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Newsletter Archives > Monthly Health Newsletter: December 2007 Health Newsletter

December 2007 Health Newsletter

Current Articles

» Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holiday Season
» Chiropractic Care for Lumbar Radiculopathy in Pregnancy
» School Bags and Low Back Pain In Children and Teenagers
» Fitness Not Fatness For Longevity

Tips To Stay Healthy During The Holiday Season

Whether you're scheduled for a long road trip, shopping for a small army of friends and family members, wrapping dozens and dozens of gifts or camping out in the kitchen to get all your cooking complete, major holidays can easily put your body at risk of injury. Prolonged sitting, prolonged standing, extensive walking, awkward positions, overeating and plain old mental exhaustion are all common when the holiday season comes into full swing. Here are a few common sense tips to assist in keeping you healthy and pain-free this holiday season:
  • Traveling: bring water and small snacks to stay well hydrated and to keep your blood sugar levels stable, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, bring along a small blanket and travel pillow, bring all required travel documents as well as any maps or reservations for rental cars and hotels, be careful and obtain assistance when handling heavy/bulky luggage and gifts - use a push cart or dolly and obtain assistance whenever appropriate and/or possible
  • Shopping: bring water and small snacks to stay well hydrated and to keep your blood sugar stable, wear comfortable shoes and clothing, have your shopping day pre-planned in regards to locations to visit and gifts to purchase, use shopping carts when available and take gifts to your vehicle frequently rather than risking injury by lugging pounds of gifts from store to store, be careful and obtain assistance when handling heavy/bulky gifts
  • Cooking: maintain proper posture while at the counter/sink, alternate between sitting and standing positions, take frequent breaks, stretch often, careful when using knives and other sharp objects
  • Gift Wrapping: maintain proper posture, stretch frequently, be careful not to leave scissors or sharp cutting objects on the floor where they can be accidentally stepped on or where they can be accessed by small children or animals, be careful and obtain assistance when moving or wrapping larger or bulky gifts
  • Holiday Eats and Treats: do your best to avoid over indulgence of those holiday eats and treats, maintain activity levels to counter act all that holiday feasting, avoid driving when you've consumed those holiday spirits
  • Treat Your Body To A Holiday Gift: if you find those aches and pains creeping in or just want to be in tiptop shape this holiday season, stop by your chiropractor's office and treat your body to the most valuable gift of all... the gift of health!

Source: Dr. Neil MacKay, DC
Copyright: LLC 2006

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Chiropractic Care for Lumbar Radiculopathy in Pregnancy

With the physical stresses and strains of pregnancy, the expecting mother often suffers from a number of musculoskeletal aches and pains. One such symptom is lumbar radiculopathy - pain and/or numbness and/or tingling running down the leg that may also include weakness in the affected leg. This symptom is typically caused by irritation to the smaller nerves (nerve roots) exiting the spine in the lower back/lumbar area. A recent case study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine evaluated the effectiveness of chiropractic care on one such sufferer - a 26-year old woman in her second trimester of pregnancy experiencing severe pain in her lower back, radiating to both hips and right leg. She additionally reported tingling down the right lower leg to the top of her right foot. After a comprehensive evaluation to rule out more severe conditions, she was diagnosed with suffering from lumbalgia (lower back pain) with associated radiculopathy. Upon her first chiropractic treatment the subject experienced relief. By visit 8, the subject experienced complete resolution. In addition to being highly effective, natural chiropractic care is also extremely safe for most expecting mothers and their fetuses.

Source: Journal of Chiropractic Medicine; December 2007.
Copyright: LLC 2007

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School Bags and Low Back Pain In Children and Teenagers

For many years, chiropractors and chiropractic organizations have been warning of the harmful side effects experienced by children and teens who carry excessively heavy school bags and back packs and/or practice improper bag carrying techniques. A recent study published in the internationally recognized medical journal Spine has just reinforced what chiropractors have been teaching parents and their children for decades - school bags and back packs can be a serious threat to the spinal health of children and teens. In the study, researchers examined the relationship between low back pain and the various types of school furniture, physical dimensions of the teens and the physical loading generated by school bag carrying. In all, 446 adolescents aged 14 to 17 participated in the study by completing questionnaires and having their body dimensions and school bag weights examined. Surprisingly, more than 50 percent of the adolescents reported to having low back pain in the prior 3 months and approximately 25 percent reported reduced daily function or care seeking due to low back pain. After evaluating all the evidence, researchers found the low back pain experienced by the adolescents was not a result of their varying body dimensions or the school furniture. Rather, researchers found the low back pain was positively associated with carrying the school bag on one shoulder resulting in significant asymmetry and spinal stress to the body.

Source: Spine. 32(24):E713-E717, November 15, 2007.
Copyright: LLC 2007

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Fitness Not Fatness For Longevity

While much research has shown that being overweight poses a health risk that results in a shorter lifespan, researchers have now found that being fit and overweight may be healthier and result in more longevity as compared with simply being of normal body weight but being unfit. A group of over 2,600 adults over the age of 60 were examined during 1979-2001. Each had their fitness assessed by participating in a maximal exercise test as well as having their body mass index, waist measurement and percent body fat recorded. Upon assessing overall mortality rates at the end of 2003, researchers discovered that fitness was the most significant mortality predictor and was independent of overall body weight/obesity. Thus, it was the cardiovascular health of the individual and not the weight of the individual that more strongly influenced their overall health and longevity. Researchers recommended that all older individuals continue with physical activity even if they are of normal body weight.

Source: Journal of the American Medical Assoc. 2007;298(21):2507-2516.
Copyright: LLC 2007

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