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Steroids No Better for Sciatica Pain Than Placebo, Study Finds
Doctors often prescribe steroid pills to ease the discomfort of sciatica -- back and leg pain usually caused by a herniated disk in the lower back. But a new study finds steroids are no more effective than a placebo pill for the pain and provide only modest improvement in function. Sciatica affects about one in 10 people in their lifetime, the researchers said. For this study, 269 people with sciatica were randomly assigned to take an oral steroid predniso ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Herbal Supplements Largely Untested in Kids
As the primary users of herbal remedies, more women are giving botanical medicines to their children for various ailments. But science has come up short on evidence that these popular herbal remedies actually work for kids. Recognizing the need for more solid information, researchers at the University of Illinois decided to sift through 40 years of medical literature to determine what clinical proof exists for using alternative remedies such as chamomile, ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Talking Together Brings Comfort to Terminally Ill
While the adage life is short may seem true for everyone, no one understands this better than those facing a terminal illness. In the time they have left, serious, unsettling questions regarding spirituality, relationships and identity can weigh heavily on their minds. Experts who work with the dying say precious few resources are currently available to address these types of concerns. But a new program that allows groups of terminally ill individuals to m ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Practice 'Safe Stress' Over the Holidays
The demands of the season are upon you. And all that socializing, present shopping, decorating and feast preparations can turn this time of year into a stress fest that can affect your health. If you are not careful, the holidays take an emotional toll on the body, ranging from increased blood pressure to weakening your immune system, said Gina Kearney, a holistic nurse practitioner and site manager at the Integrative Care Center, affiliated with the Hospi ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Needling Away Wrinkles
Scott Peres, a 42-year-old sales representative from New York City, was bothered by a chronically sore shoulder, so he decided to give acupuncture a try for pain relief. His acupuncturist, Shellie Goldstein, who practices in New York City and tony East Hampton, N.Y., gently inserted some needles in the area around the shoulder, and soon the pain began to ease. While chatting, Goldstein also mentioned that something called facial acupuncture could reduce th ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Researchers Explore Psychological Link to Bowel Disorder
As many as one in five Americans suffers from the pain, bloating and embarrassment caused by irritable bowel syndrome, one of the most common disorders diagnosed by doctors. But little is known about the disorder. In fact, doctors have been unable to pinpoint a specific cause, or find any cure. Increasingly, research is focusing on the effect the mind may have on gut function. Many doctors believe the link between brain and body might prove the key to effe ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Homeopathy: Natural Approach or All a Fake?
To believers, homeopathy is a natural approach to medicine, a holistic therapy that takes the entire patient into account. Homeopaths believe that like cures like -- in other words, when diluted to microscopically tiny levels in water, small quantities of substances that in bigger doses would cause symptoms can now cure them. But debate over homeopathy s effectiveness -- or lack thereof -- rages, with kinder critics calling homeopathy nothing but a placebo ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Aromatherapy: The Scent of Dispute
Aromatherapy is an affordable, accessible natural path to relief for a variety of health problems, ranging from arthritis pain to nausea to drowsiness, supporters insist. But skeptics dismiss any claims that the use of essential oils from flowers, herbs and trees can promote health in any way. And both sides are unlikely to relinquish their positions anytime soon. Aromatherapy works for so many different things, it is amazing, said Kelly Holland Azzaro, a ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Divorce Isn't Eco-Friendly
Love not only makes the world go round, it may make it greener, too. Rising divorce rates mean that fewer people are living in each household, causing them to take up more space and consume more energy and water, a new study suggests. People talk about divorce hurting the children. Divorce also has an impact on the environment, said Jianguo Jack Liu, senior author of the study and the Rachel Carson chair in sustainability at Michigan State University. Nobo ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Saline Nasal Wash Helps Kids Fight Colds, Flu
Rinsing with a special saline nasal wash made from Atlantic seawater improves symptoms in children with colds and flu, and may prevent recurrence of these infections, a new study claims. We brush our teeth every day, however, we do not pay attention to our noses -- a potential gate for infection, said study co-author Dr. Jana Skoupa, of Pharma Projects in Prague, Czech Republic. Nasal wash should be used, based on our findings, immediately. The study seems ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Culture May Help Raise Breast Cancer Death Rate for American Indians
A new study finds that the high death rates from breast cancer in American Indian and Alaskan native women are linked to cultural beliefs, not barriers such as poor access to health care. The findings are significant, because breast cancer ranks second on the list of cancer-related deaths in American Indian and Alaskan native women, and these women also have the lowest five-year survival rate when compared with other ethnic groups. University of California ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17
Hospice Care Eases the End for Loyal Pets
Hospice care isn t just for humans anymore, as more animal owners are making that choice for their terminally ill pets as an alternative to early euthanasia. For nearly 20 years, a handful of veterinarians has helped animals suffering from incurable diseases, such as heart and kidney failure, to die peacefully at home, not in a hospital cage. But only recently have pet owners and the veterinary profession begun to fully embrace the idea. The spike in inter ...
Healthday - Thu. Sep 17