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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 05
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
Question: Do muscles, tendons and ligaments regularly refer pain down the arms and legs in ways that appear similar to a nerve compression injury (often referred to as a nerve root compression, radiculopathy or pinched nerve)?
Muscles, tendons and ligaments often refer pain down the arms and legs in ways that are similar to nerve compression injuries.For instance, a ligament sprain in the low back will often cause referred pain down the lateral leg to the area of the lateral gastrocnemius. A torn gluteus medius muscle in the buttock will often refer pain down the leg to the lateral calf. Nerve compression to the L5 nerve root may similarly cause pain in the lateral thigh and calf.
Another instance in which confusion arises is when there is a strain in one or several of the rotator cuff tendons, or a nerve root compression at the C5 level in the neck. For instance, a severe injury to the supraspinatus tendon will often refer pain down the arm to the wrist. This same pattern of referred pain will often be similar to the pain felt from pressure on the C5 nerve root.
Because pain patterns from nerve root compressions may overlap the areas to which muscles, tendons and ligaments refer pain, these injuries often confuse experienced and inexperienced practitioners alike. It may be easy at such a point to throw up your hands and say, "It's too complicated and difficult to figure this out, and it isn't going to change my treatment, anyway." In my experience, this is a mistake. Various types of massage and other hands-on therapy techniques can be very helpful for muscle, tendon and ligament injuries, but they are useless for a nerve compression injury. However, having the knowledge and skills needed to differentiate these different types of injuries is useful and vital to the therapist interested in working with clients who suffer from pain and injury problems.
Let's say a client comes in with a history of three to four months of pain in an area indicative of a potential muscle, tendon or ligament injury, or a nerve compression problem. Assessing the client with specific active, passive and resisted tests will help you identify a soft tissue injury. However, if you see that the involved muscles have atrophied, and the client reports a feeling of pins and needles and numb or numb-like sensations in patches of skin, you may suspect a compression injury of a nerve. In such a case, your soft-tissue techniques will not help this client; you need to refer him/her to a health care provider or other specialist. Referred pain to the arm from suprapinatus injury or C5 nerve root injury.
It's worth the effort to learn when to refer clients out because they have an injury you cannot help, and when to treat them for something you can help. It makes your work more effective because you can work primarily on the people and the pain problems you can actually help. Obtaining the skills to differentiate these confusing injuries makes you a better therapist, and adds enormous confidence to yourself and your work.
Remember, it is always wise to have a physician check a client who has a serious pain or injury problem.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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