Low Back Pain – Psychological? - by admin@mcb on October 30 2017

Low Back Pain – Psychological?

Is Low Back Pain Caused by Our Emotions?

We’ve all used expressions similar to something or someone being “a pain in the neck” (or lower), but did we stop to consider that pains in our body, especially low back pain, may actually be brought on by a situation or relationship? More and more health care providers are starting to see that low back pain could be a result of psychological or emotional origins. This would include stress or relationship upheaval, rather than physical causes.

This is not true in all cases, and unexplained back pain should be assessed by your primary healthcare provider. Back pain could actually be a symptom of a more serious problem, such as a kidney stone, aortic aneurysm, appendicitis, gynecological issue, or other conditions.

The number one cause of job disability is back pain. In the USA alone, nearly one hundred billion (yes, billion with a b) dollars is spent on back pain each year. It is also often a gateway into opioid use, which causes chemical dependencies and an alarmingly high rate of deaths.

Back Pain Doctors Recognize the Mind/Body Link

People may not want to think that their very real physical pain has an emotional or psychological causes, but more and more medical studies are bearing this out.

The late Dr. John Sarno, “America’s most famous back pain doctor” (according to an article at www.vox.com), believed and taught that we unconsciously cause our own pain. He explained that pain is our brain’s response to stress, anger or fear that we are suppressing. By not addressing such emotions, our brains cope by redirecting the emotional impulses to restrict blood flow to certain parts of our body. This will result in pain. The pain serves as a distraction from the emotions that we consciously or subconsciously suppress.

Dr. Sarno firmly believed most people could overcome their pain if they were willing to acknowledge its psychological roots. To recover, he encouraged his clients to maintain their normal physical activity, and stop treatment for the pain. He also advised them to talk back to their brain, telling it they were no longer willing to feel the physical pain of repressed emotions. Patients should also stop repressing their emotions, stop thinking of themselves as having a physical injury, and accept that they had the mental power to overcome the pain.

Dr. Mel Pohl, with the University of Nevada School of Medicine, also believes emotions are a primary cause of pain. He claims that emotions trigger as much as 80 percent of all pain, including low back pain.

New Medical Guidelines for Treating Low Back Pain

This view has become so prevalent that the American College of Physicians recently issued updated treatment guidelines for low back pain. In order to avoid the use of opioids or other potentially addictive drugs, they now recommend the use of non-pharmacologic treatment. This includes superficial heat, massage, acupuncture, or spinal manipulation, and exercise or mindfulness-based stress reduction such as tai chi or yoga.

While massage therapists are not counselors or psychologists, if they have clients with recurring back pain of no specific origin, and medical causes have been ruled out, they should recommend that their client consider ways to reduce any emotional factors that could be contributing to the pain.

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Institute of Somatic Therapy offers online continuing education courses for massage therapists. Visit us at www.massagecredits.com for all of your CE needs.

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C-Section / Autism Linked - by admin@mcb on October 23 2017

C-Section / Autism Linked

C-Section Autism Linked

Recent medical studies in Sweden, including one that studied over 2.5 million births, suggested that children born by Cesarean section were 21 percent more likely than children born vaginally to be diagnosed with autism.

Doctors who promote natural deliveries are expressing concern of long term effects on humans from our current rate of C-Section births. One doctor who has been vocal on this is Dr. Michael Odent, who is well known for decades of encouraging natural labors and uninterrupted contact between the baby and mother until after the first breastfeeding.

Dr. Odent believes that rising autism rates may also be increased from inducing labor with synthetic oxytocin, such as Pitocin. Other interventions such as anesthesia drugs (epidurals), and elevated stress responses could also play a role.
Other medical care providers have suggested that correlation does not equal causation. In other words, just because there is a higher rate of autism among babies born by C-Section, it is not necessarily the C-Section that created that result. Pediatrician Paul Wang notes that it is entirely possible that a fetus with developmental issues may in some way play a role in a higher need for a C-Section. If the baby has low muscle tone, it might impact his or her ability to move into proper position during labor, making surgical intervention more likely to be needed.

No one disputes that C-sections are a blessing for individuals whose lives can be saved by them, but Dr. Odent believes firmly that deviations from nature’s ways has a price, and increased prevalence of autism may be part of that price.

Reducing C-Sections with a Doula

Whatever the cause, or whether or not autism is related to C-Section, if there are proven methods of reducing the need for C-Section, Pitocin, epidurals, or other interventions during labor, those methods should be used as a first resort. And there is such a method – the presence of a labor support provider (doula) with the birthing mother.

Last fall, Cochrane, a global independent network of researchers, performed a meta-analysis of doula studies. They complied 26 studies that provided data from 17 countries, involving more than 15,000 women. Their analysis confirmed what massage doulas already know, that there is a 60 percent reduction in women’s odds of having a C-section, and 80 percent lower odds of having a nonmedically indicated C-section when women have a doula. Here is a summary of their analysis:

Continuous support during labour may improve outcomes for women and infants, including increased spontaneous vaginal birth, shorter duration of labour, and decreased caesarean birth, instrumental vaginal birth, use of any analgesia, use of regional analgesia, low five-minute Apgar score and negative feelings about childbirth experiences. We found no evidence of harms of continuous labour support. Subgroup analyses should be interpreted with caution, and considered as exploratory and hypothesis-generating, but evidence suggests continuous support with certain provider characteristics, in settings where epidural analgesia was not routinely available, in settings where women were not permitted to have companions of their choosing in labour, and in middle-income country settings, may have a favourable impact on outcomes such as caesarean birth. Future research on continuous support during labour could focus on longer-term outcomes (breastfeeding, mother-infant interactions, postpartum depression, self-esteem, difficulty mothering) and include more woman-centred outcomes in low-income settings.

Becoming a Massage Doula

If you are a massage therapist who would like to be part of helping women achieve healthier labors, you should become a massage doula. The Institute of Somatic Therapy has been offering doula certification training since 1999. To learn more, visit Institute of Somatic Therapy Massage Doula Certification Package or visit our sister website: www.massagedoula.com

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Sources for this post:

Photo courtesy of www.pixabay.com


Is “Fibromyalgia” Actually Morton’s Foot Syndrome? - by admin@mcb on October 09 2017

Is “Fibromyalgia” Actually Morton’s Foot Syndrome?

The Fibromyalgia-Morton’s Foot Connection

Fibromyalgia syndrome is often present in people who have a condition known as Morton’s Foot Syndrome (sometimes called Morton’s Toe). Fibromyalgia is sometimes a bit of a “catch all” diagnosis for multiple areas of pain in the soft tissue. There are 18 pain points used in the diagnosis. What is little known and not well understood is that often the source of pain can actually be an abnormal bone structure of the foot called Morton’s Foot Syndrome.

What is Fibromyalgia?

“Fibro” mean fibrous tissue (connective tissue such as tendons and ligaments), “My” means muscles, “Algia” means pain. Therefore, fibromyalgia means pain in the muscles and connective tissues of the body.

What is Morton’s Foot Syndrome?

Morton’s Foot Structure (also known as Morton’s Foot Syndrome and Morton’s Toe) is a hereditary condition characterized by either 1) excessive mobility of the first metatarsal bone, or 2) a short first metatarsal bone in comparison to the second metatarsal bone.

This foot structure results in less stability and improper weight bearing action of the foot. With each step, the overly mobile or overly short first metatarsal tends to give way, forcing more weight to be put onto the second metatarsal. The foot attempts to compensate by hyperpronating or dropping the arch. The body compensates with an inward rotation of the lower leg, and to compensate for that, an external rotation at the hip joint. Every joint is bearing weight in an awkwardly rotated position, which causes every muscle attached to those joints to be lengthened or shortened in the process, creating a series of trigger points in the muscles.

When a foundation is unbalanced, the entire structure is unbalanced, so the pain goes from head-to-toe. Seemingly unrelated conditions such as jaw pain are often side effects of Morton’s Foot Syndrome.

Morton’s Foot and Myofascial Pain

The leading physician behind most of our current understanding on trigger points and myofascial pain, Dr. Janet Travell, determined that as much as 80% of all myofascial pain (not just in fibromyalgia) is caused by Morton’s Foot Syndrome.

Among my fibromyalgia patients, I am finding that nearly all of them actually have Morton’s Foot Syndrome, and when the foot condition and the muscle imbalances it caused is addressed, the “fibromyalgia” suddenly gets much better.

To Learn More

To learn more about Fibromyalgia and Morton’s Foot, Institute of Somatic Therapy offers two online continuing education courses for massage therapists. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the NCBTMB as a continuing education Approved Provider #280672-00.

For details on these courses, click the links below:
Fibromyalgia – Stop the Suffering
Morton’s Foot Structure
Complete List of Our Courses

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Institute of Somatic Therapy  www.massagecredits.com

“Committed to Excellence in Continuing Education”

The Institute of Somatic Therapy is committed to providing the best online home study continuing education courses available to massage therapists. Institute of Somatic Therapy is approved by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) as a continuing education Approved Provider. Provider # 280672-00. Our massage CEUs/credits are also valid for AMTA and ABMP. We are approved by the Florida Board of Massage (Provider #MCE326), the Georgia Board of Massage, the New York State Board for Massage Therapy (#0019), and CE Broker (Provider #50-1116). Our massage therapy continuing education courses are valid for most state massage therapy CEU requirements.