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
- Sprains and strains
- Knee pain
- Muscle spasms
- Joint swelling
- Sports-related injuries
- Torn muscles
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Diabetic wounds
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
What causes sciatica?
Several conditions could be to blame for sciatica including,
- A herniated disc
- Spinal stenosis
- Degenerative disc disease
- Traumatic injury to the sciatic nerve or lower spine
- Piriformis syndrome
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)
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Being pregnant
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
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.
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.
How do nerve blocks work?
To deliver the numbing effects of this injection into the nerve, we will need to use special ultrasound technology to guide us to the exact location that we need to treat. Once the nerve is located, we will administer the injection to provide immediate pain relief while also reducing inflammation. Nerve blocks numb the area by interrupting pain signals being sent from the nerve to the area of the body that’s in pain.
What types of nerve blocks are available?
There are a variety of reasons an osteopath or doctor will administer a nerve block. If you are looking for either short or long-term pain relief, then a nerve block could be an effective way to get your pain under control. There are surgical and non-surgical nerve blocks.
Surgical nerve blocks provide short-term relief from pain by numbing the area. One of the most common examples of a surgical nerve block is an epidural, which is typically administered during childbirth. Other types of nonsurgical nerve blocks include peripheral nerve, spinal anesthesia, or epidural anesthesia.
Surgical nerve blocks provide permanent pain-relieving results by destroying the nerve. This may be beneficial if you are dealing with chronic or debilitating pain. Common types of surgical nerve blocks include neurectomy, rhizotomy, and a sympathetic blockade.
What are the benefits of a nerve block?
Nerve blocks are a great way to manage both chronic and acute forms of pain. It can also help people manage more severe pain when other treatment options haven’t helped. In fact, a nerve block is a minimally invasive way to provide long-lasting and immediate relief from inflammation and pain. Plus, there is little to no downtime after this procedure and can be a great option for someone who wants to get the pain under control but also avoids surgery.
If you are living with nerve pain and you want to find out if a nerve block is the right option for you, then it’s the perfect time to sit down with an osteopath to discuss your treatment options.
How does stress impact my health?
Having cortisol coursing through your body for a long time can put you at risk for:
- Digestive issues
- Headaches and migraines
- Chronic pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Weight gain
- Sexual dysfunction
- Memory loss or difficulty concentrating
- Insomnia and sleep problems
- Heart disease
When tackling stress, you may think about how a regular doctor or psychologist can help, but you may also benefit from seeing an osteopath. An osteopath is a medical doctor that focuses on treating the body and all of its systems as a whole to ensure that everything is working together. An osteopath provides hands-on manual therapy and spinal manipulation.
Why focus on the spine?
This, along with the brain, is a crucial part of the central nervous system and for those dealing with prolonged stress, a lot of muscle tension can put unnecessary pressure on the spine, which in turn can lead to pinched nerves, trigger points, and tense muscles. Through regular osteopathic adjustments, we can realign the spine as well as the muscles around the spine to improve function and reduce pain and inflammation.
An osteopath also provides massage therapy, which is incredibly therapeutic and can help promote deep relaxation while flushing toxins from the body. If you’re looking for safe, non-invasive, and gentle treatment options to help ease the physical symptoms that stress is causing, osteopathic treatment may be right for you.
Regular osteopathic care can:
- Restore functionality and mobility
- Reduce swelling and eliminate pain
- Get rid of muscle tension and spasms
- Prevent joint degeneration
- Promote relaxation and reduce stress
- Enhance sleep quality
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