resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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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