“To avoid sickness eat less; to prolong life worry less.”
~ Weng Chu Hui
The choice to exercise or not sometimes depends on the sickness or disease. Our bodies work harder and use more energy when we are fighting an illness. If symptoms are above the neck (sore throat, runny nose), it is probably okay to exercise. If you’re sick but still want to exercise, simply reduce your intensity and duration. You should not exercise if you have body aches, fever, diarrhea or vomiting, shortness of breath or chest congestion, dizziness or light-headedness. When resuming your regular exercise routine, try starting with 50% effort and 50% duration.
Loyola University Health System, November 2012
The new State of Oregon Evidence-Based Clinical Guidelines for the Evaluation and Management of Low Back Pain recommend spinal manipulation as the only nonpharmacological treatment for acute lower back pain. The guidelines, which have been adopted by the Oregon Health Authority, are a collaborative effort between the Center for Evidence-Based Practice, Oregon Corporation for Health Care Quality, Oregon Health and Sciences University’s Center for Evidence-based Policy, and the new Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission.
60% of patients with sciatica (symptoms of unilateral lumbar radiculopathy secondary to lumbar disk herniation at L3-4, L4-5, or L5-S1) who had failed other medical management (patients must have failed at least 3 months of nonoperative management including treatment with analgesics, lifestyle modification, physiotherapy, massage therapy, and/or acupuncture) benefited from spinal manipulation to the same degree as if they underwent surgical intervention.
JMPT, October 2010
You may have heard the saying, “The eyes are the window to the soul.” There is another saying in the world of chiropractic: “Your spine is the window to your health.” How can the condition of your spine divulge so much information about overall health? Your spine is the central support column of your body and its primary role is to protect your spinal cord. Becoming familiar with simple spinal anatomy, structure and function will help empower you to take control of your health.
What are some of the compensations your body develops, and what can they tell you about spinal health? Here are a few to watch out for:
Rounded Shoulders: This is a very common postural distortion resulting from more sedentary lifestyles. Common effects are headaches, shoulder, pain and neck pain.
Uneven shoulders: One shoulder higher than the other is indicative of a muscular imbalance or spinal curvature. This asymmetry is a common precursor for shoulder injuries, headaches, neck pain, elbow injuries and even carpal tunnel syndrome (tingling in the hands).
Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD): DDD is term used to describe degeneration and excessive wear on the soft-tissue disc structures between the spinal bones. It may come with age or from biomechanical asymmetries in movement causing excessive wear from overuse.
Herniated disc: A herniated disc is an abnormal bulge or breaking open of a protective spinal disc or cushioning between spinal bones. Disc diagnosis is conformed via a special imaging study called an MRI (\Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which observes soft- and hard-tissue structures.
If you experience spinal pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, muscles spasms or swelling near your spine or arms and legs, consult with your chiropractor. And remember, these are just some of the many ways the spine can influence the rest of the body. Talk to your chiropractor to learn more about what your spine says about your health.
Comparing yourself to others with the same health problem can influence your physical and emotional health. Focusing on similarities between you and people doing well will likely lead to feeling good, as will focusing on differences between you and people doing poorly. But, if you focus on differences between you and someone doing well, or similarities between you and someone doing poorly, you’ll likely feel worse.
Health Psychology Review, Feb 2012
There’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat-yourself trip to a fast-food or sit-down restaurant, but Americans are eating out at an ever-increasing (sometimes daily) rate, and usually paying the health consequences. It’s tough enough finding healthy food when grocery shopping these days, but put your trust in the hands of a burger joint, a diner, a pizza parlor or the vast majority of other restaurants and you’re generally asking for trouble. Here are five substitutions to infuse a little more health into your next dining experience away from home.
1. Skip the Fries
fries French fries and potato chips, two of the most common sides at fast-food and sit-down restaurants, contain little or no nutritional value and large quantities of fat (oil). But they certainly are popular, which is why potatoes (in the form of fries and chips) are among the most frequently consumed “vegetables.” Skip the grease and go without if at a fast-food restaurant (most only offer fries, onion rings or other fried options, although some do offer sides of corn, beans or rice, which are definitely healthier than fries or chips). At sit-down restaurants, it should be even easier to replace the fries / chips with a side of rice, a small baked potato and/or some veggies.
2. Watch What You Drink
soda Soft drinks are exactly what your body (and teeth) don’t need, yet they are a staple beverage at fast-food and other restaurants. Water offers three distinct benefits by comparison: it doesn’t cost you anything, it’s calorie-free, and it doesn’t contain any sugar. While calorie- and sugar-free sodas are available, research suggests they may still be dangerous because artificial sweeteners may condition you to crave sweets and overeat. And do you really need a 32-ounce drink (of anything) with your meal?
3. No Oversized Loads
hamburger What’s your average family meal at home like in terms of portion size? Unless you’ve purchased oversized plates, meals are generally within reason. Not so for an increasing number of fast-food chains and sit-down restaurants. “Super-sized” combo meals and 17-inch plates heaped with Thanksgiving-like portions are a recipe for weight gain. Stick to a reasonable portion size (or eat half and get the other half to go) and you won’t have to unbutton the top button of your jeans midway through your meal.
4. Find a Veggie
veggie Depending on the nature of the establishment, this can be fairly easy or a bit tricky, but either way, it’s a worthy pursuit. Whether it’s a hamburger with lettuce and tomato or a plate of pasta with broccoli, choose meals that have some natural color, courtesy of Mother Nature’s best vegetables. A burger with cheese, a bun and nothing else or a plate of pasta with cheese and cream sauce are missing the color of nutrition your body needs. Pizza is even easier; add a few veggies along with your other favorite toppings.
5. Know What You’re Ordering
nutrition facts In the past few years, the majority of restaurants have begun (by mandate and/or choice) to reveal how nutritionally unsound some of their meal options are. This can range from providing complete nutritional facts to listing calorie counts on the menu. Doing so gives you the upper hand when it comes to choosing a healthy (or at least healthier) meal for you and your family. Visit the Web sites of your favorite restaurants or review the nutritional information in-house before ordering. You’ll be surprised at how much fat, sodium and calories are in some of your favorites; perhaps they won’t be your favorites after you learn what’s in them and you’ll steer toward lower-fat, lower-calorie, better-for-you selections instead.
Intervals, or repeated, short, sharp bursts of strenuous activity, interspersed with rest periods can improve your heart and overall health, researchers found out recently.
Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, recently gathered several groups of volunteers. One consisted of sedentary but generally healthy middle-aged men and women. Another was composed of middle-aged and older patients who’d been diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.
The researchers tested each volunteer’s maximum heart rate and peak power output on a stationary bicycle. All of them were told to exercise exclusively with intervals.
Intervals are known for the one-minute strenuous exercise that often hits about 90 percent of a person’s maximum heart rate, followed by a one-minute recovery over the course of a workout.
Interval Training Both of the groups that participated ended up showing significant improvements in heart and overall health, according to researchers.
Some of those benefits included the functioning of blood vessels and the heart. To get this type of result, some of the exercise can be pedaling a stationary bicycle or sprinting uphill for one minute, aiming to raise your heart rate to about 90 percent of your maximum. Pedal or jog easily downhill for a minute and repeat nine times, perhaps twice a week.
If you are interested in improving your cardiac health, talk to your chiropractor about starting any exercise program.
Exercise: Obesity Gene’s Effect Reduced By Exercise. With exercise and a physically active lifestyle, the genetic predisposition to obesity caused by the ‘fat mass and obesity associated (FTO) gene can be significantly reduced. The effect of the FTO gene on obesity risk is 27% weaker among physically active adults, compared to those who are physically inactive. These findings challenge the common excuse that “obesity is in my genes.” PLoS Medicine, Oct 2011
Nearly all construction workers will experience one or more work- related injuries or illnesses over a lifetime, plus a greater risk of premature death. Over a 45-year career, a construction worker has a 75% chance of a disabling injury, and a one in 200 chance of being fatally injured on the job. An individual who begins construction work at the age of 20 has a 15% chance of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and an 11% chance of developing dust-related parenchymal chest X-ray changes. Center for Construction Research and Training, Oct 2011