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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.
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.
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.
Kansas Achieves Licensing Law
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2615 into law on Friday, May 13, 2016. HB2615 includes provisions for the licensure of acupuncturists in the state of Kansas.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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'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.
December, 2015, Vol. 15, Issue 12
Pain Chasers vs. Pain Solvers
By Debbie Roberts, LMT
In 1995, I took a course taught by a physical therapist on post rehabilitation. It was a four-day course on how important a personal trainer could be after the client was finished with physical therapy.It went over the proper and safe exercises for hip replacements, knee replacements, shoulder surgeries, and more. The entire time I was in the class thinking that thank goodness I am both a massage therapist and personal trainer. The other thing going through my mind was I have to find a way to bridge the gap between massage therapy and exercise.
Functional movement at that time was not being taught in massage school. There was and still is a great need to incorporate the understanding of how the human body moves. It was and still is my goal to elevate the field of massage therapy beyond the Swedish massage taught in schools. I had applied to the state of Florida to teach massage therapist exercise and at the time was turned down. Exercise was not under the scope of our practice, but understanding movement was. So it was born, the course and thought process to teach the world of massage therapists Functional Integrated Massage and Movement Therapy. But this concept is far from new. In 1940, Dr. Ida Rolf developed her system of Structural Integration. Her approach was using manual therapy and sensorimotor education to improve human biomechanical functioning as a whole rather than to treat particular symptoms. The important thing is not to chase the symptoms or the pain, always go after the cause.
Are you a pain chaser? In order to truly know you have to ask yourself a few honest questions. How well do I know how to evaluate a set of symptoms? Am I always looking for new evaluation tools? Am I willing to admit I don't know and seek out education to help me excel in this topic? In this article we are going to apply the concept of Functional Integrated Massage and Movement Therapy to a very stubborn case of Posterior Tibial Tendon dysfunction (PPT). I want to help you become an even better therapist by not falling into the trap of chasing the pain. As massage therapists, we are very sympathetic to someone complaining they are in pain. Our antenna go up and we are on high alert that someone needs our help. With the absolute best intensions, we invite them to lie down on our table and we will repair the problem or at least help dull their current pain level. Let's examine together the importance of understanding how valuable evaluation in gravity before the table time is. Looking before treating is critical to obtain the results both you and the client are expecting to achieve. Having a reliable means of evaluation is vital to therapeutic massage.
With her permission, I am going to tell you about Crazy Mary who originally presented with the diagnosis of Posterior Tibialis dysfunction. She is an above avid group exercise leader with an appetite for moving. She is the best in shape 52-year-old I know. Everyone loves her classes and her enthusiasm is infectious. She has suffered with various structural issues throughout her life stemming from a L1 fracture at age 16. I know you know the client that just won't listen until their pain and wallet start to match. They are spending, spending, and spending. While spinning, spinning, spinning in the same cycle. Well that was Mary. However, not everything was her fault. In physical therapy, they focused on band exercises for her Posterior Tibialis Dysfunction, the massage therapist that had treated her focused on her Posterior Tibialis pain, and her chiropractor focused on adjusting her sacrum that never seemed to stabilize. But no one was addressing her functioning as a whole. I convinced her to let me do a full evaluation before lying down on the table and that is where everything began to change. Matthew 7:7 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and ye shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you."
Here are the results of my full evaluation:
So what do you think, treat from the top down or the bottom up? Treat the front fascial line or the back facial line? What throws up the red flag for you? The good news in one respect there is no right and there is no wrong way to approach this client as long as all of it gets addressed to eliminate more than the symptoms and return her to a fully functioning human being without pain. The following is how I approached the issue over several visits. As you can see from the evaluation, there were multiple things going on and each with its unique situation and effect on the central nervous system. Your recipe is to develop an effective treatment plan based on your evaluation. So your treatment plan not to chase pain is only as effective as your evaluation.
Function and Treatment
I started at the bottom along the back facial line where the transverse tarsal joint had become very rigid. This joint is composed of the talo-navicular and calcaneal cuboid joint. The transverse tarsal joint relies on normal function of the subtalar joint, in order to move normally. Because the transverse tarsal joint is made of two joints, the transverse tarsal joint can be either loose and floppy (early flatfoot stage) or rigid (late flatfoot and heel rise) at certain points in the walking cycle. As the name suggest, the heel rise phase begins when the heel begins to leave the ground. During this phase, the foot functions as a rigid lever to move the body forward. During this phase of walking, the forces that go through the foot are 2-3x a person's body weight. This is because the foot creates a lever arm (centered on the ankle) which serves to magnify body weight forces. Given these high forces and considering that Mary took much more than the most active person of 10,000 steps per day, it is not surprising that the chronic repetitive stress produced Posterior Tibial tendon dysfunction. I treated each part of the joint separately using isometrics combined with mobilization.
Another contributing factor was Mary loved to use an outdoor elliptical as her mode of transportation, so she was always on the ball of her foot shortening the gastroc-complex and pulling on the calcaneus. The elliptical put her in a forward bent position using her T-12-L1 as a fulcrum point tugging and pulling on the entire back fascial line. This set of problems I treated with client education of how important watching her posture during this activity was and how the body did not load and unload naturally with an elliptical. I suggested limiting the use as a constant mode of transportation.
My overall suggestion to you, the therapist, is to follow the Superficial Back Line in its entirety which I had to do for Mary. The next part that became important to treat was the scar tissue and calcium that had developed around her L1 fracture. This needed to be released to help allow her body to come back into extension and not remain in that C-curve. Treating the QL and releasing the hypertonicity would be part of the solution for her SI joint on the right side to start to close properly. She happily reported that she had been able to taper the amount of chiropractic adjustments.
By releasing the QL's line of pull this allows the hip to come into better joint alignment. The right hip dysfunction and weakness have an opportunity to start to regain strength and communicate with the CNS. By removing the hypertonicity (she was so point tender I had to use a cup) in the gluts her body began to trust the right side again. The foot gets help from hip rotators to pull her out of the pronation during gait thus helping the Posterior Tibialis dysfunction.
The psoas imbalance had to be addressed, a better breathe pattern had to be taught, her overdeveloped quads needed tissue release, finishing this treatment all the way up to her SCM and the cranium. Not every detail of the treatment could be listed here. I suggest looking at the front fascial line.
For an injured muscle to regain strength with ease and balance, the scar tissue needs to become aligned and integrated with the muscle fibers. Even a small muscular injury or in Mary's case a L1 fracture, can lead to developing a chronic pain pattern which persists for months or even years. After 36 years of misalignment, trying to fix just one of the pieces will not work. That would be called chasing the pain. Mary's fascial system and joint centration as a whole needed to be address in all of the planes of motion. Lasting change not temporary change comes with understanding how to perform rehabilitation incorporating the Central Nervous System and the body as a whole. In the words of Ida P. Rolf, "Strength that has effort in it is not what you need; you need the strength that is the result of ease."
Click here for more information about Debbie Roberts, LMT.
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