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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Is Menicus Surgery Necessary ?

"Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought."
– Henri-Louis Bergson

Did you ever have a surgery that you  didn’t need? If so, let me know. In the US about 700,000 people undergo knee surgery each year to treat tears in the meniscus. The meniscus acts as a shock absorber between the upper and lower portions of the knee joints. Doctors say that a tear/or lose pieces of cartilage interfere with the motion of the joints causing pain and stiffness. However, a study, by researchers in Finland found interesting results ( Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2013).

These researchers studied two sets of(146 total) patients. These 146 patients were between 35 and 65 years of age and suffered from meniscus tears, that appeared gradually over time. One group, received the meniscus surgery, while the other group(placebo ) were told that they would  received the surgery, or not. In other words, these patients underwent arthroscopic, but the doctor did not remove cartilage(fake knee surgery).  Findings within the first 12 months suggested that the surgery group reported a decrease in pain after exercise in some of the quality of life measures. However, after one year, the differences disappeared between the two groups.

More often, placebo research is used with drug(sugar pill)  studies , and  less often with surgical procedures. The use of a placebo in  this research helped evaluate the effectiveness of the surgery. One  excuse  for not employing more placebo surgeries is the possibility that making  an incision in the skin can cause infection or bleeding.

In the US, meniscus surgery can cost anywhere between $3-$6000 and therefore accounts for about $4 billion in annual medical  costs in our health care system . The article also pointed out that previous studies demonstrate  that physical therapy was just as effective as surgery for patients with both the meniscus tear and osteoarthritis. Make sure your doctor reads the New England Journal of Medicine to keep updated. Going to another orthopedic surgeon might not result in a good second opinion.

Do you think that these 146 Europeans were  more hardy and have a higher pain threshold, than we or do you think they are just more suggestible? In any event, do many of you believe that surgery is over recommended in our health care system?

On a personal note, my wife, Linda was scheduled for a knee replacement  about 2 to 3 years ago. However, Linda went to physical therapy to build up the muscles in  and around her knee. After physical therapy treatment, she did vigorous hiking and took fresh ginger to reduce inflammation.  By building up her leg muscles, and reducing inflammation, miraculously her knee issue was abated. She is not in physical therapy at present, nor has she had that surgery.

Keep moving, laughing, smiling, deep breathing, bonding, and loving to enjoy your life.


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