Posts for category: Osteopathy
By High Desert Family Medicine
September 18, 2020
Tags: Lower Back Pain
From poor posture to days spent hunched over a desk, there are many reasons why you may be experiencing lower back pain. Of course, you could just pop another pain pill but wouldn’t it be more effective to find out what’s causing your pain in the first place?
This is why many people end up turning to an osteopath, as these medical professionals can provide comprehensive and alternative treatment options that are designed to treat the root cause of your lower back pain without resorting to medication or surgery. An osteopath can find simpler and more practical solutions to help you manage chronic and persistent back pain.
What is an osteopath?
An osteopath is a medical doctor that provides manipulation therapy, massage and other techniques to improve how the musculoskeletal system functions as a whole. After all, when one part of the body experiences pain, this can trigger pain in other areas of the body. For example, your lower back pain could be due to flat feet or knee problems, and an osteopath will focus on all areas of the body to provide comprehensive care to improve overall balance throughout the musculoskeletal system.
An osteopath will be able to determine what’s causing your lower back pain and provide you with hands-on therapy to reduce pain and swelling and to help speed up the healing process. They can treat both short and long-term lower back pain conditions.
What could be causing my back pain?
Another injury or condition that affects the ligaments, nerves, muscles, tendons and other parts of the musculoskeletal system can be treated by an osteopath. There are many causes of lower back pain including,
- Muscle strain or sprain
- Bulging disc
- Herniated disc
- Degenerative disc disease
- Nerve root compression
- Spinal stenosis
- Facet joint dysfunction
- Traumatic injuries (can cause spinal compression or damage to the tissues, muscles or ligaments)
When should I see an osteopath?
If you are dealing with back pain that comes and goes, pain that lasts for several weeks or pain that’s severe and affects your daily routine then it’s time to see a doctor for care. An osteopath can diagnose injuries and conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system, as well as provide a tailored treatment plan to help you on the road to recovery.
If you’re looking for a non-invasive way to treat your lower back pain, then it may be time to consult an osteopath to learn more about the services they can offer you.
By High Desert Family Medicine
September 08, 2020
We all get muscle cramps from time to time. Maybe our feet cramp up when placed into tight shoes or high heels, or we experience muscle cramps after an intense workout; however, some people deal with chronic, recurring, and severe muscle cramping that can be painful and affect their daily routine. If recurring muscle cramps are happening to you, an osteopath can help.
Anyone can experience muscle cramps, but they are more commonly seen in seniors, athletes, and those who are overweight or obese. If you notice muscle cramping happening to you regularly, here are a few things that could be going on:
- You are dehydrated (common if you are exercising in the heat)
- There is an electrolyte imbalance in the body (e.g. sodium; potassium)
- You aren’t stretching thoroughly and properly before exercising
- Your muscles are tired (give ‘em a rest!)
How to Treat Muscle Cramps
While cramping can be a nuisance it’s usually not something to worry about and will go away on its own. If you are dealing with prolonged muscle cramping then you may want to massage the area, take ample time to rest, or apply moist heat to the area.
However, it may be time to see an osteopath if you are dealing with severe or frequent muscle cramps or if your cramps aren’t responding to rest and other home care. Sometimes muscle cramps can be a sign of other underlying issues such as hormone imbalances, medication side effects, circulation or nerve issues, or poor nutrition.
Osteopathy will focus on the root cause of your muscle cramps, ruling out potential nutritional deficiencies, health problems, and hormonal imbalances. Cramping caused by muscle tension is improved through regular osteopathic manipulative therapy. An osteopath can also provide you with a variety of stretching and strengthening exercises to perform on your own every day to ease cramping or spasms.
An osteopath also examines the whole picture when it comes to your health. That means providing you with nutritional recommendations, vitamins and supplements, and other natural and alternative methods to help address the causes of muscle cramps without just popping a painkiller when the problem arises.
Don’t let muscle cramps, spasms, and pain keep you from doing what you love. An osteopath can work with you to determine the cause of your symptoms to help you start feeling your best again.
By High Desert Family Medicine
August 21, 2020
Sleep problems are no joke. If you’re dealing with weeks of tossing and turning you could, like millions of Americans, be dealing with insomnia. So what is the best way to treat it? You could try and take sleep medications, but they aren’t designed to be taken every night and there is a high risk for dependency. Maybe you’ve tried fixing some of your sleep hygiene habits and are now powering down electronics and avoiding bright lights after sundown, but still, your sleep is just out of whack. Enter, osteopathy.
What is osteopathy?
Osteopathy is an alternative medicine that focuses on providing whole-body treatment and care for those patients experiencing a wide range of musculoskeletal complaints. An osteopath is trained to provide therapeutic and hands-on care that pinpoints and treats the root cause of your pain rather than just treating or “masking” your pain through medication. Osteopathic manipulative medicine uses manual therapy and other non-invasive techniques to improve mobility and functionality throughout the entire body while also reducing pain, stiffness, and discomfort.
What does this have to do with sleep?
There are many reasons why someone may not be able to get quality sleep. Everything from stress and anxiety to poor posture and exposure to blue lights can cause chronically poor sleep.
Stress and anxiety are common causes of sleep disturbances, and both can cause dysfunction within the central nervous system, which can mix-up signals in the body that help you sleep.
Misalignments within the vertebrae of the spine also can affect sleep. If you are dealing with chronic insomnia, regular osteopathic manipulative medicine can help to readjust and realign the spine and other areas of the body to improve sleep quality.
An osteopath will perform a thorough examination, asking you various questions about your health, lifestyle, habits, profession, and more. All of these are factors that can greatly impact your sleep. Our goal is to pinpoint the causes of your sleep issues and to provide non-invasive, non-surgical, and drug-free methods to fix these issues. Craniosacral techniques as well as soft tissue massage and visceral manipulation are particularly useful for treating insomnia and sleep disorders.
Are you curious about osteopathy and how it can improve your quality of sleep? If so, schedule an appointment with your osteopath to find out the different techniques and treatments we can offer to help you finally catch those ZZZs.
By High Desert Family Medicine
July 31, 2020
Tags: Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow isn’t just a condition that happens to tennis players; this painful tendon problem can affect anyone, particularly those who perform repetitive motions of the arms and wrists. While this is common in athletes, anyone can deal with tennis elbow including painters and construction workers. How do you know that you have a tennis elbow?
- You will notice pain in the forearm muscles, typically on the outside of your elbow
- This pain may also radiate to the forearm and wrist
- Weakness in your arm, particularly when holding or gripping something
You may find that pain relievers help to reduce your pain; however, if this is something that you continue to deal with for weeks on end, then it’s time to see a doctor. While medication can help to alleviate your symptoms, it won’t be able to treat the underlying problem. This is where turning to an osteopathic doctor for care may be to your advantage.
An osteopath is a medical doctor that is focused on providing a comprehensive and holistic approach to treatment. Instead of just dulling the pain, they focus on the cause and create a treatment plan that helps you move and function without pain and discomfort. While some people may find that tennis elbow goes away on its own, sometimes people (especially older adults) have trouble getting rid of their tennis elbow.
The good news is that osteopathic manipulation is effective for treating tennis elbow. For someone to experience the most benefit from the osteopathic treatment, they will need to come in a couple of times a week for several weeks. Manipulation helps to improve mobility and functionality while also:
- Boosting blood flow and circulation
- Speeding up the healing process
- Reducing inflammation
An osteopath can also provide you with advice on which exercises and physical activities to avoid so that you can give your arm ample time to heal. They can also recommend certain types of recovery exercises you should be doing to help strengthen and improve mobility of the muscles and ligaments of the wrist, forearm, and elbow. There are a variety of manipulative techniques that your osteopath may use including myofascial release and soft-tissue massage.
If you are dealing with tennis elbow and aren’t finding relief through medication or traditional medicine, then you may want to consider seeing an osteopathic doctor for care.
By High Desert Family Medicine
July 01, 2020
Arthritis is a leading cause of disability in the US. More than 54 million people are currently living with arthritis, a progressive condition that causes joint pain, stiffness, limited mobility and even permanent damage to the joints without treatment. This is why it’s so important to catch arthritis early on. There are treatments and medications that can slow and even stop the progression of joint damage, while an osteopath can provide you with a variety of alternative and therapeutic treatments that can restore mobility and help you better manage your joint pain.
Why an osteopath?
So, why should you consider seeing an osteopath for arthritis treatment? Well, one thing is that osteopathic treatment can be quite effective for managing swelling, pain, and mobility issues. An osteopath is a medical professional that performs non-invasive manual manipulation therapies to improve how the body functions as a whole. Osteopathy is a complementary treatment that along with medications and other treatments you’re undergoing, may be able to provide you with even better relief.
Osteopathy is great because it offers patients a way to manage their arthritis symptoms without turning to medications and may even help people avoid surgery. Since osteopathic doctors focus on how the joints, spine and muscles of the body function they are ideal physicians for addressing any mobility problems and symptoms you are experiencing with arthritis. If you are looking for a drug-free, natural medicine that can help improve your health as a whole, then osteopathic medicine may be for you.
How will an osteopath treat my arthritis?
Even though there is no cure for arthritis there are many ways for an osteopathic physician to help you manage arthritis symptoms to improve your health and quality of life. An osteopathic treatment plan for arthritis will most likely include,
- Lifestyle modifications (e.g. getting regular exercise; staying hydrated)
- Home exercises to improve joint function and to reduce swelling and pain
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Soft tissue massage
- Stretching exercises
- Myofascial release
An osteopath can also work with your current doctors to make sure that you are receiving an all-encompassing treatment plan that will provide you with the most benefit and help you live a healthy, happy life.
If you are looking for non-invasive therapies that can improve your arthritis symptoms without having to rely on long-term pain medications and other invasive treatments, then it’s time to speak with a qualified osteopath about how they can help you manage your arthritis.