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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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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."
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.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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