Almost everyone has suffered from sore, aching muscles (medically known as myalgia) at some point in their life. However, the amount of pain reported often ranges from mild to excruciating.
Although myalgic pain often resolves within a few days, it can sometimes linger for weeks or months.
It can develop almost anywhere in your body, including your back, legs and even your hands, but I see certain patterns in people presenting with myalgic pain. It tends to follow postural or bio-mechanical disturbances. The most commonly affected area I see, in those presenting myalgic pain to me at my clinic, is in the neck and shoulders.
The most common causes of muscle pain are tension, stress, overuse and minor injuries. However, the way we hold ourselves at work or rest (basically the position we spend the most amount of time in our day) has a huge contribution to the onset, progression and retention of myalgic pain.
The pain is usually localized, affecting just one or more muscles or parts of your body. Though It often spreads to nearby muscles that over-contract to protect the painful area. Whereas systemic muscle pain, that which you feel throughout your body, is different. It’s more often the result of an infection, an illness or a side effect of certain medications.
Therefore, in the diagnosis of myalgic pain, it is essential to rule out any other cause of the pain, and as such, a full assessment is important to rule out trapped nerves or other causes of the symptoms.
I have seen lots of neck and shoulder pain clients at the clinic over the last twelve months. Once all other potential causes have been ruled out the progression to pain-free movement is usually fairly quick.
Sustained pressure and deep tissue massage are very effective in releasing the muscle, but when this doesn’t work there are other options available such as needling the muscle with acupuncture or heat treatments.
During the first session, as well as physical treatment, I teach all my patients relaxation exercises using breathing techniques and movement re-education to remove the original cause of the painful muscles.
As I said earlier, this type of pain can be relieved relatively quickly, and I rarely need to see people more than 3 or 4 times. However, some people quickly return to the posture and movement patterns which exacerbated the problem in the first place. As such the pain can return. In these cases, I find it helpful to teach patients self-care techniques so that they can take control of their own symptoms, which most people find really effective and helpful.
If you would like to find out more about treatments for myalgic pain at The Body Matters in Southend-on-Sea, then please feel free to give me a call on 01702 714 968.