A Letter

Abstracted from an unsolicited4 page letter received from an attendee at Medical Pain Education's 1997 Myofascial Pain Management Seminar.

"Since the myofascial pain management conference my eyes have been opened and I've seen myofascial problems wherever I've looked! Thinking back now, my reason for attending was a vague desire to see if there was anything else I could do to treat some patients with muscle problems that wouldn't go away (the pain, nor the patients with the pain!). As I traveled home from the seminar I started recalling a number of patients I had seen who in retrospect had been suffering from myofascial problems. The bull necked council worker with severe vertigo and vomiting, the lady with "atypical facial pain" who had seen every specialist in the book and had had every x-ray and scan possible, the young lass with scapula and upper shoulder pain..........

So the lights were really turning on in my head as I came away from the seminar. And sure enough, come Monday morning there was a patient with a 'copybook' description of Sternocleidomastoid symptoms! I had seen him a few weeks earlier and had sent him away with some Stemetil but he was no better.

Now I started seeing myofascial pain, everywhere I looked!-in several patients a day. Some were new presentations, in others I reviewed what I'd seen and thought about their problems they had presented with in the past, and now I saw them with different eyes...

I also began to realise that those pains had become chronic in some people because they had not been correctly diagnosed and treated at the time, and that they were continuing to suffer -not only pain but inability to work etc. How different things might have been if they had been treated right at the time. How much suffering and disability might have been averted?

Now, I see my GP career taking an unexpected turn, because I can't ignore what I see with my "new" eyes, and there is so much to see in everyday GP presentations. And there seems to be so few people out there trained to see and treat these problems.

Patient's Pain Communication Tool