Upper Crossed Syndrome and chronic pain (UCS). The imbalance of four key muscle groups underlies many cases of headache, neck and upper back pain. Upper back and neck pain is epidemic in our culture. It has surpassed low back pain as the number one chronic pain complaint. [...]
Teres minor is a small, rounded rotator cuff muscle. It is the smallest of the four. It attaches from the rear, outer edge of the shoulder blade to the head of the humerus. Most importantly, in conjunction with the other rotator cuff muscles, it is responsible for dynamic stabilization [...]
If you have foot, heel or calf pain, you may have thought it was from tight calves and plantar fasciitis. This is a common problem for many runners and other athletes. Treating tibialis posterior might make a difference.
We call things that maintain, or continue, our pain myofascial perpetuating factors. Often, these are similar to things that helped cause the problem. Dr. Janet Travell was pioneer in the field of myofascial and trigger point therapy. In fact, she wrote extensively about pain, myofascial perpetuating factors and [...]
Sleep is a natural process when we rest and repair ourselves. In, fact a minimum amount of sleep is needed for survival. However, we need larger amount of sleep to be at our best.
Ideally, we don't need to do anything about sleep. Usually, we get tired, we go to bed, sleep all night and wake up the next day feel refreshed.
Decades ago, before I became a Myofascial Therapist, I routinely experienced pain when extending my wrists, making exercises like plank pretty difficult. Over time, it passed and returned occasionally, but the recurring episodes were brief and I didn’t investigate further. Two weeks ago the pain returned with a [...]
We treat more back pain than any other complaint, split about evenly between upper and lower back pain. Additionally, most of the people we see whose chief complaint is low back pain (LBP) also often concede that they have some upper back pain (UBP) as well - and vice [...]
Virtually everyone wants to Reduce Upper Back and Neck Pain! It is understandable that we focus on locations that are painful. These areas are all strained by head forward posture and rounding of the shoulders. It is useful to provide relief for these areas, both in treatment and [...]
Weekend Warrior Syndrome We’ve all heard the term... It brings up the image of someone who works in an office; a couch potato or generally unfit person that decides to take on re-landscaping the yard or playing an epic game of softball at the family picnic... We assume [...]
The coracobrachialis muscle is a small muscle on front of the shoulder. It is often missed as source of pain in the front of the shoulder. It originates on the top of the coracoid process and proceeds out to the middle of the humerus between the attachments of the [...]
Doctors say we don't know what causes them. However, we know that myofascial trigger points cause the pain patterns and other symptoms of chronic tension headache. They also contribute to migraines.
So, if you have recurring headaches that just don't go away, we can help!
The supraspinatus muscle is the most active of the four rotator cuff muscles. It is responsible for abduction of the your arm at the shoulder. Most importantly, in conjunction with the other rotator cuff muscles, it is responsible for dynamic stabilization of the shoulder joint. The shoulder has less [...]
Many things outside your feet can make them hurt. For instance, myofascial dysfunction some of the muscles of the calf or hip can cause problems with your feet. However, some foot problems really do orginate in the feet. In addition, the 'intrinsic' muscles of your foot can [...]
Hip and glute pain isn't glamorous, but many people are living with it every day. Sometimes the pain is deep in the hip, making it difficult to lie on that side. It can also radiate down the leg to the ankle or extend to the glutes. Some refer to [...]
Sure, you can play through the pain. But everyone knows that they perform better when things don’t hurt and move freely. By reducing pain and increasing range of motion, Fascial Stretching improves performance for both amateur and professional athletes alike! Professionals aren't the only performance athletes anymore. More recently, [...]
Hammer Toe Muscles... Hammer toes and foot pain are caused by trigger points in the long toe extensors (extensor digitorum longus and flexor hallucis longus). You may not be bothered by your hammer toes but they are an important symptom of imbalance for a skilled myofascial therapist. Although [...]
Early in my career I treated a lot of feet. As a freshly minted myofascial therapist I had been taught that we could "fix" bunions, hammer and claw toes. Well, I saw quickly that it is a common problem had plenty of practice in a short time! A [...]
Chronic Low Back Pain - Quadratus Lumborum (QL) can cause debilitating pain. It is a factor in most chronic low back pain cases. The pattern often radiates downward from the low back into the crest of the hip, sacrum, lower buttock and hip. It is typically worse on [...]
It's Not Just For Runners Anymore... Plantar Fasciitis treatment is often ineffective. This is because the mechanism is poorly understood and the wrong tissues are often treated. (PF) is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. It causes pain on the bottom of the foot. This is typically worse [...]
Rotator cuff injuries are a common cause of pain and disability among adults. Each year, almost 2 million people in the United States visit their doctors because of a rotator cuff problem. This might seem like a new problem but it isn't. In generations past, rotator cuff problems were [...]
Here are some things that you may or may not have known about trigger point therapy: Over 60% of visits to primary care doctors are for pain and up to 95% of that pain is caused by trigger points. Muscle relaxers do not work on trigger points. The pain of [...]
When I am assessing a myofascial issue for someone, I come at it from several angles. You should too!
This does not replace the assessment and treatment by a professional but it is a good start for many of the routine chronic pain problems we may develop.
Should you consider an MRI for chronic Lower Back Pain (LBP)? Maybe, but it depends quite a lot on your history. First, numerous studies show there is little correlation between patient histories, MRI results and outcomes. In fact, the American College of Physicians and American Pain Society published [...]
I started taking dance classes years ago, after many rounds of physical therapy for an assortment injuries. I was awkward and clumsy, but I stuck with it for quite a while. I noticed that some of my nagging pains faded and my range of motion increased - even [...]
It has been assumed that the primary purpose of the Ilio Tibial Band (ITB) was to provide lateral stabilization. However, recent research, including studies from Catherine Eng, summarized in the Harvard Gazette tells a different story. The ITB connects the Gluteus Maximus [...]
Rectus Abdominis - The Six Pack Muscle Chronic Low Back Pain - Rectus Abdominis can develop trigger points that cause severe back pain. It may surprise you that the quest for a flat stomach does not strengthen your core. In addition, it often generates trigger points in this [...]
If you have a TMJ Headache - Myofascial Pain should be on your radar! Problems with the Temporo-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) cause pain in the face and head. In addition, TMJ disorders (TMJD) can cause myofascial problems AND myofascial dysfunction can cause TMJ pain, reinforcing each other. Sometimes, [...]
You can’t avoid the ads for diets, exercise equipment, health clubs and all things "fitness" in January. There are various reasons that most people do not stick to a new routine. Want a flat stomach, smaller butt, better toned chest and arms…? Sure, doesn’t everyone? We find these things [...]
Our trapezius or "traps" divide into three sections. They have have radically different shapes, fiber directions and primary movement functions. Yet, this does still behave as one muscle. In particular, when our lower traps are weak or inhibited, our upper and middle traps will try to assist. One of [...]
Deep vs Superfical Paraspinals The chronic low back pain multifidi and longissimus cause can be severe. Of the seven primary muscle groups that refer pain into the low back these are the only two of them live in the lumbar spine. Note that the pain of trigger points in [...]
Chronic big toe and ankle pain can be caused by trigger points in the Tibialis Anterior (TibA) muscle. This is a common problem for many runners and other athletes. Maybe your TibA is inhibited and not engaging well with other muscles in your calf. How does this happen?
The infrapinatus muscle is a thick irregular rotator cuff muscle located on the back of your shoulder blade. It has a strong connection to the shoulder and along with teres minor, rotates your arm externally. Most importantly, in conjunction with the other rotator cuff muscles, it is responsible for [...]
Trigger points in muscles on the outside of calf cause ankle and heel pain. The weakness of inhibition from these trigger points can also cause instability in the ankles. Like many other muscles of the lower leg, the fibularis group often works more to control movement than to produce it.
When someone is in chronic pain, medical history is essential. In fact, we've simply never seen someone and thought, "Hmmm, I really don't need to know this much. I wish this form was shorter..." However, our medical history form is often just a starting point. Typically, we'll have [...]
Low Back Pain can be excruciating, but the radiating pain of sciatica can be even worse! Such pain is often caused by neuromuscular and fascial issues and can be treated conservatively. These exercises are very similar to those offered for recovery from uncomplicated disc injuries in PT and [...]
We can all reduce pain and stress through proper breathing. Let's start with some very simple exercises. Chronic stress alters our metabolism and biochemistry to increasing blood pressure, musculoskeletal pain, headaches, weight gain, sleep problems and cognitive impairment. Stress always seems to find its way to most vulnerable area [...]
Head and neck pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, fatigue and irritability...
These are just some of the symptoms of migraine headache. Myofascial trigger point therapy can help!
The deltoid is sometimes considered one muscle with three sections and sometimes treated as three separate muscles. Together they form the bulk of your shoulder and are used to raise your arm from your side and flex and extend your arm at the shoulder. Problems with the deltoid muscles [...]
Low back pain is routinely listed as the largest cause of chronic pain in the US, responsible for more occupational disability than any other cause. This problem has deep roots in modern western lifestyles. Many people have been through an episode of LBP that was severe enough to be [...]