Geoffrey Bove publishes article in ‘Rheumatology’ refuting existence of trigger points

December 04, 2014

Geoffrey Bove
Geoffrey Bove

Geoffrey Bove, D.C., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Science in the College of Osteopathic Medicine and the Center for Excellence in the Neurosciences, recently published an article in Rheumatology with co-authors John Quintner, M.D., and Milton Cohen, M.D., of Australia.

The article, titled "A critical evaluation of the trigger point phenomenon," reviews literature  related to "trigger points," a concept presented more than 60 years ago to explain the very common occurrence of pain that seems to originate in muscles. 

Trigger points were said to be small areas within muscles that became tight, tender and led to radiating pain when pressed upon.  Furthermore, many treatment methods have been designed to address these proposed entities, including treatment by manual pressure, needles, and injections.  These concepts and treatments have been maintained to this day despite the fact that most experiments refute the existence of trigger points and any specific benefit of the treatments.

Bove and his fellow researchers concluded that the theories related to trigger points are conjecture put forward as established knowledge.  Bove explained, "This dogma has led to stagnation in progress towards understanding people’s aches and pains.  We hope that this reality check will trigger research into musculoskeletal pain, thus moving the field forward."

Read the article

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