Some tips to avoid back pain

Tried and tested everything but back pain still giving you nightmares? Well, worry not, for health expert Dr Norman Marcus has come to your rescue.
Marcus, New York University School of Medicine, offers tips to prevent back pain:
Toss and turn at night and getting rid of sagging mattress. Reading or watching television while lying down is best avoided as when you lift your head to view the screen your muscles may contract causing pain in the neck.
Staying in a particular position for too long stresses the postural muscles. One should frequently change positions. Cross your legs, if you are sitting for long hours in a particular place. It helps move back and hip muscles.
Stop sitting with wallet in the back pocket as it can result chronic pain.
When you have to lift a heavy object, bend with your knees and hips. Heavy objects should be brought close to the body, such that leg muscles bear maximum pressure.
Women should try to lose weight after pregnancy and strengthen key postural and abdominal muscles, as it is weakened and stretched.

Talk-as-you-walk to keep post-holiday bulge at bay

Wondering how to keep off weight during holiday season? Well, Linda Michalsky, assistant professor of clinical nutrition at UT Southwestern Medical Centre, offers tips to help keep in shape.
Gather your friends and relatives for a talk-as-you-walk after the meal and circle the table two or three times before getting seconds or dessert.
Limit portions to half or less than half what you would normally take for everything but your favourite dish.
Michalsky advises to wait 15 to 20 minutes before going back for seconds or dessert. If you cut a piece of pie/cake in half, someone will immediately grab the other half.
Use smaller plates, she says. If you only have large plates, leave some room so that part o the plate is visible.
Drink a lot of water between other beverages and choose a seat away from the food tables.
Yellow pea flour can help control diabetes
A new study has revealed that whole yellow pea flour can be used as an ingredient to produce low-glycemic foods that may help people suffering from diabetes.
During the study, researchers created banana bread, biscotti, and pasta using whole yellow pea flour and analysed the glucose responses before and after eating food products. However, boiled yellow peas and white bread were used as positive and negative controls.
The study showed that whole yellow pea flour banana bread and biscotti reduced glycemic responses more than whole wheat bread.
In addition, whole yellow pea flour biscotti also reduced glycemic responses more than whole-wheat flour biscotti.
“Whole yellow pea flour can be used as a functional ingredient to produce low-glycemic foods,” said lead researcher Christopher Marinangeli.
“These findings may be used as a tool for healthcare practitioners to assist patients in cooking low-glycemic foods that help and prevent and manage Type 2 diabetes,” Marinangeli added.

Difficult-to-treat asthma due to poor use of meds

A new study by researchers in Northern Ireland has revealed that difficult-to-treat asthma often may have more to do with patients who do not take their medication as prescribed than ineffective medication.
“A significant proportion of patients with difficult asthma are poorly adherent to inhaled and oral corticosteroid therapy,” said principal investigator, Dr Liam Heaney, Belfast City Hospital.
“Defining the scale and identifying non-adherence in this population is important given currently available and other imminent expensive biological therapies,” Dr Heaney added.
For the study, Dr Heaney and colleagues obtained data from almost 200 patients who were referred to a tertiary referral clinic that specialises in treating difficult asthma.