Myofascial Pain is one of the primary factors in patients with chronic muscle pain. What exactly is myofascial, though? “Myo” means muscle and “fascial” refers to the fascia or connective tissue that surrounds muscle and fills space in our body. Fascia creates an envelope of sorts around the muscle, and muscle can only move within the space it’s given by the fascia. Over time, the fascia becomes tighter and molds into the repetitive positions we find ourselves in daily, and aids in compensatory patterns in areas all over the body, which can start the path for chronic muscle pain and holding patterns in tissue.
Trigger points are another important component of the myofascial pain puzzle. Because the muscles are not able to move as freely within tight fascia, trigger points can develop and create pain. But, the pain you are feeling is not the result of a direct nerve, it’s actually where your brain is sending the pain signal via the Neurological proprioceptive loop. Many physicians believe that chronic pain is not a real pain because there are no diagnostic tests to show them in the muscle. But trigger points are palpable nodules in tight bands of muscle tissue, and they create a local or referred pain or other sensation when palpated.
Because myofascial pain has two aspects, muscle and fascia, both need to be treated and corrected in order to have long-lasting results. Neuromuscular Therapy addresses the specific trigger points and muscular restrictions, and Myofascial Release Therapy corrects the limiting fascial patterns.