Safe, Gentle, and Effective

“Cough CPR” is an Urban Legend

Cough CPRThere is a popular rumor on the internet and social networks, suggesting that if you are alone and having a heart attack, you may be able to save your life by coughing. Like most internet urban legends, there may or may not be a kernel of truth to it, “Cough CPR” is sometimes used in emergency rooms under medical supervision, but that is where the truth seems to end.

Unfortunately, this particular rumor is also potentially very dangerous, because its value if any is uncertain, indeed most experts believe it to be unlikely to help at all with the most common types of heart attacks or when used without professional supervision. If the victim of a heart attack should mistakenly try to use this technique, believing it will save his or her life, they may neglect to take actions whose value is more established.

To be clear, in the event of a heart attack, especially when one strikes while you are alone, the best things to do immediately are to call 911 and take an aspirin. Do not hesitate to do these things, which are far more likely to save your life than trying to self-administer “Cough CPR”.

There is no incontrovertible evidence that “Cough CPR” is in fact effective for heart problems, and even if it is, it is certainly not recommended except under the guidance of Healthcare Professionals, and is more likely to benefit cases of abnormal heart rhythm, which is not the cause of most life-threatening heart attacks. In fact neither the American Heart Association nor any other reputable medical body recommends “Cough CPR” as a life-saving procedure, especially without the aid of medical experts.

The misconception dates back to 1999 to a Mended Hearts Newsletter, which was later retracted, and has since spread through website, email, and more recently social networks, always worded so as to give the impression that it is endorsed by professional medical practitioners or researchers.

Heart attacks can be devastating to your health, even fatal, and one should never hesitate to seek emergency care for even a minute when one strikes.

Dr. Michael Petrie, D.C.
Spine and Joint Center

Avocado-Soybean Pill May Treat Osteoarthritis of the Hip

AvocadoA French study sponsored by Laboratoires Expanscience has found evidence that an extract containing Avocado and Soybean may be an effective treatment for Hip Osteoarthritis. After three years, 10% fewer of the participants in the experimental group (as opposed to the placebo group) were considered Osteoarthritis progressors.

20% of the active treatment group experienced a relative risk reduction for Hip OA after three years of treatment, with the apparent benefits increasing significantly with the length of treatment. OA is the most common joint disorder, affecting 10% of people 65 and over, but to date no disease-modifying drugs have been approved for the condition because none has proven itself to be effective for prevention of treatment of the condition. Osteoarthritis can cause deep joint pain and stiffness, limit a person’s range of motion, weaken their muscles, and have other harmful consequences to their health and quality of life.

Further studies will be required to confirm and assess the clinical value of this data, although the study did use careful randomization and other procedures to minimize the risk of error. It may be some time before this becomes an approved treatment for OA, if it ever does.

In the meantime physical therapy, nutrition, exercise, chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, and several other non-drug, non-surgery lifestyle changes and treatments are considered beneficial for at least some OA patients. Treatment focuses on increasing the range of motion and reducing pain.

Dr. Michael Petrie, D.C.
Spine and Joint Center

Hypertension Treatment Cutoff Raised by Expert Panel

Hypertension TreatmentA panel of experts chosen for the Eighth Joint National Committee (JNC 8) has raised the blood pressure rate cutoff for determining whether patients needs drug therapy for hypertension. The new cutoff for most hypertensive patients over 60 recommends that drug therapy treatment begin when systolic pressure is above 150 mm Hg or higher or when diastolic pressure is 90 mm Hg or higher, while for younger patients or anyone with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, treatment is now recommended when systolic pressure is 140 or higher or diastolic pressure is 90 or higher.

The new cutoff primarily affects the treatment of hypertension in older patients, by recognizing that there is a natural tendency for the average blood pressure to raise with advancing age. Previous guidelines failed to give this distinction enough weight, while the new guidelines allow for more personalization of treatment recommendations. The new guidelines also emphasize lifestyle changes to be implemented before resorting to drug therapy.

“For all persons with hypertension, the potential benefits of a healthy diet, weight control, and regular exercise cannot be overemphasized. These lifestyle treatments have the potential to improve blood pressure control and even reduce medication needs,” wrote the panel.

Hypertension can have a variety of harmful effects including enlarged left heart, coronary artery disease, heart failure, artery damage, scarring and failure of the kidney, kidney artery aneurysm, mild cognitive impairment, brain aneurysm, ministrokes, strokes, and even dementia. Drug treatment for hypertension can also have negative side effects, however, including increased urination, erectile dysfunction, gout symptoms, asthma symptoms, depression, insomnia, chronic coughing, skin rash, dizziness, anemia, and other effects depending on the type of treatment and response of the individual patient.

In addition to lifestyle changes like better nutrition, exercise, and stress management habits, Chiropractic Adjustment and Professional Massage Therapy can prove beneficial to many patients in preventing or helping to reduce or eliminate hypertension. Hypertension can affect people of every age, and especially those with medical complications such as kidney disease and diabetes. In over thirty years of practice I have treated many patients for hypertension and helped them avoid the dangerous side effects that can sometimes accompany drug therapy, which as these new recommendations reveal is often an unnecessary risk.

Dr. Michael Petrie, D.C.
Spine and Joint Center

New Study Links Anxiety to Stroke

High Anxiety Increases the Risk of Stroke

New Study Links Anxiety to StrokeHigh anxiety levels are independently related with the risk of having a stroke, according to new research published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

The researchers studied a 22-year sample of 6019 people between the ages of 25 and 74 in the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES I), tracking stroke rates through hospital records, nursing home reports, and death certificates. The highest third of people on the anxiety scale, especially those with chronic high stress, showed a one-third higher rate of strokes compared with those lower on the scale.

Previous research was unable to separate anxiety from other factors such as depression, but this new study was able to isolate these factors, showing that even modest increases in anxiety correlated with a higher stroke risk. High anxiety individuals may be more likely to smoke or engage in other unhealthy habits, which may help explain part of the correlation, though physiological factors such as hormone levels and blood pressure may also be directly linked to high psychological anxiety levels. Anxiety is a complex psychological and physiological dimension which can influence and be influenced by unhealthy habits, medical problems, behaviors, and thought patterns.

Chiropractic Adjustment can be beneficial in relieving anxiety, in combination with healthy lifestyle choices including proper diet, exercise, and regular restful sleep. Thousands of people have received help for their anxiety from the beneficial results of Chiropractic Adjustment. I have treated many people over the past thirty-four years suffering from chronic anxiety, who now live healthier lives with less anxiety. In the United States, stroke is the #4 cause of death and the leading cause of disability. No one should have to suffer with high anxiety, which can rob a life of both quality and quantity.

Dr. Michael Petrie, D.C.
Spine and Joint Center