Chronic myofascial pain is different from the occasional muscle soreness created by an extra challenging workout or a weekend of painting. Myofascial pain syndrome is ongoing, with pain being sent from sensitive areas known as trigger points in certain muscles or connective tissues to other — seemingly unrelated — areas of your body.
Dr. Robert Bennett reports in “Myofascial Pain Syndromes and their Evaluation” for Best Practices Clinical Research Rheumatology that while symptoms have been described in medical literature for the past century, it’s only recently that objective abnormalities have been revealed by scientific studies.
Whether you play tennis, paint, rake, knit or type, repetitive arm movements or nonstop gripping can put a strain on your tendons. It can also stress your muscles and lead to tiny tears in your connective tissue.
Tennis elbow, or lateral epicondylitis, makes it difficult to do ordinary things like hold a pencil, turn the steering wheel, raise your hand, grip a hammer, open a door or carry a suitcase. The point where tendons connect to your outside elbow bone becomes painful and tender, and the pain might extend into your wrist or upper arm.
A migraine is marked by moderate to severe pain and throbbing in the head, and can be accompanied by nausea as well as sensitivity to light. In some cases, these painful headaches are preceded or accompanied by a sensory warning sign, such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg.
When it’s painful to shampoo your hair or put your arms around friends for a photo, the problem might be adhesive capsulitis. Known as frozen shoulder, this stiffness and soreness within your shoulder joint can last for as long as a year or even two years.
As the capsule of connective tissue that encloses your shoulder’s tendons, bones and ligaments gets tighter – for reasons nobody understands yet – movement gradually becomes more painful. That’s the first stage of frozen shoulder. Pain diminishes during the next stage, but stiffness continues and range of motion is reduced. In the final stage, called “thawing,” your range of motion and shoulder strength slowly return.
Massage therapy can prove extremely helpful in dealing with the effects of cancer treatment such as nausea and fatigue. Massage also can help fight the anxiety and stress that come with any cancer diagnosis.
When facing cancer, you might feel as if you’ve lost control of your health. Making time for massage therapy is one way of regaining control, taking a specific step toward relief of pain and fatigue.
On September 17,
$10 from every one-hour massage and facial session
will be donated to the Arthritis Foundation.
Help the Arthritis Foundation fund vital research and educational programs year-round. Even a small gift can make a big difference to someone in need of relief. With each gift, we get closer to the discovery of more advanced treatments – which helps you and your loved ones battle this disabling disease. Together we can fight to end the pain! Please give today.