Did you know that a massage is more than a relaxation technique, but can actually improve your health? People who experience chronic muscle pain may have developed what is known as a myofascial trigger points that cause this repeating pain. Therapeutic massage techniques can be an excellent, non-invasive method of relieving the pain.
The Causes of Muscle Pain: It’s In the Way You Move.
You probably know that straining your muscles past their ability causes micro tears and strains. A little bit of this will cause the muscle to grow over time as your body repairs the slight damage; this is half of the reason bodybuilders get so bulky. However, when a person pushes their muscles too far the damage is more severe. The body may need some extra time to repair what has now become an injury.
Repetitive movements that strain the same muscle groups over and over can also cause distress. This happens because the muscles are not given enough time to repair themselves fully, and so the strain is never relieved. In this situation, the body may form a trigger point.
What Are Myofascial Trigger Points? Can I Stretch It Out?
Our bodies are made up of many components that work together. One of these is the fascia, a thin fibrous tissue that tightly covers the muscles and moves with them. When the body experiences trauma, the fascia may tighten, and in so doing “pulls” at the muscle. When this is unrelieved, the muscle develops a tight spot, also known as a myofascial trigger point.
While a sore spot in one’s muscles can be frustrating enough, it gets worse. Trigger points do not just effect the muscle they are located in, this tight clump of muscle will “pull” on the surrounding muscle tissue and cause widespread pain. Perhaps annoyingly, the places in the body that are in pain might have a trigger point located somewhere else entirely, so that stretching just the body part that is hurting will not bring relief from the pain.
The Good News: Trigger Point Massage Can Bring Relief.
Using massage therapy has been found to be beneficial for many adults experiencing chronic muscle aches and pains. The American Massage Therapy Association conducted a consumer survey in 2014 on the habits of adults using massage therapy. At least 15% of participants had one or more massage sessions between 2013 and 2014. Of those participants, 92% agreed with the statement that a massage could be a good method of relieving muscle pain.
In fact, many hospitals are offering massage therapy as a part of their CAM, or complementary and alternative medicine offerings. One American Hospital Association study on over 1,000 hospitals discovered that 82% of those participating offered their patients the option of massage therapy as a method of possible pain relief.
Chronic muscle pain, when untreated, can lead to unforeseen health problems such as depression and insomnia. Trigger points can be painful, but there are steps you can take to heal them. Massage therapy may be one method of relief. Talk to your doctor to see if it might be the right choice for you.
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