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What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

The definition of myofascial = muscle + fascia (the connective tissue sheath that lies between the skin and muscle and that also planes between muscles). Myofascial Pain Syndrome is commonly known as chronically tight and painful muscles in a specific area with characteristic "trigger points" (knots) in the muscle. These trigger points can either cause localized pain or referred pain to other areas i.e. leg, shoulder, arm, hand etc..

What are trigger points?

They feel like knots or ropey tissue in the muscles. Trigger points develop due to abnormal stress placed upon the muscle (either overload or repetitive stress) and/or due to an incomplete healing process. The accumulation of lactic acid and muscle metabolism waste products help to form the trigger point and the reduced blood flow which develops, perpetuates the trigger point complex. A true trigger point is either locally painful or will elicit a referred pain pattern to a distal (away from the site of the trigger point) location (i.e. down the thigh or arm).

What problems do they cause?

PAIN, DYSFUNCTION, DISABILITY. Trigger points also restrict freedom of movement by tethering on spinal and extremity joints, thereby causing joint dysfunction.

How do I know if I have Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

If you have chronic, regionalized or referred muscular type of pain you could develop a myofascial pain syndrome. This condition is initially caused by poor posture, injury, trauma, repetitive/overuse of a body part, lack of exercise and/or poor nutrition or metabolic disease.

How can Myofascial T.P's best be treated?

We use specific muscular release therapy to break up T.P's, decrease the tension in taut muscle fibers and increase the blood flow to the area to accelerate the healing process. Studies have shown this is the best treatment for myofascial trigger points. Ultrasound and acupuncture may also be helpful for resolving chronic muscular problems. We frequently incorporate these treatments as well as chiropractic manipulation, prescribed aerobic exercise and stretching exercises to bring more oxygen, blood flow and nutrition to the affected muscles. Myofascial pain syndrome typically doesn't resolve with medication or muscle strengthening alone. Medication often just hides the pain and can actually perpetuate the condition by not treating the root cause of the condition. Chiropractic care and myofascial release can resolve the condition, or at least, greatly improve it.

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Onion River Chiropractic
440 Main St.
Winooski, VT 05404
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  • Phone: 802.655.0354
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