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Hi! I’m John Martinez, M.D., a sports medicine physician. One of the biggest changes in my practice of helping athletes getting better and back to their sport was understanding the concept of “trigger points” in muscles.

To be honest, trigger points and myofascial release were not topics covered in my fellowship training. And in fact, Ithe answer to a some of my athletes that were not getting better was actually sitting on my bookshelf since I was a first-year resident (insert sound of smacking of head here).

I initially trained in Denver, Colorado that has a great independent bookstore, The Tattered Cover. I used to spend a lot of time in the 5-story bookstore looking for interesting books. One dat as a first year resident, I came across a copy of Travell and Simon’s two volume textbook, “Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction, The Trigger Point Manual. Curious, I bought the books, even though they were still in their plastic shrink-wrap, brought them home and placed them in my bookcase…

Where they gathered dust for the next 4 years (good thing they were still in the plastic wrap)…

Finally after moving them and the rest of my medical text books from residency in Denver to a sports medicine fellowship in Southern California and then down to my first post-residency job in San Diego, somehow, one day I decided to actually take off the plastic wrap and actually start reading the books.

My mind after reading the first chapter of Travell & Simon’s books

So much of the chronic pain that not only my athletes had suddenly became clear, but also many of the chronic pain complains in my regular primary care patients as well.

I’ve since worn out my first copy of the books (literally had to buy a second set) and have to thank Janet Travell and David Simon for completely changing one aspect of my clinical practice.