resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
June, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 06
Newsweek Validates Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Back Pain
By Editorial Staff
Chalk up one more point for the publishers of Newsweek. The magazine devoted nearly half of its Dec. 18, 2002 issue to "The Science of Alternative Medicine," a series of articles that looked at the most popular forms of complementary and alternative care, and the April 26, 2004 issue goes one step further in its promotion of alternative therapies in treating back pain.
In a cover story, "The Great Back Debate," editor Claudia Kalb explores the role back pain has played in American society.While the article examines some surgical options used to treat back pain, it also gives a favorable review of massage, chiropractic, acupuncture, and other forms of alternative care.
Back pain is a universal problem; according to the article, an estimated 80 percent of the U.S. population will suffer from back pain at least once, making it the second most common reason for seeing a doctor, following coughs and other respiratory infections. Between medical bills, disability payments, and lost productivity and time at work, the costs of back pain add up to more than $100 billion per year.
One of the reasons back pain is so common, Kalb asserts, is because of the spine's delicate nature. "Like an expensive, but temperamental sports car, the human spine is beautifully designed and maddeningly unreliable," she writes. To complicate matters further, myriad conditions can cause back pain, including physical injuries like degenerated discs, compressed nerves, muscle tears and spasms, and ligament or tendon injuries, as well as psychological issues like depression and anxiety. Small wonder, then, that Kalb labels back pain a "mystifying mix of physical symptoms and psychological underpinnings."
Americans try invasive and costly remedies to treat their pain. The article notes that between 1996 and 2001, spinal-fusion surgery procedures (which cost approximately $34,000 each) increased by 77 percent. In 2001 alone, more than 250,000 spinal-fusion surgeries were performed, the vast majority employed to treat disc problems; however, fusion surgery was originally developed to correct serious instabilities and deformities of the spine, not to treat damaged or herniated discs. As a result, Kalb notes, "many of these procedures simply don't work." The lackluster results seen in spinal-fusion cases and other types of surgery have caused some practitioners to consider simpler, less invasive forms of care.
We've come to the point where we have to think out of the box," said Dr. David Eisenberg, the head of the Osher Institute at Harvard Medical School. "The time is now." Even experienced spine surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Goldstein of the New York University Hospital for Joint Diseases has cautioned that doctors need to be more selective about choosing candidates for spinal fusion surgery, and that "not everyone who has disc degeneration should have an operation."
So, what's a person with back pain to do? For millions of Americans, the choice has become some form of complementary and alternative medicine, including massage. According to the article, "Massage has seen an increasing number of addicted patients...research shows it can help knead out persistent pain; one study even found that patients took fewer medications during treatment."
The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York employs a variety of alternative health care options, including massage therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, tai chi, personal trainers and rehabilitation specialists; providers work together for the good of the patient. The facility, which sees about 13,000 patients a year, many of them with bad backs, uses "any noninvasive approach they can find" to relieve pain.
As alternative forms of back pain care have increased, so has the amount of research into these therapies. Dr. Dan Cherkin, a researcher at the Center for Health Studies in Seattle, Wash., has conducted several large trials on the effectiveness of chiropractic, massage and acupuncture for back pain.
And Dr. Eisenberg is leading a study funded by the National Institutes of Health, using chiropractors, acupuncturists, massage therapists, neurologists, orthopedists and other practitioners, to see if there are more efficient and cost-effective ways of treating back pain from a multidisciplinary perspective."
After centuries of agony, humanity could certainly use some relief" from back pain, Kalb concludes. "But more important than the success of any given treatment is the good news that both back pain sufferers and the medical establishment are embracing bold new ways to think about that most exquisite and frustrating work of art: the spine."
If nothing else, the Newsweek story illustrates the value of complementary and alternative therapies in the treatment of back pain.
According to the World Press Group, Newsweek is one of the most widely read publications in the world; it is distributed in more than 190 countries and six languages, and has a weekly circulation of approximately 4.4 million (3.85 million in the United States).
Read "The Great Back Debate" Online
If you didn't pick up a copy of the April 26 issue of Newsweek at your local newsstand, fear not: The magazine has a partnership with the Microsoft Network and NBC that allows people to view its stories on the Internet via www.msnbc.com.
Copies of "The Great Back Debate," along with interactive features such as online polls and audio clips, are available www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4767268/
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.