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The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
June, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 06
Cubital Tunnel Syndrome
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Nerve compression problems are a frequent cause for pain and dysfunction in the upper extremity, particularly in the occupational environment. Although not as present in the popular literature as carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome is a common nerve compression pathology.In fact, it is the second most common peripheral compression neuropathy.1 It occurs when the ulnar nerve is compressed between the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris on the posterior elbow within a region called the cubital tunnel.
The cubital tunnel is located on the posterior elbow and is bordered by the two heads of the flexor carpi ulnaris (FCU) muscle. One head of the FCU muscle comes from the common flexor tendon attachments at the medial epicondyle of the humerus. The other comes off the medial aspect of the olecranon process. The two heads eventually join to form the belly of the FCU.
The nerve eventually passes between these two heads (Figure 1). Space within the cubital tunnel may decrease as much as 55 percent during elbow flexion, making nerve compression more likely.1 In addition, during flexion the ulnar nerve is increasingly pulled taut which may also aggravate symptoms. Subluxation (shifting position) of the ulnar nerve as the elbow moves into flexion could produce symptoms in this region as well.2
Cubital tunnel syndrome may occur as a result of direct compression of the elbow (either acute or chronic), excessive cubital valgus, bone spurs, synovial ganglions, fibrous bands within the muscle, or mechanical compression of the nerve during elbow flexion. The most frequent cause of cubital tunnel syndrome is hypertonicity of the FCU. The ulnar nerve may also be sensitive to compression if there are more proximal ulnar nerve compression pathologies such as thoracic outlet syndrome.3
Cubital tunnel syndrome usually produces a variety of sensory symptoms, including pain, burning, tingling or paresthesia. Motor symptoms such as weakness or atrophy may be seen as well. Weakness usually affects the intrinsic muscles of the hand more than other muscles in the forearm innervated by the ulnar nerve.
The client may report an acute compression injury to the posterior elbow that started the symptoms, such as striking the elbow on a hard object. This condition should not be confused with hitting one's funny bone. In this instance, the blow causes nerve compression between the medial epicondyle of the humerus and the olecranon process of the ulna just before it enters the cubital tunnel.
Cubital tunnel syndrome is more likely to occur as a chronic condition and is seen more often in men than women. The practitioner should identify actions that involved repetitive or static flexion of the elbow prior to the onset of symptoms. Prolonged compression of the elbow region, such as leaning on the elbows for long periods, should be identified. Symptoms are often aggravated at night if the client spends long periods with the elbow in a flexed position.
The client usually reports pain, aching, burning sensations or paresthesia in the ulnar nerve distribution of the hand (Figure 2). Weakness or atrophy are likely to affect the adductor pollicis muscle, which is an important muscle in grasping objects. Consequently, the client may report difficulty holding objects or having a degree of clumsiness when attempting to perform precise tasks. Atrophy of this muscle may be apparent with a decrease in the size of the muscle mass between the thumb and fingers compared to the unaffected side. Other instrinsic hand muscles innervated by the ulnar nerve are those of the hypothenar eminence (the fleshy bundle of muscles near the base of the hand on the ulnar side). Atrophy in these muscles may be evident with a decrease in size compared to the unaffected side.
Pressing directly over the cubital tunnel is likely to elicit the client's symptoms. Palpate the region when the elbow is in neutral, as well as full flexion. If the symptoms are exaggerated during flexion, this may be an indicator of cubital tunnel compression. There may also be anatomic obstructions in the cubital tunnel, such as bone spurs or synovial masses that are palpable. Tenderness or hypertonicity may be evident in the FCU muscle throughout the forearm.
Massage is helpful for cubital tunnel syndrome because a primary cause is muscular hypertonicity in the wrist flexor muscles. Techniques such as deep stripping to the flexor carpi ulnaris may help decrease compression on the ulnar nerve. Particular caution should be observed in applying pressure to the flexor carpi ulnaris near the region of ulnar nerve entrapment so as not to aggravate the pathology.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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