Muscle pain is a common ailment that may occur as a result of an injury, such as a pull, tear or rupture, or a strain from overuse, improper lifting or poor postures. It can develop as a result of certain muscles becoming overactive and tight while other characteristic muscles can become limp or underactive. Trigger points, which are local areas of congestion within a muscle, can develop as a result of both tight and underactive muscles which can irritate nerve endings in the area resulting in pain. When muscles become underactive it compromises the spines ability to protect the joints, discs, and nerves making it much more likely for an injury to occur. Symptoms of muscular pain vary but may include localized-achy pain, sharp pain, burning pain, tingling, numbness, weakness, or referred pain to a distant area.
Proper treatment of muscular pain begins with a proper diagnosis which includes establishing which tissue is responsible for the pain. This can be accomplished through asking detailed questions about your condition and performing a thorough physical examination. In some instances, further testing may be ordered including X-ray, MRI, CT scan, DEXA scan, blood work or EMG/NCV studies so a proper diagnosis can be reached and more serious conditions can be ruled out.
Proper management of muscular pain starts with addressing the cause of the problem and not just the symptoms a patient is experiencing. Treatments vary based on the cause of the problem but usually include chiropractic care and physical therapy with the goal of stretching the muscles that need to be lengthened and making the underactive muscles work more efficiently through specific exercises and activities making it less likely for future injuries to occur.
For the minority of patients with muscular pain that do not respond favorably to conservative care we have other treatment options including pain management with our board certified physicians with treatment including trigger point injections.