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Could Metformin Help Seniors Bounce Back After Surgery?

The diabetes drug metformin might also benefit older patients after an injury or illness, a small study suggests.

Researchers found that metformin -- a drug that has been around for more than a half-century to regulate blood sugar -- may have a different ability: It can target senescent cells that affect muscle function. These "zombie-like" cells release chemicals linked with inflammation...

The Earlier MS Is Treated, the Better

Patients who get treatment for multiple sclerosis at the earliest signs of disease may have a lower risk of disability later, new research suggests.

Among nearly 600 patients, there were lower odds of disability and progression among people diagnosed and treated within six months of symptoms onset, researchers report in their new study, published recently in the journal

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • July 26, 2023
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  • Full Page
  • Don't Sweat It: Any Kind of Weightlifting Helps Build Muscle

    Lifting weights regularly builds strength and muscle -- and it doesn't matter if those weights are heavy or light.

    It's the act itself, and being consistent, that pays off, according to a new study.

    All forms of resistance training are beneficial, including body-weight exercises such as planks, lunges and push-ups, according to kinesiologists at McMaster University in Ontario, Canad...

    Heavy Drinking Could Raise Your Risk for Frailty: Study

    Drinking heavily while younger puts you at risk for muscle loss and frailty later in life, new research suggests.

    These findings are another reason to cut back on the booze, according to the research team from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the United Kingdom.

    "Losing muscle as we age leads to problems with weakness and frailty in later life,"said professor

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • May 25, 2023
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  • Full Page
  • Arm in a Cast? Exercising the Other Arm Can Curb Muscle Loss

    You can keep an arm in a cast from wasting away, researchers say, by working out your free arm.

    A small group of young men who performed eccentric contraction exercises with one arm -- lowering a dumbbell in a slow and controlled motion -- saw a 4% strength improvement in the other arm, even though it was immobilized by a cast at the elbow.

    Another group assigned to perform concentr...

    Vitamin D May Help Maintain Muscle as You Age

    One way to maintain muscle strength with age: Get enough vitamin D.

    Researchers in Brazil and the United Kingdom found that older folks who were deficient in the vitamin increased their risk of losing muscle strength by 78%.

    "Vitamin D is known to participate in various functions. "�," said study co-author

    Biggest Study Yet Finds No Link Between Statins, Muscle Aches

    Cholesterol-lowering statins are proven lifesavers, but they've also gained a reputation for causing muscle aches and pains in a good number of patients.

    That reputation is undeserved, according to a new large-scale analysis of data from nearly two dozen clinical trials of statins.

    There's a...

    Want to Maintain Muscle?  Frequency of Workouts Is Key

    Whether the goal is bulging biceps or just a bit more strength and mass, a relatively light workout several times a week beats a more intense one done just once a week.

    That's the conclusion of a small Australian study in which researchers spent a month tracking muscle-building progress among 36 college st...

    Study Links Muscle Mass to Severity of Hot Flashes in Women

    Older women with muscle loss are less likely to have menopause-related hot flashes, a new study finds.

    The loss of muscle mass and function (sarcopenia) is one of the most significant changes that occurs with age, and older women are at increased risk due to sex hormone changes after menopause.

    Other risk factors for sarcopenia include inactivity, lower protein intake, changes in gr...

    More Than Half of Americans Plagued by Back, Leg Pain

    There's much Americans may disagree on, but many share one thing in common: chronic pain.

    More than half of U.S. adults suffer from pain, with backs and legs the most common sources, according to researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

    Overall, the investigators found that nearly 59% of American men and wo...

    Plasma Injection Therapy May Be Useless Against Achilles Tendon Pain

    A treatment commonly used to tackle an often painful Achilles tendon condition doesn't actually work, British researchers warn.

    At issue is "Achilles tendinopathy," a degenerative wear-and-tear disease that affects the critical tissue linking calf muscles to the heel.

    Patients have sought pain relief with a treatment -- embraced by a number of famous athletes -- that involves inject...

    New Disabilities Plague Half of COVID Survivors After Hospital Discharge

    People hospitalized for COVID-19 are often discharged in much worse shape than before their illness - underscoring the value of preventing severe cases with vaccination.

    In a new study, researchers found that during the pandemic's early months, almost half of COVID-19 patients discharged from their health system had some degree of "functional decline."

    That's a broad category includ...

    Are Adults With Cerebral Palsy Getting the Therapies They Need?

    U.S. adults with cerebral palsy aren't getting adequate physical therapy, according to a new study.

    While they're more likely than other adults in community-living situations to have debilitating pain from musculoskeletal disorders, those with cerebral palsy receive significantly less physical therapy, a Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan team found.

    For the study, the researc...

    Shoulder Pain Can Plague Wheelchair Users, But Their Own Fat Cells Could Be Cure

    People with spinal cord injuries can overwork their shoulders as they move about in a wheelchair, and that often leads to chronic shoulder pain.

    However, a small study suggests that an injection of the patient's own fat cells can help ease the pain.

    The injected cells cushion the joint and may repair it, the researchers explained. Most important, they said that the procedure - calle...

    Women Get Help Later Than Men When Heart Attack Strikes

    When young women land in the emergency room with chest pain, they wait longer and get less treatment than their male counterparts, a preliminary study finds.

    Using a federal survey of U.S. hospitals, researchers found that younger women with chest pain were treated less urgently than men their age. That included a lower likelihood of receiving standard tests for diagnosing a heart attack....

    Will High-Protein Diets Help the Middle-Aged Build Muscle?

    Middle-aged adults looking to boost their muscle mass do not need to bulk up on protein, a new study suggests.

    Researchers found that 10 weeks of strength training plus a moderate amount of protein were enough to build muscle in previously sedentary middle-aged people. And extra protein brought no added gains.

    The findings run counter to a common belief among exercisers, said resear...

    Want More Muscle? Go for the Greens

    If you want to improve your muscle function, regular helpings of leafy green vegetables might do the trick, new research suggests.

    "Our study has shown that diets high in nitrate-rich vegetables may bolster your muscle strength independently of any physical activity," said lead author Marc Sim, from the Institute for Nutrition Research at Edith Cowan University in Perth, Australia.


    For Amputees, a New Kind of Surgery May Allow Better Control, Sensation

    A new type of surgery offers amputees better control of muscles that remain after surgery, and of their prosthetic limbs, its inventors say.

    The standard surgical approach to amputation has changed little since the American Civil War, according to developers of the new approach. In their small study, the new procedure also helped curb pain and sensations like the troubling "phantom limb" ...

    Study Debunks Notion That Statin Meds Trigger Muscle Aches

    People taking statin drugs often complain of muscle aches, but a new study finds the medications are unlikely to be the culprit.

    The results come from a trial involving patients who had quit taking their statins, or were considering quitting, due to muscle pain.

    The researchers found that those aches were just as likely to flare when the patients were given a placebo (inactive pills...

    Six Months Later, Most Wuhan COVID Survivors Still Have Health Issues

    Concerns about "long-haul" symptoms in COVID-19 survivors may be reignited by a new study: It finds that 3 out of 4 patients from Wuhan, China -- where the pandemic originated -- were still suffering at least one lingering health problem six months later.

    The study from China involved more than 1,700 patients first diagnosed with the virus in Wuhan between January and May, and then follo...

    Older and Getting Surgery? Get Fit Beforehand

    Getting fit before surgery can limit the amount of muscle older adults will lose during their recovery, researchers say.

    Strength training before a scheduled operation ("prehabilitation") helps counteract muscle wasting during bed rest after a procedure. But it needs to be a long-term, targeted exercise program to be effective, according to the new report.

    For the study, Br...

    Are Statin Side Effects 'All in Your Head'?

    Most of the side effects commonly blamed on cholesterol-lowering statins may actually be the product of patients' imaginations, new British research claims.

    The finding follows a study of 60 patients who had been taking statins but stopped because of reported muscle aches, fatigue and/or joint pain.

    But after giving the patients an unmarked eight-month supply of statins and dummy p...

    Singing Without a Face Mask Can Spread COVID-19

    If you sing indoors without a face mask, you run the risk of spreading COVID-19 through tiny airborne particles known as aerosols.

    That's the conclusion researchers reached after studying a choir practice.

    In Skagit Valley, Wash., one person with mild symptoms of COVID-19 attended a 2.5-hour-long indoor choir practice on March 10. Over the next several weeks, more than 50 ...

    Sprains, Strains? New Guidelines Urge OTC Painkillers, Not Opioids

    People with common muscle and joint injuries should skip opioids and instead reach for over-the-counter pain relievers, new treatment guidelines suggest.

    The recommendations, from the American College of Physicians and American Academy of Family Medicine (AAFP), cover acute musculoskeletal injuries -- woes ranging from sprained joints and strained muscles, to inflamed tendons and whip...

    Mysterious Paralyzing Illness in Kids Is Set to Return, CDC Warns

    A new outbreak of a mysterious, potentially fatal polio-like illness could strike hundreds of American children within the next few months, U.S. health officials warned Tuesday.

    Acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) outbreaks have occurred every two years in the United States since 2014, peaking between August and November, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. More than 9 ...

    More Patients Turning to Medical Marijuana for Arthritis Pain

    Lots of people are using medical marijuana to treat their arthritis and other muscle aches and pains, often without consulting their doctor, a new study reports.

    As many as 1 in 5 patients who consult an orthopedic surgeon for chronic musculoskeletal pain are using a cannabis product to treat them, Canadian researchers found.

    "We found 20% had reported past or current use of...

    Is Your Smartphone or Tablet an Injury Risk?

    Here's a good reason to put your electronic devices down whenever you can: Experts say that using them incorrectly or too often can put you at risk for a range of injuries.

    "When people position their hand, arm or neck in uncomfortable positions for a prolonged period of time, it can lead to strains and overuse injuries," said Dr. Michael Darowish, an orthopedic surgeon at Penn State ...

    AHA News: Expert Heart Advice for Rare Genetic Muscle Disorder

    A rare, inherited muscle disorder that occurs in about 1 in 8,000 people, myotonic dystrophy also can affect the heart and other organs. A new set of expert recommendations offers guidance for managing the progressive condition.

    "Your average cardiologist doesn't see this all the time, so it can often get overlooked," said lead author, Dr. Elizabeth McNally. "We want to make sure peo...

    A Lifetime of Fitness Helps Women's Muscles in Old Age

    Women who exercise throughout life may keep their muscle power as they age, a new study suggests.

    For the study, researchers from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., examined muscle strength, power and the size and type of muscle fibers in the thighs of three groups of women.

    Seven women in one group were over 70 and had exercised regularly for nearly 50 years. The seco...

    3 Easy Deskside Stretches to Keep Muscle Pain at Bay

    If you're not taking regular breaks to move around during your workday, your muscles may rebel after being scrunched in your desk chair hour after hour.

    The rebellion might be felt in your neck, shoulders, back, hips and legs when you do finally stand up. Stop the insurrection with these three simple stretching exercises you can do without even leaving your workstation or office.


    Muscle in Middle Age Might Help Men's Hearts Later

    Middle-aged men who maintain their muscle mass may lower their risk of heart disease as they get older, a new study suggests.

    Beginning in the mid-30s, muscle begins to decline by about 3% each decade. Previous studies found that muscle mass is associated with heart attack/stroke risk, but those studies focused on people with heart disease.

    In this new study, the researc...

    Vitamin D is Key to Muscle Strength in Older Adults

    Vitamin D deficiency is linked with poor muscle health in older adults, a new study finds.

    Maintaining muscle health helps seniors maintain their independence, mobility and quality of life. It also lowers their risk of falls and frailty.

    Researchers looked at more than 4,100 people, aged 60 and older, in England. About 4 in 10 with vitamin D deficiency had muscle weakness --...

    Say Yes to Foam Roller Workouts

    Foam rollers are great tools for improving range of motion before a workout and easing soreness as part of the cooldown after exercise.

    Rollers come in different densities. As a general guideline, choose low-density if you're a beginner or if you're rehabbing and need to slowly work to increase blood flow to the injured area. Medium-density rollers often have raised lines to encourage...

    Frailty Not a Normal Part of Aging

    It's something everyone fears will happen to them as they age: sapped strength, slowed walking, weight loss and an inability to perform daily tasks with ease.

    But it's not just a byproduct of aging: Frailty is a standalone medical condition, researchers report.

    Sadly, the condition is associated with a lower quality of life and a higher risk of death, hospitalization and ins...

    Exercises to Head Off a Painful Rotator Cuff Injury

    The rotator cuff refers to a group of four distinct muscles and tendons that connect to each shoulder and stabilize the humerus, the upper arm bone. These muscles are engaged when you move your shoulder, and work together to give you the needed range of motion to toss a ball or reach for an object on a high shelf.

    Baseball pitchers and other athletes aren't the only people who exper...

    CDC Warns of Start to 'Season' for Mysterious Paralyzing Illness in Kids

    The "season" for a polio-like illness that mainly strikes children is about to begin, so public health officials sent out an early warning to doctors on Tuesday.

    The largest recorded outbreak of acute flaccid myelitis (AFM) occurred last year, with the illness debilitating 233 people in 41 states across the nation, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


    Muscle Power Might Be Key to Long Life

    If you want to celebrate many more birthdays, new research suggests you should speed up your weight-lifting routine.

    Boosting muscle power, which is different than muscle strength, translated into longer lives, the Brazilian scientists said.

    What exactly is the difference?

    For example, climbing stairs requires muscle power -- the faster you climb, the more power yo...

    Tone Your Upper Arms With These Effective Bicep Curls

    Toned biceps not only give your upper body a sleek look, but they're also vital for improving the upper body strength needed for daily living.

    The Single Biceps Curl is a simple classic and the perfect first exercise for strength training these muscles. You can start with a light weight and add more over time as you get stronger.

    Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart an...

    Ebola Survivors Continue to Suffer Years After Recovery

    Many survivors of the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa have ongoing health problems, a new study finds.

    More than 28,000 people were infected and more than 11,000 died in the outbreak.

    Researchers compared 966 Ebola survivors from Liberia with 2,350 close contacts and sexual partners. They found that survivors were more likely to have increased urinary frequency, head...

    Stretches for Calves, Hamstrings and Quads

    Stretching your leg muscles can improve your flexibility and prevent injury. Here are three stretches that you can do every day and at every age.

    Start with a calf stretch. Stand at arm's length from a wall and place your palms flat on the wall at shoulder height for support. Now take one big step backward with one leg. Keep that leg straight as you bend the front knee. Lean forward, ...

    Getting the Most Benefit From Ab Exercises

    Men and women alike want defined abs. But you don't have to achieve a "six-pack" -- the nickname for the three most visible pairs of abdominal muscles -- to get the benefits of a stronger middle, needed to support your back.

    For a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), scientists from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, evaluated popular ab exercises to determi...

    Strengthen Your Deltoids to Help Prevent Shoulder Injuries

    Two out of every three people will experience a shoulder injury or problem at some point in their lives.

    One reason: When it comes to training, the anterior, or front, deltoid muscle gets almost all the attention, while the medial and posterior deltoids get the cold shoulder.

    For a study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, scientists from the University of Wiscon...

    Good News, Bad News on Levodopa for Parkinson's Disease

    The most potent drug available for Parkinson's disease, levodopa, treats symptoms of the disease but does nothing to either ease or increase its still-mysterious underlying causes, a new clinical trial has concluded.

    Doctors often delay prescribing levodopa, or L-dopa, to Parkinson's patients for fear that the drug might have toxic effects that produce jerky involuntary body movements o...

    4 Exercises for a Better Back

    To strengthen your back -- the most commonly injured part of the body -- it's important to condition both the muscles in it and the ones that support it, notably the abs.

    Here are four moves to boost back fitness:

    For the bird dog, start on your hands and knees. Tighten your abs and simultaneously lift your right arm and your left leg until they're in line with your back. Ke...

    Life in Space May Take Toll on Spinal Muscles

    Astronauts tend to complain of back pain after returning to Earth. Now, researchers think they can explain that discomfort.

    Long stays in space can cause spinal muscles to shrink and become more fatty, they found.

    In some of those muscles, increased fat levels last for years, said study author Katelyn Burkhart, of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and her colleagues.