There are a lot of ways that we can use to treat muscle pain like (1) “Non-pharmacologic treatment modalities that include acupuncture, osteopathic manual medicine techniques, massage, acupressure, ultrasonography, application of heat or ice, diathermy, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, ethyl chloride Spray and Stretch technique, dry needling, and trigger-point injections with local anesthetic, saline, or steroid”, but the most effective and accessible methods are these two:
Medication can help; this involves using common pain killers such as NSAIDs. If the case has progressed, a doctor may prescribe the use of muscle relaxants, analgesics, and anticonvulsants. While subduing the pain with medication can help a muscle relax, it may not fully release the build up of lactic acid and the pain can reoccur creating a cycle of more medication use. NSAIDs and common pain killers can be tough on the stomach lining putting one at risk of ulcers and digestive problems. Our next and favorite method gets to the source of the problem with the lowest risks.
Massage therapy is the best medication free way for treating muscle trigger points. As explained earlier, the trigger point becomes painful due to the accumulation of lactic acid, and this lactic acid is due to the constant use of the muscle. Since the muscle is in spasm, the blood supply to the region is not so great. A massage appropriately done can go a long way because it increases the blood flow to that area. The increased blood flow to that area causes waste materials like lactic acid to be transported out, and fresh oxygen is introduced. This fresh oxygen can rejuvenate the muscles and they return to the previous relaxed state. This is why it is preferred that we massage the area first rather than use pharmacological treatments.
Best way to massage a knot?
There are four main ways to massage a pressure trigger point on your body to relieve pain. These are as follows:
- passive rhythmic release
- active rhythmic release
- shiatsu (acupressure)
- trigger point pressure release
The most reliable method is the trigger point pressure release method. This procedure doesn't involve using force on the trigger point, instead a gentle massage on the area of pain. The therapist will gently massage superficially, stretch the muscle, and then release the pressure. This procedure is done several times; and eventually the muscle is completely relaxed.
Professional massage therapists are a great source to treat muscle pain and knots as they are trained in body mechanics and massage techniques. After a massage, is it important to drink extra water to help flush out the extra lactic acid and continue gentle stretching and massage at home.
Unfortunately, regular access to professional massage is difficult for some as the medical field under values the treatment of massage therapy so insurance companies rarely cover the expense unless it is incorporated in a physical therapy session. This makes massage therapy less affordable for many. Using massage tools at home is a great back up plan to treat yourself. The investment in massage tools that usually last a long time will get you through many needed self massage sessions. If you have someone at home, enlist a massage exchange and both people benefit.
Alvarez, D. J., & Rockwell, P. G. (2002, February 15). Trigger points: Diagnosis and management. American Family Physician. Retrieved March 22, 2022, from https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0215/p653.html?userguid=unk-1632566170543&condition=other&clientId=&entityId=203&clientSiteId=default&groupId=&tp=WEB_PORTAL