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Entries in curious connections (2)

Thursday
Jul122012

Curious Connections: low back & knees

There are oh-so-many ways that the low back and knees are connected. One that has been catching my attention of late is that people who complain of chronic low back pain invariably have grainy, mealy, lumpy, unhealthy soft tissue on the popliteal fossa (backs of the knees). In the middle of the popliteal folds (transverse crease of popliteal fossa, to be precise) is Bladder 40 (UB40, Wei Zhong), a potent acupoint for low back pain. How did the ancient Chinese physicians make this connection? There are many theories and beliefs about how acupuncture came to be. But I wonder if perhaps some physicians, who were more focused on manual modalities and the cadaver studies done at the time, noticed this difference in the tissues and that perhaps this contributed to the discovery of the acupoint.

Tissues reflect the health of the structures with which they are related. Often these are contiguous (next-door or adjacent) structures, but sometimes these structures are related through their fascial connections (like the low back & knees). It is through these fascial connections that tissues can, in turn, influence the health of other organs and structures in the body. It goes both ways. So keeping the tissues healthy through hydration, nutrition, massage, manual therapies, skin brushing, etc is important to overall health of the internal organs.

Thursday
Jun072012

Lumpy forearms

I've had several female patients present with lumpy, painful forearms after significant hormonal changes (postpartum, perimenopause). The nodules feel very similar to those that formed on my thighs after I had suffered multiple fractures to my pelvis. They showed up months after the trauma, were massaged out over a period of six months, and recur on occasion. The difference seems to be that these women have pain with use of the arms; I had pain only with pressure on the nodules. Both feel like the beginnings of scar tissue if they don't get worked out. Fortunately, both tend to be responsive to friction. 

It's not uncommon for women to have major, unexpected changes in their bodies after hormonal changes. Many women report that their health changed either for the better or for the worse after a pregnancy. Some women experience change in hair texture (straight to curly) or a change in how fast their hair or nails grow. But the lumpy, painful forearms is something I've not heard of before.

A Google search yielded no relevant results. If you have experience with this, please let me know.