The Morning Call (Sunday) : 2021-01-10

LIVING WELL : 55 : 7


WORKING THROUGH THE PAIN RUNNERS’ KNEES TAKE A POUNDING. MAYBE THAT’S A GOOD THING. Electroacu­puncture may bring a modest improvemen­t in daily functionin­g for those with chronic back pain, while providing little actual pain relief, a trial shows. Electroacu­puncture uses a small electric current passed between needles, which some believe provides more pain relief than regular acupunctur­e. Researcher­s found there was no statistica­lly significan­t difference in pain intensity between patients treated with electroacu­puncture and those getting a placebo procedure, but those in the electroacu­punture group reported modest improvemen­ts in walking comfortabl­y, standing for longer periods, bending or kneeling, and other daily activities. “For back pain management, most techniques, even surgery, provide modest relief,” said the lead author, Dr. Jiang-Ti Kong of the Stanford University School of Medicine. “It’s best to use a multimodal approach, and electroacu­puncture can provide a modest, but clinically significan­t reduction in disability.” — Could running actually be good for your knees? Some researcher­s think so. A recent study using motion capture and computer modeling confirms that running pummels knees more than walking does. But in the process, the authors conclude, running likely also bulks up the cartilage, the rubbery tissue that cushions the ends of bones. The findings raise the possibilit­y that instead of harming knees, running might fortify them and help to stave off arthritis. Running does involve substantia­l joint bending and pounding, which can fray the cartilage inside the knee and should almost inevitably lead to crippling knee arthritis. But as a group, runners may be statistica­lly less likely to become arthritic than nonrunners. Ross Miller, an associate professor of kinesiolog­y at the University of Maryland, said that while more research is needed, the study may quiet some runners’ concerns. Nicholas Bakalar — Gretchen Reynolds A SWEET TOOTH DOESN’T FORGET It may be easier to remember where you put the chocolate than the cucumbers. In a Dutch experiment, 512 people walked among tables in a room tasting or smelling eight foods: caramel cookies, apples, chocolate, tomatoes, melons, peanuts, potato chips and cucumbers. After leaving, they were asked to locate the foods on a map of the room. Participan­ts were 27 percent more likely to correctly place the high-calorie foods than the low-calorie foods they tasted, and 28 percent more likely to correctly locate the high-calorie foods they smelled. — Nicholas Bakalar HOW TO GET THE MOST OUT OF THE MORNING CUP Coffee can be a healthful drink, and may be even better for you when brewed with a paper filter. In a Norwegian study of 508,747 people, drinking filtered coffee was associated with a 15 percent reduction in the risk of dying prematurel­y among both men and women. But rates were lower when the coffee was brewed using unfilitere­d methods like French press or espresso: Men who drank unfiltered coffee had a 4 percent reduction, and women 9 percent. The lead author, Aage Tverdal of the Norwegian Department of Public Health, said the effect on cardiovasc­ular health is modest compared with that of exercise or weight control, but still significan­t. Whatever kind you drink, he said, “enjoy your coffee.” — Nicholas Bakalar KEVIN D. LILES FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES Despite longtime worries about harm to their knees, runners may be less likely to develop arthritis. LIVING WELL 7 PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTE­D BY PRESSREADE­R PressReade­ +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW