Well, pain sucks and it can come from many different causes. One thing we see a lot in the office is chronic pain in muscles and that soreness and stiffness/tightness that really never goes away. Well, there are some great modalities and techniques that we as chiropractors have in our tool box to help with the “muscle stuff” as some of our patients put it. Have a look at the following five ways that we can help with muscle, ligament, tendon and myofascial pain and injuries or the soft tissue stuff.
1. Graston Technique/ IASTM
Graston Technique is a form of instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that we use to help break down scar tissue and fascial restrictions. It is evidence-based and is useful working with neck and lower back pain, carpal tunnel and plantar fascia pain. It is also helpful along post surgical scars, runner’s knee and IT band syndrome.
2. Myofascial release/stretching
Myofascial release is more of a hands on technique that involves sustained pressure into
the fascia and connective tissue that helps to restore motion and decrease pain. Hands-on active stretching can also be used to ease chronic muscle pain. Different muscle movements are incorporated with active stretching. Foam rolling is also a great option for myofascial release and something that you can do on your own. Look for a blog coming soon with pictures.
3. Rocktape/Kinesiology Taping
Rocktape is a brand of Kinesiology taping. It can be used for a variety of muscular conditions from swelling to sprain/strains. It was designed to help lift the skin and create space in an injured area. It helps to create more blood flow and has been used by athletes for years but it is now making the way into clinics all over the world to use with common injuries and pain.
4. Electrical Stimulation/Ultrasound
Electrical Stimulation is used when the muscle is in a spasm and it is similar to a TENS unit but stronger. Electrical impulses relax the muscle spasm. The ultrasound used in our office is used to help reduce inflammation and muscle spasm. It is not the diagnostic imaging like they use in pregnancy. The ultrasound uses sound waves to heat and relax muscles and bring more blood flow/improving circulation. Electrical stimulation and Ultrasound are usually used during the acute phase of care or when there is more intense pain present.
Acupuncture is good in two different ways. Needles or acupressure can be used to help with trigger points and muscle sp
asms by using the dry needle technique. A needle or direct pressure is applied to help break up the spasm within the trigger point. The other application of acupuncture is the use of different therapy points that help to decrease pain and inflammation present in the area that is being treated. The points used may be near or far from the areas being treated.
There are many ways to treat muscles and connective tissue injuries but these tend to be the ones we rely on the most and that have proven to be the most effective and promote faster healing. If you are experiencing pain in muscles or soft tissue, please contact a medical professional and get it evaluated. There are ways to deal with the pain; don’t follow the old saying, “just live with it.” There are great tools out there for treatment and pain relief that can help keep you in motion. Give us a call today if you have any questions or concerns.