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Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
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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