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How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
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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