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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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
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.
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.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
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!
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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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