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Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint: headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel, etc.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
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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