Super-Effective Trigger Point Treatment
(because it is)
What Are Trigger Points?
Trigger point pain is often misdiagnosed as sciatica or a pinched nerve in the neck. Misdiagnosis of trigger points undoubtably has caused many unnecessary, unsuccessful surgeries. Trigger point pain can travel the identical pathway of pain caused by a compressed nerve. Add to that a seemingly related herniated disc on MRI and you may end up with a failed surgery or a drug problem or both. My job is to keep that from happening. (See the story of Jenny below.)
Trigger points (aka myofascial trigger points) are inflamed, irritated areas within a muscle that are tender to the touch and cause radiating pain, sometimes far from the actual inflamed area. You can usually feel them as “knots” in the muscle. They differ from spasms. A spasm is a strong muscle contraction that involves most or all of the muscle. Although a spasm can be very painful, once it passes, the muscle goes back to normal. A trigger point, on the other hand, is always there. It is either “active” and causing pain or “latent”, only tender to the touch.
Trigger points are caused by injury to the muscle. They are mostly due to accidents, poor posture, or repetitive motions. As the name suggests, they don’t bother you until something triggers them. This can vary from physical stress like carrying a heavy bag of groceries, to mental or emotional stress, to lack of sleep, etc. Even the draft from an air conditioner will sometimes cause a latent trigger point to become active.
In my experience, the two muscles where trigger points are most common and bothersome are the levator scapula which goes from the side of the neck to the top of the shoulder blade and the gluteus minimus which is a deep muscle at the side of the pelvis attaching to the uppermost thigh. It is no coincidence that these two muscles are put under a lot of stress with a sedentary lifestyle that includes hours each day on the computer. However, any muscle can develop trigger points. I have treated trigger points using my special ultrasound technique a few thousand times over the past fifteen years with great results. The beauty of my static ultrasound treatment is that it can FIND with remarkable precision as well as DEACTIVATE the exact trigger point that is causing the pain.
Dr. Galzarano's Super-Effective Static Ultrasound Trigger Point Treatment
For the past fifteen years, I have been honing and perfecting a technique for deactivating trigger points that has worked far better that any other method I have come across. And there are no needles, drugs, or digging into muscles with thumbs and elbows involved. As you can see if you explore my website, I even put out a training program for other chiropractors and physical therapists in order to instruct them in this technique.
The video testimonial and two stories below represent several hundred patients who have gotten similar results from this remarkable treatment. Since discovering an obscure research paper published by two Turkish physiatrists back in 2004, I have done thousands of these treatments. Much more often than not I have been able to get a patient out of pain with one or two treatments. Even chronic, intractable pain is often relieved after only a few of these treatments. Patients are not only impressed, but often astounded at how effective the treatment is, especially after they had “been everywhere” and “tried everything”.
A little over 15 years ago I came across an obscure research study of an unusual method for deactivating trigger points. I found it interesting, but for years I had been using standard methods like direct pressure, stretching, and moist heat with results in line with the accepted norm. I knew from my training that the ultrasound head should be kept moving in order to avoid the possibility of burning the patient. Why try something that nobody else used except for two Turkish physiatrists? How good could it be? So what if it was mentioned in a letter from an 85 year-old Dr. Janet Travell to a colleague? It is true that Dr. Travell was perhaps the 20th Century's most important figure in the field of trigger point therapy, but if it was so effective why didn't she publicize her findings? So I dismissed it as a therapy.
Then, a few months later, everything changed. A new patient, Marge, came in with severe shoulder pain that had been going on for a couple of months. She could hardly move her arm. Not only was she in pain, she was also frustrated by the lack of success other doctors were having and was afraid that no one was going to be able to help her. I did an examination and was convinced that her pain was originating in a trigger point in one of the muscles of her shoulder girdle. So, I proceeded to do what I usually did for trigger points at the time, applying direct pressure, using electrical therapies, and, of course, giving her chiropractic adjustments.
As with the other doctors, she would experience temporary relief at best. At her fourth or fifth appointment we were both getting frustrated. I could tell by her body language and tone of voice that this was going to be my last chance to help her. What then? She had already been to her family doctor who gave her medication then referred her to an orthopedist who referred her to a physical therapist. Now where was she going to go? Would she end up on opioids or under the knife?
So I said: "Okay. This isn't working. I do have a technique that we can try. I read about it once. I've never done it. I've never even seen anyone do it. It's probably going to be painful. And I may end up burning you." She answered immediately: "Do it!"
It worked.like a charm! After only a few clumsily applied treatments, she was out of pain and could move her arm freely. I knew I was really on to something. Since then, it has proven itself time and time again.
Jenny, a woman in her mid-forties, came to see me as a last resort. Although she lived some distance from my office, her cousin who is a patient of mine, convinced her to make the trip. Jenny was scheduled for cervical disc surgery with fusion and a lot of hardware screwed into her cervical spine. A little over a year prior to seeing me, she had been in a car accident. Over the year, she had been treated on a regular basis by a chiropractor with a very good reputation in the area. Because the doctor was unable to help her "radicular" symptoms (pain and tingling down her arm into her fingers) or the chronic neck, shoulder, and elbow pain he sent her to a neurosurgeon who ordered an MRI and EMG. The MRI showed herniations of the C6 and C7 discs with nerve impingement. The EMG verified the MRI. This was standard procedure that is done thousands of times a day across the country. It was all reasonable and followed established standards of care.
After examining her, I explained that while she may very well have a pinched nerve in her neck, she also had a shoulder, elbow, and wrist problem probably brought on by the impact as she braced herself with the steering wheel. The muscles in her neck and upper back were stiff and the joints were hardly moving. Everywhere I touched in her neck and shoulders and upper back was tender and sore. I couldn't press very hard without her asking me to stop.
I did the chiropractic adjustments I usually do in a case like hers. First, finding the exact area causing the problem. Then, doing a specific adjustment. I also adjusted her shoulder, elbow, and wrist. I believe that what made the difference over what the other chiropractor was doing was the static ultrasound treatment of the trigger points in her neck, shoulder, and forearm. There is a shoulder muscle trigger point that exactly mimics the pain caused by the herniated disc that showed up on her MRI. It fooled the other chiropractor and it fooled the neurosurgeon. It would have fooled me had I not known to look for and how to find the trigger point that was the real culprit. I would not have had the success I had with it were it not for coming across that research article years before. Funny how life works sometimes.
It took a few months to eliminate all of her pain, but all of her pain was, in fact, eliminated. "Oh my God Doc! My neck would have been stiff for the rest of my life and I would still have the pain anyway!" Needless to say, she has been referring everybody she knows ever since.