"If you aren't seeing a chiropractor, you must be on drugs."

February 22, 2005 [Volume 6, Issue 5]

RECOMMENDED READING: Keeping you aware of the latest resources that will provide the information you need to make wise decisions about your health.

This month's featured title is Natural Relief for Anxiety by Edmund J. Bourne, PhD, et. al.

Natural Relief for Anxiety explores the whole bodyUs response to stress in a down-to-earth, nonjudgmental way, and describes how relief from mild to moderate anxiety can be achieved through holistic means. The text emphasizes how specific physical and lifestyle factors take their toll on the body, which can subsequently result in anxiety, and describes how the elimination of such factors can lead to peace of mind, mental clarity, and physical and emotional wellness.


Have Some Exercise With That Adjustment

In the interest of whole body wellness, many chiropractors offer their patients a range of options to help relieve back pain in addition to spinal manipulation, including advice about diet, lifestyle and exercise.

Now, a recent study has found that patients given a combination of spinal manipulation and exercise experienced greater improvements in back function and greater reductions in pain compared to those treated with spinal manipulation or exercise only; moreover, improvements lasted longer in patients receiving both manipulation and exercise than those who received only one type of intervention. The study included more than 1,300 patients randomized into four groups: a control group that did not receive any intervention, and three groups that each received one of three forms of care - spinal manipulation, exercise, or both.

Results: Compared to the control group, patients in all three intervention groups experienced "small to moderate" benefits in the treatment of back pain, with the greatest improvements in the group that received spinal manipulation followed by exercise. In an accompanying study, researchers examined the cost-effectiveness of adding manipulation, exercise, or both to the usual "best care" practice for back pain. They found that, depending on the total cost of treating a patient with back pain, spinal manipulation would be "a cost-effective addition to 'best care' for back pain in general practice" and that "manipulation alone probably gives better value for money than manipulation followed by exercise."

Together, these papers provide new evidence that manipulation of the spine, either alone or in conjunction with an exercise program, is an efficacious and cost-effective form of care for people suffering from back pain. If you suffer from back pain, talk to your doctor of chiropractic about a treatment plan that includes regular exercise.

Reference:

1. UK BEAM Trial Team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ Online First, Nov. 29, 2004.
2.UK BEAM Trial Team. UK BEAM Trial Team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: cost-effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ Online First, Nov. 29, 2004.


Is Your Money Going Up in Smoke?

Attention smokers: If the health implications haven't motivated you to give up smoking, perhaps the wealth implications will! A new study shows that a person's net worth decreases by $410, or about four percent, for each year they continue smoking.

Approximately 8,900 people born between 1957 to 1964 were surveyed in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth in 1985, 1992, 1994, and 1998 about several issues, including smoking habits and wealth. Wealth was assessed based on home values, savings, stocks, bonds and other assets; smokers were labeled "heavy" if they smoked more than one pack of cigarettes a day and "light" if they smoked less than one pack a day.

Results: By 1998, the final year of the study, participants identified as smokers averaged a net worth of about $50,000. According to the researchers, smokers tend to come from lower socioeconomic classes; taking this into consideration, other factors that influence wealth were studied, including education, race and income. After taking these factors into account, researchers still found that the net worth of heavy smokers was approximately $8,300 less than nonsmokers, while light smokers' net worth was roughly $2,000 less than nonsmokers.

"While a casual relation cannot be proven, smokers appear to pay for tobacco expenditures out of income that is saved by nonsmokers. Hence, reductions in smoking will boost wealth, especially among the poor," the researchers said.

The moral of the story is clear: Smoking not only negatively affects your health, it negatively affects your weatlh, too. Rather than spend your cash on unhealthy cigarettes, try investing in a smoking cessation program.

References:

Zagorsky JL. The wealth effects of smoking. Tobacco Journal 2004;13: 370-74.
Newswise. Smoking hurts wealth as well as health. Feb 2, 2005. www.newswise.com.


Women: One More Reason Not to Stress Out

Women, don't let this news stress you out, but a new study has found that stress can lead to increased pain during menstrual cycles.

The study, published in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, tracked 388 young women, ages 20- to 34-years-old, through over 1,000 menstual cycles. According to the study, approximately 44 percent of the participants noted having painful periods, characterized by at least two days of abdominal or low-back pain during a cycle.

Reseachers found that those women with high stress levels during the preceding month were 2.4 times as likely to have a painful period during the following cycle compared to their low stress counterparts. And women that reported having medium stress levels were 1.2 times as likely to have a painful period during the following cycle. The researchers suggested that women with painful menstrual cycles should try to reduce the stress in their lives.

If you are a woman that suffers from painful periods, ask your doctor of chiropractic to recommend a treatment plan. Routine chiropractic care not only helps with pain relief, but also facilitates stress relief.

Reference: Wang L. Occupational & Environmental Medicine. Dec 2004;61: 1021-1026.