As you’ve learned in our blog “What’s The Deal With Pain?” there are three general sources of pain; visceral, structural, and myofascial.
Dealing with either visceral or structural pain is out the scope of practice for Bodyworker and is best treated by a doctor. Helping to manage and resolve myofascial pain, on the other hand, is exactly what we do at The Pain Relief Center.
Myofascial pain is pain that originates in both the muscles (myo) and/or the fascia (connective tissue). It can be the result of:
Trauma is the physical or psychological response to a distressing or disturbing event.
An injury usually involves an incident where there has been some sort of physical mishap, like twisting an ankle or hurting your back lifting something heavy.
- Overuse or underuse
Overuse issues result from subjecting your body to an over abundance of motion or trauma, as in going on a major hike, training for endurance sports, or being on your feet (especially while wearing high heels) for long periods of time. Underuse issues come from not having enough movement, say from being in a sling or cast, or just being an avid couch potato.
- Repetitive motions
Repetitive motion issues are the result of doing the same thing over and over again for extended periods of time, like typing every day all day.
Gravity is not our friend. Over time the fascia, which is not really firmly attached to anything, can move towards your feet causing issues that directly affect the muscles and viscera. In addition, all the things you’ve done over the course of your life pile one on top of the other so that, ultimately, we all end up carrying the results of everything we’ve ever done to ourselves within the muscles and fascia.
Trigger points are often the root source of myofascial pain and occur in the muscles. They can be made worse by continuing the activity that caused them, inactivity, stress, or lack of treatment. Utilizing modalities like stretching, yoga, physical therapy, Epsom Salt soaks, acupuncture, pain medications, etc. can help somewhat, but bodywork that specifically locates, releases, and deactivates trigger points is a more thorough way to deal with them.
Issues with the fascia can occur in conjunction with or independent of trigger point issues. Fascia is a connective tissue that surrounds all the structures in the body, including the muscles. Problems begin when the muscles contract (pulling the fascia along with them), but then because of conditions like damage or dehydration, the fascia is unable to return to a resting condition when the muscles expand. When that happens, the fascia tends to bunch up causing pain and decreased range-of-motion. If the fascia stays bunched up for extended periods, they can turn into adhesions that further restrict movement. Bodywork that specifically moves and stretches the fascia to its natural position is the best way to manage the pain caused by restricted fascia.
Integrated Modalities Bodywork is specifically designed to seek out and eliminate the root sources of myofascial pain by deactivating trigger points and moving fascia back to its natural state.