Osteopathy For Baby In Distress

Osteopathy for Baby in Distress

 

Recently I treated this baby for a birth injury he sustained to his head. You can’t see it in the photo but he had a significant occipital deformation. In simple english, the back of his head was flat. His mother was quite concerned and the paediatric physician was considering using a Helmut apparatus to correct the deformation. Using an Osteopathic Cranial Technique developed by Dr. William Sutherland know as Cranial Molding we were able to almost completely normalize the child’s head in 4 treatments over a period of 3 months. Mother was quite pleased and baby as you can see is quite cute!

 

Need some advise? Got concerns don’t hesitant to contact me at: info@eddybasch.com

If you are French speaking you can also visit Osteopathie Montreal at : http://www.osteopathiemontreal.com

Strategic Plan For Change: 80/20 Rule Rules!

In a recent post, I discussed how patients who consult me for things such as backache, often require changes to lifestyle a well. A good starting point is on level of food consumption. And what I recommend is making small but important changes that don’t radically alter ones’ lifestyle. Changing too many things at once is not likely to succeed.

When recommending dietary changes either to loose weight or improve health, the first step is to help people realize that the ‘Good Food’ they thought they were eating may not be good after all.

Then we discuss the issue of eating Organic Food and why this is the best overall choice. The next step, is to help people get started using only certain types organic food as not all types of organic food are desirable nor readily available.

Organic dairy products are a good place to start because they are widely available. Meats are next in line, then grains, beans, lentils, pasta etc., with fresh produce being the last. This is because quality organic produce is generally harder to find on an ongoing basis than other things and requires some research.*

So after accepting that change is in order and that a logical place to start is with food, the next thing required is a strategy for success. How do we change years of ingrained behaviors around something so central like food preferences?

As I’ve often mentioned, eating ‘Organic’ is a baseline or starting point for change but within this domain, being selective is also important not just what we choose but also being ‘Calorie Wise’ is important.

So what’s the answer? The answer is to be a bit lenient with ones self. While it’s true that changing ones eating habits requires will power and commitment, one also needs to let loose at times. Here’s where the 80/20 rule comes in. 80 percent of the time we really need to be doing all the things that are correct and 20 percent of the time we can cheat a little.

So for example, don’t eat deserts during the week but give yourself that treat on Saturday or Sunday. Which means eating only one desert not the six you didn’t have all week long, tough, but doable. By the way, the 80/20 rule does not apply to things like smoking, which is an addiction and is too harmful even 20% of the time. Only you can decide what constitutes that 20% and when you are contravening it. So be honest, cut yourself some slack and enjoy cheating a bit.

* Sourcing Affordable Organic Food: Savvy Organic Shopper’s Guide

What is Bio-feedback?

Controlling Pain With Bio-Feedback

Bio-feedback can help you control pain and diminish stress which is an important first step towards implementing lasting solutions for chronic lower back pain or other types of body pain.

In its simplest form, listening to your heart beat with a stethoscope is an example of Bio-feedback.  You are getting feedback from an ‘involuntary function’ of your body which, you are normally not aware of.

There are many biological rhythms of which we are totally unaware, such as, changes in blood flow through our arteries, changes in skin temperature, as well as changes related to our brain wave frequencies. Under normal conditions, we are ‘blind’ to these things as well as many others.

Consciously we can control certain body functions such as our muscles to get us around while others such as our heart beat, blood flow and digestion are automatically controlled.

Researchers discovered that if you are given a visual or auditory signal that corresponds to an involuntary body function that you can, by focusing your attention on that signal, begin to affect that function.  This discovery was revolutionary because, it now became possible to influence what was once thought of as an ‘Involuntary Bodily Function’.

Let’s take the example of controlling skin temperature on the palm of your hand. This experiment might consist of the following. We attach a temperature sensor to the palm of one hand and every time the temperature increases a red light comes on and every time it decreases, a blue light comes on. You are given instructions to focus on the blue light and attempt to cause it to turn on more frequently.  Researchers would find that you are in fact able to turn the blue light on more frequently. By doing so are actually constricting blood vessels in the hand, reducing blood flow and consequently, decreasing palm temperature.  Normally, control of blood flow is ‘involuntary’.

What is really exciting about this discovery is that it has many applications for health and well being.  Back in the 1970’s when these experiments were being conducted technology was not what it is today. In those days, monitoring brain waves required going to a lab and being hooked up to a huge and very expensive apparatus. These days, using sophisticated software and mirco-chip technology, Bio-feedback can be applied to measuring and positively influencing changes in heart rate (emwave technology) as well as influencing states of consciousness using brain wave monitoring in ways that are sophisticated, pragmatic and accessible to the average person.

This is great news for you and me because now we are able to use ‘State of the Art Technology’ that is accessible and affordable to take charge of our health using the best modern science has to offer.

To find out more about emwave technology and how it helps you manage stress.

Please follow this link: emWave

Related articles:

Can Stress Trigger Lower Back Pain?

Emotions Buried In Lower Back Pain

Emotions Buried In Lower Back Pain

LowerBack3D

Recently a new patient walked into my clinic with a story about lower back pain that was triggered and made worse by stress. Rene is a young, energetic and outgoing person. He is a Marketing Consultant whose creative talents are sought by major companies, so much so, that Rene has to refuse work.

So what’s the problem?  Lower back pain began creeping into his life. It was becoming progressively worse, interfering with his training and making it more difficult to sleep and just go about his daily life.

Rene was able to give me a very precise description of his lower back pain, its location and character. He also remarked that stress made it worse. I made a point, as I usually do, of getting as much detailed information as I could to appreciate the ‘Whole Picture’.  Then, we proceeded to the physical exam and treatment.

Everything was going fine when towards the end of the treatment, (as is often the case) Rene causally mentioned, “My father is dying of cancer and this is really stressing me out.”

His eyes welled up with tears as he described what was happening to his beloved father. At the end of the treatment, I advised him to put his work on hold for a while and just be with his father. We shook hands as Rene left my office with watery eyes.

Fast Forward 1 week

I was greeted with a big smile. Rene exclaimed, “My lower back pain is almost completely gone! After my last treatment, I got into my car, and cried my eyes out for a half hour. Is this crazy or what?” Well, it wasn’t crazy to me, and a huge weight was lifted off his shoulders. Rene decided to take one week off work to be with his father.

This was just what the doctor ordered. Interestingly, as I was treating Rene the first time, I noticed that the physical findings in Rene’s case didn’t correspond to the intensity of his lower back pain. Rene was in good shape and I suspected that other factors were at play.  Therefore, I focused his treatment on Somato-Emotional Technique which allowed his pent up emotions to be released. Near the end of our session, those ‘other factors’ surfaced.

The following week Rene retuned to my clinic. The first thing he said to me was “I know that stress is the biggest part of my pain.  It’s so clear to me, that whenever I am stressed out, my lower back pain comes back.”

“And how are you feeling?’ I asked with a big grin. ‘I’m feeling great.” He responded.  Rene then showed me his MRI results which we discussed and I treated him for issues that still needed attention.  Bravo Rene!

In some cases the emotional cause of physical pain can be traced back to something specific. Other times it’s more insidious and requires some work to get to the source of it and make the necessary changes.  Always get a medical opinion for chronic pain to rule out any serious pathology.  Then, if the symptoms are far greater than the findings suggest there well may be an emotional or unconscious element in your pain. Here then is my recommendation.

Learn to de-stress and put yourself on the right track. You’ll be amazed at what you can discover about yourself. Get into exercise, do Yoga, meditation and/or Bio-feedback training such as emWave. This is a great place to start. But start you must because if you don’t, things won’t get any better. For many people who lead extremely busy lives, I have advocated using Bio-feedback as a great way to get started managing stress because it is easy, convenient and very do able by virtually anyone.  Besides, it’s fun.

To find out more about how biofeedback can help please follow this link:

Recommended readings:

Can Stress Trigger Lower Back Pain?

What is Bio-feed Back?

Does Inversion Therapy Work For Lower Back Pain?

Looks Like Fun!

Does Inversion Therapy Work For Lower Back Pain?

When patients with lower back pain ask me, “Is there something I can do at home to help myself?” I often recommend some form of Inversion Therapy.

What is Inversion Therapy?

Inversion Therapy is a way of using gravity to passively lengthen the spine and gradually decompress and widen the spaces between vertebrae.  One way of doing this is to use a sit-up bench. You lie flat on the bench with your feet hooked under the top loop for 5 minutes. This will gradually stretch your back and can relieve lower back pain.

However, there is a more effective and simple device that allows you to be comfortably suspended by your feet to varying degrees up to a full 180 degrees.  An Inversion Table allows you a lot more control and is far more versatile than a sit-up bench.

Advantages & Benefits of an Inversion Table:

  • It is extremely convenient and can be used as soon as you feel a problem coming on.
  • An Inversion Table can relieve lower back pain as well as many types of back pain.
  • It is extremely simple to use & requires no effort.
  • With regular self- treatment it promotes better alignment of the back which helps to prevent lower back pain.

After doing considerable research, here is the model I recommend.

  • The Teeter 550 is a great table that also allows you to rotate your body when you are inverted, and this helps to re-align the back.

This table is very durable, extremely simple and comfortable to use. It also Inverts up to a full 180º allowing you to choose a level that is comfortable for you. This model folds away and the price is right,

(about $400 range). In my opinion, the cost/benefits of higher priced models aren’t worth it. On the other hand, buying a less expensive table can be risky, so I wouldn’t go with that either.

Using an Inversion Table is not a fix all but, it is one of the best and simplest ways I know of to self -treat and prevent lower back pain.  I hope you found this post informative.

Learn more about this table :
Teeter Hang Ups EP-550 Inversion Table

Degenerative Disc Disease & Lower Back Pain

Degenerative Disc Disease is characterized by a wearing down of the vertebral discs. The results are a narrowing of the spaces between vertebrae and this is often a cause of pain.

What can I do?
  • Reduce inflammation, this is your first line of defence. Icing, rest and remove as many sources of irritation as possible. Avoid jogging, violent sports, lifting or any high impact activities. If something hurts you, stop or slow down and rest.
  • Get Osteopathic treatment which can reduce inflammation, promote better circulation, de-compact the vertebrae and helps to realign the body reducing wear and tear on the discs.
  • Self Treatment with an Inversion Table is also an effective way to widen the spaces between vertebrae and reduce pain. The benefits are numerous for back pain sufferers in general, which is why I have been recommending Inversion Therapy to my patients for over a decade.
  • Proper  Exercise As symptoms resolve, proper exercise is great prevention. Stretching promotes circulation and balances muscle tensions. Strengthening the back muscles creates greater stability and support for the spine. Here’s what you should consider: Swimming, aqua-fitness, Yoga, Tai-Chi, Pilates, Elliptical Trainers or Step Machines are all helpful because they are LOW IMPACT activities and avoid further compressions of the back.
  • If you experience intense pain, some over the counter medication can help, otherwise, check with your doctor if something stronger is required.

Degenerative Disc Disease can produce chronic pain. A long term strategy is necessary to overcome it, and overcome it you can!

Once things calm down, resolve to get into exercise. It’s one of your best lines of defense. Join the “Y” and have some fun!

Lower Back Pain and Pregnancy

Congratulations! You’re going to have a baby!

I always enjoy treating pregnant women. Mothers to be may be tired, sometimes feeling nauseous, and in pain, but, most pregnant women are happy and beaming.  True, towards the end of the 9th month it becomes more difficult to carry around all this extra weight and many patients confide in me, “I’ll be glad when this is all over.”  Nevertheless, I have yet to meet a mother to be, that didn’t look foreword to nurturing their precious little newborn.

Lower back pain is rather common in pregnancy, and frankly, based on all of the rapid physiologic changes occurring, it’s no wonder. Your chances of having lower back pain depend on factors like your state of health prior to getting pregnant, how active you are during pregnancy and how much weight you gain throughout your pregnancy.

One important reason that women are prone to lower back pain during pregnancy is that the lower back often becomes progressively more arched as baby grows.  This is a natural outcome of the abdomen increasing in size and weight which causes the center of gravity in the body to progressively move forward. The lower back will arch more and more to accommodate this situation. Progressive arching of the lower back strains the muscles and ligaments of the lower back and pain is often the result.

If you previously had an exaggerated arch of the lower back, a condition called ‘Sway Back’ then pregnancy can even further exacerbate this. In this case, lower back pain is even more likely to occur. Other predisposing factors to having lower back pain are how much weight you gain and how much exercise you do. Naturally, those women who gain a lot of weight and don’t exercise are much more prone to experiencing bouts of lower back pain.

But fear not, there are solutions for treating and preventing lower back pain.

First off, if you are have pain, get treated by your osteopath. My recommendation is to be treated once towards the end of each trimester as preventative care. Naturally, if you are experiencing pain, more treatment may be necessary.  The goals of treatment are to remove stresses and strains from all areas of the back. To mobilize and help the body better accommodate the shifting center of gravity and finally to work on the pelvis, to better accommodate the developing foetus and prepare you for giving birth.

Stay active

Brisk walking every day for 45 minutes or more is a great form of exercise, but, if this is too much, even 20 minutes a day will do.  Walking helps prevent constipation and the baby loves the swinging motion of a brisk walk.

Swimming is also great if you are comfortable in the water. But, if you feel that swimming is putting to much pressure on your lower back, try another stroke or try some other activity.

Try Stretching, yoga or prenatal yoga. Bottom line, listen to your body, let it be your guide.

Diet

Don’t eat for two, this may be very tempting, especially in the last few weeks.  Eat foods that are not constipating, since that can also contribute to lower back pain. Gaining excessive weight only adds to the compressive forces on your back and will contribute to lower back pain.

Things to avoid

Avoid sitting too long. Get up move about every 45 minutes. Sitting significantly puts a greater compressive force onto your back than standing and moving about.

Your shoes are important as your feet tend to swell during pregnancy so wear low heeled comfortable walking shoes especially if you anticipate standing or walking for long periods of time.

Wear comfortable clothes. Tight clothes will tend to cause you to shift your body posture in unnatural ways to accommodate your uncomfortable cloths.

Get plenty of rest. This may become increasingly difficult as your body changes. Use plenty of pillows, one for you head, under your tummy and between your knees.

Between getting the proper osteopathic care, proper exercise, eating well, wearing comfortable clothes and plenty of rest, your pregnancy should have few bumps. Remember, pregnancy is not a disease, it’s a natural process. Be Happy.

All The Best!

Eddy Basch DO