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Posts for category: Osteopathic Medicine

By Fontaine Center
April 15, 2020
Tags: Depression  

Have you had a life event such as a death, job change, loss of a relationship or financial downturn? These circumstances and more, combined with hereditary factors and physiological problems, can lead to a psychiatric problem known as depression. This common mood disorder cannot be ignored but needs accurate evaluation from your doctor.. Your depression can be managed.

Who struggles with depression?

More people than you may realize struggle with the sadness and emptiness that is clinical depression. In fact, Medline Plus reports that about 19 million American teenagers and adults have depressive symptoms which continue, impacting work, school, relationships and more.

Why depression happens

Your team of osteopaths routinely screen their patients for depression. Most commonly, depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, specifically centered on a neurotransmitter called serotonin. Also called the happy chemical, serotonin greatly contributes to an individual's sense of well-being, purpose and confidence. In its absence, says the National Institute of Mental Health, numerous negative symptoms arise--some thought-related and emotional and others, physical in nature.

Symptoms of depression

They are many and vary widely from individual to individual. Women are more prone than men, and teens more than adults. Symptoms may include:

  • Hopelessness

  • Listlessness

  • Feeling empty, sad and helpless

  • Irritability and anger

  • Poor concentration and memory

  • Cognitive and somatic slowness

  • Decision fatigue

  • Perfectionism

  • Negative thoughts

  • Lack of libido

  • Apathy

  • Inability to start or complete tasks

  • Suicidal thoughts

Treating depression

It's important to get treatment for clinical depression. The first step toward wellness is admitting something is wrong. Your internist wants to hear about your symptoms so he or she can formulate a treatment plan and/or refer for psychiatric evaluation or psychological therapy.

Medication seems most fundamental to treating depression. SSRI's (serotonin re-uptake inhibitors) are oral medications which boost critical neurotransmitters. Other medications may be needed to treat co-existing conditions such as anxiety.

In addition, talk therapies, either alone or in combination with medications, allow patients to express, or discover, their feelings and formulate strategies to manage them. These talk therapies may include cognitive, behavioral or interpersonal therapies.

Don't go it alone

Isolation worsens depression. Your doctor encourage you to reach out to them, a loved one, or trusted friend and to speak of your struggle. 

By Fontaine Center
February 20, 2020
Tags: Depression  

We will all feel sad or blue at some point, whether from the death of a family member or the loss of a job; however, these feelings are often temporary and will go away on their own; however, for someone with clinical depression, the symptoms of worthlessness, hopelessness and intense sadness do not go away. If these symptoms last more than two weeks and affect your life it’s time to see a psychologist or doctor.

The most common types of depression include:

  • Major depression
  • Persistent depression (also referred to as dysthymia)
  • Bipolar depression (also referred to as manic depression)
  • Depressive psychosis
  • Perinatal depression/postpartum depression
  • Seasonal depression, or seasonal affective disorder

Even though clinical depression is a mental health disorder it is also linked to chronic health conditions. For example, those dealing with severe and chronic pain disorders like back pain, arthritis or fibromyalgia may also deal with depression due to their condition and how it impacts their quality of life. Whether your depression coincides with a chronic health problem or not, an osteopath may be able to help you feel better.

An osteopath is a medical doctor who provides holistic care to treat a wide range of conditions. While most people associate osteopaths with treating physical conditions, this alternative medicine doctor can also provide care and relief to those battling depression, anxiety and even insomnia.

An osteopath provides drug-free alternative treatment options including:

  • Manipulative and manual therapy
  • Lifestyle adjustments and modifications
  • Dietary and nutritional counseling

An osteopath can also recommend nutritionists, dietitians, counselors, and psychologists that can also provide you with additional support and care to help you manage your depression.

Treating Depression with Osteopathic Medicine

Most people don’t realize that depression can also manifest itself in physiological ways as well, causing headaches, poor posture, and tense, aching muscles. Yes, your depression may also be responsible for your unexplained aches and pains.

An osteopath fully understands how mental health disorders impact the musculoskeletal system and can provide simple, side effect-free manipulative techniques that aim to target and treat these aches, pains, and tension.

Furthermore, by releasing tension and improving how the muscles, joints, ligaments and other soft tissue of the body function as a whole an osteopath can also reduce depressive symptoms that are associated with certain chronic conditions that may be impacting your musculoskeletal health.

Along with manipulative treatment, an osteopath can also look into your diet and lifestyle to determine if there are additional changes that need to be made to your daily routine to reduce stress and improve your symptoms of depression. If you are dealing with insomnia or sleep problems due to depression, regular osteopathic manipulative treatment can also improve your sleep.

If you are interested in learning more about osteopathic medicine and how it could help you better manage your depression than call your osteopath today to schedule a consultation.

By Fontaine Center
January 31, 2020

More and more people are turning to osteopathic physicians to get relief from their everyday and chronic aches and pains. Osteopathic manipulative treatment includes around 40 different manual techniques that involve applying the appropriate amount of pressure to certain areas of the body. Some of these techniques include soft tissue therapy, active release, and myofascial release.

An osteopath will often recommend osteopathic manipulative treatment to people dealing with a variety of painful musculoskeletal conditions. It can be particularly beneficial for people dealing with:

  • Migraines and headaches
  • Neck and back pain
  • Shoulder problems
  • Knee problems
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Joint pain
  • Menstrual pain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Stress injuries
  • Sports-related injuries
  • TMJ disorders
  • Sciatica
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Pregnancy related pains (in the third trimester)

This hands-on approach can treat a wide range of biomechanical issues that lie within the joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the body. Along with musculoskeletal problems, patients dealing with heart problems, digestive disorders, asthma, and sinus disorders may also experience some relief from their symptoms with regular manipulation therapy.

An osteopath understands how everything in the body is interconnected and how each system can affect one another to provide you with the comprehensive and individualized care you need to treat your condition and symptoms.

Osteopathic manipulation treatment offers a variety of benefits including:

  • Improving circulation
  • Easing pain
  • Reducing swelling
  • Speeding up the healing process
  • Treating imbalances within the muscles and tissues
  • Correcting spinal misalignments
  • Improving joint mobility and range of motion
  • Reducing muscle tension and stress
  • A drug-free approach to care
  • Preventing surgery
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Breaking up scar tissue
  • Improving flexibility
  • Boosting athletic performance

Another reason people turn to osteopathic manipulative treatment is that it’s safe for everyone, from newborns to seniors. Athletes may find regular sessions particularly beneficial for preventing sprains, strains and other injuries while also keeping their body in peak performance; however, everyone can benefit from regular osteopathic treatment even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms.

Along with providing manual adjustments, an osteopath can also provide you with a wide range of other complementary treatments including chiropractic adjustments, acupuncture, massage therapy and nutritional counseling. Whether you choose to use osteopathic manipulation therapy along with other alternative therapies or alone, you may finally be able to get the pain relief you’ve been looking for.

By Fontaine Center
January 15, 2020
Tags: Allergies   Allergy Panels  

Are you tired of dealing with those itchy, watery eyes and runny nose? If you said “yes” then chances are good that you are dealing with allergies. Allergies affect an estimated 50 million Americans. No matter whether you are dealing with food allergies, seasonal allergies or allergies that flare-up anytime of the year, turning to an osteopath could provide you with the relief and maintenance you need to combat those pesky allergy symptoms.

Osteopathic Care and Allergies

When you turn to a doctor of osteopathic medicine (DO), you are turning to someone who emphasizes the importance of preventive care. This means that the doctor will go through your medical history and personal history and look at the bigger picture when it comes to treating your condition.

For example, an osteopathic doctor won’t just give you a nasal spray to target nasal inflammation and congestion but rather will look at the environmental and lifestyle factors that could be causing your symptoms in the first place. An osteopath doesn’t provide quick fixes, only long-term wellness and relief.

Treating Allergies with Osteopathic Medicine

When someone is dealing with allergies this simply means that the body sees a harmless substance (e.g. pollen; mold; pet dander) as a danger, which causes the immune system to work overtime to produce histamines to fight the allergy. This usually results in any of these symptoms:

  • Itchy, runny nose
  • Nasal congestion
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Sneezing
  • Watery, red, and itchy eyes
  • Coughing

The best way to treat your allergies is to avoid your triggers as much as possible. So first, you need to know what you are allergic to. This is something an osteopath can help with. Through simple allergy testing (skin prick tests or a blood test), your doctor can determine what elements you are allergic to so that you an avoid them. Avoidance is the most effective step you can take; however, we also realize that sometimes this isn’t always possible. This is where regular osteopathic manual therapy (OMT) can help.

OMT uses a variety of hands-on approaches and therapies to reduce muscle tension, congestion, sinus problems, breathing issues, headaches, and inflammation associated with allergies. Regular OMT can also boost blood flow and circulation, help the lymphatic system drain properly and enhance your immune system. Routine OMT along with other complementary therapies such as massage therapy, naturopathic medicine, and chiropractic care can also help regular allergy sufferers find relief without being dependent on over-the-counter medications.

Don’t let allergies make you suffer. Find out today how an osteopath can get you feeling better quickly.

By Fontaine Center
December 13, 2019
Tags: Heart Health  

With heart disease being the leading cause of death for both men and women it’s so important for patients to be able to get the care they need, especially when it comes to their heart. Keeping your heart healthy really isn’t that difficult and patients who are at an increased risk for heart disease will most certainly want to incorporate these heart-healthy habits into their daily routine. After all, preventing heart problems from occurring is far easier than trying to treat or manage the problem once it has developed.

Follow these rules for a healthy heart:

  • Make sure you are getting enough sleep every night, as a lack of sleep can greatly increase your risk for heart disease in people of all ages.
  • Get regular exercise and get up and moving throughout the day, as leading a sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to heart disease.
  • Avoid or quit smoking and avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible, as even secondhand smoke can increase your risk for developing heart disease.
  • Make sure that you are eating a healthy, balanced diet that contains lean protein, vegetables, fruit, whole grains and healthy fats. Avoid trans fats, as this can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke. Trans fats are anything found in packaged snack foods or baked goods, as well as fast and fried foods.
  • Practice good oral hygiene, which includes flossing daily and brushing twice a day. After all, the state of your gums can tell your doctor a lot about your overall health. In fact, those with gum disease are at an increased risk for developing heart disease.

So, where does an osteopath come in? First, it’s important to understand what an osteopath does. An osteopath is a medical doctor who uses drug-free, manual therapies to manipulate the joints, ligaments, muscles and other tissue within the body to reduce pain, swelling and other musculoskeletal complaints; however, the benefits of osteopathic medicine don’t just stop at improving any achy back or stiff neck. It can also provide relief for a wide range of physical problems, from respiratory and gastrointestinal disorders to migraines and even heart disease.

It’s not surprising that many people don’t realize the benefits of getting osteopathic manual therapy (OMT) for treating cardiovascular disease. While patients will still want to follow their doctor’s advice when it comes to medications to take and other treatments to undergo, many patients living with heart disease can also benefit from adding an osteopath to their treatment plan.

An osteopath can provide complementary and non-invasive therapies to improve muscle energy and correct dysfunctions within cardiac lymph flow. By performing mobilization therapy on areas around the heart and also prescribing special home exercises, most patients experience some relief from their heart disease symptoms such as high blood pressure and feeling fatigued.

If you or a loved one is dealing with heart disease, find out today if osteopathic manual therapy is the right way to help manage your heart disease symptoms.