resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Trouble in the Wellness Waters?
Call me old-fashioned, paranoid or just old, but I do remember graduating from chiropractic college in the late '70s in the midst of the Wilk v AMA lawsuit.
Apple Takes a Bite Out of Research
The more than 700 million iPhone users have just been given the opportunity to "do their part to advance medical research."
Marijuana, Apathy and Chinese Medicine, Part 1
This article was written in response to the unheeded acceptance of marijuana as a harmless substance that potentially does good when used for the medical relief of pain.
5 Simple Steps to Create an Effective Marketing Calendar
In the educational experience of most healthcare practitioners, business and marketing are overlooked topics.
Integrating Art with Clinical Practice for Patients with PTSD: The Artemis Project
Are you restricted by those one-on-one clinic dynamics? Why not join colleagues and clients in experimental group settings? Three of us volunteered to do just that in Austin on behalf of women veteranss from all branches of the service.
Medicine is Clumsy, Don't You Be
All medical systems have clumsiness in them. If the technique isn't, the practitioner is. Everyone in every form of medicine is striving to improve. That is why we call it practice.
Animal Acupuncture: A Case Study in the Treatment of Traumatic Injury in the Equine
The rise of animal acupuncture in the U.S. began in the early 1970's as a result of the work by members of the National Acupuncture Association in Westwood, Calif.
If Your Pro-Chiropractic Governor Resigned, Would You Be Prepared?
John Kitzhaber, MD, recently re-elected to a historic fourth term as Oregon governor, has resigned among alleged ethics violations by his fiancée' and first lady, Cylvia Hayes. I developed a personal friendship with John and consider him a good friend.
Teach Your Patients About External Healing Applications
Since the skin is the body's largest organ, and is able to respond to both internal and external stimulations, communicate sensations to the brain, protect the body, breathe and even excrete toxins, it can be an excellent source of healing.
Make Every Day Mother's Day
May is a special month for many reasons. After a long, harsh winter, spring is at last in full swing. Memorial Day helps us honor those who have fought and fallen in the name of freedom.
News in Brief
Dr. Frank Nicchi Receives Award at ACC-RAC; Sherman College Expands International Influence.
The Tide is Rising in the Acupuncture Profession
Former President Ronald Regan said, "When the tide rises all boats float." The tide is rising for the acupuncture profession. Many forces outside the profession are helping the tides to rise.
The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine
My Masters thesis was titled, "The Challenges of Integrating Eastern and Western Medicine," which highlighted several reasons why it is hard for these two worlds to mix.
5 Tips for Using Pinterest to Market Your Practice
Pinterest is a very popular, but often under-utilized, social media platform where people can bookmark, or "pin," fun and interesting things from all across the internet.
Applauding a Legacy of Leadership
Founding Palmer West President, John Miller, DC, HCD (Hon.), FICA (Hon.), a 1954 graduate of Palmer College of Chiropractic, passed away March 8, 2015 at age 83.
The Acupuncturist's Problem
I want share with you some observations and insights into what seems to be the most common problem my colleagues in the acupuncture profession struggles with. If you also struggle with this problem, I hope you get a valuable "aha" moment from reading this.
Talking to Patients About Medial Branch Neurotomy (Part 2)
Even when lumbar facet denervation (medial branch neurotomy) is successful, relief is rarely complete or permanent. Smuck, et al., reviewed 16 articles and found the average duration of >50 percent pain relief for an initial procedure was nine months.
How Much Do You Know About the Benefits of Birds Nest?
Edible bird's nest is the nest made by the Swiftlet bird of Southeast Asia that is usually prepared as a soup and prized in Chinese culture as a healthful delicacy.
Functional Impingement of the Hip (Part 2): Rehab Exercises
I find functionally impinged hips that don't move properly on so many of my patients. (See part 1 of this article for a description of the condition.)
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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