resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Home Sweet Medical Home
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has received its fair share of praise and criticism since its adoption, few question the value of its emphasis on collaborative, patient-centered health care.
New Leadership Era at the WFC
The World Federation of Chiropractic recently announced not only a new president, as is customary every two years, but also an incoming secretary-general, marking the first time since the WFC's inception in 1988 that someone other than David Chapman-Smith, Esq., will serve in that capacity.
CRREW Rallies for Ongoing Acupuncture Relief Effort in the Philippines
On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) made her way through the Philippine Islands, leaving in her wake at least 7,000 people dead, millions homeless and complete communities destroyed.
Don't Trust What Your Patients Say
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc. They are often not interested or engaged in what they consider "unrelated" personal health history.
News In Brief
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine obtains grant funding from NIH; Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine Announces New President; Kentucky Gets Licensed; PCOM Receives Approval from WASC to Offer FPD.
Shared Mechanisms Between Computer-Assisted Mechanical Adjusting and Contemporary Acupuncture?
Can contemporary acupuncture provide clues to the mechanisms responsible for pain relief provided by computer-assisted mechanical adjusting instruments, and clarify whether certain mechanical frequency combinations are superior to others for modulation of acute peripheral pain?
Changes in Herbal Medicines from Ancient Times to the Present
The classical literature of Chinese medicine remains highly relevant in the modern era, as many of the basic theories and herbal combinations emphasized in clinical practice were first established in texts that are nearly 2000 years old.
Wellness: A New Buzzword at the Aging in America Conference
Aging in America is "the nation's largest gathering of a diverse, multidisciplinary community of professionals in healthcare, social service, government, business and philanthropy with expertise in providing services and products for older adults."
News in Brief
D'Youville Vet Program Gets High Praise; A Moment of Silence for Dr. Paul Reginald ("Reg") Hug.
Vibrational Medicine: Frequency Micro-Current and Color Acupuncture
Vibrational medicine involves the application of various forms of energy frequencies to the body for pain relief, healing and rejuvenation. Vibrational medicine will become a major growing trend in our medical systems for the following reasons:
We Get Letters & E-Mail
Imagine What More Could Be Achieved With Your Support; A Lesson in Hygiene: What Do You Do in Your Office? Open Letter to the Profession.
The Search for the Origin of the Wiggle Technique
When Bob had adjusted me previously, most of the time I knew what he was doing. But this time, he had me lie on the treatment table in the usual side-posture position, and he "wiggled" my sacroiliac with the fingers of both hands, while stabilizing my pelvis with his forearm.
Employers Need Chiropractic First and Sooner
From the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine comes a study that gives excellent direction to employers (and insurers) regarding the management of low back problems (LBP).
Low Melatonin Linked to Risk of Advanced Prostate Cancer
Epidemiological and experimental studies suggest the hormone melatonin, which plays a role in regulating the sleep-wake cycle, may play a role in the development of prostate cancer, as lower melatonin levels have been associated with an increased risk of prostate (and breast) cancer.
Don't Trust What a Patient Says
When a patient presents to the office for care, they typically have a specific complaint in mind – lower back pain, whiplash, sinus congestion, sciatica, etc.
Working With The Yuan-Source Level: Resonance and the Extraordinary Vessels
How do we stay fresh with our medicine? As healers, how do we balance our medical selves with creative artistry? Chinese Medicine is not a fixed dogmatic entity, but a living system, reliant on a mysterious force called "resonance."
Replenishing and Restoring Jing
I learned an important principle from my great Taoist Master Sun Hak. He taught me that all people "leak" Jing, and that we can mitigate or stop this leaking, and as a result strengthen our life force, develop enhanced adaptability and lengthen our life.
Halt Allergies With Moxibustion Therapy
An allergy is an immune system disorder in which the body is hypersensitive to normally harmless substances in the environment.
Medial Knee Pain: 11 Potential Causes (and Corrections)
We have all seen patients with medial knee pain that either has no traumatic origin or lasts well beyond when it should be resolved. How can we help these patients? Here is an overview of clinical scenarios and how we can provide conservative care.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part I
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. Coronary heart disease, in just the United States alone, costs close to 109 billion dollars a year.
Deciphering the New CMS-1500 Claim Form
Q: I am confused about how and when to use the new 1500 form, particularly block 14 and block 15. What is required and how do I properly fill out these fields? And do I actually have to use this new form or may I continue using the old version?
The Importance of Knowing Mainstream Lingo
There is a secret lingo within mainstream medicine of which the vast majority of acupuncturists and Chinese medical professionals are unaware.
The Boston Benevolent Chiropractic Clinic: Standing Up for the Needy
Our chiropractic assistant, Bridget, greeted an arriving patient at the Emmanuel Church in downtown Boston. She said, "Hi, Michael, good to see you. It's been awhile. Have a seat and Dr. Ken will see you soon."
July, 2003, Vol. 03, Issue 07
By Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB
In 1964, Davis published a wonderful monograph describing the functional anatomy of the Giant Panda,1 including a detailed description of the panda's "thumb." Although not a real thumb, this connective tissue pad and underlying bony anatomy functions as a thumb in helping to grasp bamboo: the mainstay of the panda's diet.
Stephen J.Gould's 1980 volume, discusses various functional anatomical adaptations that have occurred in many different taxa over evolutionary time; chapter one discusses the panda's thumb specifically. As functional as this tissue is, it is a far cry from our opposable thumbs. One could, in fact, make the argument that our thumbs are one hallmark of being human - certainly our hands are the mainstay of the massage profession.
The thumb, or first digit, is made up of two phalanges and associated soft tissue. It is attached to the wrist at the first carpometacarpal (CMC) joint. This is a classic saddle joint where the base of the proximal first phalanx and the distal surface of the trapezium are reciprocally saddle-shaped. This allows for considerably more degree of motion than found with any of the other four digits.
The motions allowed at this joint are flexion/extension; abduction/adduction; opposition/apposition/reposition; and circumduction:
The ligaments surrounding the first CMC are very important to the integrity and function of this joint. There have been five ligaments described.4 These ligaments generally allow considerable motion, thus they are not as commonly injured as the metacarpophalangeal (MP) joint; however, the CMC is commonly affected by osteoarthritis. 5 The ulnar ligament of the thumb's MP is frequently stretched or torn. This has been referred to as "gamekeeper's" thumb (early gamekeepers used to dispose of farmyard fowl by placing the bird's neck between the thumb and forefinger and snapping the neck) or "bowler's" thumb.
Currently, the most common injury here is related to ski pole usage. At any rate, the injury is the result of a traumatic event that tears the ulnar collateral ligament when the thumb is forced into hyperabduction/extension. By gapping the MP joint using a valgus force, one sees a dramatic gap on the ulnar side of the joint. Splinting is indicated for a stretched ligament, and surgery for a torn ligament.5
Another common problem of the thumb is de Quervain's tenosynovitis.5 This involves inflammation of the abductor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis tendons within their tendon sheaths at the lateral (anterior) border of the anatomical snuffbox. Remember, the anatomical "snuffbox" is that region bounded by the tendons of the abductor pollicis longus and extensor pollicis brevis, laterally (anteriorly); and the extensor pollicis longus, medially (posteriorly). The radial artery runs along its floor; here, the artery's pulse can be palpated. Treatments of de Quervain's tenosynovitis include immobilization, steroid injections and surgery.
Back to the panda's thumb: Where did it come from? It seems to be a modification of the connective tissue overlying a modified sesamoid bone. We have two sesamoid bones associated with our first metacarpophalangeal joint. These bones serve as attachments of thenar muscles. The abductor pollicis brevis and flexor pollicis brevis attach to the lateral sesamoid and the proximal phalanx, while the two heads of the adductor pollicis attach to the medial sesamoid and the proximal phalanx. Both of these attachments continue on to the extensor hood, as well. It seems that over evolutionary time, some carnivore taxa had a more developed lateral sesamoid bone. This developed into a large sesamoid bone, as seen today in the Giant Pandas. Other mammals, like the raccoon, have sophisticated grasping function, but not nearly as sophisticated as ours.
Take good care of your thumbs. They serve you well.
Click here for previous articles by Neal Cross, PhD, NCTMB.
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.