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January 2020 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter
» "Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia
» Manual Therapy Providers Forge Closer Ties at Interprofessional Collaborative Spine Conference
» Screen Time and Inactivity Unacceptable In Adolescents
» Chiropractic - Safe and Sound
» How Pillow Height Affects Muscle Activity and Perceived Comfort

Broccoli - The Cancer Fighter

What if a few servings of broccoli a week could help prevent, even fight off prostate cancer? New research indicates there may just be truth to this. A team of British researchers from the Institute of Food Research found dietary broccoli consumption of 400 grams per week activated genes that control inflammation and cancer formation in the prostate. According to researchers, when people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on, and, what broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer development and switching off other genes that help it to spread. Thus, dietary broccoli consumption was able to affect the expression of cancer formation/inflammation/spreading genes in a positive manner. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in men with approximately 680,000 men diagnosed worldwide.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PLoS One. July 2, 2008.


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"Mind-body" Therapy Shows Promise For Fibromyalgia

A form of 'mind-body' therapy that focuses on the role of emotions in physical pain may offer some relief to people with fibromyalgia, a small clinical trial suggests.

The study, of 45 women with fibromyalgia, found that those who learned a technique called "affective self-awareness" were more likely to show a significant reduction in their pain over six months. Overall, 46 percent of the women had a 30-percent or greater reduction in their pain severity, as measured by a standard pain-rating scale.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome marked by widespread pain -- including discomfort at specific "tender points" in the body -- along with symptoms such as fatigue, irritable bowel and sleep problems. It is estimated to affect up to 5 million U.S. adults, most commonly middle-aged women.

The precise cause of fibromyalgia is unknown -- there are no physical signs, such as inflammation and tissue damage in the painful area -- but some researchers believe the disorder involves problems in how the brain processes pain signals.

Standard treatments include painkillers, antidepressants, cognitive- behavioral therapy and exercise therapy. However, many people with fibromyalgia find that their symptoms -- pain, in particular -- persist despite treatment.

Part of that, according to the researchers on the new study, may be because standard treatments do not specifically address the role psychological stress and emotions can play in triggering people's pain.

That is not to say that the pain people with fibromyalgia feel is "all in their head," stressed Dr. Howard Schubiner, of St. John Health/ Providence Hospital and Medical Centers in Southfield, Michigan.

"The pain is very real," Schubiner said in an interview. But, he explained, pain and emotions are "connected in the brain," and emotional factors may act to trigger "learned nerve pathways" that give rise to pain.

Past studies have found that compared with people without fibromyalgia, those with the disorder have higher rates of stressful life events, such as childhood abuse, marital problems and high levels of job stress. There is also evidence that they are relatively less aware of their own emotions and more reluctant to express their feelings, particularly anger.

For the new study, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, Schubiner and his colleagues tested the effects of affective self-awareness -- a technique Schubiner developed and uses in treating certain chronic-pain conditions -- on fibromyalgia.

They randomly assigned 45 women with the condition to either undergo the therapy or go on a wait-list for treatment, serving as a control group. Women in the treatment group each had a one-on-one consultation, then attended three group meetings to learn the affective self-awareness techniques so that they could carry them out on their own.

The therapy involves an educational component where patients learn about the emotion-pain connection. They learn specific techniques -- including mindfulness meditation and "expressive" writing -- for recognizing and dealing with the emotions that may be contributing to their pain. Patients are also encouraged to get back to any exercise or other activities that they have been avoiding due to pain.

Schubiner's team found that six months later, 46 percent of the treatment group had at least a 30-percent reduction in their pain ratings compared with scores at the outset. And 21 percent had a 50-percent or greater reduction.
None of the women in the control group had a comparable improvement.

The study is only the first clinical trial to test affective self-awareness for fibromyalgia, and it had a number of limitations, including its small size. In addition, the control group received no active therapy to serve as a comparison.

That is important because it is possible for patients to benefit from simply receiving attention from a healthcare provider, or being part of small-group sessions with other people suffering from the same condition, for example.

Schubiner also acknowledged that this general "model" for understanding and addressing fibromyalgia pain is controversial.

He said that he and his colleagues have applied for funding to conduct a larger clinical trial comparing affective self-awareness with standard cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Affective self-awareness and cognitive-behavioral therapy have similarities, according to Schubiner. Both, for example, try to show patients that they have the power to improve their own health.

A key difference, Schubiner said, is that affective self-awareness asks people to "directly engage" the emotions that may be helping to drive their symptoms.

Another difference is that, right now, only a small number of healthcare providers practice affective self-awareness, according to Schubiner.

Some components of the technique, such as teachings in mindfulness meditation, are more widely available. But whether those practices in isolation would help fibromyalgia patients' pain is not clear.

Author: Reuters
Source: Journal of General Internal Medicine, online June 8, 2010.


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Manual Therapy Providers Forge Closer Ties at Interprofessional Collaborative Spine Conference

More than 160 members of the chiropractic, physical therapy and osteopathic professions forged a new spirit of cooperation and understanding during the Interprofessional Collaborative Spine Conference (ICSC), which took place Nov. 8-9 in Pittsburgh, Pa.  Organizers of this first-of-its-kind event hope to enhance patient outcomes as well as increase integration of manual therapies for back pain in the wake of the ongoing opioid crisis.  ICSC was organized and hosted by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) with the support of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Manual Physical Therapists (AAOMPT) and the Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy (AOPT), which represent three of the major provider groups of non-drug manual therapies for pain.     Manual therapies such as spinal manipulation, physical therapy modalities, massage and acupuncture have received increased attention and support in recent years by major health care organizations such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Family Physicians for their ability to effectively manage many cases of back pain and in some cases reduce or alleviate the need for prescription opioids.  Research shows that back pain is one of the most common conditions for which opioids are prescribed.  "The chiropractic profession was honored to take part in the Interprofessional Collaborative Spine Conference," said Michele Maiers, DC, MPH, PhD, vice president of the American Chiropractic Association. "We are committed to working together with our colleagues in physical therapy and osteopathy to raise awareness and promote integration of non-drug manual approaches."  "Providers of manual therapies have an unprecedented opportunity to positively impact the lives of millions of people who struggle with back pain. Together, we can find ways to improve what we do and to communicate better with patients.  The Interprofessional Collaborative Spine Conference was an important step in that direction," said Julie Fritz, PT, PhD, FAPTA, associate dean for research at the University of Utah College of Health, who helped plan the conference.

Author: American Chiropractic Association.
Source: Acatoday.com. November 12, 2019.


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Screen Time and Inactivity Unacceptable In Adolescents

According to research conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), the majority of adolescents are not getting adequate amounts of physical activity.  The WHO recommends adolescents participate in an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily.  However, data obtained by the WHO from 1.6 million students between 2001 and 2016 found only 1 out of 5 children met the WHO’s recommendation for daily physical activity.  The WHO attributes this lack of physical activity to increase in home screen time which is replacing the time for physical activity.  While the data is extremely concerning and parents and educational leaders need to step up to create and implement solutions, the good news is that over the 15 years reviewed, the physical activity for boys has actually improved.  Unfortunately, over that same period of time, there has been no improvement for the physical activity in girls.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. November 21, 2019.


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Chiropractic - Safe and Sound

Every once in a while someone makes a comment suggesting chiropractic care might not be completely safe. They may claim that chiropractic care to the neck region might have associated risks of stroke. Make no mistake - chiropractic care is actually one of the most natural, safe and least invasive forms of health care available. Doctors of chiropractic are trained extensively to deliver their care in a safe, natural and non-invasive manner. Not only have millions of patients experienced the safety and effectiveness chiropractic care has to offer, numerous studies in existence back this up. One of the most recently published safety related studies evaluated the incidence of strokes in approximately 1.16 million 66 to 99 year old Medicare beneficiaries following visits to medical doctors vs. visits to doctors of chiropractic. Ironically according to researchers, their findings indicated that 7 days after their visits slightly more beneficiaries who visited a medical doctor as compared to a doctor of chiropractic ended up suffering from a stroke.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT. February 2015 Volume 38, Issue 2, Pages 93–101.


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How Pillow Height Affects Muscle Activity and Perceived Comfort

A recent report studied how using foam pillows of three different heights affected the comfort and electromyographic (EMG) activity of the neck and mid-upper back muscles of participants. The study was performed by a team of therapists and researchers in the University of São Paulo School of Medicine in São Paulo, Brazil. Performed in 2014 and published in 2015, the study revealed the associations among pillow height, EMG activity, and perceived comfort. Twenty-one asymptomatic adults were observed using three different foam pillows of 5 cm, 10 cm and 14 cm, or approximately 2 inches, 4 inches and 5 1/2 inches. Study participants rated their comfort using a 100-mm visual analog scale, while researchers calculated EMG activity of the neck and mid-upper back muscles, called the sternocleidomastoid and upper and middle trapezius muscles. Participants considered height 1 (approximately 2 inches) to be the least comfortable and height 2 (approximately 4 inches) the most comfortable. In addition, all muscle groups showed statistical differences in EMG activity between heights 1 and 2, but not between heights 2 and 3. Individuals who prefer sleeping with a flat pillow may want to think twice, as a four-inch pillow may be the best choice for perceived comfort and back and neck support.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JMPT. Volume 38, Issue 6, Pages 375-381.


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