You wake to sore muscles and smile knowing that your workout certainly did its job. But if you awaken each day with persistent muscle aches and pains, the problem goes far beyond a new exercise regimen.
Here at Pain Medicine Consultants, our team provides expert and experienced care for most musculoskeletal problems, including chronic muscle pain.
In the following, we explore what may be behind your chronic muscle pain and how we can help you find much-needed relief.
Defining the muscle pain
As we pointed out earlier, there are many differences between acute and chronic muscle pain, namely duration. The muscle pain we describe above that develops after a workout is very much acute pain and lasts only a day or two.
We also consider the pain that stems from conditions like muscle strains or pulls as acute since these problems are targeted and do get better with time.
Chronic problems with your muscles usually persist for at least three to six months, though these numbers are only guidelines, as we may identify a potentially chronic problem after only a month or two.
Culprits of chronic muscle pain
There are two main culprits when it comes to chronic muscle pain, including:
Exertional compartment syndrome
Your limbs contain different compartments, which are sets of muscles, nerves, and blood vessels that are covered by a tough tissue called fascia. If you experience swelling or bleeding within one of these compartments, the pressure can lead to great discomfort in your muscles.
Myofascial pain syndrome
The muscles in your body are surrounded by fascia, which is a tough connective tissue. With myofascial pain syndrome (MFS), this tissue becomes inflamed, which can lead to considerable discomfort in your muscles.
The hallmarks of this chronic pain disorder are sensitive and painful trigger points that can cause pain in the muscles throughout your body. The exact cause of MFS is unknown, but we believe that it’s often associated with overuse, injury, and even stress.
Treating chronic muscle pain
If you’re experiencing chronic muscle pain, we work first to identify the problem. If we find that you have compartment syndrome, rest and medications can usually do the trick in resolving the problem.
If we find that your pain is attributable to MFS, our frontline treatment is trigger point injections. With trigger point injections, we target the knots in your muscles and fascia that are causing problems. We inject an anesthetic and a steroid into the tissue to help with the pain and inflammation.
Trigger point injections are designed to release the tension in your sensitive trigger points, which takes the pressure off of your surrounding muscles.
If you want relief from your chronic muscle pain, your first step is to contact one of our locations in Pleasant Hill, Pleasanton, or Corte Madera, California, to set up a consultation.