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Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Avoid Random Treatment of Trigger Points (Part 2)
We must acknowledge that the fascia, which surrounds literally everything in our bodies, including every muscle fiber, is more than just a covering.
A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
The Aspiration to Prevent Hip, Knee and Shoulder Replacements, Part 2
The extrinsic variables that contribute to hip, knee and shoulder degeneration were outlined in my last column in the November 2014 issue. That article proposed that the hip and shoulder joints have a genetic propensity for subluxations. In the shoulder, this involves its anterior capsule, while for the hip joint this relates to its posterior capsule.
My theory suggests that this propensity comes to us from our primate evolution when our ancestors needed to develop ways to fall (as from trees) and somehow survive. For any who may have experienced a significant fall, our human tendency is to tuck and roll involving a sudden movement forward of one shoulder and a corresponding posterior movement of the opposite sided hip. Another way to appreciate this large body reflex is to reflect on the Olympian springboard and platform divers with their truly awesome ability to harness this capacity for combinations of flips, spins, tucks and rolls.
The second article of this series describes our internal anatomical structures whose cringing, shortening or twisting are proposed to be primary contributors for progressing toward hip subluxations.1,2,3 I theorize that hip subluxation and its accompanying typical soft tissue compensations are principal variables leading to many knee and hip replacement surgeries which are often attributed to the nebulous cause of aging.
To my perception, the primary factor in this all too common degenerative progression is how the femoral head interfaces with its socket, the acetabulum. Specifically, how shifts in each hip bone or, between both and the sacrum, may participate in pre-disposing hip subluxation(s) of the femoral head. Internal influences related to shoulder subluxations and further relationships influencing the knee joint will be addressed in separate articles.
My clinical experiences suggest that the cringing of the peritoneal sac, the shortening of the mesenteric root of the small intestine and the shortening of the tubes that comprise the ascending and the descending colons, are commonly associated with the local influences within the abdominopelvic cavity which can act on the lower spine and pelvis thus pre-disposing the posterior slide of the femoral head.4,5
Specifically, the ascending and descending colons have firm visceral ligamental attachments to the ilia and are incredibly powerful muscles very capable of distorting the acetabulum/femoral relationship. Additionally, the mesenteric root of the small intestine has the capacity to rotate the pelvis by virtue of its attachments to the left side of L2 and to the right sacro-iliac joint.6 Both of these structures are invested within folds of the peritoneal sac whose cringing response to stress or trauma initiates and exaggerates the responses of those previously described.1 Other organ attachments certainly co-participate as variables; yet, working with these three viscera have produced the most favorable outcomes for clients.
Consider the following: should the peritoneal sac, small intestine or large intestine structures contract significantly in response to a virulent digestive flu, food poisoning, extended constipation, infection or amebic dysentery then... "Katie bar the door, "... the relationship between the acetabulum and the proximal femur is rather likely to be affected. Little considered is the possible displacement of the acetabulum/femoral head relationship associated with these small and large bowel episodes. Sometimes everything settles back into dynamic balance yet, many times I propose, it does not.
Additionally, consider the mesenteric root of the small intestine experiencing a similar sequence of events: such a oblique/diagonal contraction between its left side lumbar attachments and its attachment to the right sacro-iliac joint may well induce a torque to the pelvis thus creating the pre-disposition of the femoral head to displace posteriorly, at least on one side.
Let's now consider the typical soft tissue compensations I have clinically experienced. When the femoral head slips posterior, I propose it begins to ride the edge of the acetabulum, thus creating a hip joint instability. The most common compensation pattern involves the gluteus medius and minimus muscles, the tensor fascia lata and its iliotibial band all contracting around the femoral head to prevent its possible dislocation. Ironically, this still allows relatively normal function and range of motion; yet, I propose that this fixes the femoral head against the lip of the acetabulum which over many years grooves a flat spot on the naturally spherical shape of the bone.
Further, I propose that any posterior glide is also accompanied by rotation of the femoral head which translates itself all the way down to its distal condyles creating rotation in the knee joint and contributing to the distortion of how the knee tracks in its normal flexion and extension movement during the walking cycle. Over time, this distortion of knee joint mechanics translates into compression, thus accelerating the wear and tear of its cartilages. It is no accident that roughly twice as many knee replacements occur than hip replacements during each calendar year.7 This is my proposed answer to how hip distortions influences knee degeneration.
Certainly, the iliopsoas is also a significant variable; yet, I suggest not in the manner you might imagine. More commonly, I believe that the psoas is often in spasm because of the posterior and inferior slide of the femoral head rather than the other way around. Its attachment to the lessor trochanter is being stretched by the posterior position of the femoral head. Also, the typical soft tissue compensations (the fixation of the gluteus medius and minimus, tensor fascial lata and the iliotibial band to prevent further displacement) create more inertia for the psoas contraction to overcome while initiating flexion of the femur in relationship to the trunk.
These protective contractions also disrupt the psoas' external rotation function that is essential to coordinating with the distal femoral condyles that participate in unlocking the knee and allowing it to functionally participate in a normal gait pattern.8 This extra effort to overcome the soft tissue protection of the hip joint over time influences the adductors to shorten in order to counterbalance the power of the femur's external rotation by the iliopsoas. This triangular protective shortening of the soft tissues involved in hip motion is part of the reason that clients with hip degeneration so often present with groin pain. With such a wide-ranging compensation pattern the femoral triangle is bound to be affected and vascular congestion will eventually ensue.
Further, it is my interpretation of anatomy that when the psoas tendon is constantly on stretch, its tension contributes to occluding the medial circumflex artery which effectively starves the femoral head. Avascular necrosis is a common diagnosis leading to hip replacements.9,10
The big picture of life is that our bodies consistently trade off "mobility for stability" during the aging process, as well in response to physical traumas of all varieties and intensities. In my view, this construct leads us back to the invisibility of flexor/extensor reflex systems that are a part of the evolutionary momentum which produced more distensibility in the anterior shoulder joint and the same in the posterior hip joint. These were all designed to prevent falling, surviving a significant accident and to prevent one's pre-mature death.
Sadly, the echo of these survival mechanisms has left us a Gordian Knot to unravel in our efforts to assist our clients in maintaining their quality of life.
In truth, my successes with undoing the progression of hip and knee degeneration is much less than I would prefer to report. However, what I have learned from my clients, I do believe can contribute to a foundation for us as a profession to build a commonly accepted model of how this progression occurs and what we might do to stabilize its downward spiral. And, if identified in its early stages, the progression may even be reversed. This understanding also points us as dedicated professionals toward building additional skill sets to address these human difficulties.