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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
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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