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Archive for October 2017

neck pain

Vitamin D levels May Be Associated with Low Back Pain.


Blood samples taken from 600 participants with either chronic low back pain, sub-acute low back pain, or no history of back pain showed no significant difference in the prevalence of vitamin D deficiency among the three groups. However, the researchers did observe that the men and women in both of the back pain groups were more likely to have greater levels of vitamin D deficiency, which suggests that severe vitamin D deficiency may play a role in the development of low back pain. As a result, future guidelines for the management of back pain may include vitamin D testing and treatment.
Clinical Rheumatology, August 2017

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Mental Attitude: Healthy Weight Equals Healthy Brain

Weight management at midlife may help keep the brain healthy into old age. In this study, researchers reviewed brain scans of 399 individuals aged 44-49 years and observed an association between cortical thinning and an increasing body max index (BMI). Studies have linked reduced cortical thickness in old age with impaired cognitive abilities.
International Journal of Obesity, October 2017

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neck pain

Forward Head Posture May Affect the Lungs.

The head is intended to sit on the neck directly above the shoulders. However, when one spends too much time slumped in front of their TV or computer screen or looking down at their smartphone, the head can begin to rest in a more forward position. This can place added stress on the neck and upper back muscles to keep the head upright, leading to an elevated risk for neck pain, shoulder pain, and headaches. According to a new study, individuals with forward head posture may also have reduced respiratory function. Cram Osteopaths routinely check for forward head posture and offer exercise and ergonomic modifications to address this faulty posture.
Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation, August 2017

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Back Pain and Falls Among Older Men.

Back pain surveys completed by 5,568 elderly men indicate that 67% experienced back pain during the past year. 25% fell at least once, and 11% had recurrent falls. Further analysis showed that participants with back pain had at least a 20% increased risk for falling.There was an even higher risk for those with greater back pain severity and frequency. The data suggests that reducing back pain among the elderly population could reduce their risk for falls.
The Journals of Gerontology, Series A, Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, September 2017

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neck pain

Being Fit May Protect the Brain if a Stroke Occurs.

Among a group of 84 stroke patients, those with higher cardiorespiratory fitness scores performed better on cognitive assessments and had brain scans showing both greater grey matter brain volume and greater white brain matter integrity. This suggests that physical fitness may protect the brain in the event of a stroke.
International Journal of Stroke, October 2017

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Office Chairs and Spinal Posture.

Does your office chair include any features designed to improve your spinal posture while sitting? Researchers X-rayed 28 volunteers while they stood up straight, bent forward, and sat in four chair conditions: regular chair, a chair with lumbar support, a chair with seat pan tilt, and a chair with a backrest for scapular relief. While the investigators didn’t find any one feature to be statistically superior with respect to minimizing spinal flexion (which places stress on the back, potentially contributing to an injury during periods of prolonged sitting), they did report that the seat pan tilt feature resulted in significantly improved pelvic posture, which may benefit the musculoskeletal system. A Osteopathic evaluation may include an assessment of a patient’s workstation, including a review of chair type and quality, as poor ergonomics may contribute to his or her condition.
Ergonomics, October 2017

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Dancing May Help Combat Brain Aging.

In a new study, researchers found that physical activity in later life—especially dancing—can potentially reverse the signs of brain aging. In the study, researchers recruited 52 healthy adults aged 63-80 years and randomly assigned them to one of two exercise groups for 18 months. One group participated in a 90-minute dancing lesson each week, while the other group engaged in 90 minutes of strength-endurance training each week. A review of pre- and post-study MRIs found that while both groups experienced an increase in the volume of their hippocampus (an area of the brain associated with learning, memory, and emotion that is commonly affected by age-related brain changes), the increase observed among members in the dance group was much greater.
Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, August 2017

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Vitamin D May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Among a group of 50,884 women with an elevated risk of breast cancer due to family history, researchers found that those with healthy vitamin D levels were 21% less likely to develop breast cancer during the following five years.
Environmental Health Perspectives, July 2017

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Pelvic and Low Back Pain Common During Pregnancy.

Questionnaires completed by 869 pregnant women from multiple countries revealed that nearly all (86%) experienced pelvic girdle pain and/or low back pain during their pregnancy. The findings suggest that musculoskeletal pain during pregnancy is more prevalent than thought and that clinicians should keep this in mind when managing their pregnant patients.
Journal of Women’s Health, August 2017

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