Norman Marcus: Back Pain Doctor Treats Muscles, Trigger Points with Needles and Exercise, Not Surgery

According to Dr. Norman Marcus nearly one million spine surgeries are performed in the U.S. each year, with a failure rate as high as 50 percent and with too many patients either undergoing spinal surgery that is doomed to fail, or with patients taking mind-altering drugs to manage, but not end, their pain.

At the Norman Marcus Pain Institute the rationale for back pain treatment is that muscles are the primary source of chronic back pain and that muscle pain can almost always be successfully treated without surgery or drugs.

Even among people who had given up hope on ridding their back pain, Dr. Marcus has a protocol and treatment plan for back pain relief for thousands of people that some describe as miraculous. In a survey of 300,000 people, 80 percent reported complete elimination of pain or considerable relief.

The protocol was learned from Dr. Hans Kraus, a legendary physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist who successfully treated U.S. president John F. Kennedy with muscle-strengthening exercises and trigger point injections. The injections do not include steroids or anesthetics. The injections affect trigger points, which are described as painful muscles knots.

The common, popular of perception of pain is that there is damage to tissue that requires rest to heal. This is true for lacerations, muscle tears, tendon ruptures and fractured bones, but it is not true for most pain that involves muscle tissue. The Norman Marcus Pain Institute outlines four mechanisms that contribute to soft tissue or muscle tissue pain (tension, deficiencies, spasm and trigger points):

Tension. Psychological stress or prolonged postural positions that cause prolonged muscle tension can result in back, neck and head pain. Prolonged feelings of anger, fear and anxiety can result in prolonged muscular tightness, which can cause pain and discomfort, which can cause more fear and anxiety — a vicious cycle.

Deficiencies. Muscles that are out of shape lead to weakness and stiffness which cause pain when muscles are forced to work beyond their capacity.

Spasm. A muscle that is contracting involuntarily can cause pain and the inability to move properly (e.g., standing up straight, pain and stiffness turning your neck freely).

Trigger Points. Small hard, tense areas of muscles that are silent with rest and immobility, but are painful during motion and activity. Trigger point pain might mimic a herniated disc.

Dr. Marcus also uses a compact muscle pain detection instrument known as the Muscle Pain Detection Device (MPDD) that was developed in conjunction with Stevens Institute of Technology to help identify muscles that are causing pain in any area of the body, including low back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, sciatica, frozen shoulder, fibromyalgia and headache.

Dr. Marcus, a past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, is Clinical Associate Professor in Anesthesiology and Psychiatry and Director of Muscle Pain Research at the NYU School of Medicine.

Dr. Hans Kraus is recognized as the father of sports medicine in America and was the driving force behind the President’s Council on Physical Fitness.

More information …
Stevens Institute of Technology

Freedom from Pain on Amazon …
by Norman J. Marcus, M.D.