The knee joint is surrounded by ligaments to provide stability and support.
knee surgeons in Belgium say they have identified a previously unfamiliar ligament in the human knee.
Writing in the Journal of Anatomy, they suggest the fibrous band could play a part in one of the most common sports injuries worldwide.
Despite glimpses of the ligament in medical history, this is the first time its structure and purpose have been so clearly established, they say. Continue reading New ligament discovered in knee, Belgian surgeons say.
Exercise can be as good a medicine as pills for people with conditions such as heart disease, a study has found.
Doing exercise regularly:
- Can reduce your risk of major illnesses, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and cancer by up to 50%.
- Can lower your risk of early death by up to 30%.
- Can boost self-esteem, mood, sleep quality and energy as well as keep weight off.
- Moderate activity, such as cycling or fast walking, gives your heart and lungs a work-out
The work in the British Medical Journal looked at hundreds of trials involving nearly 340,000 patients to assess the merits of exercise and drugs in preventing death.
Physical activity rivalled some heart drugs and outperformed stroke medicine.
The findings suggest exercise should be added to prescriptions, say the researchers. Continue reading Exercise rivals Medication for Heart Disease.
WEIGHT gain bugging you? Evidence is mounting for the central role that bacteria play in causing obesity.
Liping Zhao and his team at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China put a morbidly obese man on a diet of whole grains, traditional Chinese medicines, probiotics and non-digestible carbohydrates for 23 weeks. The diet was designed to inhibit the bacteria thought to be associated with weight gain by increasing the pH in the colon.
The 175-kilogram volunteer lost 51 kg, despite not exercising. People who have had weight-loss surgery lose on average 49 kg. Continue reading Gut-microbe swap changes Eating Habits
This was the message from CSP fellow Dr Mick Thacker, director of the ‘Pain: Science and Society’ MSc course at King’s College London.
Giving a keynote lecture, Dr Thacker advised delegates to move away from purely mechanical-based therapies for back pain patients, and become more aware of the role of neuro-immnunology in relation to pain.
“Traditional physiotherapy has based its management of back pain on anatomical, tissue-based principles and biomechanics”, said Dr Thacker. Continue reading Let go of outdated paradigms and stop dwelling on Biomechanical tissue-based models when treating Back Pain.
Specialised group Yoga Classes could provide a cost-effective way of treating patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain, according to the UK’s largest ever study of the benefits of Yoga.
Led by the University of York, and funded by Arthritis Research UK, the study provides an evaluation of a specially-developed 12-week group yoga intervention programme compared to conventional general practitioner (GP) care alone.
The results published in Spine, show that the Yoga intervention programme — “Yoga for Healthy Lower Backs” — is likely to be cost effective for both the UK National Health Service and wider society.
The cost assumed for yoga intervention is important in determining whether this is an efficient use of NHS resources. As Yoga classes are not currently available through the NHS, the researchers examined a range of possible costs.
They conclude that if the NHS was to offer specialist yoga and managed to maintain the cost below £300 per patient (for a cycle of 12 classes), there is a high probability (around 70 per cent) of the yoga intervention being cost effective.
Researchers also found that those taking part in the yoga programme had far fewer days off work than those in the control group. On average, a control group participant reported 12 days off due to back pain, whereas those in the yoga group had four days off. Continue reading Yoga: A Cost-Effective Treatment for Back Pain Sufferers?
Moderate exercise, and a regular intake of oily fish fatty acids, keeps elderly immobility at bay, a study suggests.
Findings of a recent trial show that women aged over 65 who received omega-3 fatty acids gained almost twice as much muscle strength following exercise than those taking olive oil.
A larger trial is planned to confirm these findings and to determine why muscle condition improves.
The findings are being presented at the British Science Festival in Aberdeen.
Some studies have linked diets high in omega-3 – commonly found in oily fish such as mackerel and sardines – to potential health benefits, such as a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
During healthy ageing, muscle size is reduced by 0.5-2% per year.
This process – known as sarcopenia – can result in frailty and immobility in old people.
Little is known about the prevalence of sarcopenia in the UK, but data from the US shows that 25% of people aged 50-70 have sarcopenia and this increases to more than half of those aged over 80 years. Continue reading Fish Oils help stop muscle atrophy in the Elderly
THE human brain evolved to seek out foods high in fat and sugar. But a preference that started out as a survival mechanism has, in our age of plenty, become a self-destructive compulsion.
It is well known that bad diets can trigger obesity and diabetes. There is growing evidence that they trigger Alzheimer’s disease too, and some researchers now see it as just another form of diabetes.
If correct, this has enormous, and grave, implications. The world already faces an epidemic of diabetes. The prospect of a parallel epidemic of Alzheimer’s is truly frightening, in terms of human suffering and monetary cost.
This outcome will not be easily averted. Few people need to be told that too much high-fat, high-sugar food is a health hazard. And yet sales of fast food remain healthy (or should that be hefty?). Part of the reason is “future discounting”, another evolved feature of the human brain that makes us value short-term rewards over long-term risks.
What can be done? One option is to call in the lawyers. Some moderately successful attempts have already been made to sue food companies for their role in creating the obesity epidemic. If a causal link between fatty, sugary food and Alzheimer’s can be established, it is highly likely that more lawsuits will follow. Such actions have their place, but this is a laborious and expensive way to enact change.
Nor do the policy levers at our disposal appear promising. Public awareness campaigns have been of limited use in reversing the tide of obesity. Will the added threat of dementia prove harder to ignore? “Sin taxes” on unhealthy foods may work – Denmark and a handful of other countries are experimenting with them – but it is not yet clear whether they make any real difference. What’s more, they raise questions about personal responsibility and nanny-statism.
We may be left with only the option of medically blocking either the craving for fast food, or its consequences. That has its own complications, and sidesteps the problem rather than addressing it. But the human brain also evolved to find ingenious solutions to intractable problems. It may yet come to its own rescue. Continue reading Is Alzheimers Disease Type 3 Diabetes ?