REVIEWS OF DR. SCHULER
Fla. Podiatrist writes about New Causes & treatments for Fibromyaglia
According to Current Rheumatology Reports, the most significant difference between the related Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) and Fibromyalgia ( FM) is that diagnosis of MPS in men and women is equal, while women are 9 times more likely to be diagnosed with FM than men.
The relationship between fibromyalgia (FM) and gender is controversial, and explanations are inconclusive as to why FM is a “women’s disease”. MPS is more commonly diagnosed and related to a trauma which affects one of the body’s trigger points, where as FM is a generalized painful condition that includes fatigue as one of its primary symptoms.
Men and women diagnosed with FM report different symptoms. A recent study in the Journal of Rheumatology found that men with FM have milder symptoms including number/severity of tender points, fatigue, and irritable bowel. But these findings are contradicted by an Israeli study comparing 40 male and 40 female FM patients; this study found male patients reported an overall lower quality of life ( http://www.fmaware.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6032).
But even if researchers agreed that FM severity depends on gender, the verdict is definitely out on why women are diagnosed so much more frequently with FM than men. In general, the debate can be summarized as the classic dilemma of nature vs. nurture. On the nurture side, we can consider that –due to gender role conditioning–women are more likely than men to complain of pain and seek medical treatment. (The same thing is frequently stated about gender and depression, which is why many more women than men are prescribed with anti-depressants). Also, medical doctors may be more prone to suggest FM as a possible diagnosis when treating women, which implies than many more men may be suffering from it than current statistics reflect.
On the “nature” side of the argument there are many competing theories as well: hormones brain structure, and genetics. A recent University of Iowa study suggests testosterone has a protein that helps repair muscles afer exertion. Since women have less testosterone, they have more muscle fatigue. The study also showed that men are better protected from a biological link between fatigue and pain http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080407153037.htm).
Two other explanations for gender discrepancies in FM diagnosis is brain differences and immune issues. Serotonin (which is said to be lower in FM patients) is a neurotransmitter responsible for a general calm feeling, lack of anxiety, and restful sleep. Researchers in a 2008 Swedish study demonstrated that women naturally have more serotonin receptors and lower levels of a transporting protein http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/latestresearch/a/women_pain.htm). This likely causes more anxiety and depression in women. Also, more women get conditions that are believed, at least in part, to involve an over-active immune system caused by viral infections that cause inflammatory chemicals causing muscle and joint pain http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/autoimmune-diseases.cfm).
Finally, we need to consider genetic factors in FM frequency. There is a high aggregation of FM in families with FM patients, suggesting a genetic connection http://arthritis-research.com/content/8/5/218).
Another explanation, that can also be considered a potentially genetic condition, is proffered by Panama City podiatrist, foot doctor , Burton S. Schuler. In his book Why You Really Hurt: It’s All in the Foot, Schuler argues that a longer second toe–also referred to as Morton’s Toe–can throw off the foot’s normal pronation, causing the body to become off balance producing muscle pain http://whyyoureallyhurt.com/mortons-toe/fibromyalgia/ )
Schuler’s treatment is a simple toe pad under the first toe to correct the foot’s natural shock absorption, yet he also warns that the pad is forceful and should be used in a gradual manner so the body can adjust to it. Given all of the competing theories about FM causes, and the accompanying, possibly costly, treatments, if a $2 toe pad can alleviate some or all related pain—then who can complain?
More about the Morton’s Toe,
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 (Long Second 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.