resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
PCOM Granted Regional Accreditation
Pacific College of Oriental Medicine (PCOM) recently announce it has received regional accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). This achievement reflects five years of hard work on the part of faculty, staff, and students.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
Pseudo-Sciatica and Gluteus Minimus Trigger Points
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Knowing the specific pain patterns of each muscle gives you many advantages over your competition and allows you to most effectively apply your specialized skills. This knowledge allows you to efficiently assess, educate and design treatment plans tailored to your patient's complaints.
The gluteus minimus can be easily overlooked since the referred pain from this muscle is felt so deep and remotely from the location of the trigger points. Let's examine the gluteus minimus muscle, its anatomy and trigger point pain referral patterns and ways to help build your practice.
The gluteus minimus is the deepest of the three gluteal muscles, is also the smallest in length and lightest in weight. It attaches proximally to the external surface of the ilium and distally to the anterior surface of the greater trochanter of the femur. (Image 1A). The muscle fibers of gluteus minimus and gluteus medius run in the same direction and produce the same action.
When the lower extremity is free to move and all fibers of the gluteus medius contract they produce abduction of the thigh. When just the anterior fibers of gluteus minimus contract, and the lower extremity is free to move, they produce medial rotation of the thigh. When the lower extremity is in a fixed position, as during the weight bearing phase of gait or when balancing on one leg, the gluteus minimus, along with the gluteus medius, and tensor fascia lata, keep the pelvis level when the opposite limb is raised off the ground.
The superior gluteal nerve arises from L4 through S1 and innervates the gluteus minimus, gluteus medius and tensor fascia lata. When the nerve is compromised due to trauma, disc involvement or other factors, the supporting action of these muscles are diminished. When the patient tries to balance on one limb, the pelvis falls on the side of the raised limb indicating a positive Trendelenburg sign. The referred pain from trigger points in the gluteus minimus may be constant in duration, severe in intensity and may cause the patient to limp when they walk. The discomfort may also interrupt their sleep if they roll onto the effected side.
When active trigger points are present in the anterior fibers of gluteus minimus, patients will have pain and difficulty getting up out of a chair or standing up straight, following periods of hip flexion, as when seating in a car, watching TV, working at a computer or sleeping in a fetal position. Intake forms will help you ask the right questions to uncover all of the patient's symptoms.
Zones and Trigger Points
In images 1 - 3, "X" indicates the common location of trigger points. Solid red indicate Essential Pain Zones or the regions of referred pain that is present in nearly every person with active trigger points. The dotted red regions indicate Spillover Pain Zones or the regions of referred pain on some, but not all, patients with active trigger points.
Trigger Points (TrPs) in the anterior fibers of gluteus minimus refer into the lower buttock and down the lateral aspect of the thigh into the fibular region of the leg. Rarely do the referrals cross the ankle, but on occasion will refer into the dorsum of the foot. (Image 1B). Trigger points in the posterior fibers tend to refer more medial into the lower buttock (then the anterior trigger points) and into the posterior thigh and proximal calf (Image 1C).
These trigger points form for numerous reasons from direct trauma, inter muscular injections, postural distortions, running, swimming, walking too far and/or too fast over uneven terrain, and sporting activities such as tennis, handball or cycling.
Resolve & Distinguish
First identify, then eliminate or modify the factors that perpetuate the existence of trigger points. These may include periods of prolonged immobility such as seating in a car, watching a movie, working at a desk, sleeping in a fetal position or sitting on a wallet.
It will be easy to distinguish gluteus minimus trigger points from others, like the piriformis or the overlying gluteus medius, based on their referral patterns and the location of the trigger points.
Piriformis trigger points refer into the posterior thigh distally to the knee (Image 2), whereas the gluteus minimus trigger points also include the lateral thigh and calf (Images 1B,C).
Gluteus medius trigger points are less likely to involve the thigh (Image 3).
Range of motion is another way to determine which muscles are involved. Trigger points in the gluteus maximus restrict hip flexion, while trigger points in the piriformis restrict medial rotation of the thigh.
Trigger points in the gluteus minimus and gluteus medius will restrict adduction of the thigh.
The success of your practice is influenced by your ability to educate your patients. Set your self apart and reinforce a professional image by using visual aids like trigger point wall and flip charts to show patients their pain referral patterns. Postural analysis photos make it easy for you to assess, show patients imbalances in their musculoskeletal system and document postural improvement over a series of treatments. Read "Getting Inside Your Patient's Head" (MT, January, 2011).
Knowing the specific pain patterns of each muscle gives you the knowledge to efficiently assess, educate and design treatment plans tailored to your patient's complaints.
I wish great success in the treatment room.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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