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

July 12, 2005 [Volume 6, Issue 15]

Chiropractic + Exercise = LBP Relief

Numerous studies have long praised chiropractic care in the treatment of low back pain (LBP); however, 11 national guidelines still recommend the "stay-active," or exercise, approach to treating LBP.

A 10-week study investigated the benefits of manipulative therapy and stay-active care vs. stay-active care alone in 160 patients with LBP of three months or less duration. The authors defined "stay-active" as an approach to patient care whereby patients are encouraged to take part in physical and other activities to stay fit.

Results showed that manipulation combined with stay-active care "improved pain measured as pain during the last week and everyday function in acute and subacute cases of low back pain better than stay active treatment only." Moreover, at five and 10 weeks, patients in the experimental group had less pain and lower disability rating indices than members of the reference group.

In addition to treating LBP, regular chiropractic care has a host of other benefits, including pain and stress relief, while regular exercise is necessary for maintaining total health and wellness. Imagine what the two combined can do for you! Make an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic today.

Reference: Grunnesjö MI, Bogefeldt JP, Svärdsudd KF, Blomberg SIE. A randomized controlled clinical trial of stay-active care versus manual therapy in addition to stay-active care: functional variables and pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics September 2004;27(7):431-41. www.mosby.com/jmpt.

Obesity: A Current and Future Concern for the Elderly

With obesity on the rise in the U.S., it's not surprising that it tops the list of future health concerns. And though the health community has focused on the consequences of obesity for years, little information exists concerning obesity's impact on the elderly. The U.S. population age 65 and older is predicted to rise substantially in the next 30 years. Because obesity is associated with increased health care costs and use, an increasingly obese elderly population may pose new challenges to the U.S. health care system.

A recent study set out "to estimate the prevalence of obesity in elderly Americans in 2010 and to discuss the health and economic implications of these estimates." Estimates were based on five nationally representative surveys of the adult U.S. population and population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Surveys included estimates from 1960-2000, in order to gauge changes in the prevalence and distribution of obesity over time. Obesity (body mass index of at least 30 kg/m2) was reported in 10-year age groups for men and women, beginning with age 20-29.

Researchers calculated the number of obese vs. normal weight adults ages 60 and older in 1990 and 2000. According to their calculations, 23.6% of elderly Americans were obese in 1990, compared with 32.0% in 2000.The number of normal weight seniors decreased during that same time period, from 38.2% in 1990 to 30.6% in 2000. The authors projected that by 2010, an estimated 37.4% of seniors will be obese, a statistic that has important implications for the health, quality of life and cost of care of this age group.

If you are concerned with healthy aging, now is the time to take steps to educate yourself and set your course for a healthier you. Weight loss, regular exercise and healthy eating are just a few steps you can take; other steps include massage therapy, adequate sleep and regular chiropractic treatments. Remember, it's never too late to change your habits for a longer, more fulfilling life.

Reference: Arterburn DE, Crane PK, Sullivan SD. The coming epidemic of obesity in elderly Americans. Journal of the American Geriatrics Society November 2004;52(11):1907-12. www.blackwellpublishing.com.

Save Your Eyes With Green and Black Tea

Herbalists have long recommended tea to help treat myriad conditions, including indigestion, high cholesterol and weight gain. Now, new study results show that green and black tea may inhibit the development of diabetes-related cataracts.

Researchers monitored the effects of green and black tea in four groups of rats: a normal (non-diabetic) group; a diabetic control group; a group of diabetic rats given green tea; and a diabetic group given black tea. Over a three-month period, the teas were included in the rats' drinking water, equivalent to a human drinking 4.6 eight-ounce cups of tea per day. The chemical composition of the rats' blood and eye lenses was then analyzed to determine whether the teas lowered blood glucose levels and reduced the incidence of cataracts, a common side-effect associated with diabetes.

Results: The teas "significantly decreased glucose, and ... inhibited the pathological pathways of diabetes in lens, plasma, and red blood cells," the researchers noted. On average, plasma glucose levels in the diabetic rats drinking tea were reduced between 28% and 32%. In addition, tea consumption appeared to reduce the severity of cataracts. Rats in the diabetic control group had an average cataract rating of 3.02 (0-4 scale; 0 = normal vision; 4 = nuclear opacity beginning). In diabetic rats given green tea, the average cataract rating was only 2.61; in diabetic rats taking black tea, the average rating was only 2.24.

Although the authors suggest the need for further studies to determine the role of teas in the prevention or treatment of diabetes in humans, the results of this study are clear: in addition to having other benefits, green and black may help prevent diabetes-related cataracts, as well.

Reference: Vinson JA, Zhang J. Black and green teas equally inhibit diabetic cataracts in a streptozotocin-induced rat model of diabetes. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 2005;53:3710-3713.