resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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.
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.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
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.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.
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.
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.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
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.
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!
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
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."
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
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.
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.
July, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 07
When Is It Tendinitis?
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Tendinitis is one of the most common diagnoses for soft tissue pain resulting from repetitive motion. As repetitive motion disorders have dramatically increased, so has the incidence of tendinitis.However, recent investigations into the cellular nature of tendon pathologies have brought forth interesting discoveries that may alter the way tendinitis is treated. In this month's column, let's take a look at some of these fascinating discoveries.
The first stop along the way is to take a closer look at the anatomical and biomechanical characteristics of tendons. Tendons are connective tissue structures that are primarily composed of collagen and elastin fibers. Collagen fibers primarily give the tendon its strength, and elastin fibers give it a small amount of flexibility.
Since the tendon fibers are primarily designed to transmit a strong tensile (pulling) load from the muscle directly to the bone, the tendon is not designed to be very flexible. If it were very flexible, much of the muscle's contraction force would be absorbed by the tendon and not transmitted to the bone. It would be like trying to pull a heavy object across the floor with a bungee cord instead of a rope.
The tendon gets its strength not only from the quantity of collagen fibers it contains, but also from the arrangement of the fibers. In tendons, the collagen fibers are arranged mostly in a parallel direction, in line with the direction of the muscle fibers. This arrangement will give the tendon the greatest amount of strength in the direction that the muscle fibers are pulling. Ligaments, on the other hand, have a greater quantity of elastin. In ligaments, the collagen fibers are arranged in a slightly more random fashion to give the ligament strength against forces in several different directions.
Tendons throughout the body are surrounded by a thin connective tissue membrane called the paratenon. The paratenon is primarily designed to reduce friction forces between the tendon and other surrounding structures.7
Tendons in areas such as the distal extremities are exposed to much higher friction forces, as the tendons bend around the joints and are held closely by retinacula. These tendons are surrounded by an additional connective tissue layer called the epitenon. The epitenon is commonly referred to as the tendon sheath. Keep in mind that not all tendons have the tendon sheath, only those exposed to specifically high friction forces against adjacent structures, like a binding retinaculum. In some instances, an inflammatory condition will develop between the tendon and its sheath. This usually occurs from excessive friction. Adhesions may also develop between the tendon and the sheath. This condition is called tenosynovitis. However, in order for tenosynovitis to be present, the tendon in question must have an epitenon (sheath).
In some instances a diagnosis of tenosynovitis may be made because of an observed fibrous adhesion between the tendon and the paratenon but there is no tendon sheath. This happens commonly with the Achilles tendon.3 It does not have a synovial sheath (epitenon) but its paratenon is quite visible. Degeneration or adhesion of the paratenon or tendon fibers in this instance is not tenosynovitis. For many years, the term tendinitis has been used to describe painful overuse conditions of the tendon. It has been thought that the pathology involved the tearing of individual tendon fibers and a subsequent inflammatory response in the tendon. Treatment, therefore, has focused on the inflammatory nature of the problem. However, a number of recent scientific investigations into the nature of overuse tendon injuries have painted a very different picture.1,2,5,6
In these investigations, most tendinitis complaints have been found to be devoid of inflammatory cells. It appears that tendon fiber tearing is not the primary part of the problem. The main problem in these overuse tendon disorders appears to be collagen degeneration from overuse. It has also been suggested that this would explain the frequent lack of success in treating tendinitis complaints with anti-inflammatory medication. Numerous authors and clinicians have suggested that the term "tendinosis" (literally meaning "pathology of the tendon") is a much more appropriate term than "tendonitis," which specifically indicates inflammation.
So what does this mean for the treatment of tendinitis with massage? The good news is that these findings are an even stronger support for the benefits of massage for treating these overuse tendon injuries. Collagen degeneration is a primary part of most tendinosis pathology. Therefore, what is needed is a treatment that can help stimulate collagen production in the healing process.
Interestingly, several recent studies have found that the primary benefits of deep friction massage may be the stimulation of collagen production in damaged tendon fibers, rather than the breaking up of fibrous scar tissue in chronically inflamed tendons as previously thought.4 We have known clinically for years that massage works well in the treatment of tendinosis; now we may be closer to understanding why.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.