resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
February, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 02
Hip and Thigh Pain: The Tensor Fascia Latae Connection
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
Have you ever had a patient with hip and lateral thigh pain that did not respond to your traditional treatment? Would it be helpful to know which muscles to double check that refer pain into the hip and lateral thigh? Are you looking for cost-effective ways to educate patients and set your practice apart from the competition? Keep reading to get some answers to your questions.
Patients will describe referral patterns from myofascial trigger points in the tensor fascia latae muscle, as pain in the hip and down the front side of their thigh (Images 1A and 2).
Other symptoms include tenderness and pain, from the pressure of the patient's own body weight, which prevents them from laying on the effected side. Patients can lay on their opposite side by placing a pillow between their knees. The pillow prevents the tensor fascia latae, and the other hip abductors on the painful side from being lengthened, which can activate trigger points. If both sides are too painful, the patient will sleep on their back with a pillow under their legs or in a reclining chair.
Patients will also report experiencing pain when standing up straight after being in a hip flexed position from activities such as driving, sitting, sleeping in a fetal position or on their back with support under their legs. Movements of the hip, including walking, will also produce pain in the hip and or lateral thigh. They may have received a diagnosis of trochanteric bursitis or iliotibial band friction syndrome.
While you may know the location of trigger points and their specific pain referral patterns, your patients do not. They are in pain and looking to you for answers and relief. It only takes a minute to educate your patients about trigger points and it's a great way to build your practice. Explain to patients that if you press on a trigger point, it will produce a referred phenomena that is typically described as pain, burning, tingling or pressure in a region away from the location of the trigger point.
Charts are great visual educational tools (Images 1 and 3). Show patients how your charts work and what they may expect if you palpate a trigger point. For example, in image 4, "X" indicates the common location of trigger points within the muscle. Solid red areas indicate an essential pain zone or area of pain experienced by every patient that had that trigger point activated during research studies. The red dots indicate spillover pain zones. These are areas of pain experienced by some, but not all, patients outside of the essential pain zones.
Besides the tensor fascia latae, there are numerous other muscles that commonly have trigger points that also refer pain into the hip and lateral thigh. Laminated charts allow you to use a wet-erase marker to circle trigger points that may be involved. This process lets you educate the patient while creating a visual checklist of the muscles you will isolate during the treatment. After the therapy session, you can wipe the chart clean with a little water on a towel (Image 3).
Deep to the tensor fascia latae, the anterior fibers of gluteus minimus can have trigger points (Image 4a). (See "Pseudo-Sciatica and Gluteus Minimus Trigger Points," MT, May 2011). Trigger point 2 (TrP2) in the gluteus medius is positioned just belong the iliac crest, mid way along the crest (Image 5b). (See "Back Pain: Often a Pain in the Gluteus Medius," MT, March 2009). All five of the trigger points in the vastis lateralis can refer pain into the hip, the lateral thigh and lateral knee (Images 6 and 7). Trigger points in the more lateral fibers of quadratus lumborum also refer pain into the hip (Image 8)
The shape of the tensor fascia latae is wide in the middle and tapered on each end (fusiform). It is approximately 15cm (5.9 inches) long. The tensor fascia latae attaches proximally to the anterior superior iliac spine (ASIS) and the anterior part of the external lip of iliac crest. Distally it attaches into the iliotibial tract which continues to attach into the lateral condyle of the tibia (Image 1). These attachment points allow the muscle to abduct, medially rotate and flex the thigh. It also helps to keep the knee extended and to stabilize the trunk on the thigh.
Trigger points and the pain they refer are symptoms, our goal is to treat the causes. Trigger points form for many reasons, from direct trauma during an accident, to poor posture habits and more. Information from the patient history forms, subjective complaints, postural analysis, orthopedic assessments and tests (Ober's), joints range of motion (ROM), length and strength of muscles and palpation exam will guide us to design the most effective treatment plan.
A picture is worth a thousand words and a great way to document posture while educating the patients. Posture photos are simple, cost-effective tools that set your practice apart from your competition and should be included as part the initial treatment or package of treatments.
Just like doctors use x-rays and MRIs to give a report of findings, you can use pictures to show and tell patients how their posture is causing the pain. Simply take postural analysis photos using the camera in your iPhone, smart phone, tablet or iPad and show the obvious distortions to your patients on the screen. Visual aids help patients see how their posture is perpetuating the formation of trigger points and how your treatments can help. No special software is needed, you just take the pictures and look at them. A postural analysis grid chart make it easier for the patient's untrained eyes to see the distortions in the photos (Image 3). (See "Practice Building with Postural Analysis," MT, January 2012 and "Practice Building: Getting Inside Your Patient's Head," MT, January 2011).
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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