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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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?
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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