resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Energy: For Life and For Death
Energy is a deep topic in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Qi is understood to underlie all of existence, animated or not, and the qi of the living is studied with special attention.
Building Relationships and Referral Networks with Allopathic Practitioners
Dr. Doug, an orthopedist of 20 years, had heard stories from patients who tried acupuncture. While he was able to address many of their complaints effectively, some appeared to gain additional benefit when their care included TCM.
Essentials of Assessment: The Squat
The squat is a simple, fast and functional tool to evaluate patient symmetry and function. As simple and easy as it is to implement, it can yield considerable amounts of valuable, clinically relevant information.
Recording and Appropriate Billing of Timed Physical Medicine Services
There is a common misunderstanding about timed therapy services and although you do have some knowledge of timed service documentation, based on your comment on the 8-minute rule, your understanding is correct, but incomplete.
How to Find and Fix TL Nerve Impingements
The thoracolumbar junction (TLJ) and the peripheral sensory nerves that exit from it are frequent, important and rarely recognized sources of lower back, pelvic and hip pain. Let's outline a clear exam protocol for diagnosing the problem.
Roots in the Community, Branches Far Beyond
The Jung Tao School of Classical Chinese Medicine (JTS) was founded in 1998 by Sean Christian Marshall in Sugar Grove, North Carolina, a small community near Boone in the state's westernmost mountains.
Musculoskeletal Disorders Take Center Stage
Looking for the latest on the musculoskeletal pain epidemic and the increasing premium placed on preventive strategies including chiropractic? Check out The Impact of Musculoskeletal Disorders on Americans – Opportunities for Action.
NCCAOM Launches New Membership Organization
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) recently launched a new national membership organization, the NCCAOM Academy of Diplomates.
Vitamin D Fails to Help Knee OA? The Proper Perspective
The March 8, 2016 issue of JAMA includes a study about vitamin D supplementation for osteoarthritis of the knee. This is a really weird study.
The Art of Listening
One of the most important clinical concepts for me was voiced by the legendary physician William Osler. "Listen to your patient, he/she is telling you the diagnosis." After treating literally thousands of patients, it can become almost second nature to quickly discover clues which reveal the underlying diagnosis.
News in Brief
A Moment of Silence for Dr. Stephen Press; New ACA President Elected; F4CP Offers New MemBership Benefit.
The Rest of the Patient Story
I've written previously about allowing a patient to tell you their story – about taking the time to listen and engage all the aspects of their case history, the injury in question, and the related issues.
Constructing Our Reality: The Primary Channels and Perception, Part 1
My favorite topic of discussion within Chinese medicine is the acupuncture channel systems. First of all, each of us have them. They are part of our bodies; not something external to us. To learn about the acupuncture channels is to learn about ourselves.
Asking Patients the Right Questions
When was the last time you asked a patient a question? Maybe 30 seconds ago? But, are you asking the right questions to elicit valuable and useful information? As a healthcare provider, you've likely spent hundreds of hours learning to ask the right questions to gather critical health information from your patients.
An Interview with Amanda Shayle
JW: Can you share with us some of your history and how you became an acupuncturist? What did you do prior to becoming an acupuncturist? Where did you go to school?
Transparency is Key at ASA First Annual Meeting
On March 4th and 5th the American Society of Acupuncturists (ASA) held a successful first annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Business Lesson #1: Adapt or Else
My wife and I recently enjoyed an excellent meal at a restaurant recommended by some friends. We often have concerns about restaurant recommendations, as many have been disappointing.
The IME System: A Current Public Health Risk and Solutions That Are Working
I strongly believe in the independent medical examination (IME) system. There are far too many doctors in every profession who are not following E&M protocols and never claim MMI (maximum medical improvement) has occurred for their patients, which has caused financial stress for many private and public carriers.
The Power of Eccentric Exercise: Hamstring Injury Prevention and Rehab
For almost 20 years, I've worked with professional athletes who make a living by running really fast. It goes without saying that hamstring injury (HSI) prevention and rehabilitation is a big part of what they expect from a sports chiropractor.
Health and Wellness Partnership
Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine and The Wellness Center at the LAC + USC Historic General Hospital recently joined forces to extend care to the residents of Boyle Heights area of Los Angeles.
The Value of Melatonin in Breast Cancer Prevention and Adjunctive Treatment
Although melatonin (MLT) is best known for its sleep-aid properties and as a natural remedy to prevent jet lag, extensive experimental studies suggest it possesses anticancer activity through several biological mechanisms.
October, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 10
Median Nerve Compression Pathologies
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
The most researched and well-defined upper extremity nerve-entrapment problem is carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). CTS involves compression of the median nerve at the base of the hand in a region called the carpal tunnel.Because this condition is studied so often, we have a very good understanding of how it occurs; however, because it has become such a "popular" condition, clinical practitioners may be too eager to assume the presence of CTS simply because their patient/client experiences median nerve compression symptoms.
This article will look at the entire length of the median nerve where there are numerous locations that median nerve entrapment may occur. We will follow the nerve's course from the spinal cord to its termination in the hand and describe common locations of compression pathology. It is essential to thoroughly evaluate the problem before coming to a conclusion about the presence of the ever-popular CTS.
The median nerve carries both motor and sensory fibers. Therefore, compression of the nerve may create both sensory and motor deficit. The sensory symptoms are located primarily in the palm (See Figure 1). They include pain (often described as sharp, shooting, or electrical in nature), paresthesia ("pins and needles"sensations), and numbness. The median nerve and its branches innervate primarily the flexors of the wrist and fingers, as well as several muscles of the thumb. Motor problems from median nerve compression usually show up as weakness in grip strength or atrophy of the thenar eminence (fleshy part of the palm near the base of the thumb).
The first location where median nerve compression may occur is at the cervical nerve roots. The median nerve is derived from the C5-T1 nerve roots. Intervertebral discs, bone spurs, small tumors, or other obstructions may press on these nerve roots and produce symptoms that affect the median nerve. Since the nerve roots also contain fibers for other peripheral nerves, symptoms of compression at the nerve root level may extend outside the commonly mapped area for median nerve sensory involvement illustrated in Figure 1.
Thoracic outlet syndrome is not consistently defined in the medical literature, so there is a great deal of confusion about it. Fibers of the median nerve can get compressed against a pathological bony extension of the C7 transverse process, called a cervical rib. This is called true neurological thoracic outlet syndrome. Other thoracic outlet syndrome variations that may compress the median nerve include the region between the anterior and middle scalene muscles, between the clavicle and first rib, and underneath the pectoralis minor muscle.
Moving distally after leaving the axillary region, the next location where median nerve entrapment is likely, is just proximal to the elbow. This location is only a possible source of nerve entrapment in a small percentage of the population. A ligament called the ligament of Struthers is present in 1 percent to 3 percent of the population. It runs between the medial epicondyle and the shaft of the humerus, and has no function. The median nerve passes underneath it and can get compressed here although it is not very common.
While the biceps brachii attaches primarily to the radius, there is a fibrous attachment to the ulna through a slip of fascia called the lacertus fibrosus, which is also called the bicipital aponeurosis. The median nerve runs underneath the lacertus fibrosus at the elbow and can get compressed by it here. If symptoms are aggravated during strong elbow flexion movements (when the biceps brachii is contracting strongly) there is a good likelihood that compression exists here.
After leaving the elbow, the median nerve runs between the two heads of the pronator teres muscle. This is a common region of median nerve compression and is commonly mistaken for CTS. The sensory and motor signals are almost identical, making it difficult to distinguish these two regions of entrapment without more specific physical examination, such as orthopedic special tests and nerve conduction studies.
The last common location of median nerve entrapment is within the carpal tunnel. While this region is the most common site of median nerve entrapment, it is not the only one. There are a large percentage of failed carpal tunnel treatments; this could very well be due to improper identification of the precise location of median nerve entrapment.
Keep in mind that compression may occur at several sites simultaneously. Therefore, you may have a problem that is not in just one of these locations, but in two or more.
One of the great benefits for using massage to treat nerve compression problems is that massage treatments are frequently applied to the whole length of the nerve and can easily work on multiple sites of compression at the same time.
A summary of the locations for median nerve entrapment are:
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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