resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
The Wonders of Light Therapy: An Interview with Wes Burwell
I first met Wes Burwell in 2011 when he was teaching a class on light. Since then, every time I hear him speak, his understanding of the benefits, function and capacity of light has evolved.
The X Factor in Clinical Research: The Patient
It was the great baseball legend, former New York Yankees catcher Yogi Berra – he of countless aphorisms, each with a mind-bending twist – who once declared, "You can observe a lot by watching."
The Tao of Gender
If you think gender is as simple as having a new client check off the "male" or "female" box on your intake form, we hope this article will expand your understanding and thus the reach of your health care.
Help Patients Achieve Optimal Vitamin D Levels
Much research has been done on vitamin D levels and their impact on health; optimal levels have been correlated with a reduced risk of developing numerous conditions.
Jingei Diagnosis: An Effective and Powerful Diagnostic
I graduated from the Kotatama Institute under the direction of Drs. Masahilo and Katsuharu Nakazono in 1984. As a student, I was exposed to the practice of most of the various theories and modalites of Oriental Medicine.
Calcium Helps Prevent Colorectal Cancer
Over the past 25 to 30 years, studies have suggested calcium may confer protection against colorectal cancer.
Pulse Diagnosis: What We Know
I am still finding pearls of wisdom from the books and papers that I inherited from my pulse diagnosis mentor Jim Ramholz.
Lime Jello on Morphine
Taste is in the eyes... actually the mouth... of the beholder. My food preferences have changed, lightening from the food of my youth. My parents loved heavy eastern European cuisine and I loved it as a child. Now I enjoy leaner, healthier whole foods.
Understanding and Identifying Pediatric Growth-Plate Fractures
In general, fractures in children heal well with little intervention as long as the alignment is good. Fractures involving the growth plate, however, are a different issue. In fact, growth-plate injuries are the primary reason for the subspecialty of pediatric orthopedics.
Blaming the Gluteus Medius, Overlooking the Deltoid
The gluteus medius (Gmed) is commonly written about, strengthened and blamed for many conditions, and rightfully so. After all, the Gmed plays a role in pelvic stability, hip motor control and lower-quarter dynamic movements.
Talking to Patients About Healthy Aging
I've noticed that a particular category of patients seems to make up more and more of my practice – they work out, but still experience lots of degenerative joint disease (DJD) issues.
5 Ways to Occupy Occupational Health
Despite the progress that has been made to better protect workers, occupational health and safety remains a priority area for many national governmental organizations due to the widespread problem of occupationally related morbidity and mortality.
To The Finish Line With the Help of TCM
When acupuncturist Eddy De Smedt pursued a career in Traditional Chinese Medicine, he knew he wanted to make a difference.
AOMA Strengthens Leadership Team
AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine, a leading college of acupuncture & herbal medicine, announced the appointment of Donna LaPoint Hurta, MBA as the new VP of Finance & Operations this Fall.
Managing Today's Fertility Patient
I recently received an email from one of my fertility patients: "Got my lab results back. FSH is 11, AMH is 0.7. My doctor said these numbers aren't good. I guess I'm infertile. Just as a thought. Just set up an appointment to speak with an adoption agency."
Saying No to Medicine
An interesting article recently appeared in Men's Journal titled "When to Say No to Your Doctor." The article begins with the summary statement above and effectively arms readers with information that will help them "take more responsibility for your own health care, because you can't be sure anyone else is.
Managing Patient Expectations About Acupuncture
Last year, I attended the Pacific Symposium in San Diego for the first time in six or seven years. It was the 25th anniversary of this event, and on one evening there was a panel discussion with the title; "What is Qi?."
Web Marketing: Content Is King
Google's sweeping updates to its search algorithms over the past few years have brought a paradigm shift in how you can optimize your chiropractic website to gain maximum marketing leverage.
Simple Ways To Find True Happiness
Patients in our clinics are always seeking happiness. As their health advocate, we need to ensure we inform them that in order to find happiness, they have to make sure to identify what makes them happy in the first place.
The Heart Protector
On the physical level, the Pericardium is a double-layered sac of fibrous tissue that envelops the Heart. The space between the layers is filled with serous fluid that protects the Heart from external shock or trauma and lubricates to allow for normal Heart movement.
Transparency and Accountability: Q&A With the CCE
Every profession needs an organization dedicated to upholding the quality and integrity of its degree programs and educational institutions.
Healing With TCM at San Quentin State Prison
For the prisoners at San Quentin State Prison, life-sentences are the reality of every day life. It is not often that prisoners get the opportunity to use alternative medicine to deal with common ailments they encounter behind bars such as, depression, anxiety and pain.
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 more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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