Here’s some promising bizarre news for back pain sufferers…
Spinal Underwear May Relieve Lower Back Pain
Dr. Para Pullen reported in the Rheumatologist that Yoshihiro Hagiwara, MD, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Upper Limb Organ at Tohoku University School of Medicine in Japan, and colleagues published a study in the Journal of Occupational Health.¹ Although the study included healthcare workers, medical assistants and physical therapists, the majority (81%) of the participants were nurses, all of whom had low back pain. The experimental group wore special underwear at all times except while bathing and sleeping. Unfortunately, the investigators did not have actual sham underwear, so they could not create a double-blind experiment.
The individuals in the experimental group wore the Spinal Underwear for three months, and the control group remained on the waiting list for three months. The same blinded examiner evaluated both groups at the beginning and end of treatment. The investigators found the Spinal Underwear was able to reduce low back pain in healthcare workers, as measured by VAS. It also reduced Somatosensory Amplification Scale (SSAS) scores, as well as increasing lumbar spine range of motion and reducing neck pain.
Comment: They ought to combine these with Depends. Now that would be a product!
Beta blocker use associated with less joint pain and opioid use in osteoarthritis
Ajai Raj writing in Pain Medicine News reported on a study published in Arthritis Care and Research. A University of Nottingham trial looked at 873 patients with osteoarthritis of the hip or knee. From their prospective observational study they concluded that beta blockers, drugs used commonly for patients with cardiac disease and hypertension helped reduce arthritis related pain. In addition the use of opioids was also reduced. They proposed a randomized trial would better assess these findings.
So… does the fact you’re a night owl affect your eating habits… next
Morning People May Eat Healthier Diets Than Night Owls
Nicholas Bakalar writing for the New York Times reported on a study published in the journal Obesity that found that “morning people may instinctively choose a healthier diet than night owls.” The study was conducted by Finnish researchers who “tracked the diets of 1,854 men and women ages 25 to 74” and used “a well-validated questionnaire” to classify the participants as “morning people” or “night owls.”
One simple task you can do to prevent rheumatoid arthritis
Brush And Floss To Prevent Rheumatoid Arthritis
Ruth Kava writing for the American council on Science and Health reported recent research published in Science Translational Medicine suggests how good dental care might well be an important factor in preventing the onset of RA.
The investigators, led by Dr. Maximilian Koenig from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explained that a bacterium associated with periodontal disease — Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa) — could be the initiator of the autoimmune feature of RA. The investigators noted that Aa, of all the other identified microbes, was the only one known that could produce the spectrum of antigens found in the joints of individuals with RA.
To investigate this possibility, they collected fluid from the gum regions of people with periodontal disease and from those of controls and analyzed them for the presence of altered proteins which are known to be immune system targets. In sum, people with periodontitis are more likely to have the Aa bacterial toxin and thus more likely to produce targets for the immune system. This in turn, links periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Comment: An interesting finding that confirms the research of others.
How common is arthritis? A lot more than you might think… next
CDC Says 1 In 5 Have Arthritis
In the United States, doctor-diagnosed arthritis is a common and widespread chronic condition (1,2). Arthritis is a leading cause of disability (3) and is projected to affect 78.4 million adults by 2040.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has analyzed 2013–2015 the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to provide estimates of arthritis and arthritis-attributable activity limitations.
They have estimated that 54.4 million adults (22.7%) have doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and that nearly 24 million adults with arthritis had activity limitations attributable to arthritis. This number has increased 20% since 2002.
Interestingly, nearly half of all adults with heart disease or diabetes have arthritis as do 30% of adults with obesity.
Comment: The incidence will probably continue to grow I think
Tired of taking bunches of pills for arthritis? Here’s an alternative… next
Better than a pill: Team to develop new arthritis treatment via silk
Erika Ebsworth-Goold writing in Medical Xpress reported a team of researchers from Washington University in St. Louis will use silk micro-particles to deliver long-lasting therapeutic compounds, helping better alleviate the pain of inflammation and injury.
“We’re starting to see that many areas can’t be reached via oral drug delivery,” said Lori Setton, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the School of Engineering & Applied Science.
Setton, said an intracellular compound called nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kB) is a main culprit in cellular breakdown, inflammation and pain after an injury. She’s working in the lab on a new solution using silk to deliver two specific molecules that can inhibit NF-kB at the site of a fracture or injury in an effort to stave off long-term joint damage.
“Silk naturally doesn’t interact with water, and, when you mix it with these molecules that also don’t interact with water, they bind to each other very strongly,” Setton said. “We believe these selective compounds are therapeutically effective, but we’ve never been able to get them to their target site. By delivering them with the silk, we hope to get large doses to the target site with low toxicity and to have them remain in that compartment for longer periods of time.”
Silk is an attractive delivery vehicle because of its long history of safe clinical use
According to Setton, the enhanced drug-delivery system has the potential to prevent the onset and progression of joint damage in patients suffering from acute injuries, like minor joint fractures, ligament or meniscal tears.
“Patients with joint trauma tend to go on to develop osteoarthritis at a higher rate compared to someone who doesn’t have the injury,” Setton said. “It’s a whole different type of arthritis development that we don’t know a whole lot about, but we believe we can intervene early with new drug delivery and treatments, and prevent onset at a later stage.”
Forty Million Americans Have Some Hearing Loss Due To Noise, CDC Says
Lenny Bernstein writing in the Washington Post reported the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stated that “forty million American adults have lost some hearing because of noise, and half of them suffered the damage outside the workplace, from everyday exposure to leaf blowers, sirens, rock concerts and other loud sounds.” Researchers found that “24 percent of adults had ‘audiometric notches’ – a deterioration in the softest sound a person can hear – in one or both ears.” The data “came from 3,583 people who had undergone hearing tests and reported the results in the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).”
Study Shows How Stress And Heart Problems May Be Linked
Kate Kelland reporting for Reuters stated that research published in The Lancet suggests individuals “with heightened activity in the amygdala, an area of the brain linked to stress, may be at greater risk of heart disease and stroke.”
Jacqueline Howard writing for CNN reported that the study included nearly 300 “adults who underwent PET and CT scans…between 2005 and 2008.” These “scans recorded brain activity, bone marrow activity, spleen activity and inflammation in the heart arteries.” The investigators then “tracked the health of each patient for two to five years, during which 22 of the patients had a cardiovascular disease event.”
Comment: Stress reduction is essential to preventing cardiac events.
A recent study suggests that snow shoveling causes death in men more than women.
Maggie Fox, NBC News, shares a study in which Canadian researchers found a slight increase in both heart attacks and deaths from heart attack in Quebec after a storm. The likelihood went up with each extra day of snow, they reported in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Typically, men are potentially more likely than women to shovel, particularly after heavy snowfalls. Snow shoveling is a demanding cardiovascular exercise requiring more than 75 percent of the maximum heart rate, particularly with heavy loads.
The team studied 128,000 heart attack cases between 1981 and 2014, and more than 68,000 people who died.
A single day of snowfall raised a man’s risk of heart attack by just less than 1 percent, they wrote, and it raised his risk of dying from a heart attack by 12 percent.
Comment: Chill… Enjoy and Watch the Snow. Or, get the wife to shovel… (just kidding).