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Making Sense of Liver Regulation
In Chinese medicine, the liver has the function of moving and storing qi and blood. In its moving function, the liver smoothly distributes qi and blood to the tendons, muscles and flesh through microcirculation.
The Qi Focus: A Guide to Managing Stress
Stress, are you experiencing heightened stress levels? Your own, and your clients? Is Trumpitis getting to you? I recently polled a cluster of acupuncturists, Asian Bodywork Therapists (ABT) and psychotherapy colleagues on the issue.
NSAIDs No Better Than Placebo for Spine Pain
A meta-analysis of randomized, placebo-controlled trials comparing the efficacy and safety of NSAIDs with placebo for spinal pain concludes that among 6,065 spine pain patients, "NSAIDs reduced pain and disability, but provided clinically unimportant effects over placebo."
News In Brief
A "Modern" Business Model. Acupuncturists may have a new professional atmosphere to consider, as a new concept is on the horizon - at least for one business.
Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Why Now Is the Time to Expand
In my January article, "Scope of Chiropractic Practice: Is It Time for Change?" I discussed the use of the term primary spine care practitioner, the loss of privileges to diagnose in Texas, and the fact that the definition of "chiropractic" varied from state to state.
Chiropractic: A Great Fit for the White House
Dr. Eric Kaplan is a New York Chiropractic College alumnus; a No. 1 best-selling author whose books include Awaken the Wellness Within and The 5 Minute Motivator; a chiropractor for professional sports teams and elite athletes; and even served as an advisor under the Clinton Administration to the President's Council on Sports & Physical Fitness.
Toxicity & Kids: The Importance of Environmental Intake
The old adage is true that children are not little adults. Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) has long known that the physiology of children is unique, as are the diseases that plague them.
Help Save an Important Chiropractic Landmark
The chiropractic profession has a splendid and varied history. Sadly, many landmarks have been lost to bulldozers and wrecking crews, such as the Ryan Building, Little-Bit-O-Heaven, Spears Chiropractic Hospital, and Clearview Sanitarium.
Waist Circumference: A Conversation Starter (Part 2)
Now let's discuss the clinical approach to reducing WC and implementation in today's chiropractic practice. The primary intervention centers around dietary modification and lifestyle habits aimed to reduce adiposity, improve insulin sensitivity and ultimately, diminish systemic metabolic dysfunction.
How to Correct a Cuboid Subluxation
Cuboid subluxation is a poorly recognized condition, even though it is not uncommon. It has been described in the literature under various names: cuboid subluxation, cuboid syndrome, locked cuboid, dropped cuboid, cuboid fault syndrome or peroneal cuboid syndrome.
The First (Only) Choice for Spinal Pain
The study on NSAIDs for spinal pain summarized on the front page of this issue is intriguing on a number of levels, the most obvious being the conclusion that "compared with placebo, NSAIDs do not provide a clinically important effect on spinal pain, and six patients must be treated with NSAIDs for one patient to achieve a clinically important benefit in the short-term."
Insomnia Treatment Based on the Yu Theory
In recent years, acupuncture has risen in popularity as a form of alternative or supplemental medicine for the treatment of many different types of disorders.
Give Your Patients the Ergonomic Advantage
Prolonged sitting contributes to low back pain and is a health risk. When I discuss my POLITE technique practice recommendations with patients, ergonomics may be last, but not least!
5 Ways to Enhance Your Family Practice
Every practice has a personality style. A practice that caters to athletes, PI cases or adults, for example, projects differently to patients than a family wellness practice.
Good Works at the Canandaigua VA
Faculty and students of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (FLSAOM) of the New York Chiropractic College have provided acupuncture to veterans at the Veterans' Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Canandaigua, New York since September of 2007.
Integrative Cardiology: The Heart of TCM & Western Medicine
Patient centered therapy is a growing trend in hospitals that are expanding to boutique services.
Treating LBP the Right Way: Think Natural
An updated clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends spinal manipulation and other non-invasive, non-drug therapies as first options for acute, subacute and chronic low back pain, rather than pain medications, as stipulated in the original 2007 guideline.
Treating the Terrain of Chronic Sinus Infections
Chronic sinus infections can be stubborn to treat, but the therapeutic path forward can be simplified when utilizing three distinct treatment principles which take into account the terrain of the body, and the way in which microbes grow.
The Chiropractor's Guide to CRISPR
Science magazine's "Breakthrough of the Year" award for 2015 was described as "the gene-editing tool called CRISPR." CRISPR stands for "clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats."
Caring for Refugees in Greece
At the beginning of 2016 I had no idea what was in store for me, but I was looking forward to a personal retreat on the Greek island of Paros; a graduation gift to myself after 22 years of motherhood, and four-plus years of Chinese medicine school.
Shedding Light on the Benefits of Heliotherapy
I can't imagine anyone not feeling good strolling in the sun on a beautiful spring day. The sun is responsible for all life on earth and is best illustrated along the equator touting the richest biodiversity on the planet, in stark contrast to the Arctic Circle and South Pole.
May, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 05
Exploring the SI Joint
By Whitney Lowe, LMT
Lumbopelvic pain is a common complaint that affects close to three quarters of this country's population. As massage therapists, we have a tendency to look for muscular causes of these pain complaints.However, a narrowed focus of attention on muscular tissues might cause one to miss key components of the client's complaint. The sacroiliac joint can be a frequent source of lumbopelvic pain. This joint is unlike many others in the body and requires a comprehensive understanding of anatomy, biomechanics and related tissues in order to best help people with the numerous disorders that may stem from dysfunctional joint mechanics.
The first place to begin in a detailed exploration of the sacroiliac joint is its anatomical structure. Most joints in the body consist of two smooth articular surfaces that are designed to glide against each other throughout a full range of motion. This is not the case at the sacroiliac joint. The articulating surfaces between the sacrum and the Ilium are more of a rough, irregular surface (Figure 1). They are designed to fit together like puzzle pieces with the irregular surface of each side matching up so it can provide greater stability. Unfortunately, when these irregular surfaces don't align correctly, which is the case with sacroiliac joint dysfunction, it can be very painful and produce serious dysfunctional mechanics.
The next prominent aspect of sacroiliac joint anatomy is the extensive webbing of ligamentous structures that surrounds the joint (Figures 2 and 3). This extensive ligamentous complex clues us in to key biomechanical aspects of the joint. Because this joint is so tightly bound by ligaments, very little motion can occur at the joint. The ligamentous mesh is primarily designed to help transfer weight from the upper torso to the pelvis, and yet allow a slight degree of mobility at that juncture. The key stabilizing ligaments in this region include: the anterior sacroiliac ligament complex, the posterior sacroiliac ligaments, and the sacrotuberous, sacrospinous and iliolumbar ligaments.
One of the more interesting facets of anatomical structure at the sacroiliac joint relates to the muscles which span the joint. In most regions of the body, motion at a joint is governed by muscles which attach to each of the bones of that joint. That is not the case in the sacroiliac joint. There are no muscles that span directly from the sacrum to the ilium. There are numerous muscles which cross the sacroiliac joint, but they cross other joints as well. Consequently, addressing sacroiliac dysfunction by treating muscles in this region requires a much greater understanding of the role muscles play immediately around this joint, as well as in distant areas. The role of related tissues and fascial connections will become increasingly apparent after looking at some aspects of this joint's biomechanics.
At first glance it would appear as if the sacrum is tightly wedged between the left and right innominate bones. The innominate is the combined ilium, ischium and pubis on each side. However, if the sacrum were tightly wedged between these two bones it would be difficult, as well as painful, for motion to occur due to the very high levels of friction. Instead, the extensive webbing of ligament structures around the joint acts more like a sling to hold the sacrum suspended in this joint and allows a very slight degree of motion while maintaining extensive stability.
The slight degree of motion capable at the sacroiliac joint is a forward and backward tipping of the sacrum in relation to the innominate bones. Forward tipping of the sacrum is called nutation, where backward tipping of the sacrum is called counternutation. Nutation and counternutation are necessary for minor movement between each innominate and the sacrum. During a walking or running stride one hip is in flexion while the other is in extension. The opposing motions of each side of the pelvis require some degree of slight movement with the sacroiliac joint articulation on each side. If these small degrees of movement are not available, significant alterations in joint mechanics occur and can produce serious pain.
Various postural distortions can cause alignment problems at the sacroiliac joint on each side. Lateral pelvic tilts, as well as anterior and posterior pelvic rotations can each produce numerous detrimental biomechanical problems at the sacroiliac joint. These composite movement problems can produce low back pain, as well as radiating pain down the lower extremity. It might be tempting to suspect that low back pain that also extends down the lower extremity is resulting from a neurological disorder at the nerve root level, when in fact it could be a sacroiliac joint disorder instead. Treatment aimed at lumbar nerve roots or intervertebral discs would likely be ineffective in this scenario.
Role of Massage in Treating SI Joint Dysfunction
Sacroiliac joint disorders routinely cause pain and disability. Massage practitioners don't always think about joint dysfunction as a primary need for massage because the emphasis in most massage treatments is so closely aligned to working on muscles. However, practitioners should remember that numerous soft tissues spanning the sacroiliac joint, both close by and in remote regions, can have significant effects on joint mechanics, giving a valuable rationale for massage therapy treatment.
A great example for understanding the crucial role of massage is simply to look at the many fascial connections that exist in this region. There are fascial connections between the hamstring muscles and the sacrotuberous ligament. Consequently, excess tension in the hamstrings could be transmitted through the sacrotuberous ligament and give adverse pulling force on the sacrum, causing joint dysfunction. There are similar fascial connections between the erector spinae muscles and the posterior sacroiliac ligament complex. Chronic tightness in the lumbar extensor muscles can then be transmitted directly to the sacrum, altering sacroiliac joint mechanics and contributing to pain. Massage treatment of these spinal extensor muscles could be a key factor in normalizing dysfunctional joint mechanics.
There are also fascial connections between the gluteus maximus and the sacrotuberous ligament. The gluteus maximus also has fascial continuity with the lower lumbodorsal fascia which blends into the latissimus dorsi. All of these fascial connections could have beneficial or detrimental effects on sacroiliac joint mechanics. With the numerous fascial connections in this region, it is clear that massage therapy treatment of these soft tissues can play a key role in maintaining optimal joint mechanics of the sacroiliac joint. Yet, without a solid grounding in the complex anatomy and biomechanics in this region it may be difficult to achieve proper interventions.
Movement specialists are still developing working models that accurately convey the complex anatomical and biomechanical relationships in this region. Yet we now understand much more about sacroiliac joint mechanics than we did just a short time ago. The massage therapist who has a better understanding of the joint structure and function along with numerous fascial connections in this region will be so much more effective in helping clients who suffer from these common complaints.
Click here for more information about Whitney Lowe, LMT.
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