Myofascial Pain, pain that originates in the connective tissue/muscle tissue interface, is still relatively misunderstood by massage therapists, bodyworkers, and by medical practitioners alike.
Myofascial pain arises in the soft tissues due to a number of causes and has several modes of treatment. Inflammation of the muscles and connective tissues is often involved. Repetitive motions and lack of mobility are two of the major causes of myofascial pain.
Neuromuscular Trigger Points
Often neuromuscular trigger points develop, causing pain in the muscle and pain referred to other tissues. The pain can happen when resting, or when using the muscle. Trigger points are thought to develop in muscles under repetitive contraction and static contraction for long periods of time. In cases of repetitive motion and immobility, layers of connective tissue begin to stick together. When tissues stick together, movement causes pain. Pain resolves by releasing myofascial tissue and resolving neuromuscular trigger points.
How Myofascial Pain Begins
When you sit at your computer or are in one position for long periods, the fluid which normally lubricates between the layers of your connective tissue disperses. The spaces between the gliding layers dry out a bit and this causes your tissues to stick together.
Because myofascial connective tissue is so strong, when these gliding layers get stuck together, your body can no longer move in its normal way; it gets stopped short. When you try to move beyond this point, pain occurs. Deep Tissue Massage and Myofascial Freedom Massage techniques 'unglue' the tissues, restoring normal lubrication and movement.
During repetitive motions, sometimes a tiny part of your muscle, one little muscle bundle, fatigues and remains in contraction. This can create a Trigger Point which causes pain in its own way.
When a muscle bundle, a motor unit, stays in contraction, it squeezes the capillaries and vessels that bring it food and clear its waste products. The waste products build up and encourage the motor unit to contract even more. When this happens, a Trigger Point forms, which is tender or painful to the touch.
Resolving Myofascial Pain
Pressing into a Trigger Point refers pain to another part of the body in a known, predictable pattern called its referral pattern. The extra neurological traffic along nerve pathways tend to keep the area contracted, too. This extra neurological traffic increases general stress in the bodymind and in the neurological system.
The directed and skillful pressure on the trigger point is called Neuromuscular Trigger Point therapy. It resolves Trigger Points quickly and easily, restoring muscle tone and reducing this extra neural traffic, and reducing general stress levels in the bodymind.
Myofascial massage and release methods reduce stiffness, re-lubricate the tissues, and resolve pain. You end up feeling much better, more relaxed, and with improved movement. Try some today :-)
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