Monday, March 28, 2022

Sedentary Lifestyle Can Be a Factor in Low Back Pain

A sedentary lifestyle is one where an individual gets very little exercise. And people all over the world are getting less and less exercise. During their leisure time, people sit while using computers, watching TV or playing video games. And at work, people often do their job while sitting at a desk.  A sedentary lifestyle can increase a person’s risk for many cardiometabolic problems including obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol. And a recent study has shown that a sedentary lifestyle can also raise the risk for low back pain (LBP).

There are basically two types of back pain. There is acute back pain that may last up to a few weeks, and there is chronic back pain that can last 12 weeks or more. Most of us experience back pain at some point, but the back pain usually goes away. However, LBP is a chronic condition for about twenty percent of the people who have the condition.

In the study mentioned above, 27 meta-analyses were researched. The meta-analyses were taken from articles published in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, and Scopus. And the analysis of the 27 meta-analyses showed that sedentary lifestyle raised the risk of LBP.

The set of meta-analyses showed that a sedentary lifestyle was a big risk factor for LBP in both adults and children. For example, one of the meta-analyses showed that using a computer for more than four hours a day, while at work, could lead to LBP. One of the analyses indicated that sitting for more than seven hours a day can lead to LBP. And another one of the analyses concluded that playing video games for at least twelve hours a week could lead to LBP.

Since a sedentary lifestyle can lead to LBP, exercise should be encouraged by healthcare providers for patients to prevent LBP, as well as other undesirable health conditions. 

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Sunday, March 20, 2022

Motivational Interviewing Can Be Used to Treat Peripheral Arterial Disease

The narrowing or blockage of the veins that transport blood from the heart to the legs is known as peripheral arterial disease (PAD). The accumulation of fatty plaque in the arteries, known as atherosclerosis, is the primary reason for the condition. PAD may affect any artery, however, it affects the legs more often than the arms. Walking can benefit individuals with PAD. And a study has shown that motivational interviewing (MI) methods can encourage individuals with PAD to walk.

Patients with PAD benefit from walking because it improves their ability to function. The above-mentioned study was done to examine the effectiveness of a smartphone app in increasing walking distance and boosting weight reduction in overweight/obese individuals with PAD, compared to the effectiveness of motivational interviewing.

Researchers at the University of Kansas performed a 3-month, randomized study consisting of 29 participants. The participants’ average age was 66. A BMI greater than 27 and symptomatic PAD were both required for inclusion in the study. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two groups: an MI group where in-person and telephone counseling was used or an app group where a mobile smartphone app was used.

Both treatment approaches promoted walking, for exercise, and good eating habits (increasing fruits and vegetables and whole grains while reducing fat and sugary drinks). At the start of the study, the researchers looked at the participants' medical history. A baseline assessment was made to determine how far a participant could walk in 6 minutes, along with a determination of each participant’s weight, quality of life, exercise practices, and eating habits. The participants were assessed again at three months.

After 3 months, the MI participants increased their 6-minute walking distance by 40 meters, while the app participants' increase in their 6-minute walking distance was not statistically significant. And the weight loss for the MI participants was 10.1 lbs., while the app participants lost about 2.3 lbs. There were no statistically significant changes in quality of life, exercise routines, or food habits when comparing baseline to 3 months for either the MI group or the app group.

The researchers concluded that that MI may help overweight/obese persons, with PAD, exercise more and lose weight. Healthcare providers may want to look at the results of the study. MI is a very powerful treatment tool. And while the above study was a small study, becoming familiar with MI and employing MI can benefit PAD patients who are overweight or obese.

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