NJ Strain

Weekly Health Update: Chiropractic & Pain Relief

Mental Attitude: Kids and Moms.
A mother’s friendships with other adults can impact their adolescent children’s relationships with their own friends, particularly the negative aspects of these relationships such as conflict and antagonism. Adolescents may mimic the negative characteristics of their mothers’ relationships in their own peer-to-peer friendships. Mothers who display high levels of conflict with friends may signal to their children that such behavior is acceptable.
University of Missouri, November 2013

Health Alert: Bacteria in Your Gut?
Rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that attacks joint tissue and causes pain, affects 1.3 million Americans. Researchers have linked a species of intestinal bacteria known as Prevotella copri to the onset of rheumatoid arthritis. Of those tested, 75% of stool samples from patients newly diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis carried Prevotella copri compared with 21.4% of samples from healthy individuals.
NYU Langone Medical Center, November 2013

Diet: Pickled Turnips?
Scientists have discovered that the bacteria Lactobacillus brevis may prevent the flu. Lactobacillus brevis comes from Suguki, a pickled turnip popular in Japan. When a particular strain of Lactobacillus brevis was eaten by mice, it showed protective effects against influenza infection. Suguki enthusiasts have often cited its protective powers, but it is not known yet whether the same effects will be seen in humans. Human clinical trials using a probiotic drink containing Lactobacillus brevis bacteria are underway and scientists are hopeful that, given a suitable quantity of bacteria, foods containing Lactobacillus brevis may turn out to be the next superfood.
Letters in Applied Microbiology, November 2013

Exercise: Exercise Helps Arthritis.
Seniors who participated in classes that promoted the self-management of arthritis through exercise reported decreased pain, improved mobility, reduced stiffness, more energy, and an improved quality of life. According to Dr. Linda Russell, a rheumatologist and chair of the Public and Patient Education Advisory Committee at Hospital for Special Surgery, “Getting seniors to be active in any way will generally improve their quality of life and help them function better in their everyday activities. People believe that if you have arthritis you shouldn’t exercise, but appropriate exercises actually help decrease pain.”
American Public Health Association Annual Meeting, November 2013

Chiropractic: Pain Relief!
Patients with chronic spinal pain (either neck, mid-back, or low back) were randomized to receive NSAIDs (pain relief medication), acupuncture, or spinal adjustments. Care was provided for four weeks, followed by assessment of improvement. After 30 days, spinal manipulation was the only intervention that achieved statistically significant improvements in pain and disability.
Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, July 1999

Wellness/Prevention: Physical Fitness Helps the Heart Too!
Coronary heart disease is the number one cause of death among both men and women in the United States. After following 9,800 coronary heart disease patients for an average of 11 years, researchers found that the patients with higher levels of physical fitness were less likely to suffer a cardiac event and were 75% more likely to still be alive a decade after diagnosis. Senior study author Dr. Michael Blaha writes, “We hope that as a result of this study, more physicians will consider prescribing physical activity as a front-line therapy to improve survival and quality of life for their patients who are able to safely exercise.”
John Hopkins Medicine, November 2013

The Most Common Type of Headache

At some point, everyone will have a headache, whether it’s from stress, lack of sleep, hormonal related or even self-induced after having way too much fun the night before! In fact, 9 out of 10 Americans suffer from headaches. But the most common form of headache is the tension-type headache.

Tension-type headaches (TTHA) are defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a diffuse, mild to moderate pain that’s often described as feeling like a tight band around your head.” Ironically, even though this is the most common form of headache, the causes of TTHA are not well understood. These are sometimes described as muscle contraction headaches but many experts no longer think muscle contractions are the cause. They now feel that “mixed signals” coming from nerve pathways to the brain are the cause and may be the result of “overactive pain receptors.”

Regardless of the cause, the triggers of tension headaches are well known and include stress, depression/anxiety, poor posture, faulty or awkward workstation set-ups, jaw clenching and many others. Risk factors for TTHA include being a woman (studies show that almost 90% of women experience tension headaches at some point in life) and being middle-aged (TTHA’s appear to peak in our 40s, though TTHA’s are not limited to any one age group). Complications associated with TTHA’s may include job productivity loss, family and social interaction disruption, and relationship strain. The diagnosis is typically made by excluding other dangerous causes of headaches and when all the test results return “normal,” the diagnosis of TTHA is made.

Treatment utilizing over-the-counter-medications are commonly used as long as side effects of stomach irritation and/or liver and kidney issues don’t arise. The use of heat and/or cold is often helpful as some prefer one over the other. Alternating between ice and heat is sometimes most effective. Controlling stress by trimming out less important duties or “…taking on less” can help. Yoga, meditation, biofeedback and relaxation therapy are also great! An “ergonomic” assessment of a workstation and how it “fits” the headache patient can also yield great results. Other highly effective therapies include acupuncture, massage therapy, behavior and/or cognitive therapy as well as chiropractic. Chiropractic is a good choice compared to standard medical care, especially when side effects to medications exist. This is because manipulation of the cervical spine addresses the cause of the headache and doesn’t just try to cover up the pain. In 2001, Duke University reported compelling evidence that spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate improvement for those with headaches that originate in the neck with significantly fewer side effects and longer-lasting relief compared to commonly prescribed medication. Chiropractic treatment approaches can include spinal manipulation, trigger point therapy, mobilization techniques, exercise training, physical therapy modality use, dietary and supplementation education/advice, lifestyle coaching and ergonomic assessments.

Reprinted with permission from Think Teachers Magazine