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I had a new client the other day for an 80 minute massage. I asked him if there is anything that he wanted me to know. He told me that he suffers from a herniated disc that he has had for a few years. He has constant low back and right hip pain that at times radiates down the back of his leg to his knee. He told me that he has had two injections in his low back and has to stay on anit- inflamtory medication. Anything to avoid surgery. The pain is always there. I asked him if he ever saw a chiropractor for his pain. He said yes. But the adjustments hurt his hip so bad that he could not continiue. So here is a guy that thinks he is on the verge of surgery. I knew that there was a very strong probubllity that was not the case. The vast majority of pain people experience is nocioceptive pain( soft tissue- muscle, tendon, ligament, facia). MDs and Chiropractors see pain as neuropathic pain( nerve pain). With that asumption they give the wrong treatments and therapies. Now there is no denying that at times injections and surgery is needed. Not denying that. But most of the time - NOT. 70% to 85% of all pain comes directly from trigger points. Anyway I showed my client a testimonial from a client that I was able to help out of a very painful condition that she had delt with for a couple of years. I showed him that testimonial because all pain has a psychological eliment too it. I wanted him to start thinking maybe he is not on the edge of surgery. I palpated his entire back upper torso, both hips, and right leg. I found a very painful spot on his right L5 erectors. Another very painful spot on his right greater trochantor. A painful spot in the middle part of his lower right hamstrings. And also a tender spot on the right spinous of L3. I knew that if Iwas able to eliminate all those painful palaptory spots that I would most likely eliminate his pain problem. Because a healthy body had no painful spots even with deep massage. Ive been hunting and eliminateing trigger points for thirty years now. He walked out of the massage room pain free. He was pain free for the first time in years. All those other professional people misdiagnosed him because they assume neuropathic pain over nocioceptive pain. I assume the other way around. I'm a Massage Therapist.
Hey Gordon! There's an interesting article about this (placebo effect and manual therapy) coming out in Massage and Bodyworks soon. When it's out, I'll let you know (unless you get the magazine, in which case look for the article). I'm not sure exactly when it will be published.