resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
First Do No Harm?
There's no questioning the frightening nature of breast cancer, which strikes one in eight women in the U.S. – eclipsed only by skin cancer in terms of prevalence.
A Poor Choice for Pain Relief
Acetaminophen is the most popular pain reliever in the U.S., accounting for an estimated 27 billion annual doses as of 2009. With 100,000-plus hospital visits a year by users, it's also the most likely to be taken inappropriately.
Reducing the Autogenic Inhibition Reflex: Making Weak Muscles Strong
The autogenic inhibition (AI) reflex is a sudden relaxation of a muscle in response to excess tension.
Leg-Length Inequality and Pelvic Fixation: A New Approach to the Negative Derifield (Part 2)
As we noted in our previous article, with a positive Derifield (+D), the doctor observes the reactive (shorter) leg in the prone position that becomes longer or "crosses over" in the flexed position.
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.
Spieth Thanks His Chiropractor After Historic Masters Win
Jordan Spieth didn't just capture the hearts of golf enthusiasts worldwide with his record-setting, wire-to-wire victory at the 79th Masters Tournament.
Professional Credentialing and Board Certification: An Ethical Faux Pas
Because of the Affordable Care Act, health care systems are coordinating care through accountable care organizations (ACOs) in order to reduce the cost of care and improve quality of care.
We Get Letters & Email
A House Divided? (May 1 issue) provoked significant response from readers. Here are several of the surprisingly similar comments we received.
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.
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.
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.
Green Tea Improves Cognitive Function in Elderly Subjects
Publishing their results in the journal Nutrients in May 2014, researchers showed that drinking the equivalent of 2-4 cups of brewed green tea (or bottled tea) daily improved cognitive function or reduced the progression of cognitive dysfunction in elderly subjects.
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.
Rethinking Musculoskeletal Pain – A Public Health Perspective
The American Public Health Association (APHA) is the world's oldest and largest association of its kind, founded more than 140 years ago and boasting over 25,000 members.
ACA or ICA: Which Best Represents You?
Last June, I was honored to represent Texas ICA members as their representative assemblyman at the ICA Annual Meeting in Kansas City.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Giving Vets the Care They Deserve
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the largest integrated health care system in the United States.
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.
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.
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.
Join the conversation
Comments are encouraged, but you must follow our User Agreementcomments powered by Disqus
Keep it civil and stay on topic. No profanity, vulgar, racist or hateful comments or personal attacks. Anyone who chooses to exercise poor judgement will be blocked. By posting your comment, you agree to allow MPA Media the right to republish your name and comment in additional MPA Media publications without any notification or payment.