Myofascial Pain

Relieve Pain at A Common Source: Your Muscles!

Many common pains, from knee pain, back pain, neck pain, many migraines, many cases of carpal tunnel syndrome, and many aches explained as arthritis, can be traced to muscle problems (read more about how and why here).

Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy goes to the source of the pain: the contracted muscles themselves. It is non-invasive, treats pain at its source, and can return mobility to people who have been severely limited by pain. ("Myofascial" ("my-oh-fashal") refers to muscles (myo) and the membrane that surrounds them (fascia).)


Here are articles and samplers that might help you identify and eliminate some strange or stubborn aches and pains.

  • Introduction: A quick Q&A explaining more about how muscles can cause everything from headaches to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

  • Chart: Common Diagnoses with Possible Muscular Components That arthritis, back pain, bursitis, even neuralgia might be due to a muscle problem. Links to a table of muscles that specifically entrap nerves and blood vessels. If you're looking for that "pinched nerve" you'll find it here.

  • Head Pain

  • Knee Pain
    • Introduction: Muscles and Knee Pain. Most knee pain is myofascial in origin. Quadriceps, hamstrings, and the rarely-mentioned adductors are the primary muscle groups responsible for knee pain, but in reality, over a dozen muscles cause knee pain. We'll get more of these up for you soon, but meanwhile, see the quad and adductor tests, below.
    • Quadriceps Pain Diagrams and Tests. Do your symptoms match these patterns?
      You may have found the problem that the CT scan couldn't! Kneecap pain can come from a trigger point in the rectus femoris femoris muscle -- at a point near the hip bone! It's a common problem, and the tests and treatments are simple and easy to follow.
    • Adductor Tests. These may reveal the source of mysterious knee pain plus an amazing mix of other symptoms ranging from groin/pelvic pain to shin splints!


  • Books and References
  • Treatment
    • Find a therapist near you. This is the home page of the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists. Certification requires formal training, a certifying examination, and continuing education. Certified Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists are listed here by region and indicated by CMTPT.

    • Neurotherapy, Biofeedback, and sEMG. Many chronic pains and dysfunctions originate in the brain and may be the downstream result of head injury. Regardless of the origin of trauma (whether blows or concussions, high fever, or drugs), there may be damage to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, that is, damage to the control systems that run your entire body. The result may be slowed thyroid activity, weight gain, adrenal stress, mild to severe fatigue, depression, muscle weakness and fibromyalgia. Dr. Esty is one of the best in the field. Main office: Chevy Chase, Maryland (2 blocks from the Washington, D.C. line). Treatment is also available in Annapolis, MD and Chicago.

    • Biofeedback won't dissolve trigger points, but it can prevent them from forming by decreasing stress and heart rate, improving breathing, and lowering blood pressure. This increasingly popular computer game reveals the connection between mind and body -- and pain.

    • Tools and Materials. Once you know where the pain is actually coming from, you can press out the trigger points yourself with fingers, a tennis ball, a broomstick or the corner of a doorway. Or you can use more specialized, more convenient tools. Pressure Positive Company offers the original Backnobber and other tools and products for pain relief. The site includes articles on trigger points, musculoskeletal pain and fibromyalgia.
Copyright(c) 2002 Round Earth Publishing. All rights reserved.
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