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Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
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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