Monday, October 17, 2011

The Procedure of Nesfield's Treatment

Nesfield’s Treatment is not a panacea for all back pain. There are many back and neck pain sufferers who are not suitable for this treatment. I treat only patients who fulfil the following criteria:

1. Have suffered back or neck pain for more than six months
2. Have not responded to other forms of treatment
3. Problem is not surgically correctable
4. Have tender spots (trigger points) in the vicinity of their pain
5. Pain is getting worse

Before making a final decision, I interview the patient at length to decide those who are suitable for the treatment.

Nesfield’s Treatment is a very simple procedure. This is what I do:

1. Locate and mark the painful trigger points in tissue on the patient’s back
2. Inject local anaesthetic into each point
3. When the local anaesthetic has worked, I make a small incision into the muscle through a puncture in the skin. The depth of the incision is about 2 cm.
4. I then apply a pressure dressing. No sutures are required.
5. I allow the patient to go home, or back to work, immediately.


1. The average number of treatments is two per patient, preferably no less than three weeks apart
2. The treatment takes about five minutes, does not require hospitalisation, has no adverse side effects, does not require expensive equipment and need be done only once or twice
3. Following this very simple procedure, many people (70 per cent) obtain a significant degree of pain reduction.

Here is a patient’s description of Nesfield’s Treatment:

“The doctor asks you to remove your upper garments and to lie face down on the examination couch. Pressing firmly with his fingers, the doctor then locates tender areas in soft tissue, or muscle, usually an inch or more away from the middle of the back. These points are easy to find; you know their exact location only too well. They are fiery spots where the pain comes from. The doctor describes them as trigger points. These, he explains, contain tiny sensory fibres which are thought to transmit back pain.”

“The doctor marks the trigger points with coloured dye and then injects a local anaesthetic into each of them. This causes no more discomfort than a normal injection. Approximately two minutes later, when the anaesthetic has taken effect, the doctor inserts a small scalpel into the anaesthetised points. There is no sensation as this is done. Each insertion lasts four to five seconds.”
“Sticking plaster dressings are applied; you get up, dress, walk out of the surgery and carry on with your normal daily activities. 

The anaesthetic wears off after approximately one hour. There is only a minimal amount of spot bleeding shown when the dressings are taken off the next day. You feel some tenderness for three or four days. If the procedure has been successful, you may be aware of it within 24 hours or, at the most, by the time the soreness has gone. There is no scarring.”

  • Equipment needed – blades, blade holding handle, local anaesthetic, syringe, needles, adhesive tape
  • Trigger points are marked
  • Local anaesthetic being given
  • Then blade just prior to incision
  • Depth of incision
  • Dressing is then applied

It really is as simple as that, both from my point of view as a doctor and from the patient’s.
Now, some 20 years later, my career has changed as a direct result of my consultation with Ken. That led to my ongoing almost daily involvement with Chronic back pain.
As a busy general practitioner, I still carry out my daily consultations, treating a wide range of complaints like any other doctor. But I have also become committed to the treatment of back and neck pain; it is an absorbing and personally satisfying field. Patients from all over Australia, and even from New Zealand, arrive in my surgery regularly for treatment of this debilitating affliction.
More recently, I have also received visits from medical practitioners who have heard about my work and are keen to see it at first hand. They include doctors from Europe and the United States. I know of at least one specialist medical centre in the United States, where Nesfield’s Treatment is being performed with great success (also 70 per cent on early indications) as a result of a visit by one of their team to Dr Rees and myself.
I find it gratifying that I have been able to help people who suffer back pain and that my work has generated interest from some members of the medical fraternity.
I know Nesfield’s Treatment as a worthy, safe and inexpensive alternative for the treatment of back pain. I call on my fellow medical practitioners and strongly urge them, after careful examination of the procedure, its effectiveness and safety, and after reading this book, to present Nesfield’s Treatment as an option to back pain sufferers, especially before more radical and traumatic forms of treatment are undertaken.


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  2. My mother had this done to her by Dr Nesfield himself in the mid to late 50's at his nursing home in Sandhurst Kent.It was very successful way back then.Regards Mike Foster