1 February 2012
What you think is going on in your head may be caused in part by what's happening in your gut.
A growing body of research shows the gut affects bodily functions far beyond digestion. Studies have shown intriguing links from the gut's health to bone formation, learning and memory and even conditions including Parkinson's disease. Recent research found disruptions to the stomach or intestinal bacteria can prompt depression and anxiety—at least in lab rats.
Better understanding the communication between the gut and the brain could help reveal the causes of and treatments for a range of ailments, and provide diagnostic clues for doctors.
A new study funded by the National Institutes of Health found that when it comes to neck pain, the best medicine is no medicine. The study tracked patients with recent-onset neck pain who were treated using either medication, exercise, or a chiropractor. After 12 weeks, the patients who used a chiropractor or exercised were more than twice as likely to be pain free.
The patients treated by a chiropractor experienced a 32 percent success rate, while exercise resulted in a 30 percent success rate. Patients treated with medication exhibited only a 13 percent success rate.
According to ABC News:
“The exercises prescribed to patients in the study were simple and designed to be performed at home with the help of instructional photos.”