resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
Cell Health (Part 2)
Dr. Barsten, your book is about restoring "cell vitality." Can you briefly define the term? Cell vitality is more than the mere absence of symptoms or pathology, but optimum structural, physiological and energetic health.
Unlevel Pelvis in the High-School Athlete: Exploring Causes and Effects
The unlevel pelvis is all too common in the high-school athlete and if not detected, will likely cause a lifetime of musculoskeletal issues. Any provider who doesn't look for this common finding is missing critical information.
Mind-Body in Motion
A central goal of low back pain treatment involves the correction of dysfunctional movement patterns believed to be responsible for spinal overload.
Connecting the Dots
In 2002, I published a book on patient examination procedures that included information on the procedural coding of the recommended examinations. The book should have been published in 2000, but I had trouble finding a publisher. Why?
Leaving Footprints on Capitol Hill: Tribute to Dr. Kenneth Luedtke (1930-2014)
It was with great sadness that I heard of the passing of Dr. Ken Luedtke.
It might have been a miserable start to the day in the heart of downtown San Diego. A heavy rain had soaked the large homeless population congregating near the intersection of Third Avenue and Ash Street as they waited for a free breakfast to be served at the First Lutheran Church on the corner.
Are You Really a Healthy Eater?
I always giggle a little bit (to myself) when someone comes into my office and informs me that they are a healthy eater. What exactly does that mean? Does that mean they eat sugar in moderation? And what's that, exactly?
Case Histories from Bali: Treating Balinese Chidren with TCB and Shonishin
When I moved to the island of Bali in 2005, I offered my services in Bumi Sehat, which means Healthy Mother Earth, a free birthing center for poor and disadvantaged local women located in Ubud.
It's Time to Create a Strong Acupuncture Footprint
Footprints in the sand. Footprints in the snow. Where do these footprints go? Some are big, some are small, but footprints are made by all.
The CDC came out with a report in March 2013 that suggests 1 in 50 children will be diagnosed somewhere on the autism spectrum – significantly higher than the 1 in 86 figure that came out in 2007. What does this mean moving forward, particularly for children?
Finding Balance in the Clinic
This past December, I celebrated 11 years in practice. I seriously don't know where the time went. I feel beyond blessed and grateful to be practicing our profound and beautiful medicine and to be helping guide my patients restore a state of optimal health.
Put the Social Back Into Social Media
Social media is more than a passing fad, it is definitely here to stay. Social media apps and channels of distribution may evolve, but the concept of social media is now big business and a part of all our lives.
Help Your Parents Stay Engaged
As much as parents may wish it were so, children do not come with an instruction manual. There's no "how to" that can be followed and no two children are alike, so what works with one generally won't work with the next.
Neuroscience: Where Western Medicine and Chinese Medicine Can Come Together
The recent advances in neuroscience are truly incredible. With this expansion of scientific knowledge, I would like to see even more research into the neuroscientific basic of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine.
Let's Speak With One Voice in 2015
For the longest time, the chiropractic profession has attempted to achieve some form of unity. On a political level, this was characterized by an ultimately unsuccessful two-year merger effort between ACA and ICA leadership from 1986-1988.
Old TCM Sayings: Treat the Front to Treat the Back
Chinese medicine college was, and always will be, a memorable time. It was a time of massive personal and professional growth.
Reflections: The Art of Teaching Asian Medicine
Over the past three decades, my global workshops have been translated into German, Swiss German, French, Romansch, Spanish, Lithuanian and Xhosa. Time to offer you new teachers a few tips!
The Conscious Evolution of Healing, Part 2
The idea of transmission is very important in the Chinese medical classics. According to author Claude Larre, the ancient Chinese were highly interested in the connection between things. Nothing was looked at as an isolated entity.
The Top Seven Website Mistakes Clinics Make
The majority of acupuncture clinics finally have a website for their business. Having a website is crucial for being found online through Google, Facebook and review sites like Yelp.
November, 2007, Vol. 07, Issue 11
Cervical Disc Herniation
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
One of the most important aspects of assessment in massage is to determine if it's appropriate to work on a specific condition. While massage is safe in most cases, there are some instances where harm can be done if inappropriate treatment is applied.A cervical disc herniation is just such a condition. It's important to identify this condition, as it also should be evaluated by another health professional to make sure massage is appropriate. However, if performed appropriately, there are some beneficial massage approaches.
A herniated disc (also called herniated nucleus pulposus or HNP) results from sudden or long-term compression loads on the spine. Herniations are more common in the lumbar region than in the cervical, but can still produce significant pain or disability when they occur. Cervical disc herniations produce pain or neurological dysfunction in the neck or upper extremities. They are relatively common and frequently occur in asymptomatic individuals, so presence of a herniated disc does not necessarily imply a pathological problem.1
The intervertebral disc is designed to absorb shock and cushion compressive forces transmitted through the skeletal structures of the body. The center of the disc is composed of an inner gel-like substance called the nucleus pulposus. The nucleus is surrounded by concentric layers of collagen that make up the outer disc boundary, called the annulus fibrosus (Figure 1). When compressive loads are placed on the disc, the nucleus presses against the walls of the annulus. As the pressure increases, annulus fibers begin to tear and the disc changes shape (Figure 2). The disc usually is pushed in a posterior-lateral direction. Unfortunately, the cervical nerve roots are very close to where the disc herniation occurs, so the herniation frequently presses on the nerve roots producing sensory or motor nerve dysfunction.
Cervical disc herniations are most common in the lower cervical spine. The nerve roots in this region make up the brachial plexus. The nerves of the brachial plexus eventually course down through the length of the upper extremity, so nerve compression symptoms commonly are felt down all or part of the upper extremity.
In some cases, the disc herniation is an acute injury with a sudden load on the cervical spine. For example, herniations develop when an individual hits their head on the bottom of a shallow swimming pool after diving in. In other situations, a disc herniation may develop from significant compressive loads over time, such as those that occur from chronic forward head posture.
The primary symptoms from cervical disc herniation include pain, paresthesia or weakness in the neck or upper extremities. Pain or paresthesia can occur throughout the entire upper extremity or only in part of it. Muscle weakness may be evident in any of the upper - extremity muscles innervated by fibers of the affected nerves. Because symptoms may occur in any region of the upper extremity, it can be challenging to distinguish a cervical disc herniation from other nerve compression pathologies that occur in the upper extremity, such as thoracic outlet or carpal tunnel syndromes.
Suggestions for Treatment
While surgery was once considered almost essential for this condition, it's not as common now. Research shows that disc herniation problems may heal spontaneously without surgery or other invasive procedures.2 Some rehabilitative exercises are suggested to encourage the disc to return to a normal position away from affected nerve roots.3 It's important to consult with a physician or other health professional for recommendations on treatment.
While massage is not absolutely contraindicated for disc herniations, treatment methods should be used cautiously. The transverse processes protect the nerve roots from further compression during most massage techniques, but symptoms could be aggravated by minor vertebral movements that occur from pressure applied to the region. Massage is helpful to decrease muscle tension in the area and may reduce compressive loading on the disc. However, this massage also should be performed carefully and only once the extent of the disorder has been clarified.
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.