Patients &
trained Companions

Medical Professionals


Fibromyalgia (FM) and
Chronic Myofascial Pain & Dysfunction (CMPD)
For Medical Professionals
with Devin Starlanyl

Brief Annotated Bibliography

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Donelly JM, Fernandez-de-las-Penas C, Finnegan M, Freeman JL. 2018. Travell, Simons and Simons' Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, edition 3. Philadelphia PA. Wolters Kluwer. This 3rd edition is entirely evidence based, and a valuable and much-needed addition to the definitive texts provided by the founders of myofascial medicine. Keep the Vol. 1 ed. 2 and Vol. 2 versions of Travell and Simons handy too, as the 3rd edition is primarily new material and you do not want to be without the gems that are contained there.

The books and articles by Janet Travell and David Simons have changed my life.

Janet Travell, President Kennedy's White House physician, mapped the trigger points for us.  David Simons, her partner, mapped them and documented them.  Together they wrote the definitive texts on myofascial trigger points and founded the field of myofascial medicine.

These texts hold the key to understanding many myofascial trigger point symptoms.  Doctors who obtain them, study them and use them will find that many of their "problem" chronic pain patients will be problems no longer.

These two books are the most important medical texts for the understanding of myofascial trigger points.

Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual-The Upper Body, Vol I, ed. 2, by David G. Simons, MD, Janet G. Travell, MD, and Lois S. Simons

Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Vol II-The Lower Body, by Janet G. Travell MD, and David G. Simons, MD, Williams and Wilkins, Vol. II, 1998

The Concise Book of Neuromuscular Therapy: a trigger point manual by John Sharkey.  Although this book was written specifically for neuromuscular therapists, it is a fine introduction to myofascial trigger points for anyone who practices manual medicine.  Now that TrPs are being recognized as a key maintenance factor of fibromyalgia central sensitization, professionals of all types need to understand that their scope is more than just sports medicine.  This book contains an overview of TRP physiology, patient assessment and treatment, and clear diagrams and descriptions of TrP symptoms, and I highly recommend it.

Frequency Specific Microcurrent in Pain Management by Carolyn R. McMakin

Review by Devin J. Starlanyl

This is a remarkable book for the licensed care providers. First, I must say that I have been interested in Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) for some time. I've taken the Core course and studied the Advanced course. I've seen FSM and I've experienced it. This technology works. On one channel, each frequency is specific to a type of tissue, and resonates with that tissue. On the other channel, each frequency resonates with a specific condition. The energy used in FSM is the same strength as that generated by a living cell. This may sound as though it comes to you directly from Star Fleet Medical. We tend to forget that we already live in the space age. This is technology that is available today. We're on a learning curve, and the journey is amazing. I had Barrett's esophagus, with several other esophageal areas biopsied and found abnormal. Those tissues are healthy now. FSM helps keep me functioning at the level that I do.

The author of this book has blazed a strong trail in this field. Dr. McMakin is an explorer in a vast new world. In this book, she tells us a little about how this science developed, and explains the importance of the medical studies that show FSM positively affects levels of some of our important biochemicals. The effectiveness of FSM on fibromyalgia, myofascial pain and neuropathic (nerve -generated) pain have been also documented in medical journals. This book tells you how you can treat a variety of illnesses, including those that are usually treated with invasive options. This technology can't restore tissue that is no longer there. It can treat a very wide variety of conditions in a wide variety of tissues. This book can change you. It can change your practice. It can open you up to new possibilities. If you are not willing to venture out of a comfortable rut, this book is not for you. If you want to be able to change energy levels in your patients/clients; if you want to get at the source of some of the symptoms; if you're ready for a new adventure in healing, get this book. If you have taken the courses and use FSM technology, you still need this book It's one of the best health care investments you can make.

NeuroKinetic Therapy: An Innovative Approach to Manual Muscle Testing by David Weinstock. 2010.  

This concise, clear book has what you need to identify weak muscles. This could help discover deep or otherwise hidden TrPs.

Clinical Mastery in the Treatment of Myofascial Pain, by Lucy Whyte Ferguson and Robert Gerwin


In my opinion, this book should be read and reread by anyone who practices any form of myofascial pain medicine.  If you want to know which order to treat TrP-laden muscles and how to release difficult areas and so much more, it’s here, waiting for you.

Healing the Dysfunctional Gut: A Common Hidden Key Perpetuating Factor


Trigger Point of Pain: Wall Charts, by Travell and Simons


These wall charts are excellent quick references to many common myofascial trigger points and their referral patterns.  They are easy to see and also can provide a visual aid to teach your patients about referred pain.  Patients often recognize their pain patterns from the charts, allowing you to pinpoint the triggers quickly, and are a good supplement to the Trigger Point Manuals. 



Range-of-Motion Charts


Myofascial trigger points (TrPs) cause muscle dysfunction and loss of range of motion (ROM) even before they cause pain.  Overlapping TrP pain patterns can cause confusion for care providers and patients.  Specific ROM tests can help you distinguish between different TrPs.  Visit Round Earth Publishing and check out this valuable resource.



Ethics of Caring: Honoring the Web of Life in Our Professional Healing Relationships, by Kylea Taylor


Patients in chronic pain often have boundary issues.   This can make life more difficult for care providers who do not have mechanisms in place to safeguard their own boundaries and still provide compassionate care.  This is an interesting and comprehensive exploration of ethical issues that may develop, as well as problem preventing strategies. 



The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation and Disease, by Robert C. Scaer, MD


This book focuses on one of the often-neglected parts of the stress response.  There is not just “fight or flight” but there is “freeze” as well.  The author, a neurologist and psychiatrist, believes that many traumas (including whiplash) can trigger chronic conditions, including some cases of myofascial pain,  PTSD and RSD through this freeze response.  He explains possible mechanisms and offers therapy suggestions.  It is heavily referenced, although biased towards psychology and psychiatric studies.  It is very thought-provoking.

This book has a wealth of information from Dr. Chaitow, plus marvelous contributions from many trail blazers in fibromyalgia research.  It also includes a useful CD.



Making the Most of It Seminar 


CDs are now available from the March 22, 2003, Cincinnati, Ohio, seminar.  Medical and legal experts explain what you need to know about fibromyalgia and myofascial pain.



Trigger Points: Understanding Myofascial Pain and Discomfort, by Sally A. Cummings


This set of flip charts shows the location of many common myofascial trigger points.  Some referral patterns are shown, and also some exercises for the relief of the TrPs are shown and explained.  This can be a useful training aid. 


The A-Z Guide to Drug-Herb and Vitamin Interactions, by Schuyler W. Lininger, DC, Steve Austin, ND, Forrest Batz, Alan Gaby, MD, and Don Brown


Prescription medications, drugs and herbs can often interact.  One can block another or potentiate it.  This informative guide can help you sort them out and help prevent problems.



Low-Speed Automobile Accidents: Investigation and Documentation, by Peter H. Rast and Robert E. Sterns


Due to common misunderstandings, people are often injured in low-speed automobile accidents and fail to receive the justice and the help they need and deserve.  This book documents that low speed accidents often impact more on the occupants than on the vehicle.



Herbal Medicinals: A Clinician's Guide, Lucinda G. Miller (ed) and Wallace J. Murray (ed)  


Many patients are taking herbal medicines, and it is vital that you know about what they are taking.  Some of these herbals can be powerful, and some can have effects that are unsuspected by the patient.  This reference can help you find out what you need to know.



Cytokines and Pain (Progress in Inflammation Research), L. R. Watkins (ed) and S.F. Maier (ed)  


Although neither fibromyalgia nor myofascial pain are inflammatory conditions per se, this research in pro-inflammatory cytokines and the immune system to brain communications pathway led to the understanding of the central sensitization state of fibromyalgia and may hold the clues to the eventual use of anti-inflammatory cytokines to treat the chronic pain state.



Your Guide to Metabolic Health, by Dr. Gina Honeyman-Lowe and Dr. John Lowe 


This book is now available in a complete and easy-to-read format.  This book teaches metabolic rehabilitation in a way that is easy for patients to understand.  The Lowe method it is not "just thyroid supplementation".  It is a complete method for health improvement.  You will learn why patients with fibromyalgia can benefit from metabolic rehabilitation.  The book includes  sections on diet, sleep, hormone balancing and other perpetuating factors, and is a hands-on, how-to book, with medical documentation.  It is a valuable tool that can help you feel better.



Insulin Resistance, by Andrew J. Krentz


This is a handy summary of current knowledge and management techniques concerning insulin resistance and some co-existing conditions (from the United Kingdom).



Insulin Resistance: the Metabolic Syndrome X, Gerald N. Reaven (ed), Ami Lewis (ed)


This in-depth book shows how the affect of insulin resistance goes far beyond diabetes.  This book basically covers current research on “the causes, main events and results” of this epidemic condition.


Synaptic Self: How Our Brains Become Who We Are, by Joseph LeDoux

This book is an explanation of recent research concerning how the brain thinks and how it creates, in part, our individuality.  Although the author does not mention fibromyalgia, he does explain central nervous system plasticity that makes fibromyalgia and the central sensitization that is part of it possible.  The ramifications of Hebbian plasticity, malconnection syndromes and long-term potentiation (LTP) are discussed in comprehensible language.  Learning why NMDA receptors allow LTP give the reader insight as to possible modifiers of some kind of chronic pain.  Learn why "alterations in synaptic connectivity in neural circuits, rather than just levels of neurotransmitters or receptors, are important." 


Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, by Thomas W. Myers


This is everything you ever wanted to know about myofascia, including explanations on the microscopic level, with fascinating and detailed drawings.  Superb for care providers and for medically educated patients.


Clinical Overview and Pathogenesis of the Fibromyalgia Syndrome, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, and Other Pain Syndromes, I. Jon Russell, MD, PhD (ed) 1996

This book includes articles not only by the great FMS researcher (and editor) I. Jon Russell on the neurochemical pathogenesis of FMS, but important papers such as the update on myofascial TrPs by David Simons, the "father of MPS", and an article on HPA-axis disruption in FMS.


The MYOPAIN 2010 abstracts from the Eighth International Scientific and Clinical Meeting, October 3-7, Toledo Spain are free and available on www.myopain.org


Biochemical Messengers: Hormones, Neurotransmitters and Growth Factors, by D. G. Hardie, 1991

This is an easy to understand guide to neurotransmitters, and you need to understand neurotransmitters to understand fibromyalgia.  It provides good background.

Neurotransmitter Release and Its Modulation: Biochemical Mechanisms, Physiological Function, and Clinical Relevance, Nancy Klimas, MD, and Roberto Patarca, MD, PhD. 1996. Powis, David A. and Stephen J. Bunn (editors)

This is a detailed and extensive compilation of articles on neurotransmitters and their relevance to medical care.  When you read this, remember that FMS is a neuroendocrine disorder with neurotransmitter dysfunction.  This book will give you important clues to your FMS patients' symptoms, as well as information on therapies.

Clinical Management of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome : Clinical Conference, American Association of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Nancy Klimas, MD, and Roberto Patarca, MD, PhD. 1996

This is one of the most comprehensive books on chronic fatigue syndrome, with sections on neurocognitive testing, treatment options, symptom management, and a special section on fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and Gulf War patients.

Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia (Advances in Pain Research and Therapy, Vol. 17), James R. Fricton and Essam A. Awad (editors) 1990

This book is written by two experts in the field of myofascial pain.  The sections on TMJ dysfunction are particularly detailed and helpful.

From Fatigued to Fantastic, by Jacob Teitelbaum, 2001

I have talked with Jacob Teitelbaum, another physician with fibromyalgia, and was impressed with the comprehensive nature of his approach.

He looks at metabolic factors and tests for a variety of infections.  Included are handy questionnaires and valuable protocols for fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and yeast.

Pain and Its Relief Without Addiction: Clinical Issues in the Use of Opioids and Other Analgesics, by Barry Stimmel, 1997

If you are concerned about adequate pain control for your patients, the background you need for chronic pain management and guidelines for adequate pain control are here.  This field has changed radically in the light of new research.  Get up to date.

A Primer of Drug Action: A Concise, Nontechnical Guide to the Actions, Uses and Side Effects of Psychoactive Drugs, by Robert M. Julien

Many physicians have reported this to be helpful in grasping the "big picture", which includes nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, steroids and neurotransmitter modulation.

Progress in Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain (Pain Research and Clinical Management, Vol 6). H. Vaeroy, MD, and H. Merskey (editors) 1993

Musculoskeletal Pain, Myofascial Pain Syndrome, and the Fibromyalgia Syndrome, by Soren Jacobsen, MD, Bente Danneskiold-Samsoe, MD, PhD, and Birger Lund, MD, PhD

Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia: Trigger Point Management, by Edward S. Rachlin, MD. 1994

Acupuncture, Trigger Points and Musculoskeletal Pain, Second Edition, by P.E. Baldry, 1993

This is a marvelous book for physical therapists, acupuncturists and doctors of all types wishing to broaden their knowledge, written by someone with a good background in myofascial trigger points.  This book is too technical for many patients.

Principles of Manual Medicine, Second Edition, by Philip E. Greenman, 1996

This book is important for any doctor or physical therapist involved with the practice of manual medicine.  This book is too technical for many patients.

Muscle Pain: Understanding its Nature, Diagnosis and Treatment, Seigfreid Mense, David G. Simons, and I. Jon Russell. 2001.  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins

Epidemiology of Pain: For the IASP Task Force on Epidemiology, Iain K. Crombie, Peter R. Croft, Steven J. Linton, Linda LaResche and Michael Von Korff [Editors]  International Association for the Study of Pain, IASP Press. 1999

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