Pain affects every facet of daily life, our work, our attitude, our relationships, and our outlook on our future. For some, controlling pain with medications results in unpleasant side effects. Americans are reaching out in record numbers to find the best options for pain relief without the unpredictability traditional medicine. The CDC reports that the top four reasons adults used traditional medicines were to treat pain including back pain or problems, neck pain or problems, joint pain or stiffness/other joint condition, arthritis, and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Everyone experiences muscle pain at some time in their life. Since virtually every part of your body contains muscles, aches are quite common. Usually, muscle pain goes away in a few days, but sometimes it can last months. The most common causes of muscle pain are overuse, minor injury, tension and stress.
Types of muscle pain
There are two general categories of muscle pain: localized and systemic.
Anxiety disorders affect almost 7 million American adults–about twice as many women as men. Anxiety comes on gradually, typically between childhood and middle age. A Surgeon General’s report on Mental Health revealed that 16% of adults between the ages of 18 and 54 suffer from various anxiety disorders for at least one year.
Causes of anxiety
The causes of anxiety are many, which is one of the reasons it’s so common. Anxiety is produced when you are overly concerned about relationship or job issues, many, your health, and lots more. These concerns blend into negative, fearful thoughts about the future or debilitating guilt about the past.
Chronic headaches are one of the most common complaints made to healthcare professionals each year. Headaches are most often treated with over-the-counter or prescription medication. While these treatments are effective, they can be a temporary solution for a chronic problem.
Most headaches fall into one of two categories: tension and migraine. Tension headaches can be caused by stress, dehydration, muscle spasms, trigger points, eye strain, hormonal changes, neck misalignment, or TMJ.
Most of us proud tech geeks in Silicon Valley don’t let a day pass without using some gadget to keep up with a fast-paced world. While our hyper-connectedness can be exciting, it also challenges our body and mind to continue operating at a dizzying pace.
Just like most of our technology, our uber-connected body technology runs 24/7 and occassionally needs a reboot.
Like any computer hardware, occasionally our brain, and our muscles, need to be powered down so that they can reset and function optimally.
Running makes your legs strong, toned, and, often, tight. Every step you take forces your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips to flex and extend over and over to propel you down the road. As they tire, the muscles and tendons can develop imbalances, scar tissue, and tension, slowing you down and increasing the likelihood for common overuse injuries like IT Band syndrome, and Achilles tendonitis. You’ve probably read many difference opinions about stretching before and after your run. There are two things that are pretty plain:
1. Ask a runner who stretches and they’ll tell you it helps them be more flexible, have more endurance, and feel better after the run.
Muscles make up, on average, between 36-42% of your body weight. With that much mass, they have a significant impact on your health. When all is in working order, muscles allow you to perform normal activities with ease. When your muscles experience trigger points (also known as “muscle knots”), you can experience pain, stiffness, tension, a loss in your range of motion and sometimes severe limitations of your normal function.
Trigger points are an extremely common cause of pain. There are more than 600 potential trigger points possible in human muscles. Light pressure to active trigger points reproduces the pain and gives the therapist a clue as to where to look for the cause. Trigger points have a special property called referred pain. Referred pain means that a trigger point in one muscle can actually create pain in another area.
Your body is constructed around a bony skeleton composed of roughly 206 bones, which are jointed to one another. Skeletal muscles attach to two or more bones that are joined through one or more joints. Contraction of these muscles crossing their respective joints powers the movement of the bones, pivoting at their joints. Muscles tend to work in pairs, across joints, each muscle of the pair pulling opposite to its partner.
When muscles become tense due to stressors of any kind, both muscles of a pair partially contract and shorten, putting pressure across the joint(s) the muscles cross. This tension reduces the potential range of motion (ROM) at the joint(s), because part of the dynamic range of the muscles is already reached. Continue reading “Massage Can Improve Range of Motion”
Research published in Military Medicine reports that military veterans indicated significant reductions in ratings of anxiety, worry, depression and physical pain after massage. Analysis also suggests declining levels of tension and irritability following massage.
The National Guard commissioned a study about the effects of massage on veteran reintegration. The results are promising. This pilot study was a self-directed program of integrative therapies for National Guard personnel to support reintegration and resilience after return from Iraq or Afghanistan.