resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.