Spondylolysis and Spondylolisthesis: A Slippery Slope with Back Disorders

Whitney Lowe’s article (in ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork-the last issue of LAST year!) was VERY informative! The conditions involve structural breakdown (most commonly in the lumbar region) of the vertebrae. In a body without these conditions, the bodies (in the front portion) of the vertebrae bear most of the responsibility for distributing the vertebrae’s compressive load; therefore, the compressive force line travels mostly through the lumbar vertebrae and intervertebral disc. In a spine with an exaggerated lumbar curve (lordosis), that line travels posteriorly, thereby putting more weight on the posterior vertebral arch structures. Spondylolysis is small stress fractures in the pars (region between the superior and inferior articular facets of the vertebrae); this, of course, is caused when the posterior vertebral arch takes on more weight. Spondylolisthesis is general sliding of the vertebral body, which happens when those small fractures progress into large ones, thereby separating the body from the posterior arch structures. Anterolisthesis is sliding of the vertebral body in an anterior direction; this is the most common form of spondylolisthesis because of the posterior positioning of all the other structures of the vertebrae. He concluded by discussing the other possible causes of these conditions and treatment ideas a therapist should consider!

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The Gentle Benefits of Massage for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

Jenny Batazar, LMT, RYT’s article, in last month’s Institute for Integrative Health Care’s newsletter, was enlightening! The Perrin Technique, developed by Dr. Raymond Perrin, relieves buildup of lymph through specific, gentle lymphatic drainage and craniosacral release techniques. The therapist performs these at sites of lymph engorgement to stimulate the drainage of the fluid, and its toxins, directly into body systems. Therapists must aid drainage, in the cervical and thoracic lymphatic vessels, with superficial, stroking motions to move lymph into the blood stream. They can also massage respiratory muscles to help decrease restrictions of movement and improve breathing patterns. Lastly, she relayed that craniosacral holds of the suboccipital region and sacrum, followed by stimulation of cranial rhythmic impulse are beneficial to the patient!

Myofascial Massage for Chronic Pain and Decreased Upper Extremity Mobility after Breast Cancer Surgery

This article, from International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork Vol. II No. 3 (2018), relayed findings from a study at a clinical massage spa in the U.S. Midwest, 21 women with persistent pain and mobility limitations 3-18 months after surgery. An intervention group received 16 myofascial sessions over 8 weeks on the affected breast, chest, and shoulder areas. A control group received 16 relaxation sessions over 8 weeks that avoided those areas. Participants completed a validated questionnaire at the beginning and end of the study; it asked about pain, mobility, and quality of life, and they reported on these outcomes: change in self-reported pain, self-reported mobility, and 3 quality-of-life questions. At baseline, both sets were similar in demographic and medical characteristics, pain and mobility ratings, and quality-of-life ratings. The intervention group had more favorable changes in pain, mobility, and general health. All participants reported that receiving massage treatments was a positive experience.

Clinical Relevance of Overpronation

Whitney Lowe’s article, from ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, was informative in a complicated-because-it-is kinda way! First, he told that the term is actually not universally recognized. Then, he discussed two primary causes of the condition. Lastly, he talked of treatments for therapists, one of which, retraining the patient’s gait, will probably help the advancement of it!

Postural Plasticity

Still from my July/August edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork (yes-I need to start on my September/October edition!), Erik Dalton, PhD’s article was quite common-sensical. Soft tissue or other injuries or conditions impact the nervous system, which remembers and continues to impact the body. He ends with “Remember, your brain is like an overprotective mother; it decides how much activation to allow, and it always errs on the side of caution. The brain can activate or inhibit muscle tone and balance depending on what it determines to be the safest course. We are wired for survival. Your brain is designed to protect you and, when functioning properly, knows when too much or too little of a good thing is just right for you.” Now, to start reading that next edition I spoke of!

Biomechanics of Tendon and Ligament Tissue

Still getting through my July/August (yes-on August 31st!) edition of ABMP’s Massage and Bodywork, and Whitney Lowe’s article was a good one! He differentiated again the differences between these 2 connective tissues; then he stressed that these differences impact injuries and treatment. Also, he relayed that recent research has shown that common injuries (specifically, tendonitis and tenosynovitis) may happen because of inflammation AND other reasons!