Monday, April 15, 2013

Stop Neck and Shoulder Pain

You know those annoying knots in muscles and connective tissues that can literally give you a “pain in the neck?” Those are called Myofascial trigger points, and massage can help relieve the pain. The 'myo' part of the word means muscle and 'fascial' refers to the elastic, connective tissue that runs throughout the body.

Trigger points radiate (or refer) pain from muscle or fascia in a characteristic pattern. For example, trigger points in the shoulders often send pain and tension throughout the shoulders and up into the lower neck. Likewise, trigger points in your buttocks can refer pain down the leg just as in sciatica. Deep breathing, stretching, applications of heat or cold, and massage can help.

It seems that the neck and shoulders are the areas that are most affected by trigger points. For example, the ‘levator scapula’ is a muscle that connects your shoulder blade to your neck and is responsible for your ability to shrug your shoulders. It is notoriously prone to trigger points, and can refer pain to the neck, around the shoulders and even down into the mid-back.

I have spent considerable time, taking continuing education courses and through self-study, to find techniques to reduce these kinds of knots and the pain associated with them. One of the most effective treatments I incorporate with trigger points is called 'ischemic compression.' Ooh, sounds complicated and fancy, right? Well, all it entails is finding the trigger point knot and applying direct pressure to its belly. This will usually produce some pain, but I always work within your tolerance level. Trust me: Hurting you is the last thing on my mind...

During this time I would usually instruct you to breathe deeply, and consciously relax the area we are working with until the discomfort subsides. Sometimes this process needs to be repeated a few times, and followed by other massage techniques and the application of moist heat or ice therapy.

So there you have it; a quick course on how I (through massage therapy) can help you slip out of the pain cycle and back into your normal, healthy daily activities. If you're ready to live pain free, call or text me to book your next session.

As always – Enjoy Your Life!

John Aaron Villarreal

Bio: I am a Houston based, male massage therapist and wellness coach specializing in pain management and health programs for individuals over the age of forty. I laugh - a lot. I'm quirky but sincere. And, while I'm not a counselor, I do listen and I do care: Except for the times that I don't. That’s a joke - Did I mention that I like to laugh? Anyway, visit my website, call or email me and let's get together to talk about you, and the many ways to live life better!

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The content and information on this site is not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease.
Please consult your physician prior to starting any exercise, diet or wellness program. 

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