==== ====What is Trigger Point ?http://tinyurl.com/6turww8==== ===="Pain is an experience produced by a body and mind trying to interpret sensation and determinewhether a threat is present."Neil Pearson, MSc (RHBS) BscPT, BA, BPHE, "Yoga for People in Pain" International Journal ofYoga Therapy, Vol 18 (2008)As a warning signal, pain is helpful. It usually indicates injury and encourages change to promotehealing and prevent further harm. Unfortunately, pain messages can outlive their useful purposeand take on a life of their own.Fifty million Americans live with chronic pain and an additional 25 million have acute pain from anillness or injury according to Kathryn Weiner, PhD, the Director of the American Academy of PainManagement. More important than statistics is the fact that hurting prevents people from enjoyinglife. If not stopped in its early phases, pain can create a cycle that lingers and eventually becomeschronic. Therefore, its important to relieve pain as soon as possible.Pain may be alerting you to one of the following five cycles, which can be resolved.Pain Cycle Scenario #1 - Inflammation Gone WildInflammation is a natural part of the acute healing process. Blood flow increases to injured areasof the body in order to bring nutrition and carry away damaged cells. When the inflammatoryprocess doesnt turn off, internal swelling puts pressure on sensitive tissues and creates more painand prolonged injury.You can control inflammation naturally with RICE: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Noticethe first criterion is rest, which means the body needs a break from all stressful activities. Ice,compression and elevation take time, but its worth it to spend 15 minutes icing with the body partelevated three to four times a day.Diet is also a factor. Hydrogenated oils, saturated fats, and sugar contribute to inflammation.Omega-3 oils and dark, leafy, green vegetables counteract those effects.If natural remedies arent enough, there are always over-the-counter anti-inflammatories such asibuprofen and naproxen. Note that acetaminophen does not reduce inflammation. Some peopleresist taking any pills. However, if you are caught in an inflammatory pain cycle, you will betempted to take even stronger pain relievers unless you get inflammation under control. (Note thatyour physician can prescribe even stronger anti-inflammatories.)
If all else fails, cortisone injections can be used to dramatically reduce swelling in a particular area.However, this option is used after others have failed.Pain Cycle Scenario #2 - Unconscious Repetitive InjurySometimes pain tells us that we have a bad habit which causes internal injury. The habits are soingrained that we arent conscious of ourselves or the negative effects. It may start with tension inthe neck and shoulders and then send pain into the arms and hands. Poor posture in front of acomputer or in a car is often the culprit. Other posture habits create different injuries. Low backpain is commonly the result of sitting back on the pelvis.An assessment of your posture and movement patterns can determine if your pain is the result ofan ineffective movement pattern. Structural integration practitioners are trained to spot thesepatterns as are physiatrists and physical therapists who treat the body holistically. Oncediagnosed, the challenge is to stop the behaviors that create injury and develop new, better habitsfor movement. But you cant even start the process without becoming aware of the harmfulpatterns.Pain Cycle Scenario #3 - Cascade of Trigger PointsTension is a natural reaction to pain. Muscular tension adds strain to already overloaded orweakened muscles, which increases pain. Trigger points are small sections muscles that are stuckin contraction and send pain to the surrounding or a distant area. If trigger points persist, new painpoints will develop in surrounding muscles which can become a web of agony that is hard tounravel - not to mention the tension that increases every step of the way.One solution is to decrease tension with relaxation techniques to reduce stress in the muscles.Progressive relaxation is one of the easiest techniques to try on your own and can be done in aslittle as 15 minutes. Lie in a quiet place and tune into your breath. Tighten the muscles in your toesas you inhale and as you exhale relax them as much as possible. Work up the muscle groups inyour body (calves, thighs, buttocks, etc.) squeezing the muscles on inhale and letting go as muchas possible on exhale. By the time you tighten and release your jaw, your whole body will be muchcalmer.Relieving the entire pattern of trigger points is also necessary, which requires a combination ofwarming the muscles, pressing the points, and stretching. Many times you can do this yourself. Itsimportant, however, to get every point or the pattern can return. Massage therapists whospecialize in trigger point therapy can help. The most extreme cases might need trigger pointinjections (usually injected with an analgesic called lidocaine), which can be administered by aphysician or physical therapist.Pain Cycle Scenario #4 - Pain and DepressionPeople with chronic pain are at higher risk of developing mood and anxiety disorders and peoplewho are depressed are more sensitive to pain sensations, as the brain pathways that process painand mood are related. Depression or anxiety and pain can become a vicious cycle as stressincreases pain and pain increases stress.
The progressive relaxation exercise noted above can be used, as well as other activities you findto be restful. Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction, a form of meditation, has been found to beextremely effective in increasing the ability to relax and the ability for patients to cope with theirsymptoms including pain.Exercise produces endorphins that reduce the perception of pain and increase the feeling of wellbeing. Walking is one of the most common and helpful, but any enjoyable exercise such as bikingor dancing will help combat a pain and anxiety/depression cycle.Slow breathing is also effective. Researchers at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Arizona foundthat study participants who tried to slow the breath rate to half could diminish pain and improvetheir mood. One way to slow your breath is to exhale through pursed lips, like a whisper. Anothertechnique is to count the inhale and exhale and increase the count of each (especially the exhale)slowly and incrementally.Medication is another option if natural remedies arent successful enough. Certain pain conditionsrespond to anti-depressants or a combination of anti-depressants and analgesics. Physicians whoare experienced in treating patients with chronic pain, such as physiatrists or rheumatologists,have the best knowledge to determine if this will work for you.Pain Cycle Scenario #5 - Amplified Pain MessagesSome of the latest research is finding that pain receptors can become oversensitive and producepain signals out of proportion to the actual condition of the body. In this case, the message is a bitlike Peter crying wolf.Neal Pearson in the article noted in the opening paragraph puts it so well. "The body and nervoussystem may amplify the signals to get attention. Pain could then intensify without further tissuedamage, the experience of pain could spread to new areas, previously non-painful movementmight become painful.""New Culprits in Chronic Pain" in the November 2009 issue of Scientific American details how thesensing neurons can become overly excited and create pain without a stimulus. In this case thebody-mind is misinterpreting sensation, but that doesnt change the amount of pain felt. In somecases the pain gets worse and worse.Researchers are developing new medicines to affect the sensing neurons and combat pain in adifferent way. That doesnt mean that current natural methods wont work. Alternative health carelike acupuncture and yoga therapy can affect the nervous system to restore a more accurateinternal sense of sensation, called proprioception.Finding the Right SolutionIts also possible that pain cycles are the result of more than one cause, for example inflammationand depression or unconscious habits and tension. As a result it can take a bit of trial and error tofind a combination of approaches that work for your particular situation.A journal can help you recognize and track your cycles and document what techniques that are
most helpful. With practice, you can decode the incomprehensible messages of your pain and findsome relief.To learn how to take care of your muscles and regain your vitality, visit http://www.vitalselfinc.com.Anita Boser is a Certified Hellerwork Practitioner, Professional Structural Integration Practitioner,yoga teacher, and author of "Undulation Exercises." You can read her weekly blog articles athttp://www.undulationexercise.blogspot.com.Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Anita_Boser==== ====What is Trigger Point ?http://tinyurl.com/6turww8==== ====