It's Time for a Functional Approach to Chronic Illness
It seems one of the more modern buzzwords is chronic, referring to diseases – that is to say, "ongoing and incurable." However, we can take a different perspective and recognize that, although the body may have been traumatized and injured, healing should always be viewed in the realm of possibility.
Spring Allergies & The Spleen: Looking at Pattern Differentiation
As the season of Spring fades away and we shift into the warm summer months, many patients suffer from chronic allergies. This is by far one of the most common issues I see in the clinic as well as often mistreated and misdiagnosed.
Acupuncture's Standard of Care
Both a concern and critique of acupuncture, frequently espoused by the bio-medical community is, "there is no standard of care in acupuncture." The following is why I believe this statement is disingenuous at best.
Regenerative Medicine: How to Do It by the Books
The "lay of the land" for regenerative therapies, including but certainly not limited to adult stem-cell treatments, seems to change almost daily.
Catch the Workplace Wellness Wave
Do you offer workplace wellness services to local businesses? If not, you might want to consider this lucrative channel for expanding your practice. Workplace wellness programs and wellness-related benefits have grown in popularity over the past several decades.
Reducing Allostatic Load & Stress Through Heightened Awareness
Your contemporary mental health and psychotherapy colleagues may often approach the treatment of allostatic load as a mental health condition and use prescription psycho-pharmaceutical medicine to affect general and specific central nervous system (CNS) pathways and brain neuro-chemistry medicine to alleviate the associated symptoms.
Paving the Way to Integrative Health & Wellness
Jared Polis (D-Colorado) and Mike Coffman (R-Colorado) launched the integrative health and wellness (IHW) caucus in October, 2018.
Prevention: Stop Recurrent Urinary Tract Infections
The recurrent urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of those nuisance conditions that can play havoc with quality of life, and this particular infection is much more common than most people realize.
Is Primary Spine Care the Answer for Chiropractic?
Recently, we sat down with Mark Studin, DC, FASBE(C), DAAPM, DAAMLP, to discuss the state of chiropractic and why primary spine care may hold the key to chiropractic's future. Read what he had to share in this exclusive interview.
Transforming Exam Delivery
The NBCE Board of Directors has never wavered on its promise to deliver an excellent, on-campus computerized testing experience to students. Likewise, there has never been a compromise to the delivery of fair, valid and legally defensible exams.
Chiropractic's Next Frontier: Adjusting the Microbiome
Restoring a healthy microbiome to help treat disease may be the next frontier in chiropractic offices around the country.
Better With Chiropractic
While chiropractic care is receiving high levels of exposure these days, most pain patients who consult with a health provider still do so with their primary-care MD. And of course, that means in most cases, they're receiving standard medical care, not chiropractic.
Multi-Dimensional Acupuncture: 3D, 4D & 5D
Maggie is an intuitive healer and workshop leader who I met on a recent hike. While we were talking she told me how she had to take it easy because of her knees. She said that her doctor told her that she has the early signs of arthritis.
NBCE to Reinstitute Computer-Based Exams
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) has announced it will reinstate computer-based testing in January 2019 courtesy of a partnership with testing and assessment solutions provider Prometric.
Missed Causes of LBP: It's the Syndrome, Not the Subluxation
When I read the chart notes of other chiropractors, I am usually disappointed. They list what vertebrae are fixated or misaligned. They may describe the involved fascia and muscles.
Practice Pearls: There's More to ROM Than Meets the Eye
As part of my neuromusculoskeletal examination, I perform range-of-motion (ROM) evaluations. I can "eyeball" the range and measure, I can use a goniometer and measure, I can use my phone app and measure, or I can use various other instruments to help determine degrees of motion.
New Opportunities for DCs
For decades, the model chiropractic practice has been the single-doctor practice. Recent surveys have found that approximately two-thirds of U.S. doctors of chiropractic still practice this way, with another 20 percent practicing in multiple-chiropractor practices.
Official NCCAOM Practice Tests
The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) is excited to announce the launch of the new NCCAOM Exam Preparation Center.
Dropping Insurance: 4 Steps
My office manager just got off the phone with the secretary of a long-standing patient. I have treated this woman and 10 members of her family for more than a decade. She has, as have all of my patients, paid my fee at the time of service since I dropped insurance in 1997.
TCM Codes for the World
I just received an email concerning the ICD-TM11 codes. The World Health Organization (WHO) will be presenting the new ICD-11 codes to World Health Assembly very soon.
The Acupuncturist and the Opioid Crisis: Conquering Pain & Addiction in the U.S.
The current opioid epidemic dominates the discussion among national health leaders, recovery advocates and families nationwide. Opioids include heroin as well as prescription pain relievers such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, fentanyl, and others.
State by State: Chiropractic Leads Changes in Health Care
Monumental legislative bills in support of the chiropractic profession were passed recently in Washington, West Virginia and Oregon. Here is a review of this important legislation, state by state...
Bastyr University: On the Front Lines of the Pain Epidemic
At University of Washington's Harborview Medical Center, the Seattle region's only Level I Trauma and Burn Center, the demands for in-patient care are dramatically different from a private clinic environment.
A Novel Way to Prevent Elderly Falls: Toe Strength
In any given year, nearly 40 percent of senior citizens ages 70 and older will fall at least once. Each fall significantly increases the risk of not only sprains, strains and contusions, but also fractures.
Cyber Threat Checklist: Defend Your Business With These 10 Steps
Living in an internet connected society brings many conveniences and benefits. The power of the internet to connect us with customers, store data, and find information has opened the door for many small business owners to grow and flourish.
Old Trend, New Risks: Heavy Weight Training
With more opportunities to exercise than ever, a greater selection of exercise options, and the subsequent opinions supporting and challenging their merits, it's easy to be confused as to which approach is best.
First World Spine Care Graduate: Hildah Molate
Hildah Molate, the first World Spine Care (WSC) scholarship student, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic earlier this year and is now working at the WSC community spine clinic in Shoshong, Botswana.
News in Brief
Parker University Launches New Open-Access Research Journal for Chiropractic; Western States, Cleveland-KC Name New Deans of Chiropractic Colleges; Sherman College Goes Tobacco-Free; Life University Wins 11 Awards.
Prompting Memory: How to Stimulate Cognition
Recently I gave a talk titled, The Art of Memoir – Tapping the Past to Sharpen the Present at a senior lunch event in Austin, Texas.
September, 2012, Vol. 12, Issue 09
Locomotive Power and Femoroacetabular Impingement
By Debbie Roberts, LMT
To think about locomotive power you first need to think about the chain of muscles, tendons, ligaments and joint structures that allow us to walk, run, jump, climb and play. This action of moving forward from the foot all the way to the trunk is what defines kinetic chain energy or locomotive power.
Static and Functional Assessments
As a therapist, it's crucial to take static AND function postural assessments with new clients. The standard static assessment will show you if some part of the body is forward or rotated, indicating weakness or tightness. But it won't tell you where the problem is occurring.
For that, you'll need to conduct a functional assessment. This allows you to see how the body responds to loads. Then you're able to better understand where the muscular weakness and dysfunction are happening.
Femoroacetabular Impingement of the Hip Joint
One place these assessments can be useful is in recognizing Femoroacetabular Impingement (FAI) of the hip joint. Remember that old song from your childhood, "The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone, the ankle bone's connected to the knee bone," and so on? This old ditty gives us an important hint about understanding FAI. The key is in order to properly assess what's going on at the hip, you have to begin all the way down at the foot. The first step is to look at the way the foot strikes the ground and the way the body absorbs the load through the femur.
When seeing a patient who is at risk for FAI, it's helpful to know the six primary signs and symptoms:
If FAI appears to be a factor for your patient you can begin by performing a static test. In a static observation, an S-posture indicates Lower Cross Syndrome. This can be the result of a misaligned ankle that affects the knee, which in turn leads to a change in the pelvic position.
Since the hip joint is located between the knee and the pelvis, it's naturally affected as well. If this occurs, you're looking at a muscular imbalance and insufficiency of the lower kinetic chain energy, which leads to a dysfunction at the ball and socket joint of the hip and possible FAI.
The FABER test is another assessment you can use to determine if FAI is a factor. If you're not familiar with the FABER test, the name tells the whole story: F-lexion, AB-duction, E-xternal R-otation of the hip. When conducting a FABER test, start with the patient supine and then flex, abduct and externally rotate the hip by placing their left foot over their right thigh or knee. Then slowly lower the knee down toward the table as you look for restrictions or signs of pain. Repeat to the other side. (FABER) (Ganz R. Parvizi J, Beck M, Leunig M, Notzli H, Siebenrock KA. Femoroacetabular impingement: a cause for osteoarthritis of the hip. Clin Ortop. 2003; 417:112-8.)
Causes of FAI
There are many theories as to how and why individuals develop FAI. One theory is that during development structural abnormalities of the hip, such as hip dysplasia (femur dislocation), can occur (Pollare 2011). Another cause is physical stress or trauma, like that suffered from a femoral neck fracture (Byrd & Jones 2011). Genetics is another potential factor in FAI (Leunig, Beaule' & Ganz 2009).
Whether the cause is developmental, trauma induced or genetic, in all cases one thing is consistent: FAI occurs when there is an abnormality of the femoral head and its congruency to the acetabulum. This is the culprit in early "primary" osteoarthritis of the hip, especially in young, active patients (Tannast, Siebenrock & Anderson 2007).
How Does FAI Develop?
FAI can develop over time through repeated and excessive hip flexion and internal rotation. This results in maximal contact between the anterosuperior femoral head-neck junction and the acetabular labrum, especially when there is not enough clearance to avoid friction. The repetitive movements and compressive load create a torsion effect on the internal structures inside the hip socket (Emara et al. 2011).
A patient whose FAI has progressed will develop an abnormal, asymmetrical and accommodative movement pattern. Taking a kinetic chain assessment will help you see the full dysfunctional pattern, allowing you to create a more complete treatment plan. This allows you to stop chasing the pain by helping the patient to correct the muscular imbalances that have contributed to the impingement.
To truly understand the development of this condition, let's look at the function of the hip joint and the moving parts that contribute to its healthy movement. The main job of the hip joint is to bear weight (Banerjee & Mclean 2011). The femoral ball slides against the acetabular socket and allows the body to perform movements of flexion, extension, abduction, adduction and internal and external rotation (American Medical Association 2011). The joint is supported by bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments and tendons and has two main components: the acetabulum and the femur. The femoral head fits into and moves against the acetabular surface.
Anatomically, the iliopsoas, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and gluteus maximus all provide anterolateral stability. So it's easy to see how an S-posture, with tight hip flexors and quadriceps and a weak extensor chain (gluteus maximus, medius, minimus and hamstrings), can alter the load. This puts excessive forces onto the hip joint and alters the patient's movement or gait pattern.
How FAI Presents
In the last year, I have seen more than half a dozen women in their 50s suffering from FAI resulting in osteoarthritis of the hip. After doing static and functional assessments, I discovered that every one of these patients had the typical muscular imbalances of Lower Cross Syndrome.
During their assessments, I noticed that all of these women began their static posture in an S-curve. After a functional assessment, including a FABER test, Thomas test, squat test and toe touch, it was clear that each one also suffered from a muscle imbalance of a hypertonic psoas muscle and tightness in the quadriceps and IT band. This was accompanied by loss of strength in the extensor chain.
All of these patients were referred to me by a their orthopedist or chiropractor and each came with a report of findings and diagnosis in her file. This allowed me to focus on helping them with their muscular imbalances by creating a treatment plan based on their doctor's recommendations and their individual needs.
A few of the women I saw were on very conservative treatment that blended modalities such as massage, cupping, muscle energy, traction of the femur, treatment in side posturing and corrective exercises. Some have undergone debridement for labral tears. Still others have received injections of the trochanteric bursa combined with physical therapy.
Unfortunately, four of these women did have to undergo hip replacement surgery, with two of them needing bilateral hip replacements to correct congenital disorders.
What We Can Do As Therapists
With the rise in hip replacement surgeries among younger women, it's time for us to take an active role in helping our patients with muscular imbalances to protect their hips from FAI. Without proper assessment, you may be only chasing the pain and symptoms of FAI and not helping with the correction of postural imbalances.
With the right assessment tools, however, you may be able to help your patient properly position the hip simply by lengthening the appropriate muscles and correcting the S-posture. By learning to take both functional and static assessments you can play a positive role in helping your patients identify and correct FAI and prevent future osteoarthritis.
Click here for more information about Debbie Roberts, LMT.
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