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Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
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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