Exercise ‘just as potent’ as drugs against many major diseases

Exercise could be as effective as some of the best drugs which protect against major diseases, research has found.

A study of more than 300 trials has found that physical activity was better than medication in helping patients recovering from strokes – and just as good as drugs in protecting against diabetes and in stopping heart disease worsening.

The research, published in the British Medical Journal, analysed data about studies on 340,000 patients diagnosed with one of four diseases: heart disease, chronic heart failure, stroke or diabetes.

Researchers said the findings suggested that regular exercise could be “quite potent” in improving survival chances, but said that until more studies are done, patients should not stop taking their tablets without taking medical advice.

The landmark research compared the mortality rates of those prescribed medication for common serious health conditions, with those who were instead enrolled on exercise programmes.

Most of the 305 studies examined involved patients had been given drugs to treat their condition. But 57 of the trials – involving 15,000 volunteers – examined the impact of exercise as a treatment.

The research found that while medication worked best for those who had suffered heart failure, in all the other groups of patients, exercise was at least as effective as the drugs which are normally prescribed.

People with heart disease who exercised but did not use commonly prescribed medications, including statins, and drugs given to reduce blood clots had the same risk of dying as patients taking the medication.

Similarly, people with borderline diabetes who exercised had the same survival chances as those taking the most commonly prescribed drugs.

Drugs compared with exercise included statins, which are given to around five million patients suffering from heart disease, or an increased risk of the condition.

The study was carried out by researcher Huseyin Naci of LSE Health, London School of Economics and Political Science and Harvard Medical School, with US colleagues at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/10515917/Exercise-just-as-good-as-drugs-in-war-on-major-disease.html

Use It or Lose It

How do joints work?

Joints are designed to withstand the loads placed on them and provide a full range of motion. Each joint is made up of at least two surfaces that touch each other and allow for movement. These include ball-and-socket joints such as the hip; hinge joints such as the knee and elbow; and gliding joints, such as those in the spine.
The bones that make up the joint allow movement, but it is the muscles that pull the bones that produce the movement. Muscles are attached to bones by tendons. Bones are connected to bones by ligaments. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are attached around each joint at very specific positions, with joint surfaces shaped in exact dimensions. Fluid within most of the joints lubricates the joint surfaces to reduce friction and allow for lifelong use.

How do I keep joints in good shape?

The movements that you perform on a daily basis are critical to long-term joint health, as are proper nutrition, a healthy exercise regimen, and a healthy lifestyle. Moving a joint through its full range of motion is important. Joints are not supplied directly with blood like other organs in the body, so the saying, “Use it or lose it” applies to joint function.
Excerpt from “HEALTHY LIVING: Patient Information from the American Chiropractic Association”

October is National Chiropractic Health Month!

nchmSome 150 million to 200 million cases of back pain send people to the doctor every year—and many of those are related to joint injuries. The bones that make up the joint allow movement, but it is the muscles that pull the bones that produce the movement.

The movements that you perform on a daily basis are critical to long-term joint health, as are proper nutrition, a healthy exercise regimen, and a healthy lifestyle. Moving a joint through its full range of motion serves several important purposes. Joints are not supplied directly with blood as are other organs within the body, but instead are nourished with synovial fluid that is forced into the joint cartilage through pressure resulting from body movement. So the saying, “Use it or lose it” applies to joint function.

Look for articles all this month to learn more about protecting and enhancing your joint health.