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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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'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.
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.
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.
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
Multivitamin Supplement May Reduce Breast Cancer Recurrence
There is a great deal of controversy regarding the value of multiple vitamin supplements in cancer prevention.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learning How to Treat PopeyeI want you to know as massage therapists, some things are just simple, very straight forward and can be helped within one to two visits. I sometimes see massage therapists looking for the more complicated reasons for pain. I have tried to convey in every article that you can save your hands and help more clients by understanding form and function along with simple assessment tools. Treating Popeye is no exception.
After two MRI's (one of the bicep and one of the shoulder), acupuncture, and a failed attempt of physical therapy, this young man found his way into my office to seek help for an unrelenting pain in the bicep. Lucky for me, his Orthopedist had ruled out that there was not a complete tear or a partial tear of the bicep tendon by doing the MRI's. But he wasn't so lucky in the fact he had been suffering with this pain and loss of function for more than six months and no one had any answers. His doctor said, "I don't know why you still have the pain, none of the lab work or the MRI's have a definitive answer. Let's try physical therapy."
I want to explore together controlled micro-tears of fascia, the difference of macro and micro-tears of fascia, how to assess bicep pain and the treatment options of micro-tears. A look into why physicians might miss this critical piece of the pie altogether. Plus, take a walk back in time with me to the beginning of the medical era of fascia reality. Try to guess the year!
I would like to clarify that a Popeye reference to a bicep usually means the client has suffered from a full bicipital tear and is left with a bulging in the center of the upper extremity showing a Popeye like effect from the tear. The look is actually the long head of the bicep hanging there not attached. You won't need many assessment tools for this one just your eyes to see that it is torn and your treatment options are relief of pain symptoms being caused from the tear. The long head of the biceps tendon is more likely to be injured because it is vulnerable as it travels through the shoulder joint to its attachment point in the socket. Fortunately, the biceps has two attachments at the shoulder. The short head of the biceps rarely tears and because of the second attachment, many people can still function and only need simple treatments to relieve symptoms. If symptoms cannot be relieved by nonsurgical treatments, or if the client requires complete recovery of strength for a sport or work, surgery to repair the torn tendon might be required.
Can you think of anyone that would want to deliberately do controlled micro-tears to their fascia? The answer is actually everyone that works out. The most known sports would be bodybuilding for the big hypertrophy effect or a power lifter than is going to compete for lifting the most weight in his class. But it is what happens to all muscles that need to build stamina and endurance. Well, after all, Popeye didn't get that big bicep by not doing micro-tears to his fascia.
The effect of training causes micro-tears to the muscles being trained; this is generally known as a micro-trauma. These micro-tears in the muscle contribute to the soreness felt after exercise, called delayed onset muscle soreness. It is the repair to these small micro-traumas that result in muscle growth and development. Normally, this soreness becomes most apparent a day or two after a workout. However, as muscles become adapted to the exercises, soreness tends to decrease. A micro-trauma can be a cumulative effect from simple acts of daily living over a long period of time or playing a leisure sport such as golf that ultimately leads to pain and dysfunction. The extreme micro-tears are called a macro- trauma where the fascia has been injured by a traumatic event such as a car wreck, fall, or a sports injury.
My client worked out with weights and did bodyweight exercises almost every day. He stated he was just trying to maintain his physique and not trying to do anything over the top. Weight training aims to build muscle by prompting two different types of hypertrophy; sarcoplasmic hypertrophy and myofibrillar hypertrophy. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy leads to larger muscles and so is favored by bodybuilders more than myofibrillar hypertrophy which builds athletic strength. Sarcoplasmic hypertrophy is triggered by increasing repetitions, whereas myofibrillar hypertrophy is triggered by lifting heavier weights. In either case, there is an increase in the size and strength of the muscles, tendons, bones, and ligaments through a process known as remodeling, the breakdown and growth of new tissue. But when tissue or fascia breaks down (catabolic) faster than it can rebuild (anabolic), injuries occur. Exercising or engaging in a physical activity too intensely, too long, and too often does not allow enough time for the remodeling process. This makes the client more susceptible to an injury.
Once fascia is injured either over stretched or torn the microscopic fibers are disrupted. Now, instead of fibers running parallel to each other in an organized fashion with their normal degree of elasticity and flexibility, the fibers now run every possible direction and have an extremely diminished amount of organization. Fascial injuries often heal in this tangle manner with those injured areas being referred to as microscopic scar tissues or microscopic adhesions. Finding and diagnosing these fascial tears with conventional, high-tech tests can be difficult, to the point of usually being virtually impossible. Advanced imaging techniques such as MRI will not show most fascial injuries because the fascia itself is so thin and microscopic. This is why numerous people that suffer with chronic pain syndromes will be run through test after test, with doctors telling them repeatedly, "We cannot find any reason for your pain." In some cases, they are told it is age related and you will just have to live with it.
Here is a fun quick history lesson. There are two people who have made the awareness of fascia prevalent and the first is Dr. Andrew Taylor Still in 1874, when he walked away from modern medicine to create Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Andrew Taylor Sill saw that modern medicine at the time used harsh methods and harsh drugs that had more ill effects than good. He believed that problems with the fascia were the root of all sickness and disease. The second, Tom Myers, is quoted saying, "Fascia is the missing element in the movement/stability equation. While every anatomy lists around 600 separate muscles, it is more accurate to say that there is one muscle poured into six hundred pockets of the fascial webbing. The illusion of separate muscles is created by the anatomist's scalpel, dividing tissues along the planes of fascia." Medical professionals are still overlooking the importance of fascia to the detriment of their patients by relying on high tech tests for their diagnosis.
In its healthy state, fascia is smooth, supple and slides easily, allowing you to move and stretch to your full length in any direction, always returning back to its normal state. Unfortunately, it's very unlikely that your fascia maintains its optimal flexibility, shape or texture. Lack of activity or over activity will cement the once-supple fibers into place. Chronic stress causes the fibers to thicken and this is where the muscles start moving as a unit or recruiting muscles in a poor firing order. Fascia needs to be moved in all planes of motion in order for it not to form adhesions and become glued down to the muscle. These repetitive movements pull the fascia into ingrained patterns and once they've formed they are hard for the client to get rid of on their own. Foam roll, foam roll, foam roll is what they are told to do. There are two problems with this, one is that clients rarely use a foam roller properly and second, not all adhesions respond to this form of therapy. In addition, it is hard to form roll a bicep.
How do you help Popeye?
That's it; therapy can really be that simple. This client was better in the first visit during the session by 80%, presented on the return visit 90% improved, after the second and final session he was 100%. He thanked me for the education and was extremely grateful.