What is Osteopathy?
The philosophy of Osteopathy is based on four basic principles:
• Each structure in the body supports the body’s functions.
• The natural flow of the body’s fluids – lymphatic, vascular and neurological
– must be preserved and maintained.
• The human body is the sum of its parts. Its physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and cognitive systems don’t work independently - they work in harmony.
• When the body has no restrictions, it has the inherent ability to heal itself.
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners recognize a person as an integrated whole. When all of the body’s components are in balance, a person is complete and in total health. Osteopathic Manual Practitioners work to maintain, improve and restore the normal physiological function of interrelated body structures and systems, enhancing the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Using various manual assessment and techniques and modalities, Osteopathic Manual Practitioners work to identify and ease restrictions, constrictions and pain; reduce swelling; improve tissue mobility; and promote proper function and healing in people of all ages.
~From the Ontario Association of Osteopathic Practitioners website
What do Osteopath’s Treat?
Having a keen sporting background and interest I am well aware of the strains and forces placed on the body during sports at any level and any age, and understand how Osteopathy can help. Regardless of the area of pain or the onset of the injury we can work through the issues and help your muscles recover faster, increase your flexibility and the range of motion through your joints. See how we can help you raise your game!!!
Even if you do not participate in sports, we can still unfortunately injure ourselves. Whether it be it from lifting something too heavy and hurting our backs, sleeping funny and waking up with a stiff neck to overusing our shoulders gardening. These can all result in pain and discomfort, which will benefit from Osteopathy. We can use a wide variety of techniques to free up our joints and improve tissue healing.
Low Back and Neck Pain
Low back pain and neck pain are probably the most common areas we treat here at the clinic, the spine is of extreme importance for the well being and functioning of the body. Unfortunately lots of things can go wrong with the spine, disk damage, degeneration, nerve irritation, muscle sprains to name a few. See how we can help keep you mobile and pain free!!
It is a fact that no one has perfect posture, but we can all try and aim to have our bodies functioning optimally to help reduce stress or ‘wear and tear’ on our joints. Having proper alignment of our spine, shoulders, hips and so on can all aid in creating a body with minimal imbalances and therefore more equal distribution of forces such as gravity that are constantly placed upon our bodies.
Degeneration and Osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis/Degeneration is just a fancy word for wear and tear, it is closely related to posture, past injuries and sports/occupation. It happens to us all to some degree but unfortunately when it becomes more severe it can cause pain and discomfort. Although no manual practitioner can reverse the changes on the bones, manual practitioners can help improve the range of motion, relax muscles and stretch the soft tissues to prevent the rubbing of ‘bone on bone’. Commonly affected areas include the Knees, the Hips, Low back and the Neck.
Nerve irritation or a ‘Pinched Nerve’ as it is often called, is a common occurrence, with symptoms including Pin and Needles, sharp shooting pain and even muscle weakness. There can be a multitude of factors that can cause compression of the nerve, for example it can be spinal disk related, pinched by bones or tight muscles that irritate the nerve as it passes through. Removing the forces that are causing the compression will result in a reduction in symptoms!
I like to consider myself a shoulder expert! It is a fascinating and extremely complex joint. It is amazing as it provides a huge range of motion, allows us to do some many movements, activities and so forth. However with all the complexity and range of motion it leads the shoulder prone to numerous injuries, commonly our ‘Rotator Cuff muscles’ can become torn, inflamed as well as poor biomechanics (hunched shoulders) and so forth can all result in pain, weakness and limited mobility.
Osteopathic Manual Practitioners can treat a variety of aches, pains and health concerns. If you think you could benefit from the help of an osteopath. Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness to book your Osteopathic visit today!
Pain and discomfort are sometimes difficult to recognize and therefore manage in infants, toddlers and children. You know its time to go to the chiropractor when your own aches and pains make their appearance, but how do you know when your baby or toddler may need a visit? How does your chiropractor recognize pain and discomfort in little ones?
In babies crying is used to communicate everything from pain to hunger to discontentment and a whole lot of other things! Therefore crying is not always a reliable signal on it’s own that your baby is in pain. However, if the sound of the cry seems different than usual, prolonged or cannot be consoled with a bottle, diaper change or physical comfort, it may be a sign that something is wrong. Excessive, intense crying- usually beginning around 2 weeks of age, may also be a sign of colic.
Other behaviours your chiropractor may observe or ask you about for infants 0-12 months:
- Disruption of sleeping patterns
- Withdrawing from touch or drawing knees into the chest
- Rigid or tense body positioning
- Avoidance of tummy time or certain positions
- Changes in appetite or feeding patterns
- Arching their body
- Different or unusual facial expressions
- Chronic pain can also drain a baby’s energy causing them to become lethargic and unusually
Fortunately, when it comes to toddlers and children they can often tell us or point to the area that hurts to demonstrate their discomfort. Another way to encourage children to express their pain is to supply a list of words, asking them to use the word that best describes what they feel, such as: “sharp,” “burning,” “aching” . Your chiropractor may use a pain scale with faces to have your child rate their pain, use a doll to point to areas that hurt, and observe their behaviour.
Behaviours your chiropractor will observe or ask about for toddlers & children 1-12 years
- Behaving younger than their age
- Intense crying or yelling
- Favouring a leg or arm, or guarding
- Decrease in activity levels
- Changes in sleep patterns & appetite
- Refusing favourite activities, foods or toy
- Being uncooperative
- Being physically resistive to touch or exam
- Body tension: clenching fists or jaw, stiffness, eye closing, brow wrinkling, frowning - Physical signs such as: dull eyes, flushed skin, fast/shallow breathing, or sweating - Being excessively clingy, asking for hugs and kisses
Untreated or unrelieved pain can take a toll on a baby or child causing issues with sleep, play, social bonding, appetite, sports, academic performance and can make them more vulnerable to pain later in life. Using the signs above as a starting point, your chiropractor can delve further into the cause of these symptoms to help get your little one out of pain. Chiropractic care for babies & children is gentle and effective. Children are also especially responsive to pain reducing techniques which capitalize on their sense of play and imagination- which means we try to keep treatment as fun as possible
Chiropractic Care for Baby ??
Of all the paediatric chiropractic visits, almost two thirds of those are for infants and babies! Chiropractic care for babies is safe, effective and gentle, using about as much pressure as you would to check the ripeness of a tomato. Our sense of touch is one of our first senses to develop, meaning even babies may benefit from manual therapy and therapeutic touch.
Why would my baby need to see a chiropractor?
Your chiropractor is trained to asses for imbalances, dysfunctions and injuries which may affect your baby’s quality of life. Chiropractors use their skills of palpation to identify areas of injury and restore normal movement patterns. Musculoskeletal irritation or injuries sustained during or before birth are termed “physiologic birth injuries”. Birth is an event full of compression and traction which may contribute to these very common, mild to moderate injuries. Serious injuries are, thankfully, very rare.
Some of the most common symptoms parents report: excessive crying/fussiness, ineffective feeding, refusal of tummy time, irritability with certain positions, only feeding on one side, refusal to turn head and excessive gas or changes in bowel habits.
Births which are at highest risk for injury include: inductions, fast births due to intense contractions, medically assisted (use of forceps or vacuum), breech births, and deflected presentations.
How do chiropractic treatments for babies work?
Research is still fuzzy on the hows of chiropractic treatment and infants. This is due to the fact that it is difficult to conduct ethical research with babies. Hypotheses suggest that, just as in adults, improving the mobility of a restricted joint or releasing a tight muscle promotes physical and emotional comfort while calming the autonomic nervous system.
What are the most common side effects?
Safety is always the number one concern with all our patients- but that goes double for babies and infants! The most commonly reported side effect of treatment is a temporary increase in irritability/crying during or in the time following treatment. This is usually brief and parents typically report a more content and sleepy baby when the irritability diminishes. Most of the babies I treat actually fall asleep during or shortly after treatment.
We also encourage parents to have these symptoms co-managed by their family doctor, nurse practitioner, paediatrician or midwife and to attend their regular check-ups. Working together, your chiropractor can be a valuable part of your baby’s health care team.
What is Cupping Therapy?
Cupping is a type of alternative therapy that has been around for thousands of years in cultures like China, Iran, Egypt, and Greece. Traditional Chinese Medicine believes that cups can facilitate the flow of “QI” in the body or your life force. It involves the placing of cups on the skin to create suction. This allows stagnant blood and lymph to flow freely, and once those circulation pathways are opened it also allows oxygen and nutrients to reach those tight muscles.
What are the Benefits of Cupping?
The suction and negative pressure provided by cupping can:
✔️Encourage blood flow
✔️Relieve back and neck pain
✔️Alleviate anxiety, fatigue, and migraines
✔️Help release toxins
Possible side effects include dizziness, and/or nausea, and thirst. It can also leave round purple/pink marks, or circular “bruises” on the skin. These spots do not actually hurt as they are not real bruises, they are just stagnant blood being pulled to the surface of your skin. Most spots will disappear within minutes, but some spots can last for several days, or even 2-3 weeks depending on the area of the body, and it’s blood flow.
So if you have an event to go to, make sure to tell your therapist and they can avoid areas of the skin that would be exposed.
Including cupping in your massage therapy treatment can be a great tool in helping to increase movement of tissue and fluid. Cups can be used in a few different ways, stationary on a focused area or in motion (stroking sweeps, or gliding). And the intensity level of the suction can be controlled, so if you are someone who prefers a lighter pressure massage, you can still benefit from cupping as well!
Now that you have all this new information about cupping therapy, why not give it a try?!
Call Dalhousie Health & Wellness to book your cupping treatment!