To Your Health
January, 2018 (Vol. 12, Issue 01)
By Editorial Staff
If you haven't already tuned out any conversation about giving your children cough and cold medication when they're under the weather, this should do it. The Food and Drug Administration has strengthened its warning on prescription cold medicine, stating that no product containing opioid ingredients such as hydrocodone or codeine should be given to children – of any age. That's ages 0-17, in case you're wondering.
New language being added to warning labels on all prescription cold medicines will indicate that the risks of using the products outweigh the benefits in children and should only be used by adults ages 18 and older.
What about over-the-counter cold medication? Well, in the past decade, the FDA has already issued several warnings and required language to be added to labels limiting their use in kids. In fact, a consumer update on the FDA website titled "Most Young Children With a Cough or Cold Don't Need Medicine" makes its position abundantly clear, especially for the youngest (ages 2 and under); while a 2016 update, "Use Caution When Giving Cough and Cold Products to Kids," offers additional safety information and includes alternative treatments that may work better.
What alternative treatments? The FDA mentions cool mist humidifiers, saline nose drops / spray, and drinking plenty of liquids among the nondrug options. We would be remiss if we didn't add honey; such a simple remedy often overlooked by parents rushing to the drugstore for a quick fix to their child's discomfort. For example, a Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine study found that children given buckwheat honey before bed coughed less and slept better than children who didn't receive honey. And other research suggest zinc lozenges may be effective for resolving cold symptoms in children and adults, particularly if taken within close proximity to the arrival of symptoms.
Your doctor can tell you more about the dangers of over-the-counter and prescription cold medicine and why natural alternatives are safer, effective options for you and your child.
Back pain, back pain, everywhere there's back pain. Back pain is second only to the common cold as the most frequent cause of sick leave, accounting for approximately 40% of all work absences. It's also the most common reason for filing workers' compensation claims (about 25% of all claims filed in the U.S.).
How bad is the situation? A study in the American Journal of Public Health analyzed data from a national health interview survey and found over 30,000 respondents who reported daily back pain of one week or more in the 12 months prior to the survey. From this data, the authors estimated that more than 22 million people suffer from back pain that lasts one week or more; these cases result in an estimated 149 million lost workdays.
These estimates didn't even include workers who reported back pain of less than one week, or who missed work for the entire study period! If you've managed to escape back pain to this point, it's probably just a matter of time until you're caught. So make an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic, the expert on preventing and managing back pain.
Guo HR, Tanaka S, Halperin WE, et al. Back pain prevalence in U.S. industry and estimates of lost workdays. American Journal of Public Health, July 1999: Vol. 89, No. 7, pp1029-1035.
Neck pain can be acute (short term) or chronic (recurring or persisting for months and even years), but regardless, when you're in pain, relief is the first thing on your mind. Just as important as relief, of course, is finding the cause and ensuring you avoid the behavior / action that brought the pain on in the first place. Here are five common causes of neck pain – and why doctors of chiropractic are well-suited to relieve the pain and determine the underlying cause.
1. Poor Posture: Leaning over a desk all day or slouching in your office chair? You're bound to develop neck pain eventually, if you haven't already. Do this quick test: In an upright or seated position, round your shoulders and back (poor posture). Does it impact your neck as well? Exactly!
2. Monitor Madness: Staring at the computer screen for hours at a time? That's not good for your health (or sanity), but from a neck pain perspective, it's madness, particularly if the screen height forces you to crane your neck up (too high) or extend it down (too low).
3. Sleep Issues: Ideally, we spend a third of our day sleeping, so your sleep habits – for better or worse – can have a dramatic effect on your health. With regard to neck pain, anytime you sleep in an uncomfortable position, particularly one that stresses your neck musculature (think about side-sleeping while grabbing your pillow tightly, sleeping on your stomach with your arms out in front of you, or even sleeping on your back, but with a pillow that doesn't adequately support your neck), you risk neck pain.
4. Technology Overload: We may spend a third of our day sleeping, but we increasingly spend the other 16 hours typing, texting, tapping and otherwise interacting with our smartphones, tablets, etc. Bottom line: bad for your neck. One doctor has even coined the phrase, "text neck," to describe the neck pain that can result from this constant technology interaction.
5. The Wrong Movement: Twisting, turning, stretching and stressing your neck is an easy way to cause neck pain. While the muscles in the neck are strong, they can be strained, sprained and even torn, just like any other muscle.
It's important to note that beyond these common causes, various other health issues can also contribute to or directly cause neck pain, including fibromyalgia, cervical arthritis or spondylosis (essentially spinal arthritis), spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal), infection of the spine, and even cancer. The good news is that a doctor of chiropractic can help identify which of these or the above causes is to blame.
When neck pain strikes, most people turn to a temporary solution first: pain-relieving medication. But that's not a permanent solution, of course, and it doesn't address the cause of the pain at all, which could be something relatively minor – or more serious. What's more, research suggests chiropractic spinal manipulation is actually more effective than over-the-counter and prescription medication for relieving both acute and subacute neck pain.
Suffering from neck pain? Then give your doctor of chiropractic a call. They'll help you relieve your pain and determine the cause so it doesn't return.
the same old New Year's resolutions. Every year at around this time, millions of people around the world resolve to improve their lives beginning Jan. 1 – and for most, their resolutions die sometime within the first few months, if they get off the ground at all.
What can you do to make 2017 different? What can you do to make sure your New Year's resolutions stick? Here are five ways to keep your 2017 resolutions while avoiding some of the common pitfalls that have struck down your resolutions in years past.
1. Think It Through: One of the biggest mistakes resolvers make is jumping into a resolution without thinking it through. Sure, you can resolve to start working out, lose weight, quit smoking, eat healthier or be more patient with your kids – but words are just words unless they're supported by sensible actions. And sensible actions require a sensible plan. Resolving to exercise? Think about how many days per week, whether to go to the gym or work out home, potential hurdles / challenges that may come up, and other factors. Resolving to be more patient? Map out a half-dozen specific ways to do it (think before you speak / act; give yourself a "time out" so you can refocus, etc.). Whatever your resolution, you have to figure out how to make it work or it probably won't work, pure and simple.
2. Recruit Help: While everyone has their own New Year's resolutions, that doesn't mean you have to go it alone. Your friends, family, co-workers and other acquaintances are your biggest allies, and chances are they've either resolved to do one of the same things you have, or they did it last year. Work out with a friend; brainstorm healthy meals your kids can help prepare; and engage online support groups whenever possible. Tap into their experience, their encouragement and their support to stay focused and strong throughout the year, and your resolution won't be the one-week, one-month or even one-year variety; it will last a lifetime.
3. Remember Last Year: Those who refuse to learn from the past are condemned to repeat it, and we're guessing that like most people, last year's New Year's resolutions didn't go so well. In fact, this year's list might be identical to your 2016 list, your 2011 list, and so on. What will make 2017 different? A good start is to learn from your mistakes so you can chart a more effective course. If you've had trouble getting to the gym consistently, despite your best intentions, perhaps this time, you need to refine your schedule, research an at-home program for the days you can't get away, or work out before work instead of after, when you're usually tired. Succeed in 2017 by remembering why your 2016 resolutions didn't pan out.
4. Take Small Steps: In many ways, New Year's resolutions have taken on a black-and-white quality; either you're not resolving to do anything or you're resolving to do big things, instantly. Unfortunately, life isn't that simple, and the overwhelming majority of resolutions involve behaviors / patterns that are difficult to change overnight. The problem with this all-or-nothing mentality, of course, is twofold: It sets us up for failure at the first sign of a challenge ("I resolved to work out three days a week, every w eek, and already I've missed a few days!") and it ignores the small steps that are just as, if not more important in accomplishing the big step. Want to quit smoking after 30 years? You may want to resolve to scale back progressively, rather than quit cold turkey. Want to start exercising (for essentially the first time)? Try 1-2 days a week of brisk walking for a few months, or a few step classes at the gym, and build from there.
5. Dream Big: Despite the fact that generally, resolutions have a greater chance of success if they're accomplished in small, manageable steps, that doesn't mean you need to think small. New Year's resolutions represent the perfect opportunity to reach for a better world, a better life, a better you; so dream big and go for the proverbial gold. After all, if you set your sights too small, you might be more likely to quit (or not even start) because you don't consider it meaningful enough. Craft a sound strategy to achieve something big that will make you proud. Get help when you need it, take it slow, and most of all, don't get frustrated when that little thing called life temporarily gets in the way. Now that's the smart way to make – and keep – your New Year's resolutions.
This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.