It is with great sadness that the massage community received the news that Dr. David Simons recently passed away at the age of 87. Dr. Simons co-authored Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual with Dr. Janet Travell, the physician who helped President John F. Kennedy with his back pain.
The contribution that Travell and Simons made to the world of pain management cannot be underestimated. At first met with skepticism, the concept of trigger points and their importance in the treatment of musculoskeletal pain eventually came to be accepted and embraced by practitioners in every area of pain relief and pain management. Massage therapists, physical therapists, medical doctors, and chiropractic physicians all look to The Trigger Point Manual as an important resource for understanding and treating many common pain problems. Until Travell and Simons, muscular pain was not taken seriously by doctors and very little research was done about how to relieve it. Travell and Simons began investigations into the causes and treatment of muscle pain and, in particular, the phenomenon that they came to name "trigger points." They mapped the most common locations of trigger points and their most common referral patterns which eventually led to the practice now commonly known as "trigger point therapy."
I've known a number of massage therapists, chiropractors, and medical doctors who have had contact with Travell and Simons over the years and they all remark at their incredible generosity. They had a genuine interest in relieving pain and were enthusiastic that so many practitioners used their work to great effect.
It is with a deep sense of gratitude for the work of Dr. Simons that I take a few moments to remember the important contribution he made towards relieving pain and suffering. Thank you, Dr. Simons. You will be missed.