resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Don't Turn a 2 Into a 10
The Wong-Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale1 is so useful because it can be used by almost anyone. Patients can use the numbers associated with the faces depicted on the scale or select the face that demonstrates their current level of pain from 0-10.
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.
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.
A History Worth Telling
The popularity and the use of acupuncture for the treatment of animals in the United States is at its peak.
Chiropractic Research in Review
Chiropractic Treatment of Lateral Epicondylitis; Cost / Benefit Analysis: Different Doses of SMT for Low Back Pain; Imaging for Occult Rib and Costal Cartilage Fractures; Treating Neck Pain: Thoracic Thrust Manipulation vs. Non-Thrust Mobilization.
Pain Underfoot: Metatarsalgia
Foot pain can interfere significantly with normal activities and severely limit participation in sports. Metatarsalgia is foot pain involving the metatarsal bones in the forefoot – the complaint of pain on the bottom of the ball of the foot.
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.
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.
Waking Up the Gluteus Maximus
In previous articles in this series, we expounded on the importance of the gluteus maximus (GM) in athletic performance and protecting the knee from injury. We also know there is a link between iliotibial band syndrome and GM weakness.
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.
9 Common Causes of Thyroid Imbalance and How You Can Help
How you sleep, how easily you wake up, and how much energy and stamina you have during the day are directly related to levels of the thyroid hormones.
News in Brief
National Chiropractic Health Month: Be Proactive; Collegiate Roundup: Academic Appointments at Parker, Logan.
Why Young People Need Chiropractic Now More Than Ever
According to a recent study published in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, "It is now widely acknowledged that neck pain (NP), mid back pain (MBP), and low back pain (LBP) (spinal pain) start early in life and that the lifetime prevalence increases rapidly during adolescence to reach adult levels at the age of 18."
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!
A Vibrating Capsule for Constipation? Relevance to Your Chiropractic Practice
The relationship between gastrointestinal (GI) complaints and back pain is not typically written about or discussed.
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.
MPA Media Wins 7 Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Dynamic Chiropractic and DC Practice Insights, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecedented seven publishing awards by the American Society of Business Publication Editors (ASBPE), the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
October, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 10
The Theory of Orthopedic Massage, Part 2
By Ben Benjamin, PhD
In my previous article published in the August 2013 issue, I introduced the topic of orthopedic massage and explained five core theoretical principles of this modality.This article continues by discussing orthopedic massage assessment and treatment techniques.
The assessment process involves taking a detailed history and then performing a series of physical assessment tests. Each question in the history and each assessment test is designed to give you specific information about the client's condition — such as the possible causes of their injury, the severity of the injury, the specific structure(s) that are injured, any other relevant medical conditions and so forth. The duration of the assessment will vary depending on the area of the body you're testing. For example, for the back, there are 26 tests plus a set of palpations, while for the shoulder there are 12 tests. To yield accurate information, each test must be performed with precision and skill.
Orthopedic assessment tests fall into three major categories:
Following the assessment, the next challenge is determining the appropriate treatment for the client. The goal is to restore full functioning by eliminating any adhesive scar tissue or fascial restrictions, rebuilding strength and either restoring or increasing flexibility. In an orthopedic massage practice, you might use a combination of friction therapy, massage therapy, anatomy trains or some other form of myofascial work, muscle energy techniques, positional release, active release techniques, trigger point therapy, active isolated stretching and strengthening and various other modalities. The technique that I've found to be most effective at removing adhesive scar tissue in the majority of injuries is friction therapy, so I'll briefly describe that method here.
Cross-fiber friction therapy, also known as transverse friction massage, is a very precise form of medical massage developed by Dr. James Cyriax, commonly known as the “father of orthopedic medicine.” It is remarkably effective in treating most muscle, tendon and ligament injuries. Of course, if the injury site is inaccessible to the therapist's fingers, this treatment cannot be applied and another must be chosen.
As I explained in my previous article, when microscopic tears occur in muscles, tendons and ligaments, scar tissue develops to mend the damaged structures. It often forms in a jumbled matrix, so the resulting scar has much less integrity and uniformity of structure than the original tissue it replaces.
Cross-fiber friction massage works by breaking down scar tissue that is preventing proper healing. It also separates ligament-to-bone adhesions and promotes the formation of properly aligned and mobile tissue. In chronic tendon injuries where collagen tissues have degenerated, friction therapy promotes collagen formation. This type of treatment also increases the blood supply to areas that normally have very little circulation. It accomplishes this through a mild, controlled trauma to the injury site.
Of the three main components of orthopedic massage — theory, assessment and treatment — the cornerstone of this approach is the assessment. Unless you know exactly what is causing a client's pain, it's very difficult to relieve that pain. It's also difficult to know why what you do works or doesn't work. I find it very satisfying that after taking a detailed history and doing a physical assessment, I have a really good idea of whether or not what I do can help the person. In cases where my skills will not be helpful, I can provide an immediate referral to a more appropriate professional, without wasting the clients' time and money. In cases where I do offer treatment, I do so with the confidence that I can make a lasting difference.
Click here for more information about Ben Benjamin, PhD.
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.