You Could Be Unknowingly Suffering From Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)

Myofascial Pain Syndrome is a common yet often misdiagnosed cause of chronic pain. The misdiagnosis is often due to a lack of specific laboratory indicators and imaging evidence. For this reason, MPS is often confused with other conditions including fibromyalgia and pain from degenerative changes in the intervertebral discs. 

MPS typically occurs in muscles that are repetitively contracted. The repetitive motion causes sensitive pain – or trigger – points that radiate pain upon compression in the impacted muscle as well as in other parts of the body.

If you have MPS and have not been correctly diagnosed and are subsequently not being treated correctly, your condition will not improve. Pain pills will only relieve symptoms temporarily and surgery is not an option. There are many natural, safe, and effective treatments that can provide relief from MPS. Among the natural treatments, chiropractic care has proven to be very helpful. Chiropractors can treat myofascial trigger points through manual myofascial therapy. The therapies typically involve applying direct pressure on the trigger points. Alternatively, chiropractors can use active anchor-and-stretch myofascial release techniques to treat the muscle pain.

Some of the symptoms that indicate MPS are the following:

  • Deep, aching, throbbing pain in a muscle with accompanying pain and stiffness
  • Small bumps, knots, or nodules—referred to as trigger points– in the muscles that are tender and generate pain when touched. Compression of trigger points may elicit a contraction of the muscle fiber, known as the twitch response. 
  • Restricted range of motion when stretching the affected muscle
  • Weakening of the affected muscle
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Headaches or migraines

If you suffer from chronic pain and have not found relief, you could be suffering from myofascial pain syndrome. If you have not sought alternative treatment, you could find real relief from exploring chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, and other natural modalities. If you live in the D.C. area, reach out to one of my offices and let’s get you correctly diagnosed and out of pain.

For more information you may find this article helpful:
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A Tragic Truth: The Way The Mainstream Health Care System Treats Pain Is Painful

It’s a painful truth: 40% of visits to primary care doctors are for complaints of pain. Yet, doctors know very little about pain and how to treat pain. In fact, a recent survey of medical school curriculums in the U.S., as reported at, found that the average medical school spends less than two hours educating future doctors on anything having to do with pain. Most doctors reach for their prescription pads prescribing addictive drugs that have contributed to an epidemic of drug overdose deaths throughout the country. If the drugs don’t work, or if some patient decides they don’t want to take the drugs the doctor will either tell the patient there is nothing more that can be done or they might order an MRI and if “disc disease” or other structural “abnormality” is found, refer the patient to an orthopedic surgeon.

Another tragic truth: If a patient asks their primary care doctor about alternative therapies for pain, they are usually told that these therapies are unproven or dangerous.  The only non-invasive or non-addictive treatment primary care doctors will prescribe is physical therapy. However, there are so many other non-invasive methods that have worked for centuries that the medical establishment continues to steer those in pain away from instead of to.

Integrative Non-Invasive Pain Treatments Proven To Be Highly Effective

Chiropractic treatment has been shown to be much safer than any conventional pain treatments. Since its founding in the U.S. in 1895, the chiropractic profession has been safely diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders of the musculoskeletal system. In 1997, the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research reported that chiropractic spinal manipulation was one of the few evidence-based treatments recommended for the treatment of back pain. The World Health Organization (WHO) admitted the World Federation of Chiropractic, which represents national chiropractic associations from more than 70 countries, into official relations as a nongovernmental organization in 1997. This indicates that WHO considers chiropractic an accepted healing modality. Despite all this, chiropractic treatment is still considered alternative medicine, and its use is actively discouraged by the US health care system.

Find The Pain Treatment That Works For You Among The Many “Alternative Methods”

Besides chiropractic treatment, which I am understandably partial to, there is massage therapy, acupuncture, nutritionists (yes, pain can be caused by poor diet), and pain psychologists. Most people don’t consider that how they think or the things they think can influence their physical well-being. The human body is a holistic system. When something is thrown off in one area, it tends to affect the entire being. The things we think about and the things we consumer also affect our physical bodies. We cannot continue treating parts of the body as if they were separate from the whole.

To learn more about the tragic truths of our current health care system’s approach to pain treatment,  safe “alternative methods” of pain treatment, and to read the entire article from which I’ve drawn the various statistics, click here:

The Growing Problem Of Mental Health Problems And Addiction

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently published information on their website stating, “In a survey from June 2020, 13% of adults reported new or increased substance use due to coronavirus-related stress, and 11% of adults reported thoughts of suicide in the past 30 days. Suicide rates have long been on the rise and may worsen due to the pandemic.” Additional research indicates that, “43% of people in substance use disorder (SUD) treatment for nonmedical use of prescription painkillers have a diagnosis or symptoms of mental health disorders, particularly depression and anxiety.” In fact, the National Institute on Drug Abuse provides data that shows approximately one in four people with a serious mental illness also has a substance use disorder. Serious Mental Illnesses include schizophrenia, major depressive disorder, and bipolar disorder. 

I can assure you that while the numbers I quoted above are based on polls and statistics, the reality from someone with boots on the ground is that any addiction has a mental health issue intertwined. The mental health issue can be present before, occur during, and will always be around after, addiction takes its hold. The myth that “1 in 5 have anxiety or depression” needs to go away because the fact is that 5 in 5 have mental health. We are all in flux which means we are all at risk.

A Tsunami Of Addiction Is On Its Way

The pandemic created severe disruptions to mental health services and those service issues and the huge gaps in care for those who need it most have not yet been addressed. According to WHO, throughout the pandemic, services for mental, neurological and substance use conditions were the most disrupted among all essential health services.

The fact is that mental health and addiction disorders are very much intertwined throughout society, throughout the world. The prevalence of mental health issues was up substantially in 2019, pre-pandemic, with the opioid epidemic, and the situation has only gotten worse through the COVID years. With the disruption in services due to the pandemic, those with SUD had nowhere to turn. And those experiencing mental health issues, possibly for the first time, have had little to no access to services. The repercussion of this societal unrest is going to be a tsunami of addiction and suicide rates like we have not seen to date. 

How Can We Stop This Wave Of Mental Health Disorders

How are we going to address this service gap? The social unrest is growing. How are we going to help ourselves and our loved ones? How can we address all of those who are suffering and who want and need help? We must do something to stop this tide. If you or a loved one suffers with mental health and addiction challenges, visit for helpful resources and uplifting stories of others who have survived and are now thriving and sharing their stories to inspire others who are suffering. I will keep doing everything I can to make you aware of helpful resources and continue to fight for legislations for improved budgets and greater access to services.


Trauma Induces Mental Health Issues

In the recent tragic event during the widely telecast and viewed final game of the 2022-2023 football season, when Damar Hamlin collapsed on the field, what the players witnessed was traumatic and holds the potential to cause PTSD. The potential for PTSD exists not only among those closest to the event but also among other viewers on and off the field.

Trauma is the base cause for almost all mental health issues we see in our country and around the world. Most of the research on trauma in the field was done with children in what is known as the ACE study (Adverse Childhood Experiences). Trauma can occur and accrue at all ages and depending on the severity of the witnessed or experienced event, the negative results will vary but will also remain ever present. 

Reality Is More Intense Than TV Show Recreations

The collapse which required the administering of CPR, which is not what it’s like when recreated on TV shows. CPR is a violent push to essentially bring someone back to life. So, yes, the spectators saw the moment of death, and everyone experienced the moment viscerally. The shock and trauma of the event spread to each layer of the onion. From the coaches, staff, and players to the fans in the stadium, to the commentators who found it very difficult to speak of the possible outcome of what they witnessed, and finally the people at home who did not have the support of all the on-site people. We are still an emotionally raw and vulnerable population with all the societal issues we’ve experienced in the past few years, so the timing of this high-level trauma was felt more deeply. I am so grateful that Damar has survived this event, but the trauma of it will live on in him as well as thousands of others. The potential for subsequent mental health issues for Damar as well as those who witnessed the event is high.

Mental Health Specialists Needed Sooner Rather Than Later

I was recently a guest on the We’re All A little “Crazy” #SameHere podcast with my friend, Super Bowl Champion, CBS College Football Analyst, Aaron Taylor (I’ve included the link to the podcast below.) Aaron made a profound statement about how he thought it would be great to learn from the tragedy and have a mental health specialist on hand for immediate conversation on air and not days later for those who were frozen in shock, unable to move away from their TVs.

While the trauma Damar experienced was terrible, it happened and that can’t be changed. So how do we look for the teaching moments or, for lack of better words, a silver lining? What I saw in a rally cry and signs of respect gave me hope that our country is still united and has a moral compass. We saw grown men cry for their brother. We saw players, coaches and a nation moved to prayer. We saw a massive corporate machine make the right decision to stop the game. Very few videos were shared on social media out of respect which today is miraculous and unheard of. Several thousand people thought it better not to share the suffering of others. We saw hundreds of thousands of people donating money to the Go Fund Me campaign that Damar set up years ago to raise money for children in his hometown. We saw the best of what this nation can be, and I hope that we all look for and hang on for dear life to the positive aspects that come out of this very traumatic event. 

SameHere Podcast Link

To read further about the psychological effects resulting from traumatic sporting events similar to the Damar Hamlin collapse, click here:

It’s Highly Unlikely That The $26 Billion Opioid Settlement Will Prevent Future Drug Use

Thousands of U.S. communities have received opioid recovery funds from the $26 billion global settlements involving the “Big Three” drug distributors AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and McKesson, along with opioid manufacturer Johnson & Johnson. Whether or not individual families who have been hard hit will see any of this money remains to be seen. But the legal arrangement specifies that states must spend “at least 70% of the money for opioid-related expenses in the coming years and includes a list of qualifying expenses like expanding access to treatment and buying the overdose reversal medication naloxone. Fifteen percent of the funds can be used for administrative expenses or for governments to reimburse past opioid-related expenses.”

My concern with the “arrangement” is that with billions in lawsuits money non or little of it will be used on the prevention of drug use. There are many states putting most or all of the monies received into the “general fund” to make up for money spent on combating the crisis. With that mentality this crisis will never end. We can’t keep putting money into naloxone and treatment centers alone because that says to me that as long as we can reverse an overdose and treat those addicted, we can continue to get more and more people addicted.

There are still as many as 200 American dying each day from drug overdose. The real issue seems to be how to prevent drug use. How do we keep unethical doctors from overprescribing, and how do we educate children to avoid becoming accidentally addicted. Many drugs now come in the form of colorful candy. To read more about how the funds may be used, read the article below.

Still Alive To Tell The Terrible Tale Of Opioid Addiction

Matthew Perry, the actor who is most notably recognized as the character Chandler Bing that he played in the long-running Friends sitcom, has published a book entitled, Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing. The “big terrible thing” in Mr. Perry’s life is his addiction to opioids.

Perry’s addiction to opioids began, like most people’s do, after being injured in a jet ski accident after which he was prescribed Vicodin by his doctor. In fact, research shows that “people are 240% more likely to become persistent users of opioids after suffering an injury than those prescribed opioids who did not have an injury.”

According to an article published on the Alternative Pain Treatment website, “It didn’t take long for Perry to become addicted to Vicodin. Within 18 months, he was taking as many as 55 pills a day (the maximum daily dose is 6 pills). He went to great lengths to get opioids, faking injuries, and scheduling MRIs with different doctors. Perry became so desperate for drugs that he would go to real estate open houses so he could search through people’s medicine cabinets.”

Addiction Can Occur After 5 Days Of Regular Opioid Use

As some experts point out in the same article, opioid addiction can occur after just 5 days of regular use. So, as you can see, it doesn’t take long at all. When you consider that 2.5 million young adults reported misusing opioids in the past year, it’s easy to see how out of control opioids are.

As he points out in his book, Perry’s many years of drug abuse took a terrible toll on his body. In 2018, Perry’s colon ruptured due to his overuse of OxyContin. He went into a coma for two weeks before spending the next five months in the hospital. Although given just a 2 percent chance of survival, Perry recovered. It is also noted that, “He has had 14 surgeries and used a colostomy bag for nearly a year. Perry has attended 6,000 AA meetings, gone to rehab 15 times, been in detox 65 times, and spent as much as $9 million to get sober.”

Perry’s Battle Isn’t Over

While I wish him well, and based on his history, even though Perry has survived despite the odds being against him, there’s no assurances that he will stay clean. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, there is a 40 to 60 percent relapse rate among those who seek substance abuse treatment.  

Perry is able to tell his tale because he has the luxury of resources most people do not have access to. According to the National Center for Drug Abuse Statistics, the cost of the “cheapest” medical detoxification programs is $1,750.  The “cheapest” inpatient rehabilitation programs cost a staggering $6,000 a month. A 3-month outpatient rehabilitation programs costs about $5,000. 

American Addiction Centers estimate that only one in ten people suffering from a substance use disorder get the appropriate treatment they need. Unfortunately, payment issues and lack of insurance are among the reasons for this disparity.

Although the Affordable Care Act mandates that all health insurance plans provide some type of coverage for substance abuse treatment, the amount that is covered varies based on individual plans. Families often go bankrupt trying to help their loved ones recover.

And still, doctors and other health care providers still prescribe highly addictive pain medications at rates considered unsafe.

I do hope Mr. Perry will do some greater good with his life and the proceeds his book garners. Perhaps he can donate to some families who were not so lucky and went bankrupt trying to help their loved ones who died from opioid overdose. I pray he stays clean and works tirelessly to get involved in helping the powers that be see the need for greater access to the appropriate care for those addicted to opioids.

Mr. Perry is without question, lucky. Other celebrities that weren’t as fortunate include Prince, Seymour Phillip Hoffman, and Tom Petty among so many others. And let’s not forget the millions of other Americans who are not rich and famous. No one is excluded from the deadly consequences that come with opioid addiction.


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Conventionally Trained Physicians Get Less Than 2-Hours Of Education On Pain

Anyone and everyone who is living with chronic pain must fully grasp and deeply digest the following sentence: “When it comes to relieving pain, there are widespread knowledge gaps on the part of conventionally-trained physicians, who on average receive less than two hours of education on pain in medical school.” Posted at in an article entitled, Trying Everything for Chronic Pain, this sentence could provide a sense of relief and perhaps greater hopefulness for those who do suffer from chronic pain. The fact of the matter is that treated correctly and consistently, most chronic pain – which only means that some pain lasts longer than most pain – can be cured or substantially reduced.

Another bit of information for those who suffer chronic pain and seek treatment from mainstream medical professionals is that “Most of their post-graduate information comes from drug company reps, drug company-sponsored conferences and medical journals that stay afloat with drug company advertising.” The article continues with, “If you’re depending on a conventionally trained physician to guide you in managing your pain, you will not learn about the many non-pharmaceutical, non-surgical options that are available for pain relief. These alternative options are often more effective and much safer.”

Drugs, Surgeries, Injections, And Limited Physical Therapy Do Not Work

Most people suffering with chronic pain have tried everything that health insurance covers. They’ve tried drugs, many of which are opioids and highly addictive, but which insurance companies cover the costs of indefinitely. They’ve tried surgeries, which often create more problems than they solve. They’ve tried any number of epidural steroid injections, which usually work for short periods of time and carry risks.

People Need Insurance Coverage For Safer More Effective Pain Treatments

The sad and seemingly criminal truth is that people in pain are being denied insurance coverage for safer, more effective treatments including physical therapy, massage, chiropractic, biofeedback, acupuncture, marijuana, low level laser therapy, psychotherapy, nutritional and herbal interventions and more. In some cases, such as with chiropractic and physical therapy, some insurance covers limited treatment. But far too often the coverage isn’t appropriate for the correct term of treatment.

We need a law that requires health insurance companies to cover all proven effective treatments for pain to the same degree that they cover pharmaceuticals. We also need a law that requires physicians to be educated about the other alternative therapies.  

Research Studies Reveal The Most Effective Treatment For Chronic Pain

The article I’ve cited throughout also states, “According to research studies, the most effective treatment for chronic pain is an interdisciplinary one, where health care providers from different disciplines all evaluate a patient and collectively come up with a comprehensive treatment plan that includes body-based and mind-based treatments and emphasizes self-management skills. Insurance companies in the U.S. used to provide coverage for interdisciplinary pain treatment programs, but with the advent of opioids, which they saw as a cheaper alternative, stopped paying for them. There used to be about 1000 interdisciplinary pain clinics in the U.S., now there are only about 50.” This is unacceptable. We must push for changes that will bring relief to the suffering. The author of the article has started a petition for a “Pain Treatment Parity Act.” I’ve included the link where you can sign to demand access insurance coverage for safer and more effective therapies.

Sign my petition on for a Pain Treatment Parity Act

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New CDC Guidelines For Pain Management Emphasize Nonpharmacologic Therapies

We still have a long way to go, but the good news is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released an updated Clinical Practice Guidelines for Prescribing Opioids for Pain. In this 2022 revision, there is a very strong emphasis on the use of nonopioid and noninvasive, nonpharmacologic approaches. In fact, the CDC recommends that, “Clinicians should maximize use of nonpharmacologic and nonopioid pharmacologic therapies as appropriate for the specific condition and patient and only consider opioid therapy if benefits are anticipated to outweigh risks.” I’m not certain how that decision is going to be made and if it is left up to the clinician, one can only hope that there are ways to determine if the benefits will outweigh the risks.

Additionally, the CDC acknowledges the barriers to prescribing nonpharmacologic approaches due to the lack of coverage by insurance companies for these services. The CDC notes that, “Public and private payers can support a broader array of nonpharmacologic interventions such as exercise, multidisciplinary rehabilitation, mind-body interventions, cognitive behavioral therapy, and certain complementary and integrative medicine therapies (e.g., acupuncture and spinal manipulation) that increasingly are known to be effective.” There needs to be acknowledgement and support for these services by the health insurers and health systems to allow greater access to noninvasive, effective therapies.

We are certainly moving in the right direction. I suppose that’s the most those of us who know the long-term benefits of nonopioid nonpharmacologic therapies can expect. One big plus is that there are no side effects and no danger of addiction that could lead to overdose with chiropractic, massage, acupuncture, yoga or any of the other therapies used to manage pain. I’m including the link to the updated CDC Guidelines to help bolster your position when asking for prescriptions for nonopioid treatments for your pain management.

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How Smart Is Our Addiction To Smart Phones

October is just one of the months throughout each year that many organizations work to raise awareness about mental health issues. Whether your focus is on National Depression and Health Screening or World Mental Health, Mental Illness Awareness, as far as I’m concerned, the topic of mental health cannot be overstated, nor can it be talked about too much. And it turns out that our addiction to smart phones is not so smart.

According to a recent study, “Mental health issues in our world populations have been steadily escalating for the last three decades. Most recently it became a primary public health concern as the COVID-19 pandemic brought the issue to the forefront. The World Health Organization (WHO) released a scientific brief in March 2022 stating that the already existing global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by yet another 25% in 2020 as populations struggled with the fear and social isolation that accompanied the stress of quarantines and shutdowns.”

It is my intention to continue to write and speak about this issue to bring more and more people into the discussion. Because the addiction is so widespread, it’s often more difficult to penetrate the awareness of those who are addicted. The same thing is true of drug addicts – it’s difficult to acknowledge to themselves that they have a problem. How do we raise awareness about this global addiction that is on one hand giving us access to information we could never have imagined 30 years ago, while simultaneously destroying our peace of mind and our health? Once again, the topic cannot be overstated.

The Upsurge Of Mental Health Issues Aligns With The Mass Use Of Technology

Scientific correlations are linking the mass use of technology in the last 30 years with the upsurge of anxiety and depression that we are seeing across the globe. Specifically, the associations relate back to the unnatural stimulation of dopamine and how it is affecting our biochemistry.

Addiction to smartphones is widespread. In the world today, 6.64 billion people utilize one. That translates to 84% of the world population. As recounted on CNN, a 2016 poll from Common Sense Media stated that 50% of teens self-reported that they felt addicted to their mobile devices. A 2018 Pew Research Report showed that 45% of teens said that they use the Internet ‘almost all the time.’ Yet other polls show the overwhelming number of times people check their phones every day, slaves to every notification, even sleeping next to the devices.

Thoughts, Trauma, And Toxins Drive Behavior

The chiropractic profession has long recognized the role of thoughts, trauma, and toxins (the 3T’s) in the realm of health and disease. Technology in this sense has become a toxin that also affects our thoughts and drives behaviors. Particularly relevant in chiropractic clinics, symptoms of back, joint and limb pain that can accompany depression are highly common. Within primary care settings, a difficulty is that a high percentage of patients with depression present exclusively with physical symptoms, which may be interpreted as symptoms of a somatic illness, which can result in undiagnosed depression.

Help Raise Awareness

I hope you will read and share the entire report provided in the link below entitled Depression, Dopamine, and Drug-free Interventions. As far as I am concerned Mental Health Awareness Month is every month. Please join me in helping to bring greater awareness to this global issue.

If you have a loved one who has suffered with substance abuse and mental health issues, please check out the following organizations. They are here to help.
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Pain Relief That Doesn’t Come In A Bottle: Part Two – Touch

Back in August, I wrote about forest bathing as a wonderful way to relieve pain without a prescription. This is the second piece in which I focus on another way of relieving pain without a pill. This time the topic is that of touch.

The information I’m offering here is from Alternative Pain Treatment Directory, which I highly recommend you subscribe to if you live with chronic pain and prefer to manage your pain without pills. We humans are sensitive to the healing power of touch. In fact, if newborn babies are never touched, they can fail to thrive, lose weight, and even die. It is also known that babies and young children who do not get touched have lower levels of growth hormone. A lack of touch can stunt a child’s growth.

When it comes to treating chronic pain, the power of touch is often underestimated. Any kind of touch therapy can be very pleasurable while also relieving pain.

According to the article in Alternative Pain Directory, “The results of a randomized clinical trial showed that therapeutic touch had a positive impact on the positive management of pain-related parameters in cancer patients.” 

The article continues: “A clinical trial conducted in Brazil, concluded that Therapeutic Touch was effective to decrease pain intensity and depressive attitudes and symptoms, as well as to improve sleep quality.”

“Massage therapy has also been proven to be very effective in treating various types of pain. A meta-analysis of 67 randomized control studies found that “There is evidence to suggest that massage therapy may be beneficial for improving various patient-reported functional outcomes

Massage therapy, reiki, chiropractic, acupuncture, and even the field called therapeutic touch can bring pain relief for those suffering with chronic pain. You can read about Forest Bathing as well as other non-prescription methods to relieve pain at the link provided below.