Scar Therapy and Back Pain Relief

For fourteen years I’ve had low-grade low back pain. Not enough to really get in the way of my life, but enough to get me to the RMT now and then, and enough to keep me going to yoga regularly.

When it flares up, I always blame it on driving too much, sitting too much, not getting to yoga enough, not stretching enough, etc.

Until recently.

I was in the office of Dr. Jen Fawcett, DC, a chiropractor here in Collingwood, and we started discussing the use of Graston Technique for scar therapy.

Graston Technique employs the use of stainless steel tools to rub adhesions in the muscles and scars in the connective tissue to promote the healing and reintegration of the tissue. Dr. Jen said she used it a lot on post-surgical scars, and I told her I had a C-section scar, and that since the birth of my daughter I’d had a hard time building core strength. She suggested we treat the scar and see what happens.

Keep in mind, I hadn’t even told her about the back pain – it was something I had just come to accept as part of my everyday life. But several days after my first treatment, I was halfway through a yoga class and realized that my low back didn’t hurt when I stood up from a forward bend. Then I realized I had spent all weekend driving and my back didn’t hurt either. Then I realized I had been up and down out of my chair all day at the office and never moaned like an old lady once.

WOW! One treatment of a 14-year-old scar and a daily pain seemed to be magically gone. Since then, I have had two more treatments and my daily low back pain has not returned. I couldn’t be happier.

Do You Have a C-Section Scar?

Coincidentally, another Collingwood-based health care professional is doing a research study on the exact same issue.

One of our local RMT’s, Colin McArthur, is currently working towards becoming an osteopath. His senior research project is to study of effect of scar therapy for C-section scars on low back pain and range of motion.

Based on my experience, it was a no-brainer to help him spread the word.

If you are a women between 20 and 45 years old, have had a transverse C-section, or what’s called a bikini line scar, and NO other abdominal or back surgeries, are 12 months post-partum and NOT using an IUD and most importantly are experiencing low back pain or a decreased range of motion in your back, contact:

Colin McArthur
705-888-0182
collingwoodosteopathy@gmail.com

You may be eligible to be part of his study. In return, those who fit the study criteria will get free scar therapy, as well as a full osteopathic treatment at the end of the study period.

Well Woman Visit Dates for 2016

October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the leading type of cancer diagnosed in Canadian women—in 2015 alone, over 25,000 Canadian women will be diagnosed. Over 5,000 women will die of it this year.

Early detection of the disease has been responsible for a steady decline in the death rate from breast cancer. What’s even more important, however, is preventing it in the first place.

Our recent patient newsletter looked at some lifestyle risk factors for breast cancer–you can read it online here. (And you can sign up here.)

2016 Well Woman Days

As part of breast cancer awareness month, we’ve added our new Well Woman Visit dates for all of 2016. This unique service offers a warm, caring environment for annual visits that includes:

  • A complete breast exam
  • Self breast exam education
  • Full gynecological exam with PAP test

You can learn all about the service here. Dates for 2016 are:

  • Jan 18
  • Feb 29
  • April 4
  • May 16
  • June 27
  • Sept 12
  • Oct 24
  • Dec 5

It’s become a popular service at the clinic, and dates have been selling out. You can call us at 705-444-5331 to reserve a spot, or book online here.

New Evening and Early Morning Hours!

StoneTree Clinic welcomes our newest member to the team, Dr. Candice Soldaat, ND.

Candice completed a clinical placement at StoneTree in the early part of this year and has since written and passed her naturopathic board exams. She will be joining the team here at StoneTree on November 2, and brings a keen interest in helping patients with hormone imbalances and infertility.

For all of you who would prefer evening and early morning hours, or for those friends and family you have been trying to refer who work out of town or can’t get time off, Candice is looking forward to seeing them on Mondays and Fridays.

Her hours are:

MONDAY – 2PM – 8PM

TUESDAY – 9AM – 5PM

THURSDAY – 9AM – 5PM

FRIDAY – 8AM – 1PM

To book your slot, call the clinic at 705-444-5331 or email–we know they’ll fill up fast!

Booze Belly?

That persistent “middle fat” of the forties is something that many of our patients complain about. It often seems that no matter how much exercise they do or how well they eat, they struggle with weight loss.

While there’s no denying that a 40-year-old body is physiologically different from a 20-year-old one, our experience has been that there’s also some 40-year-old habits at work, too. One of them is daily alcohol.

In the many years that we’ve been reviewing people’s diets, it is not uncommon to see a daily glass of wine with dinner, or a beer at the golf club or a scotch before bed.

Patients feel this is not a big deal. And maybe they’re right—it is only one or two drinks, after all, and isn’t that supposed to be good for your heart anyway?

Yeeeessss. In theory. One drink a day as a woman, or two drinks a days as a man, is considered something that is good for your health. It’s been shown to prevent heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, dementia, arthritis and even some types of cancer. “And hey,” our patients say, “It seems to work in France, right?”

Perhaps. But in our clinical experience, there’s a flip side to the story. One that’s less about health studies, and more about habits.

The Unintended Consequences of Daily Drinking

There are many ways that your daily “health tonic” might be getting in your way with respect to losing weight and maintaining your energy levels. Most are a result of the way in which daily drinking changes our behaviour in subtle ways.

1. Calories

The average glass of wine or bottle of beer is about 150 calories. So one glass a night for a week is over 1000 extra calories a week.

Of course, the quality of calories matters. And to your body, booze is a lot closer to sugar than broccoli. Alcohol is no superfood. (One pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories, BTW—not many weeks required to gain a pound if it all ends up stored that way.)

And who is fooling who? One drink a night? Not likely. One and half or two is more like it. Alcohol consumption is habitual, and it can creep. Every week and half you could be downing a pound of fat’s worth of low quality calories. No small amount.

2. Decreased inhibition

Alcohol is one of the most widely used drugs in society. A small amount of alcohol has the amazing ability to take the shoulders away from the ears, and ease all the stressors at the end of a long day. With that calming effect, however, also comes a decrease in inhibition, resulting in that “one glass” of wine turning into two without so much as a second thought.

3. Increased eating of the wrong things

Along with the decreased inhibition for having a second glass, also comes a decreased inhibition around snacking and eating. Beer goes great with peanuts or pretzels. You may have had no interest in either before that first sip, but by the end of a bottle you’ll have changed your mind. And wine? It seems to go great with cheese and crackers. Not so much with celery.

4. Decreased sleep

Alcohol use, particularly in the 40+ set, affects sleep quality and quantity. Much research has linked poor sleep, or too little sleep, to obesity and difficulty losing weight

5. Opportunity cost

Drinking involves sitting and being sedentary. And that means that every drink comes with the opportunity cost of not being able to do anything remotely active. When you have a drink after work, you’re not going for a walk after work.

A walk, a yoga class, or a bike ride would have the same effect of decreasing stress at the end of the day without the added calories. It would also decrease your risk of all chronic diseases, increase your sleep quality and yes, help take that pesky 10 lbs off.

So, yes. That drink-a-day might be good for you. But it seems more likely that there’s more to the story than we think. Next time you reach for that daily healthy glass of wine, consider that it might be changing the shape of your life and your body.