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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
February, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 02
Pelvic Pain in Pregnancy
By Kate Jordan, NCTMB
The most common reason women seek the services of massage therapists during pregnancy is for back pain. In order to treat such discomfort effectively, it is helpful to differentiate between pain originating in the lumbar spine and pain arising from dysfunction in the posterior pelvis.
Pregnancy places unique stresses on weightbearing joints in the torso.As a woman's pregnancy progresses, her uterus enlarges, moving her center of gravity forward of her feet. This causes her to rotate her rib cage posteriorly, shifting her weight to the lumbosacral joint and the sacroiliac joints in the pelvis.
Numerous studies of back pain in pregnancy have found that as many as 50% of pregnant women experience some back pain, and 10% experience severe pain. About 30% of these women had no history of previous back pain.
When women make pain drawings of their back pain, only 25% show pain in the lumbar area. More than 50% draw their pain below the crest of the ilium and lateral to the sacrum. They describe this pain as deep in their gluteal area, traveling down the back of the thigh. Even though this appears to be "sciatic" pain, only about one of every 10,000 pregnant women have actual disc disease in pregnancy, and usually those who do had disc problems before they got pregnant.
The number of women complaining of back pain in pregnancy has increased in the past 20 years perhaps because more women are working, often in ergonomically stressful jobs. In one study in Sweden, 70% of all working pregnant women took sick leave, mostly for back pain.
It's important to differentiate between lower back pain and pelvic pain. They should be approached in different ways, and the treatment for back pain may make pelvic pain worse. A woman whose back pain comes from her pelvis will locate it in her gluteal region on one or both sides; she will have a free range of motion in her back and hips; and her pain will not be constant, but related to the movements she makes.
There is a simple test that will confirm that a womens pain originates in the pelvis, rather than being referred from another area. This is called the posterior pelvic pain provocation test. With your client well-supported in a side-lying position, with her painful side facing up, position her upper leg in 90 degrees of hip flexion, with flexed knee on a pillow support. With one hand stabilizing her sacrum, compress the knee and femur into the acetabulum. If this pressure reproduces her pain, either in the symphysis pubis or the sacroiliac area, her pain is likely to be coming from one of the ligaments around those joints.
Pelvic changes in pregnancy were noticed as far back as the days of Hippocrates. The pregnancy hormones relaxin, estrogen and progesterone cause a measurable widening of the pubic symphysis anteriorly, and a shifting of the SI joint posteriorly. Widening of the pubic symphysis begins as early as the eighth week of pregnancy. Any pain felt in the pubic symphysis is a direct result of dysfunction in the sacral area.
Pelvic pain may be noticed around the 18th week of pregnancy. Women experience higher pain intensity with pelvic pain than back pain, and the higher a woman's relaxation levels, the more pain she will experience. This pain is caused by stretching of the pelvic ligaments, causing the pelvic muscles to attempt to establish stability by increasing muscle tension, leading to chronic pain in the area. Because the discomfort is primarily caused by hormonal changes, it cannot be prevented during pregnancy.
On the other hand, secondary muscle pain can be prevented. If your client receives supportive bodywork during her pregnancy, she is likely to have no further pain after her baby is born. Some studies have shown that more than 35% of women who had no treatment during pregnancy suffered persistent pelvic pain afterward.
In particular, if a woman has pelvic pain, she should not be encouraged to do back exercises, or any kind of vigorous exercise. Exercise will only increase her pain, especially the following day. She should avoid stairs, standing on one leg, extensive walking, extreme ranges of motion of her back and pelvis, standing, heavy lifting and prolonged sitting. She should also avoid bed rest, since this will weaken supportive muscles. One of the most helpful support measures for pelvic pain is the use of a pelvic belt. These should be worn throughout the pregnancy whenever your client is upright. Bodywork techniques should focus on the pelvic musculature, particularly the gluteus maximus,gluteus medius, lateral hip rotators, the hamstrings, hip adductors, the rectus femoris, and the quadratus lumbuorum. Techniques that will be particularly effective for pelvic pain include neuromuscular therapy, muscle energy techniques, and positional release techniques. Clients should also be taught side-lying positioning that supports a neutral pelvis (no rotation) for sleeping and resting.
After giving birth, posterior pelvic pain disappears in most women within three months. When a woman begins to exercise again, she should start with strengthening exercise for her pelvic muscles, before she begins any back exercise.
Click here for previous articles by Kate Jordan, NCTMB.
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