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We often like to write about clients who have been successfully treated with trigger point techniques.
Especially those who come to us more out of desperation rather than any true belief or understanding of the treatment.Pain is a complex symptom experienced differently and individually. However, referred pain is the defining symptom of a myofascial trigger point.
You may be used to the idea of referred pain of visceral origin: an example of this is heart pain. A myocardial infarct (heart attack) is often not experienced as crushing chest pain, but as pain in the left arm and hand, and in the left jaw.
This type of pain is well documented, and known to originate from the embryological dermomyotome; in this case, the heart tissue, jaw tissue, and arm tissues all develop from the same dermomyotome.
Today’s study has an added twist, in that the client in question is Vivienne Parry, OBE, an extremely highly regarded science correspondent. In fact, Vivienne is most well known in the United Kingdom as the presenter of BBC TV’s science program Tomorrow’s World and Panorama. Vivienne is also currently employed as head of Genomics England. So, this is one lady who knows what research is all about.
A closer look
A little while back, Vivienne stumbled on a slippery slope at a fireworks party. She was surprised when an “electric shock” of pain shot down her arm, despite it receiving only a small knock. The pain disappeared almost as quickly as it came, but within a couple days a dull ache had begun in her shoulder and upper arm.
Thereafter, Vivienne found that even the slightest knock to her arm would set off an intense spasm in her shoulder that hurt so much it made her feel nauseous.
Typical to a frozen shoulder, Vivienne soon became sleep deprived, as the pain was much worse at night, and even simple tasks such as putting on a coat became increasingly difficult. And the symptoms got even worse.
Within a matter of weeks Vivienne could hardly raise her arm at all; couldn’t dress without help, or lift a phone to her ear. Worst of all for Vivienne was that she was completely unable to carry on her favorite pastimes of gardening and swimming.
With the pain and lack of movement now severely affecting her work, Vivienne finally went to visit her family doctor and was diagnosed as having a frozen shoulder. Whilst the diagnosis was relatively straightforward, Vivienne discovered that her doctor had relatively little to offer in terms of treatment.
So Vivienne did what she probably does best, she started researching the problem and looking online for viable treatment options. And that’s how she came to find about trigger point therapy, and specifically the Niel Asher Technique (NAT).
In an article written for Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper, Vivienne freely admits that she was at first skeptical of NAT although the idea that pressing trigger points in the shoulder to ‘re-train’ nerves, based on the theory that the shoulder pain causes the brain to switch off the muscles round the joint to try to protect it, did seem to make sense.
Thankfully, Vivienne was positively surprised by the NAT treatment and it’s best to use her words to summarize the results:
“I found the first treatment session quite painful as the therapist pressed for about 20 seconds on five points on my shoulder and upper arm. But the pain was less that night and within two treatments had gone. I had nearly a full range of movement within six weeks. Best of all, I was able to get back to my gardening!”
NAT is the only evidence based trigger point treatment for frozen shoulder. A multi- center study of 152 patients in the U.K. and U.S. (IJOM, 2014) showed 86 percent of recipients reporting a full recovery with an average of 7.9 sessions.
NAT is simple to learn, and the technique (originally developed for treating frozen shoulder) has been adapted over the past 20 years to treat a range of common musculoskeletal disorders. If you are a therapist looking to add a powerful technique to your practice, NAT is a great option.
Are you interested in becoming Niel Asher Technique (NAT) certified? Pivotal Health Solutions is the Master Distributor of Niel Asher Education throughout the United States. Along with the Pressure Positive Company and Niel Asher Techniques, these companies will join forces to provide the most advanced trigger point therapy education series and self-care trigger point tools worldwide.
Stephen Marks is chief executive of Niel Asher Healthcare. He spent six years as managing director of Olive Software Europe, before joining Niel Asher Healthcare in 2012 to steer the transition of the business to the web and the brave new world of social media and digital publishing. He is passionate about sports, alternative medicine, and content marketing.
About Pivotal Health Solutions
In the chiropractic field, flexibility is the name of the game. It’s our mantra too. Since we launched in 2005, PHS Chiropractic has become a leader in beautifully designed, customizable chiropractic tables and accessories. We design our base tables to be feature-rich, meeting the needs of the student or new practitioner. Yet as you grow your practice, our tables grow with you: We’ve dreamed up every possible feature, from drops to elevating heights to adjustable head pieces—all easily added to your existing table to broaden your options. It’s all part of the thought and care that we put into each and every PHS Chiropractic product. Our products reflect our strong values: high quality, integrity, creativity and innovation.
To purchase the Home Study Module: Treating Frozen Shoulder- 5 CE, click here.