Health Blog

Fertility-Treatments

Infertility? This Is How Physiotherapy Can Help You Get Pregnant

Infertility is often times a very sensitive subject for couples who are struggling to conceive. In the US, there are approximately 6.7 million women who are facing challenges on how to get pregnant. (CDC 2006). In 2015, a ten-year retrospective study examined the efficacy of manual physical therapy to treat female infertility and discovered significantly positive outcomes.

In Nigeria, 25% of married couples suffer infertility. Gynecologists report that 40 -45% of the visits they have are due to casesof infertility. Currently, the ‘best’ available form of treatment is IVF and IUI ; the success rate of IUI is 10 – 15 per cent, The success rate of IVF is 25 – 30 per cent .

Researchers found that after they went through physical therapy, the women experienced a 40 to 60 percent success rate in getting pregnant (depending on the underlying cause of their infertility). The therapy specifically benefited women with blocked fallopian tubes (60 percent became pregnant), polycystic ovarian syndrome (53 percent), high levels of follicle stimulating hormone, an indicator of ovarian failure, (40 percent), and endometriosis (43 percent). This specialized physical therapy has even helped patients undergoing IVF raise their success rates to 56 percent and even 83 percent in some cases, as shown in a separate study.

The study looked at data collected from 2002-2011, which included approximately 1,392 patients treated for infertility.

It specifically included those with single or multiple causes for infertility that involved:

  • Elevated FSH (follicle stimulating hormone) of 10 mIU/ml or higher
  • Fallopian tube occlusion
  • Endometriosis- when the lining of the uterus grows outside of the uterus causing significant pain, abnormal bleeding, infertility
  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)- a condition that affects female hormone regulation at times producing multiple follicles that remain as cysts in and around the ovary
  • Premature Ovarian Failure (POF)-loss of ovarian function before a woman is 40 years old and
  • Unexplained Infertility (Rice, 2015)

Physical therapy aids pregnancy

Patients were treated using an individualized physical therapy treatment plan that was named the CPA (Clear Passage Approach) protocol. This protocol was tailored to meet the individual needs of the patients and to treat specific sites of restrictions and immobility within each patient’s body. Treatment included integrated manual therapy techniques focused on minimizing adhesions and decreasing mechanical blockages in order to improve mobility of soft tissue structures. Visceral manipulation was also used to help restore normal physiologic motion of organs with decreased motility.

The application of these specific manual therapy modalities are thought to activate the central nervous system by stimulating a local tissue response and thus increasing communication with higher control centers in the brain that have the ability to positively influence the activity of the ovary and uterus, as a result effecting hormone production and regulation.

This isn’t your regular ol’ PT though. The specialized method of physical therapy decreases adhesions, or internal scars that occur wherever the body heals from infection, inflammation, surgery, trauma or endometriosis (a condition where the uterine lining grows outside the uterus), says Larry Wurn, lead author and a massage therapist who developed the technique used in the study. These adhesions act like an internal glue and can block fallopian tubes, cover the ovaries so eggs cannot escape, or form on the walls of the uterus, decreasing the chance for implantation. “Reproductive structures need mobility in order to function correctly. This therapy removes the glue-like adhesions that bind structures,” he adds.

A similar method widely used by niche physical therapists is called the Mercier technique, says Dana Sackar, member of the American Academy of Fertility Care Professionals and owner of Flourish Physical Therapy, a Chicago-based clinic that specializes in physical therapy for fertility. During treatment, the therapist manually manipulates the pelvic visceral organs from the outside—a process that Sackar says isn’t terribly painful, but isn’t exactly a spa treatment either.

So how does pushing on a woman’s abdomen help boost her baby-making chances? Primarily by increasing blood flow and mobility. “A malpositioned uterus, restricted ovaries, scar tissue, or endometriosis, can all reduce blood flow to the reproductive organs, limiting fertility,” Sackar explains. By repositioning the organs and breaking up scar tissue, blood flow is increased, which, she says, not only makes your reproductive system healthier, but also helps your body to balance out its hormones naturally. “It prepares your pelvis and organs for optimal function, sort of like how you do training runs to prepare your body to run a marathon,” she adds.

These techniques also help fertility by addressing the emotional roadblocks, as therapists work closely with patients to address mental needs as well as physical. “Suffering from infertility is extremely stressful, so anything we can do to help reduce that stress is good too. The mind-body connection is very real and very important,” Sackar says.

Because it’s non-invasive and cost-effective, Sackar recommends trying physical therapy before other fertility treatments. She says she also works closely with patients’ OBGYNs and other fertility specialists, using the therapy to enhance their medical options. Alternative therapies can sometimes get a bad rap, which is why Sackar thinks scientific studies like this are so important. “It doesn’t have to be an either/or situation—the two types of medicine can work together,” she says.

At the end of the day, everyone wants the same thing—a successful pregnancy and a happy, healthy (and preferably not bankrupt) mama. So it’s worth trying a variety of options to achieve that. “Some women can snap their fingers and get pregnant like that,” Sackar says. “But many women need an ideal situation to conceive and that can take work. So that’s what we do with this physical therapy, we help them get to that point.”

The study compared manual physical therapy treatment to previously published success rates with standard, conventional treatments for female infertility. The results were astounding. Researchers discovered that with the application of the CPA manual therapy approach, fallopian tube patency of at least one fallopian tube was 60.8% successful. When compared with the reported success rates in the literature, “it was observed that the CPA performed as well as or at higher rates of success than surgery did.” The rate of pregnancy for those patients with at least 1 open fallopian tube was also very successful with an overall pregnancy rate of 56.64% post CPA treatment.

For those women with endometriosis (n=558), the success rates for pregnancy post CPA treatment was 42.8%. For those who underwent IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) after CPA treatment, the pregnancy rates were even higher at 55.4%. These findings were also comparable to or better than standard medical interventions published in current literature.

Manual therapy has even shown to decrease elevated FSH levels and improve pregnancy rates by almost 50%. Researchers acknowledge that, to date, there are no medical treatments that represent standard care for women with elevated FSH levels and require more investigation for comparative results.

Of the 59 women with PCOS, the overall pregnancy success rate was 53.57%. The only significant and direct comparison with standard of care literature was with the use of metformin. Comparably, CPA produced significantly higher rates of pregnancy than with metformin alone. No statistically significant outcomes were reported. Unexplained infertility and POF had the least success rates of pregnancy reported. This is most likely attributable to a lack in subject size and/or no published medical treatment in these specific patient cases, further warranting the need for future investigation.

In conclusion, manual physical therapy has been shown to reverse female infertility in cases such as occluded fallopian tubes, endometriosis, hormone dysregulation, and PCOS. With all of the conventional options available, it is wonderful to know that manual therapists specializing in pelvic health have a clinical significance in helping change the lives of women struggling with infertility.


Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2006-2010). Infertility. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/infertility.htm
Rice AD, Patterson K, Wakefield LB, Reed ED, Breder KP, Wurn BF, King CR, Wurn LJ. Ten-year Retrospective Study on the Efficacy of a Manual Physical Therapy to Treat Female Infertility. Alternative Therapies. 2015.(21)3;32-40.

snoring

Little Things We Do Innocently That Can Be Harmful To Our Health

1. Snoring
You may think of snoring as a sometimes annoying or embarrassing, side effect of sleep. But before you discount your snoring as nothing out of the ordinary, consider this: People whose snoring is caused by severe sleep apnea have a 40 percent greater chance of dying early than do their peers. That’s because this sleep disorder is related to a host of health problems, from heart disease to depression.
Causes: Obstructed nasal airways, Poor muscle tone in the throat and tongue, obesity, poor pillows
Solution: Change Your Sleep Position, Lose Weight, Avoid Alcohol, Practice Good Sleep Hygiene, Open Nasal Passages, Change Your Pillows, Stay Well Hydrated.
2. Excessive TV
Young adults who watch a lot of TV and don’t exercise much may start to see the effects of their unhealthy habits on their brains as early as midlife, a new study suggests. In the study, researchers looked at the TV viewing habits of more than 3,200 people, who were 25 years old, on average, at the start of the study. The people in the study who watched more than 3 hours of TV per day on average over the next 25 years were more likely to perform poorly on certain cognitive tests, compared with people who watched little TV, the researchers found.
Solution: Physical activity! Keep it moving!!
3. Skipping breakfast

 

Skipping the morning meal can throw off your body’s rhythm of fasting and eating. When you wake up, the blood sugar your body needs to make your muscles and brain work their best is usually low. Breakfast helps replenish it.Breakfast kick-starts your metabolism, helping you burn calories throughout the day. It also gives you the energy you need to get things done and helps you focus at work or at school. Those are just a few reasons why it’s the most important meal of the day.

Many studies have linked eating breakfast to good health, including better memory and concentration, lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, and lower chances of getting diabetes, heart disease, and being overweight.

Solution: You already know, Eat your breakfast like a KING, Lunch as a PRINCE and Dinner like a PAUPER. You can talk to a dietitian for proper dieting tips.

 

4. Lagos Traffic

According to a CNN report, a 2012 study by Washington University in St. Louis noted that long commutes eat up exercise time. Thus, long commutes are associated with higher weight, lower fitness levels, and higher blood pressure—all strong predictors of heart disease, diabetes, and some types of cancer.

The study also notes that “being exposed to the daily hassles of traffic can lead to higher chronic stress.”

One of the stress triggers while driving during a traffic jam is impatience—having to wait for the traffic to move and dealing with the mistakes of other motorists on the road. Commuters who are exposed to air pollution, like those riding in non-air conditioned vehicles such as napeps and motorcycles, double their health risk.

Aside from stress, they are also exposed to pollutants that can affect the lungs. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) said that air pollution is to blame for 3.2 million preventable deaths worldwide every year.

Also, it is also worthy of note that traffic congestion can put you at a long term risk for musculoskeletal disorders in you lowback, Neck, knees, hips etc.

Solution: Sitting exercises while in traffic, lumbar pillows for the low back, adequate leg room, use your air conditioner if you have one, listen to radio or find a good distraction to help ease the stress.

 

5. Skipping Medications

It can be easy to forget to take your meds if you are feeling fine. High blood pressure is called the silent killer because you don’t feel it, but feeling well is no justification for stopping taking your pills. Do not stop taking your pills till the prescribing doctor says so.

Also, mixing of prescribed drugs with herbs can be very toxic to our health in many ways. Drug interaction can be fatal in some cases.

Cervicogenic Headache: The Headache That Comes From Your NECK!

The International Headache Society (IHS 2013) has validated cervicogenic headache as a secondary headache, which means headache caused by a disorder of the cervical spine and its component bony, disc and/or soft tissue elements, usually but not invariably accompanied by neck pain.

Diagnostic criteria:
A. Any headache fulfilling criterion C
B. Clinical, laboratory and/or imaging evidence of a disorder or lesion within the cervical spine or soft tissues of the neck, known to be able to cause headache
C. Evidence of causation demonstrated by at least two of the following:
1. headache has developed in temporal relation to the onset of the cervical disorder or appearance of the lesion
2. headache has significantly improved or resolved in parallel with improvement in or resolution of the cervical disorder or lesion
3. cervical range of motion is reduced and headache is made significantly worse by provocative manœuvres
4. headache is abolished following diagnostic blockade of a cervical structure or its nerve supply
D. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

It is a chronic headache that arises from the atlanto-occipital and upper cervical joints and perceived in one or more regions of the head and/or face. These occur due to a neck disorder or lesion and feature the converging of trigeminal and cervical afferents in the trigeminocervical nucleus within the upper cervical spinal cord. By definition the headache should be abolished following a diagnostic blockade of a cervical structure or its nerve supply.

Figure 1: Cervicogenic Headache Figure 2: Upper Cervical Spine

Cervicogenic Headache

Cervicogenic Headache

Figure 1

Upper Cervical Spine

Upper Cervical Spine

Figure 2

 

 

Clinical Presentation

Challenging to diagnose clinically, but often includes:
· Unilateral “ram’s horn” or unilateral dominant headache (Excluding those with bilateral headache or symptoms that typify migrane headaches).
· Exacerbated by neck movement or posture
· Tenderness of the upper 3 cervical spine joints
· Association with neck pain or dysfunction
· Definitive diagnosis made through selective nerve blocking through injection of specific sites
· Compared to migraine headache and control groups, cervicogenic headache group patients tend to have increased tightness and trigger points in upper trapezius, levator scapulae, scales and suboccipital extensors, splenius capitis and sternocleidomastoideus
· Weakness in the deep neck flexors
· Increased activity in the superficial flexors
· Atrophy in the suboccipital extensors and so the deep muscle sleeve which is important for active support of the cervical segments becomes impaired
· upper trapezius, sternocleidomastoid, scalenes, levator scapulae, pectoralis major and minor, and short sub-occipital extensors have been implicated
– Trigger points have been reported to be present in patients with tension type headache, migraine, and cluster headache. In addition, active TrPs have been also related to neck pain, a common symptom experienced by individuals with cervicogenic headaches.

It is also important to differentiate from other types of headache:

Type Location Intensity Frequency Duration Additional Symptoms
Cluster Unilateral: (orbital, supraorbital, temporal) Severe 1x every other day -> 8x day 15-180 minutes Associated with ipsilateral: conjunctival injection, lacrimation, nasal congestion, rhinorrhoea, forehead and facial sweating, miosis, ptosis, eyelid edema.

Restlessness or agitation.

Tension Bilateral Mild-Moderate >15day/mo, >3 mo Hours-continuous Pressing, tightening

<1 of photophobia, phonophobia or mild nausea

Migraine without aura Unilateral: Frontotemporal in adults, Occipital in children Moderate-Severe >14 days/month 4-72 hours Flickering lights/spots in vision, pulsating quality, nausea, photophobia, phonophobia
Cluster Tension Migrane

 

Physical Therapy Management

The preferred practice pattern for cervicogenic headache is 5D: Impaired Motor Function and Sensory Integrity Associated with Nonprogressive Disorders of the Central Nervous System-Acquired in Adolescence or Adulthood. Goodman states that “Although this type of headache is responsive to therapy oriented at treating the soft tissue restrictions, the method of examination, assessment, and treatment needs to be specific to the neck and occiput.”

Treatment

  • Cervical spine manipulation or mobilization
  • Strengthening exercises
    • Deep neck flexors
    • Upper quarter muscles
  • Thoracic spine thrust manipulation & exercise
  • C1-C2 Self-sustained Natural Apophyseal Glide (SNAG)
    • shown to be effective for reducing cervicogenic headache symptoms

Jull et al reported that a six week physiotherapy program including manual therapy and exercise interventions was an effective treatment option for reduction of cervicogenic headache symptoms and decreasing medication intake in both the short term and at one-year follow-up.

Other Treatment Options

Thoracic Manipulation

Seated CT Manipulation Seated Mid Thoracic Manipulation

 

Women Should Lift Weights Too!

1

Have you ever wondered about how many calories you burn lifting weights? It takes a great deal of energy to strength train like this, specifically when you’re pushing your body above and beyond its normal abilities. However, there are too many assumptions related to the expenditure of calories when you’re lifting weights, which can lead to problems with regard to fat loss–specifically for women.

Anaerobic activity, like lifting weights provides some great benefits, not only for the hope of fat loss, but for toning the body and building muscle as you do burn fat. Most people are beginning to realize that anaerobic activity simply has to be a part of a healthy weight loss plan if one is going to reach long-term goals.

You can believe this: “Strength training can burn fat in ways other exercise simply can not.” It’s a fact. You gain longer benefits following lifting weights than you do just walking or running on the treadmill. The benefits of lifting weights goes on for hours after a workout, even if this is only a 30 minute session.what-are-some-weight-lifting-tips-for-women-1688620130-dec-3-2012-1-600x800

So, how many calories do you burn lifting weight?

We want you to realize that while you need a calorie deficit, this isn’t all about your calories–there is much more. How many calories you burn depends upon your own individual weight, the intensity you’re putting in and where your body stands in general. Everyone is different! Remember, muscle helps boost your metabolism, but running on the treadmill doesn’t do this. In other words, muscle provides continuing fat burn capabilities. This is why it is so important. That, and it simply makes you look leaner and healthier!

Some experts will tell you that the calories burned is dependent more on your weight. Most see a 185 pound person burning about 240 calories for an hour workout, but if they really push out their routine in 30 to 45 minutes, they might burn more than what that hour projects, so it varies. We can’t stress this enough. There simply is no way to be 100% certain exactly how many calories one individual is going to burn lifting weights.

Now, here is something for you to digest. The more muscles you have to put into play for lifting weights, the more calories you’re going to expend and the more health benefits you’re going to acquire. Body weight exercise like squats, lunges, pull-ups and push ups (possibly even bench dips and deadlifts) provide the more serious calorie burn. Lunges in and of themselves can burn a hefty amount of calories, especially if these are long lunges with weights.

Remember to bring in variation to your exercises in hopes of burning even more calories! Now, you don’t want your strength training session to turn into a cardio session, but do focus on the muscle burn to hit fat loss! Don’t waste time and stay focused to get the most from your workout.

Common sense, right? Ultimately, it is always going to depend on you as to how much weight you lose, how much muscle you build and how hefty an impact you have on your body.  Include aerobic activity with anerobic activity and you’ll always have a winning mix!

low back pain

What is Low Back Pain?

Eighty percent (80%) of people will experience lower back pain at some stage of their life. It is one of the most common reasons for people missing work and seeing a doctor or physiotherapist. But lower back pain is something you can avoid with some inside knowledge, back care strategies and some back exercises.

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However, if you choose to neglect your back care, you can be rendered vulnerable to lower back pain, sciatica (leg pain) or other nerve pain from a pinched nerve. Long-term lower back pain can result in permanent conditions such as spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease.backpain3

 

Significant acute lower back pain can result from a herniated disc (slipped disc), back muscle pain, back ligament strain or a non-specific lower back pain.

You can also suffer lower back pain associated with systemic conditions such as fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis.

As you can see while lower back pain is common, the diagnosis is specific to you and is best care for with the assistance of a spinal health care such as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist.

Not only can they assist you with acute back pain relief, they can also help you on your way to long-term self management and prevention. This usually includes a thorough back assessment to determine risk factors such and muscle weakness, inflexibility, stiff or unstable joints. They can also advise you when a back brace is suitable or if you are better advised to perform some specific back exercises.

Real-time ultrasound has been used by back pain research in recent years to assist the diagnosis and successful treatment of lower back pain. Real-time ultrasound is now available at leading physiotherapy clinics to assist you and your back pain relief and prevention.

For more information please contact us, your trusted spinal health care practitioner. You’ve only got one back – isn’t it about time you cared for it correctly?

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Lower Back Pain Causes

Lower back pain has many causes. Most lower back pain causes are musculoskeletal in origin and known as non-specific low back pain. Most commonly, these back injuries are caused by muscular strains, ligament sprains and joint dysfunction, particularly when pain arises suddenly during or following physical loading of the spine.

The good news is that you can take measures to prevent or lessen most back pain episodes. Your physiotherapist is an expert who treats and can help you to prevent low back pain.

Early diagnosis and treatment is the easiest way to recover quickly from lower back pain and to prevent a recurrence.

The causes of lower back pain are numerous but roughly fall into either a sudden (traumatic) or sustained overstress injuries.

Most people can relate to traumatic injury such as bending awkwardly to lift a heavy load that tears or damages structures. However, sustained overstress injuries are probably more common but also easier to prevent.

In these cases, normally positional stress or postural fatigue creates an accumulated microtrauma that overloads your lower back structures over an extended period of time to cause injury and back pain.

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Common Lower Back Pain Causes

Back Muscle Strains

Back muscle injuries are the most common form of back injury. Muscle fatigue, excessive loads or poor lifting postures are the most common problems. Inefficient back muscles can lead to poor joint stabilisation and subsequent injury

Ligament Sprains

Ligaments are the strong fibrous bands that limit the amount of movement at available at each spinal level. Stretching ligaments too far or too quickly will tear them with subsequent bleeding into the surrounding tissues, causing swelling and pain. Awkward lifting, sports injuries and motor vehicle accidents are very common causes. Just as in other regions of the body, physiotherapy hastens ligament healing and relieves pain so that you can enjoy life again as soon as possible.

Bulging Discs

A bulging disc injury is a common spine injury sustained to your spine’s intervertebral disc. Spinal discs are the shock-absorbing rings of fibrocartilage and glycoprotein that separate your bony vertebral bodies, while allowing movement at each spinal level, and enough room for the major spinal nerves to exit from the spinal canal and travel to your limbs.

The annulus is the outer section of the spinal disc, consisting of several layers of multi-directional fibrocartilaginous fibres all densely packed to create a wall around the glycoprotein filled jelly-like disc nucleus. A disc bulge (commonly referred to as slipped disc), can potentially press against or irritate the nerve where it exits from the spine. This nerve pinch can cause back pain, spasms, cramping, numbness, pins and needles, or pain into your legs.

Bone Injuries

You can also fracture your spine if the force involved is highly traumatic or you have low bone density (eg osteoporosis).

Poor Posture

Poor posture when sitting, standing and lifting at work can place unnecessary stress upon your spine. Muscles fatigue, ligaments overstretch, discs stretch and this places spinal joints and nerves under pain-causing pressure.

 

 

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Lower Back Pain Treatment

With accurate assessment and early treatment, most lower back pain injuries will  respond extremely quickly to physiotherapy allowing you to quickly resume pain-free and normal activities of daily living.

Please ask you physiotherapist for their professional treatment advice.

While lower back pain treatment will vary depending on your specific diagnosis, your physiotherapist will have the following aims.

PHASE I – Back Pain Relief & Protection

PHASE II – Restoring Normal ROM and Strength. Early Back Exercises.

PHASE III – Restoring Full Function

PHASE IV – Back Exercises – Preventing a Recurrence

Lower Back Pain Exercises

With the correct lower back pain exercises and specific treatment guided by your physiotherapist, back pain relief is very achievable. Most severe lower back pain sufferers will recover within 4 to 6 weeks. However, this time can vary greatly as it depends on the nature of your back injury, the treatment plan that you develop with your physiotherapist, and how compliant you are with your treatment and lower back pain exercises.

Please ask your physiotherapist for their advice in what will help you most.

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How Can You Prevent Lower Back Pain?

While there are no guarantees, it is well known that active individuals who regularly exercise to maintain normal flexibility and muscle strength to support their spine have the best chance of avoiding lower back pain.

Healthy spine postures and safe lifting techniques at home and at work also reduce your risk of developing lower back pain. Feel free to discuss with your physiotherapist the specific postures and activities that you perform on a daily basis. They will aim to help you to understand how to position yourself and move with the lowest risk of injury

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massage lady 2

How to Give a Back Massage

Two Parts:Setting Up for a Back MassageGiving a Back Massage

While performing an advanced, therapeutic back massage requires plenty of professional training, you can still give someone a relaxing, tissue stimulating massage even without training. By learning some of the basic massage techniques and how to apply them, you can begin giving quality massages at home. One of the most important parts to note is that without professional training, you should apply only light pressure with all of your techniques.

Part 1 of 2: Setting Up for a Back Massage

  1. Give a Back Massage Step 1.jpeg
    1

    Get a massage table. Using a massage table will give you the best access to somebody’s back, and it’s built for comfort, complete with a face cradle for alignment of the spine.[1] However, if that’s not available, there are a few alternatives.

    • If you don’t have access to a massage table, then you can try using the floor, a couch, a bed, or even a kitchen table if it’s sturdy enough for the person to lie on. Each option has drawbacks that make it less ideal than a massage table, mostly due to comfort issues for the person receiving the massage and height issues requiring the person giving the massage to lean over in uncomfortable ways.[2]
    • If a bed is the best option available, make sure that the suggestion doesn’t come across as inappropriate. Consider the relationship you have with the person and discuss that the massage will take place on a bed beforehand.
  2. Give a Back Massage Step 3.jpeg
    2
    Place a soft mat down. If you don’t have access to a massage table, and you’re opting for one of the harder-surfaced alternatives, then lay down a soft mat. Use a mat that is at least two inches thick to provide the proper comfort for the person receiving the massage.[3]
  3. Give a Back Massage Step 4.jpeg
    3
    Spread a sheet over the table or mat. Since the person will dress down most or all of the way for his or her massage, a clean sheet over the mat or table will be both more hygienic and more comfortable for the person. It will also catch any excess oil.
  4. Give a Back Massage Step 5.jpeg
    4

    Prepare the room. Make sure the room is warm without being hot.[4] This is the ideal atmosphere for the person to relax the muscles you’re trying to massage.

    • Play some uneventful music. New age, ambient music, quiet classical music, or even soundscapes will help the person relax to their fullest. Pulsing, driving music won’t help. Keep the volume low.[5]
    • Turn the lights down just enough so there’s no glare in the room.[6]
    • Light scented aromatherapy candles. This is optional, and you should ask the person before lighting the candles since some people enjoy the smells while others are too sensitive to them.
  5. Give a Back Massage Step 6.jpeg

    5

    Have the person undress to his or her comfort level. Massage is best given and received without clothing on the area being massaged, especially if you are using oil or lotion. Request that the person undress as much as he or she is comfortable with.

    • Always provide an additional towel or sheet above and beyond the one covering the table. This way the person can lie down and cover the parts of his or her body not being massaged. This will make the environment both more comfortable and warmer, which is relaxing.
    • If privacy is a concern, step out of the room as you have the person dress down and cover himself/herself with the additional towel or sheet. Knock and ensure that the person is ready for reentering the room.
    • If the person left pants or underwear on, you can tuck the edge of the towel or sheet into the waistband to ensure no oil from the massage stains the material.
  6. Give a Back Massage Step 7.jpeg
    6

    Have the person lie face down. If you have a proper massage table, this means the person’s face will rest in the face cradle.

    • If it’s comfortable for the person, you can also use a pillow or folded towel beneath the ankles. This will support the person’s lower back.
  7. Give a Back Massage Step 10.jpeg
    7
    Expose the person’s back. If the person wrapped a towel while undressing or pulled the additional sheet all the way up, then fold the material down to expose the person’s back.
woman and child

Kids Health: Cerebral Palsy {Part II}

Diagnosing Cerebral Palsy

CP may be diagnosed very early in an infant known to be at risk for developing the condition because of premature birth or other health problems. Doctors, such as pediatricians and developmental and neurological specialists, usually follow these kids closely from birth so that they can identify and address any developmental delays or problems with muscle function that might indicate CP.

In a baby carried to term with no other obvious risk factors for CP, it may be difficult to diagnose the disorder in the first year of life. Often doctors aren’t able to diagnose CP until they see a delay in normal developmental milestones (such as reaching for toys by 4 months or sitting up by 7 months), which can be a sign of CP.

Abnormal muscle tone, poorly coordinated movements, and the persistence of infant reflexes beyond the age at which they are expected to disappear also can be signs. If these developmental milestones are only mildly delayed, the diagnosis of CP may not be made until the child is a toddler.

Preventing Cerebral Palsy

In many cases the causes of CP are unknown, so there’s no way to prevent it. But if you’re having a baby, you can take steps to ensure a healthy pregnancy and carry the baby to term, thus lowering the risk that your baby will have CP.

Before becoming pregnant, it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and make sure that any medical problems are managed properly. As soon as you know you’re pregnant, proper prenatal medical care (including prenatal vitamins and avoiding alcohol and illegal drugs) is vital. If you are taking any medications, review these with your doctor and clarify if there are any side effects that can cause birth defects.

Controlling diabetes, anemia, hypertension, seizures, and nutritional deficiencies during pregnancy can help prevent some premature births and, as a result, some cases of cerebral palsy.

Once your baby is born there are actions you can take to lower the risk of brain damage, which could lead to CP. Never shake an infant, as this can lead to shaken baby syndrome and brain damage. If you’re riding in a car, make sure your baby is properly strapped into an infant car seat that’s correctly installed — if an accident occurs, the baby will be as protected as possible.

Be aware of lead exposure in your house, as lead poisoning can lead to brain damage. Remember to have your child get his or herimmunizations on time — these shots protect against serious infections, some of which can cause brain damage resulting in CP.

woman and child

Kids Health: Cerebral Palsy {CP}

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). CP is usually caused by brain damage that occurs before or during a child’s birth, or during the first 3 to 5 years of a child’s life.

The brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy can also lead to other health issues, including vision, hearing, and speech problems, and learning disabilities.

There is no cure for CP, but treatment, physiotherapy, special equipment, and, in some cases, surgery can help a child who is living with the condition.

About Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is one of the most common congenital (existing before birth or at birth) disorders of childhood. About 500,000 children and adults of all ages in the United States have the condition.

The three types of CP are:

  1. spastic cerebral palsy — causes stiffness and movement difficulties
  2. athetoid cerebral palsy — leads to involuntary and uncontrolled movements
  3. ataxic cerebral palsy — causes a disturbed sense of balance and depth perception

Cerebral palsy affects muscle control and coordination, so even simple movements — like standing still — are difficult. Other vital functions that also involve motor skills and muscles — such as breathing, bladder and bowel control, eating, and learning — may also be affected when a child has CP. Cerebral palsy does not get worse over time.

Causes of Cerebral Palsy

The exact causes of most cases of CP are unknown, but many are the result of problems during pregnancy in which the brain is either damaged or doesn’t develop normally. This can be due to infections, maternal health problems, a genetic disorder, or something else that interferes with normal brain development. Problems during labour and delivery can cause CP in some cases. but this is the exception.

Premature babies — particularly those who weigh less than 3.3 pounds (1,510 grams) — have a higher risk of CP than babies that are carried full-term, as are other low birth weight babies and multiple births, such as twins and triplets.

Brain damage in infancy or early childhood can also lead to CP. A baby or toddler might suffer this damage because of lead poisoning, bacterial meningitis, malnutrition, being shaken as an infant (shaken baby syndrome), or being in a car accident while not properly restrained.

To be continued…

need massage

7 Signs You May Need a Massage

We all know that massage therapy feels good and is a healthy reward for our overworked bodies. But, how do you know when you need a massage? I have provided a little cheat sheet for you below.

  1. You haven’t had one for months (or even years): Massage works best when it is received on a regular basis. Most massage therapists would recommend receiving a massage 1x/month for regular maintenance and even more often if you have an injury you are trying to rehabilitate.
  2. You are in training: When you challenge your body physically, you should be treating your muscles to massage therapy. A good clinical massage therapist can help keep you active and injury free.
  3. 7 signs you may need a massageYou have a pain in the neck (or back, or shoulder, or hip…..): Pain is your body’s way of communicating to you that something is wrong. The busier we get, the more we tend to ignore our body’s signals. You don’t want to ignore your pain or your injury could get worse. Make an appointment with a clinical massage therapist and they can help relieve your pain.
  4. You’ve been getting headaches: When the muscles around your shoulders, back, and head get tight tension headaches can begin. Regular maintenance massage can relieve these tension headaches and help promote healthy posture. Massage therapy has been shown to provide some relief for migraine sufferers as well.
  5. You don’t have full range of motion: Maybe you can’t turn your head/neck as far as you once could. Maybe you can’t lift your arm all the way up. Maybe you haven’t been able to touch your toes for a while. Whatever your case may be, if you have muscular restrictions, massage therapy may be able to help.
  6. You don’t get enough sleep: It is amazing how many of my massage clients answer that they sleep ‘poorly’ on their massage intake forms. Sleep is incredibly important! We recover and heal when we sleep. Massage therapy helps promote healthy sleep habits through by promoting relaxation.
  7. You are stressed out: Let’s face it, most of us have a little more stress in our lives than what is probably healthy. One of the best ways to decrease levels of stress hormones and increase levels of endorphins is to get a massage. Massage therapy starts working immediately to help you relax.

To summarize: Massage therapy = less pain, more function, better sleep, and less stress. It’s a no-brainer.

Call physiooncall today for your comprehensive massage session as well as your FREE musculoskeletal assessment today!

feeling sad

FEELING SAD? WORK OUT!!!

Ever wondered about the magic of exercise? Ever wondered why you feeeeel soooo good after a nice session? EUREKA! You have found the solution to the problem right here on Physiooncall.net. We present to you the different factors that are responsible for exercise induced euphoria…

ENDORPHINS
Endorphins are released in the brain whenever you engage in moderate to vigourous exercise. When endorphins lock to special receptors they block transmission of pain signals and also produce a euphoric feeling. They are released in response to pain and stress and help to alleviate anxiety and depression.
Ever heard of the euphoric runners high? It is as a result of endorphins after a VIGOROUS run. Similar to morphine endorphins act as a analgesic and sedative, diminishing our perception of pain.

endorphin_group_pic_bANTIBODIES
Exercise leads to increased production of antibodies which are a special type of protein produced by the immune system. Increased antibodies help your body fight off viruses and keep you healthy in the long run.

INCREASED OVERALL MOOD
If you ever go for a run after a stressful day, chances are you felt better afterward. The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong, usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood enhancement effect.
A study with over 190 students showed that not only does exercise give students more “pleasure – activated” feelings but they also felt less “unpleasant – deactivated” feelings. Students who did 15 minutes or more of vigourous exercise were in overall better moods than students that did not.

BOOSTED SELF – ESTEEM
Self esteem plays an important role in your day to day feelings. Thats why something as simple as setting fitness goals for yourself and acheiving them can help you boost self-esteem. Ever wondered whya stallion / horse is so gracious and strong…?The answer is because they run. Maybe one of these days we will highlight why you have never seen a fat horse.

HELP CONTROL ADDICTION
The brain releases dopamine,the reward chemical in response to any form of pleasure, be it exercise, sex, drugs, alcohol or food. Unfortunately some people become addicted to dapamine and dependent on the substance that produce it, like drug or alcohol (and more rarely, food and sex ). On the bright side exercise can help in addiction recovery. Vigorous exercise can also effectively distract drug or alcohol addicts making them de-priortize cravings (at – least in the short term.)

So get in that sweat pant and top, kick in some exercise and be happy….!!!

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