myoActivation treatment in a primary care setting (part 3)

October 02, 2018 12:00PM

myoActivation is an injection-based treatment modality being used in BC for people with chronic pain by clinicians at The myo Clinic, BC Children's Hospital, Downtown Eastside Community Health Centre, and CHANGEpain. This webinar is the third in our three-part series on the myoActivation treatment approach. Before watching this webinar, we recommend watching the first webinar on the myoActivation system of pain care and the second on myoActivation in pediatric care.

Barb Eddy, Family Nurse Practitioner gives her perspective on providing myoActivation treatment for chronic pain in her practice at the Downtown Community Health Centre in Vancouver.

Additional information on myoActivation

myoActivation is an innovative assessment and therapeutic process that targets the release of fascia, including scars, and muscles in sustained contraction. There is good evidence to support the components of myoActivation, including scar release and intramuscular activation – also called trigger point injection. The Travell and Simons Trigger Point Manual – first published in 1983 and updated in 1999 – provides a wealth of information on intramuscular release.

Fascia are now becoming increasingly recognized as an important component of chronic pain, with a great deal of research focused on fascial properties and the effects of fascial dysfunction.
What’s different about myoActivation is that it synthesizes aspects of the patient’s history (often overlooked in a classical medical history), movement tests, postural observations and tissue examination to determine what the most important myofascial sources of perceived pain are. A key principle of myoActivation is that the site of perceived pain is often NOT the true source of pain. Unlike Travell and Simons’ “one pain site for one trigger point” approach, myoActivation enables the examiner to unravel multiple sources of myofascial dysfunction in a structured way to help resolve myofascial pain. Many patients benefit from this technique based on current clinical experience. This process can provide many patients with pain resolution and act as a replacement for pharmacological approaches. 

It’s important to note that, because pain perception is a complex biopsychosocial phenomenon, myoActivation is not an effective pain management approach for all patients. Clinical history and physical examination play important roles in determining whether or not myoActivation is a suitable pain management option for each patient.
To date, published papers on the process of myoActivation are limited but this is changing with growing interest in the field. Current publications include:

Additional research on myoActivation is underway in the Downtown Eastside and at BC Children’s hospital. Learn more here

Anyone interested in learning more about myoActivation can access the resources and training series offered by the Anatomic Medicine Foundation.

Barb Eddy

Barb Eddy

Barb Eddy works as a Nurse Practitioner at an interdisciplinary clinic in Vancouver’s inner city. She holds appointments with the UBC and UVIC Schools of Nursing and the UBC Department of Medicine Division of Palliative Care and teaches in the graduate and undergraduate programs. Barb is an active member of the BCCNP NP standards committee and NP examination committee and is a past director on the board of the BC Nurse Practitioner Association. She provides primary care for people with marginalized lifestyles including mental health and substance use disorders, and is also certified in palliative care. Since working in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside community, Barb has advocated for improved pain services to help reduce physical and mental anguish. Most recently, Barb has received training in a refined trigger point intervention known as myoActivation.  This non-pharmacological systematic pain care approach has transformed her practice in managing her patients’ pain.  On a more personal note, Barb is adjusting to being an empty nester. She enjoys playing soccer, gardening, and hiking with her dog Mac.