One of the most important physicians of the twentieth century was a woman named Janet Travell, whose work on pain is very relevant for medical diagnosis and treatment today. Two recent books discuss Travell’s work. The first is The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook: Your Self-Treatment Guide for Pain Relief–by Claire Davies, NCTMB with Amber Davies, NCTMB) (http://www.triggerpointbook.com/). Another book, Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot, Dr. Burton S. Schuler highlight Dr. Travell’s important contributions to the study of muscle pain, also known as Myofascial Pain Syndrome (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/resources/dr-janet-travell/).
Pain research ran in Travell’s family. In 1901, Dr. Janet Travell was born in New York City in a family of physicians. (Her father was recognized as an early pioneer in the treatment of pain.) She attended Wellesley College, and then graduated from Cornell University Medical School in 1926, and graduated top of her class. She became a leading expert in treating muscle pain (Myofascial Pain Syndrome) and general pain management (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/resources/dr-janet-travell/).
Because he was suffering from severe pain, President John F. Kennedy, Jr. was fortunate to cross Dr. Travell’s path. He also asked her to become his private physician in the White House. She first met Kennedy in 1955, at her office in New York City while he was on crutches. He could not bend his right knee or put any weight on the left foot or side of his leg. After being treated by Travell, he was sworn in as US President 5 years later in 1961. His brother, Robert, credits Travell as the reason Kennedy was able to manage his pain and ascend to the presidency.
What pain management techniques specifically did Travell utilize that would help her treat people such as Kennedy so successfully, earning her the distinguished position of White House physician for both Kennedy and Johnson? The theory of Myofasical Pain Syndrome includes trigger points, which are described in both authors websites and books (http://www.triggerpointbook.com/travell.htm).
Travell co-authored with David Simons a book Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual. In this book, they explained how “myofascial trigger points are tiny contraction knots that develop in a muscle when it is injured or overworked. The part of a muscle fiber that actually does the contracting is a microscopic unit called a sarcomere, and millions of sarcomeres have to contract in your muscles to make even the smallest movement. A trigger point exists when over stimulated sarcomeres are chemically prevented from releasing from their interlocked state (http://www.triggerpointbook.com/triggerp.htm).
It’s the innovative research on trigger points that distinguishes Travell’s pain research, and it is for this reason she is acknowledged by the Davies’ and Dr. Burton S. Schuler in their respective books.
WHAT IS WHY YOU REALLY HURT: IT ALL STARTS IN THE FOOT
Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot, tells the story of two famous physicians and their association with the common, but painful, medical condition known as the Morton’s Toe. Millions of people suffer everyday with chronic aches and pains from head to toe and don’t know why. Many of them have lost all hope, and believe they will have to live with these pains for the rest of their lives. The book is significant because for the first time in seventy years the public is made aware of the importance of the Morton’s Toe, and the fact that could be the real unidentified reason (the “medical missing link”) for their unending torments. This book will also show how Morton’s Toe can also cause fibromyalgia, arthritis, sleep disturbances (RLS), temporomandibular joint pain, and numerous other problems through out the body The good news is that all of these problems can be treated with a simple pad that costs about two to three dollars. The bad news is that in spite of the fact that two of the most famous doctors of the twentieth century were behind the Morton’s Toe, most modern day physicians are not aware of Morton’s Toe or of it ability of causing pain all over the body. This book took six years to research and write, but Dr. Schuler feels it was worth it because it should be able to help many people get out of pain. The book is disturbed national by the Cardinal Publishing Group. It will be translated to Greek this Year.
Here is an important article about Pain in Women, Dr. Travell and the Morton’s Toe,
A joint analysis and policy recommendations report by the Campaign to End Chronic Pain in Women and the Overlapping Conditions Alliance entitled Women: Neglect, Dismissal and Discrimination states that 50 million women suffer chronic pain, reporting more frequent, severe and enduring physical pain than men http://www.endwomenspain.org).
Women’s pain is also taken less seriously than men by medical professionals; their pain is frequently attributed to “emotional, psychogenic, hysterical, and oversensitive” factors. Therefore, women’s complaints of pain can be dismissed as a mental health issue and anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medications can be prescribed– while real physical causes and symptoms go untreated.
In For Her Own Good: Two Hundred Years of the Experts’ Advice to Women, authors Barbara Ehrenreich and Deidre English explain that the dismissal of women’s medical complaints as “hysteric” has unpleasant historical roots in medical research that focused on men’s bodies as the norm, therefore ignoring women’s unique physical ailments and perpetuating the idea that female complaints are byproducts of overactive imaginations
In the past four decades, thanks to the women’s health movement who published such seminal works as Our Bodies, Ourselves http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org), progress has occurred for women’s health issues, but this report reminds us there is room for improvement when it comes to understanding women’s “painful” medical experiences.
In fact, is it a surprise that it was a female physician who was most astutely focused on pain research in the mid twentieth century? In addition to her prominency as a White House physician (and the first female physician in the White House) for both Presidents Kennedy who described her as a “genius”) and Johnson, Dr. Janet Travell made a great contribution to the study of pain “Myofascial Pain Syndrome” (MPS)–muscle pain that can occur in many places due to pain trigger points throughout the body. In Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot, Dr. Burton S. Schuler describes Travell’s research on pain as highly relevant for various physical conditions today http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/resources/dr-janet-travell/).
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) symptoms are nearly identical to another chronic and frequently misdiagnosed condition: Fibromyalgia Compare Travell’s description of muscle spasms, sleep disorders, motion limitations, depression, sleep disturbances, and circulation changes–as listed in Why You Really Hurt–to the report’s definition of Fibromyalgia as a “chronic condition characterized by widespread soft tissue pain as well as accompanying comorbidities, such as disturbed sleep, fatigue and cognitive difficulties”. http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/resources/dr-janet-travell/).
A recent Psychology Today article “Myofascial Pain Syndrome vs. Fibromyalgia,” states that it is more medically correct to refer to localized or regional pain as myofascial pain
In the article, Dr. Mark Borigini states that trauma is a common cause of MPS (such as whiplash or muscle aches from repetitive use of certain muscle groups), and this is different than when one experiences pain somewhere in the body that is not related to a known trauma event. MPS is a much more common diagnosis than FM, and so Dr. Janet Travell’s groundbreaking research is highly relevant for many chronic pain sufferers today
In the 1920′s and 1930″s Dr. Dudley J. Morton of Yale Medical School and Columbia Medical School wrote that a problem with the 1st metatarsal bone, known as a Morton’s Toe could be the reason for most foot problems. Dr. Janet Travel, White House physician to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University took this concept further by writing and teaching that the Morton’s Toe could cause pain all over your body. She wrote and taught for four decades that a Morton’s Toe could cause back, hip, knee, leg foot and ankles problems. She felt that the Morton’s Toe, was so important that at the age of 89 she made a video tape to teach other physicians about how to recognize it and how to treat it.
Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot, tells the story of these two famous physicians and their association with the common, but painful, medical condition known as the Morton’s Toe. Millions of people suffer everyday with chronic aches and pains from head to toe and don’t know why. Many of them have lost all hope, and believe they will have to live with these pains for the rest of their lives. The book is significant because for the first time in seventy years the public is made aware of the importance of the Morton’s Toe (Long Second Toe) , and the fact that could be the real unidentified reason (the “medical missing link”) for their unending torments. This book will also show how Morton’s Toe can also cause fibromyalgia, arthritis, sleep disturbances (RLS), temporomandibular joint pain, and numerous other problems through out the body The good news is that all of these problems can be treated with a simple pad that costs about two to three dollars. The bad news is that in spite of the fact that two of the most famous doctors of the twentieth century were behind the Morton’s Toe, most modern day physicians are not aware of Morton’s Toe or of it ability of causing pain all over the body. This book took six years to research and write, but Dr. Schuler feels it was worth it because it should be able to help many people get out of pain. The book is disturbed national by the Cardinal Publishing Group. It will be translated to Greek this Year.
There are two twentieth century medical doctors whose contributions are very relevant for the treatment of pain today: Dr. Dudley J. Morton and Dr. Janet Travell. In 1927, the first, Dr. Dudley J. Morton, was the first to identify the possibly painful consequences of having a long second toe while an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Yale University. In fact, his research on this topic led the condition to evenually be referred to by the medical establishment as “Morton’s Toe.” (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/mortons-toe/dr-dudley-j-morton/)
According to Morton, a long second toe can result in the foot incorrectly absorbing shock when it hits the ground, causing extra stress. It was Dr. Janet Travell, Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University and White House physician for both John F. Kennedy and Lydon B. Johnson, who linked a long second toe to back, hip, knee, ankle and (of course) foot pain. She described “Myofascial Pain Syndrome” as muscle pain, and it is a condition that causes hurting in locations away from the stressed muscles. Travell stated that there are several causes of Myofascial pain such as mechanical stress, postural stress, muscle constriction, leg length descrepancies, slow metabolism, sleep disorders, anxiety/ depression, and–as previously mentioned–Morton’s Toe.
According to Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts in the Foot by Panama City podiatrist Dr. Burton S. Schuler (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com), Dr. Travell attended a 1942 lecture by Dr. Dudley J. Morton about treating Morton’s Toe (which she referred to as “Dudley J. Morton’s foot”) and this lecture made a lasting impression on her medical practice and our modern understanding of how pain works.
Today, we hear much about Fibromyalgia, which is related to Myofascial Pain Syndrome. The Merck Manual, a widely used medical reference book, lists them together and describes Fibromyalgia as pain in fibrous tissues, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other white connective tissues (http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/sec04/ch040/ch040d.html#sec04-ch040-ch040c-822). According to the National Fibromyalgia Assocation (FMA) website (http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=fibromyalgia) Fibromyalgia is a common and complex chronic pain disorder that affects people physically, mentally and socially. According to the website: “Fibromyalgia is a syndrome rather than a disease. Unlike a disease, which is a medical condition with a specific cause or causes and recognizable signs and symptoms, a syndrome is a collection of signs, symptoms, and medical problems that tend to occur together but are not related to a specific, identifiable cause.”
Although there is not one singular identifiable cause for Fibromyalgia, both doctors Travell and Schuler acknowledge Morton’s Toe as one potential cause of the chronic pain that characterizes it. This should be taken as good news for those who have suffered inexplicable pain but have not yet considered whether their longer second toe could be causing some or all of the pain.
Women tend to get diagnosed more frequently with Fibromyalgia than men, according to Schuler, who writes about his experience treating women who have already been diagnosed with the syndrome. In Why You Really Hurt, he states that the simple toe pad treatment that he prescribes many patients can help or hurt symptoms. (http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/mortons-toe/fibromyalgia/). Whether you are newly diagnosed or have exhausted other treatment alternatives, treating your Morton’s Toe appears worth trying based on research that dates back half a century or longer.
Dr. Burton S. Schuler, foot doctor, podiatrist, (foot specialist) of Panama City, Fl has written extensively for many years about President Kennedy’s and President Johnson’s White House physician, Dr. Janet Travell and her connection with the body wide malady know as the Morton’s Toe, (Long Second Toe)
Dr Schuler has stated
“Dr. Janet Travel, who the White House physician to Presidents Kennedy and Johnson, and Professor Emeritus of Medicine at George Washington University, was also a leading expert on the Morton’s Toe (Long Second Toe) and how it could cause pain almost anywhere in the body. She wrote and taught for four decades that a Morton’s Toe, could cause, aches and pains all over the body including back, hip, knee, leg foot and ankles problems”.
Schuler also said
” In her most important book Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: the trigger point manual, written with Dr. David Simmons , she showed how a Morton’s Toe (Long Second Toe) could be the real cause of not only the problems listed above but also of fibromyalgia, sleep disturbances, and TMJ. . She felt it was so important to understand how the Morton’s Toe could cause pain that at the age of 89, she made a video tape to teach other physician about it and how treat it. ”
A “Morton’s Toe” means having either one or both of two abnormal, inherited conditions of the first metatarsal bone of the foot.
1. The first abnormal condition, and the most noted one, that can cause Morton’s Toe is where your first metatarsal bone is shorter than your second metatarsal bone.
2. The second condition is when your first metatarsal bone is not as stable as it should be, and as a result, has too much motion. This is known as “Hypermobility of the First Metatarsal Bone.”
Dr. Travell knew either one of these problems could be the cause of why you got out of bed hurting everyday.
Why You Really Hurt: It All Starts In The Foot, is the story of how one bone (Morton’s Toe ) in your foot could be the real reason for pains thru out your whole body
The book written by Dr. Burton S. Schuler, a foot specialist of Panama City, Florida is a leading authority on the Morton’s Toe (Long Second Toe) and it associated problems . The book is published by the La Luz Press, Inc. and is disturbed national by the Cardinal Publishing Group .
Dr. Schuler, graduated from the N. Y. College of Podiatric Medicine in 1975 at the age of twenty-four, and has been in private practice ever since. In 1982, he published his first book, The Agony of De-Feet: A Podiatrist Guide to Foot Care. During his thirty-five year professional career, he has written for Collier’s Encyclopedia and various podiatric journals and publications. He has been interviewed by The New York Times, First in Women, and other publications. Dr. Schuler has appeared on hundreds of radio and television programs both here and aboard. He is a Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management, and the National Board of Podiatric Examiners. Dr. Schuler is certified as a wound specialist from the American Academy of Wound Management. His professional and civic accomplishments have earned his inclusion in the 1999-2002 Who’s Who in America (Marquis).
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