resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
February, 2016, Vol. 16, Issue 02
Earning Respect Through Research
By Debbie Roberts, LMT
I was very fortunate and grateful for a recent case that earned the respect and referral of an orthopedic surgeon. This was done by doing the appropriate assessments, documentation, research and a written report.He truly was thankful for my comprehensive written report and the picture I had included, which was a faulty alignment posterior view from the book Muscles Testing and Function, Third Edition by Florence Peterson Kendall, PT and Elizabeth Kendal McCreary. This picture showed how the quadratus on the left had shortened, creating a misalignment of the pelvis and the weakness of the same hip. He told the client, "You are in good hands." In fact, that same day, he had another case in his office which had a similar history and they actually passed each other in the waiting room. He immediately picked up the phone and called my office with the referral. Needless to say, I was very excited he had enough confidence in my research and documentation to give me the referral. I am sharing this particular case with you because learning how to follow through makes a widespread impact to our industry of massage therapy. Your participation doing this sort of follow through can gain two great things: an increase to your referral base and it helps to professionally expand our place in the health care industry.
The reason this report was significant is the combined fact that this orthopedic surgeon did not believe the pain pattern matched the MRI report of a torn labrum and he didn't feel that surgery at this time was necessary. He felt there was another reason for the pain pattern she was experiencing. So he referred her to a physical therapist to try strengthening exercises which shortly ended with her having increased lumbar pain. The physical therapist concluded she was a surgical candidate and referred her to another orthopedic surgeon who concurred she needed to have immediate surgery to repair the labrum. This left her confused, what was the right approach for her? She wanted another opinion so she came to see me for an evaluation and assessment of her structure.
Always ask yourself the most important question: "why is this happening to the client." The question "why" should lead you down the path of using assessments, needing to research all the possibilities and then taking the time to write a complete, detailed report in case the client needs it to take to another health care professional.
It is very important to our industry as a whole to gain a positive reception from other health care providers. We are a critical part of a clients overall well-being and health. Just because you may not file insurance, doesn't mean you shouldn't take the time to assess and do documentation. I haven't filed an insurance claim in more than 10 years, but I still conduct my business like at any given moment this client may need records as to the type of therapy I am providing for them. What if their physical therapist wants to know? What if their chiropractor wants to know? As a massage therapist, you are a health care provider. Built into that title is the responsibility to the client just like any other provider within their care to keep notes and records. You never know the far-reaching effects one report might gain.
The following is the actual case and the report that was presented to the physician. The name is left out for privacy issues. The report was done on letterhead. Save this as a reference to use as a guide for your documentations. After the report, I will talk a little further on leg-length inequalities and hip dysplasia.
This client presented to my office with the diagnosis of a torn left labrum, left hip dysplasia, left hip pain that on occasion, radiates down the left leg. She was seen by a physical therapist that evaluated her and didn't think physical therapy would help and concluded it was a surgical issue. She has been seeing a chiropractor for more than a year that performed the Graston Technique to her left hip muscles because of a previous diagnosis of hip bursitis and combined giving her adjustments to help with her rotated sacrum.
Enclosed is a picture of the myofascial dysfunction that the client presents with. She is showing a lower limb-length inequality both on the massage table and in gravity. In a supine position on the massage table, her left leg appears to be longer by assessing both the medial malleolus and the heels. On a bilateral assessment of the ASIS's, the left was lower and more anteriorly rotated than the right side. In gravity, a lift under the right foot makes her feel more balanced. She states she has always had a funny walk and wouldn't wear a bathing suit because of the ribs sticking out further on the left side. On the table, the anterior rotation of the left ribs was quite noticeable. In a prone position, her sacrum is deeper anteriorly on the right side. Her left glut lacks the same tone as the right and there was weakness on a MM test of the left glut in a prone position. She stated that in a prone position her ASIS do not touch the table equally.
When I performed manual therapy, she had a great deal of hypertonicity in the left QL. When I relieved the tension in both the left QL and the right piriformis, the medial malleolus appeared equal on the supine retest. In gravity, she stated she felt more balanced. However, the treatment did not hold as confirmed by her chiropractor the next day. He stated she had 8mm's difference and after his treatment the difference remained at 4mm's.
According to Janet G. Travell, MD and David G. Simons, MD from Volume 2 Chapter 4, page 61, there is a need to take a standing radiograph to evaluate lower body asymmetries. Manual therapy is very successful in treating muscular asymmetries, but not if there is an underlying structural issue. If the x-ray is conclusive, the patient may benefit from having a professional orthotic made. I think the quadratus muscle is trying to help stabilize her pelvic position similar to what happens in the trendelenburg sign. We have scheduled her to have manual therapy three times this week to see if her body will hold the muscular length.
Thank you for your time and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to call me at my office 772-288-0073. Deborah A. Roberts, LMT, NASM CPT, TPI Medical Level 3
Writing the Report
Now, ask me how many times I re-wrote the report. At least five times because after reading it, I wasn't being specific or to the point enough. Make your documentation short and to the point, one page is plenty. End with a title of conclusion just in case that is all the health care provider has time to read. Be sure to read it out load to yourself like you are talking to the doctor. That helps hearing if the report is making your point clear. Now, ask me how much time I spent researching before I decided to write the report. At the least six to eight hours. Yes, I knew quadratus was involved and was hypertonic to the point that when she stood her left hip was noticeably higher and on palpation there was absolutely no doubt what my hands told me. But I needed to be clinically specific which meant re-reading from the Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction Manual the entire chapter again to see what I felt related to this case. That research then lead me back to Volume 1, Upper Half of the Body, Second Edition, starting on page 179 to discuss lower limb-length inequality (LLLI). Quoted from this chapter is how correcting LLLI is often essential for lasting inactivation of TrPs in muscles that are overloaded by the length discrepancy.
Her condition was complicated with the diagnosis of hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia is a medical term for a hip socket that doesn't fully cover the ball portion of the femur. This allows the hip joint to become partially or completely dislocated. Most people with hips dysplasia are born with the condition. This client will present with hip pain and spasms due to the fact the muscles are trying very hard to stabilize the joint. This type of client will not benefit by passive stretching and you could add to the instability. This fact is why she was told to stop doing Yoga.
He ordered the radiography and it did, in fact, show the lower limb-length inequality. For now, his approach is to treat the LLLI with a lift, continue manual therapy and see if that will manage her hip discomfort. However, there may be a need further down the road to repair the labrum, smooth out the ball of the femur, and hollow out the socket for better articulation. The real bottom line is if they had done the labral repair only, this client could have been like many who have had surgery and the pain remained the same because the underlying structural condition wasn't addressed as well.
Every client you see that is in pain always ask the simple question, "why." It may lead you down many roads.
Click here for more information about Debbie Roberts, LMT.
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