resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Don't Ignore the Lower Half of the Pelvis (Part 1)
When your patient complains of lower back or pelvic pain, but your usual treatments are not getting the job done, what do you examine and treat? You may be missing important structures in the lower half of the pelvis.
Are Probiotics Doing More Harm Than Good?
Considerable controversy exists concerning the efficacy of probiotic supplements. Very few human studies show any real positive impact on the microbiome or health. The "promise" of probiotics is based on the few animal studies that suggest a positive effect.
Overuse Injuries in Young Athletes (Part 1)
More than 45 million children ages 6-18 participate in some form of organized athletics, and 75 percent of American families with school-aged children have at least one child participating in organized sports.
Illuminating the Hidden, Freeing the Source
Amongst the Primary Channels, from a classical point of view, the small intestine is perhaps the most important channel to understand. It is one of the least used acupuncture channels in modern acupuncture, yet it within it can be found a wealth of theories from the Ling Shu.
Adventures with the Pericardium
My previous column on the San Jiao deserves equal time for SJ's loving partner, the pericardium. I nicknamed SJ the travel meridian – but pericardium can also play a crucial role in air travel.
What are the Meridians?
The meridian and collateral system (jing luo, hereinafter referred to as "Meridians") is comprised of the main meridian channels (jing mai) and the collateral vessels (luo mai). Jing takes from meaning of the Chinese word pathway (also jing) and are the main branches of the system.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists more than 80 common autoimmune diseases including asthma, Crohn's disease, Guillain-Barré syndrome, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus.
Analyzing Acupuncture Case Studies
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Take this case study as an example. After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse during cold weather.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine in Taiwan Hospitals
This spring, a team of Western medical doctors and TCM practitioners from Cleveland Clinic traveled to Taiwan to visit Kaiser Pharmaceutical Co. (KP), and China Medical University (CMU), Taiwan's leading integrative medicine hospital.
Lessons from Functional Neurology
Chiropractic neurology, also known as clinical neuroscience or functional neurology, is moving the chiropractic profession forward by leaps and bounds.
What's New in the NCCIH Strategic Plan
The NIH National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) released its draft strategic plan 2016-2021 for public comment in early spring of 2016.
Know Your Research: Tips for Evaluating Literature Reviews
Clinical and experimental studies are not the only types of published research we might encounter as we look for evidence to inform our practices. One of the most useful types is the literature review, which summarizes a group of studies.
A Study of Relationships
Sa-Ahm's five element acupuncture method is known to be one of the most effective acupuncture techniques in Korea because it gives an instant response at the time of treatment and has a high success rate in resolving chronic problems.
Time to Fight for Your Medicare Right
I have heard a lot of noise and a lot of debate about what is going on with Medicare. As an ACA delegate, I often get asked: 'What is the ACA even doing?'
Work Stress and Musculoskeletal Health: Do Your Patients Get the Connection?
Most people underestimate the impact their job has on their health, especially if that job isn't particularly physically demanding. Big mistake.
The Professional and Practice Benefits of Political Activism
Welcome to election season, a vital part of our American culture. Every two years, without fail, we are bombarded with TV, print materials and phone messages seeking our vote.
Code Connection: Guidelines for the Use of Modifier -52
Modifier -52 identifies that a service or procedure has been partially reduced or eliminated at the physician's discretion. This is to indicate the basic service described by the procedure code has been performed, but not all aspects of the service have been performed.
Less Time Than Required
Q: When is it appropriate to use a modifier -52? Can I use it for a timed service when I do less than the time required by the code?
Chiropractic in the Eyes of the Public: 2nd Gallup-Palmer Poll
The second Gallup / Palmer College poll has been completed, yielding significant additional data regarding Americans' experiences with and perceptions of chiropractic care.
MPA Media Wins More Publishing Awards
The American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE) has honored Dynamic Chiropractic with a national award and two regional awards for editorial excellence, and sister publication DC Practice Insights with two regional awards for graphic design excellence.
International Congress on Integrative Medicine
"Bridging Research, Clinical Care, Education and Policy" was the theme for the International Congress on Integrative Medicine and Health 2016 (ICIMH).
March, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 03
Trigger Points in the Fibularis Tertius Muscle
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Ankle and heel pain is a common complaint. Patients often are surprised to discover their pain is caused by trigger points in the fibularis tertius, a small and easily overlooked muscle in the front of the lower leg. This article will review the anatomy of the fibularis tertius muscle and discuss the trigger points that cause lateral ankle and heel pain, as well as treatment techniques and ways to educate your patients about the causes of their pain.
The name of this muscle has changed over the years. Fibularis tertius has replaced the older term, peroneus tertius. Peroneal was derived from the Greek terminology meaning "a pin." Pointed objects like sewing needles were termed perone by the Greeks. The Latin word fibula also means "a pin or skewer." In some animals, the fibula often is very narrow and has sharp tips (styloid processes), thus it is probable that this bone was named for its resemblance to a pin, or sewing or knitting needle. Tertius is the Latin word for "third," or "concerning the third." This muscle attaches to the lower third of the fibula and is one of three muscles attaching to the fibula that everts the foot.
The lower leg contains two bones: the tibia and fibula. The tibia, the bone on the medial side, is the larger weight-bearing bone and forms the medial malleolus. The fibula, the smaller slender bone on the lateral side, is not a weight-bearing bone and forms the lateral malleolus.
The leg is divided into three fascial compartments: anterior, posterior and lateral. The fibularis tertius is located in the anterior compartment, whereas the lateral compartment contains the fibularis longus and brevis. The interosseous membrane that runs between the fibula and tibia divides the anterior and posterior compartments. The anterior intermuscular septum divides anterior and lateral compartments. The posterior intermuscular septum divides posterior and lateral compartments. (See Photo 1) Proximally, the fibularis tertius attaches to the distal third of the anterior surface of the fibula, the interosseous membrane and the adjacent intermuscular septum. In the foot, it attaches on the dorsum of the base of the fifth metatarsal. (See Photo 2)
The primary actions of the fibularis tertius are dorsiflexion of the ankle and eversion of the foot. The fibularis tertius dorsiflexes the ankle along with three other muscles: fibularis longus, fibularis brevis and tibialis anterior. It also acts to evert the foot, assisting fibularis longus and brevis.
It is important to assess, treat, lengthen and strengthen, as appropriate, the synergistic and antagonistic muscles that cross the joint. A muscle-movement chart is a quick reference tool that groups joints by body region and then lists the muscles that create each specific joint movement. A muscle movement chart also shows the degrees of normal range of motion (ROM) for each joint. This information provides a list of muscles to target and helps therapists develop a comprehensive treatment plan with goals that include improving ROM.
Patient complaints typically include weakness in the ankle and/or pain and tenderness in the ankle, behind and over the lateral malleolus. Whenever a patient reports a trigger point during treatment, take a moment to show them the specific referral pattern on a trigger point chart. Utilizing charts as visual aids to educate your patients about trigger point patterns is a powerful way to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the patient's pain. (See "Tools to Succeed for Massage Therapists," MT May 2009.)
Trigger points in the fibularis tertius muscle usually are palpated proximal and anterior to the lateral malleolus. The referral pattern for fibularis tertius trigger points is "pain and tenderness along the anterolateral aspect of the ankle with a spillover patterns projecting downward behind the lateral malleolus to the lateral aspect of the heel."1 (See Photo 3)
There are many reasons trigger points form in the fibularis tertuis. Sometimes they are caused by activities and/or events that occurred months, years or even decades before the onset of the chronic pain. A few examples include inversion sprains of the ankle, wearing too-tight running shoes, work boots or ski boots, direct trauma, a new activity requiring overuse of the muscle, and weakness from prolonged periods of immobility due to injury.
Postural analysis photos will reveal the stresses patients place on their muscles. (See "Getting Comfortable with Postural Analysis," MT July 2008) Intake forms, postural analysis, gait evaluation and orthopedic assessments will help you uncover a lot of information that will prepare you for the hands-on treatment.
Muscle Test: Palpation of the bony landmarks coupled with muscle testing will ensure you are specifically isolating and thoroughly treating the correct muscle. To muscle test the fibularis tertius, place the patient in a supine or sitting position. Support the patient's leg with one hand just above the ankle joint so your palm is cradling the Achilles tendon. With the other hand, apply pressure against the lateral side and dorsal surface of the foot with pressure in the direction of plantar flexion of the ankle and inversion of the foot. Instruct the patient to dorsiflex the ankle and evert the foot while you apply resistance.
Check for Sensitivity: Palpate along the belly and tendon of the muscle to check for sensitivity. Treatment should not cause pain.
Fifth Metatarsal: Treat the tendon attachment on the dorsal surface of the base of the fifth metatarsal. Apply static pressure and then integrate muscle-fiber and cross-fiber techniques. Start on the base of the fifth metatarsal and follow the tendon anterior to the lateral malleolus. (See Photo 4)
Tendon: Apply lubrication to the skin. Using distal to proximal gliding strips on the muscle, follow the tendon along the front of the lateral malleolus.
Belly: Glide distal to proximal on the belly of the muscle. Treat the attachment on the anterior lower third of the fibula. (See Photo 5)
Conclude your sessions with a brief explanation of the problems you identified and how ongoing massage therapy can help. Tell your patients you will design a customized treatment plan to address the soft-tissue components of their pain, and educate them on the use of ice, heat and other methods of self-care. Provide a stretching routine so patients can continue to improve and maintain themselves between visits. Show your patients proper home and work ergonomics (using computers and phones, lifting, etc.).
I wish you best in the treatment room. Please drop me a line to tell me about your results.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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