Myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by pain due to the activation of trigger points.1 Although the trigger points are localized, the effect of this is experienced in the whole body. Various treatment options are available including invasive such as dry needle and non-invasive such as massage and hot bath.
Alternative Treatment For Myofascial Pain Syndrome
The following are some of the supportive alternative ways to manage myofascial pain syndrome:
Kinesio Taping Method. The Kinesio taping method is used to limit the mobility of the musculoskeletal system so as to reduce swelling and inflammation and also to lower the risk of secondary injury.2 Kinesio taping methods increases the blood circulation by widening the subcutaneous space and also have an effect on the myofascial trigger points.
Improve Poor Posture. Soreness and pain due to myofascial pain may arise because of poor posture.3 As the large muscles are involved in pain due to poor posture, the recovery time is long. Thus, the patient should learn to have a good posture and consult it with his doctor and physiotherapist.
Avoid Overloading Muscles. When the muscles are overloaded, the trigger points get activated leading to myofascial symptoms. Thus, the patient, especially with the previous history of myofascial pain, should provide rest to muscles.
Avoid Repetitive Movements Of Muscles. Repetitive movement of the muscles is the primary causative factor for myofascial pain syndrome. If your job requires performing repetitive muscular movements, you may advise by your healthcare professional to take regular breaks in between.
Manage The Triggers. Various triggered increases the risk of myofascial pain. These triggers include muscle stiffness, muscular injury, repetitive movements, and emotional stress. The patient should avoid these triggers to prevent pain and soreness.
Maintain Proper Sleep Posture. Patient with myofascial pain syndrome has poor sleep due to pain and stress. The patient should manage his stress and a proper sleep posture should be maintained so as to reduce the pain in a particular area.
Use Devices For Maintaining Body Alignment. Various devices are available to minimize the action of trigger points. One of the devices is night guard that prevents the symptoms of temporomandibular disorder.
Massage Therapy. Massage helps improves blood circulation and pressurizing the trigger points leading to pain reduction. Various massaging techniques are used to treat myofascial pain. In the deep fraction massage, the pressure is applied through the long axis of the muscle fibers. Though the massage therapy, the therapist tries to increase the local proprioception leading to a reduction in the status of dysfunction.
Hot Bath. Hot bath or hot shower is one of the effective and non-invasive methods to treat myofascial pain. Hot bath results in improved circulation and the heat also reduces the muscular tension.
Ultrasound. It is helpful in patients who do not want to go for needle therapy as the efficacy of ultrasound therapy is at par with the needle therapy. Ultrasound helps to increase the blood flow leading to reduced swelling and inflammation.
Hot Herbal Compress. Hot herbal compression containing various herbs is found to be more effective than the topical diclofenac. The hot herbal compress consists of A. concinna, C. hystrix, C. citratus, T. indica, Z. cassumunar, B. balsamifera, C. longa, and camphor. Heat therapy increases the blood circulation while the chemical constituents from the herbs provide relief from pain and inflammation.
Supplementation. Supplementation with various substances also helps in lowering the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome. Capsicum is a natural pain killer and also bears anti-inflammatory property. Adding a sufficient quantity of capsicum in food helps to alleviate pain. Other supplements to be considered in myofascial pain include L-tryptophan, glucosamine, resveratrol, and ginger.
Myofascial pain can be managed through alternative treatment. These treatments are non-invasive and provide significant relief from pain and swelling. Treatment includes supplementation with glucosamine or resveratrol, massage therapy, hot herbal compress, ultrasound, Kinesio taping method, mechanical devices, proper sleeping posture, managing stress and anxiety and caring the muscles.
- Myofascial Pain Syndrome or Chronic Myofascial Pain: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Prognosis, Pathophysiology