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20/Sep/2017

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injection is a therapeutic treatment using the patients’ own blood, put through a centrifuge to separate and concentrate the number of platelets, which is then re-injected to the injured site or pain area. Because platelets contain a variety of growth factors which are instrumental in the healing process of tissues, this concentrated dose is championed for its regenerative properties. Considered a conservative therapy (as opposed to surgery, for example), PRP injections are administered in an office setting and work fast to kickstart a number of biological processes.

Recently, Platelet Rich Plasma injection treatment has become popular among professional athletes as a solution to potentially career-slowing injuries. When Tiger Woods spoke to the media about his treatment in 2009, research on PRP was relatively new and considered more trend than science due to its high profile list of supporters.

However, the popularity of the treatment has pushed the scientific community to further examine the effects PRP. The evidence base continues to mount with exploration into how platelet-rich plasma may play a role in improving clinical outcomes in patients with early onset osteoarthritis. In a double-blind randomized trial published in 2013, patient groups who received PRP reported a relief in symptoms over the placebo group who received injections of saline.

Dennis Cardone, associate professor in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU’s Langone Medical Center explains in an interview with NPR, that although its effectiveness is still in the early stages of research, PRP is at least now something that he can safely offer to patients who might not have had conservative options before.


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20/Sep/2017

In a recent article in  Chatelaine, an assistant editor tested out osteopathy for her joint pain. Like many first time patients of osteopaths (also known as DOs or Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine) she was surprised by just how much information could be determined by observation and touch alone. The final verdict: not only was the physician able to aleve some of her discomfort, but she was also able to tell her about her digestive and respiratory problems after one session of hands-on therapy.

So what is osteopathy exactly?

In short, an osteopath is trained to treat the whole person instead of the symptoms or disease. The intricacy of all of the body’s systems (musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, digestive, reproductive, or nervous system) are considered when trying to determine the source of imbalance causing sickness or discomfort. The overall idea is to restore function so the body can find its way toward healing itself naturally.

What sets osteopaths apart is their holistic approach, the osteopathic medicine structure influences function, and osteopaths are trained to touch and observe the body to determine the state of tissues, muscles, fluids, and bones.

There have been several studies which demonstrate that osteopathy is particularly effective in treating chronic pain. The holistic approach of an osteopath takes into account the patient’s full life situation (for example; stress, mental health, living conditions) and uses a combination of treatments to restore balance and function to all systems. As pain is a complex experience, many patients benefit from the the comprehensive approach of osteopathic techniques.

While Allevio Pain Management offers Osteopathy services as part of its integrated care model, Allevio always suggests patients find a provider that they are comfortable with, who can communicate and collaborate with their existing team for care, and of course who is a member in good standing with their local college or governing body.


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20/Sep/2017

Pain travels along two pathways simultaneously. One pathway delivers information to the brain reporting a physical sensation while another sends signals to the amygdala and the anterior cingulate cortex, which are the areas of the brain that process emotion. This emotional component to pain is an expanding area of research in mind/body medicine. Researchers are trying to determine to what extent the mind can be used to affect chronic discomfort. At the forefront are studies on what is called mindfulness meditation, a practice that brings awareness to the body and alleviates painful sensations through relaxation, visualization, and breathing techniques. By bringing attention to the present state of the body mindfulness meditation is hypothesized to reduce the anticipation and negative appraisal of pain.

One of the central tools of mindfulness meditation is a “body scan”, basically a 20-40 minute guided visualization which draws focus to different areas of the body to better identify and thereby control the interpretation of pain signals (for an example, check out this  sound cloud link) . The idea here is to develop the body scan technique gradually until you are able do this effectively and on your own for a few minutes everyday.

But does it really work?

A comprehensive article in The Atlantic presents both anecdotal and scientific evidence on how the mind can affect sensory experience.

In this short report from the BBC, a journalist investigates the growing interest in mindfulness meditation and the science behind the practice. About 5 minutes into the report he visits a neuroscientist whose MRI imaging of the brain shows that pain messages were in fact  moderated or  “turned down” during mindfulness meditation.


The bottom line, something changes when we start to calm the mind and listen to our bodies signals.


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More than managing headaches and chronic pain, Allevio is here to help you get your life back. Our services are completely geared to offering you the best relief available.

Our Flagship Location

240 Duncan Mill Road Main Floor Suite 101 Toronto, Ontario M3B3S6

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