What Is Myofascial Pain?
Myofascial tissue is the layer of tissue that surrounds and separates the layers of muscle in your body. Pain in these layers of tissue is caused by concentrated areas of hypersensitivity (trigger points) that can develop as a result of trauma, poor posture, overuse, stress, or immobility. Myofascial pain can occur in any muscle and may be experienced in the the neck, shoulders, back, pelvis, and the upper and lower extremities. Persistent myofascial pain that is not treated can lead to muscle weakness, lack of energy, depression, difficulty sleeping, TMJ dysfunction, and even fibromyalgia in some individuals.
Chronic myofascial pain is an exceedingly common condition that’s only becoming more prevalent. The condition affects around 37% of middle-aged men and 65% of middle-aged women, but those figures increase to 85% among the elderly. As the number of seniors is expected to double in the next 25 years, myofascial pain projects to be a significant healthcare challenge in the coming decades.
Chiropractic Treatment of Myofascial Pain
Doctors of Chiropractic have long used spinal manipulation to treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions, and many exude the benefits of chiropractic care among their patients suffering from chronic myofascial pain. But is there evidence that chiropractic actually produces improvements in this condition?
A 2013 study published in JMPT focused on investigating whether chiropractic manipulation could produce immediate reduction of pain sensitivity at myofascial trigger points. 36 healthy young adults with identifiable trigger points were selected as participants for the study. The participants were randomly assigned to either a treatment group receiving spinal manipulation or a control group receiving a placebo treatment. The researchers measured pressure pain thresholds of the participants before treatment and at one, five, ten and fifteen minutes following treatment.
The results of the study indicated that spinal manipulation treatment produced significantly greater reduction in myofascial pain than placebo. What’s more, this improvement in trigger point pain sensitivity was experienced immediately following treatment.
Safe & Effective Treatment At Ascent Chiropractic
The study is just the latest in a growing body of evidence supporting the use of chiropractic manipulation as a safe and effective method of reducing muscle pain. Looking for a chiropractor in Brookfield? At Ascent Chiropractic in Brookfield we primarily utilize gentle, non-thrusting spinal adjustments in conjunction with myofascial release and active release therapies to treat myofascial pain. Additionally, specific therapeutic exercises for stretching and strengthening are commonly prescribed. To make an appointment today, call us at 262-345-4166 or use our online scheduling app.
Srbely J, et al. Immediate effects of spinal manipulative therapy on regional antinociceptive effects in myofascial tissues in healthy young adults. JMPT 2013. Accessed at http://www.jmptonline.org/article/S0161-4754(13)00107-3/abstract.
George JW, et al. The effects of active release technique on hamstring flexibility: a pilot study. JMPT 2006 Mar-Apr;29(3):224-7