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Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual

Travell and Simons, a masterpiece, and the most thumbed medical book by many chiropractors.

The book I use the absolute MOST is Travell and Simons "Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual". I reference it quite a bit when patients come in with "weird" stuff no one else has been able to figure out. Dr Andrea Mills DC.

There was a time, not so long ago but certainly in the last millennium figuratively and literally speaking, that everything that was to do with muscles was considered the domain of the physiotherapist, and that which had to do with bones was the chiropractor’s turf.

Grossly oversimplified, fortunately the era ended and only a few diehard dinosaurs from that philosophy remain. Perhaps to the chagrin of both parties physical therapy has embraced the bones, and manipulation, whilst chiropractic has endorsed the existence of muscles!

Of course, muscles move bones, and so an inadequate muscle tone must and does have a profound effect on bones and joints. Likewise most muscles are enervated via the spine, and so without a healthy nervous system, one cannot have healthy muscles. Chicken and egg!

Oddly, it was a medic who, perhaps more than any other, brought chiropractic to its senses concerning the muscles. (Well, that’s an exaggeration. George Goodheart made an enormous contribution in making the chiropractic profession aware of the importance of the muscular system and its central role in chiropractic.) But, single-handedly it was Janet Travell, MD who created the awareness of myofascial pain, and its singular importance to both medicine and chiropractic. She created this branch of healing.

Born in 1901, Travell had already been studying and treating trigger points for twenty years that she met David Simons, MD, a young aerospace physician. Together they teamed up and produced the first volume of this fine book when Travell was already in her eighties, and the second when this veteran was in her nineties.

Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual by Travell and Simons.

Interesting historical notes are that Janet Travell was appointed the White House doctor after she helped John F Kennedy overcome a debilitating myofascial pain syndrome, and David Simons once held the world altitude record for manned balloon flight which he set in 1957 as a young Air Force Flight Surgeon.

This two volume book can be purchased from Amazon for around $150.

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