Myofascial pain is a horribly painful chronic disorder that results in referred pain when pressure is placed on trigger points. This means, that as pressure is exerted on sensitive areas you experience pain in different parts of your body. Myofascial pain syndrome occurs most often after repeated muscle contraction. This is common after repetitive motions and stress-related tension.
The professional, expertly trained staff at A Family Chiropractic Clinic understands myofascial pain. We treat many patients who suffer from this chronic disorder. Our goal is to help you have a happy, healthy life. The first step in treating your condition is understanding it. Together we can help you understand why this occurs and what we can do to treat the pain.
What is Myofascial Pain?
Nearly everyone experiences muscle tension pain at some point in their life. Unfortunately, for some people, the pain is debilitating and doesn’t go away on its own. Thankfully, there are ways to treat this type of pain.
Before myofascial pain can be treated, it needs to be diagnosed. People who suffer from this kind of pain often feel an aching, deep pain within a muscle. You may notice a tender knot within the muscle itself. This pain tends to persist or worsen and often affects sleep. If this pain doesn’t go away despite self-care then it’s a good idea to make an appointment with your health care provider.
Severe cases of myofascial pain occur most often after injury or overuse. Tight muscle fibers form inside your muscles creating a sensitive area referred to as a trigger point. This trigger point can trigger pain and strain throughout the entire muscle. If left untreated, the pain can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. This is largely due to being uncomfortable and waking if pressure is placed on the trigger point.
Some research shows that chronic myofascial pain syndrome has the potential to develop into fibromyalgia in some patients. This is another chronic condition accompanied with widespread pain. People with fibromyalgia become more sensitive to pain overtime and myofascial pain may be a catalyst of this condition.
Diagnosing Myofascial Pain
Diagnosing myofascial pain can be difficult because the symptoms are very similar to other disorders. Many patients see more than one doctor before they receive a diagnosis. Most patients follow the same path do diagnosis beginning with their primary care doctor then moving to a rheumatologist. A rheumatologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of muscle and joint conditions.
You can prepare ahead of time to get the most out of your appointments and to speed the process along towards the goal of treatment and relief. Preparation starts with the phone call to make an appointment. Ask at that time if there’s anything you need to do prior to the appointment. It’s also a great idea to write down any and all symptoms. It’s important to include even symptoms you believe are unrelated. You should also include any conditions you’re currently being treated for or have recently been treated for, as well as any medications, supplements, or vitamins you’re using. We also recommend writing down any questions you have ahead of time to help you remember when you have the opportunity to speak with your health care provider.
During your appointment, your health care provider will ask you a series of questions. Answer these questions openly and honestly. Trying to play down or avoid answers can limit your doctor’s ability to help you. The questions your health care provider asks will likely be in regard to your symptoms, recent injuries, medical history, and lifestyle.
After discussing your symptoms and concerns, your health care provider will perform a physical exam. They’ll check for painful and tense areas to get a better understanding of what’s happening to your body. It is possible that they may recommend various diagnostic tests to rule out other conditions.
Treating Myofascial Pain
One of the best methods for treating myofascial pain is chiropractic care and physical therapy. Together, these two practices have created myofascial release therapy, or MFR. MFR focuses on releasing muscular tightness and shortness that are often experienced following an injury or overuse.
MFR is a great therapy for treating tissue tightness that restricts motion or pulls the spine, joints, and tissues out of alignment. It also treats excessive pressure on painful trigger points as well as on other muscles or joints producing pain. The ultimate goal is to restore motion for the patient while eliminating pain.
It’s important to understand that only specially trained health care providers should provide MFR therapy. This is because this type of treatment requires very specific training and extensive courses. You’ll want to make sure your health care provider is capable of providing MFR therapy.
MFR Therapy for the Treatment of Myofascial Pain
MFR therapy sessions are very similar to post-operative rehabilitation physical therapy. The initial appointment determines which areas of the fascia are restricted. It also measures the loss of motion and symmetry in your body. The successive appointments typically last thirty to fifty minutes and occur either daily or every few days. These sessions may continue for weeks or months depending on the severity of the situation.
Your health care provider will use gentle pressure along with low load stretch to treat the affected area. Your progress is graded by increases in motion and function as well as the decrease in pain. Some individuals respond to therapy more quickly than others. It’s important to remember that each person’s body and circumstances are different. If your myofascial pain has been developing and growing over an extended period of time, then it may take you longer to make a full recovery.
Here at A Family Chiropractic Clinic we value our patients and strive to create a treatment plan that works for their specific situation. Our goal is to help each patient get back to feeling their best as quickly as possible.
Last updated: September 8, 2018