Today’s Headlines: Leg Pain, Tooth Decay and Commuting

Chiropractic care might help your leg pain. Chiropractic is a widely used therapy for a variety of chronic pains. But the evidence for its efficacy has always been conflicting. A new study out this week has found that it could be helpful in the treatment of back-related leg pain. The researchers have found that “people with leg pain related to back problems had more short-term relief if they received chiropractic care along with exercise and advice, rather than exercise and advice alone.” The benefits weren’t only seen in the short term. “Nine months after the treatment ended, patients who received chiropractic therapy were still doing better than the other group in terms of global improvement, medication use and satisfaction.” According to the authors, “Spinal manipulation combined with home exercise may be worth trying for those with back-related leg pain that has lasted more than four weeks.” (Reuters)

Tooth decay mostly from having too much sugar. Only recently have doctors appreciated how important the health of your teeth is to overall well-being. The best way to keep those pearly whites may be to avoid sugar in your diet. A new report just released has said that “sugars are the only cause of tooth decay in kids and adults.” According to the researchers, “only 2% of people at all ages living in Nigeria had tooth decay when their diet contained almost no sugar, around 2g per day. This is in stark contrast to the USA, where 92% of adults have experienced tooth decay [and adults consume large amounts of sugar].” While the authors note that fluoride in water and toothpaste has helped stave off some tooth decay, it’s not enough to protect a person over the course of their life. They say that “this means it is now even more important to develop a radical prevention policy with a marked reduction in sugar intake.” (TIME)

Walkers and bikers are happier commuters. Getting to work on foot or two wheels is obviously a good workout for the muscles, but new research indicates it’s good for our brain, too. Researchers found that “daily commuters who stopped driving to work and started walking or riding a bike were under less stress and were able to concentrate better.” Public transportation also had benefits, but they weren’t as pronounced as those with walking and cycling. According to the authors, “commuters reported feeling better when traveling by public transport than when driving. You might think that things like disruption to services or crowds of commuters might have been a cause of considerable stress but buses or trains also give people time to relax, read, socialize and there is usually an associated walk to the bus stop or railway station.” Those who spent the most time commuting in cars felt the worst. (CBS)