resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
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.
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.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
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.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
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.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
January, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 01
Exploring Orthopedic Assessment
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Welcome to Massage Today! In upcoming issues, I will have the opportunity to share some of the wonderful things I have learned about orthopedic assessment with you. Massage practitioners are increasingly called upon to treat various pain and injury conditions, and in many instances act as a primary provider.This is a great benefit and a tremendous responsibility. Assessment is a valuable part of practice, especially for anyone seeing clients with pain or injury conditions.
In the late '80s, I began to see the crucial importance of orthopedic assessment skills for massage therapists. Since that time, I have attempted to share all I have learned with as many practitioners as possible. This publication will be another great avenue that will allow you to help many more people reduce the pain and discomfort in their lives.
There is often significant misunderstanding about the definition and role of assessment. Many people confuse the concepts of assessment and diagnosis, and for that reason they shy away from learning about them. Assessment skills are a systematic method for gathering information to make informed decisions about treatments. Since assessment is really information gathering, you can't really do any kind of massage without doing some level of assessment. When your hands feel a tight area in your client's muscle tissue, you naturally focus your attention on reducing the tension in that area. You have performed assessment through palpation and then chosen a particular course of action as a result of your assessment of the client's tissue state.
Diagnosis, on the other hand, is the assigning of a name or a label to a certain group of signs or symptoms. To arrive at a diagnosis, the practitioner (usually a physician) will perform some type of assessment, and based on the findings, will assign a name or a label to the problem. When you assign a name or label to the problem and state to the person they have "x" condition, you have given them a diagnosis. Gathering information about someone's condition to determine if you should proceed with massage, is assessment, not diagnosis.
Assessment skills have become increasingly important for massage therapists. Numerous studies have indicated that people are increasingly using alternative medical approaches such as massage therapy to treat all kinds of problems. In many instances, these people are coming to massage therapists before seeing some other primary care provider, such as their physician. They may present a certain group of signs or symptoms and ask a massage therapist to help them, because they have heard massage therapy can be helpful for people with similar ailments. While this is a wonderful opportunity to demonstrate the healing power of massage, there is tremendous responsibility that comes along with that opportunity.
We must be able to determine if that person's condition is something that we should work on. If it is, we must determine what type of soft tissue work will be most effective. In many instances, one type of massage may be beneficial, while another type may be harmful. It is not really accurate to make blanket statements such as "massage is good for this problem, but not for that one." It may depend on what type of massage is used.
In this column we will focus on assessment of orthopedic problems those that decrease or limit a person's ability to move their body properly. There are a variety of orthopedic assessment systems. Despite their differences, they all share several common components: a detailed client medical history, visual examination, palpation, and some form of movement evaluation, which may include any number of special testing procedures.
While learning new massage treatment methods has certainly improved my skills, nothing has made as much impact on my ability to treat pain and injury problems as studying orthopedic assessment. It is my hope to share some of the wonderful things I have learned, so that you may improve the quality and success of your practice.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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