Herb Adderley, Pro Football Hall of Famer Now Tackling Hypertension

(HealthNewsDigest.com) — For many professional athletes, transitioning into retirement can be difficult. This has not been the case for Herb Adderley. In his nine seasons as cornerback for the Green Bay Packers and three seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, he had distinguished himself as a superb player, winning All-NFL honors five times and Super Bowl championship rings three times, as well as playing on the winning team in seven NFL championship games. He was ultimately inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1980. With a career profile like this, no one would have criticized him for spending his retirement resting on his laurels. But instead, he went on to find his true calling not once, but several times over.

After hanging up his jersey, he returned to his hometown of Philadelphia and became the owner and president of Tele-Communications, a company that installed cable, telephone and security systems. He oversaw the business for 20 years, finally selling his share in 2006. More recently, he filed a class action lawsuit against the National Football League Players’ Association on behalf of himself and over 2000 other retired players. The suit addressed the licensing and marketing of the athletes’ likenesses, claiming that the “Madden NFL” video games had used their images without permission. The NFLPA ultimately settled out of court in June 2009, to the tune of $28.1 million.

As the public face of the lawsuit, Herb found that he had a renewed credibility among active and retired professional athletes, so he decided to use his standing to raise awareness about a very meaningful issue for him — high blood pressure. This condition affects one in every three adults in the United States, and is a leading cause of heart attacks and strokes. It disproportionately affects the African-American community, and remains the number one cause of death among that population. Indeed, it had taken both of his parents’ lives, and a 1991 physical examination revealed that Herb suffered from it as well.

This may be surprising to some. In addition to his considerable achievements as an active player, he has also remained steadfastly physically active since his retirement. He was sidelined from jogging after a recent lower back surgery, but in his characteristically tenacious fashion, he simply switched to a treadmill and a stationary bicycle. To this day, he remains ten pounds under his playing weight. But as impressive as these accomplishments are, none of them could help him escape his family history or his ethnic background.

As with so many other conditions affecting Americans, hypertension has traditionally been treated with medications, such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors or water pills (diuretics). However, 70 percent of patients can’t reach their lower blood pressure goals with medication alone to avoid the serious consequences of the condition. Herb was prescribed four different medications to bring his blood pressure under control, But after seeing a number of his fellow athletes become dependent on painkillers, he had always felt uncomfortable taking prescription drugs — he had even done without the medication that had been prescribed to him after his back surgery. As such, he always kept an eye out for other therapies, and it was his ongoing pursuit of alternative treatments that eventually led him to RESPeRATE, a non-drug medical device clinically proven to lower blood pressure. This electronic device consists of a small computerized control unit, a breathing sensor that is fastened around the abdomen, and a set of headphones. It works by interactively guiding the user to slow their breathing rate and change their breathing pattern. With regular use, muscles around the body’s small blood vessels relax, allowing blood to flow more easily — thus reducing high blood pressure. The benefits were almost immediate.


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