oakville massage newsletter

 
 

In This Issue:

Back Pain in Children
Therapeutic Benefits of Massage Therapy for the Elderly
Female Health Concerns: The Birth Control Pill isn’t a Cure-All

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November 2014

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Back Pain in Children

Dr. Shima Shahidy, (Hon) B.Sc., DC
Doctor of Chiropractic
Acupuncture & Graston Technique Provider

dr shima shahidyYoung people can develop what we call “uncomplicated back pain.” This is back pain unrelated to any particular disease process. It is simply aches and pains, joint dysfunction or mechanical pain. These kinds of conditions can and do respond to manual therapy like chiropractic as well as appropriate lifestyle changes. The key is to determine whether the pain is “uncomplicated" or if it may be a serious pathology. It’s important to listen to your child if they are complaining of pain or behaving differently. All it takes is a visit to your healthcare provider to help figure out what the cause may be. Be sure to observe for changes in things such as posture or walking as well as a lack of desire for activity.

Serious pathology is rare but important to rule out. During the ages of 13 and 15, we are likely to see a greater occurrence of back pain in children. Growth, family history, physical activity, emotional and psychological factors, heavy backpacks, and smoking are some of the risk factors. (Altaf F. et al, 2014)

According to a recent paper in the Bone & Joint Journal, the most common pathology is spondylosis and spondylolisthesis which is a stress fracture through a part of the vertebrae (one of the bones in the spine). Young boys involved in sports that require repetitive bending and turning are the most common patients. (Altaf F. et al, 2014)

Lumbar disc prolapse in children is very rare and often a result of trauma or sports injuries. The symptoms are different than disc injuries in an adult and often include tightness in the back and hamstrings but very little sciatica or numbness and tingling in the legs. (Altaf F. et al, 2014)

Scoliosis usually presents as asymmetrical shoulder height, prominent ribs and sometimes back pain. Remember that painful scoliosis is a red flag and an MRI is recommended. The treatment is dependent on the individual case and severity. Other conditions include infection, inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid or ankylosing spondylitis, tumours, and fractures. (Altaf F. et al, 2014)

I recommend taking your children for periodic health examinations to check for milestones in development and use the opportunity to screen for possible risk factors and help them learn how to take care of themselves. When encouraged from a young age to take responsibility for their own health, it will become easier for them to maintain healthy lifestyles as they grow into adolescence and adulthood.

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

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References
Altaf F, Heran MKS, Wilson LF, (2014). Back Pain in Children and Adolescents. Bone & Joint Journal, 96-B, 717-23.

 


 

Therapeutic Benefits of Massage Therapy for the Elderly

Shawna Klein, RMT, PTS
Registered Massage Therapist

Massage therapy combined with remedial exercise improves function and mobility and helps to prevent limitations caused by the natural effects of aging.

elderly massageMassage has many benefits including the improvement of general health and wellbeing. Seniors who receive massage often experience improvements in depression, stress, anxiety, vitality, personal wellbeing and overall health. Seniors often feel disconnected and isolated from the world around them. Increased levels of anxiety are common as they face new physical limitations. The gentle touch of a massage therapist can have an impact on a senior’s emotional state and improve their sense of wellbeing.

Massage encourages stress relief and relaxation. Anxiety and stress can lead to insomnia and general feelings of uneasiness. Massage contributes to the stimulation of a relaxation response in the body which can aid in proper sleep and stress reduction. Stress is often referred to as the “silent killer” and a lack of sleep can also have detrimental effects on the lives of seniors by way of negative moods, decreased cognitive abilities and ineffective immune system function. Studies have shown that a foot massage for only 10 minutes a day for a 2-week period decreased agitation in Alzheimer’s patients.

An increase in aches and pains often arise as we age. Either due to the natural effects of aging or from age related diseases. By focusing on the entire body system and its relationship to the soft tissue, specific techniques used in massage therapy will help to decrease pain and reduce discomfort.

Maintaining health and a strong immune system are encouraged with regular massage treatments. Strengthening the immune system leads to an increase in the body’s natural killer cells, aids in the fight against bacteria and infection, and naturally enhances the body’s ability to get nourishment to important areas. Studies indicate that regular massage can naturally increase the immune system’s cytotoxic capacity - the activity level of the body’s natural  “killer cells” and decrease the number of T-cells, which improve the body’s overall immune function.

Seniors often experience postural changes that have occurred gradually over the years. Poor posture leads to a chain of functional and internal deficiencies. It can lead to digestive problems, affect circulation, and breathing capacity. Poor posture can also lead to a lack of balance since the body is not in proper alignment. Addressing postural deficiencies through massage therapy and remedial exercise will help to reverse the effects of poor posture. Studies have shown that joint play on the ankle and foot improves balance.

Contact your massage therapist today and find out how massage can benefit you personally and provide you with all the benefits of improving or maintaining your overall health.

 

Please call us at 905.465.4595 for more information and to book your appointment.

For pricing information please click here.

 


 

Female Health Concerns: The Birth Control Pill isn’t a Cure-All

Dr. Samantha Ristimaki, BSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine

dr ristimakiThe ‘pill’ is prescribed for many “non-contraceptive” reasons such as acne, uterine fibroids, PMS, heavy bleeding or cramping without any consideration to safety or prevention of breast cancer and blood clots. Women taking “low dose” birth control pills are getting more estrogen than what is recommended for post-menapausal women. “Low dose” just means lower than before, which is still a problem as the research shows. With the incidence of hormone induced cancers on the rise, it is important to address the root cause of the problem before applying a band-aid approach.

Hormones are fundamental to health and hormone imbalances are often responsible for negative health concerns. The pill often masks imbalances with estrogen and progesterone. Too little progesterone relative to estrogen can result in estrogen dominant symptoms like weight gain, breast tenderness, anxiety, fluid retention and fibrocystic breasts.  

Uterine fibroids can cause heavy painful periods. The pill and hormone replacement therapy actually can stimulate their growth. Increased estrogen intake and xenoestrogen exposure from chemicals in products such as plastics, pesticides, cosmetics, household cleaning products and even the water we drink promotes the growth of uterine fibroids.

Diet and lifestyle factors are often part of the root of the concern of health problems. Foods such as red meat, dairy, shellfish, and peanuts promoted inflammation, thickening of the uterine lining that results in pain and heavy bleeding. Bowel problems caused by stress and poor diet can also promote inflammation and increase menstrual pain. Heavy bleeding and excess cramps can also be associated with overexertion, chronic illness, food sensitivities and vitamin deficiencies.

It is important not to overlook other physical hormonal imbalances. A concern such as weight gain may be associated with low thyroid function that could result from elevated estrogen or excess stress hormone production. Weight loss is also difficult in women with elevated testosterone.

Balancing hormones as well as considering lifestyle and diet are critical to getting to the root of women’s health concerns. Before using the pill to manage you health concerns, look a little deeper and try to understand what’s going on in your body to build a healthier you.

 

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