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

June 27, 2006 [Volume 7, Issue 14]

In this issue of To Your Health:

  • Chiropractic, From Your Head to Your Feet
  • Another Reason to Eat Your Veggies!
  • Exercise Can Reverse Effects of Inactivity

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 Weight Training by Design by Dale Greenwald, CSCS, and Erik Miller, CPT

No fads, no gimmicks, no false promises, Weight Training by Design gives you a sound, easy-to-follow, fully customizable program to help you take your workouts to the next level. The all-new BAM (Balanced Antagonisitc Muscle) Superset is not your traditional superset. Flexible, dynamic, and totally customizable, BAM helps you accomplish greater gains at your own pace and level.

Developed by experienced trainers, the BAM Superset combines exercises for opposing muscle groups. This speeds up your workout, reduces soreness and injury risk, and helps you build muscle mass in no time.

Chiropractic, From Your Head to Your Feet

Some people mistakenly believe that while chiropractors do an excellent job of treating back pain, they may not always be the best choice for relieving pain affecting other parts of the body. Yes, back pain is the leading reason people visit a chiropractor, but it's certainly not the only reason. A new study has shown that for people experiencing a certain type of foot pain, chiropractic is not only effective, but also can relieve the pain where other methods have failed.

In the study, researchers treated 15 patients who had developed foot pain after undergoing a surgical procedure called plantar fasciotomy. Other therapies, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), shoe padding and rest, had been ineffective in relieving the pain. All of the patients were treated with manual therapy (consisting of joint mobilization and/or chiropractic manipulation to the joints in the foot and ankle) and home-based exercises, and then were asked to describe whether the pain had improved or remained the same.

Eleven patients in the group reported experiencing "significant improvement" in their foot pain as a result of chiropractic care; another three patients experienced "moderate" improvement. The treatment was not only effective, but quite safe, with no long-lasting complications associated with any of the procedures. The lesson here? If you suffer from pain and you're looking for a safe, natural alternative to drugs and surgery, schedule an appointment with your local doctor of chiropractic!

Wyatt LH. Conservative chiropractic management of recalcitrant foot pain after fasciotomy: a retrospective case review. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics June 2006;29(5):398-402.

Another Reason to Eat Your Veggies!

Remember when your mother used to tell you to eat your vegetables because they were good for you? You might not have liked it, but increasing research shows just how right she was. The latest example: A study suggests that eating a healthy dose of vegetables each day is good for you by helping to prevent atherosclerosis, which in turn can reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and other disorders.

In this study, researchers looked at the relationship between vegetables and atherosclerosis in a group of genetically altered mice. For 16 weeks, half of the mice were fed a diet in which 30 percent of the calories came from a mixture of broccoli, green beans, peas, corn and carrots. The rest of the mice consumed a diet free of vegetables. At the end of the study period, researchers found that, compared to the mice that didn't eat any vegetables, the buildup of atherosclerosis was 38 percent less in the group of mice that ate the vegetable diet. In addition, blood cholesterol levels were 32 percent lower, and the mice in the vegetable diet group weighed an average of 7 percent less.

If you're at risk of developing atherosclerosis, now might be the time to consider changing your diet to include more vegetables like the ones included in this study. Doctors of chiropractic are also well-versed in nutrition and can help create a diet program that increases your consumption of vegetables, fruits and other foods that are good for you.

Adams MR, Golden DL, Chen H, et al. A diet rich in green and yellow vegetables inhibits atherosclerosis in mice. Journal of Nutrition July 2006;136:1886-1889.

Exercise Can Reverse Effects of Inactivity

Few things can be as hazardous to a person's health as physical inactivity, which has been linked to numerous diseases and can reduce one's lifespan by several years. A recent study shows that even for people who have been inactive for prolonged amounts of time, a few months of regular exercise can reverse many of the negative effects of inactivity.

In the study, 53 overweight, middle-aged people who had been sedentary for the previous six months were asked to participate in a six-month exercise program. At the start of the trial, at the end of the sedentary period and again at the end of the exercise program, the researchers measured 17 different factors that can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, including waist size, body mass index, cholesterol levels, the presence of visceral fat, and sensitivity to insulin. As could be expected, waist sizes expanded, visceral fat levels increased considerably, and more signs of metabolic syndrome appeared during the six months the people were inactive. In the six months of exercise that followed, however, a dramatic turnaround ensued, as 13 of the 17 factors measured at the start of the study either reverted completely to baseline or improved beyond their baseline levels.

So, what are you waiting for? It's time to get off the couch, get on your feet, and start exercising - today!

Robbins JL, Slentz CA, Houmard JA, et al. Exercise training to reverse the detrimental effects of physical inactivity on cardiovascular risk. Abstract #2348. Presented at the 53rd annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Denver, Colo., June 2, 2006.