resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Sleep, Less Sleep or No Sleep?
I had a dream I wasn't getting enough sleep. It was a very realistic dream, even though I was probably slightly awake and not really deep dreaming. Most likely I had been dozing, caught in that twilight of sleep and wakefulness.
Applying the Thin Skull Principle
The "thin skull" principle, also known as the "you take your victim as you find them" principle, is a legal principle that can be summed up by the following statement.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
Talking to Patients About Lumbar Facet Denervation (Medial Branch Neurotomy)
Lumbar facet denervation, more appropriately termed medial branch neurotomy (MBN), is a procedure that may be considered when patients suffer from recalcitrant non-radicular axial back and/or leg pain.
Low Back Pain in Professional Golf: A Common Muscular Relationship
Every sport creates its own unique demands on the body. Some sports require such a myriad of body positions that assessing pathology is often difficult and unpredictable.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Term Limits: What's in a Word?
It was the French historian and philosopher Voltaire who once declared the Holy Roman Empire was neither holy nor Roman nor an empire.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A View From the ER
The University of Western States has inked an innovative agreement with local nonprofit health system Legacy Health whereby UWS sports-medicine fellows can experience observational clinical rotations in emergency-room settings within the Legacy system.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Optimism = Compassion = Trust
A randomized clinical trial recently published online in JAMA Oncology examined how patients viewed their doctor based upon how the practitioner presented bad news to the patient.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
A House Divided?
The American Chiropractic Association's House of Delegates voted on 30 resolutions at its annual business meeting in Washington D.C., but two in particular took immediate center stage due to their controversial nature.
Functional Hip Impingement (Part 1)
Every time I sit down to write an article, I realize how much more there is to know about musculoskeletal pain. I also learn something new every time. (I want to give special thanks to Lucy Whyte Ferguson for assisting with this article.)
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
October, 2010, Vol. 10, Issue 10
The Mambo of Golfing
By Erik Dalton, PhD
We see it all the time on sports channels. How do they do it? That golf swing is really a work of art. Requiring such a complex array of finely coordinated movements, it's no wonder a golfer's body is considered a ticking time bomb for acute injury or chronic pain.
Recent stats: 53 percent of male and 45 percent of female golfers suffer low back pain; 30 percent of professional golfers play injured; 33 percent of golfers are over the age of 50; and playing golf and another sport increases chance of injury by 40 percent.1
Researchers agree that a majority of injuries affecting male golfers manifest in the low back and are related to improper swing mechanics and/or the repetitive nature of the game.2,3 The amateur or weekend golfer typically experiences injuries due to improper swing mechanics, whereas the sports professional is more likely to fall victim to overuse injuries from obsessive repetitive movement patterns. When a high velocity rotary force couples with trunk sidebending (the crunch factor), the golfer's spine and deep paravertebral tissues take a beating. No wonder low back pain (LBP) is the most common golfer complaint! (Fig 1)
To hit the ball a great distance, the body must have the ability to rotate into and maintain a wide arc throughout the swing. (Fig 2) Manual therapy techniques that increase range of hip turn allow a decrease in the amount of shoulder turn, thus reducing the amount of trunk flexion and sidebending during the downswing (the most damaging moment of the swing). If golfers lack full range of hip mobility due to an adhesive capsule, powerful torsional forces will travel up the kinetic chain through lumbopelvic ligaments, joint capsules and intervertebral discs. Motion-restricted facets and damaged ligamentous tissue can neurologically inhibit deep spinal groove muscles such as rotatores, multifidus and intertransversarii leading to substitution patterns and low back instability.
Reported in the Journal of Science & Medicine in Sport (2008), University of South Australia researchers found that golfers with LBP were overly dependent on erector spinae muscles for spinal stabilization rather than allowing load transfer to be distributed among more efficient lumbopelvic stabilizers such as quadratus lumborum, transverse abdominus, multifidus, hip extensors, and thoracolumbar fascia.4 They theorized that the brain, sensing weakness, is forced to recruit global muscles (lumbar erectors and obliques) to compensate for the weakened deep spinal stabilizers. The question is, "What mechanism causes the deep lumbopelvic stabilizers to weaken?"
Reconnecting the Disconnect
The body's myofascial system is built from a continuous arrangement of tissues designed to function in organized patterns, not as isolated muscle groups. When operating properly, energy is efficiently transmitted via force-coupling through a reaction chain rooted in the ground. Motor unit recruitment only becomes isolated to a particular muscle group when the brain senses a system disconnect and calls in "the subs." For example, during a golf swing, if a fibrosed hip capsule were blocking energy transfer up the kinetic chain, normal force-coupling would suffer due to lack of mobility of the femoral head in the acetabulum. (Fig 3) The therapist must first mobilize the fixated joint in all three cardinal planes, and then move up the kinetic chain to assess and correct any sacroiliac or lumbar compensation that may be driving the golfer's back pain.
Successful treatment of golf-related injuries not only requires golf swing modifications and functional rehab, but, in most cases, restoration of proper lumbar lordosis. Too much or too little curve results in excessive torsional and compressive loads through the thoracolumbar and lumbosacral junctions. The myoskeletal approach begins by correcting lower crossed muscle imbalance patterns followed by restoration of "joint-play" to fixated low back, sacroiliac and thoracic articulations.
Lower Crossed Syndrome
Developed by the legendary neurologist and rehab specialist Vladimir Janda, MD, the lower crossed syndrome represents a grouping of weak muscles and overactive or tight muscles that, together, produce a predictable low back movement pattern which often leads to injury. (Fig 4) Janda's EMG research recorded a significant number of people developing a distinct pattern of muscle imbalance due to prolonged static posture. He noted that when a muscle is left in a shortened or contracted state for an extended period of time, reciprocal inhibition (reflex weakening of muscles on the opposite side of the body) occurs.
Many "weekend warrior" golfers sit at their job for hours on end in a hip flexed position. Day-by-day the hip flexors tighten and shorten causing reciprocal weakness of glute-max - a crucial hip stabilizer during the golf swing. No longer able to aid in pelvic stabilization, the weakened gluteals force the brain to recruit synergistic muscles like the hamstrings and lumbar erectors to assist in hip extension. When golfers present with a flabby protruding abdomen, flat buttocks and excessive lumbar lordosis, the first order of business is restoring a healthy length to hypertonically shortened hip flexors followed by hands-on fast-paced spindle-stim techniques to wake-up the weak gluteals. (Figs 5 & 6)
It's easy to spot "lower crossed" golfers by observing their set-up posture from down-the-line. The swayed low back forms an anterior curve and, with the head down in set position, the thoracic cage becomes convex. This posture is often referred to in golfing circles as the "S-posture". Oddly, many golfers consciously stick their buttocks out because some golf pro told them they could generate more power on the downswing. In reality, once the thorax is arched and the back is swayed during set-up, the golfer can no longer "hinge" from the hips and is unable to maintain the spine in a stable neutral position. Loss of deep and middle layer core support sets the stage for future damage to lumbar and SI joint ligaments, articular cartilages, and intervertebral discs.
Rarely do humans move one muscle at a time along a single plane. Modern science reveals the brain does not recognize individual muscle activities because there is no need. Instead, the cerebral cortex maps movement patterns and coordinates the neuromyofascial net to meet the specific activity. All is well so long as information entering the central nervous system is not garbled by noxious stimuli from fixated joints, damaged ligaments, trauma or faulty ergonomics. Since the primary function of synovial joints is to transmit stress when stabilized by muscle contraction, anything that disrupts this action prevents muscles and enveloping fascia from achieving maximum leverage to move the body through a desired action such as a smooth golf swing.
The greater control the golfer has over new and diverse movement patterns, the better she will perform with decreased odds of injury. In the presence of a revitalized and functionally balanced neuromyofascial system, joints and muscles operate at optimal levels of motor recruitment and synchronization. As the rate of force production and maximum acceleration improves, so does the golf swing and the natural love of the sport.
Click here for more information about Erik Dalton, PhD.
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