The full quote/excerpt
The daily clinical experience of thousands of massage therapists, physical therapists, and physicians strongly indicates that most of our common aches and pains — and many other puzzling physical complaints — are actually caused by trigger points, or small contraction knots, in the muscles of the body.
Shortened version of the quote
The daily clinical experience of thousands of massage therapists, physical therapists, and physicians strongly indicates that most of our common aches and pains — and many other puzzling physical complaints — are actually caused by trigger points.
Comments and context
This quote from Davies well-known book certainly is just an expert opinion, albeit one that still confirms my own bias in key ways. It originally jumped off the page at me because I shared that opinion, and it was great to see it in print. I had an evangelical enthusiasm for telling the world about the clinical importance of trigger points — an enthusiasm that was not entirely gone a decade later, but dramatically curbed. I would now agree only to a humbler version of it: some aches and pains are caused and/or complicated by trigger points, whose nature remains unclear, and the beliefs of therapists and doctors doesn’t “strongly indicate” anything.
As it stands, the quote is a perfect example of overreach and overconfidence back heady days of the 1990s when trigger point therapy was ascendant and Travell and Simons were like gods to massage therapists.
It’s certainly true that people suffer from many aches and pains, and the phenomenon of the trigger point — an unexplained sore spot — may well be involved in some noteworthy portion of them. But declaring that “most” of them have a singular cause is too bold, and it’s bolder still to recruit “thousands” of other clinicians to support that view. And yet it’s likely that at least “thousands” of clinicians did indeed share his opinion then, and probably still now in the 2020s — so that may be the only thing in Davies’ opinion that is actually defensible today is that, yes, many people do believe that! They shouldn’t, but they do.
~ Paul Ingraham, PainSci Publisher
- Review of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook — A popular book that promises too much and ignores recent science and controversies, which alienates many physicians and sets patients up for disappointment
- The trigger point therapy workbook: your self-treatment guide for pain relief (book), by Clair Davies and Amber Davies.
One article on PainScience.com cites this item as a source: