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Posts for category: Osteopathic Medicine

By High Desert Family Medicine
June 17, 2021
Tags: Hearing Loss  
Hearing LossWhen you think about preventing or treating hearing loss you probably don’t immediately think about turning to an osteopath but maybe you should. After all, some forms of hearing loss can be avoided if you incorporate healthy habits and promote a safe environment that nurtures your hearing. Many osteopathic physicians are beginning to see even mild hearing loss in kids and teens and a lot has to do with blasting music for hours on end through their headphones. By determining these habits, an osteopath can map out effective solutions that can keep you and your family maintaining healthy hearing.
 
Are Your Headphones Too Loud?

The answer is “probably”. If you can’t hear someone talking to you or don’t know what’s going on around you when you put on your headphones, then this is a telltale sign that your headphones are too loud and you need to turn the volume down.

Kids that spend a lot of time using headphones may develop mild hearing loss, which in turn can delay speech and language. This is why it’s incredibly important for parents to monitor the number of time kids spend wearing headphones and to make sure they are listening to them at safe volumes.
 
Is it Possible to Prevent Hearing Loss?

Here are some simple strategies that you and the family can start implementing to preserve your hearing and protect against hearing loss,
  • When listening to headphones the sound should be no louder than 60 percent of the maximum volume. Limit headphone use to one hour a day.
  • If you decide to listen to your headphones for more than one hour, make sure to decrease the volume even further.
  • If you absolutely have to blast the music (but why would you?), the maximum amount of time to listen is five minutes for the day.
  • Instead of turning to earbuds, which may feel more comfortable, using larger headphones that sit over the ears are often better for your hearing.
Unfortunately, hearing loss is often gradual so you may be doing damage every day but not even realize it until it’s too late. Taking these steps now can reduce your risk for noise-related hearing loss. If you are concerned about your hearing, you may also want to talk with an osteopath about other tips and strategies for protecting your hearing.
 
Prevention is key, particularly when it comes to hearing loss. While we may not be able to stop age-related hearing loss there are strategies that we can help you put in place right now to protect your hearing for the future.
By High Desert Family Medicine
July 17, 2020
Osteopathic MedicineOur body is made up of a variety of different interconnected systems; however, these systems all need to work together to function properly, so dealing with issues in one area of the body may likely originate from issues or disease in another area of the body. If you’re looking for a doctor that will provide you with a whole-person approach to treatment, then you will want to consider seeing a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO).

What Is an Osteopathy Specialist?
A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine has specialized training in treating injuries and conditions of the musculoskeletal system. They also have extensive knowledge of how the nerves, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and bones of the body all rely on each other to function properly. An osteopathy provider can provide you with the same advanced medical treatments and care as a traditional doctor, but with the knowledge and skills of someone entuned to how the body functions as a whole.

A Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine provides manipulative or manual therapy, which helps to reduce pain, improve circulation and blood flow, and improve mobility. An osteopathy provider will focus on non-invasive treatments that are drug-free to restore functionality into the body as a whole, while also strengthening the joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves, and spine. Osteopathic therapy is considered an alternative and complementary therapy and is used along with conventional treatments to provide a more comprehensive treatment plan. An osteopath helps treat a wide range of musculoskeletal injuries and conditions including:
  • Back and neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Headaches
  • Tennis and golfer’s elbow
  • Tendonitis
  • Bursitis
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Headaches and migraines
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Strains and sprains
  • Pregnancy-related pains
  • Foot, ankle, hip or knee pain
  • Sciatica
Osteopathic medicine can also improve digestion, reduce anxiety and stress, and even help patients get better sleep. When you come in for a visit with an osteopathic doctor expect to work together with the doctor to find a treatment plan that works for you. You will become an active participant in your treatment plan along with your osteopath.

Most osteopathic examinations take anywhere from 1-2 hours. Based on your treatment plan, your doctor may prescribe weekly manual therapy sessions for several weeks along with other exercise recommendations, dietary changes, and other lifestyle modifications.
By High Desert Family Medicine
June 01, 2020
Tags: Chronic Pain  
In today’s world, doctors are growing less and less likely to prescribe medications like opioids for pain management. This limits treatment options for patients with chronic pain. That’s where your osteopathic doctor (DO) comes in. Osteopaths believe in natural treatment for your aches and pains, focusing instead on full-body health. They work with you to find safe and holistic treatment for your chronic pain. 
 
What Is an Osteopath?
An osteopath focuses on how your muscles, bones, organs, and more work together. When one area is injured, the entire body is thrown out of whack. They practice what is known as a whole-body approach in terms of treatment. By locating the source of your pain, they can treat the root of your problem. This is different from other medical professionals who just focus on your symptoms. 
 
Your Appointment
At your first appointment, you’ll get a full-body physical from your osteopath. This gives your DO insight into what exactly is going on. They’ll also ask your questions about your past medical history, your diet and exercise regimen, and how long you’ve had these symptoms. Osteopaths believe that these questions reveal all the contributing factors to your pain. 
 
Treating Your Chronic Pain
There are a few possibilities for relieving your chronic pain. The most common osteopathic technique is called osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT). The osteopath uses their hands to move your joints and muscles with gentle pressure. They target sensitive areas to help your pain. The belief is that OMT increases your circulation, helping the body heal quicker. This is important for chronic pain relief. 
 
There are many benefits for patients with chronic pain when they receive OMT. The biggest is the restoration of proper posture in the musculoskeletal system. These negative manifestations are often reactions to socioeconomic, environmental, cultural, or psychological events, creating the physical effects on your body. OMT corrects the dysfunction creating your chronic pain. 
 
Your osteopath will work with you to find the right treatment schedule. The severity of your chronic pain and your overall health determine the right frequency. You’ll most likely start with appointments on a bi-weekly basis that lessens as the months go by. Either way, osteopathic treatment is never a one-and-done deal. You need frequent checkups to obtain a positive outcome. 
By High Desert Family Medicine
April 15, 2020
Tags: Depression  

Have you had a life event such as a death, job change, loss of a relationship or financial downturn? These circumstances and more, combined with hereditary factors and physiological problems, can lead to a psychiatric problem known as depression. This common mood disorder cannot be ignored but needs accurate evaluation from your doctor.. Your depression can be managed.

Who struggles with depression?

More people than you may realize struggle with the sadness and emptiness that is clinical depression. In fact, Medline Plus reports that about 19 million American teenagers and adults have depressive symptoms which continue, impacting work, school, relationships and more.

Why depression happens

Your team of osteopaths routinely screen their patients for depression. Most commonly, depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically centered on a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Also called the happy chemical, serotonin greatly contributes to an individual's sense of well-being, purpose and confidence. In its absence, says the National Institute of Mental Health, numerous negative symptoms arise--some thought-related and emotional and others, physical in nature.

Symptoms of depression

They are many and vary widely from individual to individual. Women are more prone than men, and teens more than adults. Symptoms may include:

  • Hopelessness

  • Listlessness

  • Feeling empty, sad and helpless

  • Irritability and anger

  • Poor concentration and memory

  • Cognitive and somatic slowness

  • Decision fatigue

  • Perfectionism

  • Negative thoughts

  • Lack of libido

  • Apathy

  • Inability to start or complete tasks

  • Suicidal thoughts

Treating depression

It's important to get treatment for clinical depression. The first step toward wellness is admitting something is wrong. Your internist wants to hear about your symptoms so he or she can formulate a treatment plan and/or refer for psychiatric evaluation or psychological therapy.

Medication seems most fundamental to treating depression. SSRI's (serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) are oral medications which boost critical neurotransmitters. Other medications may be needed to treat co-existing conditions such as anxiety.

In addition, talk therapies, either alone or in combination with medications, allow patients to express, or discover, their feelings and formulate strategies to manage them. These talk therapies may include cognitive, behavioral or interpersonal therapies.

Don't go it alone

Isolation worsens depression. Your doctor encourage you to reach out to them, a loved one, or trusted friend and to speak of your struggle. 

By High Desert Family Medicine
February 12, 2020
Tags: Depression  

We will all feel sad or blue at some point, whether from the death of a family member or the loss of a job; however, these feelings are often temporary and will go away on their own; however, for someone with clinical depression, the symptoms of worthlessness, hopelessness and intense sadness do not go away. If these symptoms last more than two weeks and affect your life it’s time to see a psychologist or doctor.

The most common types of depression include:

  • Major depression
  • Persistent depression (also referred to as dysthymia)
  • Bipolar depression (also referred to as manic depression)
  • Depressive psychosis
  • Perinatal depression/postpartum depression
  • Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder

Even though clinical depression is a mental health disorder it is also linked to chronic health conditions. For example, those dealing with severe and chronic pain disorders like back pain, arthritis or fibromyalgia may also deal with depression due to their condition and how it impacts their quality of life. Whether your depression coincides with a chronic health problem or not, an osteopath may be able to help you feel better.

An osteopath is a medical doctor who provides holistic care to treat a wide range of conditions. While most people associate osteopaths with treating physical conditions, this alternative medicine doctor can also provide care and relief to those battling depression, anxiety and even insomnia.

An osteopath provides drug-free alternative treatment options including:

  • Manipulative and manual therapy
  • Lifestyle adjustments and modifications
  • Dietary and nutritional counseling

An osteopath can also recommend nutritionists, dietitians, counselors, and psychologists that can also provide you with additional support and care to help you manage your depression.

Treating Depression with Osteopathic Medicine

Most people don’t realize that depression can also manifest itself in physiological ways as well, causing headaches, poor posture, and tense, aching muscles. Yes, your depression may also be responsible for your unexplained aches and pains.

An osteopath fully understands how mental health disorders impact the musculoskeletal system and can provide simple, side effect-free manipulative techniques that aim to target and treat these aches, pains, and tension.

Furthermore, by releasing tension and improving how the muscles, joints, ligaments and other soft tissue of the body function as a whole an osteopath can also reduce depressive symptoms that are associated with certain chronic conditions that may be impacting your musculoskeletal health.

Along with manipulative treatment, an osteopath can also look into your diet and lifestyle to determine if there are additional changes that need to be made to your daily routine to reduce stress and improve your symptoms of depression. If you are dealing with insomnia or sleep problems due to depression, regular osteopathic manipulative treatment can also improve your sleep.

If you are interested in learning more about osteopathic medicine and how it could help you better manage your depression than call your osteopath today to schedule a consultation.