Myofascial Release and Parkinson’s Disease

I was so happy to listen to your radio segment with David Howell, April 15, 2010 on Myofascial Release.  I’ve been using it on myself for over 4 years.  I am diagnosed with PD symptoms for 5 yrs but probably have had symptoms for 8.

I developed trigger finger in my thumb, and was interested in a therapy I could do myself other than the usual icepack, cortisone, etc therapy the doctor prescribed.  I wanted to know and understand the root cause.  I ended up on the internet of course and typed in “trigger finger” and saw a book called “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook Second Edition, Your Self-treatment Guide For Pain Relief. by Clair Davies, NCTMB“.

“Trigger Point Therapy” is another name for Myofascial Release.  The book is very user friendly and well written.  I’ve also self-treated myself for stiff neck and shoulder pain, so common with PD, and just recently a groin pull.  I am not a massage therapist.  I can understand better after reading this book how PD, emotional and physical stress could breed trigger points very easily.  A PDr is constantly out of whack (tense muscles)  and one unbalanced area puts severe strain on another part of your body you might think is in no way connected.  They call this “referred” pain.

For instance, you may have excruciating wrist pain (Referred Pain), but the cause (Trigger Point) is further up your arm and even the muscles in the base of the neck. I don’t like to wait for the  PD stiffness to evolve to jammed up trigger point aches and pains.  I combat muscle stiffness so I don’t have to use trigger point therapy with daily at home simple yoga, tai chi, and 3lb dumb bells.  Also I do walking and breathing meditation.  Knock on wood, I am without any pain on a daily basis.    So thank you from the bottom of my heart for featuring this not well heard of therapy in the PD community.


3 thoughts on “Myofascial Release and Parkinson’s Disease

  1. I have PD and trigger fingers and scheduled for surgery this week. Do you recommend I go through with the surgery or try the book you suggest first? I don’t want surgery if there is some other way!

  2. Hi:

    I hold the belief that we can always trust our own instincts and intuition when making decisions like these. It really does not matter what I think or anyone else thinks. You and your body knows what is best. So, listen to what your body is telling and respond accordingly. What may be best for me may not be best for you.

    You have a reference to a book, but I am not clear which book you are referring to.

    Robert Rodgers PhD
    Road to Recovery from Parkinsons Disease

  3. Your story is wonderful.

    I would like to clarify that “Deep Tissue” massage is not myofascial release, or anything close to it. I am a LMT and specialize in John Barnes Myofascial Release. As an Expert Level JBMFR practitioner I can assure you that they are not the same, and that JBMFR is far more beneficial. Please check out John Barnes Myofascial Release.
    I have worked with Parkinson clients and they assure me that they MFR helps them far better than deep tissue or regular massage. I have clients who have come to me on a regular basis, (once a month) for years, and their condition as not progressed.
    They also follow an exercise program and a very healthy organic diet, including a cocktail of natural supplements.

    Please find a JB MFR practitioner in your area. Google and research to find a therapist on his site. He has been training PT’s and LMT, as well as doctors in his technique for over 35 years as many as 100,000 in the world.

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