resourcesABOUT MT AUTHOR GUIDELINES CLASSIFIEDS EDITORIAL CALENDAR MEDIA GUIDE MASSAGE MART SCHOOLS & EDUCATION FEEDBACK
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.
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.
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.
We Get Letters & Email
Our Country Needs Us Between Elections, Too; Continuing Care: We Aren't There Yet; Our Associations Need to Do More.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Scar Reduction With Acupuncture & Microneedling (Part 2)
Protocols & treatment Timing
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Key to Rehab Back Pain
It is universally acknowledged that there is a spiral twist in the body that goes from head to foot, and therefore, it is considered normal. I call it the core distortion, and have discovered that when it is reduced, painful symptoms begin to disappear. If massage therapists are able to understand how this core distortion causes pain and dysfunction, their treatments will be more effective. The entire spine is involved in the spiral twist (core distortion) and is the focus of this article.
The support at the base of the spine is the first and most important aspect to examine. The core distortion causes an anteriorly rotated left ilium and a posteriorly rotated right ilium. This distortion is observable in the cranial motion – the left wing of the sphenoid is restricted down which relates to the ASIS, the right posterior ridge of the occiput is restricted down which relates to the PSIS. With the anterior/posterior rotation of the iliums the sacrum tips and rotates as follows: the left superior articular facet rotates anteriorly, medially and slips down, the right superior articular facet of the sacrum rotates posteriorly and slightly up, and the apex of the sacrum and the coccyx tilts to the right. The greater the anterior rotation of the left ilium, the greater the tippage of the sacrum, which creates less weight bearing support for the sacrum and causes overstretching of the supporting ligaments between the sacrum and ilium. The base of the sacrum, the support for the spine, is tipped and rotated down and to the left. This results in an uneven weight bearing base for the spinal vertebrae producing exaggerated curvatures in the spine.
As the degree of rotation of the iliums and tippage of the sacrum increases, the degree of the spinal curvatures also increases. These larger spinal curvatures become areas where problems develop such as subluxations of the vertebrae or uneven pressure on the discs putting the spine in a deteriorating condition commonly described as degenerative disc disease. The exaggerated curvatures caused by the core distortion put uneven pressure and stress on the discs and vertebrae. In the body's struggle to maintain structural support, it creates lipping, spurring and arthritis on the vertebral edges where the excess pressure and irritation is taking place. The over compressed discs begin a long-term thinning process creating a weakening of the disc sac resulting in bulging, herniations, or even ruptures. It is extremely rare to find herniated and ruptured discs where there is not a significant imbalance and curvature in the spine. Also, there is a greater chance of stenosis due to the curvatures and pressure on the vertebrae.
Soft tissue also plays a significant role. Restrictions in the soft tissue of the cranium create restrictions in the cranial motion. As in any joint of the body, the range of motion is defined by the degree of soft tissue restriction, and an imbalance of tension in the soft tissue creates an imbalanced range of motion at any joint including the cranial sutures affecting the cranial motion. So, observing the core distortion with its imbalances of the anterior/posterior rotation of the iliums and tippage of the sacrum provides information for possible solutions for rehabilitating spinal conditions. According to Dr. Terry Yokum, the normal rotation of the iliums is greater than 22 degrees.
Consistent with kinesiological information, a rotation of more than 15 degrees in any joint will dramatically weaken associated muscle strength and function. Thus, in the core distortion, the spinal muscles and major support muscles for the pelvis are significantly weakened, proven by kinesiological testing. This explains how, over time, the core distortion worsens with increasing degrees of rotation and spinal curvatures due to the inability of the muscles and connective tissue to support the spine, and why severe soft tissue injuries can occur in the supporting spinal muscles.
The good news – the core distortion offers a direction for rehabilitation. By significantly lessening the degree of the core distortion which includes bringing the rotation of the iliums to less than 15 degrees and lessening the entire spinal curvatures, the cause of most spinal pain and dysfunction can be rehabilitated.
Casey, a 43-year-old business owner and downhill skier, came for treatment for neck and back pain and brought MRI's and x-rays. The MRI showed disc herniation between C3-C4 and bulging discs between L4-L5 and C6-C7, thinning of discs throughout her lumbar region, and lipping and spurring in the lumbar, thoracic and cervical vertebrae. She saw a chiropractor, physical therapist and orthopedic surgeon, and the diagnosis was degenerative disc disease. Neither the chiropractic treatment which included massage, nor the physical therapist relieved her pain. The neurosurgeon basically said her downhill skiing was over and she needed surgery.
Postural evaluation revealed a rotation of the iliums, thoracic curvatures, and the head and neck tipped forward and to the right (classic core distortion). Applied and functional kinesiology verified the structural imbalances and significant weakness in the associated muscles and soft tissue.
The Cranial/Structural Core Distortion Releases (CSCDR) were applied in the initial treatment to release the soft tissue restrictions in the cranium that held the cranial imbalance, a significant player in the core distortion. This also reduced the rotation of the iliums and brought the sacrum into weight bearing support and more level. Decreasing the tippage of the sacrum resulted in greater support for the spine leading to a significant decrease in the curvatures of the entire spine. Kinesiological testing showed an increase in strength in all the muscles associated with the pelvis and spine. This provided support for her body to maintain the changes.
Then soft tissue protocols were applied to release the tension, imbalances, adhesions and scar tissue that were maintaining the old structural limitations of the core distortion. Each weekly session focused on specific areas of the structure based on pain or degree of structural imbalance. After 10 sessions, the neurosurgeon took another set of MRI's which showed a dramatic decrease in the curvatures of her spine, and the lumbar bulging disc had completely diminished. Her low back pain was gone and she had full range of motion. Her neck was only painful when she turned her head to the right putting pressure on the herniated disc. The x-ray showed that the herniated disc was reduced and no longer pressing into her spinal column and the bulging disc was much smaller. After five more treatments in three months, Casey was pain free and decided to return to the slopes to resume downhill skiing.
Casey's chiropractor and physical therapist were not successful because they didn't address the major components of the core distortion. Once the CSCDR was applied, there was a level foundation for her spine which reduced the degrees of spinal curvatures, relieved the disc compressions, and strengthened the supporting muscles that could not be fully functional. This strength and structural support allowed her body to maintain the changes. The soft tissue therapy reorganized the myofascial holding patterns which allowed additional unwinding of the spinal curvatures resulting in structural improvement.