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December 2021 Health Newsletter

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» Studies Explore the Connection Between Back Pain and Mortality
» The ACA Offers "12 Days of Health and Wellness" for Healthy, Happy Season
» Nighttime Needs To Be Nighttime

Studies Explore the Connection Between Back Pain and Mortality

Back pain and mortality? What craziness is this?

It's true, though. While back pain may not be the leading cause of death, it's a strong indicator of other health issues that can lead to mortality. The Boston University School of Medicine and the University of Minnesota School of medicine both performed a scientific review (meaning the evaluated a large collection of scientific studies) to first determine whether or not there actually is a link between back pain and mortality. And there was. Research also shows what patients and chiropractors can do to promote a happy, healthy and back-pain-free life.

The Research on Back Pain and Mortality

The mere presence of back pain was associated with an increased risk of mortality, and patients with more severe back pain measured at a 26% increased risk. Severe pain patients were marked by those who struggled to operate through their daily lives, experienced decreased mobility, weight gain and cardiovascular disease.

One link that's not so surprising is the use of drugs to find pain relief, which boosted mortality numbers for reasons like opioid overdose and overusing pain pills so much that it led to heart issues. Heart issues then led to mortality. Research also linked back pain to poor balance, resulting in falls that sometimes were deadly. And one surprising link: back pain and suicide, which makes sense because of the presence of pain pills and opioids and the potential for drug abuse.

What You and Your Chiropractor Can Do for Back Pain

The good news is you don’t have to sit or lie there and suffer, and you don't have to try and fix your back pain yourself. Instead, you can seek out quality chiropractic care for back pain relief. And it comes with many great perks:

  • Chiropractic is drug-free, which protects you from drug overdose and inadvertently abusing pain pills. 
  • Chiropractic can treat both acute and chronic back pain
  • Chiropractors can coach you through back pain prevention tips, lifestyle habits and ergonomics in your workspace
  • Research backs chiropractic as a method of treating and preventing back pain
  • You seriously reduce the potential need for surgery to alleviate back pain with chiropractic care
  • Chiropractic can reduce the duration and severity of back pain, if not eliminate it

So, got back pain? Skip the suffering and reduce your mortality risk by seeing your chiropractor.

Source: J Gen Intern Med. 2021 Oct;36(10):3148-3158.

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The ACA Offers "12 Days of Health and Wellness" for Healthy, Happy Season

The upcoming holiday season is full of reasons for good cheer, but the added demands of the season can also stress the capacities of our bodies. Research shows that stress and unhealthy behaviors contribute to some of our country's biggest health problems such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. This stress can also build up inside the body and manifest as back pain, neck pain or headaches...making matters even worse. Doctors of chiropractic are experts in spinal adjustment and other manual therapies that can relieve the aches and pains caused by holiday stress. They also provide nutrition counseling, exercise recommendations, ergonomic tips and other advice to promote good health year-round. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), in an effort to promote health and wellness this holiday season, offers "12 Days of Health and Wellness," a campaign designed to give consumers tips on ways to manage the holidays more healthfully.  Each day focuses on a different topic such as choosing nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, and stretching after tree-trimming or gift wrapping to help ease back pain. "The holidays are synonymous with frenzied activities, parties, shopping and stress, so it is imperative that people take steps to address these issues in healthier ways," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "It's the perfect time to use ACA's tips to take control of your health and to discover chiropractic's natural approach to wellness. A doctor of chiropractic can customize a wellness program that's right for you."

Author: American Chiropractic Association.
Source: American Chiropractic Association. November 20, 2009.

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Nighttime Needs To Be Nighttime

Artificial nighttime light may be a significant contributor to obesity, according to new research. In the study, researchers found that nighttime light along with lack of exercise and poor diet accounted for approximately 73 percent of the variation in rates of obesity and excess weight among women and 68 percent among men. Another very recent study found those using tablets for 30 minutes prior to attempting sleep were not only less tired, but their electrical brain activity was also modified. Researchers believe artificial light later in the evening contributes to both unhealthy weight gain and lack of tiredness by suppressing melatonin – a hormone essential in regulating sleep cycles as it anticipates the daily onset of darkness. Using artificial light later in the day when your body begins preparing for sleep confuses the body and as shown by new research, is associated with negative consequences including both unhealthy weight gain and difficulty in getting to sleep. If you’re experiencing unwelcomed weight gain and difficulty in getting and staying asleep, try cutting out all computer work and exposure to bright lights at least 1-2 hours prior to bedtime.

Source: International Journal of Obesity, online 2/23/16. Sleep Medicine, online 3/1/16.

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