A 46-year-old-woman presented today with swelling in the large knuckle of her right middle finger as it connects to her hand. She had been to her primary MD and then the rheumatoid arthritis specialist. They did extensive testing and came up with no diagnosis. She is now taking prednisone to mitigate the inflammation without success.
I am always looking for the cause of a problem and not trying to put a Band-Aid on it. In her history she also said she has had right shoulder, neck, and TMJ pain for a while. Her dentist gave her an appliance to help with clenching her teeth. Astute readers may know where I am going with this.
My questions: Is there a strain pattern running from that knuckle thru her shoulder, neck, and ending in the TMJ. Are these four areas all one condition? The answer: Probably so, since there was a distinct fascial strain that was working out beautifully in therapy. Since the shoulder had trouble clearing out towards the end of the session, that is probably where the traumatic problem started. Over time, the strain probably went up into her neck and jaw, and also down into her hand. Welcome to my world.
When we think differently, things can make sense. Since the fascial web connects every structural cell, the human body exists as one functioning unit. A key osteopathic principle.