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ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Our Biggest Challenges to Compete in Wellness Care
In the first article in this four-article series [May 1 DC], I made the case that chiropractors should either embrace offering lifestyle wellness in their practices or face the possibility of losing their place in the wellness care marketplace.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
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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