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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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?
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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