Cervical Myofascial Pain & Chiropractic Care

Myofascial Pain&Chiropractic Care

Muscle pain that is reoccurring and chronic in nature is a widespread problem. Known in the medical field as myofascial pain, this dysfunction often begins in the neck and spine and then spreads to the surrounding connective tissues and muscles. Patients who suffer from myofascial pain are often frustrated because this condition has no associated clinical markers or laboratory diagnostic evaluations to prove its existence. However, the field of chiropractic care provides lasting and effective solutions for people who experience this type of pain on a regular basis.

What is Myofascial Pain?

The most commonly observed subset of this pain disorder is known as cervical myofascial pain. This means that the vertebrae of the neck, which are known as the cervical spine, are implicated in muscle and connective tissue strain. The tissues that surround muscle and bone are known as fascia, and can become inflamed and overly-taut from trauma or overuse.

This ailment is diagnosed through a physical examination, which focuses upon certain trigger points surrounding the vertebrae in the neck. When palpated by an experienced healthcare professional, abnormal tissue sensitivity is evidenced by rigid and stiff bands of muscular fibers. These localized areas of tension and pain can radiate down the spine, affecting many parts of a person’s anatomy. Common causes of this disorder may include:

  • Trauma, commonly following a car accident
  • Chronic overuse of neck and shoulder muscles, such as from repeated heavy lifting
  • Poor posture

Signs & Symptoms

Since there are no blood or imaging tests that can confirm the presence of this disorder, patients must self-report their symptoms to their healthcare provider. This pain condition is most commonly considered a rheumatological disorder. Rheumatology is the branch of medicine that is dedicated to treating and studying arthritic disorders and other afflictions of the joints, connective tissues and muscles. Common symptoms that patients of this condition experience include:

  • Deep aching in the affected musculature
  • Chronic, persistent pain that does not get better over time
  • Restricted ability to move and decreased flexibility
  • Tender nodules along muscles
  • Insomnia and other sleep-related dysfunctions due to pain

Although it is normal to experience some amount of muscle tension and pain, especially after periods of physical exertion or exercise, this type of pain does not subside with self-care techniques, rest or massage. Left untreated, other health problems may develop, such as:

  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Recurring migraine headaches
  • Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ)

Chiropractic Care – Healing Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Accessing effective treatment from compassionate and sensitive healthcare professionals is often a challenge for people who suffer from this pain disorder. Conventional doctors may doubt the patient’s self-reported symptoms, dismissing the individual as an over-exaggerator, hypochondriac or malingerer.

In the field of chiropractic, however, patients who experience this affliction are validated and treated with evidence-based approaches. Instead of brushing off patients with a script for pain pills, a chiropractor can work to heal the affected muscles. Common techniques employed by a chiropractor are:

  • Massage and manipulation of trigger points
  • Stretching maneuvers
  • Vertebral readjustments
  • Acupuncture or other needling techniques

The therapeutic care offered by chiropractors encourages the cervical musculature to loosen and re engage healthfully with the surrounding bones and fascia. Offering hope and pain relief, chiropractic care is the best option for those suffering from chronic pain.

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