Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: May 2013 Health Newsletter

May 2013 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Back Pain Surgery Leads to Spinal Condition
» Sore Muscles? Exercise And Massage Can Offer Equal Relief
» Soda Consumption Linked To Diabetes
» Chiropractic Physicians Help Create Healthy Workplaces

Back Pain Surgery Leads to Spinal Condition

Highlighting the need to explore non-invasive treatment alternatives for back pain such as chiropractic care, medical researchers have concluded that a common surgical procedure designed to relieve back pain, instead exposes patients to a 29 percent greater risk of developing a degenerative spinal condition. The study, conducted in Nantong, China, examined the medical histories of over 35,000 back-pain surgery patients who underwent a spinal fusion to relieve the pain. After the procedure, 29 percent of the patients developed adjacent segment degeneration (or ASD), a long-term degenerative condition of the spine. ADS patients often experience new back problems and pain symptoms to previously non-injured vertebrae. In a spinal fusion, a surgeon fuses faulty vertebrae together with supplementary bone tissue to immobilize the area and relieve pain. After a spinal fusion, patients are unable to move the fused vertebrae, which forces intervertebral joints above and below the surgery site to do double duty to make up for the now-immovable portion of the spine. The researchers concluded that the extra wear and tear on these vertebrae results in the degenerative condition. They also recommended that patients explore alternatives to surgery, including chiropractic care, before consulting a surgeon.

Source: Spine. April 1, 2013 - Volume 38 - Issue 7 - p 597–608.
Copyright: LLC 2013

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Sore Muscles? Exercise And Massage Can Offer Equal Relief

A new study comparing the benefits of massage and exercise has concluded that working out is as effective as massage at relieving the aches and pains of sore muscles. The research, conducted by the National Research Center for the Working Environment in Copenhagen, asked 20 participants to perform a shoulder exercise designed to engage both of the trapezius muscles between the neck and shoulders. Two days later, the subjects returned to the lab and rated the pain of the aching muscles on a scale of one to ten. The average pain experienced by the participants was described as a five. Subjects then received a 10 minute massage on one shoulder and spent 10 minutes exercising the other. Participants were asked again to rate their pain. Both massage and exercise offered relief, with massage decreasing the pain by an average of .07 points and exercise relieving an average of .08. Researchers are unclear how massage or exercise relieve soreness, but believe that they help to clear out metabolic byproducts associated with tissue damage.

Source: Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, online March 21, 2013.
Copyright: LLC 2013

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Soda Consumption Linked To Diabetes

According to a new European study, drinking more than one 12-ounce soda a month can increase your chances of developing diabetes by nearly 23 percent. Researchers at Imperial College London tracked data from 350,000 people in eight European countries. Participants were questioned about their diet, including how many sugary and artificially sweetened soft drinks and juices they drank each day. The researchers found that every 12 fluid ounce sugar-sweetened drink the participants consumed raised their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 22 percent. 12 ounces is the normal serving size of a can of Coca-Cola, Pepsi or other soft drinks. Interestingly, fruit juice consumption was not linked to diabetes incidence. The European study's findings confirm recent research in the US, where several similar studies have linked sugar-sweetened drinks to diabetes and higher body weight. Type 2 diabetes is a long-term condition characterized by insulin resistance. The World Health Organization estimates that currently more than 310 million people worldwide suffer from the disease.

Source: Diabetologia. April 2013.
Copyright: LLC 2013

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Chiropractic Physicians Help Create Healthy Workplaces

Arlington, Va.—Chiropractic physicians are ready to provide key support to patients who are trying to create healthy working environments, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA). This reminder comes as communities across the country this week observe National Public Health Week (NPHW), which promotes creating a healthy workplace on Wednesday, April 3.

The theme of NPHW 2013—“Public Health is ROI: Save Lives, Save Money"—promotes the value of prevention and the importance of well-supported public health systems in preventing disease, saving lives and curbing health care spending. For more than 100 years, the chiropractic profession has promoted prevention as a key component of health and wellness, and a growing body of research shows that chiropractic services reduce health care spending.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2011 musculoskeletal disorders made up 33 percent of all work-related injury and illness cases. When considering the impact of proper ergonomics on workplace safety, ACA stresses three basic principles:

    1.    When lifting, the largest muscles in the area should perform the task. The larger the muscle or muscle group used for lifting, the lower the stress on smaller, more vulnerable muscles.

    2.    During any work activities, people should be able to comfortably assume a number of different postures and not remain in one position for an extended time. Muscles will fatigue and be more prone to injury when assuming a particular posture, especially a poor one (e.g., partially bent forward at the waist).

    3.    When performing tasks, it is important to keep the joints either in their neutral posture or approximately halfway into the range of motion. Working with your joints at the extremes of their ranges of motion for prolonged periods places abnormal stresses on them and can cause repetitive stress injuries.

“Our bodies are not designed to maintain the same posture for long periods of time or to repeat the same motions endlessly,” said ACA President Keith Overland, DC. “Stretches and exercises can help prevent pain and injury. There are also natural, cost-effective approaches to treating pain, such as chiropractic services, that can help patients avoid unnecessary drugs or surgery.”

For more information about creating a healthier working environment, please visit ACA’s website for health and wellness tips.

Since 1995, when the first full week of April was declared NPHW by the American Public Health Association (APHA), communities across the country have recognized the contributions of public health and highlighted issues important to improving public health. APHA creates planning and outreach materials that can be used year round to raise awareness. APHA has featured a section devoted to chiropractic and the role that DCs play in public health since 1995.

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2013, is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and professional ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: ACA Online. April 1, 2013.
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2013

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