iSAW 02.18 2014 Journeys and Encounters

It started with an Aussie. David Butler, the author of the book “Explain Pain”, passed through Boston this past February. I learned as much about effective and entertaining teaching as I did about pain. His irreverent, comical delivery meant no drooping eyelids. On the very same weekend that Butler was insisting that ‘neuroplasticity’ meant that only the brain could generate pain, his Aussie mate Lorimer Moseley published a blog on saying that he’d changed his mind on neuroplasticity and was now embracing ‘bioplasticity.’ Now that’s plasticity. Nary a word about trigger points though.A Flying DutchmanMy mentor, Jan Dommerholt, was spun into the air by a cabbie in Dubai, using his hip to break his fall. Despite the fracture, plate and screws, he was able to continue to host and teach a full year of myofascial events. In March, he gathered together a great bunch of presenters to explore all aspects of cervico-cranio-mandibular pain and dysfunction, with particular attention to trigger points. I’ve since added a technique for release of the superior pharyngeal constrictor muscles to the Manual Trigger Point Therapy courses that we teach. Come see.

Then Came the Canuck

Neil Pearson, a Canadian physical therapist, extolled the benefits of Pain Neuroscience Education (PNE) at a Pain Management conference in Vancouver. It immediately got me thinking of how we neuromuscular therapists could put together our own PNE program. Five of the senior therapists at 360 NeuroMuscular Therapy have been working on this for three months now. Unlike Neil’s version, ours will include trigger point education, etiology and deactivation interventions.

Czech Mates

It is with great sadness that we fare-welled Karel Lewit (1916-2014) from the Czech Republic in September. I first heard the names Lewit and Janda back in the mid-nineties. Lewit had published a paper on the ‘needle effect’ in 1979. This paper concluded that there was a profound local analgesic response to dry needling. His relationship with Vladimir Janda drew many physical therapists to Prague to study at the Prague School of Rehabilitation. Three of them produced a book ‘Assessment of Muscle Imbalance’ that provides much of the underlying treatment philosophy that we use here at 360 NeuroMuscular Therapy. Yes, including trigger point contributions.

Son of a Preacher

Gray Cook teaches his seven-part Functional Movement Screen protocol to a wide variety of students. Because of Gray’s bible-belt lineage he warned us that once distracted we would be in for a long story. With his distinct FMS scoring system, he identifies movement deficits. Can’t do it, or have pain – score 0. Do it perfectly – score 3. Tailor-made corrective exercises are designed to reverse these dysfunctions. I believe that a movement component is mostly lacking in traditional NMT. Studying and certifying to do the FMS screen system could be easily be integrated into the NMT evaluations process to better inform tissue treatment. No trigger point pain encountered along the way.

2015 – Holland and Spain

This coming April, I plan to begin studying with Harry von Piekartz from the Cranio Facial Therapy Academy (CRAFTA) in Holland. His specialty is craniofacial and craniomandibular dysfunction. This 11-day course continues until September, and is the most comprehensive course offered in the US. Check the Myopain Seminars website for further details. Later next year, the Spaniard César Fernández de las Peňas, author of the wonderful ‘Tension-type and Cervicogenic Headaches’ and prolific trigger point researcher, will be one of many fabulous presenters at FRC IV in Virginia in September. This event will sell out. Don’t be slow in registering.

Kudos for solving the picture riddle above from another 2014 musculoskeletal event.

Happy New Year!