resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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!
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 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.
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.
June, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 06
Adventitious Tissue Structures of Elevated Tissue Density
By Linda LePelley, RN, NMT
A 12-year-old boy was brought into my clinic complaining of pain in his right heel, which impaired his ability to participate in sports, even to walk normally. His doctor, having x-rayed it, diagnosed a bone spur, explaining that the pain may or may not resolve on its own and it could be surgically removed if it continued to bother him.The boy's mother had heard I'd helped a friend with a similar problem so she wanted to see if I could help her son with the pain until something could be done about the bone spur. A hard nodule the size of a pea was palpable on his right heel.
A mechanic came in complaining of right-sided upper back pain, with trouble raising his right arm. I found a large mass of dense tissue, approximately 9 cm long, 4-5 cm wide, with an approximate depth from 1 cm at the outer borders, to 3 cm deep at its center. Its presence, at the medial border of the scapula, involved all of the musculature at that region, and prevented full range of motion. Palpation indicated it was ensconced all the way through to the bones of the ribs.
A 65-year-old woman presented with severe low back pain. She stated that she had never had any problems with her back until several days earlier. She had driven for 6 hours to visit her daughter, stopping only for fuel and then going directly to bed once she had reached her destination. The following morning she awoke to find herself barely able to walk without grimacing and crying out in extreme pain. Upon palpation, I found a large, rubbery, firm area the approximate size and shape of a 5 x 3 cm oblong pancake, 2 cm deep, engulfing her right sciatic nerve and the tissues around it.
A friend showed me her left wrist where, over the period of just a few months, a knot had formed on the radius, proximal to the scaphoid bone. Her doctor had told her it was arthritis, and her sister told her that she had suffered the same thing on her wrist, and had it surgically removed – suggesting my friend should do the same. My friend was no longer able to wear her watch, due to tightness and irritation. The knot felt just as if it was solid bone.
What these seemingly unrelated conditions have in common with each other is that they all involve the formation of a new tissue structure. I refer to these tissue structures as "Adventitious" because they are extraneous and they do not belong where they occur. And while they are likely the result of a body's attempt to maintain homeostasis; their development often results in pain and dysfunction. In my previous article, "Tissue Density's Relationship to Pain and Dysfunction", from the April 2012 issue, I wrote as follows: "My thoughts regarding the etiology of elevated TD involve the lipid-rich components of our extracellular fluids, which I believe are attracted to the bio-polymeric nature of our cartilaginous tissues. This attraction, combined with a variety of dynamic factors, including body heat, compressive force, overuse, injury, hypo-hydration, torsion, sheer force, tensile force, inertia, chemical environment and fluid viscosity may cause the extracellular fluid to accumulate, thicken and eventually precipitate into gelatinous plaque. Over time, I believe that these plaques harden and become mineralized, turning into the rubbery nodules or bone-like overgrowth of arthritic joints, as well as contributing to many other conditions. The plaque may be as thin as a sheet of a single layer of fascia cells or it can form a large area of many tissue layers sandwiched together, such as those found over arthritic hip joints and the thick, tender pads which so often develop at the medial aspect of knees." (I suspect that the main component of this conglomeration is cholesterol.)
Elevated Tissue Density (TD) is, in my opinion, the first sign of adventitious tissue structure formation. It seems to continue to increase in size and hardness over time. I wouldn't characterize it as "growth," but as an accumulation. Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) massage is an effective way to prevent and reverse this condition. In most of the examples above, the structures were stable, easy to isolate, and not too difficult to resolve.
In the case of the mother who spent several hours driving, the problem was a little more complex. An adventitious tissue structure had formed and become dense at her sciatic nerve area. Because it had not impeded movement or caused her pain, she was unaware of its existence. Over time, it continued to accumulate and condense, holding the nerve firmly in place until, that is, it shifted. When my client spent several hours driving, with her right leg extended to the gas pedal, enough heat was created in the affected area to slightly melt the outer layer of the adventitious structure. She then went to bed, sleeping in a side-lying position. During the night, her tissues resumed their normal temperature and the structure re-hardened, but now it was in a slightly different position. While the structure maintained its solid grip on the nerve, it had shifted, pulling the sciatic nerve painfully out of place.
Adventitious tissue structures can form sharp points, such as the bone spur on the young man's heel; large, immobile, lumpy barriers to free movement, as found in the mechanic's back; unstable, shifting bodies such as the one experienced by the traveling mother; and some so smooth and solid one would easily believe that it was simply a large, bony prominence. Fortunately, these affected tissues can often be restored to normal density and function through the proper application of TDR massage, as happened with each of the examples listed above.
A client who has rheumatoid arthritis complained of pain in her right ankle, stating that she had erosion in an ankle bone, as explained to her by her physician, and evidenced by x-ray. She brought her x-ray in. It occurred to me that perhaps the eroded area might actually be an adventitious tissue structure, formed over the bone, which had then melted in one spot (due to the heat of RA inflammation), leaving the appearance of erosion. I applied TDR massage, relieving her pain. Our hope was to then have the ankle x-rayed again for comparison; however the health care provider was not interested in exploring the matter. Whatever the actual etiology may have been, almost a year later, the client has not suffered pain in that ankle since.
I surmise that the reason elevated TD and these adventitious tissue formations have been overlooked, is due to the fact that they are largely invisible to diagnostic imaging. They are, however, palpable and once located, treatable through the proper application of massage. Massage therapists have the ability to resolve a great deal of human suffering, literally, within their grasp.
Linda LePelley, RN, NMT is a registered nurse and licensed massage therapist with 19 years of clinical massage experience. She developed Tissue Density Restoration (TDR) Massage, an effective treatment for the pain found in hyper-dense tissues. For more information, visit www.MyHealingHands.com.
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.