Unearth the root causes of chronic pain.
Chronic pain is frustrating, debilitating and yep, painful. It changes you from the person you really are, into someone you’re simply not.
And, how quickly that new person gets lumped onto your shoulders.
You’re the one who is always ill, cancels time out with friends, highly strung, who just needs to “chill”.
Like you really need all those untrue, crappy labels piled on top of you.
You’re doing the best you know how. You’ve seen your GP, you’ve had the tests. All say there’s nothing wrong with you. And that’s fantastic news on the one hand – no-one wants to hear they’ve got something big and scary going on.
And yet, you still have pain that’s very real.
It’s not in your head. It’s not ‘cos you have a low pain threshold. Have you’ve been told
It’s wear and tear
You’re getting old
You’ll just have to stop doing XYZ that you love
You’ll just have to put up with it
There’s nothing more that can be done for you?
Hmm, if someone says to you “There’s nothing more that can be done for you”, ask them this:
“Nothing more that can be done, or nothing more that you can do to help me?”
Now, sometimes it may be true. Sometimes it may be that that particular therapist has done their very best but they’ve used all the techniques in their toolbox. It happens. There’s nothing wrong in that. It simply can mean that it’s time for an alternative approach.
What I’d like to do is share a possible answer to your pain that stays.
Before that I need to tell you something really important. And it’s this: there is no magic wand, no instant fix (as lovely as that would be). It’s just that this information may help you, so it could be worth you checking it out.
So, let me share with you about myofascial trigger points. And just what are they? Well, a myofascial trigger point is a small area in a muscle that is tightly contracted. You could picture it as a super tight bit of muscle that can’t let go and unwind. When this happens, that super tight spot constricts its own blood supply, which results in irritation.
Why does that matter? It matters because although what happens may seem a bit weird it’s important.
Sometimes, it can be the root cause of chronic pain. Here’s what happens.
That irritation makes you feel pain in a different bit of your body to where that trigger point actual is. It’s called referred pain. And that referred pain can range from not-so-bad all the way up to holy-moly.
So, what the heck is going on?
As yet, the science isn’t really clear on the how. The theory is that our brain gets confused from being bombarded with pain signals from that trigger point irritation. In response, it ‘sends’ the pain down a different pathway, kind of like it’s lost in translation. A common example comes from trigger points in the neck muscles that can result in migraine and headaches.
So, why has no-one told you about this before now?
That’s a good question. Remember when you were referred to the muscleologist in the muscleology department? No? Maybe that’s because there is no medical specialism for the muscles. (I once watched with great excitement a programme that promised to show the dissection of the hand. Well they did but they didn’t show the muscles. I think they got chucked away in a bucket or something).
That means our muscles can get overlooked and awareness of mysofascial trigger points as a possible source of chronic pain is pretty low.
Which is a little surprising when you learn that the pioneers in myofascial chronic pain were Dr Janet Travell and surgeon David G Simons MD. (You read read more about Dr Travell here.)
Now, if you’re sat there thinking “This sounds a bit flaky, should I be skeptical?”. The answer is sure, be skeptical. But be curious too. Because although it may sound flaky, it really isn’t. It may not be the answer for you. But maybe, just maybe it might help your chronic pain.
I hope that you find this useful and if it helps to give you back a sense of hope, well that’d be wonderful.
And, if you can help me spread the message by sharing on your favourite social media spot, that’d be wonderful too. Simply click on your favourite button below. Thank you!