August 2017 Health Newsletter

Print-Friendly Newsletter

Current Articles

» ACA Offers Backpack Safety Checklist
» New Study Sheds Further Light on the Risks of Opioid Use
» More Exercises Are Proving Helpful for Optimal Brain Health & Function

ACA Offers Backpack Safety Checklist
Although they're practically a necessity for today's students, improperly worn backpacks are a leading cause of back and shoulder pain for millions of children.  As students head back to school, the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) offers parents the following checklist to help select the best backpack for their children:
  • Is the backpack the correct size for your child?  The backpack should never be wider or longer than your childís torso, and the pack should not hang more than 4 inches below the waistline. A backpack that hangs too low increases the weight on the shoulders, causing your child to lean forward when walking.
  • Does the backpack have two wide, padded shoulder straps?  Non-padded straps are not only uncomfortable, but they also can place unnecessary pressure on the neck and shoulder muscles.
  • Does your child use both straps? Lugging a heavy backpack by one strap can cause a disproportionate shift of weight to one side, leading to neck and muscle spasms, low-back pain, and poor posture
  • Are the shoulder straps adjustable?  The shoulder straps should be adjustable so the backpack can be fitted to your childís body. The backpack should be evenly centered in the middle of your child's back.
  • Does the backpack have a padded back?  A padded back not only provides increased comfort, but also protects your child from being poked by sharp edges on school supplies (pencils, rulers, notebooks, etc.) inside the pack.
  • Does the pack have several compartments?  A backpack with individualized compartments helps position the contents most effectively. Make sure that pointy or bulky objects are packed away from the area that will rest on your child's back, and try to place the heaviest items closet to the body.
  • Are all those books really necessary? If the backpack is still too heavy, talk to your child's teacher. Ask if your child could leave the heaviest books at school, and bring home only lighter hand-out materials or workbooks Ė or perhaps books on CD-ROM.
The ACA recommends that parents help children pack their backpacks properly and make sure children never carry more than 10 percent of their body weight.  For example, a child who weighs 100 pounds shouldnít carry a backpack heavier than 10 pounds.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: http://www.acatoday.com
Copyright: American Chiropractic Association 2007


page toppage toppage top




New Study Sheds Further Light on the Risks of Opioid Use

As you have probably heard, the country is currently in the grips of a massive opioid epidemic. In 2010, 16,000 Americans died from an opioid overdose. That was four times as many as in 1999. By 2015, that number had nearly tripled to 52,000 deaths. The death toll continues to rise. This problem is formally recognized by the Department of Health and Human Services. This past March, the governor of Maryland even went so far as to declare a State of Emergency because of the problemís severity. While the epidemic is full of complexity, one factor certainly playing a role in its growth is that these powerful medications are prescribed to many patients after only minor operations.†

Factors That May Lead to Opioid Abuse

According to a recent study, patients are equally likely to become chronic opioid users after minor operations as they are following major ones. Among people who are prescribed opioids for reasons unrelated to surgery, only 0.4% will develop a problem. After a major surgery, the rate is 6.5%. However, that is only slightly higher than the rate for patients who have had minor operations, which is 5.9%. A better identifier for who will become a chronic user seems to be the personís history with chronic pain. Those who became addicted to opioids after any type of surgery were 50% more likely to have previously suffered from arthritis or chronic back pain. Smoking also played a role. Smokers were 34% more likely to abuse opioids they were prescribed following surgery. For those who had preexisting substance or alcohol use problems, the odds of becoming addicted were also 34% higher.† These factors have led many experts to call for better screening practices before opioids are prescribed.††

Donít Risk Becoming a Victim of the Opioid Epidemic

No one plans to become addicted to opioids, but when you combine the strength of these drugs and the pain people are often in when they begin taking them, itís not hard to see how we got to a crisis. It also shouldnít come as too much of a surprise that people with chronic back pain are especially susceptible to becoming addicted. The pain can be so severe that patients will accept just about any fate if it means some kind of relief. Fortunately, if you experience pain, your local chiropractor may be able to help. Their noninvasive treatments can be quick, are often highly effective, and importantly donít involve the use of prescription medications. In fact, some patients feel better than they have in years after just one adjustment. Call your local chiropractor today if youíre suffering from pain that wonít seem to go away.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Surgery, online April 12, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


page toppage toppage top




More Exercises Are Proving Helpful for Optimal Brain Health & Function

How can you boost brain power? Itís an important question to ask, especially with the rise of dementia and Alzheimerís diseases. Is there really anything that can be done to achieve optimal brain health in an effort to ward off these debilitating diseases? Indeed there is! Reuters recently reported on a study that found more and more physical exercises are proving useful for brain health. Tai Chi seems to dominate the cognitive function category. But theyíre definitely not alone Ė which is great news for people who like activities that are more energetic. A variety of strength training and aerobic exercises have been shown to slow cognitive decline in adults over the age of 50. Neurons in the brain fire whenever people are engaged in a form of physical activity. Even something like walking regularly can have a profound effect on brain function. The neurons in the brain fire whenever people have to balance and contract their muscles. Not only does the rapid firing help the body to perform these functions even better, they keep the brain active and healthy. The Harvard Health Blog recommends walking at the very least. If people arenít into that, they can try:

  • Swimming
  • Dancing
  • Tennis
  • Aerobics Classes

 

And even hiring a personal trainer. The goal here is not so much what type of physical activity a person engages in, but the regularity in which they do it. Exercising at least three days a week is a good start for achieving optimal brain health.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: British Journal of Sports Medicine, online April 24, 2017.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2017


page toppage toppage top






Articles 1-3 of 3 << first < previous next > last >