Osteopathy is a science based on the idea that imbalances in the human structure directly contribute to the development of disease. An osteopath is analogous to a mechanic for your body. Like any machine, structural integrity is fundamental to its ability to perform optimally. Altered anatomy will disrupt the body’s bio-mechanical design, which dictates how the body is aligned and moves for the purpose of carrying out all of its physiological functions. Altered structure and restricted joints and tissues hinder these physiological processes and will eventually lead to the expression of symptoms, pain, or disease.
Blood vessels, nerves, and lymphatics regulate the health and function of every cell in the body. They become affected by structural lesions in multiple ways.
The pinch of muscle tension on vessels lying within tight muscle fibres obstructs the passageway to the flow of fluids.
Irritated nerve impulses might arise through abnormal mechanical input or poor blood supply to the nerve.
The normal motion of joints and pliability of tissues are important factors in the movement of fluids.
Sluggish fluid movement causes the buildup of wastes, less than optimal nutrition of tissues, and weakened immunity. Nerves are the body’s circuitry and communication networks. Consequently, normal nerve input and output is vital for normal and healthy functioning.
Osteopathic treatment can be so effective at treating and preventing an array of illnesses because when structure is balanced, joints move well, and the body works in an integrated fashion, the healing/regulating elements of the nerves, blood vessels, and lymphatics are liberated.
Commonly, people seek out manual therapy to help with pain and injuries but the purpose of this article is to highlight how Osteopathy is a complete system of healthcare that focuses on optimizing your body’s state of health so that it is better equipped to contend with any potential disturbances to your health. Those disturbances might be infectious disease, stress, aging, or injuries.
Due to the sometimes insidious nature of altered anatomical alignment leading to impaired physiological processes and eventual presentation of symptoms, the predominant allopathic medical world tends to overlook structure as a primary factor in the cause of disease. Moreover, assessing and detecting structural alterations and changes in tissue health is a trained skill and the specialized work of the Osteopath and practitioners in the manual therapy field.
To get your body functioning and feeling its best make sure to eat well, sleep well, exercise, and book an appointment for osteopathic treatment at Dalhousie Health and Wellness!
Although there are many types of arthritis, osteoarthritis (OA) is the most common type affecting more than 4 million Canadians, that’s 1 in 7 adults. OA is known as a condition that affects cartilage only, but in reality the entire joint is affected including the surrounding muscles and ligaments.
This can be a result of:
· Healthy joints are being exposed to heavy loads over a long period of time, or
· Unhealthy joints that cannot handle normal loads.
You often hear osteoarthritis described as ‘wear and tear’ of the joint. This statement is misleading as the joint actually needs movement to stay healthy and receive nutrients. There is no set recipe for how OA develops in joints but some risk factors that increase chances of developing OA include:
· Increasing age
· Female sex
· Family history
· Previous joint injury
· Overweight or obesity
· Occupations with repetitive stress on joints
· Muscle weakness surrounding joints
· Sedentary lifestyle
There are a lot of myths and misconceptions about OA.
o OA is caused by “wear and tear”.
o As discussed above, there is no single cause for OA and there are many factors that contribute to the risk for developing OA.
o Exercise and loading of the joints will cause further damage and a painful joint should be rested.
o This statement is misleading as the joint actually need movement to stay healthy and receive nutrients. Light or moderate physical activity can protect the joint by increasing strength of the muscles surrounding the joint. Low impact activity such as swimming, walking, Tai Chi and yoga are recommended.
o Knee and hip replacements are inevitable.
o Surgery is not the only option, and it is not always appropriate management for everyone with OA. As discussed further in this blog your health care providers use education, lifestyle and exercise to manage OA.
Everyone has different experiences with OA and symptoms aren’t the same, therefore treatment plans aren’t the same. Treatment is used to reduce symptoms and improve function of the joint. Interventions are key for those living with osteoarthritis. The good thing is that there is extensive research on how to help you get back to enjoying your life and being physically active. High quality evidence suggests that exercise is the best intervention for individuals with OA. Joints are nourished through moving and weight bearing and that movement acts as a pump to bring fluid and nutrients into the joint needed to maintain the cartilage. This can reduce pain and help get you back to your daily activities.
There are many other interventions that your health care providers at Dalhousie Health and Wellness can use during treatments with you to help manage your OA symptoms. Together you and your chiropractor can work through a detailed history and assessment of your symptoms, education and information about OA, exercises to relieve pain and increase joint function, weight management and passive treatments including soft tissue work, mobilizations, manipulations and acupuncture can be provided.
Any questions about OA and how you can get back to the activities you love, contact Dalhousie Health and Wellness!
Many people struggle with identifying specific foods that might be underlying symptoms. One day a glass of milk appears to cause digestive upset, and another day it doesn’t. It can be very challenging to uncover “food triggers” for various symptoms.
The reason it can be so difficult is because it can take anywhere between 10 minutes and 2-3 days for symptoms to arise with food sensitivities. We call food sensitivities a “delayed response” immune reaction, in contrast to the immediate anaphylactic reaction we see with food allergies. However in both cases, the immune system is producing antibodies against certain foods treating them as a “foreign invading bacteria”. This means that our immune system can often be “tied up” fighting our food rather than the bacteria it SHOULD be fighting. This turns a “healthy” food into a potentially unhealthy food that is triggering symptoms and causing inflammation.
As a naturopathic doctor, I am always trying to help patients towards eating the right foods for their body. Many patients come to me to investigate food triggers for digestive symptoms like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or stomach pain. However many people do not know that there are often “food triggers” underlying many other symptoms:
There are 2 ways I go about investigating food triggers with patients:
Dr. Noelle DeVos