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News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
August, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 08
Kinesiolgy and Orthopedic Assessment
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Kinesiology is a fascinating science; as the study of human movement, it has considerable relevance in the clinical environment. Unfortunately, too often in massage education, this field of study gets reduced to memorization of muscle actions (in order to pass some test), and the whole purpose for studying kinesiology gets lost in the process.Because kinesiology is the study of human movement, and because the field of orthopedics deals with movement-system disorders, kinesiology is an essential science for the process of evaluating movement-system disorders (orthopedic assessment). Once you grasp the importance of this relationship, you'll find that understanding kinesiology is an inseparable part of the assessment process.
The field of kinesiology is composed of three separate disciplines: musculoskeletal anatomy, neuromuscular physiology and biomechanics. Musculoskeletal anatomy is perhaps the most obvious of the three with relation to orthopedic assessment. Identifying the structures involved in various pain or injury conditions starts with knowing the anatomy. If the client has anterior knee pain from overuse, knowledge of the different tissues that could produce that pain, such as the patellar tendon, quadriceps retinaculum or sub-chondral bone underneath the patella, is essential in assessing the problem. A detailed knowledge of anatomy ,combined with well-developed palpation skills, are excellent tools for the soft-tissue practitioner; this gives us a distinct advantage in identifying pathologies.
Neuromuscular physiology, the second branch of kinesiology, is also important to assessment. While one might feel bogged down with the effort involved in memorizing muscle attachments (anatomy) and actions (physiology), there are more interesting applications of these studies. For example, in discussing neuromuscular physiology, anatomy texts focus on the role of a muscle's concentric action; eccentric and isometric actions are rarely listed. However, it is just as important to identify other functions of a muscle, because they may be more important for assessing the nature of an injury.
A case in point would include what commonly occurs when a person injures his or her back while bending over to pick something up. If you analyze the motion used in the midst of the injury, you notice that flexion of the torso occurs while bending over. Consequently, you might then assume that the muscles involved in forward torso flexion would be engaged, thus identifying the rectus abdominis and iliopsoas as the major muscles that flex the torso; however, bending over to pick something up does not use these muscles much at all. This motion is governed much more by eccentric activation of the spinal extensor muscles. The process of bending over from a standing position and using these muscles eccentrically is a common mechanism of injury. When you understand how these muscles are used in various activities, you can do a much better job of evaluating the muscles involved in the injury.
The final branch of kinesiology, biomechanics, is commonly confused with kinesiology, but it is actually a separate branch of science that helps make up the discipline of kinesiology. Biomechanics is the field that studies the application of principles of mechanical physics to organic systems. So, identifying how much tensile stress may occur to a ligament before the fibers become stretched and torn (a ligament sprain), for example, involves the field of biomechanics.
Simple biomechanical principles are routinely used in kinesiology and also become an important part of orthopedic assessment. If a client reports knee pain when descending stairs, we use biomechanical principles to identify the different types of stress to different tissues in and around the knee. The menisci of the knee are under compressive stress and could produce pain during this activity. The patellar tendon and retinaculum are under tensile stress and could also produce pain in an activity like this. There is some tensile stress on the anterior cruciate ligament as it helps in the deceleration process as well. Knowing what types of mechanical stresses these tissues are exposed to will give valuable clues for identifying the source of the client's pain.
If you can get past the initial roadblocks to kinesiology that may have been constructed from previous experiences in school, you can appreciate this fascinating science. It is an integral part of orthopedic assessment and should therefore be a tool that is readily used in your clinical practice if you are attempting to treat any kind of pain or injury condition with massage.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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