Minnesota Pain Management & Pain Relief Clinic

5 Things Your Doctor Does Not Know or is Not Telling You:

  • Drugs cannot fix the cause of your myofasical pain.
  • Your myofascial pain is a warning signal of chronic trigger points!
  • There is a metabolic reason for your chronic pain causing trigger points.
  • Your doctor probably does not have training in myofascitis and chronic pain.
  • Your doctor has no answers for you beyond drugs, exercise and possibly weight loss

Conquer Chronic Myofascial Pain Disorder!

Americans are now battling the epidemic of chronic myofascial pain by taking exorbitant amounts of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, often referred to as NSAIDS. More than 70 million NSAIDS prescriptions are written each year plus more than 30 billion over-the counter tablets swallowed annually in the United States alone. Research has now shown numerous side effects to the drugs we use to control our muscle and joint pain, everything from rebound headaches, liver damage, heart attacks and especially gastrointestinal bleeding.

According to the American Journal of Medicine "Conservative calculations estimate that approximately 107,000 patients are hospitalized annually for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-related gastrointestinal (GI) complications and at least 16,500 NSAID-related deaths occur each year among arthritis patients alone. The figures of all NSAID users would be overwhelming, yet the scope of this problem is generally under-appreciated."(1) Food and Drug Administration suggests even higher figures, estimating NSAID use accounts up to 20,000 deaths per year in arthritis patients.(2) According to a 2005 FDA government memorandum, between 1999 and 2003 selective COX-2 NSAIDs had injured at least 160,000 patients and killed an estimated 26,000 to 55,000 patients. It is statistics such as these that moves many individuals to pursue safe natural alternatives for their chronic muscle and joint pain disorders.

The good news is that you can conquer your myofascial pain without the pitfalls of drug or surgical intervention. To conqueror your chronic muscle and joint pain, it's important to understand the causes of these common problems. More than 90% of all chronic pain problems arise from dysfunction of the muscle and joints, not pathology. This muscle and joint dysfunction arises from physical and nutritional changes in your muscle and joint tissues that must both be addressed for real and lasting recovery. The primary pain-causing changes in muscle tissues are known as myofascial trigger points, but are commonly referred to as "muscle knots."

Pain Causing Myofascial Trigger Points

Myofascial trigger points are hyperirritable tissues in muscles that cause the tissue to become locally tender and refer pain to other areas of your body. For example trigger points in the neck can create headaches and in the shoulder they can cause severe arm pain. These trigger points will also cause your muscles to shorten leading to the feeling of stiffness and they can cause the muscle to weaken. These muscle knots causing pain, stiffness and weakness in the muscle group create alterations in your patterns of movement causing even more stress to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments leading to more myofascial trigger points. This can lead to a vicious cycle of more and more recurrent pain in your back, neck, or extremities. The pain, ache and stiffness will continue until you remove all of your active and hidden myofascial trigger points.

Trigger Points are Self-Perpetuating

These pain-causing muscle knots are contracted and shortened muscle cells that obstruct good blood flow in the muscle tissue. This lack of blood in the muscle tissue means there is a lack of adequate oxygen and nutrition. A lack of oxygen and nutrients in the taut bands causes the muscle tissue to run low on energy. With this low energy state any added physical, nutritional, chemical or emotional stress to the tissues will cause more painful myofascial trigger points to form. These myofascial trigger points are made up of dysfunctional muscle cells and sensitized free nerve endings that create a painful nerve reflex.

Because it actually takes energy to relax contracted muscle cells, this lack of energy in the trigger points means muscle cells can not release on their own. In this way the myofascial trigger points can become a self-sustaining vicious cycle until manually released. To accomplish this you need proper myofascial therapy to these knotted up trigger points to change the state of the tissue. Research has shown that sustained deep pressure on the point changes the tissue releasing the pain-causing muscle knots. This is called trigger point therapy, myofascial release, pressure therapy or acupressure. By creating these physical changes in these muscle knots utilizing sustained pressure you substantially increase blood flow into the muscle tissue. This brings in much needed oxygen and nutrients to the muscle cells. The muscle tissue can then produce more energy allowing it to relax. You can see why just rubbing the surface with a lotion or a vibrating massager isn't adequate to fully remove pain-causing trigger points, you need proper myofascial therapy.

In conjunction with myofascial therapy it is vital to improve your diet by removing junk foods and increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables. Also it's important to exercise, consider walking 20 to 30 minutes per day. You can spice-up your pain-relief wellness program to assist in overcoming your muscle and joint pain problems by utilizing specific herbal extracts and needed nutrients to improve metabolic function! I utilize comprehensive laboratory testing to uncover the underlying metabolic causes of your chronic myofascial pain. Then based on lab test results I correct the underlying nutritional needs while utilizing effective myofascial therapy to remove your pain causing trigger points.

30 Minute Video on Myofascial Pain Syndromes

(1) Singh Gurkirpal, MD, "Recent Considerations in Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Gastropathy", The American Journal of Medicine, July 27, 1998, p. 31S
(2) Fries James F., "NSAID Gastropathy: The Second Most Deadly Rheumatic Disease? Epidemiology and Risk Appraisal", Journal of Rheumatology, 1991, (Supplement 28), Vol. 18, pp. 6-10

Author Dr. Greg Fors

About Dr. Greg Fors

Dr. Greg Fors, D.C. is a Board-certified Neurologist (IBCN), certified in Applied Herbal Sciences (NWHSU) and acupuncture. As the director of the virtual Pain and Brain Healing Center, he specializes in a functional medicine approach to fibromyalgia, fatigue, brain fog, digestive disorders, depression and anxiety. He is a sought after international lecturer for various post-graduate departments and state associations. Dr. Fors is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “Why We Hurt” available through booksellers everywhere.