January 2022 Health Newsletter

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» The Quality of Your Posture Is Linked to Fall Risk
» Obesity Grows Around The World
» Research Says Fitness Trackers May Not Be Accurate
» ACA Responds to Report on Construction of Essential Benefits Mandated by Health

The Quality of Your Posture Is Linked to Fall Risk

Whether your golden years are now or decades off, good posture is correlated to reduced fall risk. And the other good part? Your favorite chiropractor is a great resource for both achieving and maintaining good posture. 

The Link Between Posture and Fall Risk

Here’s the not-so-good part: not only does poor posture lead to back pain, it leads to an increased fall risk. You’re twice as likely to fall if you have back pain, according to studies. And if you’re in pain, you’re less likely to move, which leads to weaker muscles for both movement and posture, which then lead to an even greater risk of falling. It can become quite the vicious cycle.  Back pain is not only linked to an increased risk of falling, it’s often tied to poor posture. And if you have poor posture, your body is poorly balanced and you may also have hindered range of motion. For example, if you trip or slip, your poor, imbalanced posture makes it harder to get your feet back under you in time.

Falling Statistics

Falling statistics go beyond the number elderly of folks who take a tumble in any given year. There’s associated injuries (broken hips and head injuries top the list), medical costs (falls incur over $50 billion annually), deaths and more.  The other problem is that all these numbers get worse year over year. The CDC projects that the fall death rate in the U.S. alone will rise to 7 deaths every hour by 2030. Part of that is due to our baby boomer generation entering the 65+ age group, and part of it is due to a life of sitting at computers and/or on couches. Statistics also show that you’re more likely to fall if you experience foot pain as well. Improper posture places uneven wear and tear on your feet, often leading to pain.

How Your Chiropractor Can Help With Posture

Chiropractors are trained to evaluate posture and aid in promoting correct posture. They can help in four powerful ways.

Quality Testing - Fixing posture is more than remembering to sit or stand straight. And to properly fix posture, it takes getting to know your unique case. Poor posture can stem from improper curvature in the neck or back, scoliosis, how you hold your head, injury, poor ergonomics and more. Chiropractors have various posture assessments and tests to correctly identify the root cause(s) of poor posture and the best approach to treating you and only you.

Ergonomics Evaluation - One of the best ways to avoid poor posture is to develop a lifestyle that promotes good posture. Your chiropractor can evaluate your workspace and home lifestyle, and give you guidance on how to adjust your lifestyle in a way that proper posture will come more easily.

Chiropractic Adjustments - Chronically poor posture reshapes your neck and spine, and changes how your muscles hold all those bones together. Chiropractic adjustments can coax your spine back into alignment, making it easier for your body to achieve and maintain correct posture.  

Muscle Work - Building off of adjustments, your muscles need rehabilitative work, too. For example, if you’re hunched forward, then muscles on your backside are going to be longer than they should be while muscles in front are shorter. Your chiropractor can guide you through carefully calculated stretches and rehabilitative work to balance your body out and hold correct posture. 

Good posture can protect you and potentially save your life. You don’t have to live in fear of falling. You can work with your chiropractor to improve your posture, thus significantly reducing both pain levels and your risk of falling.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: https://www.cdc.gov/homeandrecreationalsafety/falls/adultfalls.html


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Obesity Grows Around The World

In early 2016, the global population totaled more than 640 million obese people. These new totals now show that more than half the world is overweight. This increase in obesity means that one in seven women and one in 10 men are obese, with a body mass index of more than 30 (overweight is 25). During the last 40 years, the average male BMI has risen from 21.7 to 24.2 while females saw a rise from 22.1 to 24.4. That totals to an average of 3.3 pounds gained per decade. The study looked at almost 20 million adults worldwide. It's an epidemic that has seen worldwide attention as countries address food labeling practices, food pricing, taxes on unhealthy foods, and government nutrition recommendations. At the same time, many of the world's poorest are underweight, suffering from a lack of food. Obesity can have both health and economic effects. As healthcare costs rise, problems due to an unhealthy weight can affect the economic stability of millions of households. But it doesn't have to be this way. Leading a healthy lifestyle with plenty of exercise and a smart diet can allow you to live a longer and better life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Reuters, online March 31, 2016.


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Research Says Fitness Trackers May Not Be Accurate

Fitness trackers are exploding in popularity, tracking everything from heart rate to steps taken. But a new study from the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo shows that this technology isn't always accurate at tracking energy expenditure. Researchers tested 12 fitness trackers against current methods of detecting energy expenditure. The results suggest that these trackers can both under and overestimate energy expenditure, sometimes by hundreds of calories. Some devices underestimated calories burned by almost 600 calories while others overestimated by around 200. Researchers say it is possible the trackers are inaccurate due to people taking them off during the day. For people who use fitness trackers to make health decisions based on fitness level, both over and underestimates can be harmful. Those trying to lose weight could be actually burning too few calories. Those watching their activity levels due to heart problems may be too active. There’s not much research on trackers yet, and devices could vary from brand to brand. Either way, people using fitness trackers to make health decisions should be cautious about relying too much on device data.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: JAMA Internal Medicine, online March 21, 2016.


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ACA Responds to Report on Construction of Essential Benefits Mandated by Health

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) has reviewed the recommendations outlined by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommending a methodology for constructing an essential health benefits package to be included in qualified health plans developed as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). “We look forward to working with HHS Secretary Sebelius over the next several months on this issue,” said ACA President Keith S. Overland, DC. “We will make our position crystal clear: that doctors of chiropractic can provide services in many of the broad 10 essential benefits categories in the newly regulated environment created by the PPACA – and we will work to ensure no language is adopted at the federal level relative to ‘essential benefits’ that would specifically exclude services provided by, or the participation of, chiropractic physicians.” At the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) late last year, IOM undertook a study to make recommendations to HHS on the criteria and methods for determining and updating the essential health benefits package. When ACA testified in January before the IOM panel charged with developing a set of recommendations for HHS, one of the items ACA stressed must happen is transparency throughout the essential health benefit determination process. The IOM keyed on this request and made sure in its recommendations that transparency is a vital focal point in the process going forward.  Another ACA proposal, urging that HHS considers the wide range of patient protections at the state level in determining an essential benefit package, was also included in the IOM report. The IOM stated in its report that while state patient protections, or mandates, should not be given preferential treatment, they should indeed be subject to the same inclusion criteria as any other service. In addition, in an effort to protect patients, ACA recommended that HHS also create an extensive review process for patient appeals if essential benefits are denied. The IOM also recommended that HHS create a strong framework for appeals and other protections when implementing and updating essential health benefits. The next step in the process may be a proposed rule, open to public comment, issued by HHS. The department may also create a series of public “listening sessions” where individuals may be able to voice their concerns orally and in-person. The exact scenario for public feedback should be determined in the next several weeks. “Transparency during this entire process will be fundamental in its success,” said Dr. Overland. “We believe that through research, evidence and patient satisfaction, the services provided by doctors of chiropractic will not only be deemed essential, but vital, to the health and well-being of all Americans.”

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.

Author: American Chiropractic Association
Source: Acatoday.com, October 7, 2011.


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