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Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
May, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 05
Snap, Crackle and Pop, Part I
By Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB
The human temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is involved in the etiology of several clinical complaints, including jaw pain, tongue pain and headache. Although small, this joint has a rather complex structure and function.By placing your middle finger over the TMJ (just inferior and slightly anterior to the external auditory meatus) and slowly opening and closing your mandible, you should feel a nice smooth motion bilaterally. This motion will start as a jaw opening (depression); at the end of the movement ( at the point just prior to fully opening the jaw), you should feel the joint glide anteriorly. Some will feel one side move out of synch with the other; others may feel one or both sides suddenly "snap" anteriorly. A few may feel a "crackle" (crepitus) on one or both sides; still others may feel and/or hear a "pop" as the articular disc releases.
Let's consider some of the underlying anatomical and functional aspects of the TMJ. The TMJ is formed by parts of two bones: the temporal bone and the mandible. More specifically, the condyloid process of the mandibular ramus fits into the mandibular (glenoid) fossa of the zygomatic process of the temporal bone. This mandibular fossa is bounded posteriorly by the retroarticular process and anteriorly by the articular tubercle. There is a well-defined articular disc within the joint cavity and an articular capsule enveloping the joint. (Author's note: For more information, please refer to one of the atlas pictures listed below.) Interestingly, the disc separates the joint cavity into two functionally separate compartments: one inferior and one superior. Another unique feature of this joint is that the articular surfaces are covered by dense fibrous connective tissue instead of hyaline cartilage, as is usual in synovial joints. This type of connective tissue allows for joint remodeling. The disc attaches to bone medially, laterally and posteriorly, but blends with the articular capsule anteriorly. The articular capsule and the lateral ligament further stabilize this joint. Medially, the sphenomandibular ligament assists in TMJ stabilization. Posteriorly, the stylomandibular ligament assists in joint stabilization.
The TMJ is considered a compound joint, because it operates as two separate but related functional units. The articular disc and the mandibular condyle form the first functional unit. These two act together in most hinge-type movements. This is when the jaw is depressed. The condyle and the disc together move (glide) on the articular eminence for full mandibular opening. The jaw may also be protracted (protruding the mandible) or retracted. In addition, there is lateral displacement about the TMJ. The primary muscles producing these mandibular movements are: depression-lateral pterygoids with help from the digastric, mylohyoid and geniohyoid muscles; elevation-masseter, temporalis and medial pterygoids; retraction-posterior temporalis; protraction-lateral pterygoids; and lateral displacement-contralateral lateral pterygoid. Earlier descriptions of a separate "superior pterygoid" muscle acting solely upon the articular disc seem to have been unfounded.1
The innervation of the TMJ is derived from branches of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve; specifically, the masseteric and auriculotemporal branches. The blood supply is derived from the superficial temporal and maxillary branches of the external carotid artery. Lymphatic drainage is primarily into the deep cervical nodes.
Next month, I will discuss various TMJ dysfunctions as they relate specifically to the underlying anatomical features. It will then become clear why so many clinicians of various types treat TMJ dysfunction.
Click here for previous articles by Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB.
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