A large percentage of the American population suffers from neck or back pain that is chronic in origin. This pain can be due to stress, overuse or repetitive movements, and can cause radiation of pain to other areas. Many people live with this pain for many years, but not addressing it early on can cause further damage to muscles and the spine.
Chronic muscular pain without a known cause is known as myofascial pain syndrome. This occurs when there has been repetitive trauma, overuse of certain muscles such as through sports, our daily job activities and can even have an emotional component such as in stress. This pain typically occurs in the cervical (neck) area and upper back/shoulder or low back areas and presents as achy pain in the muscle or a tender area or knot in your muscle. This pain usually persists and may improve with pain relievers, massages and as we have seen some patients are also prescribed antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications. All these options may be working for some patients, but it is always best to get to the root of the problem and try to resolve what is causing this myofascial pain.
Some of the causes of myofascial pain is poor posture and repetitive stress on muscles that leads to chronic muscle injury. Muscle injury can present as muscle tightness, which leads to the development of trigger points or a very sensitive and painful area that can be felt or palpated. These trigger points are areas of taut and tight muscles that are deprived of sufficient blood flow and oxygen. This can lead to the accumulation of lactic acid and other wastes to build up thus causing chronic injury and pain. These trigger points or areas sensitivity can and area able to cause radiation of pain to other areas as well.
Although many people “learn” to live with the pain, trigger points are manageable. There are different therapies that will decrease myofascial pain and get it under control. Daily activities such as stretching and exercising will kick start the process of decreasing your daily pain symptoms. If you are experiencing pain from trigger points or are unsure of the cause of your pain come see us for your free pain consultation and see what we can do for you!