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Rest may be best medicine to treat some pains, says study

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Getting rest may be as effective as taking medication to treat common musculoskeletal disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome and lower back pain, which is caused by repeated moderate-strain activity, scientists have found.

In a study conducted in rats, researchers showed that a four-week period of rest was nearly as effective as an experimental drug at reducing discomfort and regaining function.

“Rest appears to be a good first treatment choice,” said Amanda White, a postdoctoral fellow at Temple University in the US.

 

“Other treatments following rest should include exercises to improve tissues, and pain reducers if needed. If symptoms do not subside and strength does not return following this approach, then pharmacological treatments may be needed to aid recovery,” White said in a statement.

The researchers trained rats to repeatedly pull a lever in order to model the types of repetitive-strain injuries humans experience.

After 12 weeks, the rats showed a weaker grip strength, discomfort and increased collagen production in the forearm – evidence of strain-induced tissue damage.

The researchers then allowed the rats to rest for four weeks. During this rest period one group of rats received an experimental drug that blocks a neurotransmitter, Substance P, which is associated with the sensation of pain, while the other group did not.

“We found that the four-week rest treatment reduced collagen production, improved strength and decreased discomfort,” said White.

“The drug blocking Substance P signaling also had similar effects, and was somewhat better at improving grip strength, but at the same time made the animals less sensitive to very hot temperatures, which is concerning. This led us to conclude that rest may be the better treatment,” she said.

There appears, however, to be a tipping point at which rest is not sufficient and medications are needed, researchers said.

While the study showed rest was sufficient for recovering from repeated moderate-strain activity, previous studies indicated it was not sufficient when the lever was harder to pull, causing more strain.

In investigating the Substance P-blocking agent and other drugs, the researchers are focused on developing ways to help the tissue actually recover from overuse-induced injury, not just relieve pain.

In previous experiments the researchers tried giving the rats ibuprofen and other pain relievers while they were performing the lever-pulling task; however, this seemed to only mask the pain while allowing the rats to continue to pull hard, worsening the tissue damage.


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Health

Reasons Why You Should Start Your Day With Ginger

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Ginger is often used to add extra flavour to your tea. Ayurveda advises using ginger for various medicinal purposes. It has a strong taste and aroma which makes it can an appropriate element for your cup of tea. But you can add a change to your morning by adding ginger to it. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and something like ginger which is loaded with health benefits can make your breakfast healthier. Adding it your tea is the easiest way to consume ginger but you can also try other methods to consume ginger as well. Here are 5 reasons why you should add ginger to your morning routine.

Health benefits of ginger

  1. Aids in weight loss

Ginger can help you control your appetite. If you consume ginger every morning you will experience reduced urge to eat. The best way to consume ginger for weight loss is ginger water. To male ginger water, you need to boil cups of water first. Then add at least two slices of ginger to it. Boil it for some time and later strain the mixture. You can drink it both hot and cold according to your preference. Consumption of ginger water every morning will regulate blood sugar levels as well.

 
  1. Better hair and skin health

Regular consumption of ginger water every morning can help you achieve flawless hair and skin. Ditch all the chemical loaded products for skin and hair and switch to ginger. The antioxidants and the vitamins present in ginger are beneficial for both hair and skin. It will also ensure better protection against skin infections and diseases.

  1. Improves gut health

You can say goodbye to all your digestive disorders with ginger. Adding ginger to your breakfast will give you a strong digestive system. It will give you relief from indigestion, nausea and heartburn. You can prepare ginger water for better digestion as well. To enhance its taste and benefits simply add mint, lemon juice and one teaspoon honey to it.

  1. Reduces inflammation

Ginger is popularly known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Staring your day with ginger regularly will result in reduces inflammation for long term. Arthritis patients can add ginger to their breakfast without giving a second thought. You will also notice relief from other body pains and swelling.

  1. Better cholesterol levels

Ginger can manage your cholesterol levels as well. Increase in bad cholesterol can trigger the risk of various chronic diseases. It is extremely bad for your heart health. You can reduce your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels with ginger.

You can experiment various methods to use ginger in the morning. You can prepare ginger tea, ginger jam, ginger smoothie or can simply add it to your soup.

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Health

Testosterone replacement therapy can rise stroke risk in men

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Aging men with low testosterone levels who take testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) are at a greater risk of experiencing an ischemic stroke or a cardiac arrest, especially during the first two years of use, warn researchers.

Published in The American Journal of Medicine, the findings confirm concerns voiced by many health agencies about the potential risks associated with the treatment.

“Our findings show that the use of TRT was associated with an increased risk of stroke, transient ischemic attack or cardiac arrest during the first two years of use,” said Christel Renoux of McGill University in Canada.

 

According to researchers, there is a limited evidence on the long-term clinical benefits of TRT to effectively treat the modestly declining levels of endogenous testosterone levels of aging but healthy men.

“We strongly recommend that clinicians proceed with caution when considering prescribing TRT and first discuss both the potential benefits and risks with patients,” Renoux said.

The study analysed a large database of electronic medical records of patients enrolled in primary care practices in the UK and formed a cohort of 15,401 men, aged 45 years or older, with low testosterone levels (hypogonadism).

Users of TRT had a 21% greater risk of cardiovascular events compared with non-users, corresponding to an additional 128 events.

The increased risk appears to be transient, declining after two years of TRT use, which the investigators attribute to a phenomenon called “depletion of susceptible.”

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Health

High intensity interval training can improve health

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An international research team has now found that bringing the science of high intensity interval training (HIIT) into everyday life could be the key to helping unfit, overweight people get more of the exercise they need to improve their health.

According to experts, from washing the car to climbing stairs or carrying groceries, each of these activities is an opportunity for short sharp bursts of ‘High Intensity Incidental Physical Activity’, HIIPA for short.

Speaking about it, study author Emmanuel Stamatakis said, “Regular incidental activity that gets you huffing and puffing even for a few seconds has great promise for health.”

 

In a study, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, Stamatakis and colleagues argue that when considering differences in physical capabilities by age, sex and weight, many daily tasks can be classified as ‘high intensity’ physical activity. That is, the kind of activity that gets you out of breath enough to boost your fitness.

According to them, including these kinds of activities into routines a few times a day will see significant health benefits for the majority of adults.

Professor Stamatakis added, “There is a lot of research telling us that any type of HIIT, irrespective of the duration and number of repetitions is one of the most effective ways to rapidly improve fitness and cardiovascular health and HIIPA works on the same idea.”

According to study authors the time commitment for HIIPA is close to zero minutes per day, and people could save even more time if their HIIPA involves brief walking sprints, or taking the stairs instead of waiting for the lift. Furthermore, other practical advantages are nil costs, no need for equipment and no concerns about a lack of skill or fitness.

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