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What Exactly Are Muscle Knots?

You probably know the feeling. You have a sore back, so you ask someone if they can work on it. As they blindly attempt to massage your back, their finger rolls over a lump that causes a twinge of pain. You might scream out while they proclaim they’ve found something, which they then attempt to “work out” by vigorously beating and kneading like so much bread dough.
This is what most refer to as muscle knots. But what exactly is a muscle knot? You might be surprised researchers haven’t arrived at a consensus.

Myofascial Trigger Points

Those who study and treat knots define them as areas of muscle that tense and relax repeatedly. This is caused by overuse or misuse. A good massage therapist can identify what side you sleep on or what hand you use for your mouse based on where your tension shows up. Of course, not every bump your buddy can feel in your back is a muscle knot. Connective tissues and bones can feel like tense muscles to the untrained hand, which is one reason why you might need to see a professional for long-term relief.

One theory purports that tension causes a lack of blood flow to the tissue, so you should always stay hydrated. Of course, hydration is generally an all-around good idea for health and wellness. Though good advice, it doesn’t untangle the knot mystery.

Knots Showing Up on the Scanner

Some researchers say muscle knots don’t exist because they do not show up on scans. Instead, they contend the soreness is caused by neural pain. The symptoms are real, but the cause might not be an area of particularly tense muscle.

Whatever it is, if your back hurts, you are probably more interested in relief than knowing the specific cause. Massage should help relieve the pain you experience, and it’s best done by a professional therapist to avoid complicating any underlying issues with your back or neck. If you experience significant increased pain or no relief at all after a massage, there may be another cause. Ideally, your massage therapist should be part of a team of pain relief professionals. That way, you can try to pinpoint and treat causes while undergoing treatments for pain relief.

Protecting your Knees When Lifting

As you get older, your number one goal will be to stay just as healthy and active as ever. One of the critical ways to maintain good health is by protecting your joints, including your knees.

Knees can be tight or achy, and they can occasionally pop. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people reach out for pain relief. Even just a slight misalignment in your knee joint can lead to a major misalignment in your lifestyle.

Caring for your knees is something you can easily do at home. It’s great to be involved in a healthy, active exercise regimen, but there are other things you can do to ensure proper joint care.

Give Your Joints a Little TLC

Lifting from the knees will surely help your lower back, but it puts the extra strain on your knee joints. At work or when you exercise using therapeutic heat to boost circulation is something to consider. A thermal wrap for up to 30 minutes will loosen up your knee joints and give you that increased mobility you’ve been looking for.

Put the Freeze On

Applying ice is one of the best ways to reduce inflammation, and to help with chronic knee pain. You can always place a towel in between your skin and the ice if your skin is too sensitive. If you do a lot of knee lifts during exercising, then ice applied for 20 minutes or more will help your knees immensely.

Exercise Designed For You

Know your limits, especially if you are older or just getting started with toning your body. There’s a reason athletes warm up before starting an exercise regimen and the same goes for anyone doing knee lifts. In fact, the best way to protect your knees is with daily stretching and strengthening exercises. You don’t even need special equipment for stretching, so it’s easily attainable at home. Hamstring stretches can go a long way to protecting and strengthening your knees.

Lift and Bend the Right Way

It’s so easy to wrench your lower back when lifting something too heavy. You always want to have your feet spread apart, and stand as close to whatever you’re lifting as you can. Bend your knees, not your back. Tighten stomach muscles as you lift, and go slowly. Don’t twist your back once you raise up, but place the object where it needs to be.

There are ways to cut the pain out of your life. If you have questions about pain management in Phoenix, call today to make your knee pain a thing of the past.

Protecting Your Back at Work

Nothing is quite as satisfying as settling into your office workspace to get a productive day’s work done. Did you know the longer you sit, the worse a back problem can become?

There are very effective ways to protect your back while at work, mays to minimize movements or positions that cause back pain. You can improve back tolerance with the following suggestions:

•Start With the Perfect Chair. There are ergonomically designed office chairs which support your body and spine all day long. They may be more expensive than a run-of-the-mill office chair, but they will pay for themselves when you no longer have to make doctor visits for an aching back. These chairs have lumbar support, which is most important of all, because it cradles your lower back right where it’s needed.
•Don’t Forget Your Arms. A good armrest will prevent upper back and neck pain from occurring. These happen because there is little to no support for your arms and shoulder muscles.
•Set Up Your Office Space Correctly. Correctly, in this case, means ‘just for you.’ Ensure that computer monitors are set at the correct height for you, not a tall or a shorter co-worker. If you use a telephone in addition to your computer, by all means get a headset. Never cradle a phone into your neck. If you type a lot, invest in a document holder which holds your typing up so you don’t have to strain your neck to read it.
•Put Your Feet Up. Lower back pain frequently starts with lack of movement. Invest in a foot rest for under your desk and make it a habit of keeping your feet there without crossing your legs.
•Stay Active. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, stand at your desk while talking on the phone, and be the one who gathers up the faxes and volunteers to make the copies during a meeting. Don’t stay immobile for long. If you do, your back will thank you for it later with a nice dull ache.
•After Work, Relax Your Back. At home, don’t forget good posture while sitting or doing chores. Never lift anything unless you bend your knees first, then lift from that position upwards. Low-impact exercises while watching TV or reading can also take the strain off.

There are many ways to relieve back pain, but if nothing seems to be working effectively, there is one more option. Make an appointment to talk about pain management in Phoenix today.

Neck Pain or Pulled Muscle

There is nothing as annoying as a stiff neck. That painful crick that makes itself known every time you try to turn your neck one way or the other. Sometimes it comes from sleeping in an uncomfortable way, or it can be for another unknown reason. All you know is that the pain is real, and you want it gone, ASAP.

Understanding Symptoms

Being able to describe and understand neck pain symptoms will go a long way towards helping to diagnose exactly what you have. Signs and symptoms of neck pain include:

•Pain that’s made worse by holding your head in one position for any length of time. We do this when working on a computer, playing endless video games, or even while driving.
•Pain that includes a tightness in the neck muscles and occasional spasms.
•Pain that is accompanied by a headache.
•Pain which prevents you from moving your neck very much, if at all.

Identifying Neck Pain Causes

Neck pain is rarely due to a severe medical condition. Unless you’ve been in a serious auto accident, neck pain will either clear up on its own, or respond nicely to pain management treatment.

There are any number of reasons for your neck pain. Probably the most well-known is muscle strain. Improper posture, poor sleeping pillows, constant computer use, hunching over your smartphone all day and night, will only increase your chances of waking up with a stiff neck.

Another reason for neck pain is worn joints. As you age, joints begin to wear down. Chronic neck pain is often the result of osteoarthritis that is beginning to take over and cause joint damage. This results in the cartilage in-between your bones to deteriorate. Bone spurs form which can be very painful.

A third reason for neck pain is from auto accidents. Whiplash is when your head is jerked backwards, then forwards suddenly, causing the soft tissue in your neck to be damaged.

Herniated discs in your neck can put pressure on the nerves, causing neck pain whenever you move your head side to side.

Wherever the neck pain is coming from, all you want is pain relief. Don’t wait for your neck pain to increase or cause shoulder and back pain. There are targeted treatments that will make your neck pain a thing of the past.

Get the Facts About Back Pain

Back problems and back pain are different for everyone. This is because back pain can be difficult to diagnose. As a consequence, there are many diverse ways of looking at the treatment options and their risks and benefits.

There are many misconceptions out there when you go looking for back pain relief. So, how do you know what to believe about your back pain?

Here are some myths about back pain that are commonly believed.

It Will Never Happen to Me.

Think again. Back pain can happen to anyone, but there are some things which increase your risk of having it turn into chronic pain. The older you get, the more likely you are to experience back pain. This could be due to being overweight, not getting enough exercise, sitting at a desk all day, or injuring your back by lifting or straining in the wrong ways.

If You Have Bad Back Pain It Means I Have Severe Back Damage.

The only time this is true is if you have had a severe back injury. Then your level of back pain will correspond to that level of damage. With chronic back pain, the pain you experience does not necessarily correspond to the amount of damage.

Both My Parents Had Back Pain Which Means I Will Have Back Pain too.

This doesn’t mean you’ll have trouble with your back. Many things can be genetically disposed, but back pain is one problem that your parents won’t be passing along to you.

Low Back Pain Is Only Alleviated by Surgery.

Today there are low back pain treatments that provide relief without either medication or surgery. Because technology is so cutting-edge, your low back pain will be specifically targeted and you’ll find there are a number of options open to you for quick and lasting relief.

The Back Pain I Feel is Probably All in My Head.

Back pain always has an origin, although sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint exactly what is causing your back pain. If you experience muscle tightness, or dull burning sensations in your upper back, with occasional numbness in your limbs, you may have upper back pain. That’s not in your head, it’s in your back!

The good news is that all pain can be alleviated. There is no reason any longer to tough it out. A number of pain management solutions are available to help you get quick and lasting back pain relief.

Disabling Injuries in America

Serious disabling injuries affect many Americans. While some are work-related, they all can lead to missed hours at work, and a loss of pay. Employers are impacted by this as well. When workers are unable to work, there is a loss in productivity and costs.

While there are no common disabling injuries as a whole, however there are those which seem to occur with greater frequency. These include falling injuries, overexertion injuries, and bodily reaction injuries.

Falling Injuries

These injuries can occur anywhere, and can be from a great height or even just a few feet. Falling injuries can result in head or back pain. Depending on your age and physical condition, falls may not result in a serious injury, or they may have you turning to pain management in Phoenix for relief.

Falling can result in not just broken bones, but also time lost at work. Once injured, you may discover that things are never the same again. In any falling injury situation, the best solution is an early examination, undertaken with your doctor, so that full recovery and relief can be achieved.

Overexertion Injuries

These include lifting objects that are too heavy for you, stretching too far, or staying in a bent position too long. Of course, the older you are and the more out of shape you feel, the greater the likelihood that these incidents can lead to serious back pain and strain.

Once you suffer with back pain, it may occur again. In fact, chronic back pain is a major disabling injury for many, and without physio therapy the pain may not subside.

Bodily Reaction Injuries

This category of injury includes migraine headaches, sciatica pain, and other disabling injuries which may have been brought on by straining or overexertion.

Millions of people suffer with migraines. Nowadays, there is real migraine relief where once there was none. Pain management in Phoenix is very real and very accessible.

Sciatica pain is when you have sudden, severe pain which usually radiates down one leg. It can be at its worst when you go from a sitting to a standing position and may be accompanied by numbness or tingling. Sciatica can prohibit you from sleeping properly and having a full and productive life.

Don’t suffer with any disabling injury anymore. Pain management in Phoenix is only a phone call away. Your pain management doctors will prescribe a pain relief plan specifically with you in mind.

Common Causes of Neck Pain

Pain can be experienced anywhere in your body. Common complaints range from knee pain, to lower back pain, migraines and pulled muscles, to carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. One of the top complaints people have is that they are experiencing neck pain.

Luckily, pain management options in Phoenix are available to help you deal with any pain you may have in your neck.

Some of the more common causes of neck pain include:

  • Muscle Strains. Sleeping with your neck in a certain position will cause great pain upon arising. Turning your head rapidly, or using repetitive motions will also put a strain on neck muscles. Whiplash is a form of muscle strain, where the fast backward and forward movement of your head causes ligaments to strain. Whiplash is commonly caused when you are in an auto accident.
  • Compressed and Herniated Discs. Any time a nerve becomes compressed in your back or neck, it can lead to neck pain and soreness. Without proper treatment, the pain can get worse. The discs on your spinal column serve as cushions between the vertebrae. Think of a jelly donut with its soft center. When the center of the ‘donut’ ruptures, this is known as disc herniation. If the rupture is large enough, it will press on adjoining spinal nerves.
  • Getting Older. As we age, it’s not uncommon to begin seeing signs of arthritis or osteoarthritis. When an older person tells you it’s terribly painful upon arising in the morning because of neck pain, it’s due to arthritis. Joints suffer wear and tear down through the years, and this may lead to chronic neck pain.
  • Injuries. There are many ways to injure your neck. Sports injuries are very common, as are auto accidents, which can lead you to experience a neck problem for quite some time. Even exercising improperly can lead to neck pain. If you are someone who loves bull-or-bronco riding, neck pain is a real possibility when participating in these events.
  • Being Repetitive. Love hunching over your smartphone all day? How about scrunching up on the couch to play video games? As the intensity increases, so do the muscles in your neck, until you can develop real, and very painful neck pain. Even many hours of driving can cause neck discomfort.

Don’t let neck pain spoil your fun. There are treatments and pain management in Phoenix at Pain Stop Clinics that will have you fixed up in a jiffy!

Common back pain triggers

Life has many shared experiences, and one of those things is back pain. Most Americans will say they have had some kind of back pain at one time or another.

Back pain causes more than just an inconvenience for you. It cuts into time at work, exercising, or doing all you need do over the course of a day. It can, literally, stop you in your tracks. If you’ve ever experienced gripping, intense back pain, you know exactly how that feels.

Back Pain Triggers

There are hundreds of potential triggers. Some of the more common causes of back pain include:

  • Strain. Muscles and ligaments feel ‘pulled’, and that’s because they are. From lifting improperly, to exercising in the wrong way, to turning or twisting, or just picking something up, your back muscles can become tight from overuse.
  • Herniated and Bulging Discs. Vertebrae in the spine are cushioned by discs. When these discs rupture, pressure is put directly on the spinal nerve, resulting in bad back pain. Bulging discs can act the same way as a herniated one, causing intense lower back pain.
  • Sciatica. If your back pain starts in your buttocks area and travels down one of your legs, this is caused by pressure on the nerve, and you are experiencing sciatica. Sciatica is a very uncomfortable pain, which may or may not go away on its own.
  • Osteoarthritis. With age, the breakdown of cartilage and the cushion between the cartilage becomes brittle over time. This can also lead to the possibility of intense spinal back pain.
  • Obesity. This is a real problem facing society today. Being overweight brings its own set of problems, and one of the real health issues is back problems. Your back can only take so much pressure, and added weight will not help you to move or get around with ease. Lose the pounds and you’ll lose the back pain.
  • Improper posture. Staring at your smartphone or computer all day can lead to the worst kind of posture imaginable. Sitting in a hunched or strained position for any length of time, will only put an added strain on your back muscles. Do this on a regular basis, and pain will not be far behind.

Did you know there is pain management clinic in Phoenix that can diagnose and treat all of these back pain triggers? Don’t wait a minute more to have your back pain treated.

Back Pain or Pulled Muscle?

Back pain is something most people will experience at one time or another. There are many reasons for back pain, some of which are:

• herniated or bulging discs
• arthritis or osteoarthritis
• sciatica
• obesity
• degenerative disc disease
• improper posture
• muscle strain

If you wake up one morning and feel intense back pain, it can be difficult to identify exactly what is causing the back pain. Is the pain you feel just a pulled muscle or is it something deeper? Pulled muscle pain can range from a mild ache to a truly debilitating pain, which often comes on suddenly. Symptoms of a pulled muscle are:

•Pain comes on suddenly, especially if you have been lifting a heavy object;
•The pain is usually located in the lower back;
•You may experience muscle spasms along with the back pain;
•You feel better when at rest, but you are in real need of pain relief when standing or walking
•Muscle pulls can last for some time, with intermittent flare-ups of pain over days or weeks.

If your back pain is accompanied by numbness or tingling with a pain that starts in your lower back, then radiates down one leg, then you are experiencing sciatica. Sciatica is a symptom of something gone wrong, such as a pinched nerve or degenerative disc disease.

Chronic pain is when the pain lasts several weeks or more, for no apparent reason. There are many reasons you can be dealing with daily back discomfort over a long period of time. Back pain can originate from a sports injury, an accident, a work-related incident, or something else, such as pregnancy, for instance.

There are ways to lessen back pain or avoid it altogether. Here are a few thoughts to keep in mind.

Don’t be a weekend warrior. In other words, don’t try to be Superman two days a week. Your exercise regimen should reflect what it looks like the other five days of the week.

Watch your lifting techniques. It’s all too easy to quickly pick up a heavy object without thinking. Bend your knees when lifting and never twist around until you’ve put that object down.

Mind your computer manners. In fact, don’t let the digital lifestyle overtake you. Being hunched over playing games or sitting intensely at your desk all day long, will wreck your back, guaranteed.

For all kinds of back pain, which includes sciatic back pain relief, find out what your pain management professionals can do for you starting today.

Questions You Should Ask About Back Pain

Back pain is experienced by millions of people every day. Sometimes, you know exactly why you have it, other times, it may be a mystery. Finding the cause of your back pain can be difficult. Knowing what questions to ask your doctor can help you to find ways to manage the pain and avoid aggravating it.

Consider asking your doctor these questions the next time you’re in for a visit.

  1. What will worsen my back pain? Chances are you are backing off from doing any heavy lifting. Are there certain movements or activities you should avoid? You definitely want to know.
  2. Is there a serious condition that is causing my back pain? Not all back pain is the same. Some is muscle related, while other back pain can be from a disease or a disorder. Has anything been ruled out?
  3. Is medicine called for? What about alternative measures? Depending on the severity of your back pain, there are any number of resources available for back pain relief.
  4. If I do take medicine, how long will I need it? What are any side effects? Is taking this medication over the long term possibly harmful? This is important because no one wants to become dependent on their medications. Too often, you hear about many people who can’t live without their meds, and this is exactly what you want to avoid.
  5. Where can I find out more about living with this type of back pain? Chronic pain relief options should be readily available right in your doctor’s office. There are many alternatives available these days.
  6. Are there special accommodations I should be aware of when at work, school or at home? You are in different environments everywhere you go, and each one may present its own set of challenges. It’s best to know what you should do to take the guesswork out of each situation. You might love to use the stairs at work, and now have a recommendation to use the elevator instead.
  7. What about exercise? Know your limits, especially if you are aching to go to the gym or workout heartily at home. You don’t want to make a bad back situation any worse.

Your pain management doctors in Mesa will have all the answers to your questions about back pain relief. Stop your pain today- contact us to set up your free consultation.

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