Course Notes: Explain Pain

A Whirlwind I finally had the opportunity to meet my personal Jesus, David Butler, and learn the way that he explains the pain experience to patients. It was an interesting weekend to say the least. The course started off with a smash…literally. We had the unfortunate experience of someone breaking into our car to start the trip off. Then once we arrived to the course, we were informed that Dave was going to be 2 hours late. He was staying in Philly (where I also experienced flight troubles last week) and a snowstorm with a name no one cares about stopped his flight. So Dave drives all the way from Philadelphia, “tilting his head back to rest” for 1 hour, and then what happens? He, along with the other instructors, drive to the wrong campus. So after all these crazy things happen, Dave finally makes it to the course, sets up his presentation, plays a little Bob Marley, and……………… Kills it. I mean, absolutely kills it. To see Dave present this topic under the above circumstances and be on the entire time is a testament to the type of speaker and professional he is. David Butler is one of, if not the best speaker I have ever heard. So I’d like to thank you, Dave, for making an otherwise stressful weekend memorable and exciting. I look forward to applying what I have learned. If you haven’t taken a course from the NOI Group, please do so yesterday! So what did

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The Year of the Nervous System: 2014 Preview

It’s All Part of the Plan And if you see my course schedule this year, the plan is indeed horrifying. I wanted to write a post today to somewhat compose my thoughts and plans for this year, as well as what I am hoping to achieve from the below listed courses. Because of the course load and some of my goals for the year, I am not sure what my blogging frequency will look like. I have begun to pick up some extra work so I am able to attend as much con ed as I do. The Amazon affiliate links that I don’t get money for because I live in Illinois simply cannot pay for classes :). I am just putting these links up here because I want to encourage you to read these books on your own. Use my site as a guide through them. Big Goals My biggest goal for this year is to successfully become Postural Restoration Certified (PRC), and my course schedule below supports this goal. The amount that I use this material and the successes that have come along with it simply compel me to become a PRI Jedi. I see the PRC as a means to achieving this goal. The application thus far has been quite time-consuming. There are a total of 3 case studies, 5 journal article reviews, and tons of other writing that has to be done. Couple that with studying the material, and I have had a very busy year.

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The Post Wonderful Time of the Year: Top Posts of 2013

The Best…Around Time is fun when you are having flies. It seems like just yesterday that I started up this blog, and I am excited and humbled by the response I have gotten. Hearing praise from my audience keeps me hungry to learn and educate more. I am always curious to see which pages you enjoyed, and which were not so enjoyable; as it helps me tailor my writing a little bit more. And I’d have to say, I have a bunch of readers who like the nervous system 🙂 I am not sure what the next year will bring in terms of content, as I think the first year anyone starts a blog it is more about the writing process and finding your voice. Regardless of what is written, I hope to spread information that I think will benefit those of you who read my stuff. The more I can help you, the better off all our patients and clients will be. So without further ado, let’s review which posts were the top dogs for this year (and some of my favorite pics of course). 10.  Lessons from a Student: The Interaction This was probably one of my favorite posts to write this year, as I think this area is sooooooo under-discussed. Expect to be hearing more on patient interaction from me in the future. 9) Clinical Neurodynamics Chapter 1: General Neurodynamics Shacklock was an excellent technical read. In this post we lay out some nervous system basics, and

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Chapter 12: Lower Limb

This is a Chapter 12 summary of “Clinical Neurodynamics” by Michael Shacklock. Piriformis Syndrome Piriformis syndrome often involves the fibular tract of the sciatic nerve. It has the capacity to create symptoms from the buttock down to the anterolateral leg. Testing the neurodynamics with a fibular nerve bias is essential. To attempt to isolate this problem, we must best differentiate interface from neurodynamic components. Using Cyriax principles –palpation, contraction, and lengthening –can be beneficial in this regard. Keep in mind that below 70 degrees hip flexion the piriformis produces external rotation, and above 70 degrees it is an internal rotator. When treating this problem, the goal is to change pressure between the piriformis muscle and the sciatic nerve. Level 1a – Static opener VID – KF, ER Level 1b – Dynamic opener VID – Passive ER Level 2a – Closer mobilization using passive IR. VID – Passive IR Level 2b – We finish with a passive piriformis stretch VID – Tailor stretch If there is a neurodynamic component to things, slightly modify things by using sliders. We start things off with the same opener as the interface above.  As the patient progresses, you can add proximal or distal components eventually finishing with a fibular nerve-based slump. VID – Building the slump To combine interface and neural treatments, contract-relax can be utilized. Sciatic Nerve in the Thigh Oftentimes with hamstring strains, sciatic nerve sensitivity can increase. The slump and straight leg raise tests can be utilized to help differentiate a pure

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Chapter 9: Cervical Spine

This is a Chapter 9 summary of “Clinical Neurodynamics” by Michael Shacklock. Physical Exam The key tests you will want to perform include: Slump test. MNT 1. You can tier your testing based on one’s dysfunctions, such as opening or closing, as well as using sensitizers for less severe problems. Reduced Closing Dysfunction Level 1a – Static opener to increase space and decrease pressure in the intervertebral foramen. In the picture below, we would open the right side by combining flexion, contralateral sidebend, and contralateral rotation. Level 1b to 2b Reduced Opening Dysfunctions For these impairments, they are treated just the same as closing dysfunctions. The major difference is rationale. In closing dysfunction, the goal is to reduce stress on the nervous system. With opening dysfunctions, however, we are trying to improve the opening pattern. Static openers will generally not be used because these treatments could potentially provoke symptoms. Neural Dysfunction The gentlest technique is the two-ended slider, in which an ipsilateral lateral glide and elbow extension are performed. For tension dysfunctions, we go through the following progression:

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Chapter 5: Diagnosis with Neurodynamic Tests

This is a Chapter 5 summary of “Clinical Neurodynamics” by Michael Shacklock. Neurodynamic Tests In neurodynamic tests, there are two movement types: 1)      Sensitizing: Increase force on neural structures. 2)      Differentiating: Emphasizing nervous system by moving the neural structure as opposed to musculoskeletal tissue. The reason why sensitizers are not considered differentiating structures is because they also move musculoskeletal structures. Examples of sensitizing movements include: Cervical or lumbar spine contralateral lateral flexion. Scapular depression Humeroglenoid (HG) horizontal extension HG external rotation Hip internal rotation Hip adduction Interpreting The ability to interpret neurodynamic findings is crucial when determining the nervous system’s involvement.  Findings such as asymmetry, symptoms, and increased sensitivity are all important. But to implicate neurodynamics, structural differentiation ought to be performed. Just because there is a positive test does not mean that it is relevant to the patient’s complaints. There are several ways to classify findings: Negative structural differentiation: Implicates musculoskeletal response. Positive structural differentiation: Implicates neurodynamic response. Neurodynamic responses can have different interpretations: Normal: Fits normal responses per literature. Abnormal: Differ from normal responses. Can be broken down further into… Overt abnormal responses: Symptoms reproduction. Covert abnormal response: No symptoms, but may have other subtle findings such as asymmetry, abnormal location, and/or different resistance. From here, one must determine if the findings are relevant or irrelevant to the condition in question. You may also come across subclinical findings, in which the neurodynamic test is related to a minor problem that may become major at some point.

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The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter XI: Neurodynamic Testing for the Spine and Lower Limb

This is a summary of Chapter XI of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler. Intro For today’s chapter, I have decided that the best way to learn these tests is to show you. I will write in any pertinent details you need for a good test performance. The Straight Leg Raise (SLR) SLR hacks. Add sensitizers (dorsiflexion, plantarflexion, etc) to determine nervous system involvement. Add cervical flexion or visual input to enhance responses. Be mindful of symptoms before and after pain responses. If this test is positive post-operation, it will likely be inflammatory in nature. You can preload the system further with cervical flexion or sidebending the trunk away from the test side. Here are some other ways to perform the SLR with sensitizers first. (I apologize for the way the camera shot in advance). For tibial nerve-bias. For fibular nerve bias. For sural nerve bias. Passive Neck Flexion (PNF) Here is how to perform the test. PNF Hacks. Add SLR to further bias the test. Be mindful of Lhermitte’s sign, which is an electric shock down the arms or spine. This is a must-refer sign as there is potential spinal cord damage. Slump Test Here is how to perform the slump. Slump Knee Bend In the book itself, Butler uses the prone knee bend as his base test. However, NOI does not teach this motion as much and now favors the slump knee bend. This movement allows for much more differentiation to be had. And the saphenous nerve

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The Sensitive Nervous System Chapter X: Neurodynamic Tests in the Clinic

 This is a summary of Chapter X of “The Sensitive Nervous System” by David Butler. The Tests When assessing neurodynamics, there is a general system that is used including the following tests: Passive neck flexion (PNF). Straight leg raise (SLR). Prone knee bend (PKB). Slump. 4 different upper limb neurodynamic tests (ULNT). I will demonstrate these tests for you in later chapters. Many clinicians when discussing the lower extremity-biased tests deem that maybe only one or two of the tests need to be performed, however this assertion is erroneous. Slump, SLR, and PNF all need to be tested as a cluster. The reason being is that the clinical responses may often differ. This difference is especially noticeable when comparing the SLR and the slump. These two are not equal tests for the following reasons: Components are performed in a different order. Spine position is different. Patients may be more familiar with the SLR, therefore give more familiar responses. The patient is in control during the slump, not in the SLR. The slump is more provocative. Rules of Thumb When testing neurodynamics, here are the following guidelines: 1)      Active before passive. 2)      Differentiate structures – add/subtract other movements to see if symptoms can change. 3)      Document the test order. Positive Test The positive testing here is a little dated based on what Butler’s group and the research says as of right now. Based on what I have learned from Adriaan Louw, having any of the following is what constitutes a positive

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