resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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 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.
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.
Turning a Blind Eye to History – and Reality
The American Medical Association is taking the Supreme Court's Feb. 25, 2015 decision exactly as it always does – by turning a blind eye to history, legal precedent and reality.
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.)
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.
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.
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 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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