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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."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
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.
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.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
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.
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 Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
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.
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.
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.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
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.
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!
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
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.
September, 2001, Vol. 01, Issue 09
How Accurate Is That Test?
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Physical assessment is considered one of the most accurate ways to assess function of the locomotor tissues of the body. While we can often gain valuable information about structural problems through high-tech diagnostic procedures like X-ray or MRI, these procedures tell us very little about the function of the tissues involved in creating and limiting movement.
Some of the most detailed information practitioners gather from physical examination comes from a group of procedures called special tests. This group includes methods such as active range of motion; passive range of motion; manual resistive tests; and special regional orthopedic tests. The special regional orthopedic test is a particularly important element of the assessment process. This test is designed to give information about a particular injury or condition.
A practitioner's success in identifying a client's problem is often directly related to his/her ability to perform good assessment procedures such as special regional orthopedic tests. The practitioner must be able to perform the test correctly. Other factors also come into play in determining how effective that assessment procedure is, and consequently how effective the practitioner is at identifying the client's problem.
Accuracy in special regional orthopedic tests is affected by the relationship of two related concepts - sensitivity and specificity of the test. Sensitivity is the percentage of subjects with the condition who also show a positive result on the test. It determines how "sensitive" (accurate) the test is at determining the condition when it is present. Specificity is the percentage of subjects without the condition who show a negative result on the test. It determines whether the test can show if someone doesn't have the condition.
Take as example a sample of people in an experiment: some with carpal tunnel syndrome, and some without. If a special regional orthopedic test like the Phalen's test is performed, and everyone tests positive for carpal tunnel syndrome, it means that everyone in this group who had carpal tunnel syndrome got a positive test. The sensitivity of the test in this instance is considered high. However, all the people who don't have carpal tunnel syndrome also tested positive; there were no negative tests, even for people without the condition. Therefore, this test's specificity is low.
Certain commonly utilized special orthopedic tests may not have a high degree of sensitivity or specificity, yet are frequently used as guidelines for evaluating the presence of a particular condition. A good example of this is Adson's maneuver, used for identifying thoracic outlet syndrome. To perform Adson's maneuver, the practitioner finds the client's radial pulse at the wrist, then brings the client's arm back into extension and lateral rotation. The client is instructed to look over his/her shoulder toward the affected side and take in a deep breath. If the intensity of the pulse diminishes, the client is suggested to have entrapment of the brachial plexus and subclavian artery by the anterior and middle scalene muscles -- commonly referred to as thoracic outlet syndrome. The problem with this procedure is that a large number of people who do not have any symptoms test positive (diminishing radial pulse) when this test is performed. Thus, this test does not have a high degree of specificity.
The most accurate special regional orthopedic tests have high degrees of specificity and sensitivity; however, this is not always easy to demonstrate. Many studies attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of different assessment procedures, and to illustrate the strengths and weaknesses of each. The more you know about the clinical accuracy of these procedures, the more capable you are of identifying your client's primary complaint.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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