Wednesday, June 24, 2015

David Simons, MD: Pioneer of Myofascial Medicine




Dr. Simons joined Dr. Janet Travell in her intense efforts to understand and educate other physicians regarding myofascial dysfunction, and the contribution of myofascial trigger points to myofascial pain syndrome


"Dr. David Simons started his medical career as a military clinician and research scientist. Since 1965 he [practiced] physical and rehabilitative medicine. Dr. Simons, a world leader in myofascial medicine, [lectured and advocated] for research in this “new field” of medicine. Drs. Travell and Simons co-authored Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Vol. 1, published in 1983, and Vol. 2 in 1992. The revised edition of Vol. 1 was published in 1999." (Cooper and Miller, 2010


What you may not know is that Dr. David Simons, born in 1922, was Project Officer for Animal Studies in V-2 rocket flights until 1949. He graduated from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base. He is well known for his part in the part in the “Manhigh project, a series of balloon flights to record altitudes to study the effects of a near-space environment on human physiology.” Because of this any many other aeronautical achievements, he was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1987.

It was after retiring from the Air Force that he began his work with Dr. Janet Travell and they published the first medical textbooks on myofascial medicine. Dr. Simons also published approximately 200 publications on myofascial trigger points and chronic pain management. He and Dr. Travell are recognized internationally as trustworthy researchers.

To say that it was an honor to exchange email with Dr. Simons regarding myofascial pain syndrome is an understatement. When Dr. David Simons passed away in 2010, it was a great loss. He did so much to help so many, including myself. It is because of him and Dr. Travell that we can have better pain management today by pain specialists, chiropractors, and body workers who know their work.

A friend of mine, Dr. John Whiteside (Australia), studied directly under Dr. Janet Travell. We became connected when he gave me permission to publish his protocol for treating trigger points in our book. When I expressed my remorse for the loss of Dr. Simons, he had this to say:  

"Great scientists and teachers outlive their mortal lives.”
--Dr. John Whiteside

No truer words have ever been spoken.



Janet Travell, MD: Pioneer of Myofascial Medicine




"The pioneer in the study of chronic myofascial pain as we know it today is Dr. Janet Travell, later joined by Dr. David Simons. Travell discovered as early as 1940 that by applying pressure to a trigger point, she could establish and predict referred pain patterns. After successfully treating President John F. Kennedy for residual effects from bouts with myofascial pain and longstanding back problems, she was the first woman and first non-military doctor to be appointed to the post of White House physician. Dr. Travell is considered to be an expert authority, and her work and dedication continue to be internationally referenced.


Thanks to [Dr. Travell and Dr. Simons] dedication to scientific study and education, we now know that specific triggerpoints cause specific pain patterns and symptoms." (Cooper and Miller, 2010) 

One only has to visit Dr. Travell’s family tribute to understand the huge impact she had as White House physician to President John F. Kennedy. I hope you will take a moment to honor her by visiting the family’s memorial website. It is a testament to her work, her dedication, and to her life.

Dr Janet Travell (1901 – 1997) was not only personal physician to President Kennedy, she was a Associate Clinical Professor at the George Washington University and made many other contributions to medicine. A collection of her work consists of manuscripts, reports, correspondence, research data, articles, newspaper clippings, photographs, and a variety of material from Dr. Travell's service in the White House. It is said to include 104 boxes, or 44.5 linear feet of materials. The collection was donated to the Gelman Library University Archives in 1998 by her daughters with the stipulation that it can only be used to further the research and study of myofascial medicine. (Accessed,1-24-2015).  Her work will live on.

She made a huge impact on our knowledge of myofascial pain syndrome, its perpetuators to pain, and the role of the myofascial trigger point not only in pain, but also as a contributing factor to many other autonomic, circulatory, and nerve related symptoms. One might say she was also the founder of ergonomics because she understood, studied, and educated others about the effects of furniture, clothing, and posture on the body. She studied relentlessly to identify and map out the pain and symptom referral patterns associated with the location of each specific myofascial trigger point

She and Dr. David Simons and published the first medical text books on myofascial medicine.

Few in medicine have made such an impact and she and Dr. David Simons have made. Both were children of physicians.



Sunday, June 21, 2015

ME/CFS Advocates Making a Difference: Giving Thanks, Celeste Cooper


It’s time to say thank you. Advocates work tirelessly to change the perceptions of myalgic encephalomyelitis/chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

According to the CDC, more than one million Americans have ME/CFS, I happen to be one of them. And while my own advocacy focuses on fibromyalgia and chronic pain, and I write articles on chronic pain for Health Central,  I must support those who carry the torch for ME/CFS. There are correlations between ME/CFS and fibromyalgia, and many of us have been diagnosed with both. Maybe incorrectly, I don’t know. They do share underlying immunological changes, even if chemokines and other neuroimmune markers differ between the two of them. Who knows, maybe having a better understanding of ME/CFS will provide information so we can grasp what is happening with other invisible illnesses. We won’t know any of this without research. This is what our advocates know.


Voices Constantly Running in the Background 


As an RN, I am a member of Medscape, which is an organization for continuing education for physicians and nurses. I receive notification of CME and CEU programs and article updates. For the first time, I am seeing articles on the views of important game players, such as Dr. Komaroff.  There is a drive to educate physicians and nurses on ME/CFS as a biological illness. This wouldn’t be happening without the voices that are constantly running in the background.




Gratitude is Motivating

Many donate their time and talent. But, even if some are paid, money isn’t their driving force; it is passion for the cause. Our words of gratitude motivate them. I know this because of my own advocacy for fibromyalgia and chronic pain. So, please tell them thank you!

If I single out any particular person or group, it is only because I have personal communication with them. It by no means says there aren’t others doing the same for us. You may know someone different than I do who is making a huge impact. Show your support by telling them thank you on Facebook, Google+, or Twitter.


In alphabetical order:

Jeannette Burmeister Attorney,  ME activist, and blogger.
On Twitter

Health Rising.  Cort Johnson interprets research and collaborates with many people to improve education and awareness. Health Rising now has forums for ME/CFS and fibromyalgia.
On Twitter

The Massachusetts CFIDS/ME&FM Association.  Their mission is “To improve the lives of all people affected by ME/CFS and FM, advancing awareness, care, treatment and research.”
On Facebook – CFS Solutions

ME-CFS Community.   A world-wide community for individuals who wish to learn from, and directly communicate with those who are afflicted with ME/CFS.

Open Medicine Foundation. Supporting research and patient engagement for treatments and a cure for Neuro-Immune Diseases
On Twitter

P.A.N.D. O.R.A  Seeking to alleviate the suffering caused by neuro-endocrine-immune diseases, including ME/CFS, fibromyalgia syndrome, multiple chemical sensitivities / environmental illnesses, chronic Lyme disease and Gulf War illnesses.
On Facebook

ProHealth. Educating patients and providers to improve treatment and awareness, and donating 10% of profits to fund research and patient advocacy. Founder Rich Carson  provides forums on ME/CFS, FM, Lyme’s Disease. and general health, and topic related collaborative news and information on ME/CFS,  fibromyalgia,  and natural wellness.
On Twitter

Jennie Spotila’s blog, Occupy CFS.  Jennie’s legal savvy holds people accountable.
On Twitter


Our advocates are making a difference. 





~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro —Advocate


Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Friday, June 5, 2015

A Patient Powered Network: Change Agents for Relieving Pain in America by Celeste Cooper


A Patient Powered Network

Relieving pain in Kansas City (RPnKC) is a patient-powered leadership group with the goal of securing and promoting clinical data research network (PPRN) based on a collaborative, community-driven, community-based participatory research model. We are a group that believes patients have a role to teach others on important key issues based on improving our outcome as people living with chronic pain.

You can be a leader too - read on!

As participants in this patient powered research network, RPnKC patient leaders are united in an effort to change the way pain is “perceived, judged, and treated” as outlined in the Institute of Medicine Report “Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transforming Prevention,Care, Education, andResearch.”  We feel privileged for the opportunity to use OUR VOICE to influence research on therapies, coordinated care, alternative and integrative medicine, access to care, quality care without bias, research regarding many factors that influence chronic pain, and much more. The Center for Practical Bioethics through their PAINS Project   hold  us to the highest esteem, both in their hands and in their hearts.

Patient Outcome Based Research - By for and with Patients

We are an eclectic group with a variety of chronic pain conditions and backgrounds who have come together for this collaborate effort. We want to be part of the transformation. We want to work collectively with anyone who is willing to promote us in an effort to seek patient outcome based research that will solve the epidemic of untreated or undertreated pain, and we are achieving that goal. We understand, and we want our providers to understand that we are more than our pain, and that pain affects us physically, emotionally, socially, financially, and spiritually. We think it is important that our voices be heard.   Each of us has our own ideas based on our individual experiences, and for the first time, patients will influence research that answers questions posed by us. 



The Right to Ethical Treatment

We believe that we have the right to moral and ethical treatment of our pain, that we have the right not to be judged because we are in pain, and that we have the right to treatments focused on improving our outcome that fit within individual conceptual framework, support safety nets, and to speak up for those less fortunate. In an effort to promote our beliefs, we advocate for research, not only for ourselves as patients in pain, but for over 100 million Americans.

We believe we can set an example that will resonate across America, and we can do that best by participation in this important movement. We can do this despite the obstacles we face every day because we live with chronic pain. Never before have we had the opportunities provided by the vast experience and abilities offered by the many organizations and health centered research organizations, healthcare institutions, and others who are coming together to support the Center for Practical Bioethics in this endeavor.

Find Power in Your Voice

It is our greatest desire that you too will have such an opportunity in your area. I encourage you to share information with your legislators, your local medical groups, local media, and reach out by joining the PAINS Project and encouraging others to do the same. You too deserve to feel empowered as part of this national movement. If you have questions on how to do that contact MaryBennett, Alliance Development Director. 


Sincerely, Celeste Cooper 


"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Day Four – Migraine Awareness, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Myofascial Pain - The Blog Challenge




I have been a migraineur since puberty, for me, the consequences of genetics. My paternal grandmother was also a migraineur, and I always thought that like her, I would be free of this hideous disease by the time I reached my fourth decade in life. That was my dream, my hope, my reason for coping for so many years— a welcome light at the end of a long dark tunnel. But, the only thing that has changed is they are more frequent, and I have acquired additional triggers, spinal degeneration, myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia


My maternal grandmother had “muscular rheumatism,” an old name for fibromyalgia. I can count on trigger points in my neck, upper body, and face to act as weapons firing on the bulls eye, my trigeminal nerve. A cascade of events begins on my right side, my nose starts to run, and the world starts to appear as though I am viewing it from under water. For me, myofascial pain syndrome is one of several peripheral pain generators to both migraine and fibromyalgia, two centrally mediated disorders.

Centrally mediated = beginning in the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord

After visiting with others who share this conundrum, I know I am not alone. This is immensely comforting in one way, and horrific in another. No one would wish any one of these painful conditions on someone else, not even their archenemy. (If they would, they need to hone some coping skills, maybe see a therapist.)

Migraine Awareness


It was once thought migraines were due to vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the brain. However, new evidence suggests migraines are caused by a nerve disruption. Teri Robert, President of the American Headache andMigraine Association, says, “We had a fascinating presentation in Scottsdale in 2010 showed imaging of a migraine in progress with no vasoconstriction at all.” 

I attended one of her organization’s (AHMA) symposiums for patients. After living as a migraineur for nearly 50 years, I learned more about the disease at that event than I have ever learned from those who have treated me. The one thing I know for certain, if you suffer from chronic migraine, you want a neurologist who specializes in treating headaches.

Possible Connections

Not all migraineurs have myofascial pain syndrome nor do they have fibromyalgia. However, we do know that peripheral pain (such as that from myofascial trigger points) does intensify the body-wide tenderness of fibromyalgia and can be a trigger for a migraine attack.  We also have evidence that there is prevalence of migraine in fibromyalgia

Peripheral pain generator = pain that is initiated outside the central nervous system 

Regardless of other conditions we have, as a migraineur, the most important thing is to control any perpetuating factors.

What Wouldn’t We Do?

We know the drug trials, the willingness to have needles stuck around the eye and in the cranium (feeling like, and hearing, the crunch of a rice crispy treat). We agree to have needles stuck in our body orifices, or spinal canal. We are willing to have foreign objects permanently implanted in our body like the bionic woman or the six million dollar man. We are willing and anxious to try the many tools covered by the American Headache Society or have as many as 35-40 trigger point injections in one setting. These are things otherwise healthy people consider torturous. Are we insane, as once suggested regarding migraine, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain? The answer is NO! What it does imply is we are desperate and on the positive side, we are credible regarding our complaints. If your physician doesn’t see it this way, it’s time to find a new one. 

So, the answer to “What Wouldn't We  Do?” to relieve or even minimize our pain is:

NOTHING!

Clinical trial participants are willing to undergo any treatment and even risk their well-being in a quest to help others and themselves. We are a group of empathetic folks, which speaks to our character.


Marching On


I can’t make your pain or mine go away, but I can say I am privileged to march with you, my fellow bandleaders. We may march to a different drum, but we march.

Live boldly; stand out, join the AHMA to RAISE AWARENESS for migraine and all the things that accompany the life of a migraineur.

"The Migraine and Headache Awareness Month Blog Challenge is organized by the American Headache and Migraine Association." - See more at: http://www.ahmablog.com/2015/06/migraine-headache-blog-challenge-4.html#.VXCxFs-rTIU

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain Pro —Advocate


Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Migraine, Fibromyalgia, and Chronic Myofascial Pain by Celeste Cooper



I have been a migraineur since puberty, for me, the consequences of genetics. My paternal grandmother was also a migraineur, and I always thought that like her, I would be free of this hideous disease by the time I reached my fourth decade in life. That was my dream, my hope, my reason for coping for so many years— a welcome light at the end of a long dark tunnel. But, the only thing that has changed is they are more frequent, and I have acquired additional triggers, spinal degeneration, myofascial pain syndrome, and fibromyalgia


My maternal grandmother had “muscular rheumatism,” an old name for fibromyalgia. I can count on trigger points in my neck, upper body, and face to act as weapons firing on the bulls eye, my trigeminal nerve. A cascade of events begins on my right side, my nose starts to run, and the world starts to appear as though I am viewing it from under water. For me, myofascial pain syndrome is one of several peripheral pain generators to both migraine and fibromyalgia, two centrally mediated disorders.

Centrally mediated = beginning in the central nervous system, the brain and spinal cord

After visiting with others who share this conundrum, I know I am not alone. This is immensely comforting in one way, and horrific in another. No one would wish any one of these painful conditions on someone else, not even their archenemy. (If they would, they need to hone some coping skills, maybe see a therapist.)

Migraine Awareness


It was once thought migraines were due to vasoconstriction of blood vessels in the brain. However, new evidence suggests migraines are caused by a nerve disruption. Teri Robert, President of the American Headache andMigraine Association, says, “We had a fascinating presentation in Scottsdale in 2010 showed imaging of a migraine in progress with no vasoconstriction at all.” 

I attended one of her organization’s (AHMA) symposiums for patients. After living as a migraineur for nearly 50 years, I learned more about the disease at that event than I have ever learned from those who have treated me. The one thing I know for certain, if you suffer from chronic migraine, you want a neurologist who specializes in treating headaches.

Possible Connections

Not all migraineurs have myofascial pain syndrome nor do they have fibromyalgia. However, we do know that peripheral pain (such as that from myofascial trigger points) does intensify the body-wide tenderness of fibromyalgia and can be a trigger for a migraine attack.  We also have evidence that there is prevalence of migraine in fibromyalgia

Peripheral pain generator = pain that is initiated outside the central nervous system 

Regardless of other conditions we have, as a migraineur, the most important thing is to control any perpetuating factors.

What Wouldn’t We Do?

We know the drug trials, the willingness to have needles stuck around the eye and in the cranium (feeling like, and hearing, the crunch of a rice crispy treat). We agree to have needles stuck in our body orifices, or spinal canal. We are willing to have foreign objects permanently implanted in our body like the bionic woman or the six million dollar man. We are willing and anxious to try the many tools covered by the American Headache Society or have as many as 35-40 trigger point injections in one setting. These are things otherwise healthy people consider torturous. Are we insane, as once suggested regarding migraine, fibromyalgia, and myofascial pain? The answer is NO! What it does imply is we are desperate and on the positive side, we are credible regarding our complaints. If your physician doesn’t see it this way, it’s time to find a new one. 

So, the answer to “What Wouldn't We  Do?” to relieve or even minimize our pain is:

NOTHING!

Clinical trial participants are willing to undergo any treatment and even risk their well-being in a quest to help others and themselves. We are a group of empathetic folks, which speaks to our character.


Marching On


I can’t make your pain or mine go away, but I can say I am privileged to march with you, my fellow bandleaders. We may march to a different drum, but we march.

Live boldly; stand out, RAISE AWARENESS for migraine and all the things that accompany the life of a migraineur.


Resources



~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

"Adversity is only an obstacle if we fail to see opportunity."  
Celeste Cooper, RN
Author—Patient—Health Central Chronic Pain ProAdvocate


Learn more about what you can do to help your body function to its potential in the books you can find here on Celeste's  blog

All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste's Website

Celeste's Website
Click on the picture