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The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief (A New Harbinger Self-Help Workbook) Paperback – September 1, 2013
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"I have long been a believer in and practitioner of trigger point therapy. I certainly recommend this book to the general public and health care practitioners. It is truly an excellent resource and provides the tools that induce self-healing and empowerment."
―Bernie S. Siegel, MD, author of Love, Medicine, and Miracles and Prescriptions for Living and former student of Janet Travell, MD, author of Travell & Simons’ Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual
"This is … a well-organized, easy-to-use handbook that will indeed help sufferers of myofascial pain learn to treat themselves with effective self-massage techniques. The detail and clarity of the book’s format will also make it invaluable to pain physicians who want to be able to teach their patients useful, simple strategies to manage soft tissue pain problems."
―Joseph F. Audette, MD, instructor at Harvard Medical School and director of Outpatient Pain Services at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Medford, MA
"This is a useful book for anyone in chronic pain. There are few resources like this one, which empowers the reader to understand the problem and offers the tools to manage it. The approach to managing pain described in this book will help many take control of a significant part of their health and will become a valuable lifelong reference."
―Scott M. Fishman, MD, chief of the Division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of California, Davis and author of The War on Pain
"As a medical doctor who has been challenged by patients experiencing chronic pain, including those suffering from long-standing cases of fibromyalgia, I appreciate a safe solution for their problem. I believe this book, revealing that trigger point therapy may safely relieve chronic pain, should be in the hands of every doctor."
―Terry Shepherd Friedmann, MD, author of Freedom Through Health
"Trigger point massage therapy may be the most effective treatment known for a wide variety of pain problems, including fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome."
―C. Norman Shealy, MD, PhD, founding president of the American Holistic Medical Association and author of The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies
"This must-have book gives practical methods for dealing with chronic pain in a format that is easy to use, and it works! I’m a believer!"
―Jo Ann Gillaspy, MS, RN, editor of The Nephrology Resource Directory
"Properly used, the information in the Davies’s book should enable many people with myofascial trigger point disorders to participate effectively in treating their conditions. The book should be especially useful to those who do not have ready access to a practitioner familiar with the diagnosis and treatment of these common muscular problems."
―Michael D. Reynolds, MD, rheumatologist
"The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook is a welcome and timely addition to the worlds of personal wellness, pain relief, and self-care. The author creates a highly effective form of pain therapy that anyone can learn. This book is a valuable contribution to the field of self-applied therapeutic bodywork."
―Robert K. King, founder and president of the Chicago School of Massage Therapy
"As a chiropractor for twelve years and an instructor of trigger point therapy at the Utah College of Massage Therapy for ten years, I found the Davies’ book very accurate and complete. The graphics and illustrations make it easy to show patients and clients ways to improve quality of life. I believe the book will be a valuable asset to all health care practitioners who use trigger point therapy."
―David B. Thomson, DC, instructor at the Utah College of Massage Therapy
"I have personally benefited from the therapeutic effects of trigger point massage and I believe it deserves official recognition in the medical world. I hope physicians will study these self-treatment techniques and recommend them to their patients."
―Rose Marie Hackett, DO, osteopathic physician and radiologist
About the Author
Now deceased, Clair Davies, NCTMB (Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork), specialized in trigger point massage for the treatment of pain. Mr. Davies’s interest in massage began when he successfully self-treated a frozen shoulder with trigger point massage. Inspired by the experience, he began an intensive private study of trigger points and referred pain. He subsequently retired from a thriving piano service business to attend the Utah College of Massage Therapy where he trained as a professional massage therapist. From his home base in Lexington, Kentucky, Mr. Davies traveled extensively with his daughter Amber, leading continuing education workshops for professionals on trigger point massage. Clair Davies died peacefully at home in 2006 of colon cancer.
Amber Davies, CMTPT, LMT, is a certified myofascial trigger point therapist and licensed massage therapist living in Louisville, Kentucky. Her interest in trigger point therapy began in the mid-1990s when she and her father, Clair, successfully ended her six-year long battle with chronic low back pain. As a clinician, educator, and author, Ms. Davies is dedicated to helping bring the treatment of myofascial pain to the mainstream of healthcare. Ms. Davies teaches continuing education for professional therapists and self-treatment to people in pain. Visit www.triggerpointbook.com for course schedules, articles, discussion groups, and other resources.
Now deceased, foreword writer David G. Simons, MD, coauthored of Travell & Simons Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual
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It got worse. I had an MRI (slight disc bulge, but nothing that would cause such pain). I tried everything over the next few months - acupuncture, chiropractor, spine drs, orthopedist, physiatrist, neurologist, steroid shot, supplements, stretching, walking through the pain, ice, heat, epsom salt baths 3+ times a day, etc etc. My life became a nightmare of pain - unable to ambulate properly, I had to crawl around my house. I could barely drive. I was given a temp handicap parking placard and told to get a cane. I used to run, bike 40 miles a week, garden, now I was reduced to a cane and suggestions of back surgery in less than a couple of months of being in great shape and NO pain?? My sole of my foot and my back was on fire; other parts of me was starting to deteriorate as a result.
I am a big reviewer on here because I believe in the power of the truth and word of mouth to help others. I also depend on it as well to help me. So I was going through a review of what, I do not remember, maybe a supplement that might alleviate pain, and it mentions looking into trigger point therapy. I am so glad I followed the trail to this book.
By the time I got to this book, it was November 2013. Not quite a year into my hell. My family was suffering, watching me suffer. I would lay around and try not to wince or cry out when I had to get up, knowing my kids were watching. I shuffled around. I missed so many of my kid's activities.
Anyway, I got the Kindle version, and I look in this book as fast as I can for how to manage pain for the sole of my foot. Imagine my surprise - THAT pain originates in my CALF? So I look for the tender spot it tells me to and OUCH! THERE IT IS! Painful, in the meat of my calf. I start to gently work on it. It was painful and would get sore with massage, but I worked through it. This was the Saturday before Thanksgiving.
Monday before Thanksgiving - TONS to do. Cleaning for family, shopping, etc. I tell my husband I am going out to get groceries at a couple of different stores, he looks worried. How can you handle it, he asks. He knows I usually can only do about a half hour out then come home and rest. I insist, tired of being so disabled. I go to one, two, three stores. I am out for over 2 hrs. And...THERE IS NO PAIN IN MY FOOT. NONE. I am stunned. No pain from driving, which usually exacerbates it. No limping. Normal gait for the most part, though not perfect due to almost a year of altered gait/limp. UNBELIEVABLE! I come home and my husband comes out to help me, worried that I am going to be in a bad place pain wise. Neither of us can believe how well I was doing considering where I was only a few days before.
Now, I have to get to work on all the other trigger points that have cropped up due to my altered walk, excessive crawling, and poor sleep posture to work around pain, as well as my low back issues.
It took some time. It took work. I ordered the actual book so I can highlight and dog ear pages. For low back pain, your glutes carry some heavy duty trigger points. If you sit a lot, you probably have trigger points.
My foot pain is 100% gone, but after a bike ride I can feel it creep back in. I just pull out my lacrosse ball & roll it out, done. The book warns this can happen, so knowing what to expect and then managing it is most of the battle. Low back pain has cleared up around 80 - 90%. TPs have a tendency to return esp in a cold environment (I'm in Boston) and esp if they've been there a while. So it can be a bit of work but very worth it.
I have lost a lot of muscle so there is a weakness there, I am working on regaining all the strength I lost.
What I cannot understand is why all the specialists I saw in Boston - the land of great doctors! - NONE of them thought of this? Even the PHYSIATRIST? Isn't this supposed to be their specialty, muscle and soft tissue pain mgt & recovery? I told my neuro about TrP and she said "it makes sense".
It's is some work to keep up with all the trigger points that crop up but I do it while watching TV or listening to music.
If you have soft tissue pain that nothing else seems to help, you have NOTHING to lose here. You can also Google your pain symptom and 'trigger point therapy' and find some solutions. There are also great YouTube videos on it.
BTW, if you stretch a tired or cold muscle too fast/too hard it can set off a trigger point. That's what happened with my PT that day. If I had known about trigger point therapy, I could have saved myself from a year of hell on me and my family, as well as the bills.
I recommend a cleaner diet, exercise, fresh air and constant movement versus just sitting. Excessive sitting and lying around make soft tissue pain worse. Stand for half of your tv show. Micro breaks from your laptop. Move around more, get blood flowing, blood flow to an injured area is healing. I love Tiger Balm for night time stiffness or to help get your circulation going on a painful spot.
There are also some good videos and a Ted Talk on the science of pain in the brain that are worth watching. If you have been in pain for a long time, your brain actually can become hypersensitive to even tiny pain stimulus. An exaggerated response. It is important to retrain the brain not to overreact to small incidents. I took a nasty fall on my bike last week and was totally panicked, as I have not fully recovered from this past year's trauma. I was hurting that day pretty bad but it didn't turn into anything more than sore arms & shoulders for a couple of days. I had to keep telling myself not every boo boo turns into a year's worth of pain. It helps!
Please get in touch if you have more questions or input.
*UPDATE June 1, 2014*
I keep learning from this book. One thing I think has helped keep pain/discomfort at bay is the use of a SMALL KID BALL in addition to the lacrosse ball. I got into the habit of using the lacrosse ball and it works well, but I started to get more pain in the hips & tightness in lower back. Over the last 2 weeks I started using the small ball and it really got into the tight, deep muscle tissue that needed attention, that even the lacrosse ball couldn't reach. I am finding new relief now, just in time for summer activities. The knowledge I have gained from this book has absolutely made a difference in my back pain. Give it a try, it may well be the most affordable & most effective solution you come across.
*Update* Sept 6, 2014
I am still finding great relief with TrP therapy. Not only through this book but online. YouTube has many instructional videos on how to work out TrP if the book is too technical or if you need a visual. I am finding that I need to work on the QL TrPs. I found a great set of TrP balls in all the sizes I was missing,from tiny to lacrosse ball size, I just received them and they work very well.
They are only $20 for the set plus about $6 to ship. I have no connection to this company, FYI. They should have an Amazon listing but they don't I wonder why?
I would also like to remind anyone starting out the process of working on their TrPs NOT to go overboard. It is very easy to do. You start out, it feels SO good to work out the knots, you are feeling better and better. Then you assume that MORE is BETTER. Maybe you start rolling the TrPs too hard or too much each day or too much in one session. This is where you might set off excess soreness. You have to be careful with the QL muscles (most of us have TrPs there but don't know it until you get in there with a small TrP ball) or you might cause back spasms. I had a chiropractor overwork my QL's and set off a horrific week of spasms before I discovered TrP therapy. So go slow and careful, it will pay off.
*UPDATE* Feb 11, 2015
I am still finding great relief with TrP therapy. I joined a gym for the 1st time in a decade to get me through this hard Boston winter and was surprised how many people at the gym were ending their workouts with trigger point therapy methods - rolling out on balls or foam rollers, trainers using them on clients, etc. It has caught on as a medicine free, effective way to manage your muscle aches.
I have also found that I need a truly functional space to do my TrP sessions. I have put holes in several walls in my house, so now only the basement cement wall will do. Fortunately, I have the perfect space. A cement wall a few feet from a pool table. I can put a small TrP ball against the wall in my glute area, grab hold of the pool table for leverage, then manipulate the ball into some of the hardest to reach spots by bending over slightly and pushing myself into the ball. (Does this sound perverted? Sorry, this is how it has to be done to find relief! I wouldn't want a massage therapist to try and dig around there to work them.)I have found great pain release from working these hard to reach glute points. For back pain that is not getting better despite best efforts, the glute and hip flexor points are key. Keeping up with my TrPs a few times a week really helps.
Women in perimenopause should note that because of our changing hormone levels, your body is PRONE to trigger points as well as random aches & pains that cannot be found on any tests other than a series of hormone test through out your cycle. For some women in major hormone flux it can be severe enough for you to be diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. Yes there are some true cases of those diseases that are not related to hormones or trigger points, but there are also women being misdiagnosed & sent home with RX's for anti-depressants & way too strong pain meds. Do your research. A balanced - KEY WORD IS BALANCED - hormone therapy (like bio hormone replacements) as well as exercise, diet, TrP, and improved digestion (which diminished greatly around 40-45 in women) will make a difference in your pain levels.I am working with a gifted endocrinologist who tests my blood 2x a month so we can get the best picture how to manage my perimenopause. I do not have CFS or fibromyalgia, but I do notice that trigger points crop up more often now that my blood tests reveal I am primenopausal.
*UPDATE* September 29, 2015
Still loving TrP therapy. I travel with 2 sizes of balls when I fly so that I can roll out those knots that can happen after being cramped on a plane. Still find that most of my knots originate in my glutes. I no longer have any foot pain.
I try and tell others about it without sounding too "gushy" and most people just "mm-hmm" me and then forget about it. I don't want to sound like trigger point therapy is the unicorn that will take away everyone's aches and pains, but too many are missing out on medication-free pain relief because doctors or physical therapists aren't offering it as an option.
*UPDATE* August 31, 2016
I am still actively and successfully using TrP therapy to manage my low back, as well as misc aches and pains that crop up. Now that I'm 46, parts of me gets achy when I overwork it or sleep in an odd position. About 3 times a week I spend a half hour or more with my super bounce rubber ball and a concrete wall. The relief! I think some wonder why I haven't been "cured" of low back pain if I am so enthusiastic about TrP. I ruptured my L4-L5 disc in my late 20's, which puts my low back at a higher risk for aches and pain when I sit too long on something soft, or work too hard in the garden. Before I found this therapy, I used to get so tight, manage my aches with Advil, and wait for it to pass, usually a few days. Now that I am middle aged, my body doesn't bounce back quite like that anymore. I still travel with the rubber ball. There are times when I can throw my back out and it gets inflamed - trigger point therapy does not help that. Then I reach for Advil. Otherwise, this is still my favorite go to muscle and joint soother.
*UPDATE* March 19, 2017
Still love it, still providing me great relief. I joined a gym this winter & it has the most perfect spot for me to "roll out" after I exercise. I listen to a podcast and get to work. Well built walls - no holes yet!
Occasionally, that same pain will creep into my right foot after various activities. Now that I know what to do, I roll out my calf trigger points right away & find relief within a day. I wish physical therapists would introduce a home regimen of TrP in addition to the exercise plan for recovery and relief.
Just an interesting anecdote - JK Rowling (author of Harry Potter series for the handful of those that might not know) has tweeted this year about having back pain that feels better when she digs into it with the corner of her sofa. She has trigger points too, apparently!
Today I was recommending the Trigger Point Therapy to some friends over facebook, so looking for the link, I found the website, and suddenly I remembered. To this day, I have been pain-free for more than 3 years. It's easy to forget the time passed without pain, but the same time in pain is like a nightmare, right?
Years back I was diagnosed with a small, tiny displacement of a vertebra on my neck. It was caused by a roller coaster ride, and it began slowly becoming more and more painful, up to a point were the stiffness and pain would make me stay in bed for days. My doctor only gave me painkillers, saying that an operation wasn't the ideal route, only massage from experts. But those would leave me sore and worse. The pain was exhausting, but I learned how to live with it, I started doing some more exercise, and the pain subsided a little.
Later, one day, my jaw was just stuck. I couldn't open my mouth, it was terrifying. Slowly I gained back movement but then a new pain started to rise. My jaw would get very stiff and sometimes stuck again. Again the doctors recommended a very expensive treatment which I couldn't afford. I was devastated, and I started doing some research. I found a book about TMJ self treatments, and Amazon had an offer for the Trigger Point Therapy along with this one. So, I bought both, but this amazing book was actually my second choice. I really didn't know at that time how important the Trigger Point Therapy would become for me.
After reading the first book I started on the second. And thanks to the AMAZING illustrations (I'm a graphic designer, so I can testify on their perfection) I decided to begin searching for the trigger point. I found it. It was the most excruciating pain I felt on my life, when I touched it. Oh my God, I can still remember that pain. It was the size of a pea, and it was EXACTLY were the book said it should be. I was so amazed, I couldn't believe it, I started telling every one I knew about it. After a few months of treatment, my jaw was like new. My neck was feeling like before the roller coaster ride, I felt perfectly healthy and good. I never experienced the pain in my jaw or neck again.
Every time myself or a family member experience this type of pain, I take my book out and teach them how to treat it. It has become like a bible around my house. And to this day, I'm amazed and thankful of the day it came to my door. Today I also found out that the book has been translated into Spanish!. I think it isn't available in Argentina yet, but I hope it will be soon. I can't stop recommending it. It really, really, changed my life and I'm in gratitude for the rest of my life to this amazing team of doctors for their research and pure wisdom poured in this Handbook.