My Blog
By High Desert Family Medicine
February 11, 2021
Tags: Shoulder Pain  
Shoulder PainNoticing shoulder pain whenever you raise your arm above your hand or after certain activities? The shoulder is highly mobile, which also leaves it prone to injury. While shoulder pain is never something that you want to deal with, if you are, you’ll be happy to hear that an osteopath can identify the cause of your shoulder pain and how to treat it.
 
What is causing my shoulder pain?

This is the first question we need to answer before we can begin treating your pain. We will go through your medical history and ask you a variety of questions about your symptoms. From there we will examine your shoulder and recommend imaging tests such as X-rays or a CT scan. Common causes of shoulder pain include,
  • Shoulder impingement
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Shoulder joint dislocation/instability
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Joint pain
  • Tendonitis
Why turn to an osteopath for shoulder pain?

As any osteopath will tell you, shoulder problems are fairly complex and may require long-term management and care to improve problems such as instability and pain. Some causes of shoulder pain, such as osteoarthritis, are chronic and require long-term care too. In this case, you certainly want a doctor that understands not just the cause of your pain but can also provide you with a variety of treatments and therapies that are non-invasive but can effectively improve how the body functions as a whole. This is what an osteopath can do.
 
An osteopath will look at several factors including your overall health, your age, and fitness level to determine which stretching and strengthening exercises to perform daily, along with other treatment options such as massage therapy. Other manipulative techniques help to stimulate blood flow to the area to promote the body’s natural healing response while alleviating muscle tension, pinched nerves, and other skeletal symptoms.
 
By prescribing certain exercises to our patients, we can improve posture and help to strengthen the muscles, ligaments, and tendons around the shoulder to provide better support, functionality, and stability to the shoulder joint. Not only can this improve your current condition but also prevent injuries and other problems in the future.
 
From poor posture to rotator cuff injuries, there are a host of conditions, injuries, and diseases that could impact the health and function of your shoulder. When these problems happen it’s a good idea to have an osteopath that you trust to provide you with the comprehensive treatment you need to speed up the healing process and to get chronic pain under control.
By High Desert Family Medicine
January 28, 2021
Tags: Sarcoidosis  
What Is Sarcoidosis?Chances are good that sarcoidosis isn’t a condition that you’ve heard of before or know much about. That’s because it once used to be rare but is now a fairly common chronic illness worldwide. Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory condition that results when inflammatory cells affect certain organs of the body, most often the lungs. While these small masses of inflammation, known as granulomas, develop within the tissue, they can also clear up on their own without treatment; however, sometimes they can cause tissue scarring.

What are the symptoms and signs of sarcoidosis?

The symptoms you experience will depend on what organ or organs are affected.
  • Lungs: persistent cough; wheezing; chest tightness and shortness of breath
  • Skin: reddish rash; sores on the nose and cheeks; lighter or darker patches of skin; nodules under the skin
  • Eyes: blurry vision; sensitivity to light; pain; redness; dryness; itching
  • Heart: irregular heartbeat; fluttering heartbeat; swelling; chest pain; fainting
As you can see, the symptoms associated with lung sarcoidosis (the organ most often affected by this disease) are identical to asthma, so it’s not too much of a surprise that sarcoidosis could be misdiagnosed as asthma. Since many disorders and diseases can cause these same symptoms, it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

While anyone can develop sarcoidosis, it is most commonly diagnosed in people between the ages of 20 to 40 years old.

How is sarcoidosis treated?

It is important to seek treatment right away, as this disease can lead to serious complications. The treatment that your doctor recommends will depend on each person and their symptoms. Topical corticosteroids may be used to treat skin problems while immunosuppressants or steroids may also be prescribed.

How can an osteopath treat sarcoidosis?

Sarcoidosis can affect multiple systems within the body, leading to widespread symptoms including joint pain, headaches, and fatigue. While you might not require treatment, an osteopath can provide you with comprehensive care and treatment options including massage therapy and spinal manipulation to help ease symptoms such as headaches, joint pain, inflammation, and sleep problems due to sarcoidosis.

If you are looking for natural and more holistic approaches to treat your symptoms, then talk with an osteopath about how they can help you manage sarcoidosis.
By High Desert Family Medicine
January 15, 2021
Tags: Cold Laser Therapy  

Cold Laser Therapy

Millions of people in the US are dealing with neck and back pain, joint disease, and soft tissue injuries that impact their lives. Many people are dependent on pain medications just to help them get through the day; however, medications only treat the symptoms, not the underlying injury or inflammation. This is why many people turn to osteopaths. An osteopath is a medical doctor that focuses on therapeutic and alternative ways to promote natural healing within the body to improve how it functions as a whole. One way in which an osteopath can promote tissue repair and faster healing is through cold laser therapy.

What is cold laser therapy?

Cold laser therapy, also referred to as low-laser therapy, uses special light waves to help stimulate the body’s natural healing and repair response, as well as to regenerate damaged cells. Low-level laser therapy such as these do not produce heat, so patients won’t feel any heat or discomfort during their treatment.

What issues can be treated with cold laser therapy?

Your osteopath may recommend cold laser therapy to help alleviate pain and inflammation and to treat a wide range of soft tissue injuries and problems. You may benefit from cold laser therapy if you are dealing with,
  • Neck or back pain
  • Tennis or golfer’s elbow
  • Bursitis
  • Tendonitis
  • Sprains and strains
  • Knee pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Joint swelling
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Sports-related injuries
  • Edema
  • Torn muscles
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Diabetic wounds
What are the benefits of cold laser therapy?

Cold laser therapy, when performed by a qualified medical professional such as an osteopath, is incredibly safe. Some of the benefits of cold laser therapy include,
  • A painless, non-invasive procedure
  • A fast treatment that lasts anywhere from five to 20 minutes, depending on the area that we are treating
  • A faster recovery process
  • Greatly reduces pain and inflammation
  • No side effects or complications
  • A safe alternative to pain medications
  • No downtime
Cold laser therapy has been used to treat everything from arthritic joint pain to sports injuries. It’s safe and effective. Talk with your osteopath today if you are interested in finding out how cold laser therapy could benefit you.
By High Desert Family Medicine
December 29, 2020
Category: Health
Tags: Sciatica  
Did you know that the longest nerve in the body is the sciatic nerve, which runs from the spinal cord in the lower back down the leg to the foot? Sciatica refers to nerve pain that radiates from the lower back to the buttock and down the leg. This problem usually affects only one side of the body. If you are dealing with sciatica it can make it difficult to sit or stand without pain. Luckily, an osteopath can help you get your sciatica under control.

What causes sciatica?

Several conditions could be to blame for sciatica including,
  • A herniated disc
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Traumatic injury to the sciatic nerve or lower spine
  • Piriformis syndrome
What are the risk factors for sciatica?

Certain risk factors can increase your chances of developing sciatica. They include,
  • Normal aging
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Previous back or spinal injuries
  • Weak core muscles
  • Having a labor-intensive job
  • Poor posture
  • Improper lifting (especially when weight training)
  • Diabetes
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Being pregnant
What are the symptoms of sciatica?

Since the sciatic nerve starts at the lower back and extends down to the foot the most common symptoms of sciatica include,
  • Lower back pain
  • Hip pain
  • Pain in the back of the leg that intensifies when seated
  • A throbbing or shooting pain on one side
  • “Pins and needles” in the legs, toes, and feet
  • Burning or tingling of the leg
  • Weakness or numbness in the leg or foot
While it is possible for sciatica to affect both sides of the body, it usually affects one side. Since the sciatic nerve also connects to the foot, you may also experience these symptoms in your feet or even your toes.

How can an osteopath help?

An osteopath has extensive training to be able to provide non-invasive spinal manipulation and other techniques and yes, they can help with treating painful sciatica. The goal of an osteopath is to restore full function into the body by focusing on the body as a whole.

We will focus on taking pressure off the sciatic nerve through soft tissue manipulation and mobilization techniques. Along with providing non-invasive treatments to ease sciatica symptoms we will also try and pinpoint the cause to help you prevent this problem from occurring in the future.

If you are dealing with back, hip, or leg pain and you’re wondering if it’s sciatica, an osteopath can provide you with the answers you need and treatments to restore mobility while reducing pain and swelling.
By High Desert Family Medicine
December 10, 2020
Category: Osteopathic Care
Tags: Whiplash  

Getting Help for Your Whiplash

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.




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