Muscle Preservation

Andreas was a world-class bodybuilder who, by all appearances, was in the best shape of his life. His body was teeming with muscles and there was hardly an ounce of fat on him — he made the Incredible Hulk look like a beanpole.

And at 31 years of age, he did something that no 31-year-old should ever do — he died suddenly.

Years of bodybuilding supplements meant to enhance his performance and appearance had laid waste to his body. Continue reading

The Scientific Side of Steroid Use and Abuse

Leslie Henderson is concerned about steroid abuse, not necessarily by sports luminaries like Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, but rather by adolescents.

“There is this disconnect among young people that somehow your emotions, your thought processes—things that have to do with your brain—are separate and different from what steroids may be doing to your body—your muscles, your heart, or your liver, or anything like that,” says Henderson, a professor of physiology and neurobiology, and of biochemistry at the Geisel School of Medicine Continue reading

Muscle Trigger Point Pain Neutralization Technique Using Your Fingertips

Did you know…that there is a pain neutralization technique that instantly eliminates migraines, headaches, sciatica and other chronic joint and muscle pain…with the simple use of light fingertip pressure?

Let’s admit it: We are a quick-fix society. We want—no, needimmediate results from the healing therapies we use. Otherwise we move on to yet another healing modality with a resounding “Next!”

Listening to his patients’ desires Continue reading

High Doses of ‘Load’ Slows Loss of Bone in Spinal Cord Injury

At the end of a 3-year study, participant’s thighbones that received either a low dose of load or no load had a density that was almost 40 percent lower than thighbones that received a high dose of load

Loss of bone density leads to brittle bones that fracture easily. It is a major complication of spinal cord injury (SCI), which affects about 250,000 Americans every year.

A new clinical trial conducted by University of Iowa researchers shows that delivering high doses of “load,” or stress, to bone through programmed electrical stimulation of the muscle significantly slows the loss of bone density in patients with SCI.

The focus on quantifying the effective dose of load is one of the study’s most important aspects, says Richard Shields, P.T., Ph.D., a professor and director of the UI Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science Graduate Programs. The study also is the first to carefully test the impact of different doses of load in humans with paralysis.

Previous research had suggested that stressing or loading bone through muscle contractions could slow the loss of bone density, but results from clinical trials have been mixed. Continue reading

Garlic Oil May Protect the Heart

Garlic oil may be used to release natural chemicals that protect heart tissue after a heart attack, during heart surgery or as part of the treatment for heart failure. Scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine have found that a component of garlic oil, called diallyl trisulfide, may be a safe and effective tool for limiting cardiac damage.

Lab studies at Emory indicated that diallyl trisulfide limited heart damage by more than 60 percent.

“Interruption of oxygen and blood flow damages mitochondria, and loss of mitochondrial integrity can lead to cell death,” said researcher Benjamin Predmore, Ph.D. “We see that diallyl sulfide can temporarily turn down the function of mitochondria, preserving them and lowering the production of reactive oxygen species.”

Additionally, the study authors noted that treatment with the garlic compound twice daily following heart failure helped prevent enlargement of the muscle.

Source for Story: Continue reading

Heal Nerve and Muscle Injuries with a Swim

Have you ever experienced sciatica pain? It usually crops up when you irritate your sciatic nerve. The pain can typically radiate from your lower back, down the back of your thigh. Sometimes the shooting pain can even reach as far as your knees. Prescribed treatments run the gamut from painkillers to surgery.

Here’s an alternative remedy for those of you who want to avoid prescription side effects and resorting to something as invasive as surgery: swimming. Researchers in Brazil have conducted a clinical trial to assess the effect of swimming on nerve injury to the sciatica.

For their animal study, the researchers wanted to find out not only if swimming could help heal a sciatic nerve injury, but also how soon exercise should be started again after an injury. Continue reading

Foods Rich in Protein, Dairy Products Help Dieters Preserve Muscle and Loose Belly Fat

New research suggests a higher-protein, lower-carbohydrate energy-restricted diet has a major positive impact on body composition, trimming belly fat and increasing lean muscle, particularly when the proteins come from dairy products.

The study, published in the September issue of the Journal of Nutrition, compared three groups of overweight and obese, but otherwise healthy, premenopausal women. Each consumed either low, medium or high amounts of dairy foods coupled with higher or lower amounts of protein and carbohydrates.

The women exercised seven days per week for four months, a routine that included five days  Continue reading

Researchers Use Human Cells to Engineer Functional Anal Sphincters in Lab

Researchers have built the first functional anal sphincters in the laboratory, suggesting a potential future treatment for both fecal and urinary incontinence. Made from muscle and nerve cells, the sphincters developed a blood supply and maintained function when implanted in mice. The results are reported in the medical journal Gastroenterology.

“In essence, we have built a replacement sphincter that we hope can one day benefit human patients. This is the first bioengineered sphincter made with both muscle and nerve cells, making it ‘pre-wired’ for placement in the body,” said senior author Khalil N. Bitar, Ph.D., a professor of regenerative medicine at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center’s Institute for Regenerative Medicine. Bitar performed the work when he was on the University of Michigan faculty and it included a colleague from Emory University.

Sphincters are ring-like muscles that maintain constriction of a body passage. There are numerous sphincters in the human body, Continue reading

The Burger of the Future Is Made from Stem Cells

The first ‘test-tube’ hamburger is only a year away, scientists claim.

They believe the product, beef mince grown from stem cells, could pave the way for eating meat without animals being slaughtered.

The Dutch scientists predict that over the next few decades the world’s population will increase so quickly that there will not be enough livestock to feed everyone.

As a result, they say, laboratory-grown beef, chicken and lamb could become normal.

The scientists are currently developing a burger Continue reading

Taking the Burn Out of Heartburn Naturally

According to the National Institute of Health, approximately 25 million Americans are suffering from heartburn each year. With such a large number of the population afflicted with this painful and potentially dangerous health problem, chances are that you are represented in this statistic. Over the past decade pharmaceutical companies have lead us to believe that the cause of this heartburn epidemic is an overproduction of stomach acid and doctors are writing millions of “acid blocker” prescriptions each year aimed at easing the symptoms of acid reflux. Ironically however, low stomach acid levels, not excessive levels, may very well be causing your heartburn. And furthermore, the very act of “blocking” your stomach acid production can have disastrous consequences for your health down the road.

Acid reflux is often incorrectly thought of as a stomach acid disease, but actually it is the result of a malfunctioning muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a flap that separates the base of the esophagus from the top of the stomach and opens only to allow food and liquids to pass down or vomit or gas to pass up. When the LES is functioning properly it will remain closed at all other times, sealing off the esophagus from the harmful acids in the stomach. When the LES is malfunctioning however, the corrosive stomach acids are able to make their way into the esophagus where they burn  Continue reading

Understand Blood Pressure

The heart is a muscle that pumps blood around the body continuously. Blood that is low in oxygen is pumped towards the lungs, where oxygen supplies are replenished. The heart pumps this oxygen-rich blood around the body to supply our muscles and cells. The pumping of blood generates pressure – blood pressure.

When we measure blood pressure, we gauge two different types of pressure:

* Systolic pressure – the blood pressure when the heart contracts, specifically the moment of maximum force of the contraction, which occurs when the left ventricle of the heart contracts.

* Diastolic pressure – the blood pressure between heartbeats, when the heart is resting and opening up, (dilating).

When our blood pressure is taken the doctor or nurse needs to measure both the systolic and diastolic pressures. The figures usually appear with a larger number first (systolic pressure), and then a smaller number (diastolic pressure). The figure will be followed by the abbreviation mmHg, which means millimeters of mercury.

If your blood pressure is 120 over 80 (120/80 mmHg), it means a systolic pressure of 120mmHg and a diastolic pressure of 80mmHg.

Our levels of blood pressure can fluctuate by as much as 30 or 40 mmHg during the day. It will be at its lowest point when we are asleep or resting. When we are physically active, very stressed or anxious our blood pressure rises. It is important that blood pressure is taken under similar circumstances each time so that when the readings are compared they refer to the same state of physical activity.

Muscle Imbalances May Cause Back Pain

What I have discovered in practice is that there are usually only one or two main groups of muscles, setting up the imbalances that cause the joint to move or the pressure to build up in a muscle making the joint stiff or tight and painful to use.

If the muscles that set up the imbalances (usually the deeper structural muscles) are worked on correctly, the pressure that causes the twist, tilt or tightness is released, along with the pain.

When a back develops problems it is not normally something that has just happened but rather the result of a buildup of imbalances over time. It tends to involve the whole body in some way and therefore requires a holistic approach to get a lasting cure.

To demonstrate, reach to the right to pick something up and you’ll notice it is not just your shoulder and arm that moves, you will feel every muscle in your body adjust in some way to support that movement.

Any therapist who doesn’t get their hands onto the muscles and body regularly, which lets face it is most of them including a doctor, physiotherapist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, Pilates or yoga instructor, personal trainer etc, is severely handicapped right from the start when it comes to successfully treating back pain.

There is no way, without the vital information you get from the feel of the body, they could devise the best way of approaching a particular person’s back problem, or diagnose it correctly for that matter. In one hour you can significantly change how a person feels within themselves, simply by making a significant change to the muscle imbalances in their body and how those muscles feel to the touch.

The body will respond to the right touch as if it knows what is good for it, just as it will freeze up and resist the wrong treatment as a way of protecting itself. Have you ever gone for an adjustment from a chiropractor and had trouble relaxing?

When seeking out treatment for your back pain you need to tune into your body and instinctively you will know what is helping you and what isn’t.

A large number of people can’t afford to spend several hundred dollars on the medical merry go round hoping they would find someone who could help them.

I felt that if people were well educated on diagnosing their own problem and had effective techniques they could use daily at home to make progress on their own, they would get much better value from the therapy appointments they had and more importantly, they’d be able to recognize very quickly when a therapist they saw was going to be a waste of their money and time.

Protecting Your Liver When You Have Diabetes

Article is a Re-Print Courtesy of: http://www.physicaltherapyassistantschools.org/

 It’s a silent killer, and one of the worst diseases that we have brought upon ourselves through lifestyles that are sedentary and self-indulgent. It ranks right up there alongside cancer as a potent ailment that causes intense suffering and even death if you’re not careful about your diet and lifestyle. The worst part of diabetes is that it brings a host of other complications with it – you’re prone to high cholesterol, strokes, cardiac diseases, kidney failure, and complications of the liver.

The liver is one of the most important organs in our body; it is responsible for converting glucose to glycogen; it aids in digestion by generating bile to break down fats, in filters toxic substances from our blood. The liver plays a very important role in regulating your blood sugar – when you eat, the glucose level in your blood rises and this causes your pancreas to produce insulin. When the glucose enters your liver, the insulin acts on it and various enzymes including glycogen are synthesized. Once your meal is digested, your glucose levels fall, and insulin secretion is reduced. Your liver thus holds your energy source – glucose in the form of glycogen – for the next few hours, until you have your next meal.

You can see how diabetics are prone to liver disease because of this process – when your insulin levels are abnormal, your glycogen stores are either too high or too low. The accumulation of glycogen in your liver leads to what is known as the fatty liver syndrome, often seen in people who are diabetic and obese or overweight. A fatty liver leads to cirrhosis, a condition where healthy liver cells are replaced by scar tissue and nodules. The more your liver is scarred, the less it functions normally.

As a diabetic, it’s imperative that you maintain your blood sugar levels through a healthy lifestyle, sensible eating habits, and a regular exercise routine. If not, your liver is at risk, and when you endanger one of the most important organs in your body, you’re asking for a host of health complications.

Liver cirrhosis is also caused by alcohol abuse; so if you’re an alcoholic who also has diabetes, or are a likely candidate for Type II diabetes because of your genes and sedentary lifestyle, you’re dealing yourself a double whammy, a two-fisted knockout punch. You really need to reevaluate your life and make some tough decisions, because if you don’t, you may not have a life to live. Diabetes is a complicated disease; don’t make it more complicated by neglecting to manage it properly.

 

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Basic Diabetic Diet

If you have diabetes, your body cannot make or properly use insulin. This leads to high blood glucose, or sugar, levels in your blood. Healthy eating helps to reduce your blood sugar. It is a critical part of managing your diabetes, because controlling your blood sugar can prevent the complications of diabetes.

Wise food choices are a foundation of diabetes treatment. Diabetes experts suggest meal plans that are flexible and take your lifestyle and other health needs into account. A registered dietitian can help you design a meal plan.

Healthy diabetic eating includes

  • Limiting sweets
  • Eating often
  • Being careful about when and how many carbohydrates you eat
  • Eating lots of whole-grain foods, fruits and vegetables
  • Eating less fat
  • Limiting your use of alcohol