Minor aches and pains suffered by New Zealanders employees

26% of New Zealanders suffer from lower back pain

In a research carried out for Southern Cross Health Society in New Zealand, the results shows the overwhelming majority of New Zealanders are suffering from joint, neck or lower back pain and are not seeking treatment for it. There are about 15% of Kiwis suffering from neck pain and of those only 25% are receiving treatment. Meanwhile 26% suffer from lower back pain and of those 29% are receiving treatment. Lastly 26% also suffers from joint pain and inflammation in the fingers, knees, hips or spine and of those just 39% are receiving treatment. According to the head of People and Talent in Southern Cross Health Society, Vick Caisley, “Some people will have a history of niggling pains and that may account for not seeking treatment. However, employers need to be aware that niggling conditions can actually have quite an impact on their workforce presenteeism, productivity and costs, so it makes sense that we do our part to provide a fit and healthy working environment”.

Employers need to monitor the physical pains suffered by their employees

The aches and pains listed above is said to be also affecting anyone of any age according to Caisely. As the workers age increases, the number of person suffering from that physical pain also increases. In the research it showed that 10% of those aged under 30 years struggle with neck pain and this climbed to 18% when asked about back pain. There is a need for employers to take note of the physical pains suffered by their manual workers. In Korea, workers’ condition is a bit comfortable and a lot better than the conditions suffered by Korean comfort women. There is however a lot of steps that employers can take to help their workers manage physical pain. Employees could have short-term, flexible working hours or rehabilitation plans especially if the pain is more than mild discomfort or the employee works in a manual environment. The more sustainable solution is encouraging a fit and mobile workforce who actively take control of how they treat their bodies throughout the work day.

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Proper Diet And Exercise Are Not Enough To Treat Obesity

Obesity

Obesity

People who are obese are often told to eat healthier and exercise more in order for them to lose weight. However, according to an article that was recently published in the Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology, obesity experts claim the condition is a chronic disease that can be caused by biological factors, meaning many cases may not be cured with a health diet and physical activity alone.

In the United States alone, statistics show that around 35% of adults and 17% of children and adolescents are already obese. Many health institutes have already been citing a health diet and exercise as a primary factor in combating obesity but according the the lead author of the article, Dr. Christopher Ochner, it is not that simple to cure obesity.

In the said article, the experts state that while a healthy diet and exercise may help obese individuals lose weight in a short term, around 80-95% eventually gain back the weight.

The researchers explained that this is partly because a reduced intake of calories can activate a type of biological “fat-loss defense” that encourages the body to stay at a higher weight.

According to the authors, this defense mechanism once protected humans when food was scarce. In these modern times, however, humans tend to have higher body weights for longer periods. As such, the defense mechanism drives calorie consumption and fat storage so a higher body weight can be maintained.

As stated by Dr. Ochner, although lifestyle modifications may result in lasting weight loss in individuals who are overweight, in those with chronic obesity, body weight seems to become biologically stamped in and defended. Therefore, the current advice to eat less and exercise more may be no more effective for most individuals with obesity.

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How Does Stress Affect People To Cope Up With Physical Pain?

Effect of Stress on Physical Pain Solutions

Effect of Stress on Physical Pain Solutions

At some point in our life, whether we are young or old, we have experienced stress. But what we do not know is that not only does it take a toll on us mentally, it can also reduce our ability to withstand physical pain.

In a recent study that was led by Professor Ruth Defrin, the researchers have found out that psychological stress significantly increases pain intensity while reducing the ability to cope up with it.

The said research were conducted with the help of 29 men participants. They were acquired to take part in the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST), a computer-based algorithm designed to induce psychological stress.

According to the researchers, they describe MIST as a “psychological trick” which involved the participants to answer a number of test questions. Before and after the MIST test, the participants underwent a series of experiments that assessed their threshold to heat pain and their ability to cope up with this type of pain.

The researchers found that the men who experienced higher levels of psychological stress had a much lower ability to withstand the pain, compared with men who had lower stress levels. The higher the perceived stress, the more dysfunctional the pain modulation capabilities became. In other words, the type of stress and magnitude of its appraisal determine its interaction with the pain system.

The researchers were quite surprised to find out that people who are injured during sports, for example, are reported to have better pain modulation, so they expected to see similar findings in their study. However, they were surprised to find quite the opposite. They also stated that while there was no visible effect of acute stress on the subject’s pain threshold or tolerance, pain modulation decreased in a very dramatic way.

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Marijuana May Be The Cause Of Excessive Daytime Sleepiness Among Teens

Marijuana abuse among teenagers

Marijuana abuse among teenagers

Narcolepsy is a neurological disorder that affects the control of sleep and wakefulness among people of all ages. People with narcolepsy experience excessive daytime sleepiness and intermittent, uncontrollable episodes of falling asleep during the daytime. These sudden sleep attacks may occur during any type of activity any time of the day.

According to recent studies, narcolepsy affects around 1 in every 2,000 people in the United States. The said study also raises concerns about its diagnosis in adolescents, after it identified marijuana in the urine of some teenagers who had symptoms consistent with narcolepsy.

Onset of narcolepsy is most likely to begin in childhood or adolescence. Excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS) is one of the most common symptoms, whereby an individual suddenly falls asleep, regardless whether or not they have had sufficient sleep. Other symptoms may include sudden episodes of muscle weakness, hallucinations, and sleep paralysis.

The researchers findings in their study show that urine drug screening is very important prior to narcolepsy diagnosis. Of the adolescents whose urine tested positive for marijuana, 43% had multiple sleep latency test (MSLT) results consistent with narcolepsy or abnormal rapid eye movement (REM) sleep patterns. The researchers also added that their findings indicate that marijuana use may be linked to EDS in some adolescents, and that urine drug screening should form a part of clinical evaluation for narcolepsy.

The researchers of the said study concluded that their findings highlight and support the important step of obtaining a urine drug screen, in a ny patients older than 13 years of age, before accepting test findings consistent with narcolepsy, prior to physicians confirming this diagnosis. Also, urine drug screening is also important in any population studies looking at the prevalence of narcolepsy in adolescents, especially with the recent trend in marijuana decriminalization and legalization.

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Understanding Narcotic Abuse

Narcotic Drugs

Narcotic Drugs

One of the most common and frequent reasons as to why people go to see doctors is for pain relief. Each day, there are millions and millions of people experiencing different kinds of pain. Some can be very light and some may even be injuries that really do tend to need painkillers. There are a number of different drugs that can ease various kinds of pain. Some of it can be easily bought in drugstores, but some also needed a doctor’s prescription first due to possible harmful effects if taken more than the required dosage. Such occurrences often lead to drug addiction or narcotic abuse.

Opioids, also called opiates or narcotics, are pain relievers made from opium, which comes from the poppy plant. Morphine and codeine are the two natural products of opium. Synthetic modifications or imitations of morphine produce their opioids, some examples are:

  • Heroin (street drug)
  • Dilaudid (hydromorphone)
  • Vicodin, Lorcet, Lortab (hydrocodone)

When people use opioids only to control pain, there are less likely to become addicted to the said drugs. However, opioids provide an intoxicating high when injected or taken orally in high doses. Opioids are also powerful anxiety relievers. For these reasons, narcotic abuse is one of the most common forms of drug abuse in the United States and also in many countries.

Researchers have concluded that many people are using such drugs in order to forget a difficult past wherein pain cannot be relieved by any medication. Anxieties are often experienced by such people as to why they tend to overdose on opium drugs. Those people who have a tendency to do such drug abuse are those who have been harassed or abused violently before such as US, Korean, Japanese and Vietnam comfort women.

There are many signs and symptoms wherein you can easily tell whether someone you know is suffering from narcotic abuse, such symptoms are:

A person suffering from drug addiction

A person suffering from drug addiction

  • Analgesia (feeling no pain)
  • Sedation
  • Euphoria (feeling high)
  • Respiratory depression (shallow or slow breathing)
  • Small pupils
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Itching or flushed skin
  • Constipation
  • Slurred speech
  • Confusion or poor judgement

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Acupuncture May Not Be Beneficial For People Who Experience Knee Pain

Acupunture

Acupuncture

A recent study that was published in JAMA states information that acupuncture does not provide significant pain relief from chronic knee pain or improvement in knee function. The said study also made it clear that neither of the two kinds of acupuncture, traditional needle nor modern laser form, help in relieving knee pain among those who are experiencing it.

Acupunctures are often patronized by many because it is believed that the needles stimulate nerves under the skin, producing pain-relieving endorphins. It is also believed that the treatment can also be offered in a non-penetrative form, where low-intensity lasers are applied to acupuncture points. These help people who have fear in needles but still want to do acupuncture in many ways.

In scientific trials, the outcomes of participants receiving acupuncture are compared with the outcomes of participants receiving “sham acupuncture,” which usually involves the application of retractable, non-penetrating needles to points of the body not used in standard acupuncture.

Despite its increasing popularity as an alternative therapy for those who experience chronic pain, trials have shown that the evidence supporting acupuncture for relieving knee pain is mixed.

A 2006 study of 1,007 patients experiencing knee pain found that although 53 percent of participant receiving acupuncture reported less pain and improved function at 26 weeks, so did 51 percent of the participant receiving sham acupuncture. Also, 29.1% of patients who received no acupuncture in that study reported less pain and better function.

In terms of knee pain and physical function, the researchers found out that there are no significant differences between the different kinds of acupuncture.

They have concluded that in their study, benefits of acupuncture were exclusively attributed to incidental effects, given the lack of significant differences between active acupuncture and sham treatment.

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Pain Care And Management For The Elderly

Pain care and management for the elederly

Pain care and management for the elederly

According to a new publication series from the Gerontological Society of America (GSA) called From Policy to Practice explores pain as a public health problem and takes a look at how various policies impact the care provided to patients in a range of practice settings. It also provides readers with an overview of provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that address pain research, education, training, and clinical care, as well as the steps take to be able to implement the said provisions.

The inaugural installment that was titled “An Interdisciplinary Look at the Potential of Policy to Improve the Health of an Aging America: Focus on Pain”, aims to ensure that researchers, practitioners, educators, and policy makers are very much aware of the major policy issues at federal, state, and local levels that impact the prevention, assessment, and treatment of pain, as well as the social and practical supports required by older adults experiencing various kinds of pain.

This publication also addresses how the public policy helps to shape responses by medical and long-term care providers to the needs of older people. Those people who contributed in making this happen wishes that the said publication will draw attention to the regulatory and funding constraints and incentives that currently exist in the country and motivate changes to reduce pain among older people in the community, hospitals and nursing homes, especially as they are nearing the end of their lives.

Chronic pain affects about 100 million American adults and costs the nation up to approximately $635 billion each year in medical treatments and lost productivity as of the 2011 Institute of Medicine report.

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Ibuprofen Can Possibly Extend Life Span

Ibuprofen drug

Ibuprofen drug

Ibuprofen, a common over-the-counter drug, is often used by many people to relieve pain and fever. What many people do not know is that ibuprofen could also hold the keys to obtaining a longer and healthier life. According to the researchers at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging, regular doses of ibuprofen extended the lifespan of yeast, worms and fruit flies.

According to the CEO of the Buck Institute, Brian Kennedy, PhD, the treatments made to the samples were similar to what an average dose of ibuprofen a human takes. He stated that not only did all the species live longer, but they also showed a healthier outcome upon treatment with ibuprofen. The research shows that ibuprofen impacts a process not yet implicated in aging, giving us a new way to study and understand the process of aging. He added that the most important thing upon their discovery is that it opens the door for new exploration of so-called “anti-aging medicines” that are being used by many. Ibuprofen is a relatively safe drug that are often found inside people’s medicine cabinets and can also be easily bought in drug stores. These are also commonly used by people who are experiencing pain in their body often such as victims of abuse like Korean comfort women.

The said study served as a proof of principle, to show that common, relatively safe drugs in humans can extend the lifespan of very diverse organisms. The researchers also added that it should be possible to find others like ibuprofen with even better ability to extend lifespan, with the aim of adding health years of life in people.

The extended lifespan in the model organisms of their research can be the equivalent to another dozen or so years of healthy living humans.

 

Pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs

Pain killers or anti-inflammatory drugs

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