Posted on March 12 2014Millions of Americans suffer from persistent pain including the neck, back, and head that can disrupt quality of life, sleep, and work. Each year, over $600 billion dollars are spent on treatment and lost wages for the treatment of acute and chronic pain. However, there is hope that current therapies, such as heat therapy and massage, can help provide relief from chronic pain. Does massage relieve neck pain? Findings published in the Annals of Family Medicine indicate that regular massage can be used to mitigate the effects of chronic or acute neck pain. A study of 228 patients over a 4-week period assessed the value of massage for pain relief and found that repeated treatments could alleviate neck aches. It was noted, however, that patients who received short treatments (30 minutes) twice a week did not fare as well as those who received 3 sessions a week for 60 minutes each. Those who received more intense treatments were 3-5 times more likely to report feelings of neck pain relief. Does heat/cold relieve neck pain? Studies from the National Institutes of Health also indicate that neck pain relief can be achieved through the application of hot or cold compresses for 30 minutes. In controlled, randomized trials, patients with neck strains were provided with 30 minute heading pad or cold pack treatments. Over 50% of these patients reported feeling relief following topical heat or cold therapy similar to that achieved by NSAID pain relievers. Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/videos/news/Neck_Pain_031114-1.html http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20536800 http://www.painmed.org/patientcenter/facts_on_pain.aspx
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Posted on February 28 2014
With February being heart month there has been an uptake in the number of campaigns and publications aiming to help Americans become better informed about heart health and a goal of motivating Americans to take actions towards improving their heart health. As part of the Cleveland Clinic’s “Love Your Heart” campaign, which also aimed to educate consumers, the Cleveland Clinic conducted a survey of about 1000 Americans, all of whom were over 18 years of age.
The results from this recent survey (published in a Cleveland Clinic news release on Feb. 7, 2014) has revealed some alarming news, indicating that many Americans are still overwhelmingly misinformed about heart health and heart diseases.
With heart disease still holding strong as the number 1 cause of death for men and women in the United States, it’s disturbing that 74% of Americans reported not being worried about dying from heart diseases and 32% reported not taking any precautionary or preventative steps to help guard themselves from heart disease.
Contrary to the goals of consumer-education campaigns, many American’s were found to hold many commonly shared misconceptions regarding heart health.
Commonly shared misconceptions
- 44% think vitamins can lower cholesterol
- 61% think vitamins or supplements can help prevent heart disease
- 55% think taking fish oil can prevent heart disease
- 55% didn’t know seafood is just as high in cholesterol as red meat
- 32% though cheese was the biggest culprit for sodium content
- 76% were unaware that breads have a high sodium content
- 60% blame an unidentified ‘heart disease gene’
Even though 64% of Americans either have heart disease themselves or they know someone who does, an alarming 70% are still unaware of the signs and symptoms of heart disease. Since heart disease is a condition that can be prevented and managed, the importance of properly educating the public on about heart disease and its related topics, such as prevention, signs and symptoms, and managing heart diseases, should not be understated.
Posted on February 27 2014
Higher heart rates can lead to higher death risksWhile most of us tend to go about our day-to-day business without ever thinking about our heart rates, although monitoring our heart rates, how fast our heart beats, can be a simple, yet effective, method for predicting the status of our health. Elevated heart rates, also referred to as our pulse rates, can indicate that health complications, including cardiovascular events, may be arising. Research studies also indicate that higher heart rates can also lead to a higher death risk. One landmark study presented to the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society revealed that individuals who had a higher resting heart rate had a higher risk for shortened life expectancy, revealing that heart disease patients with higher heart rates (which were classified as heart beat of 78 beats per minute or greater) had: *A 39% greater risk for major cardiovascular events *A 77% greater risk for cardiovascular disease death *A 65% greater risk for all-causes of death *and were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized for heart failure Scientist from the Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell, also agree that higher resting heart rates pose a higher risk of death. The results of these studies should not be overlooked. As these studies have revealed, regularly monitoring ones heart rate and keeping watch for sudden and unexplained changes can be a quick, simple, cheap, and potentially life-saving method of screening for upcoming health complications. Often times, when detected early enough, serious complications may be prevented with a timely and accurate diagnosis and treatment. Sources: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/205954.php?sr http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/198053.php?sr
Posted on February 21 2014
In a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (February 5th, 2014), researchers concluded that monitoring blood pressure levels early on in life can help prevent serious complications later. The study, which tracked 4,700 men and women through the 80's, 90's, and today revealed clear early indicators for a potential risk later in life.
High blood pressure is classified as having a systolic pressure, the top number, of 140 or higher and the lower number, or diastolic pressure, of 90 or higher. Alternatively, the normal blood pressure range is at or below 120/80. Current statistics indicate that approximately 1/3 of adults in the United States have high blood pressure.
Over the course of the 25 year study, participants were tested for their current blood pressure level, and at the conclusion of the study underwent CT scans to examine their arteries for any calcification. The results of the study were quite telling:--Approximately 5% had high blood pressure at the start of the study, which kept increasing. Their arteries showed the most calcification.
--Only 4% of the individuals within the normal range showed high calcium levels.
--19% had moderate blood pressure at the start, and 17% of those ended up with high levels of calcification.
Knowing that higher blood pressure early in life is a clear indicator of risk as the years progress, what can young adults do to prepare?--Regularly monitor blood pressure levels starting early in life
--Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regimen
--Avoid high risk behaviors like smoking, drinking, and illicit drug use
Posted on January 31 2014While heart disease education and treatment has improved over the years, a recent study in the Journal of Women's Health indicates that certain groups may need additional support and education. In particular, the study found that Hispanic women were significantly less likely to know the risks of heart disease and the symptoms of a heart attack. In a study performed by the Columbia University Medical Center, over 700 respondents from white and Hispanic populations were sampled. Surprisingly, only 27% of Hispanics were aware that heart disease is the nations leading cause of death, as opposed to 88% of whites. The percentage of participants that answered correctly was even lower when a significant language barrier existed. Additionally, while 81% of white respondents knew the symptoms of heart attack, only 59% of Hispanic women did. This disparity is a significant risk factor for those requiring immediate care and treatment. Interestingly, of those that responded to the survey, 67% of the Hispanic respondents were overweight or obese, compared to 42% of the whites. This indicates that perhaps the disparity exists in the availability of education and wellness resources. The extrapolated suggestion is that future campaigns directed towards improving wellness and reducing heart related conditions should include a focus that targets minority groups. Source: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_143881.html