resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
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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