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Myofascial pain is one of the most common problems I see in my office. A sore, tender, aching upper back, neck or shoulders is usually not what pushes a patient to come visit my office but once they get here I find a lot of patients have it to some degree. Usually it feels really good to have the involved area massaged. If this describes you then you may be experiencing Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome can effect muscles all over the body and can cause all sorts of pains that are not easily explained. In many cases Trigger Points are also involved. Trigger Points can cause pain in three different ways. Pain could be at the Trigger Point itself, in a totally separate area (known as a referred pain pattern), and over time in some spots can actually cause tendonitis or tendonosis to develop. Lets stick to the Myofascial Pain Syndrome for now.
So if you are experiencing this, why is it such a big deal to get rid of it? Why can’t all of us “Body Workers” get rid of it for you? (Body Workers could include Chiropractors but most don’t do muscle work - usually it is left to massage therapists and many do a great job treating it…. however,) Most people who perform “Body Work” do variations of light, moderate or even deep tissue massage and while the moderate to deep does affect the fascia, it usually can't really break up the problem area, which is a restriction within the fascia.
There are several methods that I employ to eliminate these problems quickly.
In many cases the best (and simplest) treatment is to Actively Release the Muscle (myo) and Fascia - That is why it is called “Myofascial Release” and it is active because usually you move while the doctor or therapist works on you. Another way is more passive, in other words you don’t have to really help much. Another variation to release fascial restrictions is often called "Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization" or IASTM for short. It used to be referred to as “Graston Therapy” but really it goes back to a Chinese Medicine Technique called "Gua Sha". Another treatment for this is Cupping or Fire Cupping, which also targets myofascial pain but by "pulling" the tissue instead of "pushing" it.
You could google any of those terms for a more complete history.
With Active Release I can treat your specific muscles and fascia in as little as 5 minutes (or a little more depending on your specific problem areas) and it only takes a few treatments to break up the restrictions. You usually experience a LOT of pain relief after the first treatment! Another benefit of my Active and Passive Release Techniques is that I can usually teach you how to target the same areas on your own using common items like PVC pipe, various hardnesses of balls and/or foam rollers. Yes, videos are planned but it is a hard process to get started.
Sometimes we may need to take this to another level and that is where Dry Needle Acupuncture helps us target specific areas of muscle and fascia in a mush more aggressive way, sort of like a "needle tip massage". EEK!
If you think you might have this type problem... if you get massage and it only helps for a short time... call me and lets target your problem area(s) now!
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Dr. Charles R. Dixon is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic, he began "Dry Needling" in 2005 and later trained directly under Acupuncturist & Neurologic "Dry Needle" Acupuncture Textbook Author Dr. Yun-tao Ma PhD.. Prior to that, he studied Acupuncture under Dr. Richard Yinnie, DC, DABCA, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), and Dr. Jon Sunderlage, DC, Dipl. Ac. (NCCAOM), L.Ac., DABCA, (from 2001-2004)
He has a Masters of Science in Human Anatomy and Physiology Instruction and teaches at LeTourneau University.
Disclaimer: The entire contents of this website are based upon the thoughts and opinions of Dr. Charles R. Dixon MS DC, unless otherwise noted. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. It is intended as a sharing of knowledge and information from the research and experience of Dr. Dixon. Dr. Dixon encourages you to make your own health care decisions based upon your research and in partnership with a qualified health care professional. No portion of this website may be copied, reused or plagiarized in any way. It is the sole intellectual property of Dr. Charles R Dixon MS DC with all rights and privileges reserved.