by Therese Ryan & Dan Walsh, Premier County Physiotherapy
Many patients attend our clinics with chronic muscular pain. Some people may already have been diagnosed with Myofascial pain syndrome or Chronic Myofascial Pain by their doctor or consultant. Other patients self-refer directly to us and have never had a diagnosis. These patients are in chronic pain, purely because of chronic muscular dysfunction, which may never have been detected, or indeed may have been previously ineffectively treated. These patients can present with localised pain, referred pain, stiffness, varying levels of debilitation and difficulties possibly with sporting activities or even day to day activities. Anyone can have Myofascial pain, young, old, unfit and fit individuals.
The easiest way to determine if the pain is Myofascial, is to contact your local Chartered Physiotherapist, and enquire if they specialise in Myofascial Release Therapy. The Physiotherapist will then access the muscle or muscle group to determine if Myofascial trigger points are present. These are hyperirritable nodules within a palpable taut band of muscle. If present, these trigger points confirm the diagnosis of Myofascial Pain Syndrome and may prove to be the root cause of the patients pain..
Unless, these trigger points are released, the patients complaints will not reduce. The only long-lasting way to alleviate symptoms is to attend a Chartered Physiotherapist who performs Myofascial Release Therapy or a modification of this treatment called Active Myofascial Release Therapy. Massage and other types of hands-on therapy may only give temporary relief.
So what is Myofascial Release Therapy?
It is a specialised hands-on treatment, combining soft tissue techniques and muscle energy knowledge. Each individual muscle has a particular resting position, in which the release therapy will be highly effective. Once the release has been performed, the clinician may release secondary Myofascial trigger points to give greater relief to the patient.
Stretching techniques and other modalities may then be used to optimise results before treatment is finished. The physiotherapist may also give the patient some home exercises to adhere to, to encourage the problematic muscle to return to normal functional capacity. Treatment will continue until either there are no palpable Myofascial trigger points, or until the patients complaints have been alleviated.
It is important that when seeking treatment from a Physiotherapist, to ask if they are a “Chartered Physiotherapist”.
Therese Ryan & Dan Walsh both members of the Irish Society of Chartered Physiotherapists practicing in Thurles and Templemore.
For appointments please phone 0504-26090.