Monday, August 20, 2012

Preventing Osteoarthritis in Men Over 50

Over 50? Take action now to limit your osteoarthritis risk
If you're a man over age 50, your odds of getting Osteoarthritis are going up. In fact, research shows that by age 60, most men will have some form of this degenerative joint disease.
Osteoarthritis simply explained is a deterioration of the soft cartilage material lining our joints. The cartilage breaks down, leaving rougher, uneven surfaces where the joint grinds instead of slides. At worst, the cartilage can wear away entirely, leaving direct bone-on-bone contact.
Osteoarthritis normally shows up in the following joints:
  1. Hips
  2. Knees
  3. Spine
  4. Shoulders
While osteoarthritis causes are subject to much discussion, two main factors seem universal:
  1. Joint overuse or repetitive stress
  2. Joint injury
In limiting the risk of osteoarthritis, we will focus primarily on joint overuse and repetitive stress.
Regarding joint injury, leading a high-impact lifestyle, where you're likely to fall hard or impact the joints with blunt force, will increase your osteoarthritis risk. But hey, you gotta live your life, so make these lifestyle decision with discretion.
Osteoarthritis Causal Factors
Most men over 50 don't understand joints very well. For our purposes, it's important to understand that the skeletal system, including where bones connect as joints, aren't really designed to bear a lot of weight.
Our skeletal role is mostly just to provide a rigid structure for muscle attachment. The following two factors can contribute greatly to joint stress:
  1. Obesity; carrying too much weight
  2. Muscle atrophy; weak muscles
For example, if you're a man about 50 and six feet tall, your body weight should be in the neighborhood of 175 pounds, give or take a few. For this same person who might weigh, say 250 pounds, that's an extra 75 pounds of weight your body must support.
On top of that, throw in a sedentary lifestyle where muscles have shrunk to a limited capacity in supporting the joints. After all, a joint is really only as strong as the muscles and tendons that hold it together.
The combined effect is "settling into the joints", placing tremendous loads on the knees, hips, and spine. Now think of joint cartilage as the "contact points" of this load.
After years of abuse the joint cartilage just starts to fall apart.
Risk Prevention
Limiting osteoarthritis risk in men over 50 then is pretty self-evident, but it's up to you as the individual to take the right actions now, so here are the keys:
  1. Lose weight. Universally, this is the single best thing any man over 50 can do to improve overall health. However, specific to osteoarthritis, maintaining proper weight is an imperative.
  2. Strengthen your muscle base. Resistance training (weight lifting) is the best way to achieve muscle strength gains. If you don't have resistance training experience, find a reputable personal trainer to help start you. Any program must include total body strengthening with heavy emphasis on increasing core strength.
Osteoarthritis is not completely preventable in men over 50, however understanding the causes and taking specific action now will limit anyone's risk in a favorable way.
Remember, it's your body, the only one you'll ever have. It's up to you to take the steps required to maintain a healthy body and a healthy, happy life.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Is It Possible to Win the Battle Against the Humble Germ? (Part 2)

In our previous article, we postured that by using strong Chemical cleaners, they may help us to eradicate Germs.
Many of us believe there is a probability that we are becoming sick because we are being exposed to, and contracting these infections, due to ingesting harmful Germs and bugs. Our Doctors are convinced that these Germs are the primary causative factor for many of our common health issues.
This article continues to explore the possibility of our hope to win the battle of the bugs.
Search and destroy
We are engaged in a quest to remove all vestiges of Germs and bugs from every corner of our domiciles. We should pay attention to the Retailers who sell the powerful Cleaning products to u. We should also believe what the Manufacturers Tell us about their Chemical Cleaning supplies; (our erstwhile allies). Should we trust in their propaganda; and diligently stock up on every conceivable cleaning product and pest exterminator that they have made available for us on the Supermarket shelves?.
Chemical weapons?
When we are in possession of their chemical weapons of mass destruction; we are empowered to seek out and destroy the objects of our disaffection easily and conveniently. As we walk down the Supermarket aisles; we can hear that familiar jingle resonating in our ear; "I'm Louie the fly; Louie the fly; straight from rubbish tip to you." This friendly old Jingle, reassures us that we are doing the right thing; (or so we tell ourselves). Stocking up, and using such products like this, makes us feel good too. Have we not done our bit to protect our family's from those horrible bugs?
Filthy critters
They leave their tell tale marks on our windows; our furniture; and worse still; even in our kitchens, The mere thought of their trails being deposited all over our food stuffs and possessions, is enough to make one feel queasy.
We have declared war on everything that is disgusting, and proclaim their doom! The decision is made; they must not be allowed to exist. Cockroaches, silverfish, or other creepy crawlies, will no longer be permitted to roam free around our homes. Let it be known; for us to be victorious, we must remain vigilant. Never let your defences down for a second; otherwise the bugs will surely gain the upper hand.
House cleaners who know what to do.
We know that only the strongest prevail; and so we must therefore utilise the most powerful of chemical cleaners. Using these products will ensure that all of the surfaces in and around our home are washed down perfectly, destroying all of these pests in their wake! If we can afford them; we should insist on engaging knowledgeable Domestic House Cleaners.
They must be Cleaners who know what cleaning products to use.They should carry the strongest chemicals in their cleaning supplies kit!
Cleaning supplies that pack a punch!
No stone must be left unturned, as we inspect every corner of our home, so as to ensure that all surfaces; (which may harbour those nasties we are so concerned about). We must sanitise, disinfect, and cleanse every dark crevice from all grime and residue, We cannot rest, until we have sprayed, scrubbed, and meticulously cleaned everywhere in our homes. It is only at this point, that we may be certain we have destroyed all ofthe Germs.
Can we now begin to reassure ourselves that we are winning the battle of the bugs?
Is this a phony war?
Unfortunately, we may have to eventually concede that we are trying to win an unwinnable war. Do you mean to tell me we may falter; and that we are failing, in spite of a steely resolve to get rid of household Germs and pests?
But we possess the strongest chemical cleaners and sprays don't we? Are you suggesting that success over the bugs is not imminent? Well; it is you who will determine if you really believe in your heart of hearts, that winning such a war against an invisible, elusive and tricky enemy makes sense or not.
The evidence
Think for a moment; have you not noticed that you and your loved ones still continue to fall ill on a regular basis? Is it possible/inevitable, that despite your best efforts to erradicaste these bugs; that they will prevail; and your family will continue to succumb to them?
In our third and final article; we explore the ultimate answer to the question; Is this "Bug fight;" a futile exercise?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Are Chiropractors Turning Their Backs On An Aging Population?

The Healthcare Industry is Booming, but Who's Getting Paid?

The healthcare industry has become a multibillion dollar monster, but while patients see costs skyrocket and insurance companies, pharmaceutical manufacturers and even attorneys see their profit margin grow, why is it that chiropractic providers are seeing decreased revenue per patient year after year?
Experts consider mismanagement, exorbitant waste and fraud to be some of the main elements that contribute to the out of control numbers and although rarely contributing to the problem, Chiropractors are feeling the pinch. A recent report from The Institute of Medicine found that over $750 billion was attributed to these factors in 2009 alone. This was almost thirty percent of spending for that year. Other factors such as the increase in average age, expensive advances in treatment and care as well as "defensive" care are also responsible for the rise in costs.
Are You Missing Out By Not Catering to The Needs of An Aging Population?
The population is aging and according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 71 million Americans, or 19.6% of the population will be 65 years old or older by 2030. This is an increase of 7.2% compared to the 35 million Americans 65 years or older in the 2000 census. As the population ages we see an increase in chronic illness such as poor joint health, deteriorating bone density and neurological disorders as well as the need to utilize health care services more frequently, yet the reimbursement to chiropractic and other medical practitioners to care for and treat these patients adequately has decreased. Private practitioners are finding that while they are well versed in patient care, they are not as prepared to keep up with ever changing guidelines for reimbursement. The system lacks the infrastructure to provide Chiropractors with the support they need.
There is also a growing need for more coordination between providers so that treatment is streamlined to properly treat the patient, as well as avoid duplication of services that cost providers in expected reimbursement.
Defensive Care Creates Challenges for Most Doctors while Creating Opportunity for Chiropractic
In 2004, The Congressional Office of Technology Assessment found the need to define defensive medicine. This ever growing issue occurs when the practitioner feels the need to order more tests or procedures to not only treat the patient, but to assure they don't subject themselves to liability issues or frivolous malpractice lawsuits when the patient outcome is less than desirable. This type of care weighs heavily on the system by driving up health insurance costs, medical provider malpractice insurance costs and even causing some doctors to turn away high risk patients. Many of these "high risk" patients could find tremendous benefits from the healing power of Chiropractic care.
Medical Advancements Create a "True Healing" Void?
Advances in pharmaceuticals, biopharmaceuticals and treatment options have provided many patients with treatments and solutions for their ailments, but the money spent on pharmaceuticals in the U.S. is almost twice what is spent in the rest of the world. The biomedical industry has also grown by an average of 10 percent per year since 2004. Chiropractic care could address many of the problems facing these over-medicated members of the U.S. population.
When it comes to health care costs for the patient and the lack of reimbursement for most medical providers the solutions aren't always simple. However, the facts clearly point to a need for shift by the Chiropractic community in both marketing and demographic focus.
Getting Paid to Be The Hero
If the services your practice offers do not cater to the specific needs of our aging community your practice is missing out on a valuable revenue stream and seniors in your area are missing out on affordable wellness. Our senior population has on average a higher level of care plan compliance when compared to other demographics and are extremely vocal about the Doctors they love outperforming every other demographic 2 to 1 when it comes to referrals. Investing both time and capital adjusting your practice to welcome this important patient demographic could be the best business decision you make.