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Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
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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