Myofascial Pain Syndrome?! What is that? Does that have something to do with my face? I had no idea what “myofascial” meant much less “pain syndrome”. It sounded so ominous. I did what most people do. I got on the Internet and found out that Myofascial Pain Syndrome is chronic muscle pain that persists or worsens. Chronic fatigue was also a symptom.
I soon found myself in the office of a Rheumatologist. He told me that if I didn’t watch out, I was going to have Fibromyalgia. I didn’t know what Fibromyalgia was either, but it seemed as if that was a fate worse than death. The next thing I knew I was being prescribed medicine for exactly that and was given appointments for physical therapy twice a week. At physical therapy I was on a recumbent bike each time I came and then they would massage an area of my body or attach me to electrical stimulation. The massage helped, but I had pain in more parts of my body than just the small area they treated. I hurt even more after working on the bike.
The physical therapy room was so bright and the television was blaring CNN News. It seemed that I started feeling awful again by the time I got into the parking lot! After about six weeks of getting nowhere, there was an article in the newspaper about Myofascial Release. The article addressed all of my issues so I contacted the clinic.
The minute I walked through the door I was pleasantly surprised by the warm colors on the walls, calming music, and comfortable furniture. There was extensive dialogue about injuries and surgeries I’ve had and then my first treatment began. I was told I would probably be sore the next day because the tissues in my body were being moved around. I was shown some stretching exercises to do between appointments.
I realized my pain was not going to go away anytime soon so I’d better learn what I can do to help myself.
There is a big difference in Myofascial Release as opposed to the traditional physical therapy I had taken prior to Myofascial Release. With Myofascial Release, I feel discomfort when pressure is applied to my tight tissues and trigger points, but once those areas release, I feel better. Myofascial Release is also all “hands-on” therapy. Myofascial Release therapy does not involve riding a bike like I did in physical therapy. The therapist uses her hands on me for the whole treatment. If I stretch between appointments and get proper rest, I can sustain that freedom from pain for short periods of time at the present moment. It is so nice to be pain-free even for short periods of time. Sometimes I feel like I want to jump out of my skin!