The conventional model of pain management and treatment of muscular dysfunction considers one or more of the following methods as appropriate therapeutic protocols:
- Pain Killers and or muscle relaxers to alleviate symptoms
- Cortisone or other kinds of injections to alleviate symptoms
- Drugs or psychotherapy to address emotional factors
- Rest to reduce muscular stress
- Sophisticated analysis for perpetuating factors such as bacterial and viral infections, disease, food allergies. Nutritional or hormonal deficiencies, environmental sensitivities, Structural problems such as small hemi pelvis or short leg
- Alleviation of job related stress and related ergonomic factors
In this conventional model, one thing is often overlooked: Muscular dysfunction as a major cause or consequence of the pain problem.
If muscular dysfunction is not specifically addressed, it will persist and none of the methods listed above will, in general, will bring lasting pain relief or alleviation of the dysfunction.
Pain needs to be understood as an important part of the therapeutic process. First, it tells you where to look for the source of the problem, so it’s the most important clue. Painkillers don’t help, except to temporarily mask the pain. Second the pain is a necessary part of effective treatment. Muscular compression will usually cause some pain, but the patient always decides when it’s enough (6-7 on a scale of 1-10). Compression, massage, stretching, and movement are the keys to effective treatment of muscular dysfunction. Don’t let the fear of pain prevent you from trying this approach. You are in control at every stage, whether you treat yourself or are treated by a therapist.
Trigger points are nothing more than tight, irritable spots in a taut band of muscle which are tender or painful when compressed, or which refer pain to another location in the body. Almost everyone trigger points somewhere in their body. They are very commonly found in the neck and upper back.
The good news is that you can learn to relieve and prevent the recurrence of the trigger points by using well designed self care techniques. More importantly you are in charge of the process! You can decide how much, when , where how and how often you need to treat the problem, and you can monitor your own physical response and adjust the treatment based on the results you are getting.
We have found that effective treatment of “muscular Trigger Point” can reduce or eliminate:
- Muscular inhibition which can, in turn, cause joint immobility
- Muscular weakness
- Deep aching joint pain (which is often mistaken for arthritis)
- Sharp shooting pains
- Pain in the tendon and attachments (tendonitis)
- Swelling of the Bursa (Bursitis)
- Muscular compression of the nerves, causing numbness, tingling and motor dysfunction
- Inflammation in general of the soft tissues in general
- Pain when touching or pressing the muscle
In summary, effective treatment of the muscles themselves is essential for lasting relief of most chronic pain problems. Myofascial trigger point therapy can help you identify the location of muscular trouble spots and treat them through compression, massage, stretching and movement. You can personally learn how to develop an effective self care program to deal with the muscular componants of your pain problem.
Pro Massage Health Solutions can help you create a plan to get you feeling a lot better. Call us today to set an appointment.
Info obtained from Sharon Sauer, CMTPT, LMT