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Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
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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