Carolyn Wanken, D.C.
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June 2016 Health Newsletter

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Current Articles

» June is Scoliosis Awareness Month
» Superbugs and the Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle
» The Cost of Smoking (Even if You Don't Smoke)

June is Scoliosis Awareness Month

With the arrival of summer, June also heralds the start of Scoliosis Awareness Month. The Scoliosis Research Society declared this month a key time to focus on detection and early treatment for this condition, which affects nearly 3% of Americans. Typically detected between the ages of 10 and 15, scoliosis is characterized by an abnormal lateral (sideways) curvature of the spine. Curvature can range from mild to severe, and may cause pain, low self-esteem, and in severe cases, issues with movement or breathing. In children, bones are still growing and developing, which presents an opportunity to prevent further progression of scoliosis with a back brace. For teens and adults, however, the adult bone structure has set, and braces are not common interventions.

Early detection of scoliosis is the very best way to minimize progression of spinal curvature or the need for surgery later on. Methods of detection can include in-school screenings, regular pediatric physical exams, and evaluations by a DC (Doctor of Chiropractic). In fact, DCs can play an important role in both detection and treatment for scoliosis. In a study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine, adults with moderate-severe scoliosis enrolled in an exercise-based chiropractic treatment program saw significant improvements after six months. Not only did more than 75 percent of participants experience reduced Cobb angles (decreased curvature), but pain and disability scores also improved and maintained this improvement even after a two-year follow-up.

Chiropractic treatment shows promise for non-surgical and non-invasive treatments for scoliosis. June is a key time to raise awareness about the importance of scoliosis detection and treatment, and advances in non-surgical alternatives such as chiropractic treatment are offering individuals with this condition more options than ever to manage scoliosis safely and effectively, and improve their quality of life.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: National Scoliosis Foundation (NSF)
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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Superbugs and the Importance of a Healthy Lifestyle

For years, antibiotic-resistant bacteria, or "superbugs," have raised growing concerns both inside the medical industry and out. These discussions have lead to increased awareness about unnecessary antibiotics use as a significant contributor to this resistance. Despite this, the widespread use of antibiotics in both humans and agriculture, and inadequate research on new antibiotics, has resulted in more antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.

Last month, the American Society for Microbiology reported a bacterial infection within the United States that was resistant to even the strongest antibiotics. "The recent discovery of a plasmid-borne colistin resistance gene, mcr-1, heralds the emergence of truly pan-drug resistant bacteria," wrote the researchers. Such bacteria have also been found in Europe and elsewhere, highlighting the importance of a global-scale focus on research and minimization of antibiotics use. But individuals are also called upon to lead healthy, active lifestyles to do their part. Healthy individuals with strong immune systems are more likely to fight off infections without antibiotics and less likely to spread infections to others. Maintaining individual health can help bolster health at the population level, protecting large groups of people from the effects of resistant strains of bacteria.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Online; May 26, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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The Cost of Smoking (Even if You Don't Smoke)

In 1964, news that lung cancer was linked to smoking hit the masses. Since then, smoking rates have halved, but it is nevertheless still taking a serious toll. According to research from the University of California San Francisco, states are still spending millions (or even billions) of healthcare dollars on smoking. The researchers compiled their data into an interactive map, which displays how much money states spent or saved on smoking in 2009. California, for example, saved over $15 billion that year alone. Kentucky, on the other hand, has smoking rates higher than the national average and spent approximately $1.7 billion.

While these numbers are yet another important public health reminder about the costs of smoking, the researchers' underlying message can be extrapolated to other areas of healthcare as well. Leading healthy, active lifestyles can cut healthcare costs enormously from many different angles. For example, obesity-related health care in 2005 cost the United States $190 billion. Pursuing good health is not just beneficial for the individual; it drives down overall healthcare costs for an entire population and helps set the stage for a happier, healthier society.

Author: ChiroPlanet.com
Source: PLOS Medicine, online May 10, 2016.
Copyright: ProfessionalPlanets.com LLC 2016


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