Dear Readers:

As you have noticed, a large part of this issue of JMS is dedicated to the Science of Pain. We think this is such an important topic that everyone who practices somatic rehabilitation must have a clear, scientific view of this subject. You may also have noticed that the name of Professor Ronald Melzack from Canada was frequently mentioned.

I would like to share my personal story. When I was a medical student in the former Soviet Union, the Gate-Control Theory of the Pain had already been published 15 years prior and was widely accepted as a breakthrough in our understanding of pain perception. However, in the former Soviet Union it was considered to be Western pseudoscience and it was not even mentioned in physiology or pathophysiology classes for future doctors.

During my own research on an unrelated topic in preparation for upcoming classes, I accidently stumbled on the name: The Gate-Control Theory of Pain. The name was very intriguing but when I asked my teacher about it, he just shrugged his shoulders and brushed it off as nonsense. The library of our Medical University did not have the original article that was published in Sciencebut I was able to get copy of the Journal from the library of the State University. Using a dictionary, I slowly translated the article into Russian. I became fascinated by the entire concept and Prof. Melzack’s and Prof Wall’s work. I shared this article with my fellow students and got in deep trouble with University authorities who saw it as propaganda of Western unscientific ideas.

Later, during my residency I was introduced for the first time to manual medicine and medical massage at the Kiev Scientific Institute of Orthopedics. I was lucky that my teachers incorporated the Gate-Control Theory of Pain in their teaching and clinical expertise.

I have practiced manual medicine since 1985 and the treatment I successfully use on my patients is based on the Gate-Control Theory of Pain, which I consider to be the first critical component of any successful somatic rehabilitation. Neuromatrix Theory published in 2002 by Prof. Melzack additionally provides improved clinical tools to efficiently control the pain-analyzing system.

I was greatly surprised and even shocked by the misinterpretation and distortion of Neuromatrix Theory that I have witnessed on the Internet and in letters to JMS. I would like to express our appreciation towards Mr. B. Prilutsky for bringing this issue to the attention of JMS. To find ultimate solution we decided to contact Prof. Melzack and Prof. Katz for additional clarifications.

I hope that the information readers find in this issue of JMS will finally put at rest all these unscientific claims that the brain is the only origin of our pain perception. For those practitioners who become lost in this controversy, Prof. Melzack’s and Prof. Katz’s interview and our article offer clear guidance. For those practitioners who misread the articles on Neuromatrix Theory, we hope that this issue of JMS will change your mind.

There is a third group of practitioners who fanatically believe in pseudoscience and also educators who try to disseminate pseudoscience for monetary gain. We would like to warn these people: Leave Professor Melzack alone! He is retired and you do not have any rights to distort his work and jeopardize his legacy as one of the most influential scientist in modern medicine. Stop using his name as a justification for unscientific ideas. We will follow you and expose your misleading activities on the pages of JMS for everyone to see. Please find someone else for the validation of your ideas. I am sure that there will be plenty candidates who will eagerly jump at the opportunity of becoming the new “guru.”

Dr. Ross Turchaninov,
Editor in Chief

Category: Medical Massage