Seven Things You Should Know About Joint and Muscle Pain AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT
with natural pain relief
by Barry Dench
1. What is Pain?
In as few words as possible, I want to explain about pain. Also how you can identify the cause of your pain and investigate how you can do something about it to reduce it.
You may know that The International Association for the Study of Pain's widely used definition states: "Pain is an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage".
Of course, there are different durations of pain from a relatively short time to long term, chronic pain. There is pain associated with the physical damage due to accidents. What I am focusing on here is:-
- Ongoing pains in joints and muscles (often called musculo-skeletal pain)
- The common cause of this type of pain
- What you can you do to self help
- An ongoing plan.
2. What type of pain is usually chronic?
The types of pain include:-
- Ankle sprains, arthritis,
- back pain, bursitis, buttocks pain,
- calf cramps,
- finger pain, frozen shoulder,
- headache, heel pain, hip pain, housemaids knee,
- joint pain, joint popping, joint stiffness,
- knee pain, knuckle pain,
- low back pain, lumbago,
- migraine, muscle knot, muscle pain, muscular pain, myofascial pain
- numbness in hands or feet,
- referred pain, rotator cuff injury, runner's knee,
- sore feet,
- temporal headache, tennis elbow, tension headache,
- wrist pain, writer's cramp
This list does not include every possible name but the most commonly occurring chronic pain.
3. Causes of chronic pains?
Evidence from pain treatment specialists would suggest that the primary cause of 75 percent of all musculo-skeletal chronic pain, is something called Trigger Points.
Trigger Points are small contractions in muscle fibres which cause tightening of the muscle. This tight muscle will be painful in itself but where the muscle is attached to a joint, the joint too is put under stress causing referred pain. The technical name for this is “myofascial pain”. (“myo” - muscle “fascial - tissue)
For a fuller explanation of what trigger points are, click this link - Trigger Point Explanation
Of course there are other causes of muscle and joint pain. Degenerative diseases such as arthritis, collapsed disks in the spine, muscle strain due to overload and many more. It is important therefore to consult a medical professional if in any doubt.
4. Not many doctors will recognise the problem!
There may be legitimate reasons, but currently the knowledge of myofascial pain and associated trigger points is not widespread in the medical profession nor in some alternative disciplines. It may be that, as you will see later, it is entirely possible for the patient to self treat quite effectively.
This usually means that money does not have to change hands so long courses of treatment and or expensive drugs is the preferred option.
5. Treating yourself is not only possible, it is usually easy
Treating yourself usually needs no more than a finger, or in some cases some inexpensive hand tool. there is plenty of help on the Internet to determine where to treat for what problem. Trigger Point Therapy is easy to learn and practice.
In order to get you started, we have teamed up with Dr Jonathan Kuttner, an expert in Myofascial Trigger Points and their treatment for many years. Dr Kuttner is based in New Zealand and I have arranged for Dr Kutner to let you have a copy of his Trigger Point Manual via email Just click the link or the picture below. This opens in a new window so you will not lose where you are on this site.
When you have read the introduction in the Trigger Point Manual or if you are familiar with the topic, move on to the next section.
6. Here is your Trigger Point Road Map
In order to demonstrate the ease of application of Trigger Point Therapy, I am going to use a real example of a condition I have had and treated myself, “frozen Shoulder”. This typically concerns a muscle called ‘Infraspinatus’. In a moment we will go to look at an interactive trigger point finder and learn about where the pain is likely to be referred when there are problems with this muscle.
When you are ready to proceed, click this link for the Trigger Point Finder
(opens in a new tab) and when there, roll your cursor or pointer over the shoulder. A list is displayed of muscles that can cause shoulder pain. Look for Infraspinatus and click on that. The next diagram shows the possible trigger points to treat. There is also a very useful video on Trigger Points lower down the same page.
That is how easy it is to find the possible trigger points of the pain you are experiencing. The trigger points will normally feel tender and lumpy if they are contracted and causing problems. Not every trigger point will be contracted so find the ones that are. If it is difficult to reach certain areas of the back for example, get someone to help you. Any problems? Email, Skype or call us for help.
7. And finally, an action plan for your treatment
Once you have identified the troublesome points you can commence some massage to get the point to relax. Here is one technique you will find useful from Dr Kuttner.
Other forms of treatment can involve the use of tools and aids to treat the trigger points. You may have some persistent point that re-occur due to other problems such as diabetes.........