resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
October, 2006, Vol. 06, Issue 10
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Osteoarthritis is the most common type of joint disease and involves degenerative changes at synovial joints in the body. It's a challenging condition to treat and is becoming an economic burden to the health care systems in many countries.In the U.S., for example, the number of adults with arthritis is projected to increase from 42.7 million in 2002 to around 65 million in 2030, due to the aging population.1
Synovial joints are the ones affected in osteoarthritis. Within the synovial joint are the articulating bones, articular cartilage, a fibrous joint capsule and synovial membrane, synovial fluid, and joint cavity. These structures work together to create smooth gliding movement where adjacent bones contact each other. Maintaining this surface is especially important in the weight-bearing joints, such as the hip or knee, as excessive compressive stress can lead to bone degeneration.
Osteoarthritis is divided into two categories: primary and secondary. Primary osteoarthritis develops gradually from excessive wear on the joints, but the specific factors that lead to the condition are not well understood. Repetitive stress to the joints of the hips, knees and hands in certain occupations could play a role in creating the problem for some clients.
Secondary osteoarthritis develops as the result of some other disease or pathological condition. Traumatic injury to the joint can initiate joint damage that leads to cartilage degeneration. In other cases, surgery, obesity or various activities are directly related to the condition's onset. The condition is prevalent in soccer players due to impact trauma, and in weight lifters because of their increased body weight.2,3 Greater weight and joint degeneration also can increase the likelihood of lower extremity postural distortions, such as genu varum (bow leg) and genu valgum (knock-knee). Both of these distortions lead to more joint wear and increased chance of developing osteoarthritis.
In some cases, inflammation from osteoarthritis stimulates bone spurs to form around the joints, causing further pain and dysfunction. The spurs are common in the interphalangeal joints of the fingers. They are called Heberden's nodes when they develop at the distal interphalangeal joints and Bouchard's nodes at the proximal interphalangeal joint.4 Spurs that develop from spinal osteoarthritis (also called spondylitis) can press on adjacent nerve roots and mimic intervertebral disc herniation.4
Osteoarthritis produces pain in the joints that is aggravated with movement. Due to continual use, pain usually is worse later in the day. Joint swelling might increase with activity. Pain sometimes arises from long periods of immobility or even from changes in weather, although the association between weather and arthritis symptoms still is not clear.5 Unlike systemic forms of arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis, there are no effects to organs or other remote tissues. The tissue damage is confined to the surfaces of the affected joints, although pain can be referred to other locations.
Osteoarthritis typically affects the fingers, spine, hips and knees. While it periodically occurs in other joints, it is not common in the shoulder, elbow, wrist or ankle. It does appear to have a hereditary pattern, but a direct congenital cause of osteoarthritis has not been established. There is a greater incidence in younger males and females over 45 years of age.6 Pain usually is worse in the later part of the day, and the client also might complain of swelling, heat, and crepitus in the joint. Reports of aggravated pain with changes in the weather are common. The client also might report an increase in symptoms as a result of long periods of immobility, especially if the condition is more advanced. Joint swelling is evident in many cases, but absence of visible swelling does not indicate absence of the condition.
Characteristics in Physical Examination
The affected joints might be tender to palpation due to increased swelling in the area. Tenderness is more common if the condition is advanced or if palpation presses the affected joint surfaces together. Bone spurs, if present, can sometimes be felt around the affected joint, especially in the fingers.
Active and passive motions can cause pain in any direction the joint is moved. However, pain can fluctuate with the time of day or the degree of aggravation of the joint. If the affected joint is a weight-bearing joint, pain is worse when active movement is performed while bearing weight. Edema, muscle spasm or bone spurs could all prematurely limit the available range of movement. The end feel for joint motions tends to be a bit leathery and a capsular pattern of restriction typically is evident. In some cases, pain and weakness is evident during resisted motions.
A Role for Massage
While cartilage degeneration cannot be reversed, massage and stretching can be used to reduce muscle spasm and decrease compressive forces associated with the joint disorder. These approaches also are helpful in reducing edema resulting from inflammation. Avoiding activities that increase joint irritation, compression or inflammation is important. Weight reduction, rest, supportive braces and some exercise can be helpful, especially for osteoarthritis in the weight-bearing joints. If osteoarthritis is suspected, it's advisable to have it confirmed by a physician through X-ray. It also would be helpful to consult further with the physician for the most appropriate role for massage in the treatment process.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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