Myofascial pain syndrome or muscle pain occurs when your body’s soft tissues become inflamed. There can be many causes of inflammation in the body. Physical therapists have brought relief to many patients suffering from various forms of inflammation as well as injuries such as arthritis, low back pain, or injuries to joints and muscles. According to the National Pain Foundation, physical therapy can also help ease “neuropathic” pain that comes from damaged nerves, a common complication of diabetes, cancer and traumatic injuries.
Individualized Physical therapy programs can offer an effective way to help patients reduce these symptoms and help to maintain a better quality of life.
According to the Mayo Clinic treatment plan, A physical therapist can devise a plan to help relieve your pain based on your signs and symptoms.
Physical therapy to relieve myofascial pain syndrome may involve:
- Stretching. A physical therapist may lead you through gentle stretching exercises to help ease the pain in your affected muscle. If you feel trigger point pain when stretching, the physical therapist may spray a numbing solution on your skin.
- Posture training. Improving your posture can help relieve myofascial pain, particularly in your neck. Exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding your trigger point will help you avoid overworking a particular muscle.
- Massage. A physical therapist may massage your affected muscle to help relieve your pain. The physical therapist may use long hand strokes along your muscle or place pressure on specific areas of your muscle to release tension.
- Heat. Applying heat, via a hot pack or a hot shower, can help relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.
- Ultrasound. This type of therapy uses sound waves to increase blood circulation and warmth, which may promote healing in muscles affected by myofascial pain syndrome.
While nearly everyone has experienced muscle tension pain, the discomfort associated with myofascial pain syndrome persists or worsens. Treatment options include physical therapy and trigger point injections. Pain medications and relaxation techniques can help.
- Deep, aching pain in a muscle
- Pain that persists or worsens
- A tender knot in a muscle
- Difficulty sleeping due to pain
Sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers can form in your muscles after injuries or overuse. These sensitive areas are called trigger points. A trigger point in a muscle can cause strain and pain throughout the muscle. When this pain persists and worsens, doctors call it myofascial pain syndrome.
Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a stimulus, such as muscle tightness, that sets off trigger points in your muscles. Factors that may increase your risk of muscle trigger points include:
- Muscle injury. An acute muscle injury or continual muscle stress may lead to the development of trigger points. For example, a spot within or near a strained muscle may become a trigger point. Repetitive motions and poor posture also may increase your risk.
- Stress and anxiety. People who frequently experience stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles. One theory holds that these people may be more likely to clench their muscles, a form of repeated strain that leaves muscles susceptible to trigger points.
Complications associated with myofascial pain syndrome may include:
- Sleep problems. Signs and symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome may make it difficult to sleep at night. You may have trouble finding a comfortable sleep position. And if you move at night, you might hit a trigger point and awaken.
- Fibromyalgia. Some research suggests that myofascial pain syndrome may develop into fibromyalgia in some people. Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition that features widespread pain. It’s believed that the brains of people with fibromyalgia become more sensitive to pain signals over time. Some doctors believe myofascial pain syndrome may play a role in starting this process.
The combination of physical therapy as well as an Integrative Bodywork session comprised of an in-depth understanding of human anatomy and kinesiology applied to any and all of the following modalities: Myo-Fascial Release & Trigger Point Release (Deep Tissue Techniques) & Cranial Sacral Therapy, will go a long way in easing your pain.
If you are suffering from muscle pain call us.
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