resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
May, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 05
New Perspectives on ITB Friction Syndrome
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
If you've ever been running or hiking downhill and experienced a nagging pain on the side of your knee, there is a good chance you were feeling iliotibial band (ITB) friction syndrome. It is an overuse condition resulting from repetitive flexion and extension of the knee in activities such as running, and is considered the primary cause of lateral knee pain.1 Several factors contribute to the problem, including structural deviations in the hip or knee, tightness of the hip muscles, or lack of proper conditioning. However, a new anatomical study sheds a different light on the ITB and requires us to take another view of this problem. It appears the cause of pain and mechanics of ITB function, however, may be different than we have previously thought.
Traditional anatomical illustrations of the ITB (Figure 1) show the ITB as an isolated structure running down the lateral side of the thigh. Viewing the ITB as an isolated structure has led us to perceive it as being capable of moving back and forth in an anterior to posterior direction. While you can grasp the edges of the ITB and feel it move a little back and forth, there may be much less movement occurring in the band than we originally thought.
The lateral epicondyle of the femur is located just underneath the distal fibers of the iliotibial band (Figure 2). Descriptions of ITB friction syndrome in the orthopedic literature state that when the knee is in extension, the band lies anterior to the lateral epicondyle of the femur. They go on to say that at approximately 30 degrees of flexion, the ITB begins to move across the lateral epicondyle and the posterior fibers of the ITB are the first to contact the bony prominence.2 Thickening of the posterior fibers of the ITB, has been observed in some people.3 It is suggested that the apparent thickening of the posterior aspect of the ITB is somehow related to excess friction. It is not clear whether this thickening of the posterior band of fibers is a cause of the excess friction or the result of it.
The perception of the ITB as an independent structure on the lateral thigh is not actually accurate, however. There is a fascial sleeve that encases the entire thigh called the fasciae latae (Figure 3). The ITB is actually a thickened portion of the fasciae latae. Therefore, if the ITB were moving back and forth across the lateral epicondyle of the femur, the entire fasciae latae would have to be moving significantly with it as well and that does not appear to be happening.
A recent study by Fairclough, et al., published in the Journal of Anatomy, has prompted us to take a much different look at the anatomy of the iliotibial band and what happens during ITB friction syndrome.4 This new perspective has significant ramifications for soft-tissue treatment approaches. In addition to highlighting that the ITB is an integral part of the fasciae latae, Fairclough and colleagues also found that the ITB is fibrously anchored to the femur. With the ITB fibrously anchored to the femur, significant movement back and forth across the femoral condyles is unlikely.
A Closer Look
So if the ITB is fibrously anchored to the femur and does not move back and forth across the lateral edpicondyle of the femur, what is causing the pain in this "friction syndrome"? A closer look at knee mechanics reveals what may be occurring. When the knee is flexed, there is a simultaneous internal rotation of the tibia. Conversely, as the knee is extended there is an external rotation of the tibia. The iliotibial band is attached to the proximal tibia at a location called the Gerdy's tubercle. The internal rotation of the tibia during knee flexion pulls the iliotibial band taut. As the tibial rotation pulls the ITB taut, the band presses harder against the lateral epicondyle of the femur. During portions of the flexion and extension of the knee there are different levels of tension on the anterior and posterior fibers of the band. The authors suggest these differences in the tension of the anterior to posterior fibers throughout the flexion/extension cycle are what give the illusion of the band moving over the epicondyle.
There is a layer of fatty tissue just underneath the iliotibial band where it courses over the lateral epicondyle of the femur. When the ITB is under greater stretch and tension as the knee flexes, it is pressing against this richly innervated fatty tissue. According to Fairclough, et al., it is pressure against this fatty tissue, instead of friction against the epicondyle, that causes the pain of ITB friction syndrome.
This new understanding of anatomical and biomechanical factors with the ITB has important ramifications for how we use massage to address this disorder. Previously, friction treatment was recommended directly to the distal ITB to treat this condition. The assumption was that deep transverse friction was one of the best ways to work with fibrous adhesions and tearing of ITB fibers that resulted from rubbing on the epicondyle. With this new understanding of anatomical relationships in the area, our treatment approach will be modified.
According to this new theory, the primary cause of pain in the ITB friction syndrome is the ITB being pulled taut (but not rubbing back and forth) against the lateral epicondyle of the femur and the underlying fatty tissue. Putting additional pressure on this region as we might during friction treatments is therefore not the best strategy. Our approach to treatment should emphasize techniques that help decrease overall tension on the ITB. Tension on the ITB is generated primarily from the tensor fasciae latae and gluteus maximus muscles, which insert into the band. Therefore when we are treating this condition, reducing tension in these muscles and addressing other lower extremity biomechanical compensations are the primary goals for effective resolution.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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