial is that we need dairy to be healthy, and to have strong bones.

Milk, cheese and butter are promoted as having health benefits, despite the mounting evidence that suggests they may be doing us more harm than good.

Here are four reasons you may want to ditch the dairy from your diet.

1. Acidity

For lasting health and disease protection, we should maintain a slightly alkali pH balance in the body, between 7.3 and 7.45.[1]

Dairy foods are generally acidic, with a pH ranging between 4 and 6.85.[2] This acidity can put the body in an inflammatory state, increasing the risk of heart disease, cancers and diabetes.[3]

To neutralize the acidity, alkali minerals such as phosphorus, magnesium and calcium are extracted from the skeletal system. So even though dairy contains calcium and is said to build strong bones, over the long term it may be causing osteoporosis through the loss of these alkali minerals.[4]

2. Disease

Dairy products are high in cholesterol and saturated fats, which have been linked to heart disease, diabetes and obesity.[5] So-called low-fat dairy products are not so, as 2% milk actually gets 35% of its calories from fat. The number shown on cartons is calculated by weight, not by the percentage of calories.

Studies suggest that dairy leads to an increased risk of cancer, particularly ovarian and prostate.[6, 7] It contains insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), which has been linked to cancer and early mortality.[8]

3. Toxins

Dairy naturally contains hormones produced within the cow's body, along with synthetic hormones used to increase milk production,[9] which can influence the natural human hormone function.
Antibiotics are often used to treat cows for inflammation and diseases such as mastitis, traces of which can sometimes be found in dairy samples. Contaminants such as pesticides, PCBs and dioxins have also been recorded.[10]

Dairy can also contain iodine, which itself is not toxic and is needed by the body in small amounts. However, it is mainly found in dairy due to contamination from cleaning products.[11]

4. We are not baby cows.

Interestingly, no other species drinks milk after infancy or drinks the milk of another species. Cow's milk is meant to be consumed by the calf, to help them grow quickly. It has very different characteristics from human milk.

Ag industry calves are generally used for veal or fattened for beef, while the mother is stored in a cramped feedlot and has her milk extracted by machinery. Genetic manipulation and drug use can mean cows produce up to four times as much milk as they would naturally, placing undue stress on the animal.[12]

What can we have instead?

The beneficial nutrients found in dairy products are readily available in plant foods - fruits, veggies, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Some leafy greens actually contain more calcium per calorie than any dairy product, with cabbages such as bok choy packing more than 1,000 mg per 100 calories, compared to about 200 mg in 100 calories of milk. Plant foods are generally alkali forming and are rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants that protect us against disease.

There are many dairy substitutes out there too. Instead of cow's milk, try hemp, oat, almond or coconut. Substitute traditional cheese with cashew or almond cheese. Even some soy cheeses are fine, providing that they're non-GMO and free from trans fats. There are also yogurts made from soy or coconut milk.

As awareness spreads and people take charge of their health, these types of products are becoming more affordable. It really is a case of voting with your dollar. You can influence the food industry in a positive way by the choices you make.


b gif host naturalspinalhealthcoach com blog 70356677 post 151 subd parkridgechiropractic ref  feed <view entire article>





Chiropractic boosts brain-body coordination

Date: January 12, 2015 | Time: 8:48am

By Dr. David Jockers

(NaturalNews) The brain is the master control system for the entire body. It sends and receives a complicated frequency of signals with the body that dictate the function of the body. When there is interference in this neurological feedback loop, it alters the environment the brain perceives itself to be in; this consequently changes the adaptation process the brain orchestrates throughout the body. Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to enhance the sensorimotor integration of the brain with the body.

Many experts have hypothesized that increased stress cycles in the body produce the environment for dis-ease and eventually disease within the body. Stress can come from a variety of sources in the mental/emotional form, chemical form, and physical realm. When the body is under increased stress it responds by increasing its sympathetic tone. This means the body shunts itself into "fight or flight" survival based mode by altering cardiovascular & endocrine function to get itself ready for dynamic activity.

Increased sympathetic tone causes a release of stress hormones such as adrenalin, epinephrine, and cortisol. This is the same response we get when we are anxious or exercising. This is okay if it is for a short period of time; however, when the stress lasts longer than expected it exhausts the body and causes a state of dis-ease to manifest.

When the brain sends information to the organs, muscles, and tissues of the body, this is called efferent neurological flow. In return, the afferent flow of information includes all the messages sent to the brain from skin, muscle, joint, and organ receptors. This afferent/efferent neurological loop is how the body is able to respond and adapt appropriately to its environment.

The ramifications of increased stress hormones in the body include overworked adrenal glands, lowered immunity, decreased digestive functions, fatigue, & blood pressure disturbances. Increased cortisol levels also cause ligament laxity by stripping critical proteins from the tendon and ligament structures. This causes joint weakness throughout the body, including the spine and extremities, making them much more susceptible to injury.

Subluxation is a term used to describe mechanical compression and irritation to spinal joints and nerves. Subluxation scrambles the neurological feedback loop by causing altered rhythms of neurological flow. Subluxations are caused by trauma, poor posture, or increased chemical and emotional stresses.

Subluxations are a physical stress on the body and therefore increase the sympathetic tone, so the body shunts its energy toward the fight or flight system. If the subluxation(s) are not corrected they continue to produce this increased stress response. This increases cortisol and causes greater joint & ligament laxity in the spine and extremities making them more susceptible to injury. Additionally, increased long-term stress on the body greatly accelerates the degenerative processes of the spine and joints leading to osteoarthritis.

Chiropractic adjustments have been shown to normalize spinal afferent/efferent processes to their proper resting tone. This is like hitting the reset button on the computer when it is malfunctioning. The computer is allowed to pause and reprocess itself. Chiropractic adjustments stop the stress response and restore normal hormonal and cardiovascular function to the body. This allows the body to reset itself and begin healing the damage that was done in the body due to chronic stress cycles.

Research performed by Taylor and Murphy demonstrated that chiropractic adjustments enhanced sensorimotor integration, the body's ability to sense where it is in space and effectively coordinate complex movement patterns. This improves function in both the brain and the body. Improved spatial intelligence translates into better physical and mental balance, coordination, and mobility. Chiropractic adjustments make you think and move with better speed, skill, and finesse.

http://www.parkridgechiropractic.com

Taylor H, Murphy B. Cervical Spine Manipulation Alters Sensorimotor Integration: A Somatosensory evoked potential study. Clin Neurophysiol; 2007;118:391-402
Taylor, H, Murphy B. Altered Sensorimotor Integration with Cervical Spine Manipulation. J Manipulative Physiol Ther; 2008;31:115-126


b gif host naturalspinalhealthcoach com blog 70356677 post 149 subd parkridgechiropractic ref  feed <view entire article>