Posts for category: Osteopathic Care
By High Desert Family Medicine
July 13, 2021
Tags: Essential Oils
From diffusing essential oils to diluting them and placing them directly on your skin, there are many ways to utilize these popular products. Maybe you know someone who uses essential oils and swears by them. After all, essential oils have been touted as providing a variety of benefits, from reducing stress to improving circulation. So, are essential oils everything they’re cracked up to be? While the debate might still be out, an osteopath can show you effective ways to incorporate these safe and therapeutic oils into your daily routine.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are plant extracts that come from the flower, leaves, or fruit of a plant. Along with capturing and bottling the fragrance of the plant, essential oils may also capture some of the benefits that these plants offer. Aromatherapy is the practice of using essential oils. While people may inhale these oils to trigger the emotional centers of the brain, essential oils can also be diluted and applied to the skin for fast absorption. During a massage therapy session, an osteopath may employ essential oils to help create a calming, relaxing environment while also easing tight, stiff muscles.
What are the benefits of essential oils?
While there are studies out there that have found benefits to essential oils, there is still a lot of research that needs to be done. While essential oils can be used for a wide range of conditions and ailments, here are some of the most common:
- Stress and anxiety
- Muscle aches, pain, and stiffness
- Sinusitis and other respiratory infections
- Stomachaches and nausea
- Sleep disturbances
The reason essential oils have become so popular is that it provides many people with relief through natural, drug-free remedies that can easily be utilized from the comfort of your own home with little to no possible side effects.
It is important to note that essential oils are incredibly powerful and should not be placed directly on the skin without first being diluted, otherwise you risk severe burns. You must test a drop or two on a very small patch of skin to see how it reacts before applying to a larger surface.
While essential oils may alleviate headaches for some, the fragrances and scents may cause headaches in others. If you are particularly sensitive to scents, then essential oils may not be right for you. People with allergies and asthma may also be more at risk for asthma attacks and breathing issues when inhaling essential oils so it’s important to speak with your osteopath about these possible side effects before using essential oils.
If you are looking for a safe, drug-free, and natural way to improve your wellbeing and wellness then adding essential oils into your daily routine may provide you with additional relief. If you’re not sure where to begin, an osteopath can help guide you on the path to essential oil use.
By High Desert Family Medicine
June 02, 2021
From certain foods to pollen many substances can cause allergy symptoms. If you are dealing with allergies you may be surprised to hear that an osteopath may be able to help you with your itchy nose, cough, and watery eyes. Of course, before you turn to a doctor for treatment it’s best to turn to them first for allergy testing.
Should I get tested for allergies?
Not everyone will need to undergo allergy testing. People who will benefit the most from turning to their osteopath for allergy testing include,
- Those dealing with allergy symptoms that are severe, recurrent, or last for more than two weeks
- Those who aren’t experiencing relief through over-the-counter allergy medications
- Those who are still dealing with symptoms despite avoiding the supposed allergen
- Those who have a decreased quality of life due to their allergies
- Those who have trouble breathing, chest tightness, or have asthma symptoms as a result of their allergies
Some people may think they know what they are allergic to, but you might be surprised to discover that you may have several things that you’re allergic to. This is where an allergy test can be beneficial, as it can isolate which allergens you have reactions to and then provide you with customized treatment.
What types of allergy testing is available?
The two most common types of allergy tests are a skin prick test and a blood test. Before getting an allergy test, particularly a skin prick test, it’s important to talk with your osteopath about any severe allergic reactions you’ve had in the past or whether you have certain chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema, as a skin prick test may not be the ideal allergy testing for you.
Allergy skin prick testing can be used to test suspect allergies to indoor and outdoor allergens, foods, insects, and certain medications. Most reactions will occur in as little as 15 minutes. Blood tests may be used if a patient is unable to undergo a skin prick test or if they experience angioedema or hives when they come in contact with a suspected allergen.
While less common, a patch test may be used if your osteopath suspects that you might have an allergy to certain fragrances, skincare products, fabrics, or metals.
Are you interested in getting allergy testing? If so, an osteopath can provide you with a comprehensive allergy panel and create an effective treatment plan to help you get your allergies under control. Before you treat your allergies it’s important to find out what’s triggering your symptoms.
By High Desert Family Medicine
May 13, 2021
Tags: Lower Back Pain
If like millions of Americans, you sit for most of the day, then chances are good that you’re going to deal with lower back pain at some point during your lifetime. In fact, back pain is one of the common issues that bring people to see an osteopath. An osteopath is a medical doctor that specializes in osteopathic manipulative therapy and alternative approaches to alleviate pain, swelling, and inflammation of the musculoskeletal system.
What could be causing my lower back pain?
Your body works together as a whole, so while you might think that your back pain might have something to do with your back or spine, you may be surprised to discover that imbalances or other issues with the feet, ankles, thighs, and hips can also lead to problems with your back. Common causes of lower back pain include,
- Foot imbalances and alignment issues (e.g. flat feet; pronation)
- Straining or lifting heavy objects
- Sitting in the same position for long periods of time
- Using non-ergonomic workspaces
- Accidents or injuries
- Tight or weak muscles
- Herniated disc
- Bulging disc
- Strains and sprains
How can an osteopath ease my lower back pain?
When you visit an osteopathic practitioner, the first thing they will do is gather detailed medical history to determine factors such as previous surgeries or accidents that may be contributing factors to your back pain. Once an osteopath determines the root cause then they can get to work devising a customized treatment plan to help you feel better. Osteopathic medication is focused on gentle, treatments that,
- Improve blood flow
- Speed up the healing process
- Improve mobility and range of motion
- Reduce tension and stiffness
- Restore joint flexibility and mobility
- Support lymphatic drainage
- Reduce pain and inflammation
Osteopathic medicine involves hands-on manipulation therapy that applies pressure to certain areas of the body to eliminate pain and inflammation. An osteopath will also recommend other types of self-healing measures such as exercises you can perform at home, ergonomic recommendations, and lifestyle and dietary changes. An osteopath will take a natural, medicine-free approach to heal.
If you are dealing with persistent or severe lower back pain that is making it difficult to get through your daily routine, then you should turn to an osteopath who can provide you with gentle but effective methods to improve how your body feels and functions as a whole.
By High Desert Family Medicine
December 10, 2020
Whether you were recently in a car accident or experienced a head or neck injury from a sports-related accident or bad fall, you may be dealing with whiplash as a result. Whiplash usually appears 1-2 days after an accident or injury and is often characterized by neck pain, stiffness, inflammation, or limited mobility. If you are dealing with whiplash here’s how an osteopath can help.
Here at our practice, we offer various gentle but effective hands-on techniques that improve range-of-motion within the neck. Soft-tissue massage can also help to alleviate tight, spasming, or painful muscles. Mobilization techniques and stretching exercises help to realign the discs of the cervical spine, to improve how the body functions as a whole.
An osteopath will also provide you with a variety of exercises that you can perform between treatment sessions to help ease symptoms and speed up the healing process. Depending on the severity of your injury, your osteopathic doctor may recommend anywhere from two to six sessions.
How quickly will whiplash heal with osteopathic care?
Our goal is to help restore full function and get rid of the pain as quickly as possible. With that said, it can take anywhere from several weeks to several months, depending on the severity of your whiplash. If you notice symptoms returning, you must call your osteopath right away.
How can I ease my whiplash symptoms?
The way you care for yourself during this time is just as important as the treatments you get from our osteopathic team. You must rest as much as possible, avoiding any activities that would require fast, sharp neck movements. Light movement and stretching can help keep the ligaments and muscles limber and loose, which can reduce pain.
You may wish to apply ice to your neck for the first 48 to 72 hours after your injury; however, you will want to avoid using ice after 72 hours, as this could impede the healing process and may even lead to more inflammation.
What are the signs of whiplash?
Anytime the ligaments in the neck are overstretched or pulled out of alignment the result is often pain, stiffness, and limited mobility. Those with whiplash often notice trouble moving or turning their head. You may experience more headaches or trouble sleeping. Those with more severe symptoms may have pain that radiates to the shoulder blades, back or arms.
For musculoskeletal complaints and injuries, an osteopath can help you find natural, alternative ways to get back on track. Our osteopathic team wants to help you get the treatment you need.