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Bodies in Balance Massage

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

by Dr. Greg Fors

Myofascial Pain Syndromes can be effectively and conveniently treated with home-care trigger point therapy products.

Sore Spots or Muscle Knots
Myofascial pain syndromes (MPS) are where certain areas of the body contain "sore spots" or "muscle knots" that create pain, deep ache, and/or stiffness in that area and refer pain to other areas of the body. For example, a low back myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) would have "sore spots" or myofascial trigger points in the muscles of the low back that cause pain, deep ache and stiffness in the low back region. These myofascial trigger points in muscles, tendons and/or ligaments of the low back could also refer pain into the buttock, hip or even down the leg to the foot.

Pain Referral
Another example would be a myofascial pain syndrome of the shoulder area with trigger points causing pain, deep ache and/or stiffness of the shoulder and neck area. These trigger points in the muscle, tendons and/or ligaments of the shoulder region could also refer pain down the arm even to the hand, into the mid-back and up into the neck and head.

Pain Signals to your Nervous System
People with these myofascial pain syndromes usually have a history of an acute injury, (slip fall, car accident, etc.) or repetitive muscle strains at work or at play, (eg. computer work, data entry, golf). The pain of a myofascial pain syndrome is usually made worse or brought to the persons attention whenever they use or over use that region of their body. Individuals also become aware of their regional myofascial pain syndromes when a healthcare provider examines them and palpates these "muscle knots" that reproduce symptoms in that area or refer pain in a distinct pattern. These "muscle knots" are the myofascial trigger points in muscles, tendons and or ligaments that cause or maintain pain and stiffness in the musculoskeletal system. These myofascial trigger points are spots of hyperirritable tissue that fire pain signals into your nervous system. These myofascial trigger points need to be removed if one is to regain their freedom from pain and freedom of movement again.

Myofascial pain syndrome is equally present in both the male and female populations, whereas fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) strikes women atleast 10 times more then men. Also fibromyalgia causes a "sore all over" feeling with fatigue, whereas, myofascial pain syndrome is a more regional complaint. However, myofascial pain syndrome is extremely more common and can be quite disabling, and even at times it can lead to fibromyalgia syndrome. Furthermore, Meyer HP (2002) reported in a study on myofascial pain syndromes, "Failure to recognize myofascial pain syndrome often leads to over-investigation, unnecessary medical intervention, and iatrogenic (physician caused) harm with serious cost implications."

Get a Proper Diagnois
Because an individual with myofascial pain syndrome can have an underlying pathological process or disease, it is mandatory that all individuals with myofascial pain syndromes or fibromyalgia receive a proper diagnostic work-up by a competent doctor to rule-out all other disorders. Once an individual knows that their musculoskeletal pain of the back, neck, shoulder, hip or wherever has a myofascial trigger point component it is beneficial for them to start on a program of deactivating these triggers of pain.

Trigger Point Therapy
Since the early and mid-fifties researchers, such as Dr. Janett Travell, Dr. Raymond Nimmo, have found that deep manual pressure applied to these myofascial trigger points had a dramatic therapeutic effect by quickly eliminating the pain. This became known as Trigger Point Therapy and is practiced around the world now by MDs, Chiropractors, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapist, and Massage Therapists. Now through FREs innovative products such as the FENIX Rehab System you can begin a home-care program to set yourself on the road to freedom from pain and stiffness.

You can enhance your strength, flexibility, and alleviate pain with self-care Myofascial Release products.
People generally find electric massagers and heating devices to be relaxing, it feels good, so it makes them feel better for a short while. Because of this massage lotions and electric massagers, some even with infra-red heat, are extremely popular with people. This is especially apparent around Christmas when people buy these items as gifts for friends and family who are hurting.

There is a problem with this because research has not shown these approaches, of rubbed in lotions and electric massagers, to release or deactivate pain-causing myofascial trigger points, commonly called "muscle knots." This is important to realize if we really want to end the suffering caused by myofascial trigger points in ourselves or those we love.