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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
March, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 03
Manual Resistive Tests
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Many practitioners learned how to perform simple assessment procedures, such as active or passive range-of-motion, in their basic training. However, despite their exposure to these concepts, many massage practitioners don't realize the tremendous amount of information that can be derived from these simple procedures when they are performed correctly.In this article, let us focus our attention on the manual resistive test (MRT) and the valuable information we can derive from this procedure.
The MRT may also be referred to as a resisted isometric contraction, or simply as muscle testing. The primary purpose of this procedure is to investigate the nature of problems with muscles and tendons, those tissues that are actively involved in the contraction process. A MRT is performed by having the client attempt to engage in a muscle contraction against some resistance (usually offered by the practitioner). Figure 1 shows an example of a MRT for abduction of the shoulder. The practitioner offers resistance to the client's attempt to abduct the shoulder. This is accomplished by placing a hand near the client's elbow and preventing the client from abducting any farther.
The most valuable information in MRTs comes from combining information derived from the test with that derived from the other procedures. For example, if a client has pain during active motion and no pain during passive motion, you might suspect a problem with the muscle tendon unit. We can validate our suspicion with a MRT. It is likely that the client will have the same pain when a MRT is done, because it is also using the muscle tendon unit. Since a MRT consists of restricting motion at the joint, it is unlikely that the pain is originating from a joint pathology that involves tissues such as the joint capsule, ligaments, bursa, or any of the other inert tissues of the joint. An inert tissue is one that does not actively cause a contraction, such as the joint capsule or nerve.
Often a client will describe a motion that hurts, such as lifting the arm out to the side of the body while carrying a weight. For example, the client may describe that carrying a heavy briefcase causes shoulder pain. In an effort to hold the briefcase away from the legs, the shoulder is attempting to abduct slightly. When you perform an active range of motion in abduction, the client reports that it does not hurt. When you perform a passive motion in abduction, the client also reports that it doesn't hurt. This seems puzzling.
Why does it hurt when the client attempts to abduct the arm with the briefcase, but not in your office during the evaluation? The difference is the absence of weight (resistance) in the arm. The briefcase is acting as an additional resistance when the client is holding it away from the body. This is a perfect chance to use a manual resistive test to validate your suspicions. If you have this client attempt to abduct the arm against resistance, the client will describe the same pain as when lifting the briefcase.
What we see here is a common pattern. The muscle injury is not severe enough to be perceived when the client is only lifting up the weight of the arm. However, when overcoming additional resistance (applied by the therapist or the briefcase), the pain is evident. This indicates a lower level of injury to the muscle tendon unit. The pain can be felt when there is greater demand on the muscle fibers, but not when the demand is low, such as lifting the arm by itself.
Another factor that is very important to consider when using MRTs is what the information from the test actually means. For example, what might be the problem if your client reports pain during a manual resistive test? A frequent error of many practitioners is misinterpreting the results of a MRT. If there is pain during a manual resistive test, it is likely that there is a problem with the muscle tendon unit. However, the nature of that problem still needs to be identified. Practitioners like massage therapists who spend a great deal of time dealing with myofascial trigger points and muscular tension may jump to the conclusion that a myofascial trigger point is the cause of pain during a MRT. Myofascial trigger points often do not cause pain with a MRT. They are much more likely to be painful when you press directly on the trigger point itself.
The primary causes of pain with a MRT usually involve a disruption in the fibers of a muscle-tendon unit, such as a muscle strain, tendinitis, or tenosynovitis. Information that is derived during the client history and palpation of the primary region of pain will help verify suspicions as to the cause of the pain. While the manual resistive test is a simple procedure to perform, its value in identifying numerous musculoskeletal problems should not be underestimated.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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