Wednesday, June 24, 2015

David Simons, MD: Pioneer of Myofascial Medicine

Dr. Simons joined Dr. Janet Travell in her intense efforts to understand and educate other physicians regarding myofascial dysfunction, and the contribution of myofascial trigger points to myofascial pain syndrome

"Dr. David Simons started his medical career as a military clinician and research scientist. Since 1965 he [practiced] physical and rehabilitative medicine. Dr. Simons, a world leader in myofascial medicine, [lectured and advocated] for research in this “new field” of medicine. Drs. Travell and Simons co-authored Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Vol. 1, published in 1983, and Vol. 2 in 1992. The revised edition of Vol. 1 was published in 1999." (Cooper and Miller, 2010

What you may not know is that Dr. David Simons, born in 1922, was Project Officer for Animal Studies in V-2 rocket flights until 1949. He graduated from the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine at Randolph Air Force Base. He is well known for his part in the part in the “Manhigh project, a series of balloon flights to record altitudes to study the effects of a near-space environment on human physiology.” Because of this any many other aeronautical achievements, he was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1987.

It was after retiring from the Air Force that he began his work with Dr. Janet Travell and they published the first medical textbooks on myofascial medicine. Dr. Simons also published approximately 200 publications on myofascial trigger points and chronic pain management. He and Dr. Travell are recognized internationally as trustworthy researchers.

To say that it was an honor to exchange email with Dr. Simons regarding myofascial pain syndrome is an understatement. When Dr. David Simons passed away in 2010, it was a great loss. He did so much to help so many, including myself. It is because of him and Dr. Travell that we can have better pain management today by pain specialists, chiropractors, and bodyworkers who know their work.

A friend of mine, Dr. John Whiteside (Australia), studied directly under Dr. Janet Travell. We became connected when he gave me permission to publish his protocol for treating trigger points in our book. When I expressed my remorse for the loss of Dr. Simons, he had this to say:  

"Great scientists and teachers outlive their mortal lives.”
--Dr. John Whiteside

No truer words have ever been spoken.

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