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Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
CCE Finally Takes a "Baby Step" Toward Reform
During a 16-month period from October 2010 to February 2012, I devoted four separate columns to the heavy-handed attempt by the Council on Chiropractic Education to radically change the chiropractic profession through the accreditation process.
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
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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