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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.
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 History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
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.
May, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 05
Spotlight on Research: Massage Helps Improve Grip Performance, Recovery Time Following Exercise
By Michael Devitt
Editor's note: This periodic column keeps you abreast of the latest research documenting the benefits of massage and bodywork. Published research is summarized, with references to the full study text provided; abstracts of research projects planned or in progress are reproduced verbatim whenever possible.
Grip strength or "grip performance" is a general term used to describe the amount of power a person can generate with his or her hands.While often overlooked, grip strength plays a significant role in the performance of athletes such as weightlifters, rock climbers, martial artists and others who rely on strong hands and forearms for athletic success. Of course, grip strength is beneficial to just about everyone in a variety of day-to-day situations, particularly tasks that involve lifting and/or carrying.
Although the effects of massage on increasing muscle performance and recovery time are well-known, the majority of studies that have examined massage and physical performance have focused on large muscle groups in the lower extremities. A new study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine evaluated the ability of manual massage to improve the performance of smaller muscle groups in the forearms and hands. The study found that a brief massage produces "greater effects" on grip performance after exercise, and helps fatigued muscles return to normal performance levels more quickly, compared to a placebo massage or no treatment.
In the study, researchers recruited 52 healthy volunteers (39 female, 13 male; average age 39 years) from a suburban allied health school. Forty-nine of the patients were right-handed; 58 percent exercised at least three times per week. After baseline measurements were taken, each patient was subjected to up to three minutes of maximal exercise, using a commercial isometric hand exercise machine that fatigued each subject's grip performance to 60 percent of his or her baseline strength. The exercise protocol was performed on the subject's non-intervention hand first to familiarize the patients with the exercise equipment and to measure natural muscle recovery times.
Following the exercise and a five-minute rest period, grip power measurements were taken on the non-intervention hand with a commercial hand dynamometer to compare them with baseline. The entire procedure was then repeated on the other hand, with one of four interventions performed immediately after grip performance fatigued to 60 percent of baseline:
All treatments were delivered by senior therapeutic massage students experienced in providing massages to the public. Final measurements were taken following exercise, the intervention and a five-minute rest period using the same dynamometer. For all measurements, subjects sat in a standardized measurement position, with the test shoulder adducted and neutrally rotated, elbow flexed at 90 degrees, forearm in neutral, and the wrist in slight extension and ulnar deviation, with the dynamometer facing away from the patient.
According to the researchers, the effect of manual massage on grip performance "was greater than no massage or than placebo" after the occurrence of fatigue. Interestingly, massage appeared to have a greater effect on recovery on the nondominant-hand group than the dominant-hand group. The authors stated that while this finding "demonstrates limited influence of massage on stronger, highly conditioned muscle," it also indicates that the effects of massage "may be more easily demonstrated in untrained versus conditioned muscle."
In addition, the researchers found there was less natural muscle recovery measured in the groups who received massage compared to the shoulder/elbow group and the no-treatment group. This suggested that in the period immediately following isometric exercise, "the effects of massage are greater than the effect of natural muscle recovery alone."
While previous studies examining the effects of manual massage on muscle performance have presented differing conclusions, the JACM study utilized several methods to ensure the validity of the testing procedures, including a standardized massage protocol, measurement of only one outcome, and the use of placebo and control groups for comparison. As a result, the authors felt firm in their conclusion that massage was effective in improving grip power and helping fatigued muscles recover more quickly:
"This is the first study to show that massage can improve immediate grip performance after fatigue in healthy adults. Furthermore, even though natural muscle recovery affects overall muscle performance up to five minutes after fatigue, the effects of massage are greater than with natural muscle recovery alone. Finally, differences in natural muscle recovery between the dominant and non-dominant hand may also influence the effects of massage after exercise in healthy subjects. Following this preliminary assessment, it is suggested that future prospective studies be designed to determine post-exercise differences in natural muscle recovery between dominant and non-dominant hands of healthy individuals and to ascertain the effects on response to massage."
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