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|Chiropractic Care, Your Nerve System, and Pain|
The experience of pain causes all sorts of unpleasant physical reactions. Tight muscles are one such response, and muscular tightness may progress to localized knots, known as trigger points, and even muscle spasm. These responses are never a good thing, and usually result in more widespread and more intense pain.
The solution to most types of musculoskeletal pain involves getting at the underlying cause of the problem. Often, the underlying cause is biomechanical. Neck pain or low back pain, for example, frequently results from a lack of full mobility of spinal vertebras and the resulting irritation and inflammation of spinal muscles and spinal ligaments. Bigger problems may ensue when this irritation and inflammation begins to affect spinal nerves. Nerve inflammation may then involve other tissues and organs, with subsequent development of various symptoms and disorders.
By addressing the underlying cause of biomechanical pain, regular chiropractic care helps restore maximum function to both your spinal column and your spinal nerves. The long-term result is enhanced health and well being for you and your family.
Trigger points are painful nodules in muscular tissue, commonly found in the upper back, low back, and gluteal muscles. Trigger points are frequently chronic, persisting from day to day without much relief. When someone says, “My muscles are all in knots”, those knots are most likely trigger points.
The formal definition of a trigger point describes a localized region of tenderness, located in a tight band of muscle, which is associated with a palpable twitch in response to deep pressure over the tight band.1 Such deep pressure usually results in pain radiating from the trigger point to the surrounding soft tissues. Formally, if the twitch response is not present, the localized muscle tightness cannot accurately be termed a trigger point. It may also be argued that characterizing a local muscle “knot” as a trigger point requires the presence of the above mentioned radiating pain. These definitions are of importance when making decisions about appropriate care for painful muscle knots.
As with any care management decision-making process, some procedures make sense and others do not. Many so-called pain management physicians will recommend injecting painful trigger points with an anesthetic or even botulinum toxin.2,3 Such an invasive procedure is rarely required. Pain management practitioners and even specialists in internal medicine will recommend muscle relaxers such as Robaxin, Flexeril, or even Soma in attempts to diminish muscular pain in the shoulders or low back that may or may not be associated with the presence of trigger points. The problem with such medications is they do not address the underlying cause of the painful muscle knots. Further, their efficacy with respect to muscular pain is questionable.
The mistake, as is frequently the case, is in thinking of trigger points as a real entity. But trigger points do not exist in a vacuum. These painful muscle knots arise as a consequence of mechanical disturbances and stress in the rest of the body. Attempting to treat the trigger points themselves with injections or medications misses the real problem. Trigger points have arisen in a person’s shoulders or low back owing to chronic issues elsewhere, typically involving the spinal column itself and the small muscles that enable those vertebras to move in three-dimensional space.
Trigger points are best managed by directing care to the underlying issues, primarily involving loss of full mobility of spinal vertebras and resultant inflammation in spinal muscles. As with many other biomechanical problems, chiropractic care is often the best solution. By utilizing a specific, highly targeted, noninvasive approach, chiropractic care helps alleviate the factors that have led to the painful muscle spasms known as trigger points. As the underlying biomechanics improve, the trigger points themselves begin to resolve, all without the need for injections or medications.
1Fernández-de-las-Peñas C, Dommerholt J: Myofascial trigger points: peripheral or central phenomenon? Curr Rheumatol Rep 16(1):395, 2014
2Kim SA, et al: Ischemic compression after trigger point injection affect the treatment of myofascial trigger points. Ann Rehabil Med 37(4):541-546, 2013
3Zhou JY, Wang D: An update on botulinum toxin a injections of trigger points for myofascial pain. Curr Pain Headache Rep 18(1):386, 2014
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Such nice office space. The Front Desk Manager was extremely helpful in scheduling me in for a same day appointment. With years of seeking medical attention for a severe neck/shoulder pain, Dr. Peter was the first Dr to sit with me and listen to my concerns. He was patient, attentive and created a treatment plan that I felt comfortable. His practice is modern, up to date and so comfortable. I highly recommend his practice if you're looking for quality treatment.
~ Emory S.
I saw Dr Peter to help me with some chronic back and neck pain. He did a fantastic job. Took his time to go over everything and explain what he was doing throughout the assessment. After the adjustment I felt so much better. Neck and back felt significantly better. I'll definitely continue seeing him.
~ Rachelle P.
Today, the "teacher" became the student/patient. In desperation and severe pain, I called my former chiropractic student, Dr. Kantzilieris to see if he could "fix" me. After a treatment by his gifted and truly magic hands, I walked out of the office totally upright for the first time today with an 80% reduction in pain. I never had a doubt. In the Paramus and surrounding area, look NO FURTHER than Next Step Chiropractic for your wellness needs!
~ Mary F.
After years of receiving treatment for a chronic pain condition at several other locations without much success, I visited Next Step Chiropractic in April. Dr. Peter is by the far one of the most understanding, respectful, and knowledgeable chiropractors out there. He genuinely cares about his patients and offers a variety of treatments, such as cold laser therapy and ultrasound. He came up with an individualized plan for me and for the first time in years, I have felt long lasting relief! I love that the office has individual treatment rooms for privacy. I highly recommend visiting Next Step Chiropractic and Dr. Peter.
~ Veronica C.
Amazing doctor. Had issues with my legs. After therapy and followed his instructions 3 months later I'm GREAT. Will I go again? 110% yes
~ Robert R.