resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is the New Medicare Reporting Exemption Right for You?
What you've heard is not a rumor – there will be exemptions for providers of Medicare patients, with no penalties assessed for offices that do not do Quality Payment Program (EHR, PQRS, MACRA and MIPS) reporting.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
December, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 12
Learning from Harm
By Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB
In 2003, Ernst and Grant separately reviewed the medical literature for reports of harm from massage therapy. Both papers were consistent with Ernst's conclusion that, "Massage is not entirely risk free.However, serious adverse events are probably true rarities." I want to briefly point out and review four case reports added to the literature since those two reviews. First, let me add some motivating comments.
As noted by Cohen and Nelson (2011), the legal basis for the regulation of health care practices by the states is protection of the public from harms of incompetence and malfeasance. The latter is primarily a function of oversight and discipline. The first, ensuring competence within scope of practice, has elements both of training and of monitoring for capacity to practice. Here, I'm focusing on the aspect of training.
The importance of a scope of practice is to define what tasks a practitioner is expected to competently perform, in what contexts, and the presence of what co-morbidities. Looking at case reports of injuries might provide a window on flaws in the expected competencies. However, It isn't enough just to know that an injury occurred. We need to identify the nature of the risk and determine if specific changes in training and practice protocols can eliminate or reduce it.
Aksoy et al. report the case of a 38-year-old woman with complaints of persistent right shoulder pain and limited range of motion (ROM) after a single session of deep tissue massage. There were no predisposing factors or specific muscle pains prior to massage. During a deep tissue massage for purposes of relaxation, she felt pain on the left side of her neck and at the top of her left shoulder radiating toward her arm while work was being done along her neck and shoulders. The pain continued afterward, and the patient noted that her left arm felt "long and heavy" while standing. She also had difficulty lifting her arm up and reaching back. There was no numbness or tingling during or after the deep tissue massage. Subsequent diagnosis indicated injury to the spinal accessory nerve, resulting in weakness of the trapezius muscle and scapular winging. While pain resolved, two years after injury recovery of strength was only partial. While a cautionary note for deep work at the neck and shoulder, no details are given that allow technique evaluation. Any sudden pain during massage treatment follow by subsequent indications of motor impairment should be taken as a clear indication for referral.
Crump and Paluska report a case of venous thromboembolism (VTE) following vigorous deep tissue massage in a previously healthy 67-year-old man with no identifiable risk factors other than his age. The authors note that physicians are often either unaware of or fail to follow evidence-based guidelines for the prevention and treatment of VTE. In this case, there was a five-day delay between initial medical examination at an emergency room and initiation of treatment subsequent to a second exam by his primary care physician. The patient reported a history of right calf pain and swelling, which had preceded the onset of his back pain by five days. The right calf symptoms had begun the day after receiving a vigorous deep tissue massage (for nonmedical reasons), which had included the lower extremities. His calf symptoms had gradually improved over the next five days, at which time he developed the right upper thoracic pain that had prompted his initial visit to the emergency department. The reporting physicians' conclusions are simply cautionary.
This case report suggests that nonpenetrating trauma to the legs, such as vigorous massage, is a potential risk factor that might be unrecognized and underreported. This report should not necessarily deter individuals without any known risk factors for VTE from receiving massage therapy. Additional research is needed to clarify the risks associated with nonpenetrating trauma to the legs, especially in older adults and other susceptible groups.
Wu and Wang report on a 40 year-old woman with injury to the posterior interosseous nerve (PIN) following a local friction massage for tennis elbow (lateral tendinosis). A detailed review of history and physical examination did not reveal any other possible etiology other than the friction massage. The technique anomaly in this case appears to be extension of the friction massage to more than 4 cm below the epicondyle. The authors note that such extension exposes the PIN to risk of damage via compression in its path through the supinator muscle. They recommend that friction massage not extend more than 4 cm below the epicondyle.
Lee et al. report on a cervical cord injury after massage in a 47 year-old male. In this case, the massage was for relaxation. He lied supine without a pillow under his neck, and passive range-of-motion exercise was applied as warm-up movements for his arms. The operator then applied oil on his body, followed by gliding and compression over his anterior thorax and bilateral neck. Suddenly, he felt acute weakness of all four limbs. The weakness remained even though the massage was stopped immediately. He needed moderate to maximal assistance to stand and walk.
There is nothing particularly striking in the description of the techniques themselves. The authors note that the mechanism of injury is not clear. However, the client had a history of cervical spine degenerative disease and had also experienced far more limited muscle weakness following a previous massage. The report underscores the need for taking a history and in obtaining medical clearance for massage where there are factors predisposing toward serious injury.
Click here for previous articles by Keith Eric Grant, PhD, NCTMB.
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