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Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
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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