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How to Stay Sane During the Elections: Understanding Through the Lens of Chinese Medicine
In Chinese Medicine philosophy, everything consists of Yin and Yang. The law of polar opposites – one cannot exist without its opposite.
Insuring Quality Control in Herb Importation: An Interview with Wilson Lau
Wilson Lau is the vice president of Nuherbs, a Chinese herb importation company based in San Leandro, California. Before joining Nuherbs, he trained as a lawyer specializing in FDA law.
An MD Who Understands the Opioid Epidemic
Doctors of chiropractic have an important role to play in ending the opioid epidemic and dealing with chronic pain by conservative means (see our top story in this issue) – but who's to blame for opioid dependence and abuse in the first place?
What's New in Phytonutrition: Mangifera Indica, "The King of Fruits"
One hundred percent pure Indian green mango fruit (mangifera indica), harvested at a special degree of ripeness for efficacy and taste, can now be concentrated as a phytonutrient nutraceutical powder.
Sit or Stand? Analyzing a Mixed Message
I'm more than a bit confused. At my age, that seems to be a rather common occurrence. However, today more than ever, I'm getting a mixed message.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
Tai Chi Documentary Premier
First Run Features recently announced the world theatrical premiere of Barry Strugatz's documentary The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West, which premiered last month at the Laemmle Music Hall in Los Angeles.
Introducing the Acupuncture Today Digital Edition
In response to the changing habits of our readers, Acupuncture Today will introduce a digital edition of the publication (in addition to our print edition) beginning with the August 2016 issue.
What You Say Isn't Always What Patients Hear
A few years ago, my aunt Edna (name changed for the purpose of this story) suffered a stroke. After a short hospital stay, she was transferred to a nursing home for rehabilitation. When she arrived at the nursing home, Edna requested a private room.
Believe it or not, an estimated one-third of your patients have eaten some form of fast food within 24 hours of their appointment with you.
Acupuncture's Impact on the World
For several years, I have been hearing about the town of Rothenburg, Germany. It seemed just a dot on a map until I arrived. It is the home of the TCM Kongress which began in 1968. It has been held annually for 47 years and it has only missed one year.
Chronic Pain: Become Part of the Solution
I have lectured to more than 7,000 chiropractic physicians over the past five years regarding the chronic pain and opioid epidemic in this country.
Adventures with the San Jiao
Those of us who have been in practice for several decades relish the way meridians and points reveal new diagnostic clues and new insights. I love to encourage my students to see this as an adventure that goes way beyond the textbooks.
An Emerging Partnership Model
Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has educated integrative health and wellness practitioners for the last 40 years, originally as an acupuncture clinic and school. The institution's transformative, relationship-centered programs integrate traditional wisdom with contemporary science
Beating the Odds: Interview With Para-Powerlifter Adeline Dumapong-Ancheta
Since October 2015, the FICS Foundation, the charitable organization affiliated with the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (FICS), has been supporting disabled athletes internationally.
Acupuncture Muscle Trigger Point and Oriental Medicine Sports Therapy
It is difficult to ascertain the internal condition of professional basketball player Lebron James during game one of the 2014 NBA finals, in which he developed debilitating muscle cramps that led to his premature removal from the game.
A Long-Overdue Win for Oregon Medicaid Patients - and the Implications for Other States
Beginning July 1, 2016, Oregon Medicaid patients with spinal pain (cervical, thoracic, lumbar, pelvic) who are determined to be low risk based on a biopsychosocial assessment tool (STarT Back – Keele University) can receive four chiropractic visits per episode.
Three Tips to Help You Analyze the Acupuncture Case Studies of the NCCAOM Exam
Confirm the answer quickly by the elimination method. Case study:
After two treatments for back pain, a patient presents for a third
session complaining of rapid breathing and wheezing that is made worse
during cold weather.
Increasing the Value of Spine Care: CMS Approves New Low Back Pain Registry
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved the Spine IQ Low Back Pain Registry as a qualified clinical data registry for the Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) in 2016.
AOM Hospital-Based Practice: A Future Reality?
The natural evolution of health care on the planet is integrative health. We may have some challenges ahead, but based on my research, all indicators are pointing in a positive direction. There seems to be an evolving consciousness among our patient population that is "getting it."
Treating Hip & Groin Pain With Abdominal Release of Upper Lumbar Nerve Impingements
Have you encountered patients with groin and hip pain you can't seem to solve? You know it's not a worn-out hip; you suspect the pain is somehow connected to the spine. But somehow, you just can't help them break through.
The Pertinent Negative
We all have to perform evaluations on patients. Most of us don't like doing it – exams take time, and worse it takes even more time after the evaluation to put together a narrative summary of the findings. Sometimes, this process becomes downright tedious.
November, 2013, Vol. 13, Issue 11
The Sternocleidomastoid Muscle and Cervicogenic Headaches
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
There are many types of headaches with a long list of triggers from hormones to food, drinks, sleep deficiency, dehydration, and emotional and physical stress. A cervicogenic headache (CeH) is characterized as unilateral head pain with a cervical source.Symptoms include a dull ache with restricted cervical range of motion. Contributing factors often include poor posture, sedentary lifestyle, prior neck injuries, and improper computer and workplace ergonomics.
While many muscles can be involved in a cervicogenic headache, I want to share information on the sternocleidomastoid muscle and ways to educate clients of its referred pain, as it can directly affect whether the client reschedules, upgrades to a package of treatments or refers friends, family and co-workers.
Physicians, depending on their specialty, can be a great referral source for clients suffering with cervicogenic headaches. Doctors are familiar with myofascial trigger points and referred pain. A cervicoengic headache can also be caused by the bones, discs and or joints in the neck.
Clients rarely report pain in the front of their neck when experiencing a cervicogenic headache unless recently involved in a motor vehicle accident or other physical trauma. Educate clients about the sternocleidomastoid muscle, integrating three learner styles; visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
Take postural analysis photos with your smartphone, iPhone or iPad to show the position of their head and how the sternocleidomastoid muscle is involved. Use skeletal, muscular and trigger-point charts to show the structural and myofascial patterns.
Provide auditory support for each visual by explaining the details in each photo and image. For example, in posture photos, discuss a high shoulder or forward head posture. On trigger-point charts, explain that the "X" indicates the common location of trigger points and the red color indicates the referral areas patients report pain, tension, burning, tingling, numbness and headache (Photos 1-2).
Now, when you palpate (kinesthetic) an active trigger point in the sternocleidomastoid muscle and it refers pain to the patient's head, they realize why and what is taking place. Without pretreatment education, the patient might think you are pressing on a nerve versus treating an active trigger point.
Use intake forms to screen clients and identify contraindications. Watch for procedures like coronary bypass, stints, angioplasty or a carotid endarterectomy, a surgical procedure for cleaning out the carotid artery to restore blood flow to the brain. Other red flags include blood thinners and carotid sinus hypersensitivity (CSH); even if a client states they have previously received massage, I will not proceed without a prescription for treatment from their physician.
Practice palpating and treating the sternocleidomastoid muscle on your own neck. The name of this muscle reveals its attachments to the sternum, clavicle and mastoid process. To palpate the right SCM, begin in a supine position, shorten the muscle by turning your head to the left, lateral flexion of the cervical spine and place support under your head. Practice muscle testing the right sternocleidomastoid by lifting your head from the support and palpating the outline of the muscle. Relax the muscle prior to treatment, by placing your head back on the support and then using pincher compression to treat each division, checking for active trigger points.
In Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, The Trigger Point Manual, Drs. Travell and Simons documented numerous active trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid muscle. They found the sternal division refers pain into the forehead, behind the eye, the anterior cervical region and can produce throat pain, discomfort or tightness (Photo 1); while active trigger points in the clavicular division can refer pain to the forehead, behind and/or into the ears (Photo 2).
Recently, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics published a pilot randomized clinical trial titled, "Manual Treatment for Cervicogenic Headache and Active Trigger Points in the Sternocleidomastoid Muscle." The preliminary findings show that manual therapy targeted to active TrPs in the sternocleidomastoid muscle may be effective for reducing headache and neck pain intensity, and increasing motor performance of the deep cervical flexors, pressure pain thresholds (PPT) and active cervical range of motion (CROM) in individuals with CeH showing active trigger points in this muscle. Studies including greater sample sizes and examining long-term effects are needed.
Active trigger points in the sternocleidomastoid muscle may be a contributing factor to a client's cervicogenic headaches. Providing education to the general public, local doctors, healthcare providers and clients is essential to building your practice.
Click here for more information about David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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