Complementary and Alternative Medicine for Rheumatic Diseases
Complementary and alternative medicine includes a variety of approaches to health and wellness. At Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center we will help you navigate through these many options and develop a customized treatment plan to help regain your health. Patients with rheumatologic diseases and/or musculoskeletal conditions can suffer not only from the physical manifestations of their illness, but also from the social, emotional and nutritional aspects of their disease. Complementary and alternative therapies may include; natural products such as herbal medicines, vitamins, probiotics and dietary supplements; dietary restrictions such as gluten, dairy, corn, mind and body techniques such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, deep-breathing exercises, tai chi, massage therapy, and Pilates. Physicians today are faced with many limitations when approaching rheumatic diseases using only conventional care practices. Patients often become frustrated with traditional treatments that incompletely treat their symptoms. Thus, it is important to establish care with a physician who is familiar with the evidence-based care on both traditional and complementary medicine, so an appropriate and well-rounded treatment plan can be developed. At Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center our approach is to use a combination of both traditional medicine and complementary medicine. We feel that by focusing on the body as a whole, we can provide much better outcomes for our patients.
Many natural supplements can be used to complement one’s therapy, improve disease control, relieve pain and improve energy. At Seaside Rheumatology and Wellness Center you will be able to consult with Dr. Lloyd on which supplements will work best for your conditions. Natural supplements are usually considered safer than traditional medication. That being said it is important to recognize that natural supplements can have unwanted side effects and can also interact with other medications and supplements when taken in combination. For this reason, it is always important to speak with your practitioner at Seaside rheumatology and Wellness Center to discuss both the benefits and risks of these therapies.
Diet is a key component to any treatment plan. The gastrointestinal system is the largest immune organ in your body. This dynamic immunological environment is highly influenced by what you eat, which in return has a significant effect on your immune system and overall health. Certain foods when broken down at the molecular level promote inflammatory pathways leading to chronic low-grade inflammation throughout the body. Not only is it important to understand and know about the food you put in your body, but also knowing what food was fed to the food you eat is just as important. At the Seaside rheumatology and Wellness Center Dr. Lloyd will discuss with you the various aspects of your individual diet and where to make changes when necessary.
Physical therapy is a diverse group of interventions aimed at developing and maintaining maximum movement and function with the least amount of pain. Physical therapy is a key component to the recovery of acute musculoskeletal injuries, acute and chronic neurological conditions and arthritis. Your physical therapist will conduct a comprehensive evaluation and assessment and work alongside your physician. Physical therapy usually requires two to three visits per week for several weeks. In many cases your physical therapist will teach you exercises that you can continue to do at home or at your local gym. There are many different styles of physical therapy and it is important to explore this with your treating physician and find the right physical therapist and treatment program for your condition.
Acupuncture is the ancient practice of inserting needles into specific locations. The purpose acupuncture is to target energy or ‘qi’, that circulates throughout the body. In this ancient Chinese practice, it is believed that disease occurs when the circulation of this energy is disrupted and the way to restore health is to target a specific combination of acupuncture points throughout the body and inserting very thin needles. The idea is to restore the proper qi circulation.
Tai chi is actually a form of ancient Chinese martial arts. Today, it has gained popularity as a form of conditioning exercise. Tai chi combines slow, controlled body movements with slow deep breathing exercises. Current medical literature supports its use to improve cardiovascular function, respiratory function, mood, anxiety, and osteoarthritis pain control, range of motion, strength and flexibility.
Yoga is an ancient discipline with the ultimate goal of achieving harmony in body, mind and spirit. For many yoga continues to serve this purpose, however, yoga has also more recently been considered a form of exercise and relaxation. There are many forms of yoga and not all may be appropriate for certain individuals. It is important to consult with someone who is knowledgeable in the practice. Current medical literature supports its use to improve cardiovascular function, respiratory function, mood, anxiety, and osteoarthritis pain control, range of motion, strength and flexibility.
Manual therapy is a group of interventions used primarily by physical therapists, occupational therapists and chiropractors. Manual therapy can be divided into two main subgroups. One utilizing massage only while the other incorporating massage, manipulation and mobilization of the joints. The indications for manual therapy may overlap with physical therapy and usually aim to treat musculoskeletal pain. That being said, there are certain indications were manual therapy might not be recommended. There are many different styles of manual therapy and it is important to explore this with your treating physician and find the right program for your condition.