Halloween is near. It brings uncountable empty calories into our lives. And it is only the beginning. Time seems to accelerate at this season, and Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Following that is the entire Christmas season, then the celebration of New Year's Day. Of course, the entire football season invites gluttony, and it will last well into January. Consequently, we are all about to run a gauntlet of 3 ½ months of culinary temptation.
Cardiac units normally see a spike in admissions at this time of the year. The overeating that occurs on Thanksgiving frequently puts some people over the edge of what their heart can tolerate as blood flow shifts to accommodate a bloated G.I. tract. Subclinical underlying coronary disease will then tend to rear its head and ruin a holiday, or worse.
The weather is changing. We cannot really complain about a long, hot, miserable summer, because we did not really have one. It was pretty mild as summers go here in Georgia. Nevertheless, you may have noticed that the air is crispy and cool in the mornings and not so hot in the afternoon nowadays.
There are some alarmists who have cried about global warming, but since the globe is demonstrably not warming, we have had to change the reason for alarm to "climate change." Apparently, we are experiencing a predicted annual "climate change." We call it "autumn."
This is a great time to begin your new walking campaign. Your joints need exercise. Your muscles need exercise. Your vascular system needs exercise. And now, new research suggests that your psyche benefits from exercise as well.
I have had several questions about back pain in pregnancy recently. Studies suggest that about half of expectant mothers have back pain issues by late second trimester, though that seems low to me from the number of ladies I see with it. Accordingly, I, who have not been pregnant ever, will share some common questions and some answers.
Bodies are designed with balance in mind. When you sit, stand, or walk, your muscles and skeleton work in concert, efficiently managing your body mass as it moves or holds its position against gravity. Your sense of equilibrium is the result of an amazing and complex series of command and control impulses in your nervous system going into the brain from the periphery and to the extremities from the brain. As King David put it, we are "fearfully and wonderfully made."
In the course of pregnancy, 35-40 pound weight gain is common, and some moms gain considerably more. As pregnancy progresses, much of this weight concentrates itself around that marvelous bundle that will need a name, 2 o'clock feedings, and clothes. The result is an increase in the curve in the lumbar spine—at the base of the back—that puts pressure on that part of the spine, especially the facet joints of the vertebrae.
Question: I saw an old basketball player put something on his back on television, and he claims that it cured his back pain. What is it? Does it work?
There seems to be a new trend in advertising when it comes to healthcare. New drugs are approved by the FDA and then find themselves in commercials directly marketed to you, bypassing the traditional route that includes a prescribing physician. For example, how many times a day do you hear a commercial about a purple pill, or an ad about a pill to make you stop smoking, or that nauseating geriatric musical group that plays in the background while you hear about erectile dysfunction?
A recent addition to the commercial bombardment features the aging athlete (a basketball player, I think, but I just don't keep up with sports that use round balls) with an instrument he claims will cure your back pain. He places it on his supposedly aching back and says it is as good as what you will get in your doctor's office. What exactly is he peddling?
Robert Hayden, DC, PhD, FICC
Sometimes a patient and their physical, emotional, and spiritual struggles will bring you to tears. Though emotionally taxing, the work we do is uniquely rewarding when we can help.
Ron is a small guy, about 5’6” and 130 pounds. He has tried to gain weight without success, making him the envy of many who gain weight despite their best efforts. He came to the clinic with lumbar pain that radiated down his right leg into the back of his calf. Provocative orthopedic and neurological testing led to the conclusion that the problem was between his L5 vertebra and the sacrum on the right side, as something was hitting the first sacral nerve root that serves the back of the calf and the bottom of the foot. This could be disc material, a bone spur, or (likely) a combination of the two.
"Or last message is to the Americans. Soon we will be in direct confrontation, and the Sons of Islam have prepared for such a day. So watch, for we are with you." —Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-proclaimed Caliph of ISIS
It was a beautiful, clear 11th day of September 2001 when it all started. I still remember the patient I was seeing that morning and the appearance of her lumbar films. As the day progressed, people told us more about what they'd seen on the news.
The recollection of the beautiful clear day reminds me of the reminiscence of survivors of Pearl Harbor. It was beautiful that day, too. It is as though the beauty of the day nature's God intended stands in stark contrast to the impending ugliness of black smoke raping a blue sky.