Traditional Osteopathy can be used to treat a wide range of conditions. Below is a list of aliments that the Bellingham Osteopathic Center has had successful treatment and resolve.
Osteopathic treatment can help normalize the spinal biomechanics, relax muscular spasm, resolve fascial and ligamentous strain patterns, and increase normal blood flow in the cranium, all of which will relieve both migraine and tension headaches. These treatments not only help to resolve the current symptoms, but also the chronic issues associated with headaches by supporting the resolution of the anatomic and physiologic causes of those headaches.
Cranial Osteopathy is a profound healing modality for the treatment of acute and chronic head injury issues. By supporting the inherent healing process of the brain and spinal cord, and by normalizing the anatomic and physiologic relationships in the cranium and spinal column, Osteopathy helps the body resolve the deep strain patterns in the bones, muscles, ligaments and membranes. This allows the return of normal mechanical function, as well as the resolution of cognitive and other neurologic difficulties that are a result of head trauma.
From an Osteopathic perspective, the treatment of neck, back, rib and shoulder pain involves much more than simply aligning the symptomatic bones and joints. Each patient needs to be treated very individually, to bring all aspects of the living anatomy and physiology into balance. This will be different in every patient, as we have each adapted to life stress, trauma and genetic predispositions in our own unique ways. These adaptions need to be respected and included in the treatment process, which is very different than treating every patient with the same procedures.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment brings all aspects of the functional anatomy into balance: the spinal cord and brain, all related nerves and surrounding membranes, the fascia and related ligaments and tendons, complex muscular patterns, as well as the lymphatic, arterial and venous fluid fluctuation.
Osteopathic treatment is very specific for the individual symptoms, while at the same time also treating the anatomy and physiology of the whole patient to affect a change that is much deeper and more comprehensive than most other modalities.
Balancing Acupuncture can also be very helpful in pain reduction, and it acts synergistically with an Osteopathic treatment.
Balancing Acupuncture can also be very helpful in helping to break a migraine cycle, and is often used synergistically with Osteopathic Manipulation at Bellingham Osteopathic Center.
Many lower extremity complaints, including pain, arthritic change and poor mechanical function, have multiple causes. These include prolonged sitting in sedentary work positions, athletic activity when the patient is not properly conditioned or mechanically aligned, and poor lifestyle choices.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment can integrate structural and physiologic changes in a patient so that the natural healing mechanisms to resolve inflammation and strain in the joints can function optimally. This can be very helpful with arthritic hips, sprained ankles and ligamentous or patellar issues in the knee. If the anatomic relationships surrounding the involved joint are normalized, the joint can begin to function more normally and naturally resolve the inflammatory changes associated with the dysfunction. Then a progressive strengthening and flexibility program can occur much more rapidly and successfully.
At Bellingham Osteopathic Center, we often incorporate Balancing Acupuncture into the treatment plan, as the effect combined with Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment is synergistic.
Traditional Osteopathy is extremely effective in treating lower back pain and sciatica without surgery or medication. It can assist the body in healing itself by balancing the autonomic (automatic) nervous system, decreasing the reflex arc patterns from the peripheral nervous system to muscles, ligaments and tendons in the lower back and pelvis. Then, using various techniques that balance the fascia, tendons, ligaments, nerves and blood vessels, the patient’s structure and physiology are brought into balance and alignment. This is always done for the entire body, and is much more integrated than chiropractic, physical therapy or massage.
In addition, in cases of sciatica, the entire pathway of the sciatic nerve is treated, including the pelvis, not just the areas in the lumbar spine. The Osteopathic approach allows a deep level of integrated balancing in which the patient is actually healing using their own nervous system and physiology, so that the healing is complete and can maintain itself with far fewer treatment than other modalities.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment is able to resolve and normalize functional relationships in all of the joints of the body. By helping the body to achieve biomechanical alignment, release the inflammation and the associated joint swelling or edema, resolve the strain patterns in the tendons, ligaments and joint capsules and relax the associated musculature, the cause of the arthritic change can begin to dissipate and resolve. This always needs to be combined with positive lifestyle and nutritional changes.
Cranial Osteopathy is also very helpful with any arthritic change that is potentially autoimmune in origin. By allowing the physiology and nervous system to achieve a state of neutral balance during a treatment, the psych-neuro-immune system will begin to decrease its activity against itself, which is the mechanism of an autoimmune illness. As the body learns what a healthy autonomic balance is, the symptoms begin to decrease over time. And of course, positive changes also need to occur in lifestyle, nutrition and thought process. In our experience, we have seen many patients have no further progression of their illness, and at times, remission.
Upper extremity and arm symptoms and pathology, and the pain that often accompanies them, are very common in this age of prolonged use of computers by large segments of the population. And of course, there are other sources of overuse, athletic trauma or physiologic change.
Osteopathic treatment can greatly help in the resolution of the pain and dysfunction of the upper extremity by treating the entire extremity as a functional unit, and by including any other aspects of the biomechanics in the body that are contributing to the dysfunction as well. This will involve the bony mechanics, fascial and ligamentous relationships, musculature and fluid dynamics. As the inflammation and pain begin to resolve, function returns naturally, and appropriate stretching and exercises will also speed the healing process.
At Bellingham Osteopathic Center, we also incorporate medical acupuncture and classical homeopathy will it will be of synergistic benefit for the patient.
Injuries and dysfunction in the areas of the thoracic outlet of the neck and ribs, the rotator cuff of the shoulder joint and the carpal tunnel in the wrist are very complex. They involve three dimensional relationships of many nerves, blood vessels, fascial and connective tissue relationships as well as the fluid dynamics of lymphatic and blood flow. All of these relationships must be addressed by a physician with significant palpatory skill, and with a thorough knowledge of all of the anatomic relationships, so that any manipulatory treatment will address all causal aspects of the dysfunction.
A skilled Osteopathic physician can help resolve complex and deep-seated issues such as these, by supporting the body’s attempt to normalize its function, decrease inflammation and promote normal fluid drainage of lymphatics and blood. At Bellingham Osteopathic Center, we have had three decades of experience each with such conditions, and have seen extraordinary changes happen in the healing response of our patients.
Pain in the pelvic and sacral region can be very debilitating and can greatly impact the life and function of the patient. Because of the complex anatomy of the area, with nerve plexus, the pelvic diaphragm, bony malalignments, blood and lymphatic drainage issues, and in addition the functional aspects of the bladder, bowel and reproductive organs, it is easy for normal physiology to become disturbed. The conventional and even alternative approaches are often confusing and only temporarily helpful.
The Osteopathic perspective and approach begins with balancing the function of the autonomic nervous system, and then begin unwinding and gently helping resolve the layers of trauma and compensation. This can mean helping the body resolve a long past difficult labor, unwinding scar tissue from surgery, addressing the anatomic reason for interstitial cystitis, supporting normal prostatic drainage, or releasing a coccyx that is bent from trauma and pressing on the associated nerves. In our thirty year of practice, we still feel greatly moved and rewarded in assisting the patient recover normal physiology and function.
Cranial Osteopathy is one of the most beneficial treatments available for acute and chronic sinus and ear infections. This is true for both pediatric patients and adults, although resolution of symptoms can take slightly longer in an adult due to the often longstanding nature of the biomechanical imbalance.
An Osteopathic treatment in a neonate or an infant, in our experience, can resolve even chronic otitis media by allowing the middle ear to drain any stagnant fluid before it has the chance to become infected. Once the bones and membranes of the cranium are moving in a physiologically normal manner, the cause of ear and sinus infections has been resolved, preventing the need for endless rounds of antibiotics or tube placement.
Jaw pain is becoming increasing more common in today’s fast-paced, stressful environment. It can also be the result of malocclusion of the teeth, cranial trauma or prior orthodontia. Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment addresses not only the jaw joint, but all of the related mechanics in the cranium and cervical spine. Other areas of the body can also contribute to a disturbance in the temporomandibular mechanics, and need to be addressed simultaneously by an experienced Osteopath for the entire strain pattern to resolve itself.
At Bellingham Osteopathic Center, we also work with dentists that have some knowledge of the mechanics of the cranium and cervical spine so that any dental work or orthodontia can support the neurophysiology of the patient, rather than contribute to additional strain patterns.
Patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and colic in infants have often had to resort to medication to alleviate their symptoms. While this may be appropriate in an acute setting, it cannot resolve the underlying physical cause for the ailment.
Osteopathic training includes the understanding of the neurologic relationship between bowel function and the nervous system. The trained Osteopath can assist the patient’s physiology to return to normal function by supporting subtle shifts in the central and peripheral nervous system and fascial planes. These changes calm down the irritability or stasis in the bowel and mucosa so that normal digestive function can return.
In neonates and infants, Osteopathic Treatment helps restore normal function by decreasing irritability in the vagus nerve and autonomic nervous system. The techniques involved are gentle and non-invasive with no side effects.
The journey through pregnancy, delivery and early infancy is an exciting and beautiful time, and can have particular issues that are inherent in the process. The growth of the baby has a profound effect on the biomechanics of the maternal spine and pelvis. Osteopathic treatment done regularly, and especially during the last trimester, can greatly alleviate the lower back pain, hip pain and other internal strains with pregnancy. In our experience at Bellingham Osteopathic Center, it can also be useful in gently encouraging a change of fetal position without the trauma of external version.
It is a wonderful gift for a newborn or infant to receive a Cranial Osteopathic treatment after birth. We have seen it be extremely helpful in alleviating suck/swallow difficulties, colic, a misshapen cranium from the birth process, torticollis, and many other early childhood issues. The treatment is extremely gentle and needs to be performed by an experienced, licensed physician. We offer the first newborn treatment as a gift for all of the mothers and fathers we have helped through pregnancy.
Osteopathic Physicians, especially those trained in Osteopathic Manipulation, recognize that fully functional physiology occurs when the anatomy is in normal relationship. By normalizing the relationships of the sacrum, and its relationship to the autonomic nervous system, as well as the ribs, diaphragm, lungs and sinuses, many of the symptoms of asthma and allergies will naturally resolve. This helps to greatly decrease the incidence of infection and helps improve pulmonary function and air flow.
Normalizing the functional anatomy is extremely important when dealing with chronic asthma and allergies, and works best when combined with appropriate environmental and lifestyle changes that vary for each patient. In addition, Balancing Acupuncture and Classical Homeopathy can add a great deal of additional support for the patient, and will act synergistically with an Osteopathic treatment.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment offers a comprehensive and extremely therapeutic treatment option for those suffering from the serious consequences of a motor vehicle accident and/or whiplash. The human body does not have a rapid enough reflex response time to prevent physiologic effects from the incredible amount of force generated in a motor vehicle accident. These effects can involve the entire neuromusculoskeletal system, and especially affect the more vulnerable central nervous system, including the brain and spinal cord and its related membranes and structures.
Whiplash injuries can involve the cranium, brain, the entire spinal column and cord, as well as the sacrum and pelvis. The strain patterns created by the accident affect the membranes of the brain and cord, the complex fascial planes, as well as bones and musculature. These symptoms can persist for weeks, months and even longer after an accident.
At Bellingham Osteopathic Center, we have been treating these types of injuries for over thirty years each, and have helped thousands of patients recover from these injuries. These complex traumatic strain patterns and dysfunctions need an integrated approach to treatment, and we often include Balancing Acupuncture and/or Classical Homeopathy in the treatment plan.
Athletic or sports injuries, and musician injuries are both related to intensive use and potential overuse of certain muscle groups and joint regions. In sports injuries, acute trauma is often involved. In the Osteopathic perspective, any dysfunction must be related to the whole and resolved by treating all of the interrelationships in the neuromusculoskeletal system. This requires a thorough knowledge of anatomic relationships and physiologic function.
Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment is unique in that all of the anatomic and physiologic relationship issues can be addressed with gentle palpatory technique, which will allow the inherent healing capacity of the individual to emerge as the bony, ligamentous, fascial and muscular components of the dysfunction or trauma are resolved. Whether the injury or dysfunction is acute or longstanding, the Osteopathic approach is extremely beneficial, and can improve healing and function when most other treatment modalities have not been successful.
Because Osteopathic Treatment addresses the imbalances in the nervous system, both autonomic and voluntary, it can be a powerful addition in treating the physical aspects of anxiety, ADHD and Asperger symptoms. Combined with Balancing Acupuncture and Classical Homeopathy, and in conjunction with other appropriate therapies, Osteopathy can help the patient stabilize in a more relaxed, neutral state. This then allows for further progression with other therapies and education, and can help take away the tremendous strain that individuals and families deal with in these situations.
An Osteopathic Cranial treatment is relaxing, non-threatening and is well tolerated and often requested by our pediatric patients dealing with anxiety or focusing issues. It can also be extremely helpful in treatment of the central effects of Down’s Syndrome, by helping the normalize cranial structure and function.