Month: June 2012

This week’s 1-Page Health News

Mental Attitude: Sleep Tight? Children with excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), despite little indication of short sleep from traditional measurements, were more likely to experience problems with learning, attention/hyperactivity and conduct than children without EDS. Obesity, symptoms of inattention, depression, anxiety, and asthma have been found to contribute to EDS. Penn State, May 2012

Health Alert: Obesity Projections! At current projections, 42% of the US population will be obese by 2030, with 11% categorized as severely obese. Severe obesity is defined as a body mass index over 40 or roughly 100 pounds overweight. $550 billion could be saved in the next 20 years just by keeping obesity rates at the current level! American Journal of Preventive Medicine, May 2012

Exercise: Cancer and Exercise. Physical activity is linked to lower rates of breast and colon cancer deaths. Exercise helps moderate insulin levels, reduce inflammation and possibly improve the immune response. Even though direct effects of physical activity on cancer are not definitely proven, given that physical activity is generally safe, improves quality of life for cancer patients, and has numerous other health benefits, adequate physical activity should be a standard part of cancer care. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, May 2012

Active Release: We frequently have patients referred to us from other chiropractors to treat some of the tougher problems that they can’t help. We’re always happy to work with other chiropractors’ patients, and respect the good work that these other docs do. Some of the more common conditions that other chiros refer include hip pain, sciatica, and rotator cuff problems. We use Active Release Techniques to treat the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even the nerves that may be involved in these kinds of problems. Do you know someone who needs our help?

Wellness/Prevention: Commutes Risk Health. Individuals with the longest commutes are least likely to report frequently engaging in moderate to vigorous exercise, and most likely to show risk factors for poorer cardiovascular and metabolic health. Commuting more than 10 miles to work is linked with high blood pressure. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, June 2012

Quote: “Inaction, save as a measure of recuperation between bursts of activity, is painful and dangerous to the healthy organism. Only the dying can be really idle.” ~ H. L. Mencken

The Truth About Yoga & This Week’s 1-page Health News

This article ran in the NY Times, and ended up all over the internet. We thought it was important to give you our thoughts, since a lot of people are still asking us about it (it is amazing how much power the popular press has).

Levitt D. How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body. New York Times. Article adapted from “The Science of Yoga: The Risks and Rewards,” by William J. Broad, Published: January 5, 2012.

“According to Glen Black, a prominent yoga teacher of nearly 4 decades, a number of factors have converged to heighten the risk of practicing yoga. The biggest is the demographic shift in those who study it. Indian practitioners typically squatted & sat cross-legged in daily life, and yoga poses, were an outgrowth of these postures. Now urbanites who sit in chairs all day, walk into a studio a couple of times a week & strain to twist themselves into ever-more-difficult postures despite their lack of flexibility & other physical problems. Many come to yoga as a gentle alternative to vigorous sports or for rehabilitation for injuries. But yoga’s popularity — ~ 20 million practitioners in 2011 — means that there’s an abundance of teachers who lack the deeper training necessary to recognize when students are headed toward injury.

Black has come to believe that the vast majority of people should give up yoga altogether. It’s simply too likely to cause harm. Black notes that not just students but celebrated teachers too, injure themselves in droves because most have underlying physical weaknesses or problems that make serious injury all but inevitable. “Today many schools of yoga are just about pushing people,” Black said. Normally, the neck can extend 75◦, flex 40◦, laterally bend 45◦, & rotate ~50◦. Yoga practitioners typically move the vertebrae much farther. An intermediate students can easily turn their necks 90◦— nearly twice the normal rotation. In the shoulder stand, hyperflexion of the neck is encouraged. Iyengar emphasized in the shoulder stand tt the trunk & head should form a right angle with neck neck maximally flexed. In cobra pose, the head should extend as far back as possible. Extreme motions of the head and neck, can injure vertebral arteries, resulting in vertebrobasilar artery strokes & brain damage. A growing body of medical evidence supports the contention that, for many people, a number of commonly taught yoga poses are inherently risky.

Reports of yoga injuries have been published in some of the world’s most respected journals —Neurology, British Medical Journal, & JAMA. In 2009, Columbia University published a worldwide survey of yoga teachers, therapists & doctors. The survey’s central question — What are the most serious yoga-related injuries seen? —The largest number of injuries (231) centered on the low back. Other sites, in declining prevalence: shoulder (219), knee (174) & neck (110). Then came stroke.

Among devotees, yoga is described as a nearly miraculous agent of renewal and healing. They celebrate its abilities to calm, cure, energize & strengthen. And much of this appears to be true: yoga can lower blood pressure, make chemicals that act as antidepressants, even improve one’s sex life. But the yoga community long remained silent about its potential to inflict pain. Timothy McCall, MD & medical editor of Yoga Journal, called the headstand too dangerous for general yoga classes. He notes that the inversion may contribute to thoracic outlet syndrome, degenerative arthritis of the cervical spine & retinal tears.”

Commentary:

Here’s our take (Dr. Hyman & Dr. Stripling): In our combined 17 years of seeing patients, we have seen maybe 5 injuries from yoga, with most of those being strains of muscles. We’ve seen far more injuries from sneezing, sleeping and gardening. The truth is there is far more benefit to yoga than risk, especially if you take out the headstands. It’s annoying when the popular press finds some extreme position and warns us all that a popular activity is bad for you. Most of the time it’s just Chicken Little screaming that the sky is falling.

Here is our regularly scheduled Weekly1-Page Health News

Mental Attitude: No Emails? Being cut off from work email significantly reduces stress and improves focus. Heart rate monitors were attached to computer users in an office setting, while software sensors detected how often they switched windows. People who read email changed screens twice as often and were in a steady “high alert” state. Those removed from email for five days reported feeling better able to do their jobs and stay on task, with fewer stressful and time- wasting interruptions. UC Irvine and US Army, May 2012

Health Alert: Misusing Prescription Drugs At A Young Age! The peak risk for misusing prescription pain relievers occurs in mid-adolescence, specifically about 16 years old and earlier. Clinicians and public health professionals are prescribing more pain relievers, and research suggests an increased misuse of these drugs and increased rates of overdose deaths. Each year, 1 in 60 young people (between 12-21 years old) begin using prescription pain relievers outside the boundaries of what their doctor intended. Journal of the American Medical Association, May 2012

Diet: How Much Protein Do I Need? For healthy adults, an estimator used for MINIMUM daily protein intake is 0.36 grams per 1 pound of body weight. Formula = 0.36 grams/pound of body weight. For example, if you weigh 155 lbs, you should consume 56 grams of protein per day (155lbs x .36g/lbs = 56g). Institute of Medicine, 2002 (Note- those of you who train hard, plan on doubling that).

Exercise: Jogging For Life. Jogging 1-2.5 hr/week increases the life expectancy of men by 6.2 years and women by 5.6 years. Jogging improves oxygen uptake, increases insulin sensitivity, improves lipid profiles (raising HDL and lowering triglycerides), lowers blood pressure, reduces platelet aggregation, increases fibrinolytic activity, improves cardiac function, bone density, immune function, reduces inflammation markers, prevents obesity, and improves psychological function. EuroPRevent2012 Meeting, May 2012

Wellness/Prevention: Zinc About It! People regularly taking oral zinc may experience shorter common cold symptoms than those who do not. Higher doses appeared to have a better effect, but taking zinc for just 2-3 days seemed to have no impact at all. Common adverse events associated with zinc supplements are nausea and a bad taste.

Canadian Medical Association Journal, May 2012

Quote: “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

Dr. Glenn Hyman’s Race Schedule, 2012

I know a lot of you have been wondering, “Which races is Glenn Hyman from Denver Chiropractic Center doing this year?”

July 8 – Boulder Peak Olympic (road)

July 14 – Xterra Beaver Creek (Sprint Distance, trust me it’s plenty)

August 4- Xterra Inidan Peaks (In the middle of co-leading the ART treatment team for the Boulder Ironman 70.3)

August 26 – Xterra Lory (Horsetooth Reservoir, CO)

How’d the staff do at Elephant Rock? & this week’s 1-Page Health News.

First off, I (Glenn) want to start by wishing my parents a happy 45th wedding anniversary. 45 years!?! That’s incredible.

And yes- Miss Keri & Dr. Stripling both did the Elephant Rock ride yesterday…

Miss Keri: 34 miles in 2:30.

Dr. Stripling: 100 miles in 7:49.

Me? I set the record for eating Bon Bons and watching paint dry in my back yard. 3 boxes in under 10 minutes. Just kidding. I’m cramming for Xterra Curt Gowdy on June 24th (off road triathlon). I rode, ran and swam yesterday. Then I mowed the lawn.

Here’s this week’s 1-Page Health News…

Mental Attitude: Facebook Addiction? According to Dr. Cecilie Schou Andreassen, some users of Facebook have developed a dependency to the social networking site. “Facebook Addiction” is more common among young people who are anxious and socially insecure, probably because those who are anxious find it easier to communicate via social media than face-to-face. Psychological Reports, May 2012 Health Alert: Infection and Cancer. Each year, 16.1% of the 12.7 million total new cancer cases in the world are due to infections that are largely preventable or treatable. Most of these cancer-causing infections were of the gut, liver, cervix and uterus. The Lancet Oncology, May 2012

Diet: Black Pepper and Fat. Black pepper has been used for centuries in traditional Eastern medicine to treat gastrointestinal distress, pain, inflammation and other disorders. A new study found that Piperin, the pungent-tasting substance that gives black pepper its characteristic taste, can block the formation of new fat cells. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, May 2012

Exercise: Strong Bones! Osteoporosis affects more than 200 million people worldwide, yet many are unaware they are at risk. The disease has been called the silent epidemic because bone loss occurs without symptoms and the disease is often first diagnosed after a fracture. Osteoporosis is more common in women, but men also develop it, usually after age 65. Young men who play volleyball, basketball or other load-bearing sports for 4 hours a week or more may gain protection from developing osteoporosis later in life. Men who increased their load-bearing activity from age 19-24 not only developed more bone, but also had larger bones compared to men who were sedentary during the same period. Bigger bones with more mass are thought to offer a shield against osteoporosis. Journal of Bone and Mineral Research, May 2012

Chiropractic: “I came to the point where I wanted an adjustment every day. I believe in Chiropractic.” ~ Evander Holyfield, 4x World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Wellness/Prevention: Ancient Remedy Slows Prostate Problems. Caffeic acid phenethyl ester, or CAPE, is a compound isolated from honeybee hive propolis, the resin used by bees to patch up holes in hives. If you feed CAPE to mice with prostate tumors, their tumors will stop growing. After several weeks, if you stop the treatment, the tumors will begin to grow again at their original pace. Cancer Prevention Research, May 2012

Quote: “Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.” ~ Gandhi

Neck Pain – which treatment works best?

Neck Pain:  Manipulation vs. Mobilization – What’s Better?

Does mobilization (MOB) get less, the same, or better results when compared to spinal manipulative therapy (SMT)? To answer this question, let’s first discuss the difference between the two treatment approaches.

Mobilization (MOB) of the spine can be “technically” defined as a “low velocity, low amplitude” force applied to the tissues of the cervical spine (or any joint of the body, but we’ll focus on the cervical region). This means a slow, rhythmic movement is applied to a joint using various methods such as figure 8, side to side, front to back and /or combinations of any of these movements. In the neck, gentle to firm manual traction or pulling, when applied to the cervical spine, stretches the joint and disk spaces and can be included during MOB.

Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT) can be defined as a “high velocity, low amplitude” type of force applied to joint which is often accompanied by a audible release or “crack,” which is the release of gas (nitrogen, oxygen, and carbon dioxide).

Some joints “cavitate” or “crack” while others are less likely to release the gas. Studies that date back to the 1940s report an immediate improvement in a joint’s range of motion occurs when the joint cavitates. Many people instinctively stretch their own neck to the point of release, which typically, “…feels good.” This can become a habit and usually is not a big problem. However, in some cases, it can lead to joint hypermobility and ligament laxity.

As a rule, if only a gentle stretch is required to produce the cavitation/crack, it’s typically “safe” verses the person who uses higher levels of force by grabbing their own head and twisting it beyond the normal tissue stretch boundaries. The later is more likely to result in damage to the ligaments (tissue that strongly holds bone to bone) and therefore, should be avoided.

Since SMT is usually applied in a very specific location (where the joint is fixated or “stuck”, or, partially displaced), it’s obviously BEST to utilize chiropractic, as we chiropractors do this many times a day (for years or even decades) and we know where to apply it and can judge the amount of force to utilize, especially the neck where there are many delicate structures.

Back to the question: Which is better, MOB or SMT? Or, are they equals in the quest of rid of neck pain? A recent study of over 100 patients with “mechanical neck pain” (strain/sprain)  showed that those who received SMT had a significantly better response than the MOB group as measured by a pain scale, a disability scale and 2 tests that measure function!

In our clinic (Denver Chiropractic Center) we’ve found that the best approach uses BOTH. Mobilization in the form of Active Release Technique combined with safe and gentle (never forced) adjustments – also known as spinal manipulation – get better results in a shorter time frame.

Call us at 303.300.0424 if you want to get rid of your neck pain. We’re here to help.