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Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
December, 2004, Vol. 04, Issue 12
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Neck pain is a frequent reason for clients to see a massage therapist. In this issue, we'll examine torticollis, one cause of neck pain and disability that poses challenges in identification in the treatment room.Torticollis means literally, "twisted neck." A person with torticollis exhibits involuntary muscle contractions that lead to abnormal positions, and/or tremor or spasmodic movements of neck and head. Torticollis may manifest in different forms: congenital, spasmodic, or acute/acquired.
Congenital torticollis presents in infants and occurs at birth or shortly after. The condition may result from improper positioning in the uterus or birthing trauma. There are other roots of infant torticollis, such as structural or neurological. With treatment in the first year, this condition is usually resolved.
While considered rare, spasmodic torticollis, also known as cervical dystonia, may still affect close to 90,000 people in the United States. There are three variations named for the types of neuromuscular dysfunction: tonic (a sustained contraction), clonic (head shaking), and mixed (both). Spasmodic torticollis is a neurological condition that has no known cure and treatment is symptomatic. Clients who present with this condition should be instructed to contact one of several organizations that can provide support, information and resources to this population. Practitioners should also confirm the client has been diagnosed. In some cases, spasmodic torticollis is mistaken for muscular dystrophy, epilepsy or Parkinson's disease. There are significant distinctions between spasmodic and acquired or acute torticollis.
Acute or acquired (sometimes called "wry neck") is the most common form of torticollis characterized by constant muscle spasms in the neck. It appears in a broad spectrum of the population from children to adults. Acquired torticollis is caused by maintaining muscles in shortened positions for a prolonged period. The acute form might manifest as a result of a head or neck injury such as whiplash or concussion, in which symptoms may appear immediately or be delayed. Myofascial trigger points are another factor that either lead to the condition or perpetuate it. The condition seemingly appears "overnight" when, for example, a person has slept with his/her neck in an awkward position or a cold draft on their neck muscles. Other activities likely to produce acquired torticollis include holding the telephone between the head and shoulder, or playing an instrument, such as the violin, for long periods.
The sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscle is most commonly involved in acute or acquired torticollis. Because it is a contralateral rotator, any position that rotates the head to the opposite side for long periods may lead to the condition. A history that includes the nature of the onset, the length of time the condition has been present, and physician diagnosis should allow distinction between the neurological spasmodic form and the muscular variation.
The practitioner will be able to palpate - and usually observe - shortening and hypertonicity in the muscle. Visual indicators are similar with each variation of torticollis. The head and neck are held in a non-neutral position, often with rotation to the opposite side. The SCM on the affected side is likely to be more prominent than on the opposite side. In the clonic variation of spasmodic torticollis, there will be some shaking of the head.
The muscles of the cervical region may feel tight due to local muscle spasm. In some cases, especially if the condition is chronic, a degree of fibrotic change may develop and there may be palpable contracture in the muscles. Active and passive motions that turn the head in the opposite direction of the contraction are likely painful and limited. There may be pain associated with further rotation to the contracted side depending on the severity of the condition and the percentage of muscle fibers recruited for the activity.
Acquired torticollis is not serious and symptoms generally resolve in a couple of weeks. This condition also responds well to massage; however, care should be used in treatment, as the muscles are often painful from spasm and trigger-point activity. In order to rule out more serious neurological or structural disorders, it is a wise idea to have the client evaluated by another health professional prior to treatment.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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