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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
May, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 05
Does Fascial Research Alter Assessment?
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Tom Myers recently wrote an article highlighting some outstanding research published by the Dutch osteopath and anatomist Jaap van der Wal. I was intrigued by the concepts Myers highlighted in this article and looked for more of van der Wal's publications.
In addition to his previous papers on the subject of fascia, van der Wal also published a paper in the International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork in 2009 that explores these anatomical concepts in great detail.
It is interesting to note that van der Wal wrote of these very important findings almost 20 years ago, but did not find acceptance of those ideas within the traditional scientific publishing community until recently.
The essence of van der Wal's research points out that dissection and anatomical science has for centuries focused on a very reductionistic and mechanistic view of the musculoskeletal system. However, he suggests it is a much more complicated and intricately woven web.
In his dissection studies, van der Wal demonstrates that ligaments are not discrete structures separated from muscle and fascial connective tissue. His research shows that at least some ligaments around the body's joints are actually connected in series with muscular tissues - meaning that muscles have fascial connections with ligaments and thus may not act independently.
Does this information impact our practice?
For years the dominant model of orthopedic assessment has been the foundation of James Cyriax's model of contractile and non-contractile (inert) tissues. Contractile tissues included muscle and its associated tendon, because the tendon was strongly pulled once the muscle contracted. Inert tissues were all the soft tissues other than muscle and tendon. They are called inert because they don't actively contract and they are only passively lengthened or shortened during motions of the joints.
Clinicians used this structural format to establish a systematic process of evaluating soft-tissue dysfunction. The central point of this evaluation method is that certain evaluation procedures produce pain or discomfort if a contractile tissue is at fault, while other methods produce pain if an inert tissue is at fault.
As an organizational system it makes very good sense and works quite well in the evaluation process. But there are times when the pattern of pain or discomfort does not seem to fit this classical formula. That leaves the clinician to discover and interpret what the anomaly means. Now, we may have an explanation that helps unravel some of these inconsistencies.
If there are direct fascial connections that tie ligaments and muscles together in series, then ligaments will have tensile loads applied to them when muscles contract. Traditionally, we have said that a manual resistive test applied to a particular joint motion isolates the muscle-tendon tissues, but not the inert tissues. The muscle-tendon tissues are engaged in a contraction generating a tensile load. Because there is no movement at the joint the inert tissues are not stressed at all.
With this new research, that axiom no longer holds true. If muscles have direct serial connection with ligaments, a manual resistive test with no movement could still put a tensile load on a ligament. If that ligament was damaged, pain could ensue. Under the old paradigm one would assume pain during a manual resistive test is only a muscle-tendon injury, but now we see it could be a ligamentous injury. What does this mean?
For the therapist in clinical practice these concepts have tremendous importance in attempting to identify which tissues might be the source of the client's pain. There are very important implications for both assessment and treatment from these exciting research findings.
From the assessment perspective, it means we must consider the possibility of a greater number of tissues causing client pain if muscle contraction or stretch is involved, especially if that pain is localized near a joint. From the treatment perspective, it means we must look at the extensive functional relationships between different tissues and consider how treatment of one type of tissue (muscle for example) may affect the function of another (ligament).
I have always been an advocate of staying current with research findings and looking for innovative ways to apply them to clinical practice. It is exciting because we're constantly learning new things, and these new concepts and ideas help us become ever more effective with the clients who come seeking our help for pain and injury complaints.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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