Health-E-News. October 2009
Phillies Notes: Martinez to see chiropractor
Pedro Martinez injured his neck swinging and missing in the second inning of Saturday's loss to the Atlanta Braves, and left after throwing one warm-up pitch before the fourth. "I didn't sleep very well last night," he said, grimacing while massaging the afflicted area.
Martinez said he expected to see a chiropractor in Miami, where the Phillies travel tonight. Asked if he might miss his next start, Martinez said, "Thank God for that day off [today]," which seemed to imply that four days of rest might be not be sufficient, but the extra day provided by the schedule might create enough time to recover.
A scientific study that a biochemist would love was published on May 28, 2008 in the scientific journal, Chiropractic & Osteopathy, by the Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia. This study used biochemistry to show that chiropractic care enhances the body's immune response.
This study was designed to see if certain blood cells would produce more of a substance called Interleukin-2 (IL-2) after chiropractic adjustments, which the study authors referred to as Spinal Manipulative Therapy (SMT). Interleukin-2 or just IL-2, is a signaling molecule, that is produced by certain blood cells and is instrumental in the body's natural response to microbial infection and in discriminating between foreign (non-self) and self. In essence, if the blood cells produce enough IL-2 the body can fight infections more readily. This IL-2 molecule is also important in helping the body to know what is a foreign threat of infection, and what is naturally inside the body.
As we endure the cold and flu season, this is the perfect time to review some of the important research demonstrating the positive impact of chiropractic care on increasing immunity against disease. Chiropractic adjustments restore proper spine function, which allows your nervous system - which is housed in your spinal canal - to perform optimally. Your nervous system controls every physiologic function of your body, including the immune system. Thus, regular adjustments are part of maintaining strong defenses against illness.
Eating slow, smaller sized bites really does lead to lower calorie intake, according to researchers conducted in the Netherlands.
The experiment included 22 healthy young adults who enjoyed chocolate custard. Each participant completed various scenarios involving eating the custard in either small or large bites, and holding the food in their mouth for 3 or 9 seconds. Specifically, custard intake was 42 grams less for those who held the food in their mouths 9 seconds, versus shorter periods of time.
AJCN - August 2009;90:269-75.
Chiropractic care is highly effective for children, with a very low rate of adverse events, according to a new study published in the journal Explore.
The study used a cross-sectional survey to pool data from chiropractors and parents of pediatric chiropractic patients.
The analysis determined that chiropractic is safe and effective for youngsters:
"Treatment-associated complications were not indicated by the chiropractic and parent responders. Chiropractor responders indicated three adverse events per 5,438 office visits from the treatment of 577 children. The parent responders indicated two adverse events from 1,735 office visits involving the care of 239 children. Both sets of responders indicated a high rate of improvement with respect to the children's presenting complaints, in addition to salutary effects unrelated to the children's initial clinical presentations."
Explore - September 2009;5:290-5.
Researchers at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in Spartanburg, SC, have demonstrated that the autonomic nervous system is affected by chiropractic adjustments, and that the area of the spine adjusted may influence whether the affect involves a parasympathetic or a sympathetic response.
The study enrolled 40 patients between the ages of 25-55 years. All participants were asymptomatic and free of hypertension and a history of cardiovascular disease.
"Patients were evaluated pre- and post-chiropractic adjustment for the following autonomic responses: blood pressure and pulse rate. Seven patients were measured for heart rate variability. The subjects received either a diversified cervical segment adjustment or a diversified thoracic segment adjustment."
Results revealed that "diastolic pressure (indicating a sympathetic response) dropped significantly postadjustment among those receiving cervical adjustments, accompanied by a moderate clinical effect (0.50). Pulse pressure increased significantly among those receiving cervical adjustments, accompanied by a large effect size (0.82). Although the decrease in pulse pressure for those receiving thoracic adjustments was not statistically significant, the decrease was accompanied by a moderate effect size (0.66)."
"It is preliminarily suggested that cervical adjustments may result in parasympathetic responses, whereas thoracic adjustments result in sympathetic responses," conclude the study's authors. "Furthermore, it appears that these responses may demonstrate the relationship of autonomic responses in association to the particular segment(s) adjusted.
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine - September 2008;7:86-93.
As little as 20 minutes per day of meditation and yoga may lower feelings of stress by more than 10% and improve sleep quality, say researchers.
The study included 48 sedentary office workers. Half of the workers participated in the intervention and half served as controls.
Participants attended one-hour weekly group meetings during lunch and practiced 20 minutes of meditation and yoga per day at their desks. After six weeks, program participants reported that they were more aware of external stressors, they felt less stressed by life events, and they fell asleep more easily than did a control group that did not experience the intervention.
"Because chronic stress is associated with chronic disease, I am focusing on how to reduce stress before it has a chance to contribute to disease," comments Maryanna Klatt, lead author of the study.
Health Education & Behavior - June 2009;36:601-14.
Yoga Better Than Medical Care for Chronic Low Back Pain
People with chronic low-back (CLBP) who practice yoga do better at overcoming pain and depression than people who receive standard medical treatment, according to a three-year study published in the journal Spine.
As part of the study, 90 patients with CLBP were randomly assigned to a yoga group or the group that received conventional medical therapy. Yoga participants took 90-minute classes twice a week for 24 weeks, doing postures targeted to relieve chronic low-back pain.
"The yoga group had less pain, less functional disability and less depression compared with the control group," notes study co-author Kimberly Williams, PhD. "These were statistically significant and clinically important changes that were maintained six months after the intervention."
"Proponents of yoga have long described its benefits in reducing back pain," adds Dr. Williams. "But not everybody was convinced. This is a much bigger, much more rigorous evaluation than had been done before."
The study concludes: "Yoga improves functional disability, pain intensity, and depression in adults with CLBP. There was also a clinically important trend for the yoga group to reduce their pain medication usage compared to the control group."
Spine - September 2009;34:2066-76.