Spirituality represents a core domain of well-being and is central to the beliefs and lifestyle choices of many. It often informs our emotional, social, and physical health and has been the topic of numerous scientific studies. As more evidence emerges, there is increasing interest in how we can leverage this powerful force for the betterment of our health.

Being upright and bipedal has wonderful advantages, but as with all good things there is often a downside, and in this case, the downside is low back pain (LBP). Most people will experience an episode of LBP at least once in their lifetime.

The right to choose the direction of your medical care is a fundamental right of each and every adult who has decision-making capacity. In the medical field, your right to make decisions is affirmed through the informed consent process. If you have ever had surgery, you undoubtedly signed an informed consent form.

One of the major challenges of being hospitalized is something we often don’t think about: the risk of being rehospitalized shortly after being discharged to home or a rehabilition facility. It turns out that up to 20% of seniors—as many as one in five—are rehospitalized within 30 days of leaving the hospital. 

Maintaining our independence is a high priority for all age groups, and a primary way we achieve this is through owning and driving a car. While motor vehicles are a wonderful boon to us all and part of the American dream, they also come with risk and responsibility. 

Last month we reviewed the safety and effectiveness of testosterone supplements for men. This month, it’s time for the ladies to learn about estrogen, progesterone, and hormone supplements—commonly referred to as hormone replacement therapy, or HRT.

Testosterone, the hormone that directs male appearance and healthy muscle, bone, and sexual function, declines as we age. Levels of this hormone drop about 1% each year beginning at about age 30. This does not sound like much, but 30% of men in their seventies and 50% of men in their eighties have low testosterone levels.

When we think about which parts of our body are most important, we rarely think of our feet. We are much more likely to consider the heart or the brain, yet our feet are the body’s foundation. 

The list of beneficial effects of being active grows every year and now includes prevention of heart disease, cancer, dementia, diabetes, and much more. Physical activity and exercise will, in fact, help you stay independent, live longer, and enjoy a better quality of life. 

The fortieth anniversary of the Nurses’ Health Study presents a wonderful opportunity to pause and reflect on our current understanding of breast cancer and how to prevent it. This study, which began with over 120,000 nurses, many of whom continue to participate, has provided valuable insights.

Physicians generally assume their patients take their medicines, but in reality, this is often not the case. This is particularly true for medicines used to treat high blood pressure. It turns out that over 25% of the 18.5 million Medicare beneficiaries prescribed a blood pressure medicine do not adhere to the instructions on how to take it.