Health

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Health & Spirit

Well-Heeled

Scott LaFee on

Everywhere you go, there are commercials and ads promoting shock-absorbing insoles that are supposed to help prevent injuries or stress fractures among folks who refuse to just walk places. But do they actually help runners stay healthy?

Not according to a paper published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, which analyzed data from 11 clinical trials on foot orthotics and seven studies of cushiony, supposedly therapeutic insoles.

Insoles are supposed to reduce injuries caused by the hard, repetitive striking of foot to pavement, but the researchers found they didn't reduce the risk of any type of injury, including tendon and muscle problems, knee pain or back issues.

Foot orthotics, which generally attempt to even pressures on the feet, are typically designed for individual runners, often at the direction of a physician. They proved more beneficial, reducing the risk of stress fractures in the legs or feet by 41 percent.

Reefer Sadness

Teen drug use is generally down, according to the National Institutes of Health.

For example, just fewer than 5 percent of high school seniors surveyed report using opioid pain relievers for non-medical reasons, down from a peak rate of 9.4 percent in 2004. The use of heroin has remained stable (0.3 percent) and the ADHD drug Adderall (6 percent).

There is one notable exception: Nearly 23 percent of high school seniors said they had used marijuana in the past month. "Now we have more teenagers smoking marijuana than cigarettes," Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse told STAT. "If you ask if they smoke, they think you mean marijuana."

Body of Knowledge

Women remember dreams better than men, but at least 95 percent of dreams are never recalled upon waking. Of those recalled, the four most common themes (roughly 60 percent of both genders) are being chased or pursued, falling, school/studying and sexual experiences.

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