Monthly Archives: September 2014

Are Doctors Still Recommending Taking an Aspirin a Day to Prevent Heart Attacks?

If your doctor is still practicing in the 1990’s, yes, he or she is probably still telling their patients to swallow an aspirin a day. Last month the FDA reversed its previous recommendation concerning the “aspirin a day” position. The new recommendation says this: “FDA has concluded that the data does not support the use of aspirin as a preventive medication by people who have not had a heart attack, stroke or cardiovascular problems, a use that is called ‘primary prevention.’ In such people, the benefit has not been established but risks — such as dangerous bleeding into the brain or stomach — are still present.”

aspirin

What Caused The FDA To Reverse Their Position?

Science… the research just does not support the idea. In 2005 a ten-year study at Harvard involving 40,000 women was published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study found no fewer heart attacks or cardiovascular deaths among women receiving aspirin therapy.

A 2010 Scottish study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that aspirin did not help prevent heart attacks or strokes in healthy, asymptomatic individuals with a high risk of heart disease.

A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that patients taking aspirin showed a higher risk for recurrent heart attack and associated heart problems.

What Are The Serious Risks of the “Aspirin a Day” Regimen?

Aspirin interferes with the clotting mechanism. Heart attacks occur as a result of the rupture of arterial plaque. The material entering the blood vessel initiates the clot formation, blocking an artery. The risk of taking aspirin regularly is bleeding, particularly from the digestive system, the brain and from the arterial plaque itself. (That’s why aspirin can increase the risk of a heart attack). Aspirin is also now associated with the risk of macular degeneration.

We now know that inflammation is the cause of heart disease and that it is not a cholesterol problem. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to change your lifestyle to reduce inflammation? That might include a non-inflammatory diet, daily exercise, weight loss, nutritionally supporting normal heart function and inflammation

About the Webster Technique

Chiropractic care benefits all aspects of your body’s ability to be healthy. This is accomplished by working with the nervous system–the communication system between your brain and body. Doctors of Chiropractic work to correct spinal, pelvic and cranial misalignments (subluxations). When misaligned, these structures create an imbalance in surrounding muscles and ligaments. Additionally, the resulting nerve system stress may affect the body’s ability to function optimally.

The Webster technique is a specific chiropractic analysis and diversified adjustment. The goal of the adjustment is to reduce the effects of sacral subluxation/ SI joint dysfunction. In so doing neuro-biomechanical function in the pelvis is improved.

Dr. Larry Webster, founder of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association discovered this adjustment as a safe means to restore proper pelvic balance and function. This specific sacral analysis can be used on all weight bearing individuals to determine S/I joint dysfunction/ sacral subluxation and is therefore applicable for the entire population. The assessment includes heel flexion to buttocks, with restricted flexion indicating the affected SI joint. Correction is made with a diversified, sacral adjustment. It is used on all weight bearing individuals presenting with this biomechanical restriction. Common symptoms include (but are not limited to) low back pain, sciatic neuralgia, and symptoms associated with sacral subluxation and/ or S/I joint dysfunction.

The ICPA recognizes that in a theoretical and clinical framework of the Webster Technique in the care of pregnant women, sacral subluxation may contribute to difficult labor for the mother (i.e., dystocia). Dystocia is caused by inadequate uterine function, pelvic contraction, and baby mal-presentation.32 The correction of sacral subluxation may have a positive effect on all of these causes of dystocia.
In this clinical and theoretical framework, it is proposed that sacral misalignment may contribute to these three primary causes of dystocia via uterine nerve interference, pelvic misalignment and the tightening and torsion of specific pelvic muscles and ligaments. The resulting tense muscles and ligaments and their aberrant effect on the uterus may prevent the baby from comfortably assuming the best possible position for birth.
In regards to pregnant mothers, Dr. Webster reported that when a mother sought care and her baby was in a breech position, the restoration of pelvic neuro-biomechanics with this adjustment also frequently facilitated optimal fetal positioning. There are cases published in the chiropractic literature that support this theory. More research is needed and is currently underway by the ICPA.
The obstetric literature has determined that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affect birth outcome and decrease the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Obstetric literature has determined the importance of normal pelvic neuro-biomechanics including uterine function and pelvic alignment for the prevention of dystocia (difficult birth). It has also determined that correct positioning of the baby in-utero affects birth outcome and decreases the potential for undue stress to the baby’s developing spine and nerve system. Chiropractic literature has determined the significance of sacral adjustments in normalizing pelvic neuro-biomechanics.

It is therefore considered prudent that this specific sacral analysis and adjustment be used throughout pregnancy to detect and alleviate sacral imbalance and optimize pelvic neuro-biomechanics in the mother. Because of the particular female adaptations from the increase of hormones, weight gain and postural adaptations, pregnant mothers have a greater chance of sacral subluxation and neuro-biomechanical imbalance than the general population. Additionally, because of the effect the chiropractic adjustment has on all body functions by reducing nerve system stress, pregnant mothers may have significant benefit by having their spines checked regularly throughout pregnancy, optimizing health benefits for both the mother and baby.

Does Your Spine Shrink As We Get Older ?

Many patients ask, “…do people shrink when they get older?” Even more curiously, does our height vary throughout the day and, what causes it to change? The answer to the first question is “yes,” but how does occur?

During the course of any given day, the intervertebral disks of the spine, those shock-absorbing sponge-like structures that lie between the vertebrae, absorb or lose water ,which leads to an increase or a decrease in our vertical height, respectively.

This property is called “viscoelastic creep,” and determines our overall stature, which can result in a reduction of 19.3mm (1.1% of our stature) in height between morning and night / end of the day.

Very little of our total daily loss in height is due to other non-disk soft tissue structures.

Interesting, 19% of this loss occurs during the first 5 minutes of sitting.

We can increase height by laying on the stomach and bending backwards. This can increase our total spine height 5.2mm, of which 2.1mm comes from the low back area alone.

The angle and optimum length of time held in extension (sagging push-up position) to increase spinal height is 20 minutes at 20 degrees.

One research group using a group of 20-30 year olds, started by laying for 10 minutes followed by sitting in a fixed position for 5 minutes with loading using 4.5kg sand bags placed on the shoulders and were measured for loss in height.

They were then sat back down without loading with measurements taken at one minute intervals for 5 minutes followed by loaded sitting for 5 minutes. Again, spinal height was measured and they were then randomly assigned to a sagging push-up group or, a supine hook-laying position (laying on the back, hips flexed 90 degrees and knees flexed 65 degrees for 10 minutes after which spinal height was re-measured.

This was repeated using the opposite exercise position on each subject. The results revealed almost all of the loss resulting from sitting and loaded sitting was regained in both of the two exercise positions, slightly favoring the laying on the back/hip-knee flexed position.

No significant difference in disk height loss/spine height was appreciated comparing the loaded vs. non-loaded sitting positions or between men vs. women subjects. The body mass index did not seem to alter the results either.

SO HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO EVERYDAY LIVING AND LOW BACK PAIN?

It’s no secret that many of us spend a significant portion of time sitting.

It is also a well known fact that the pressure measured in the lower back disks when comparing sit, stand, and lying positions reveal sitting places 2x the pressure in the disk as does laying, with standing somewhere in the middle.

Also, comparing 4-leg animals to 2-leg animals, disk degeneration starts significantly earlier in the 2-leg animal population.

While we can’t expect anyone to walk on all fours, these findings suggest it would be prudent to “take the load off” periodically throughout the day.

If we all performed 10 minutes of either extension or flexion exercises as described here, we might be able to slow down the process of disk degeneration.

If we’re currently struggling with spinal problems, this suggestion may be all the more justified. Further research is required before these conclusions can be considered more than theory.

Our advice is, try it, and see how you feel!

At this clinic, we take pride in providing accurate, up-to-date information about research. If you, a family member or a friend require care, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services.