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Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
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.
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.
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.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
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.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
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.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
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.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
October, 2005, Vol. 05, Issue 10
Understanding Disuse Atrophy
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Observations from clinical practice have indicated that one of the most significant detrimental effects of disuse on the body is muscular atrophy. Disuse atrophy might occur from an injury that forces the individual to keep an area in a cast for a prolonged period.It also might occur in situations in which bed rest or non-weight-bearing is mandated for rehabilitation from an injury. Regardless of the cause of the disuse, we now have learned a great deal about what occurs in muscle tissue as a result of disuse, and it's clear that it leads to significant muscular dysfunction.
Muscles throughout the body are comprised of different types of fibers. Human muscle has two primary fiber types. The first is called type 1, or slow-twitch muscle fiber. These fibers are most prevalent in muscles used for endurance, such as the postural muscles of the body. The second fiber variation is type 2, or fast-twitch fibers. These fibers are more prevalent in muscles that do short, powerful bursts of activity. Note that not everyone has the same percentage of fiber type in each of his or her muscles. That is one reason some individuals excel at distance running, while others excel at sprinting. In animal studies, there is some indication that disuse atrophy affects these two different types of fibers at a different rate.1 However, in humans there is no conclusive evidence to suggest either type of muscle fiber atrophies faster than the other.
It's surprising how fast disuse atrophy might occur. This has been studied by investigating what happens during limb immobilization after injury. One study found that muscle wasting was detected in as little as three days following immobilization.2 The degree of atrophy experienced in a muscle depends on how that muscle is used. For example, it's evident that disuse atrophy occurs much more rapidly in antigravity muscles than in their antagonists.1 Antigravity muscles are the primary ones used to hold us upright and resist the downward pull of gravity. This is one reason you see atrophy in the quadriceps muscles much more quickly than in the hamstrings.
Another factor related to disuse atrophy that is very evident with the quadriceps, is the position of immobilization. It has been shown that disuse atrophy is exacerbated for a muscle held in a shortened position. Most knee pathologies keep the knee immobilized in extension, rather than in flexion. When the knee is in extension, the quadriceps are passively shortened and the hamstrings are held in a lengthened position. The passive shortening of the quadriceps encourages the loss of integrity of sarcomeres in the muscle.1 This is one of the primary reasons range of motion is limited following immobilization. Immediately after the immobilization, it's important to encourage adequate stretching of the quadriceps fibers to speed the return to optimal function.
Interesting studies about muscle atrophy have been done with astronauts and cosmonauts aboard the space shuttle and the space station.3 These individuals develop significant amounts of muscle atrophy after spending time in a zero-gravity environment. At first, it was thought the lack of movement was what led to the muscular atrophy, but recent studies have indicated otherwise.4 During space shuttle missions, the astronauts often are engaged in vigorous muscular activity while carrying out their work on equipment. What appears to be more significant for all muscles of the body is the absence of load-bearing and muscular effort required to resist gravity.
It appears disuse also might have detrimental effects on neuromuscular function, in addition to the structural changes in muscle tissue. Several researchers examined muscle strength after immobilization and found there was a greater degree of strength loss compared to the amount of muscle atrophy measured by muscle size reduction.5 Because the strength loss was greater than the degree of muscle atrophy, there appears to be something else occurring other than muscular atrophy alone. It has been suggested the strength loss is due to an inability to recruit the motor unit properly. In essence, there is a "forgetting" of how to properly coordinate motor function that occurs from disuse.
It has been established that there are significant structural, neuromuscular and biochemical changes in muscles as a result of disuse. We also know from clinical experience that massage appears to have significant beneficial effects in restoring range of motion following immobilization or inactivity. It would be valuable to take these concepts and look at them together, to see if there is some better understanding we might gain of how best to use massage to combat muscular atrophy resulting from disuse.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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