resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
Is It Time to Rethink Mental Illness? (Pt. 1)
Invariably, patients will ask their chiropractor about depression or various mental illnesses. Some practitioners will reflexively offer a cervical adjustment, suggest St. John's wort or contemplate a referral to a specialist.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
December, 2011, Vol. 11, Issue 12
Back Pain: Signs and Symptoms of the Iliopsoas Muscle
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Patients come to you concerned about their back pain, looking for answers and relief. The pain started when they tried to get out of bed or reached for the keys that fell onto the floor. Your ability to quickly assess your patient's symptoms and communicate your objective findings can determine if they schedule additional appointments, upgrade services or a treatment package, refer others and in some cases the amount of your tip.(Read "Practice Building: Getting Inside Your Patient's Head" MT, January 2011). The iliopsoas muscle can refer pain into the back that ranges from a mild ache to a severe debilitating level of intense pain. We will explore the signs and symptoms that indicate involvement of the iliopsoas muscle and ways to communicate your findings.
Patients will report pain and difficulty when attempting to stand erect after extended periods of hip flexion after driving or reading, seated at a desk or computer, sleeping in a hip flexed or side lying fetal position. The iliopsaos is the primary flexor of the thigh. So pain is often experienced from the iliopsoas when the patient contracts the muscle to perform hip flexion or a sit up movement when rising from a lying position.
Now, lets look at the function of this muscle from another perspective. When the thigh is in a fixed position, as when weight bearing, the iliopsoas acts as a trunk flexor. This is easily spotted during your postural and gait analysis. Postural analysis photos make it easy to document and educate patients of a shortened iliospoas muscle that is causing them to stand in a hip flexed position, bearing weight on the uninvolved side, while keeping the knee bent on the painful shorten side to shorten and reduce tension on the iliospoas (Image 1). The iliopsoas plays an import roll in maintaining upright posture when standing by preventing hyperextension of the hip joint. (Read "Getting Comfortable With Postural Analysis" MT, July 2008)
The iliopsoas is also active during gait. When the iliopsoas is shortened, patients will walk with a stooped posture, tilting their pelvis forward creating a hyperlordosis of the lumbar spine and limping when bearing weight on the involved side.
Proximally, the psoas major muscle attaches to the 12th thoracic and to all of the lumbar vertebral bodies and the corresponding intervertebral discs and the transverse processes of the lumbar vertebrae. The iliacus attaches proximally to iliac fossa, the sacrum and the anterior sacroiliac ligaments. Distally, the two tendons merge forming the iliopsoas tendon to attach onto the lesser trochanter of the femur. (Image 2)
One simple way to check the length of the iliopsoas is to have the patient sit on the edge to the therapy table, extending the hip of the iliopsoas being assessed, while flexing the opposite hip, bring the opposite knee and thight toward the chest to flatten the back, stabilize the pelvis and avoid creating a hyperlordosis of the lumbar spine. Using a photo, it is easy show the right iliopsoas length appears normal and how the shortened left hamstrings are limiting range of motion, preventing the left knee and thigh from moving closer to the chest. (Image 3)
Myofascial trigger points in the psoas muscle refer pain along the spine ipsilaterally from the lower thoracic to the sacral and upper gluteal regions. (Image 4) Patients will point moving their hand up and down or encircle one side of their back, near the spine. When trigger points are referring from both iliospoas muscles, patients will point moving their hand side to side. Iliacus produces the same back pain as psoas and referrers to the anterior thigh and groin.
While trigger points can arise in the iliopsoas from acute overload, they are usually associated with trigger points in other muscles. It will be important to assess and treat the lumbar paraspinal muscles, quadratus lumborum, tensor faciae latae, pectineus, rectus femoris, rectus abdominus (Read "Back Pain Caused by Rectus Abdominis Trigger Points" MT, June 2009), and the contralateral iliospoas muscle.
While it is easy to identify involvement of the iliopsoas, it is necessary to ruled out any precautions and or contraindications prior to performing any stretching or manual therapy. The iliopsoas is clinically important in relation to the kidneys, ureters, pancreas, appendix, sigmoid colon, lumbar lymph nodes and nerves. A clear understanding of the anatomy and proper hands-on training is necessary prior to treating this muscle. Many patients find yoga be a great way to provide self care for the iliopsoas muscle while lengthening and strengthening their entire body.
The treatment of back pain is common and hopefully easier now that you know many of the signs and symptoms of the iliopsoas muscle. Here are a few other articles I encourage you to read "Iliosacral Pain You Can't Touch" (MT, April 2011), "Back Pain: Often a Pain in the Gluteus Medius" (MT, March 2009), and "Pseudo-Sciatica and Gluteus Minimus Trigger Points" (MT, May 2011).
Click here for previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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