resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Filling the Gap: The Role of Alternative Practitioners in a Broken Health Care System
I have been asked many times what got me into alternative medicine. My answer is simple: I want to truly help and make a difference in people's health.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
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/
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