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Travell, Simons and Cargo Cult Science

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article on a website
Fred Wolfe
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Feb 19

PainSci notes

An informal survey of the poor state of trigger point science from an articulate expert, Fred Wolfe, a rheumatologist. Dr. Wolfe gives his first-hand account of the first trigger point diagnosis reliability study in 1992 (see Wolfe), and he tells the story of meeting Dr. Janet Travell and observing her unscientific conduct with a patient.

Related Content

This item is about:

“The fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndromes: a preliminary study of tender points and trigger points in persons with fibromyalgia, myofascial pain syndrome and no disease,” Wolfe et al, Journal of Rheumatology, 1992.

Closely related items:

  1. “Reliability of physical examination for diagnosis of myofascial trigger points: a systematic review of the literature,” Lucas et al, Clinical Journal of Pain, 2009.
  2. “A systematic, critical review of manual palpation for identifying myofascial trigger points: evidence and clinical significance,” Myburgh et al, Archives of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 2008.
  3. “Interrater Agreement of Manual Palpation for Identification of Myofascial Trigger Points: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis,” Rathbone et al, The Clinical Journal of Pain, 2017.
  4. “Clinical precision of myofascial trigger point location in the trapezius muscle,” Sciotti et al, Pain, 2001.
  5. “Interrater reliability in myofascial trigger point examination,” Gerwin et al, Pain, 1997.

These five articles on cite this item as a source:

  1. The Complete Guide to Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
  2. The Respiration Connection
  3. Review of The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook
  4. Why Do Muscles Feel Stiff and Tight?
  5. Trigger Point Doubts