resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
Nutrition for Menopause: Front-Line Therapy for All Phases
Of all the changes women experience during their reproductive life, there is no doubt the most dreaded are the three phases of menopause. This is not surprising since all of the symptoms associated with menopause are replete with unpleasantness.
True Practice Mobility for the Chiropractic Profession
When natural disasters occur, chiropractors can literally travel to the other side of the world to offer humanitarian relief in less than a day. The chiropractor's license to legally practice, however, can't make it past the state line.
Low Back Pain in Running Athletes
After 7 million years of adapting to upright postures, the lumbar spine and pelvis have become remarkably adept at managing ground-reactive forces associated with running.
Flirting With Alternative Therapies
There are about as many adjunct therapies being marketed to acupuncturists as there are acupuncturists. While some may remain purist in their application of traditional Chinese medicine, others choose to explore new horizons of treatment.
News in Brief
Updated Neck Pain & Whiplash Guideline; Attention, IHS DCs; New VP of Institutional Advancement At Palmer; N.J. DC Interns At U.S. Olympic Training Center; Chiropractic Society Of R.I. On The Front Lines.
An Education in Gluten Sensitivity
A relatively new syndrome officially documented as non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or gluten sensitivity (GS) was officially recognized and published in the new list of gluten-related disorders in 2012.
Acupuncture Points: Broadening Our Scope and Diagnostic Work
As every practitioner knows, the correct diagnosis is everything. Most healing disciplines rely on the use of symptomatology for their treatment implementation. Beyond symptomatology, we have clinical tests to provide more objective findings.
Let's Clear Up the Collection Confusion
This is an often-misunderstood practice swirling with misinformation. First, a few basics: Insurance is a contract between the patient and the insurance company. The insurance company is simply making a payment for services or care on behalf of the patient.
The winter season is upon us and offers unique challenges for the clinician and patient alike. To effectively navigate through the winter season there are two main TCM medicinals, Huang Qi and Gan Jiang, to consider, as well as two important formulas which feature these two TCM treasures.
A New Year and Vision for the ACA
Inadequate pain management coupled with the epidemic of prescription opioid overuse and abuse has taken a severe toll on the lives of millions of people in the United States. Every day, more than 1,000 people are treated in the ER for misusing prescription opioids.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Country Needs Us Between Elections, Too; Continuing Care: We Aren't There Yet; Our Associations Need to Do More.
Crow Like the Rooster
As we welcome in the Year of the Rooster, we look at some of its major characteristics: confidence and communication, which suits the image we have of the Rooster...strutting in the farmyard, crowing to the others that it's time to wake up.
Prepare for the End, From the Beginning: Wealth Building and Retirement with the Tao
Yin and yang flow into and out from one another continually. Beginnings become endings and endings become beginnings again. Wholeness and cycles are the nature of Tao.
Qigong for Substance Abuse
It is commonly believed that substance abuse, in addition to harming one’s physiological state, hurts the spirit. There is also a belief that one’s spirit does not weaken due to substance abuse, but rather, the person finds solace in addiction due to an already weak spirit.
Anti-Aging With Dr. Ping Zhang
Jennifer Waters, TCM practitioner and writer of the Acupuncture Today column, "Talking With the Masters" sat down with Dr. Ping Zhang to discuss aniti-aging with acupuncture.
The Acupuncture Channel System (Part 1)
The earliest Chinese reference to channels is in the Mawangdui Medical Manuscripts,1 which are dated to the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty (475 BC-221 AD). The text presents 11 channels. There are no acupuncture points listed in those channels.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 2)
Protocols and treatment Timing: A course of treatments should be performed over a period of 12 weeks if possible. Microneedling should be performed once every two weeks.
Another Step Forward for Chiropractic
Chiropractic is now available to 86,000-plus Latter-Day Saints missionaries and you are invited to become a provider. LDS membership in not required; our only concern is that our missionaries get the best quality care available.
Shoulder Rehab: Start With the Scapula
The scapula is an incredible display of elegance and movement within the biomechanics of human motion. It's evolved for mobility and stability in the scapulo-thoracic region, giving us the ability to do things that are uniquely human, such as throwing with accuracy.
An Opportunity & a Responsibility
Nearly 80 Americans die from an opioid-related overdose every day, and spine-related pain is one of the principle drivers of opioid use. This unfortunate situation creates both an opportunity and a responsibility.
A Conversation With Dr. Betty Edmond
This month's column is an exclusive interview with Betty Edmond MD, newly elected CEO/President of the AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine in Austin, Texas.
Five Branches University Has First Hospital TCM Residency
Established in 1984, Five Branches University (FBU) has campuses in Santa Cruz and San Jose, Calif., which serve the communities of Santa Cruz, the Monterey Bay, and Silicon Valley.
The Case Report: A Valuable Tool
Case reports are a valuable form of descriptive research. The most basic form of practice-based research, a case report is a detailed account of the history, presenting symptoms, assessment, observations, treatment and follow-up of an individual patient, discussed in the context of prior and potential future research.
January, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 01
Head and Shoulder Pain from the Splenius Cervicis
By David Kent, LMT, NCTMB
When clients report symptoms of pain in the head or eye, it is always of serious concern and they should seek medical care to determine the cause(s) and treatment options. Physicians and other healthcare providers are excellent referral sources to your practice, since a percentage of their patients are suffering with many issues that may include myofascial pain.Let's examine the splenius cervicis muscle, its anatomy, the location of myofascial trigger Points (TrPs), the associated pain referral patterns of each TrP, some treatment and self-care tips.
The splenius cervicis along with the splenius capitis muscle are the most superficial of all the extensors in the cervical region. The deepest of the extensor muscles are very short in length and attach to the next vertebra. In contrast, the splenius cervicis is long and crosses many vertebrae. Below the splenius cervicis attaches to the spinous process of the third through sixth thoracic vertebrae and the fascia over them. Above it attaches to the posterior tubercle of the transverse process of the upper two to four vertebrae. (See photo 1A)
Unilateral contraction of the splenius cervicis muscle produces extension, lateral flexion and rotation of the neck, turning the face toward the same side. Bilateral contraction produces extension of the neck.
Clients typically report a "stiff neck," limited cervical range of motion and/or pain in the shoulder, neck, head and or eye. Drs. Simons and Travell et, al, identified two (upper and lower) myofascial trigger points in the splenius cervicis muscle. In photo 1, "X" indicates the common location of trigger points. Solid red areas identify essential pain zones, the regions of referred pain that is present in nearly every person with active trigger points. The dotted red regions indicate spillover pain zones or the regions of referred pain on some, but not all, patients with active trigger points.
The splenius cervicis Upper TrP is located, as the name implies, in the superior portion of the muscle in the musculotendinous junctions. It can "refer a diffuse pain through the inside of the head that focuses strongly behind the eye on the same side, and sometimes refers into the ipsilateral occiput."1 (See photo 1A, B) The splenius cervicis Lower TrP is classified as a central TrP and located in middle of the muscle belly. It "refers pain upward and to the base of the neck."1 (See photo 1A, C)
During this technique, many posterior neck muscles are treated. Palpation of boney landmarks will help you determine your location. A combination of subjective complaints, objective findings, precise palpation and knowledge of TrP pain patterns will help you determine if the splenius cervicis muscle is involved. A few other muscles in the region that should also be assessed include: trapezius, levator scapulae, sub occipitals and scalenes.
The client is supine on a table. The therapist is seated at the end of table with the shoulder of the treating hand aligned with client's head, neck and body. The thumb of the treating hand is positioned at the base of the occiput, with the pad of the thumb palpating the posterior aspect of the transverse process. Avoid intruding on the nerve root by never treating the lateral aspect of the transverse processes. The therapist's non-treating hand will support the client's head while creating extension of the cervical spine. (See photo 2A)
While lowering the head toward the table, glide the thumb inferiorly, applying pressure anteromedially, to treat the posterior aspect of the transverse process, repeat three or four times. Turn the head 45 degrees away from the treating side and repeat the above step three or four times. Examine the same region using cross fiber movement will help to thoroughly check for TrPs. (See photo 2B)
In photo 3, the non-treating hand continues to support and control movement of the head and neck. The fingers of the treating hand cup the cervical spine as the thumb is positioned anterior to the upper trapezius. The thumb is pointing toward the client's feet with the pad of the thumb facing medially. It is important for the thumb to always remain posterior to the transverse processes to avoid pressing on the brachial nerves. Rotate the client's head toward the treating side with the side of the patient's head now resting on the therapist's forearm. Apply pressure with pad of thumb pointing 45-degrees anteromedially.
When you palpate an active TrP in a client, they recognize the referred phenomena. If the referred pain does not release after applying sustained pressure for a maximum of eight seconds, then release and check the spot later with less pressure.
Keep in mind that trigger points can form for a number of reasons. Examples include direct trauma during a motor vehicle accident, to sustained stress from poor posture, to improper biomechanics, to poor ergonomics at work and throughout the day. Discuss their activities of daily living. Do they drive for hours everyday? If so, the seat, stirring wheel and mirrors likely need to be properly positioned. Do they work on computer all day? If so, does the monitor, keyboard or chair need adjustments? At home, do they rest on the couch with their neck in extreme flexion?
Empower your clients with self-care tips they can utilize between treatments. Show them how to stretch. Give them the locations, times and tips to perform simple stretches throughout their day in the kitchen, bathroom, while walking the dog, at the beginning and end of everyday. They will feel better and appreciate your efforts.
Pain in the head or neck can create a great deal of anxiety for anyone. Sometimes a little therapy and a few lifestyle changes can make all the difference. Clients want to know what caused the pain and if there is anything they can do to prevent it in the future. If you provide effective solutions, people will refer their family, friends and co-workers. While many muscles could be involved, remember the splenius cervicis can cause pain from head to shoulder.
Click here for previous articles by David Kent, LMT, NCTMB.
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.