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Posts for: May, 2020

By High Desert Family Medicine
May 15, 2020
Category: Osteopathy
Back PainOsteopathic physicians (DO) are differentiated from other medical professionals through their focus on the body as a whole. They believe that the musculoskeletal system is one of the key elements of health. That’s why if you experience back pain, your osteopathic physician focuses on treating the cause, not the symptoms of your discomfort. Osteopathic treatments focus on Osteopathic Manipulation Therapy (OMT). 
 
Why Try Osteopathic Manipulation (OMT)?
 
OMT is an evaluatory system of the entire body. The purpose of it is to help patients achieve normalcy and harmony. DO’s believe that discrepancies in the spine affect the nerves, damaging the organs and causing medical problems. Manipulating the spine with manual pressure treats back problems and pain. 
 
Types of Osteopathic Manipulation
  • Muscle energy technique: The patient gets into the specified position, using their muscles to push against a counterforce applied by the DO.
  • Thrust technique: This is also known as the cracking form of manipulation. High-velocity force to the joint creates motion. This reverses tissue changes, range-of-motion, and tenderness.
  • Soft tissue technique: Patterns of deep pressure and traction are placed on the soft tissue around the spine. 
  • Counterstain technique: The patient moves back and forth from a painful position to a comfortable one.
Talk to your osteopathic physician about whether OMT is right for you. Patients with bone cancer or infection, spinal fusion, or osteoporosis should avoid this treatment. 
 
Finding the Right Osteopathic Treatment for You
 
Everyone has different needs when it comes to treating their lower back pain. A technique that works perfectly for one patient may not work on the next. That’s why it’s up to you and your DO to find what works best for you. Besides the types of OMT mentioned above, there are many other techniques. Your DO selects the proper treatment based on your age, pain levels, and medical conditions. Not all patients can handle the intensity of various high-velocity types. 
 
There is no standard time frame for osteopathic treatment of the lower back. It all depends on what you and your DO decide. The recommended treatment format starts with patients receiving treatment 1-2 times a week for the first 3-4 weeks. Then the frequency is downgraded to once every two weeks for 1-2 months. Finally, OMT is performed monthly for 2-3 months.

By High Desert Family Medicine
May 04, 2020
Category: Osteopathy
Tags: Headache  
HeadachesAn osteopathic physician approaches and treats medical conditions by examining the body as a whole. These doctors examine how the various systems in your body relate and connect. Understanding your lifestyle and environmental factors are a huge part of the process. It’s what allows for the success of osteopathic doctors, especially when it comes to treating headaches. 
 
Headaches affect more than 45 million Americans. There is no known cause for them, leaving people missing out on work and time with their families due to the pain. If you suffer from frequent headaches, an osteopath can help. 
 
Diagnosis From an Osteopathic Professional 
 
Before your osteopath can start treatment, a proper diagnosis is needed. The doctor will ask for a thorough background of your medical history and a physical evaluation. They need to know everything they can about your headaches. 
 
Be prepared to answer questions concerning:
  • The onset of the headache
  • How frequently you get them
  • How long a headache episode lasts
  • What the headache feels like (throbbing, sharp, dull)
From these answers, your osteopath can determine what type of headaches you’re experiencing. 
 
Osteopathic Treatment for Headaches
 
There are four types of treatments available: prophylactic, symptomatic, abortive, and a combination. Your osteopath will help you decide which is best for you. 
  • Abortive therapy focuses on reversing a headache once it has begun.
  • Prophylactic treatment works to prevent and minimize headaches. This is accomplished through daily medications and certain lifestyle changes.
  • Symptomatic concentrates on relieving your symptoms once they begin. 
  • The combination style uses a mixture of two or all the options mentioned above. 
Migraines
 
Your osteopath can also help with the treatment of migraine headaches. These are incredibly painful and the usual treatments do not suffice. Patients experience unilateral pain, meaning it is located on just one side. Other symptoms include: 
  • Irritability
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity 
  • Neck pain
Your osteopath works with you to create a comprehensive treatment plan. This plan includes medication, lifestyle changes, and behavior modifications. The worse and more frequent your migraines are, the more severe your osteopathic treatment will be. It’s also recommended that you avoid certain foods and drinks. This includes fast food, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and others.