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News in Brief
An Encouraging Sign at Palmer; NBCE Announces Retirement of Longtime Director of Testing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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.
Acupuncture and Homeopathy: Bioenergetic Brothers
Acupuncture and homeopathy share an important healing principle: bioenergetics. "Bio" means "life," so bioenergetics is literally "life energy."
July, 2008, Vol. 08, Issue 07
Ligaments vs. Discs
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
Q. How do you tell the difference between a disc and a ligament injury?
A. Disc and ligament injuries present differently in the following areas: nerve-specific weakness, asymmetrical limitation of movement, distal reference of pain, one-sided pain and reflex changes.
The answer to this question is complex. It's a physician's role to accurately diagnose which type of injury is present. The more knowledge you have, the better - but it's not necessary to be able to make such a diagnosis. Below are some areas you should be cognizant of when someone comes in with neck or low back pain.
Different movements of the arm and hand are controlled by different nerves. For example, resisted extension is enervated by the C7 nerve, resisted flexion primarily by the C6 nerve and resisted medial rotation by the C5 nerve. Therefore, if a nerve root is compressed by a protruding disc at the C7 level, the triceps will be weakened. If the C6 nerve is compressed by a disc, the biceps will be weakened, and so forth. If there is only a ligament injury, the muscles will not be weakened.
Distal reference means pain is referred peripherally. For instance, the pain from a nerve compression in the neck usually is felt in the lower arm and hand. With a ligament injury, the pain usually is felt more proximally, which in the case described, would mean the pain is located near the neck in the shoulder, upper arm or upper back.
Asymmetrical limitation means the person can move in one direction but not in the opposite direction. For example, the person can rotate the neck to the right, but is very limited in rotating the neck to the left; or the person can bend forward at the waist easily, but can't bend back. When a disc is affected, the pain does not switch from the right to the left; it stays on one side. In cases of ligament injury, it's common for the pain to switch from one side to the other. Pain also will come and go with a ligament injury, but not with a disc injury.
Reflexes in the arm or leg diminish with disc injuries but do not with ligament injuries. Similarly, disc and ligament injuries cause different types of numbness and disturbances in sensation.
As with most diagnoses, a practitioner needs to know the complete range of a patient's symptoms in order to make sound conclusions about their injury and appropriate treatment. In the case of disc and ligament injuries, it is easy to mistake one for the other in the absence of the appropriate knowledge. For more information, see www.benbenjamin.com, Neck and Low Back Series.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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