Participants: Agatha Thrash (Host), Rhonda Clark, Don Miller
Series Code: HYTH
Program Code: HYTH000229
00:01 Hello! Have you ever wondered what
00:03 we would be like if we didn't have a skeleton.
00:07 So we can say it is one of the most important things
00:10 in the body, it holds us so that we can do what we
00:14 have to do.
00:15 But there are things that can go wrong with the skeleton
00:18 both the muscular as well as the bony skeleton,
00:22 and we would like to talk about those in this program
00:25 so we hope you will join us.
00:47 Welcome to Help Yourself to Health
00:49 with Dr. Agatha Thrash of Uchee Pines Institute,
00:52 and now here is your host, Dr. Thrash.
00:56 Skeletal problems represent the commonest cause of
01:05 absenteeism from work, now if you consider all the
01:08 things that can go wrong with a person.
01:11 To have that as the principle thing that causes people to be
01:16 off from work, it shows it's importance to us.
01:20 Think about the fact that you know a lot of people who have
01:24 been not only days but weeks or months out of work
01:28 because of a certain problem that has to do with the
01:30 skeleton, either a knee, an ankle, a back, a shoulder,
01:34 an elbow, or a broken bone, these things are big things,
01:39 in our work today.
01:41 Now I would like to invite you to join me as we talk with
01:47 a guest that I have today, and that is Rhonda Clark.
01:51 Rhonda Clark is one of my colleagues at Uchee Pines
01:55 and she is going to be with us on the program today
01:57 and as I look at your equipment here, I wish I were the subject
02:03 for your demonstration, what are you going to show us today?
02:07 - I am going to be showing today a special massage technique,
02:10 and this is for those people who get those knots someplace
02:15 that just are killing them, and I hope that this will be
02:18 very helpful and beneficial.
02:19 - A knot right here, or a knot right here, and you can
02:25 show them how to release those knots.
02:27 - I can this is a massage technique that's known as a
02:30 trigger point release massage, and there are different ways of
02:32 doing the same type of massage, I'm just going to be
02:35 showing one today that I'm familiar with, and that I have
02:37 been the recipient of, with great relief.
02:40 - Very good, very good. - So I'm glad to share it.
02:42 - Tell us about it.
02:44 - All this uses is simple pressure, the use of pressure
02:48 very light pressure and increasing as this point
02:51 begins to release, and I have asked an assistant to come
02:57 and be my pretend patient.
02:58 This is a young woman who is one of our students in the
03:02 elementary school at Uchee Pines Institute, her name is
03:05 Arianna Hartsfield, we're so glad to have her here
03:08 with us today.
03:09 As I demonstrate here on Arianna's back,
03:14 we can have area's that become very tense and uncomfortable
03:18 in all parts of our neck and shoulders, really in any part
03:21 of our body, and so if you can have the person who is feeling
03:26 these pains, sit in a comfortable position,
03:29 and then look for those spots that they say are the
03:32 very sorest, so as you begin feeling and massaging
03:36 very gently.
03:37 You don't want to increase the spasm of the muscle,
03:40 find that spot where they say oh, that's the spot.
03:43 That is the spot that is the sorest, and hold light pressure,
03:47 the point is not to really dig into these sore places,
03:51 but to hold some light pressure that doesn't cause pain,
03:55 you want to help the muscle relax and not spasm up
03:57 more tightly, after a minute or so you will then increase the
04:02 pressure a bit on this spot, the same spot increasing the
04:07 pressure, holding again for another minute,
04:09 making sure that the patient doesn't feel pain,
04:12 and then again increasing the pressure even more deeply,
04:16 this will slowly begin releasing this point.
04:20 - Can you feel yourself the point releasing?
04:24 - Occasionally you can feel that point releasing, other times
04:28 you just go by what the person is telling you,
04:30 like ok, yeah that is releasing, and you will soon find they have
04:34 another sore spot very near by, so the next step goes
04:38 to the next sore spot.
04:40 Maybe it's down a little, and begin by holding light
04:43 pressure for thirty seconds to a minute, as they can tolerate
04:48 it without pain, increase the pressure, as they can tolerate
04:51 that without pain, increase again, and it's amazing
04:56 oh, that's not hurting so much.
04:58 And then to the next sore place, light pressure it first,
05:02 then increasing the pressure as they can tolerate it,
05:06 finally putting a great deal of pressure towards the end
05:09 to release that spot.
05:10 - You are looking for satellite sore spots as well as that
05:14 primary one.
05:15 - Absolutely! And in my own experience you can have twenty
05:20 sore places in a muscle that spasms, you can have several,
05:22 this isn't something that you can do very quickly,
05:25 it will take a period of time to get all of those sore places
05:27 released and as they release you may find you come back
05:30 to an area that you had previously been to,
05:32 doing this again, eventually this will help loosen up
05:36 that spasmed muscle, those knots are in there so tight
05:39 just through this gentle technique.
05:41 Towards the end then having just a regular type of massage
05:45 may feel very good, at first however it's important just to
05:48 release those sore spots, and you know Dr. Thrash,
05:51 this is something that you can do not only on a patient
05:53 as Ms. Hartsfield has helped me with, but this is something
05:56 that you can do on yourself thanks to some
05:58 innovative equipment.
06:00 - Good show up about that.
06:02 - I brought a couple of examples here with me
06:04 Now this is what's known as a shepherds hook,
06:07 this is a home made sample, just some pipe
06:10 that's been connected, and you will notice the important
06:13 piece of equipment is this, little plastic knob at the end.
06:16 This hook is used to reach over your own shoulder
06:20 and find your own sore places.
06:22 So for example Dr. Thrash if I had a sore spot
06:25 much of place that Arianna did, I could just find that
06:29 sorest place, put some pressure by pulling on the hook
06:33 and increase the pressure, and these Shepherd's hook's come
06:36 in all different shapes and sizes, sometimes they are called
06:39 acupressure tools, they come in different shapes,
06:44 little different kinds of knobs but all can be used in this
06:48 massage technique with great results.
06:51 I have certainly enjoyed it myself.
06:53 - It looks as if this one might be if you have a place where
06:58 you have an itch you can scratch that as well.
07:01 And I have found that people who have a back ache,
07:04 if you simply scratch the back just all over, that that will
07:09 often help a back ache and help a person to relax,
07:13 who is in trouble because they cannot relax.
07:17 - Yes! - Yes, well thank you so much,
07:19 I really appreciate this, I am thankful that we can get
07:23 this very simple technique mastered.
07:26 I have some pictures of skeletal problems that I would like to
07:30 show you, some of these are simple, and some are quite
07:35 serious, some require the work of a surgeon,
07:38 and some require only things that you can do.
07:42 This first one is called dupuytren's contracture
07:46 you will see the finger next to the small finger,
07:51 is pulled toward the palm, and if you look in the palm
07:56 you will see a thickened cord, that represents the
08:00 thickening of the tendon sheath in dupuytren's contracture.
08:06 If you will notice in the right hand, the right hand also has
08:11 that, if often starts with a little dimple at the base of
08:16 the finger and that may be the very first sign that you have
08:21 dupuytren's contracture.
08:23 There are things that you may do yourself, that if you start
08:28 early enough, you may be able to relax that
08:31 dupuytren's contracture.
08:33 Hot soaks can be very helpful, massage, a salt glow to the hand
08:42 really massaging diligently can be helpful, and if you prefer,
08:50 an ice massage or an ice soak of the hand for 20 minutes,
08:56 that can also be helpful.
08:58 As soon as the hot or cold treatment which ever you decide
09:03 is finished, then you must massage that tendon sheath
09:08 and try to stretch it out some, it can be a bit painful as you
09:13 really work on it diligently to try to get it to relax.
09:19 I have had several patients who have had told me
09:23 that they have been able to relax a dupuyen's contracture
09:27 by the application of heat, and perhaps a compress made of
09:32 something like an onion compress, or a golden seal
09:36 compress, or a comfrey compress, comfrey is an herb having
09:42 very good healing properties and some astringent properties
09:46 and that laid in the hand and a bandage put over it,
09:50 some wet comfrey leaves laid in the hand and a bandage
09:54 put over it, that can be very helpful for
09:57 dupuytren's contracture.
09:59 Ok, I have another picture I would like to show you
10:02 this is the trigger finger, now notice that there is a sheath
10:08 which is a number of lines and you see that toward the
10:13 end of the finger but also toward the palm end
10:17 of the finger, and then you will see the tendon which goes
10:21 in that sheath.
10:23 Now with dupuytren's contracture the sheath is what contracts
10:28 but in the trigger finger, the thing that causes the problem
10:34 is that the tendon itself gets a little bump on it,
10:38 and then the tendon cannot slide
10:43 into or out of that sheath.
10:47 The fact that this knob gets caught in the sheath makes it
10:54 so that the finger simply hangs there, so the finger is like
10:58 this and then when it finally releases from that tunnel
11:05 where it has been caught then it snaps outward in this way
11:11 that's called a trigger finger.
11:13 What can you do for that, well it's the same thing
11:16 that you did for the dupuytrens, either hot or cold, a comfrey
11:21 compress is very good, and after every treatment it is
11:25 massage of that area, in case of a trigger finger,
11:28 it is the swollen part that you can actually feel
11:32 on the tendon as you move the finger just a little bit.
11:36 Once in awhile the problem is father back in the hand,
11:41 sometimes it's in the finger itself, but to put pressure
11:48 on that spot for a long enough period of time, extending the
11:53 treatment for enough weeks or months to eventually
11:57 make it so that the tendon has...
12:00 you have massaged that little knob until it has resorbed
12:06 enough or flattened out enough that it will slide properly
12:12 through the tendon sheath.
12:14 I had such a trigger finger one time, and it was so that
12:19 every time I clenched my fist my finger would hang there,
12:27 by using this little technique I have finally gotten it so that
12:31 my finger no longer has that problem.
12:34 I've had several patients who have also through diligent...
12:37 if they have managed to avoid having an operation there
12:43 or continuing with the trigger finger.
12:46 Now the next picture that I will show you is also another
12:50 skeletal problem, and you will see that one knee is normal.
12:54 The left knee is normal, but the knee on the right
12:58 is quite swollen, there is fluid on the knee, and that fluid
13:06 will resorb by itself if you simply leave it alone.
13:12 This person has been kneeling as a carpet layer, on one knee,
13:18 doing carpet laying, and got a large swelling of the knee.
13:24 Do you have to have that fluid removed with a needle?
13:28 The answer is not usually, usually you can simply put
13:32 compresses, hot compresses, or cold compresses, and
13:36 compresses made of herbs, such as the comfrey that we
13:41 mentioned earlier has very good healing and astringent
13:45 qualities and can be very helpful, and it takes sometimes
13:49 a week or two or maybe three for all of the fluid to resorb
13:54 but unless there is a continuing problem, continuing trauma,
14:00 the person will eventually resorb that fluid and the knee
14:07 will be normal again.
14:08 Now the next picture that I have to show you is another
14:14 skeletal problem, and I would like you to see this one of the
14:18 vertebral bodies.
14:20 Notice the anatomy here of the vertebra, you see the bone
14:25 from above and the bone below, and then on the sides
14:29 two cup shaped structures that are called the
14:35 spinal ligaments and they hold the disk in place.
14:41 Now the disk goes by several names, it may be called the disk
14:47 but it may also be called the nucleus pulposus,
14:51 and the central portion here is called the annulus.
14:56 The annulus is semi-liquid and the other part,
15:02 the rest of the disk is a fibro-cartilage,
15:06 one of the few places where we have fibro-cartilage
15:09 that is cartilage and fibrous tissue in the same tissue.
15:14 Now that portion of the disk is not so likely to herniate
15:21 outward, but the part in the center is likely if the
15:28 structures on the sides become damaged or inflamed,
15:34 then the annulus can work it's way through the disk
15:43 and actually come out from around the spinal ligament
15:48 and that can cause a great deal of pain.
15:51 The pain is from the pressure of that semi-liquid part
15:57 sort of, as we might say squirting out through a weakened
16:02 part in the disk, and getting into a place where it
16:06 compresses a nerve.
16:08 Now we may look at that and say oh, all of a sudden he
16:12 bent over, picked up something heavy and he slipped a disk.
16:17 Well actually, we are not likely to have that kind of thing
16:21 happen suddenly without some prior warning, because the disk
16:26 itself must become diseased or inflamed in order for the
16:32 process to come to it's terminus in this way,
16:35 so what we can recommend then is if a person begins to have
16:42 back pain, that they take care of it at that point,
16:45 and not wait a long time.
16:47 So I have asked Dr. Don Miller if he will show us something
16:52 about the proper use of the back, this little exercise that
16:58 he will show you, will be very helpful to you.
17:00 Dr. Miller welcome to the program today, and I'm glad
17:04 that you are going to show this on proper back posture.
17:07 - Yes! Well I'm not going to say a whole lot about it, but,
17:10 at the beginning of the program you said what would we do
17:13 without a skeleton, and a skeleton is very important
17:16 and I look at it, a normal chair an average chair that we have
17:19 in this country, basically the chairs that we have are not
17:24 made for human beings, they are made more for earth worms.
17:26 Because our backs do not do this, our backs have a curve
17:30 and so the first thing I would recommend for a person
17:32 if they are trying to have good back health,
17:34 is to either sit up straight and never lean back,
17:38 or have something like a lumbar support,
17:40 and so when they are sitting, let me move this back
17:43 a little bit, when you are sitting in a chair,
17:45 they put this thing right behind the lower back and then they
17:50 lean back on it and it feels so much better this way.
17:53 I mean I feel very comfortable, for those at home...
17:56 - It makes it so that you can sit up straight better too.
17:59 - Oh, absolutely! And you can stay awake longer,
18:02 you are more alert.
18:03 If a person doesn't have that extreme situation,
18:06 all they have to do is take their arm, put their arm behind
18:09 their back and lean against their arm, sometimes that's
18:11 enough to push out that lumbar.
18:14 Now you mention about people say ok, I lifted something
18:19 and it blew my back out, and that's true, but probably the
18:23 major cause of bad backs is our consistent lifting of between
18:29 75 to 150 Lbs, we do it a number of times a day
18:34 from our lower back, and that is in the act of standing up.
18:37 First of all we are sitting there the wrong way,
18:41 that means our vertebrae are opening up,
18:43 our disks are in a bad situation.
18:47 - They are migrating towards the back portion of the vertebrae.
18:50 - That's right, they are in the back portion, then when we
18:52 stand up, we lean forward and right here at this point
18:57 all of the weight of my trunk is on my lower back,
19:00 and I stand up, so I am lifting however much I weigh from
19:04 my waist up, that's how much I lift, and I might stand up
19:07 20, 30, 100 times a day, so I am lifting up all...
19:11 and I sit down the same way.
19:12 You go over there and sit down and lean forward, and then you
19:16 go in for your landing, and you have put the stress on the
19:19 lower back, so here is the key,
19:22 first of all you sit up straight.
19:23 But when you are going to stand up, I recommend you slide a foot
19:26 underneath your chair if you can, and then keeping your back
19:31 straight you stand straight up.
19:34 It's even helpful if when you stand up, you use your hands
19:39 as a launching pad.
19:40 I injured my back in the Marine Corp, I've got a bad back
19:44 and if I don't take care of it it will come back to haunt me
19:47 so I've got to make sure I do these things religiously
19:50 so when I stand up I try to keep my back straight
19:53 and stand up, and then I try to maintain the proper posture
19:58 because if I don't, if I start stooping forward,
20:00 again my back's not going to react well.
20:03 That little disk between the vertebrae will like you say
20:09 migrate towards the back or towards the side,
20:11 if I'm sitting there carrying my heavy suitcases from airport to
20:14 airport, that's going to leave me open to the problem.
20:17 And so the key is sitting properly and standing up
20:21 properly, if we do that constantly and then without
20:25 a doubt keeping the back muscles strong.
20:28 - Oh yes!
20:29 - Do a good exercise program, build up the back muscles
20:32 and you won't have a bad back.
20:34 - What do you do to keep your back muscles strong?
20:38 Well there's a number of exercises, one just laying
20:40 on your back and lifting up your legs, just the leg lifts
20:45 and lifting up a leg and then bring it back,
20:47 and bringing the knee towards the chest, and then bringing
20:49 the leg up and pushing against the knee as you are trying to
20:53 draw the knee towards you, laying on a flat surface,
20:56 and trying to push out the curve of your back with your abdominal
20:59 muscles, pushing that thing out, very simple laying on your back
21:04 taking your one foot and touching it to the other side
21:06 of the other leg, and then coming back, both sides,
21:09 and then taking that foot as far over to the side as you can.
21:12 - Do you ever lift weights or do any kind of machine work?
21:17 - I do have a machine, and it's called a bow-flex,
21:19 and when I have an opportunity to be in this country
21:22 long enough I do use my bow- flex, but even with that,
21:25 I've got to make sure I use it properly, and the nice thing
21:29 about..., and I don't try to advertise a bow-flex
21:32 but when you are lifting iron, I've done that too.
21:34 You put a lot of stress on your body, a bow-flex or something
21:38 that uses some type of graduated thing like pistons,
21:41 you weren't using that much but you were forcing yourself
21:45 against something that isn't going to...
21:48 I remember I was doing bench presses when I was in the
21:51 Marine Corp and I took to much and it came down,
21:54 and I couldn't get it back up.
21:56 And it settled on my chest, and here I'm laying with about
22:01 200 Lbs on my chest and a bar bell, I slowly started rolling
22:04 it down which isn't a good idea either,
22:07 - Pretty soon it's going to get to a soft spot.
22:09 - That's right, and a couple of Marines saw me and came over
22:11 and rescued me, so it's best if you go to lift weights make
22:16 sure you are not going to do it till you hurt...
22:17 I like universal gym's, which you put your pin in there.
22:22 But we have to start slowly and be consistent and do exercises
22:27 the way the charts say, follow the charts, you can't do it on
22:30 your own, the people who made the charts know
22:32 what they are talking about.
22:33 - Yes! I keep my back strong with good gardening exercises
22:38 I like that, it is purposeful labor and seems better to me.
22:42 As to why I love chopping wood, I've got a monster maul
22:45 I've split my wood with, a 17 Lb monster maul,
22:48 you get that thing going, you get good exercise, you sweat
22:51 which helps throw off some toxins from your body,
22:53 and it warms you twice.
22:56 - That's good, it warms you when you burn it,
22:58 and it warms you when you cut it.
22:59 - That's right.
23:00 - Thank you so much,
23:01 I appreciate your coming on the show today.
23:03 And I would like to show you proper knee posture,
23:07 Dr. Miller showed you proper back posture, and I would like
23:12 to show you proper knee posture.
23:14 It actually begins with the head, so we want the head
23:17 so that the cheek bones are directly over the collar bones.
23:21 I have asks Arianna Hartsfield if she would help me with this.
23:26 So Arianna would you have a seat right here,
23:29 let's start with it this way and if you will sit with your
23:33 back here I want to show something about the cheek bones
23:37 now when a person has good posture, the cheeks,
23:42 good head posture is that the cheek bones are directly over
23:46 the collar bones, so right here and right here, now to get that
23:52 the best, that's just it right there, in this place the cheek
23:58 bone is directly over the collar bone, now stand for one moment,
24:02 now the head should be in what is called the neutral position.
24:06 That is not forward as would be this, and not backward in
24:13 the exaggerated military position.
24:15 Neither one of those is correct, and then the back itself,
24:21 Dr. Miller has shown you a little bit about back posture.
24:25 But when you are just standing you should have a little curve
24:29 in the back, not an exaggerated extension of the hips,
24:34 but just a little curve like this, and then comes the knees,
24:39 that's next.
24:40 That begins with the feet straight in front of one,
24:43 and Arianna if you will now sit in a proper way,
24:48 with proper foot posture, because you have to have both
24:53 toes the toes of both feet put pointed straight ahead,
24:57 so let's see you demonstrate that, ok, both toes are straight
25:01 in front of you, you are ready to sit, there she goes,
25:06 she kept her back straight as Dr. Miller had said, and she
25:09 also kept her toes pointed straight which means
25:12 that the knees will also be pointed straight in front.
25:16 If the toes splay outward in this way, then the knees will
25:23 get an enormous strain on the internal structures, which can
25:27 cause almost immediate knee pain.
25:30 Alright Arianna let me now see you arise from the position,
25:35 there we go, one foot slightly behind the other,
25:38 as you could see, and she arose with a forward movement
25:43 with the major part of the weight on her back leg
25:48 and not on the lower back, thank you Arianna, I appreciate that.
25:53 Now as we think about things that can go wrong,
25:58 another thing that can go wrong with the skeleton is that of
26:02 loss of bone tissue, and I have two pictures that I would like
26:07 to show you which can illustrate the thing that we are
26:12 talking about that the bones can get thin.
26:17 Thin bones are then subject to pain and they are also subject
26:22 to fracturing, here is a back that shows almost transparent
26:30 vertebrae, that's not just that the x-ray was over exposed
26:36 it is that the bones themselves were very very thin,
26:40 these can crush together.
26:43 If you will notice you will see that two of those vertebrae
26:47 or maybe three have crushed together.
26:51 Now the next picture is a picture of the hip,
26:56 and you will see a line, a faint line between that
27:00 ball that fits in the socket and then the knobby part
27:04 of the hip bone, that is called the surgical neck.
27:08 With thinning of the bones that surgical neck can very
27:13 easily crack, and if a person falls or steps in a wrong way
27:19 the surgical neck can break and then the ball and socket
27:25 affair that we have with the hip joint will be then
27:30 not functional, so the surgeons take out the ball,
27:34 and replace that with a new ball, a steel ball,
27:39 and give the person a hip replacement.
27:42 We have not covered everything in skeletal problems
27:47 but I hope we have covered enough that you can see that
27:50 many things can be done at home to prevent serious problems.