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Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
April, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 04
By Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB
On several occasions in the past 10 years or so, students and practitioners have asked me about the existence of a new muscle they had recently heard or read about. As an anatomist with over 30 years experience, I immediately questioned such claims.The human body exhibits a very rich structural variability. As this variation is beyond the scope of most anatomical textbooks, it is, unfortunately, not fully appreciated by many clinicians. On the other hand, experienced gross anatomists and surgeons encounter this variation on a daily basis.
The most recent "new muscle" to be brought to my attention was a muscle that has been called the sphenomandibularis. It was described in a few journals in the mid-to-late 1990's as a heretofore-unknown muscle of mastication. It was also implicated in the etiology of certain types of headaches -- especially trigeminal pain. Ybarra and Bauer recently published a clear, concise rebuttal and explanation of this "new muscle" in the journal Clinical Anatomy.1
The temporalis muscle is a much more complex structurally than textbooks would have us believe. This structural complexity often reflects an underlying functional complexity as well. The first detailed description of the medial portion of the temporalis occurred in the early 1800's. Ybarra and Bauer discuss several other early descriptions of this portion of the temporalis in their article. After dissecting several specimens and giving an exquisitely detailed description of the complex origin and insertion of the medial head of temporalis, these anatomists discuss the possible clinical relevance of its dysfunction. They paid particular attention to the complexity of this portion of the temporalis muscle's attachment to the sphenoid. The authors describe the possible entrapment of the lateral portion of the maxillary division of the trigeminal nerve (V2) in relation to facial pain. They describe the differences in pteryogopalatine fossa anatomy as a possible factor associated with specific pain patterns. These musculoskeletal-based pain patterns may be confused with CNS based pain patterns. Even though the various authors may disagree on the definition of the medial portion of the temporalis (whether should be considered a separate muscle or not), they all agree that it may be involved in certain cases of headache.
The specific muscles associated with headache may be much more complex than we now know. Travell and Simons2 have described many of the muscles commonly (and not so commonly) associated with headache. We also need to consider specific parts of muscles that may be involved in the etiology of headache.
The point is this: the muscular system is quite variable in nature, and some of this variation may be related to complaints of pain. These variants may confuse the practitioner, or worse, may lead to a missed assessment or a clinical mistake. For example, one of the most common muscle variations in the human body is the absence of the palmaris longus. This muscle is absent 10 -15% of the time. Its absence leads to the median nerve being less protected, just proximal to its entering the carpal tunnel. You can easily test to see if you have a palmaris longus by isometrically contracting your wrist flexors against resistance (for example, place your supine hand under the edge of a desk and attempt to flex your wrist). If you have a palmaris longus, it will be seen protruding anteriorly as it passes over the carpal tunnel.
Other common muscle variants, such as the presence or absence of the peroneus (fibularis) tertius, have little or no known (at least to this author) functional or clinical significance. Another type of muscle variation can be considered hypertrophy. In this case, I am referring to the intentional or habitual overdevelopment of part or all of a muscle. One very interesting example of this kind of "functional" variation can be seen in the pronator teres in some fast-pitch softball pitchers. One common method of throwing a drop ball [i.e., a "sinker"] requires strengthening the pronators of the forearm. The resulting hypertrophy of this muscle can put pressure on the median nerve, which travels into the forearm between the two proximal heads of the pronator teres. The resulting complaint can mimic carpal tunnel syndrome, yet have nothing to do with the median nerve at the carpal tunnel. All efforts to correct the problem at the tunnel will result in no diminution of symptoms.
These are but a few examples of muscle variations. This information is definitely something to keep in mind when a patient presents with any very unusual pain pattern. It also points to the need for continuous refreshing of our anatomical knowledge and advanced anatomic study.
Click here for previous articles by Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB.
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