resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Viewpoints: Massage Reduces Nonspecific Shoulder Pain, Improves Function
While seemingly universal, pain and stiffness in the shoulders can be a significant cause of disability. Often a pain that does not go away on its own, shoulder complaints tend to linger, sometimes for 12 months or longer.
Treating GERD and Incontinence: Focus on Trigger Points
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is defined as the regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus. Previously, it was thought that GERD was caused by a hiatal hernia, but recent trials suggest the cause is an inability of the hiatal sphincter to contract normally.
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.
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.
Older Patients, Stroke Risk and Manipulation
The first population-based study in the United States to evaluate stroke risk following spinal manipulation – and the first involving older adults – suggests that "[c]hiropractic cervical spine manipulation is unlikely to cause stroke in patients aged 66 to 99 years with neck pain.
God and the Chiropractor
My wife went to church last Wednesday night and brought home a CD of the pastor's message. As she handed it to me, she said, "You should listen to this; you'll like it." Our family regularly goes to church and our faith plays a major role in our lives.
What Do You Know About Physician Compare?
Physician Compare is a website that allows consumers to search for and obtain information about physicians and other health care professionals who provide Medicare services.
Pain Is Only a Piece of the Puzzle
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, etc.
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.
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.
How We Can Help the Injured Brain
The majority of patients with mild traumatic brain injuries recover within seven to 10 days. If concussion signs and symptoms continue beyond seven days, the diagnosis changes from acute concussion to post-concussion syndrome.
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 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!
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."
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.
Managing Tibialis Posterior Tendon Injuries
The tibialis posterior is the deepest, strongest and most central muscle of the leg, with fibers originating from the tibia, fibula and interosseous membrane.
News in Brief
ACA Exec. Vice President Out, Acting EVP In; F4CP Executive Director Retires; New ED Named.
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.
Striking a Blow to the Medical Monopoly
The U.S. Supreme Court has issued a landmark ruling in North Carolina State Board of Dental Examiners v Federal Trade Commission.
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.
Keep Seniors Safe: Age-Proofing the Home
I want to give Dr. Claudia Anrig kudos for her Dec. 1, 2014 column, which highlighted safety issues youngsters might encounter in the home.
Joint Supplements for Athletes (Part 2)
A fairly recent discovery in nutrition supplemental medicine has proven to be a breakthrough in maintaining athletic joint health. Research suggests a combination of undenatured type-II collagen and tetrahydro-iso-alpha acids helps revitalize joint function and performance in athletes.
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.
May, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 05
Pronator Teres Syndrome
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Upper extremity nerve entrapments are a common cause of pain and disability. The increase in repetitive motions associated with occupational and recreational environments usually is singled out as the primary cause of these problems.Many individuals with nerve entrapment symptoms will seek the care of a massage practitioner.
If a client comes to you with an upper extremity pain condition, you want to accurately identify that problem so you can determine if it warrants massage treatment or referral to another health professional. In some cases, a condition might have symptoms that very closely mimic a different pathology. If you don't identify the condition correctly, your treatment is not going to be as effective.
The symptoms of pronator teres syndrome (PTS) can be identical to those of carpal tunnel syndrome because they both involve compression of the median nerve. PTS may be underdiagnosed by medical professionals because its symptoms are so closely related to carpal tunnel syndrome, which is a much more well-known condition.1
PTS develops from compression of the median nerve by the pronator teres muscle, and is sometimes referred to as pronator syndrome. The term pronator syndrome also can include median nerve compression by other structures in the elbow, such as the ligament of Struthers or the bicipital aponeurosis (lacertus fibrosus).2
As the median nerve passes the elbow, it runs between the two heads of the pronator teres muscle, where the nerve may be compressed (Figure 1). Compression can be due to muscle hypertonicity or fibrous bands within the muscle pressing on the nerve.3 In some cases, pressure is placed on the nerve by anatomical anomalies, such as the nerve traveling deep to both heads of the pronator teres.4 In this situation, the nerve might be compressed against the ulna by the pronator teres muscle itself.
PTS results from repetitive motions that cause hypertonicity in the pronator teres. Occupational activities such as hammering, cleaning fish, or performing any activity that requires continual manipulation of tools can cause overuse of the pronator teres. The hypertonicity then causes nerve compression, and the symptoms are felt in the anterior forearm and the median nerve distribution in the hand (Figure 2). Women are affected more than men, although the reason for this is not clear.
Most symptoms of nerve compression radiate distal to the site of compression. Aching forearm pain and paresthesia, along with pain in the median nerve distribution in the hand, are likely to be PTS and should not be assumed to indicate carpal tunnel syndrome.
While PTS and carpal tunnel syndrome both affect the median nerve and have similar symptoms, there are distinct differences. PTS pain is exacerbated by repetitive elbow flexion, and symptoms arise in the forearm as well as the hand. Carpal tunnel syndrome is aggravated by wrist movements, and pain is not experienced as much in the forearm. In both cases, atrophy is possible in the thenar muscles of the hand, which are innervated by branches from the median nerve.
There are several other ways to identify PTS and distinguish it from carpal tunnel syndrome. Clients with carpal tunnel syndrome frequently report night pain, while individuals with PTS generally do not.1 Prolonged wrist flexion during sleep aggravates carpal tunnel syndrome because it decreases the space in the carpal tunnel and presses on the median nerve. Because wrist flexion does not affect the pronator teres muscle, this wrist position does not increase nerve compression symptoms in PTS.
An evaluation procedure called the pronator teres test also is helpful in identifying the condition. The client stands with the elbow in 90 degrees of flexion. The practitioner then places one hand on the client's elbow for stabilization and the other hand grasps the client's hand in a handshake position. The client holds this position as the practitioner attempts to supinate the client's forearm (forcing the client to contract the pronator muscles). While holding the resistance against pronation, the practitioner extends the client's elbow (Figure 3). If the client's pain or discomfort is reproduced, there is a good chance of median nerve compression by the pronator teres. The client should keep the elbow relaxed during the test, because holding the elbow firmly in flexion will not allow elbow extension.
Pronator teres syndrome is most commonly caused by muscular compression of the median nerve. Therefore, it is a condition that is effectively treated with massage. However, it is important that the practitioner accurately identify the problem so treatment can be directed to the proper region of the upper extremity.
Author's note: The content of this article is excerpted from: Lowe W. Orthopedic Assessment in Massage Therapy. Sisters, OR: Daviau-Scott; 2006.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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