resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
June, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 06
Is That Really Frozen Shoulder?
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
It is easy to get excited about being able to help a client that comes to you with a specific pain condition. In fact, this is one of the most rewarding aspects of doing clinical massage.With only your hands you can perform therapeutic procedures that help relieve the pain and suffering that your client has been experiencing. However, in our enthusiasm to help as many people as possible we must avoid a common clinical mistake: oversimplification and overgeneralization of our client's complaints. This can lead to inaccurate identification of the problem, improper treatments, and unsubstantiated claims about clinical efficacy, which simply aren't true. These mistakes are detrimental to all of us in the long run.
One of the most frequent situations where I have seen this occur is with shoulder pain that is commonly labeled "frozen shoulder." Practitioners will show treatment methods and make claims for healing a frozen shoulder in one or two treatments. Healing a true frozen shoulder in one or two treatments is highly unlikely due to the nature of the pathology. In order to understand why this is unlikely, it is first necessary to understand a little more about frozen shoulder.
CAP Underside of the capsule that will adhere to itself in adhesive capsulitis. Figure 1: The glenohumeral joint capsule slackened on the underside when the shoulder is in a neutral position. Mediclip image (c)1998, Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.
The term "frozen shoulder" is a clinically inaccurate term because it doesn't specify the nature of the pathology in the shoulder, only that there is some limited motion at the glenohumeral joint. The true frozen shoulder is a pathology called adhesive capsulitis. This is a situation where a pouch of tissue on the underside of the glenohumeral joint capsule becomes adhered to itself and prevents full motion at the shoulder (Figure 1).
A person that has shoulder pain and limited abduction is often described as having a frozen shoulder; however, there are a number of problems that may actually cause shoulder pain and limited range of motion in abduction. For example, subacromial bursitis, shoulder impingement syndrome, arthritis, supraspinatus tendinosis, calcific tendinitis, or rotator cuff tears may all cause shoulder pain and limited motion in abduction, just like adhesive capsulitis. This is why the term "frozen shoulder" is so misleading. There are other conditions, such as paralysis of the trapezius or serratus anterior muscles that may also cause limitation in abduction although they are not likely to produce pain sensations, as some of these other problems will.
Adhesive capsulitis is a problem that does not resolve quickly. Due to the adhesion of joint capsule fibers, it usually takes more than one or two treatments to encourage capsular stretching and breaking of the adhesions that hold the sides of the capsule together. So, how do we determine if this is a true adhesive capsulitis, one of the other problems mentioned above, or something we might not have thought of? Luckily, there are a number of assessment procedures that can help us make that distinction.
First, and most importantly, is the client history. There are unique characteristics in the onset of adhesive capsulitis compared to some of these other conditions. It will often come on slowly for no apparent reason, or it may be associated with some other traumatic event in the shoulder. In addition to information from the history, one of the most important characteristics to evaluate is whether or not the client is demonstrating a capsular pattern of restriction for the shoulder.
The capsular pattern is a concept that was first described by the well-known British orthopedic physician, Dr. James Cyriax. The joint capsule has certain motions that it limits more than others. If there is a problem in the joint capsule, the limitation in these motions will usually follow a common pattern. For example, the capsular pattern in the glenohumeral joint is such that motion will be most limited in lateral rotation, second in abduction, and third in medial rotation. This is due to the way the capsular tissues are stretched during those motions. For instance, if there is a problem like adhesive capsulitis involving the joint capsule, the motion that will be most restricted is lateral rotation. Abduction will be the motion next most likely to have limited range, and limitation in medial rotation will be less likely. The worse the condition gets, the more limitation you will see in all those different motions.
In most of the other conditions described above, the primary problem exists because of compression or irritation of various soft tissues underneath the coracoacromial arch. Therefore, motion in abduction is painful and limited, as these structures get pinched in abduction (Figure 2).
However, if the arm is laterally rotated from a neutral position, there is not likely to be pain because there is no increase in compression or tension on these structures. Yet, if there is a capsular problem, lateral rotation should be the first motion to show restriction. Therefore, if there is pain and limitation in lateral rotation from a neutral position, this is more indicative of a capsular problem like adhesive capsulitis.
It will be important to go through other assessment strategies, such as active motion, passive motion, manual resistive tests, and any other special orthopedic tests that might help you either identify or rule out other problems. If, after performing a thorough evaluation, you are convinced that you are dealing with a true adhesive capsulitis, then your treatment strategies should reflect methods that will reduce capsular adhesions and encourage elongation of the inferior portion of the capsule. This is usually a long process, because it requires the capsule to stretch tissues that have been stuck together, and is unlikely to occur over just one or two treatments.
CAP Compression of various tissues during abduction. Figure 2: Compression of tissues on the underside of the coracoacromial arch. Mediclip image (c)1998, Williams and Wilkins. All rights reserved.
It is essential that we be as accurate as possible when evaluating these problems for several reasons. First, it is crucial you know as much about who and what you are dealing with so you can construct a beneficial treatment plan. In addition, it is essential that we are accurate in our descriptions and claims about what we are able to do in treatment. Making inaccurate or unsubstantiated claims about miracle recoveries is one sure way to decrease our credibility in the eyes of our fellow health care professionals.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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