Knee Osteoarthritis

Knee pain in the middle to late decades of life is a common complaint amongst patients presenting to osteopathic clinics across the globe. Osteoarthritis (OA) is a common cause of knee pain in this age group of people. Research suggests approximately 654 million people aged 40 years and over were living with knee OA in 2020 around the world. This comes at an incredible cost to healthcare services worldwide, with figures in the billions of dollars!

What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis is just one of a number of forms of arthritis… Essentially a disease which affects the joints in our body. OA is the most common form of arthritis, with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) being the second most common form. This blog will focus on OA, a potentially debilitating disease that most commonly affects the weight-bearing joints of the body (i.e. the knees, hips and lumbar spine), but can affect any joint in the body where the joint surfaces are covered in cartilage.

The characteristics of OA include loss of the cartilage that covers the ends of bones that come together to form joints. The underlying and surrounding bone, as well as other joint structures (including joint capsules and other tissues) are also susceptible to degenerative changes that ultimately lead to poor functioning of a joint. The process usually occurs over a long period of time, often starting early in life (interestingly with little to no symptoms at all) and progressing into the latter years. The severity of the disease varies from person to person with some people only experiencing mild symptoms throughout their life. Other people experience more severe symptoms and may require joint replacement surgery as a last port of call to ensure they can continue to live their life as pain-free as possible.

Osteoarthritis of the knee can affect either of the two main joint components of the knee… The joint between the ends of the thighbone and the shin-bone (called the tibiofemoral joint), and the joint between the thigh-bone and the knee-cap (called the patella-femoral joint).

 

Risk factors

There are certain factors associated with higher rates of knee OA. These include:

  • Age: Rates of knee OA increase in the elderly
  • Obesity: Rates of knee OA increase with higher levels of obesity
  • Gender: Females slightly out-do the males with this one, being approximately 1.5 times more likely to develop it
  • Trauma: A trauma to the knee can increase your likelihood of developing knee OA
  • Smoking: Smoking is associated with higher rates of knee OA

 

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of knee OA include:

  • Pain
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Difficulty performing functional movements including squatting and kneeling

 

Pain associated with tibiofemoral OA commonly affects the inside region of the knee first, where the two bones meet at the joint line. Patella-femoral related pain is often felt deep behind the kneecap. Pain will vary from one person to another, and the severity of pain does not necessarily relate to the severity of degeneration. Although if you speak to a person who is about to have a joint replacement surgery (i.e. their joint has degenerated to the point of needing a surgical intervention to keep the person functioning well), they will likely tell you that the pain is extremely debilitating.

Pain and stiffness are regularly felt first thing in the morning and late at night. OA tends to respond well to movement of the joints, and so people often find their pain and stiffness improves once they are up and moving, for it to return once their day has finished and they are relaxing at night.

 

Treatment

So, you’ve been diagnosed with knee OA. What to do? Call your osteo… Ta-dah!!!! Given we are experts in how the human body moves (we study human biomechanics at uni), we’re good at picking up how the body should and shouldn’t move. There are no magic pills for treating OA of the knee, and no practitioner can claim to treat the disease itself, as there is unfortunately no cure for OA. It is a progressive, degenerative disease, but there are ways of stunting the progression of this condition if the risk factors leading to its presence are attacked head on.

Poor movement resulting from daily postural repetitive strain, or an old injury that wasn’t treated to resolution is a big factor in the maintenance and development of OA in the knee. Poor movement or dysfunction occurring in the low back, hip or ankle can all lead to excessive load being placed through the knee joints, which can exacerbate the disease process. This is where we come in. We can watch you move during an assessment and work out what is causing the excessive loads through the knee and put a plan in place to improve range of motion and flexibility, strengthen muscles and return you to (hopefully) pain-free daily activities. We will use a combination of soft tissue manipulation, joint mobilization and progressive exercise programs to restore life to your body. Returning to efficient movement patterns after years of neglect, poor movement and a de-conditioned body part will take time, but with determination from both you and your practitioner, it can happen.

 

As previously mentioned, some cases of knee OA can end up requiring surgical intervention to replace either part of or the whole joint. The good news is, if you do have to go through this process, we have your back (well… in this case, your knee) and can help you through rehab and recovery. Many people who have a knee replacement return to full daily activities and live a long and pain-free life.

Knee pain? What are you waiting for? Call us today on (416) 546-4887 or book online to schedule your appointment.

 

References
1. Cui, A. et al. 2020. Global, regional prevalence, incidence and risk factors of knee osteoarthritis in population-based studies. EClinicalMedicine. 100587. 29-30. Available from: https://www.thelancet.com/action/showPdf?pii=S2589-5370%2820%2930331-X

  1. Arthritis Australia. 2016. Counting the cost. [Online]. Available from: https://arthritisaustralia.com.au/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/Final-Counting-the-Costs_Part1_MAY2016.pdf. [Accessed 09 February 2021]
  2. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. 2020. Cost statistics: The cost of arthritis in US adults. [Online]. Available from: https://www.cdc.gov/arthritis/data_statistics/cost.htm. [Accessed 09 February 2021]

Lateral Ankle Sprain

How many of us have rolled our ankle and damaged a ligament at some point in our life?! The answer is many of us. Approximately 2 million ankle ‘sprains’ (the word used to describe a ligament that has been over-stretched or torn) occur in the US every year alone, which gives you an idea of how many happen worldwide! Whilst many of these sprains occur in the sporting world, there are surprising amounts that occur in the general population. This shows us that we don’t have to be an elite sportsperson to be at risk of rolling our ankles. It’s an injury that can literally happen to any one of us… Picture Joe Bloggs walking down the street and slipping unexpectedly off the curb. Ouch!

What is a ligament sprain?

Let’s start at the beginning… Ligaments hold bone to bone. Two bones held together become a joint. Ligaments are responsible for providing a joint with stability (along with the muscles and tendons surrounding it), ensuring the bones of a joint do not move away from each other and dislocate. Ligaments are thick, strong bands of tissue that can withstand the majority of the large forces that run through our bodies when we move. Sometimes the force placed upon a ligament is too great for it to withstand, and this is when damage (or a sprain) occurs. Ligament sprains are generally categorized into the following grades:

  • Grade 1: A mild sprain with only damage seen at a microscopic level and no joint instability.
  • Grade 2: A moderate sprain where some, but not all, of the ligament fibres are torn. There may be very mild joint instability (or none) associated with this grade.
  • Grade 3: A severe sprain where all of the ligament fibres are torn leaving the joint unstable.

 

Why is a sprain of the outside of the ankle so common?

The outside (or lateral aspect) of the ankle joint is one of the most commonly sprained regions of the body. The two leg bones (the tibia and fibula) run down the leg from the knee and slot in with the ankle bone, or ‘talus’ (pronounced ‘tay-luss’). The fibula bone runs down the outside of the leg and the tibia runs down the middle/inside of the leg. The very ends of these bones are enlarged lumps (known as malleoli… ‘mal-ee-oh-lie’). You can feel these lumps either side of the ankle. Where the malleoli meet the talus is where the outside (lateral) and inside (medial) ligaments are found. The medial ligaments are much stronger than the lateral ligaments which result in the lateral ligaments being injured more commonly. A simple roll of the ankle can cause an over-stretching or tearing of the ligaments here, depending on the force being placed on the ankle as it rolls outwards. In a normal healthy ankle, the ability to roll the ankle outwards is greater than that of rolling inwards… Another reason why lateral ankle sprains tend to occur more often.

 

Risk factors

One of the biggest risk factors for a lateral ankle sprain is having a history of ankle sprains. If you have done it previously, you are more likely to sprain it again! Other risk factors include:

  • Being hyper-mobile or having excessive range of motion at the ankle joint due to naturally looser ligaments.
  • Playing sports where turning, twisting and pivoting at high speed are a large part of the game (i.e. netball, basketball, football (any form), and racket sports)
  • Being taller and heavier in weight
  • Having wider feet

 

Signs and symptoms

Sometimes when you roll your ankle, the force placed on the ligament is not great enough to damage it. In these instances, you may experience no symptoms at all. For instances where the force is great enough to damage the ligament, you can expect to experience any or all of the following (depending on the severity of the injury):

  • Pain (possibly preceded by an audible click or pop) over and around the affected ligament
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limping on the affected side when walking
  • Reduced movement of the affected ankle
  • Instability of the ankle joint (i.e. excessive movement) if severe enough

After a severe injury you may not be able to walk immediately. The more severe the sprain, the more likely other structures in and around the ankle may be affected, including the possibility of fracture and/or dislocation (if the force is great enough).

 

Treatment

Most cases of lateral ankle sprains that enter our clinic are mild to moderate in nature. More severe injuries are often dealt with initially at an emergency department (i.e. if it has been necessary to rule out a fracture/dislocation), but may present to our clinic for ongoing management once the acute injury has begun to heal.

The first goal of treatment for lateral ankle sprains is to regain a normal walking pattern, whilst reducing the risk of further injury. This is likely to mean zero participation in your chosen sport to begin with, especially if pivoting and turning play a large part. We will work on reducing pain by massaging the muscles of the leg and foot. We may also need to work on muscles higher up the body, such as your back, glutes, hamstring and quad muscles. Any stiffened joints will be mobilized gently to restore range of motion. Any swelling can be dealt with using drainage techniques of the lower limb.

When normal walking has resumed, you can progressively load the ankle by adding in strengthening, balance, and more multi-directional agility exercises. The end goal for a sportsperson is to return to training followed by full match play. A non-sportsperson will look to return to their normal daily life without pain or dysfunction. A mild to moderate ankle sprain will take approximately 6-8 weeks to heal. More severe injuries can take months.

If you have sprained your ankle and need some help, look no further than your trusty osteopath. Call us today on (416) 546-4887 or book online to book your appointment and begin treatment immediately.

References
1. Mackenzie, MH. et al. 2019. Epidemiology of Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability. Journal of Athletic Training. 54 (6). 603-610. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6602402/pdf/i1062-6050-54-6-603.pdf
2. Physiopedia. 2021. Ligament sprains. [Online]. Available from: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Ligament_Sprain. [Accessed 08 March 2021]
3. Beynnon, BD. et al. 2002. Predictive Factors for Lateral Ankle Sprains: A Literature Review. Journal of Athletic Training. 37 (4). 376-380. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164368/pdf/attr_37_04_0376.pdf

Acne and Acne Scars

Acne forms when a hair follicle becomes plugged with oil or dead skin cells. The most common locations are on the face, forehead, chest, upper back and shoulders. The main causes of acne are excess oil, dead skin cells, bacteria and inflammation. There are many triggers that can cause acne. Hormonal changes especially during puberty or menopause cause more oil production which leads to more clogged follicles. Certain medications can also lead to increased oil production. Diet and stress can also play a huge role in exacerbating acne.

The use of Nanofractional Radiofrequency is an effective treatment for the reduction of acne scars. This service is now provided at Beachealth

Acne can range in severity:

  • Whiteheads, blackheads
  • Papules (Red and tender bumps)
  • Pustules (Papule with pus)
  • Nodules (Large painful lumps under skin)
  • Cystic (Painful pus filled lump under the skin)

Untreated or improperly treated acne can increase the risk of complications. The most common complication of acne are scars. Severe acne can leave long-term scars even after the acne has healed. Another complication is changes to skin color, after the acne has healed the skin may be lighter or darker than the surrounding skin.

There are many different treatment plans available and if you have tried over-the-counter products for a couple of months with no success you should see a professional before your acne becomes too severe or you cause damage to your skin. The professional will make a plan to help control your current acne, reduce the risk of scars or make current scars less noticeable.

All treatments plans are based on severity and medical history. The most common treatments given from a professional will include topical (retinol or antibiotic based) and oral medications (accutane, antibiotics or oral contraceptives). Other common treatments include: light therapy, chemical peels, drainage or injections.

There are many other treatments one should consider under the supervision of a professional. Many lifestyle changes can help such as: diet changes, proper cleaning (too much can cause irritation), avoid irritants, avoid picking and taking certain supplements and herbs.

If you have scars from past acne you can get IPL or microneedling procedures, apply topicals or take certain supplements to improve the appearance of the scars.

Dr. Pace, ND does full intakes to provide you with your personalized treatment plan to control your current acne, he also provides aesthetic treatments to decrease the appearance of acne scars. Book an initial Naturopathic appointment or a complimentary aesthetic consultation with him.

 

 

Best Sunscreen

Which sunscreen should I be using?

We are now entering the higher UV rating seasons and sunblock is a must for all individuals. UVA and UVB are both carcinogenic. UVA penetrates to the mid-dermis layer and causes most of the photoaging issues such as wrinkles, lentigines, telangiectasis, and altered collagen and elastin. UVB penetrates to the base of the epidermis where cells DNA is damaged and potentially causes cancer. UVB is also responsible for those nasty sunburns.

Now how do we select the right sunscreen? I suggest any sunscreen is better than none, but if you have a choice then select wisely.

We have chemical and physical sunscreens:

  • Chemical sunscreens protect the skin by creating a photochemical reaction, it absorbs the UV and transforms it into harmless wave radiation and re-emits it as heat. These have a less cloudy and better appearance on the skin. Roughly 2% of people will see skin irritation due to the chemicals. Also they degrade with sun exposure and need to be re-applied.
  • Physical sunscreens protect the skin by scattering and reflecting the UV rays. The older versions are cloudy and hard to apply, but newer micronized versions apply almost as nicely as the chemical ones. The risk of irritation is much lower and they do not breakdown over time and therefore do not need reapplications as frequently.

 

Every year the EWG (Environmental Working Group) releases a guide that includes most sunscreens and provides the hazards and effectiveness of each. You can log on to their website and search each sunscreen. https://www.ewg.org/sunscreen/ (2021 list comes out soon)

I check out the EWG list every year as some companies change their ingredients. I also like to minimize my chemical burden therefore I choose a physical sunscreen.

 

There are also other things you can do to protect against sun damage:

  • wear UV absorbing clothes
  • wear a hat
  • avoid sun exposure ie bring an umbrella to the beach
  • take supplements that are photoprotective (Vitamin C and E)
  • make sure your current medications are not photosensitizing

 

What can I do if I do have sun damage?

  • again there are supplements that can help repair skin damage (Vit A/C/E, zinc and selenium)
  • topical creams including certain ingredients, timing of these creams matter as some of the creams should not be put on when you are outside (Vit A/B/C)
  • laser treatment to remove sun spots and decrease wrinkles (IPL and Nanofractional radio frequency)

 

If you have any questions regarding prevention or treatment of sun-damaged skin please book an appointment with Matthew Pace, Naturopathic Doctor or Lada Milos Lee, Chiropodist.

 

https://beachealth.janeapp.com/#/aesthetics

Spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is a spinal condition that in the sports world most commonly affects cricketers and gymnasts, but in reality, can affect anyone! Pronounced ‘spon-di-lo-lice-thee-sis’, it most commonly affects the lowest segments of the lower spine region.

What is spondylolisthesis?

Spondylolisthesis is the slipping forward of one vertebra on another. This most commonly occurs at the L5 segment (the lowest vertebrae in the lumbar spine), which slips forward on the S1 segment of the sacral bone. The runner up? L4, which is also a commonly affected area.

There are a few different causes of this condition, and so it has been classified into different types. There are five categories of spondylolisthesis. These are:

  1. Degenerative: Occurs due to degenerative changes to the spinal facet joints and discs
  2. Isthmic: Occurs due to a bone defect in a part of the vertebrae known as the ‘pars interarticularis’
  3. Traumatic: Occurs following a trauma that results in a fracture of either the spinal facet joints or pars interarticularis.
  4. Dysplastic: Occurs due to a developmental defect of the vertebrae which alters the direction of the spinal facet joints, leaving the segment(s) open to slippage in the area where they are partially held in place by the facet joints.
  5. Pathologic: Occurs secondary to a medical problem such as infection or cancer.

In theory, any process that leads to the weakening of the supportive structures of the spinal segments (i.e. the bones, ligaments, discs, muscles) can lead to abnormal movement of the spine.

 

Grades of spondylolisthesis

Spondylolisthesis is further classified based on the amount of slippage that has occurred:

  • Grade 1: Between 0-25% of the vertebral body has slipped forward on the vertebrae below
  • Grade 2: Between 25-50% has slipped forward
  • Grade 3: Between 50-75% has slipped forward
  • Grade 4: Over 75% of the vertebral body has slipped forward

The most commonly reported grade of this condition is grade one, accounting for approximately 75% of all cases.

 

Signs and symptoms

These vary depending on the cause, but can include any or all of the following:

  • Low back pain, including pain in the buttocks
  • Pain along the back of the thigh which rarely goes lower than the knee
  • Tight hamstring muscles
  • Changes in walking pattern
  • Pins and needles and/or numbness down the legs
  • Bowel and bladder dysfunction (in more severe cases)

If you come to us with low back and/or leg pain, we are trained to work out exactly what is going on based on your symptoms and medical history. We will ask you lots of questions to begin with to dwindle our list of potential diagnoses to just one or two. Then we’ll get you to move and through a thorough movement assessment, will be able to come to a specific diagnosis that we will work with you to treat.

Sometimes we may require the help of imaging to rule in or out spondylolisthesis, depending on the severity of symptoms and how much it is impacting your life. In these cases, we will send you off for an x-ray which can detect this issue.

 

Treatment

Most cases of spondylolisthesis can be managed conservatively, meaning non-surgical options are chosen over a surgical one. When this injury occurs, the instability of the particular spinal segment can lead to many of the signs and symptoms mentioned above. One of the main goals of treatment is to increase stability around the affected area and offload the forces that are acting on the injured area.

We will spend time educating you on the mechanics of the spine. If you understand what is happening to your spine, you will know how to protect it, without adding unnecessary stress to the area. We will also advise on appropriate footwear, as well as standing, seated and sleeping postures. Being obese or overweight is also a risk factor for developing, as well as maintaining this problem. If you need to lose weight, we can help you formulate a plan to get there.

Exercise to increase core stability, as well as flexibility of tight muscles is a very important part of therapy as this will reduce the need for external supports such as braces in the long term. And of course, not forgetting our wonderful hands which will get to work on your muscles and joints to reduce tension and tightness, while increasing range of motion. Our osteopaths can help you manage your spondylolisthesis.

All of the above treatments will help you to manage pain, increase function and get you back to work or sport or gardening… Whatever your goal is! Call us today on (416) 546-4887 or book online at beachealth.janeapp.com if you have low back pain, or even if you already have a diagnosis of spondylolisthesis, and we can help you formulate a recovery plan to get you on the road to better health.

 

References

  1. Chila, AG. et al. 2011. Foundations of Osteopathic Medicine. 3rd ed. Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins: Philadelphia
  2. Tenny, S. and Gillis, C. 2020. Spondylolisthesis. StatPearls Publishing. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK430767/

Lateral Ankle Sprain

How many of us have rolled our ankle and damaged a ligament at some point in our life?! The answer is many of us. Many sprains occur in the sporting world, but there are surprising amounts that occur in the general population. This shows us that we don’t have to be an elite sportsperson to be at risk of rolling our ankles. It’s an injury that can literally happen to any one of us… Picture Joe Bloggs walking down the street and slipping unexpectedly off the curb. Ouch!

What is a ligament sprain?

Let’s start at the beginning… Ligaments hold bone to bone. Two bones held together become a joint. Ligaments are responsible for providing a joint with stability (along with the muscles and tendons surrounding it), ensuring the bones of a joint do not move away from each other and dislocate. Ligaments are thick, strong bands of tissue that can withstand the majority of the large forces that run through our bodies when we move. Sometimes the force placed upon a ligament is too great for it to withstand, and this is when damage (or a sprain) occurs. Ligament sprains are generally categorised into the following grades:

  • Grade 1: A mild sprain with only damage seen at a microscopic level and no joint instability.
  • Grade 2: A moderate sprain where some, but not all, of the ligament fibres are torn. There may be very mild joint instability (or none) associated with this grade.
  • Grade 3: A severe sprain where all of the ligament fibres are torn leaving the joint unstable.

 

Why is a sprain of the outside of the ankle so common?

The outside (or lateral aspect) of the ankle joint is one of the most commonly sprained regions of the body. The two leg bones (the tibia and fibula) run down the leg from the knee and slot in with the ankle bone, or ‘talus’ (pronounced ‘tay-luss’). The fibula bone runs down the outside of the leg and the tibia runs down the middle/inside of the leg. The very ends of these bones are enlarged lumps (known as malleoli… ‘mal-ee-oh-lie’). You can feel these lumps either side of the ankle. Where the malleoli meet the talus is where the outside (lateral) and inside (medial) ligaments are found. The medial ligaments are much stronger than the lateral ligaments which result in the lateral ligaments being injured more commonly. A simple roll of the ankle can cause an over-stretching or tearing of the ligaments here, depending on the force being placed on the ankle as it rolls outwards. In a normal healthy ankle, the ability to roll the ankle outwards is greater than that of rolling inwards… Another reason why lateral ankle sprains tend to occur more often.

 

Risk factors

One of the biggest risk factors for a lateral ankle sprain is having a history of ankle sprains. If you have done it previously, you are more likely to sprain it again! Other risk factors include:

  • Being hyper-mobile or having excessive range of motion at the ankle joint due to naturally looser ligaments.
  • Playing sports where turning, twisting and pivoting at high speed are a large part of the game (i.e. netball, basketball, football (any form), and racket sports)
  • Being taller and heavier in weight
  • Having wider feet

 

Signs and symptoms

Sometimes when you roll your ankle, the force placed on the ligament is not great enough to damage it. In these instances, you may experience no symptoms at all. For instances where the force is great enough to damage the ligament, you can expect to experience any or all of the following (depending on the severity of the injury):

  • Pain (possibly preceded by an audible click or pop) over and around the affected ligament
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Limping on the affected side when walking
  • Reduced movement of the affected ankle
  • Instability of the ankle joint (i.e. excessive movement) if severe enough

After a severe injury you may not be able to walk immediately. The more severe the sprain, the more likely other structures in and around the ankle may be affected, including the possibility of fracture and/or dislocation (if the force is great enough).

 

Treatment

Most cases of lateral ankle sprains that enter our clinic are mild to moderate in nature. More severe injuries are often dealt with initially at an emergency department (i.e. if it has been necessary to rule out a fracture/dislocation), but may present to our clinic for ongoing management once the acute injury has begun to heal.

The first goal of treatment for lateral ankle sprains is to regain a normal walking pattern, whilst reducing the risk of further injury. This is likely to mean zero participation in your chosen sport to begin with, especially if pivoting and turning play a large part. We will work on reducing pain by massaging the muscles of the leg and foot. We may also need to work on muscles higher up the body, such as your back, glutes, hamstring and quad muscles. Any stiffened joints will be mobilized gently to restore range of motion. Any swelling can be dealt with using drainage techniques of the lower limb.

When normal walking has resumed, you can progressively load the ankle by adding in strengthening, balance, and more multi-directional agility exercises. The end goal for a sportsperson is to return to training followed by full match play. A non-sportsperson will look to return to their normal daily life without pain or dysfunction. A mild to moderate ankle sprain will take approximately 6-8 weeks to heal. More severe injuries can take months.

If you have sprained your ankle and need some help, look no further, our team can help you get back and running. Our osteopaths can help with treatment and rehab, whilst our chiropodist can help out with alignment corrections and shoe recommendations. Call us today on (416) 546-4887 or book online at beachealth.janeapp.com to book your appointment and begin treatment immediately.

 

 

References
1. Mackenzie, MH. et al. 2019. Epidemiology of Ankle Sprains and Chronic Ankle Instability. Journal of Athletic Training. 54 (6). 603-610. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6602402/pdf/i1062-6050-54-6-603.pdf
2. Physiopedia. 2021. Ligament sprains. [Online]. Available from: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Ligament_Sprain. [Accessed 08 March 2021]
3. Beynnon, BD. et al. 2002. Predictive Factors for Lateral Ankle Sprains: A Literature Review. Journal of Athletic Training. 37 (4). 376-380. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164368/pdf/attr_37_04_0376.pdf

Pain management: Acupuncture and more

Acupuncture can help relieve pains such as: Low back pain, headaches, menstrual cramps, nerve pain, all
muscles and joint pains, fibromyalgia and much more. The needle may be inserted where the pain is and
may be inserted in other points along the body that help treat pain. When the needles are inserted they
cause the release of endorphins which are the body’s natural pain killer. Depending on the type of pain the
needles may be inserted and left in for 20 minutes, in other situations the needles may be manipulated.
The needle would be twisted or could be moved in and out quickly to break up a trigger point.

Electro-stimulation: This is an add on to acupuncture, a small current is passed through the needles or
beside them with pads. The frequency is adjusted to a threshold that is comfortable but also therapeutic.
The run time of this method is around 20 minutes. This option is not painful but may be uncomfortable
for some.

 

Moxibustion: This is also an add on to acupuncture, heat is applied to the area. This can be done with
infra red lamps or with burning moxa. This increases temperatures which increases circulation to the area.
This is great for pain management or circulation issues. Again this is a none painful treatment.

 

Cupping: Although sometimes used with acupuncture, most treatments with cupping are done before or
after an acupuncture treatment. A suction cup is placed on the skin, and either kept in place or dragged
along the skin. This is a great options for releasing muscle tension, it also increases circulation.
If you are interested in any of these treatments please contact Beachealth and Dr. Pace ND can answer
any of your questions.

Movement Breaks

Movement Snacks…are you getting enough?

As the pandemic approaches its first anniversary, many people have found themselves working from home for longer hours, at improvised workstations, tables, chairs, and even ironing boards (actually a good idea!). Often missing is the daily commute or walking somewhere for lunch or a coffee. As a result of this, tight and aching backs, necks, shoulders and hips are many of the common complaints we see at the clinic. While the mental and physical benefits of daily exercise are vast and very important so is regular movement throughout the day. A sedentary 8+ hour workday can lead to fatigue in overworking muscles and tightness and weakness in underworking muscles, and decreased circulation overall.


One way to think of incorporating movement into your day is movement snacks! We take time to fuel our bodies with nutritious food throughout the day, why not consider giving your body nutritious movement throughout the day as well. Nutritious movement should include movement for all areas of the body in all directional planes. Our bodies were built to move – to squat, push, pull, lift, twist, bend, and rotate. Just make sure you’re adding movement in a way that’s pain free and comfortable for your body.

 

Here are some easy ways to incorporate more movement throughout your day:

* Change your position hourly – if you have a portable computer, consider stacking some books or boxes on a table top, or better, yet get out that height adjustable ironing board to create a standing workstation. If your body allows, sit cross legged or kneeling on the floor with your computer on a stool.
* To provide more movement to your thoracic spine and shoulders, circle your arms overhead, rotate your torso, and add in some side bends.
* To provide more movement to your hips, knees and ankles, add some squats and lunges, rotate your hips or march in place.
* Climb the stairs in your home twice an hour.
* If you have a solid door frame, reach for it and hang from it for 5-10 seconds (if that’s too extreme, just stretch your arms overhead).
* Or…simply add movement you like and what feels good for your body, just do more of it, more often.

 

Written by: Jennifer Ingram

Athlete’s Foot

The term “athlete’s foot” can be very misleading because you don’t have to be an athlete to suffer from this condition. Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a common contagious fungal infection affecting the skin and nails of the feet, which cause itching and irritation.

Athlete’s foot is caused by a fungal infection that manifests in a scaly, red rash on the foot that itches, especially at night. Blisters or ulcers may also appear. Athlete’s foot can affect one or both feet and can spread to your hands if you scratch or pick the infection.

Having sweaty feet confined in tight-fitting shoes or coming into contact with someone who has the conditions. Communal showers, locker rooms, and pool decks are common places where the infection can be contracted if you are not taking precautions, like wearing shower shoes.

You are at an increased risk of athlete’s foot if you’re:

  • Male
  • Wear damp socks or tight-fitting shoes
  • Share mats, rugs, bed linens, clothes or shoes with someone who has an infection
  • Walk barefoot in public areas, like locker rooms, saunas, swimming pools, and communal showers
  • Have a weakened immune system’

Prevention & Treatment:

There are over-the-counter creams that can usually effectively treat and eliminate the infection within two weeks.

You can also prevent the spread of Athlete’s foot by wearing sandals in public locker rooms and around swimming areas. Be sure to maintain clean showers and floors at home where you frequently walk barefoot and cover your feet with socks or shoes until the infection has dissipated. Also, keep your feet clean and dry if you choose to wear socks and shoes for long periods of time.

Don’t forget to continually disinfect your footwear to ensure you will not accidentally reinfect yourself.

 

When To Seek Care:

If these treatments don’t work, or if you have increasing pain, fever, swelling of the foot, blisters or open sores, it’s time to seek treatment for a possible bacterial infection. A more aggressive course of treatment may be prescribed by chiropodist (your foot specialist) at our clinic. Please call us, or book online with our chiropodist Lada Milos Lee.

Connective Tissue Disease

The human body is made up of trillions of cells. Recent findings suggest as many as 30 trillion cells combine to form the human body at any one time. That’s pretty much impossible to comprehend. But combine they do, and what beautiful forms we are! Have you ever thought how all those cells stay together so well? Well… Our intricate and amazing bodies contain special tissues (made up of proteins) known as ‘connective tissues’ (CTs), which act as a glue to hold everything together. Without connective tissue, we may just exist as one big blobby puddle on the floor!

As well as their glue-like property, CTs allow the tissues of the body to stretch and recoil… A little bit like an elastic band. Some common examples of proteins that make up the CTs in the body include ‘collagen’ and ‘elastin’ (you may have heard of these before). It is possible for a person to have a disease which directly affects the CTs of the body. Collectively these are known as connective tissues diseases (CTDs), or diseases of connective tissue. As connective tissue is found all over the body, nearly all of the body can be affected. CTDs may affect the skin, blood vessels, blood, muscles, fat, bones, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and other joint-related tissues. Even the eye can be affected!

Types of CTD

There are two main types of CTD… Genetic and autoimmune. We’ll explain what these mean:

Genetic: These types of diseases are inherited. This is usually because of a single mutated gene that is passed on from your parents to you.
Autoimmune: These types of diseases occur because your body’s defence system (aka the immune system) views the CTs as foreign and attacks them. This results in a painful, inflammation-driven condition where a person regularly experiences redness, heat, swelling and pain in specific parts of their body.

Genetic CTDs

Examples of genetic diseases of CT (with a little description of each) include:

Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: Affects the collagen in our body, resulting in excessively stretchy skin, hyper-mobile joints and abnormal scar tissue formation. There are over ten forms of this condition.
Marfans syndrome: Affects fibrillin (a protein) in the body, resulting in longer bones and thin and long fingers and toes. People with Marfans are usually very tall and slender.
Osteogenesis Imperfecta: Another condition that affects collagen, resulting in brittle bones, weak and thin skin, loose ligaments and a lower than average muscle mass.

Autoimmune CTDs

Examples of autoimmune diseases of CT include:

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA): The body attacks the membranes that hold the joints together resulting in pain, stiffness, degeneration and destruction of joints throughout the body. RA typically affects the small joints of the hands and feet.
Sjogren’s syndrome: A disease which typically leaves a person with an excessively dry mouth and eyes. People also regularly experience joint pain.
Systemic Lupus Erythematosis (SLE): A condition that causes inflammation of the skin, internal organs and joints. Other symptoms include mouth ulcers, heart, lung and kidney problems, hair loss and mental health issues.

It is useful to point out there are many other CTDs. Having one CTD means you are more likely to have other CTDs as well.

Treatment

So where does my osteo come into the equation? Being the holistic practitioners we are, we can help in many ways. People with CTDs regularly need help with joint range of motion, as well as an exercise program to help strengthen the body. Treatment and exercise need to be carefully planned out with CTDs, so having someone with experience to help you manage a potentially difficult condition is always handy. We can also help to educate you on what the diseases are, and how they affect you to ensure you have the correct self-help strategies in place.

Have you been diagnosed with a CTD? If so, get in touch today for an appointment. We’d love to be a part of your team!

 

References
1. Healthline. 2018. Diseases of connective tissue, from genetic to autoimmune. [Online]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/connective-tissue-disease#types. [Accessed 16 Dec 2020]
2. Genetic and rare diseases information centre. 2014. Mixed connective tissue disease. [Online]. Available from: https://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/diseases/7051/mixed-connective-tissue-disease. [Accessed 16 Dec 2020]
3. Science Direct. 2019. Connective tissue disease. [Online]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/medicine-and-dentistry/connective-tissue-disease. [Accessed 16 Dec 2020]
4. Healthline. 2018. How many cells are in the human body? Fast facts. [Online]. Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/number-of-cells-in-body. [Accessed 16 Dec 2020]