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News in Brief
ACA Adopts New Governance Model; ACA 2017 Awards; CCA Helps Calif. DCs "Share the Love"; $1 Million to Help Advance the Profession; D'Youville Raises the Bar on Anatomy Education; ErRatum.
Clearing Blocks: A Way to Improve Cosmetic Acupuncture
As a Five Element acupuncturist who teaches facial acupuncture classes nationally, I was surprised to learn that one of the basic principles I was taught in school is unfamiliar to most acupuncturists.
Bill With Confidence: Learn What to Collect
Q: I am trying to understand what I may collect from my patient when there is insurance. Do I have to accept the amount allowed by the plan or may I collect up to my billed amount? Please note, I am not a member of any insurance plan.
An Integrated Approach to Chronic Pain
Findings from a unique Medicaid pilot project in Rhode Island involving high-use Medicaid recipients from two health plans were recently presented to the state's Department of Health, demonstrating stellar outcomes with regard to medication use, ER visits, health care costs and patient satisfaction.
Eczema & Acupuncture: A Sound Solution (Part 1)
Eczema affects approximately 3.5 percent of the global population and is one of the most common skin complaints seen by dermatologists.
The Visual Error Scoring System: A Concussion Tool
Postural stability and oculomotor function are the most easily recognized physical indicators of neurologic motor dysfunction associated with concussions.
Women's Hormones: A Western & Eastern Perspective
Sometimes it may seem that you require a degree in medicine to understand hormones and how they function.
New Relationships, Old Trauma: AOM & Other Healing Strategies
Being in love is one the most beautiful and enjoyable experiences. Most of us are willing to pay almost any price to have that experience, and still often find it elusive or fleeting. Navigating the ups and downs of loving relationships are often challenging — even for the most psychologically balanced among us.
Universal Design: Principles & Practice
In many respects, universal design serves as the core of ergonomics. It's also a good tool to use when designing a return-to-work program for injured and/or ill patients. Let's take a closer look at universal design and why it should matter to you and your patients.
Raditation & Your Smartphone: Is it Worth the Risk?
If radial arteries could talk (and in my experience they can to some extent), they would say, "Step away from the smartphone." At least that is the message I am receiving loud and clear as I feel the pulses of many patients.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
Creating Good Business Buzz
What do patients really think about working with you? Rarely do you hear the whole truth. Those who improve may be candid in their gratitude.
An Unexpected Diagnosis: The Result of Lacking Communication
A couple years ago I had a case that showed me the importance of open communication between health practitioners. We need to show up with less fear, and let go of our judgments so we can do better for the patient.
Give Yourself the Digital Advantage
When you see this article in the print version of this issue and swear you read it already, don't be alarmed: you probably did. That's because by that time, the May issue will have been available online in digital format for three weeks.
Balancing Spring Challenges
As the winter months come to a close and warmer spring weather appears, patients may begin to present with new challenging pattern presentations.
A Major Role in Back Pain: The Multifidus
Back pain affects roughly 80 percent of the population at one time or another and is one of the leading causes of doctor visits.
Why I Quit Doing House Calls
My father was a chiropractor who did house calls, so when I became a DC, I figured doing house calls was part of the job. My March article recalled my experience as a small boy, accompanying my dad while he went to patients' homes to treat them.
Taking the Chiropractic Message to the Press
"There is no better place on earth to have a news event," the National Press Club boasts, and it's easy to understand why: Every year, the 108-year-old Washington, D.C.-based organization hosts countless press conferences on the hottest topics impacting America and often the world.
A Daily Strategy for Heavy-Metal Detox
In modern society, we are constantly exposed to heavy metals such as cadmium, lead and mercury. These heavy metals have no essential biochemical roles in our body, and conversely, can cause us a great deal of harm if they build up to toxic levels.
April, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 04
Multifidus: The Multitasker
By Judith DeLany, LMT
Back pain is one of the most frequent complaints by massage therapists and their clients. In fact, 15 percent to 20 percent of Americans report back pain yearly, and 80 percent will suffer from at least one episode of back pain during their lifetime.2
A number of risk factors have been determined, including smoking, being overweight and poor physical fitness. Common causes of back pain include spasm, tension, disc degeneration, scoliosis, spondylosis, spondylolisthesis, arthritis, spinal stenosis, pregnancy, kidney stones, infections, endometriosis, fibromyalgia, tumors, stress and trauma.3
Back pain divides into simple backache, nerve-root pain and serious pathology. Although it is easy to blame work as the culprit, pain originating from the latter two may stem from sinister causes, including visceral disease. Beware of the following red flags, as they might indicate advancing pathologies. Further investigation is needed if the sufferer:
Simple backache, on the other hand, often emerges from a compounding of minor predisposing myofascial factors, such as tight muscles, trigger points and muscle weakness. After considering the muscles that lie in the region of the low back, investigation moves to the anterior and lateral abdominal muscles, muscles of the lower extremity that attach to the pelvis, habits of use, posture and gait. Tucked away deep to the erector spinae (Figure 1), the multifidus (Figure 2) often is overlooked as potentially a substantial source of lumbar dysfunction.
The obliquely oriented thoracic multifidi are undoubtedly associated with rotational movements or perhaps as stabilizers during rotation. This is consistent with the angulation of the zygopophysial (facet) joints of the thoracic vertebrae, which allow rotation, while discouraging flexion, extension and lateral flexion.
In the lumbar, lying deep to the erector spinae, multifidus is considerably thicker, more vertically oriented and significantly more powerful. The vertical orientation of the fibers of most of the lumbar multifidi implies that they would not be involved in direct vertebral rotation. This is consistent with the orientation of the lumbar facets, which allow flexion, extension and lateral flexion and discourage rotation.
Since the line of action of multifidus lies posterior to the lumbar curve, it extends the lumbar spine and increases lumbar lordosis with a "bowstring" effect. As the oblique muscles fire to rotate the upper body, lumbar flexion would be mandatory if it were not for the action of multifidus, which prevents flexion from occurring.1 This allows the spine to remain vertical (rather than flexing forward) when pure rotation is desired.
Multifidus fibers are the only muscle fibers posterior to the lumbosacral transitional point (L5-S1). Therefore, multifidus must produce enough tension to ensure that L5 does not slide forward on the sacral plateau (spondylolisthesis), even though this surface naturally, sometimes significantly, slopes downward. Fortunately, multifidus presents its mass precisely in this segment of the spine. Unfortunately, it often suffers from disuse atrophy, appearing as "moth-eaten" and infiltrated with fat.
The lumbar multifidus is particularly thick and almost completely fills the lamina. Although repetitiously applied gliding strokes can influence multifidus, the thick, overlying tendinous elements of the superficially placed erector spinae, latissimus dorsi, and associated dense fascia impede results.
The most lateral fibers are usually available by approaching them more directly; lateral and deep to the erector spinae (Figure 1), particularly at the level of L2-L4. However, careful hand placement helps to avoid compressing (and potentially bruising) tissues against the lateral aspect of the transverse processes, which lie deep to the lateral fibers of multifidi (Figure 3).
Multifidus contracts with contralateral rotational movements. Twisting at the waist, while maintaining a vertical upper body can help to strengthen it. A stationary bicycle or glider equipment that incorporates the arms and mandates upper body rotations will help to keep multifidus healthy and help to avoid low back pain associated with weakness of this muscle.
Judith DeLany serves as director of NMT Center, writes textbooks for Elsevier Health Sciences, and lectures internationally in the field of neuromuscular therapy. For more information regarding her work, visit www.nmtcenter.com or call toll-free at (866) 571-7942.
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