Pain clinics, are they the first place you should go to when experiencing myofascial pain. Myofascial pain is found in the fibrous tissue surrounding and separating muscles. It is a chronic condition with a variety of causes. It is often associated with the condition Fibromyalgia. Excess muscle strain and trauma can lead to muscle damage and resulting myofascial pain.
Stress and disease are other contributory factors and can worsen the condition. Symptoms include deep pain, muscle aches, muscle and joint stiffness and painful knots in the muscle. Pain is localized within tender areas or trigger points, which are painful when palpated.
Pain Clinics for a Multi-disciplinary Approach
Visiting pain clinics will give the patient a multi-disciplinary approach towards treating the pain. The medical practitioner will, after ruling out other causes by carrying out tests, confirm diagnosis by palpating trigger points, which react painfully to pressure.
Once confirmed, a pain management program can be created along with other team members to treat and relieve the condition. A follow up program of rehabilitation and prevention of further myofascial pain episodes may also be offered.
Pain Clinics for relieving medication
Pain relieving medication will be prescribed to give relief and anti-depressants may also be offered as part of the treatment. These can relieve pain as well as depression, the latter often being a side effect of chronic pain issues.
Anticonvulsants and muscle relaxants are options for prescribed pain relief. Injections of local anesthetic into the trigger points will give short -term relief.
Pain Clinics that do Dry Needling and Intramuscular Stimulation
‘Dry needling’, or intramuscular stimulation, where needles are inserted into trigger points to disrupt the existing flow of pain can also release natural opoids which have an analgesic effect.
“Stretch and spray” technique involves using a spray vapocoolant on the trigger point and muscle. A pain free method, the spray numbs muscle allowing it to be stretched to allow a full range of movement before re-warming the tissues with a heating pad.
A chiropractor will be able to perform trigger point release techniques, hugely beneficial towards relaxing painful muscles and releasing tight tissue. Direct myofascial release involves applying controlled force to the myofascial barrier separating the muscle layers until tissue release occurs.
A gentler method is the indirect myofascial release that involves moderate pressure and stretching. Massage therapy involving soft tissue manipulation can also reduce pain in the trigger points, relaxing muscle tension and improving blood circulation to painful areas.
A physical therapist can create relevant stretching exercises to ease myofascial pain. They can offer passive therapy such as heat and ice packs and therapy units like TENS to reduce pain. Once the pain has been resolved, working on correct posture and performing muscle strengthening exercises to improve long term health may form part of the rehabilitation program at pain clinics.
Working together as a team, pain management professionals at pain clinics provide pain relief and control, pain management and, most importantly, future pain prevention. By using a pain clinic the individual is offered a range of relevant treatments, increasing the chances of resolving pain completely.