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MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
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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