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Low back pain (LBP) is a heterogeneous disorder including patients with dominant nociceptive (e.g., myofascial low back pain), neuropathic (e.g., lumbar radiculopathy), and central sensitization pain. In order to select an effective and preferably also efficient treatment in daily clinical practice, LBP patients should be classified clinically as either predominantly nociceptive, neuropathic, or central sensitization pain.
Despite extensive global research efforts, chronic pain remains a challenging issue for clinicians and a huge socio-economic problem. Within the chronic pain population, low back pain (LBP) is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal disorders, affecting 70% – 85% of the adult population at some point in life. Twelve months after the onset of LBP, 45% – 75% of patients still experience pain, accounting for major expenses in health care and disability systems.
Chronic lumbar radicular pain is the most common neuropathic pain syndrome which affects 20% to 35% of patients with LBP. People with neuropathic LBP often experience higher levels…
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Type Diet — a controversial nutritional plan that suggests eating a certain way based on blood type — was all the buzz. The gist, according to the book that popularized the idea, was that doing so could maximize your performance, boost health, protect from disease, build stronger emotions, and even help you live longer. Problem is, last year, the diet was debunked by a study in the journal PLoS ONE, leaving blood type with a bad rep and most people thinking it didn’t matter much beyond the need for a transfusion or donation some day.
But emerging research suggests that while your diet needn’t be so closely linked with your blood, your overall health may be. In fact, one blood type continues to emerge above the rest: blood type O.
Research suggests that people with type O blood are at a lower risk for cardiovascular health issues like stroke and heart attack. A new study from the Karolinska Institute shows that people with type O blood are less likely to die from malaria. Science suggests that people with AB blood are at an increased risk of memory issues down the line compared to people with O blood. And other research pins people with O blood as less likely to experience certain kinds of cancer, like pancreatic and gastric cancers.
This all begs the question: Is type O blood protective?
To answer that, we first have to understand the ABO blood group system: There are four types: A, B, AB, and O (or ABO). Your type is determined by either the presence or absence of antigens on red blood cells, which can trigger an immune response in your body, Kristine Alexander, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow in medicine at the University of Vermont, tells MyHealthClinic.
Here’s where your diet comes into play: Evidence continues to grow showing that certainfoods play a role in promoting this immune response. “Refined carbs found in packaged snacks and processed items, as well as foods and drinks with added sugar, are linked to chronic inflammation,” says Rumsey. Red meat and dairy products may also contribute toinflammation, she says, possibly due to the grain and antibiotics often fed to cattle. Not only will avoiding these starchy, carbheavy, sugary products help you dodge chronicinflammation, but eating foods known to have antiinflammatory properties can lower your disease risk and boost overall health. It’s not yet clear exactly how much you have to consume to get the protective benefits, so just start loading your plate with these delicious, nutritious inflammationfighters today.
It’s a topic that Glee star Naya Rivera brought up by way of controversy while guest-hosting The View this week: “I feel like showering more than once a day or every day is such a white people thing,” she said, to the surprise of her fellow hosts.
The actress, who is part Puerto-Rican, African-American, and German, later clarified her comment. “Yesterday, we were talking about a study that says you’re supposed to shower once or twice every three days. I had an opinion on it that was supposed to be a joke,” she said.
Kidding or not, the whole thing got us thinking: Is showering every day really necessary, for anyone?
“Daily showering is a more cultural phenomenon than medical necessity,” explains Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Department of Dermatology. “In the U.S., people commonly shower once or even more per day – this can actually be harmful to skin, as hot water strips essential oils and can lead to irritation,” he adds.
Related: Why Being A People-Pleaser Is Bad For You (And How to Stop)
Another issue, particularly in the wintertime, is that the alkaline pH of some soaps can disrupt normal skin barrier function, says Zeichner. This, along with heavily fragranced formulas and long hot showers, can result in chronically parched and itchy skin that is prone to irritation.
However, for many people, bacteria that accumulate in sweat-prone areas can build up quickly and produce body odor, says New York dermatologist Eric Schweiger, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group. If showering is skipped for too long, that bacteria can potentially turn harmful and result in infection.
“Realistically, most people shower daily to feel clean, and I think it can be fine for skin health if you do so in a way that protects the barrier,” says Schweiger.
Whether you do it daily or a few times a week, our experts advise the following pointers.
Keep Showers Under About 7 Minutes
The longer you’re under running warm water, the more depleted your skin’s natural moisture barrier becomes. Turn the temperature down from hot to warm to help your skin retain as much hydration as possible, and set your cellphone alarm to know when time is up.
Related: I Hired A Flossing Coach, And It Might Actually Be Worth It
Suds Sweat-Prone Areas Only
It’s actually not necessary to suds your whole body. Go for the areas that have concentrated sweat glands – your underarms, private areas and feet. Include your upper chest and back if you tend to sweat in these areas. The soapy runoff from cleansing these strategic spots is plenty enough to clean the rest of your body, say our experts.
Switch To Body Wash
Traditional soap can simply be too caustic for some sensitive and aging skin types, particularly when temperature and humidity levels drop. Try switching to a moisturizing body wash that is soap-free, as well as free of drying detergent ingredients like sodium lauryl sulfate.
Shower Less, Use Wipes
If you do decided to cut back on showering, you can still swipe sweat-prone areas with baby or cleansing wipes to stay fresh. Look for formulas that contain natural astringents like cucumber or citrus. Change out underwear and socks for a fresh pair on days you skip, so that bacteria doen’t have the chance to propagate into body odor, suggests our experts.
Mice who eat an early dinner and then fast for 16 hours are slimmer than those who eat the same amount of calories, but snack around the clock, according to a study in Cell Metabolism. Researchers suspect that the longer lapse between meals allows the body to process the food more efficiently. They noticed that even mice fed a high-fat diet gained less weight when they fasted for 16 hours than those who eat more frequently. Good news for mice—and perhaps just another reason for us to say goodbye to late-night meals and snacks.
Avoid large meals late at night. According to the National Institutes of Health, late-night meals can cause indigestion that interferes with sleep. The same goes for alcohol. While a nightcap might help you relax before bed and initially fall asleep, drinking as little as two alcoholic drinks actually robs you of deep sleep and REM sleep, which means you wake up more frequently. Alcohol-related sleep disturbances are worse for women, say researchers at the University of Michigan.
According to Dr. Louis J. Aronne, Director of the Weight Control Program at Weill Cornell Medical College-New York Presbyterian Hospital, people who eat late at night tend to eat more. In addition, studies show that late-night noshing increases triglyceride levels, a type of fat found in your blood. When you eat, your body converts any calories it doesn’t use right away into triglycerides; and high levels may increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
“An abdominal training plan should focus on all areas of the stomach, not just lots of sit-ups,” says Jurkiw. A balanced abdominal training session could incorporate a circuit of:
• Sit-ups with a twist (so right elbow goes across to left knee and vice versa)
• Hanging leg raises (bring knees up to make it easier)
• Side plank
Maintain good posture
Sit-ups are the best form of exercise to help target and strengthen your mid-section, however; a lot of men fall short when executing them properly due to a lack of posture.
“You should hold your shoulders back when engaging your core workout to reap the full benefits of each sit-up,” says Lyons. “You can also use a Swiss ball to practice your balance, which again will activate your core.”
Shake it up a little
There’s nothing fun about doing sits-ups all day, but you can help beat the boredom by including some variation into your abdominal workouts.
“Perform a variety of exercises on your abs training day so you don’t get bored,” says Lyons. “Change your routine around. Use a Swiss ball one day and in the following workout use a TRX suspension trainer.”
Prioritise your workouts
Lyons says that while cardio workouts are vital for burning fat, they can hinder your performance throughout the rest of your gym session, simply because they make you tired.
He says: “Most people often leave their abs workout till the end of their training routine when they’re possibly rushed for time or are too tired, which is why you should sometimes start your workout off with abdominal workouts.”
Target the weaker areas first
Your abdominal muscles have three different sections: the upper, middle and lower abdominals. Each requires different workouts, as no singular exercise will effectively target all three. Lyons says that it’s best to start work on the weaker lower abdominals first before targeting the stronger areas.
He says: “Make sure you work on the weakest part of your abs first — upper, middle, lower or intercostals (the muscles between your rib and chest),” he says. “Getting the most difficult one out of the way at the start will mean you can put maximum effort into the rest of your workout.”
Pick your parents wisely
“Genetics will play a role in muscle fibre distribution and fat distribution,” says Jurkiw. “Some people find it easy to have washboard abs, whereas others have to work a bit harder for it. Fat storage will play an important role — some are genetically predisposed to store fat around the abdominal region, whereas others will store fat in other areas.
“Clearly there isn’t much you can do about that now so it’s better to focus on the previous tips.”