Approaches to Pain Relief: Chiropractic, Physiotherapy and Osteopathy

Approaches to Pain Relief: Chiropractic, Physiotherapy and Osteopathy

Pain is a universal language. We all experience it at one time or another as it’s an unavoidable aspect of residing in our human body. It can manifest as very intense, acute pain such as that of childbirth or a broken bone, while some of us endure it daily with chronic conditions like arthritis or musculoskeletal conditions. Although most people would probably say they would avoid pain if given the option, in actual fact it is an extremely useful and downright essential function of our physiological makeup. 

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Why an MRI could actually make your back pain worse

Why an MRI could actually make your back pain worse

Back pain is the most common reason that people visit an Osteopath, it is so ubiquitous that 80% of us will experience back pain sometime in our lives.  So it makes sense that we should get all the information we can about our backs so we can make the best possible treatment choices and what better way than the magic of Magnetic Resonance Imaging that allows us to see inside us with unprecedented detail, the same can be said for CT scans and X-rays as well.

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Lyme disease - Integrative Treatment Approach Part Two

In part one we identified what Lyme disease, or Lyme Borreliosis, is and how it is transmitted. Now we take a look at testing and further treatment.

 

Testing for Lyme disease

Testing for Lyme disease is not straightforward. Lyme disease, the bacteria called Borrelia, can live in tissues, organs, the nervous system, and in collagen and joints. So may not come up in blood tests, especially in chronic cases. Rather than use blood tests to detect the bacteria, the tests are used to check the body’s immune response to it.

 

The tests currently used to diagnose Lyme are very poor at detecting Borrelia, and results may come back falsely negative. This leaves a significant number of individuals with Lyme disease undiagnosed and untreated.

Studies have indicated that PCR (polymerase chain reaction) is more accurate than culture and serologic testing in early Lyme disease. There are only a few laboratories in the world that offer more comprehensive Lyme testing, and only one in Australia.

 

What about CD57+?

If you have read through any forums on Lyme disease chances are you have come across the term CD57+. This is a test that some practitioners are using in Lyme disease. Lymphocytes, a class of white blood cells, have different markers
on them. One of these markers is the CD57 marker. Cells with the marker are said to be CD57+. The CD57+ test measures how many lymphocytes have this marker on them.

 

One study (and two case reports) from the early 2000’s reported that patients with chronic Lyme disease have low levels of CD57+ cells. They found that when patients responded to treatment, these levels went up; and in patients who did not respond to treatment, these levels stayed low. However, another group of researchers found that there was no correlation between CD57+ cells and Lyme disease.

 

So there are only really two studies that have looked at CD57+ cells in Lyme, and one found that it was a good marker for Lyme, and one found that it was not. Given the research we have to go on, we really cant say whether it is reliable for Lyme.

 

The complexities of treating Lyme disease

Treatment of Lyme disease can be a long and difficult journey. At The Health Lodge, our treatment plan for patients with Lyme disease involves three main phases.

 

Phase 1: Detox

Detoxification is the first and hardest part of the treatment process. Borrelia, like several other bacteria, produces neurotoxins. These compounds can cause many of the virus-like symptoms common in Lyme disease, and also potentially interfere with hormone action by blocking hormone receptors.  It has been said that the longer one is ill with Lyme, the more neurotoxin is present in the body.  It probably is stored in fatty tissues, and once present, persists for a very long time.

 

Phase 2: Pathogen clearing

Lyme disease is not your average bacterial infection. Ticks often carry other organisms, including Babesia, Rickettsia, Ehrlichia, and Bartonella. These can be transmitted to humans at the same time as the Borrelia bacteria, causing co-infection. It is incredibly important to test and treat these co-infections as well. Animal and human studies show that these co-infections can cause more severe and treatment-resistant Lyme disease.

 

Phase 3: Breaking down biofilms

Borrelia is also capable of creating a biofilm. A biofilm is a slippery, glue-like coating that some bacteria create to act as a protective shield. The plaque on your teeth is a type of biofilm produced by Treponema denticola, which causes gum disease. To create the biofilm, the bacteria clump together and build a complex matrix around themselves. They can do this on a range of surfaces including our soft tissues. Other organisms, including the co-infections common in Lyme disease, can live inside the biofilm. The biofilm protects the bacteria from attacks from the immune system and antibiotics.  The Borrelia biofilm is one of the reasons Lyme disease and its co-infections are so difficult to treat.

 Your integrative team of health care specialists

We believe that a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals is essential in managing all the aspects of Lyme disease. The multidisciplinary team may include general practitioners, psychologists, nutritionists, naturopaths, osteopaths, and acupuncturists. This comprehensive and holistic approach is designed to support the patient’s physical, mental, and emotional well being.

For enquiries call The Health Lodge on 02 6685 6445

 

What are eating disorders? Treating with mainstream and complementary medicine

What are eating disorders?

Eating disorders are a complex and serious group of mental illnesses associated with significant problems with eating habits, weight management practices, and body image. People with eating disorders have extreme attitudes towards food intake, weight, and body shape. These factors become unhealthy preoccupations, interfere with daily activities, and negatively impact quality of life.

Eating disorders can affect men and women of any age from a range of cultures and backgrounds. The two main types of eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

The key feature of anorexia nervosa is that the individual is focused on achieving and maintaining a low body weight. The goal weight is often so low that the body cannot function normally. Extreme dieting, food avoidance, purging behaviours (i.e. self-induced vomiting or laxative abuse), and excessive exercise are often used to reduce weight.

Bulimia nervosa is characterized by recurrent, uncontrolled periods of binge eating, followed by behaviours designed to compensate for the binge, such as extreme dieting, fasting, excessive exercise, or purging.

What are the causes of eating disorders?

There is no single cause of eating disorders. It is thought that a number of interacting psychological, biological, and social factors may contribute to the development of an eating disorder. These include:

  • Unstable or difficult family and personal relationships
  • Other mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety
  • Feelings of loneliness and social isolation
  • Feelings of loss of control
  • Feelings of unworthiness and inadequacy
  • High personal expectations and unrealistic personal goals
  • Major life changes or crises such as relationship breakdown or loss of a loved one
  • Imbalances in brain chemicals
  • Cultural attitudes around beauty and weight

 

Signs and symptoms of eating disorders

There are a number of signs and symptoms of eating disorders, and no two cases are identical. If you suspect that you or a loved one may have an eating disorder or may be developing one, it is very important to seek help. Early intervention is vital in preventing the development of long-term patterns, and promoting recovery. Signs of eating disorders can be mental, physical, or behavioural.

Mental signs:

  • Preoccupation with body weight and appearance
  • Poor concentration
  • Sudden mood changes, and feelings of irritability, sadness, or anger
  • Intense fear of gaining weight
  • Distorted, negative body image
  • Constant preoccupation with food
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of loss of control

 

Physical signs:

  • Rapid weight loss or weight change
  • Irregular or absent menstrual periods in females
  • Sensitivity to cold
  • Faintness or dizziness
  • Fatigue and increased need for sleep

 

Behavioural signs:

  • Extreme and constant dieting
  • Disappearance of large amounts of food (may indicate binge eating)
  • Frequent trips to the bathroom around meal times (may suggest vomiting or laxative use)
  • Compulsive, excessive exercise
  • Changes in food preferences, fussy eating, or restrictive food choices
  • Obsessive rituals around food and eating
  • Withdrawal from social situations that involve food
  • Avoidance of eating meals, and frequent excuses not to eat
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Wearing baggy clothes or changing clothing style
  • Lying about the amount or type of food eaten, eating in secret, or secretly throwing out uneaten food
  • Denial of hunger

 

Diagnostic considerations

At The Health Lodge, we run tests to gather more information relating to the health of patients with eating disorders.

  • Nutritional deficiencies are common in eating disorders, so we may screen for a number of nutrient deficiencies
  • Depression, anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder are common co-morbidities in eating disorders, and can have major impacts on health. It may be important to test for zinc deficiency and copper overload, metabolic abnormalities such as raised urinary pyrroles, and genetic factors including MTHFR gene polymorphisms. These factors can all play major roles in a person’s psychological well being.
  • We may test levels of stress hormones, as these can be raised in eating disorders
  • Digestion may be impaired and tests that give us important information on digestive function may be needed.

 

Treatment options for eating disorders

Treatment of eating disorders can be a long and difficult journey. Many people with eating disorders do not seek treatment due to an unwillingness to change, feelings of fear and shame, or because they do not believe that their behaviour is a problem. Treatment of eating disorders is very important, as eating disorders can severely impact health, and in some cases can be fatal.

Eating disorders are incredibly complex, and are best treated by a team of health carers. One or more psychologists are essential in every health care team for a person with an eating disorder. Psychological support aims to help the individual to learn about their eating patterns and beliefs associated with eating and weight, and provides strategies to help shift dysfunctional attitudes and develop healthier behaviours. Strategies may include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Family therapy for children and adolescents
  • Education regarding eating disorders and factors that influence or increase the risk of developing eating disorders
  • Building self-esteem and improving self-awareness
  • Supporting and enhancing social and family relationships
  • Learning and developing tools to prevent relapse

 

At The Health Lodge, the integrated healthcare team will include:

  • A GP to oversee medication if required, diagnostics and specialist referrals
  • A naturopath to assist with digestive health and nutrient imbalances
  • A dietitian to advise on diet and eating practices
  • An acupuncturist to help treat underlying causes i.e. anxiety/depression
  • A yoga/meditation teacher to bring body awareness back into balance
  • A carer who has a prior history of eating disorders and can share the journey

 

Your integrative team of health care specialists

We believe that a multidisciplinary team of health care professionals is essential in managing all the aspects of eating disorders. The multidisciplinary team may include general practitioners, psychologists, dietitians or nutritionists, naturopaths, osteopaths, and acupuncturists. This comprehensive and holistic approach is designed to support the patient’s physical, mental, and emotional well being.

 

For enquiries call The Health Lodge on 02 6685 6445