2009 – June Newsletter

Posted on: June 1st, 2009



Eliminate Pain.  Restore Function.  Optimize Health.  Achieve Wellness.

FYI June 2009

Healthy Lifestyles on the Decline
Far fewer Americans are engaging in healthy lifestyles than there were just two decades ago, researchers say. Only
8% of today’s patients engage in all five healthy behaviors —
maintaining a healthy weight, eating fruits and vegetables, drinking
alcohol in moderation, exercising, and not smoking — compared with 15%
in 1988. The findings have implications for the overall future risk of cardiovascular disease in adults, they said.


compared rates of healthy lifestyle habits in patients ages 40 to 74
who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination
Survey in 1988-1994 and 2001-2006.  They found that over the last 18 years, the percentage of adults
ages 40 to 74 with a BMI greater than 30 has increased from 28% to 36%. The proportion who engage in physical activity 12 times a month or more has decreased from 53% to 43%. Smoking rates have not changed, remaining constant at about 26.5%. The proportion who eat five or more fruits and vegetables a day has decreased from 42% to 26%.  And moderate alcohol use has increased from 40% to 51%.

American Journal of Medicine

What’s your BMI? 
Want to know  your Body Mass Index and what it means? Check out Calculate Your Body Mass Index
Older Adults and Pain Medication
New guidelines recently released said that nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which include ibuprofin and Alleve, and COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex, should be virtually
eliminated as analgesics in older adults’ medicine cabinets under
updated geriatric pain management guidelines.  Although the American
Geriatrics Society once recommended these agents before consideration
of opioids for patients 75 and older with persistent pain, it now calls
this strategy too risky.

Persistent pain is common
among seniors, and if
ignored or incorrectly treated, pain may cause falls, functional
impairment, disruptions in sleep, depression and anxiety, and increased
healthcare costs. However, the
cardiovascular risk and gastrointestinal toxicity of NSAIDs usually
outweigh the benefits of using them.

For most seniors,
acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin) should be considered as “initial and
ongoing pharmacotherapy in the treatment of persistent pain,
particularly musculoskeletal pain,” the guidelines said. They noted that the
presence of liver disease and/or chronic alcohol use can be contraindications to these drugs.
Journal of the American Geriatrics Society
Spinal Degeneration: an aging process?

By age 30, about one-third of the population will show osteoarthritic
changes on spinal X-rays, and by 70 years of age degenerative joint
disease is almost universal. 
However, the process of spinal degeneration may not be an inevitable part of
aging. This is evident from the fact many older people have healthy,
well-preserved discs and no sign of disc or joint degeneration. Yet
severe degenerative change can be seen in young adults if there has
been trauma or prolonged, abnormal spinal stress, such as the result of
postural distortion and misalignment.
In most individuals, spinal degeneration is still considered largely a “wear and tear”
In simplest terms, the spine is comprised of vertebra separated from
one another by discs (analogous to cushions or sponges). As we age,
these discs undergo subtle biochemical changes resulting in a loss of
thickness and cushioning ability.

Evidence suggests these alterations in the disc may be the result of chronic
undernourishment due to faulty spinal mechanics, rather than an
inevitable part of the aging phenomenon.  Faulty spinal mechanics
is primarily the result of accidents, microtrauma and postural
distortions. Trauma and abnormal posture produces misalignment of the
spine, further contributing to spinal wear and tear.
Chiropractic care can
significantly benefit osteoarthritis sufferers by gradually improving
movement in dysfunctional joints and through restoring normal spinal
curves and alignment.  In addition to pain relief, chiropractic care
may also assist in preventing further degeneration from occurring. The most important contribution chiropractic care can have to spinal health, however, may lie in prevention.  Through
maintaining optimum joint movement and spinal alignment, regular
chiropractic care can help prevent spinal degeneration from starting in
the first place.

Rolfing anyone?

Rolfing, or
Structural Integration, is a form of soft tissue manipulation and
movement education, which has the ability to dramatically change your posture
and structure. It aims to align and balance all the components of your body by
addressing the soft tissue, known as the fascia, within the context of how your
body relates to gravity.  If your interested in learning more or have always wanted to try Rolfing, I suggest Cody Smolik


practices in Black Rock
Physical Therapy/Pilates on 2889 Fairfield Avenue.  Her numbers are 917-544-4412 or 203-345-7573.  She is available to work with specific issues or introduce
you to the series that Structural Integration has to offer. 

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Please feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and family. 
© Dr. Brian C. Baker
133 Reef Road
Fairfield, CT  06824

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Dr. Brian Baker | reefchirocare@optimum.net | Reef Chiropractic Care | 133 Reef Road | Fairfield, CT 06824

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