resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
New Medical Technologies You Need to Know
We're all familiar with how fast computers become obsolete, as well as the rapid pace of development in the field of cell phone technology. The latest smart phones are far more powerful than desktop computers were only a few years ago.
Immunizations by Colorado DCs: Really?
You probably didn't hear about it, but back on Nov. 21, 2013, the Board of Directors of the Colorado Chiropractic Association (CCA) adopted "immunization authority" for Colorado DCs as its No. 2 legislative goal.
Coding for the Subluxation: ICD-9 vs. ICD-10
When I attended chiropractic school, I was taught that chiropractors approach health care differently than the traditional medical establishment.
Physical Exam 101: The Hands
I am sure you are familiar with the old adage: "When the only tool in your toolbox is a hammer, everything starts to look like a nail."
Medical Qigong for the Heart: Part III
Part 1 and Part II of this series focused on the physical aspect of the Heart and mental emotional aspects of the Heart respectively. Now, I would like to focus on the spiritual aspect of the Heart.
Finders Keepers: The Secret to Relationship-Based Marketing
Becoming a successful practitioner has less to do with what you learned in school, and more to do with your ability to find new patients and keep them!
Peer Points: Always Seeking To Grow
Ellen "Kiki" Geary has spent the last decade honing her craft. As a specialist in integrative holistic care, she went straight from completing her master's degree in acupuncture and chinese herbal medicine from Bastyr University to building a successful and thriving practice in the small community of Anacortes, Washington.
Vaccines and Chiropractic: Evidence-Based Medicine or Medical Dogma?
Right or wrong, the chiropractic profession has historically been against vaccinations. However, a growing trend within the profession is seeking to reverse this position.
The Science of Stretching
In 1986, Rob DeCastella set a course record by running the Boston Marathon in 2:07:51, just 39 seconds off the world record.
A Guide for Talking to Doctors about Acupuncture and Brain Chemistry
Before I begin any discussion of how to talk about the effects of acupuncture on brain chemistry, nervous and endocrine function, it is essential to understand just what physicians most need help with.
By the Numbers: 3 Common Financial Mistakes With Major Consequences
Warren Buffett is on record for sharing the hidden art of becoming wealthy and making it simple enough for anyone to grasp.
Fibromyalgia: Put the Pain in Its Place
While some fibromyalgia patients respond favorably to regular chiropractic care, others experience minimal relief. Unfortunately, many of these patients must rely on pharmacological management to relieve their constant pain.
Building From the Bottom Up
I caught up with my dear friend Honora Wolfe, in her Colorado painting studio where, if she is not praying in Bhutan or doing charitable work in a Nepali free clinic, she spends most of her time now.
Curbing Label Overwhelm
For the average consumer, reading a food package can be overwhelming: natural, organic, non-GMO, gluten free, free range ... you get the picture.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Remembering Clarence Gonstead and 50 Years of the Gonstead Clinic
Dr. Clarence Selmer Gonstead (1898-1978) took chiropractic practice from back-alley bone setting to an understandable biomechanical science. His life was dedicated to clinical competency.
Knee Pain From the Kinetic Chain
As practitioners of manual medicine, chiropractors often treat patients suffering from knee pain.
Are You a Bad Chiropractic Patient?
My father was a great DC. In fact, as you might expect, he was the doctor of chiropractic I measured all other doctors against. Sadly, he died at age 61 when I was in my early 30s.
A Chinese Medicine Story: An Interview with Mazin Al-Khafaji
Mazin Al-Khafaji's work has interested me for years. In February 2014, we invited him for the second time to speak at the Southwest Symposium in Austin, Texas.
Why You Should Include the Single-Leg Stance Test in Every Patient Assessment
The single-leg stance (SLS) test, also known as the single-limb stance test, unipedal stance test or one-legged stance / balance test, is often used in the geriatric population to assess static postural and balance control.
July, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 07
Using My Massage Therapy Skills to Help Save a Career
By Debbie Roberts, LMT
I always like to bring you a real case and a real story. I know you, too, will someday probably have that same type of client that needs your help with treatment. This time, I am helping an oral surgeon save his career by saving his hands.When this doctor presented in my office seeking help, he had been looking at surgery on his hands as his only option to save his career. It took him 10 years to complete his degree and 10 years of practicing to almost lose everything he had worked so hard for.
While working with him, it became clear to me that a massage therapist looking to specialize and gain a reputation as the one to seek out for hand dysfunction could have a forever busy practice. Just go to YouTube and look at what small instruments and awkward positions that this profession does on a daily basis. Now, think how many other professions use similar intricate tools. Those professionals need a therapist that can take a no nonsense approach to helping them save the career they have spent so much time and money on to achieve.
Working with hands or feet is very challenging for the massage therapist in terms of how it affects your hands. The work has to be very meticulous and that can be very wearing to your own hands. So I have tried to offer suggestions of how to do treatment in a manner to get the job done and have less wear on you.
He presented with aching hands all the time, he was beginning to lose grip strength, his fingers had become stiff feeling and it was affecting his ability to close his hand, he had bilateral thumb pain and bilateral numbness and tingling in the ring and little finger. He had more thumb pain on the right, but said this was due to the fact that three months ago he was playing with his son and his finger had been abruptly pulled backwards. He also complained of right shoulder pain.
The first thing we want to do is assess or take a screen of the patient. A screen helps you rule out, should they be in your office or do they need other higher medical care. Just a reminder to stay within your scope of practice, a screen is not to be used as diagnoses, it is to be used as a tool to understand movement quality. You are looking at how healthy or dysfunctional is the individual's joint movement. This helps you determine the complex of muscles and fascia to be treated. When taking a screen, you will want to look above and below the joint being questioned. From the screen, you can develop an organized logical approach to treatment and suggestions of home care.
Screen Number One
Rule out cervical involvement by looking at the quality of cervical motion and asking the question throughout the screen: is there pain or no pain? In this case, he has presented with ulnar nerve involvement. Also ask if they feel any referral pain when going through the range of motion. Cervical flexion: they should be able to touch their chin to chest 45 degrees. Cervical extension: 45 degrees with mouth closed. Cervical side bending 20-40 (watch to see if the shoulder rises indicating how tight the trapezius muscle can be). Cervical rotation 70-90 degrees without pain. See reference.
Specific to this case because he had shoulder pain, I also went through all of the shoulder range of motion tests and he had a positive impingement sign. He also had a very stiff neck. We are addressing all of his concerns from the screen, but for this article I have kept the focus on the hand and forearm.
Screen Number Two
Assess their wrist and elbow range of motion. Wrist flexion: 80 degrees. Wrist extension: 70 degrees. Ulnar Deviation: 45 degrees. Radial Deviation 20 degrees. Supination 90 degrees. Pronation 90 degrees. Elbow extension 0 degrees and Elbow flexion 145. See reference.
Screen Number Three
Muscle test wrist flexion, extension, pronation and supination. Muscle test elbow extension and flexion. Muscle test all the ranges of each digit including the thumb. Each finger may flex, extend, abduct and adduct and also circumduct. See reference.
The reason I listed all of the muscles indicates your need to be extremely specific. You want to look at an anatomy book and to the best of your ability treat each and every muscle you see. If you treat fractional inches at a time from the finger tips to the elbow joint, and then from the elbow to the shoulder, slowly along the bone, you won't miss anything. But if you always do an effleurage type of stroke you will miss something. Therapy should be about being specific, not generalized. The hand should not only feel better, but should also have better function. Recheck your range of motion and muscle tests to show the client how much improvement your treatment has made. I mentioned above all the tools I used besides my hands and every few minutes during the session I will trade out and use those tools so I save my own career.
Treatment Tip: I generally follow the thought of contrast first, myofascial second, specific work next, then PNF stretching and repeat. So far, 25 years and still going strong!
So, how is this client doing today? He is doing great and I continue to see him once a week. He has since been able to go back to more intricate work because his body isn't fighting him with pain anymore.
Fun Ring Finger Trivia
Before medical science discovered how the circulatory system functioned, people believed that a vein of blood ran directly from the third finger on the left hand to the heart. Because of the hand-heart connection, they chose the descriptive name vena amoris, Latin name meaning, literally vein of love. Based upon this name, their contemporaries, purported experts in the field of matrimonial etiquette, wrote that it would only be fitting that the wedding ring be worn on this finger.
Click here for more information about Debbie Roberts, LMT.
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