Trigger points

Trigger Points in muscle and other soft tissue are one of the most common causes of a wide variety of pain and dysfunction, including (but not limited to):

 

• Achy persistent pain
• Severe local pain
• Arm / leg pain
• Back pain
• Radiating pain
• Weakness
• Stiffness

• Pain resulting from a medical condition, such as
– Migraines
– Sciatica
– TMJ dysfunctions
– Arthritis
– Fibromyalgia
– Carpal tunnel syndrome
– Soft tissue injuries
– And more…

Trigger points and fibromyalgia

Myofascial pain syndrome (trigger points) and fibromyalgia are often confused to be the same condition and while there is a lot of interrelatedness between the two they are not quite identical. The clinical definition of a trigger point is “a hyper irritable spot associated within a taut band of skeletal muscle that is painful on compression or muscle contraction, and usually responds with a referred pain pattern distant from the spot”. Trigger points form from an overload trauma to the muscle tissue. This is contrasted with fibromyalgia which is defined as “a medical condition characterized by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Other symptoms include tiredness to a degree that normal activities are affected, sleep problems and troubles with memory. Some people also report restless leg syndrome, bowel and bladder problems, numbness and tingling and sensitivity to noise, lights and temperature. It is also associated with depression, anxiety, and post traumatic stress disorder”. Fibromyalgia will also present with localized tender points which are often mistaken for trigger points. Where these two conditions become somewhat interrelated is via the nervous system. Fibromyalgia patients suffer from a super-sensitization of the nervous system causing hyperirritability and pain. Myofascial trigger points can be caused by,or be the cause of, super sensitization. An active trigger point will irritate the sensory nerves around it eventually leading to super-sensitization. Trigger points have also been showed to form of become active due to super-sensitization. Both of these conditions can perpetuate the other, leading to layers of pain and symptoms. This being the case, trigger point therapy can have a very positive effect on decreasing the severity of pain and symptoms in patients suffering from fibromyalgia.

Bryan Cobb RMT.

Since 2005, Bryan has been dedicated to helping all people with chronic and acute pain caused by soft-tissue damage.

His training and experience make him uniquely qualified to treat a wide variety of pain and dysfunction and to give instruction on prevention and self-care.

Bryan is the only Massage Therapist in Manitoba — and one of the few in Canada — to be certified by the Certification Board for Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists (CBMTPT).

Bryan holds a degree as an Advanced Remedial Massage Therapist (ARMT) from the Massage Therapy College of Manitoba.  Course work at MTCM includes
• over 2,000 hours of practice, as well as
• intensive course work,
• a supervised clinical practicum, and
• community outreach placements.

MTCM has a credit transfer affiliation with the University of Winnipeg, ensuring that its courses are held to the highest level.  When Bryan studied at MTCM, the college was the only massage therapy college in western Canada accredited by the Commission on Massage Therapy Accreditation.  Today, the college is a member of the Canadian Council of Massage Therapy Schools.

Bryan is a member in good standing of the Natural Health Practitioners of Canada.

Bryan also has a background in Anatomy, Exercise Physiology, and Sport Sciences from the University of Manitoba, and he has worked as a personal trainer and fitness leader.

He is an avid natural bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast, and has a blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

Is there an actual cure all?

Exercise Tip

No; but exercise seems to be as close as we will ever get! 

Some of you may have heard about how a modified form of boxing is helping patients with Parkinson’s disease (PD). If you haven’t, it’s been observed that people with Parkinson’s disease (PD) who engage in this boxing-like exercise routine can enhance their quality of life and even build impressive gains in posture, strength, flexibility, and speed. Proponents of the program report that regardless the degree of severity of PD, participants have a happier, healthier, and higher quality of life.

But must it be boxing? Maybe not. A report presented at the International Congress of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders in San Diego in June 2015 found that patients with Parkinson’s disease who began regular exercise early into the PD process had a much slower decline in their quality of life when compared with those who started exercising later. The researchers found just 2.5 hours per week of exercise is needed to improve quality of life scores. According to the report, it didn’t matter what exercise the participants did — simply getting up and moving for a total of 2.5 hours/week was reportedly enough (that’s only 20-25 minutes / day)!

Looking beyond Parkinson’s, other chronic conditions also benefit from adding exercise into a person’s lifestyle. Studies show that regular exercise as simple as walking helps reduce one’s risk for memory loss, and it slows down functional decline in the elderly. Incorporating aerobic exercise into one’s lifestyle can also improve reaction time in people at ALL AGES. Exercise has also been shown to improve both physical and emotional well-being in those afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease with as little as 60 minutes/week of moderate exercise! Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) have also reported less stiffness and less muscle wasting when using exercise machines, aquatic exercise, and/or walking.

Research has shown just 30 minutes of brisk exercise three times a week can help reduce depressive symptoms in patients with mild-to-moderate depression. In a study involving teenagers, those who engaged in sports reported a greater level of well-being than their sedentary peers, and the more vigorous the exercise, the better their emotion health! In kids 8-12 years old, physical inactivity is strongly linked to depression.

Even anxiety, stress, and depression associated with menopause are less severe in those who exercise! So LET’S ALL GET OUT THERE AND EXERCISE!!!

Food Myth #4

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Nuts are junk food and should be avoided

Nut-uh. Nuts are a great source of protein, healthy fats and nutrient but are relatively high in calories. As a result they are a great snack but you need to keep an eye on portion control.

Recent research at Harvard (heard of them?) showed that women who ate a handful of nuts 5 times a week as a snack were 20% less likely to develop type II diabetes as those that didn’t. Also, several studies have shown that having nuts as a regular part of your diet helps protect against heart disease.

Now, this isn’t licence to crush all the peanuts you want when you’re watching the game… Be smart about your intake and look for nuts like almonds, brazils, cashews, macadamias and pistachios that aren’t swimming in (admittedly delicious) salt and oil.

So when you’re planning your snacks for the Super Bowl or the next Jets game, go nuts.

 

Food Myth #3

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Avoid eggs because of their cholesterol content.

Eggs got a bad rep years ago because we thought they contributed to a rise in levels of LDL (Bad) cholesterol. The most recent research shows that eggs don’t actually contribute to high cholesterol at all and are a great source of iron, zinc, lutein, vitamin D and choline, not to mention a cheap, easy source of protein.

So go ahead with your eggs tomorrow morning! You’ll be healthier for it.

 

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https://www.heartfoundation.org.au/healthy-eating/food-and-nutrition/protein-foods/eggs
https://www.eatrightontario.ca/en/Articles/Heart-Health/Understanding-Eggs-and-Cholesterol-How-many-eggs.aspx
https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/are-eggs-risky-for-heart-health

Food Myth #2

Meal Prep

Mixing Carbs, Fats & Proteins is hard on digestion

I’ve heard this myth from people for years and I have no clue where it came form. The idea is that by combining foods you will overwhelm your digestive system and minimize proper absorption of nutrients.

In reality, there is zero science to back this up. Your body is more than capable of dealing with multiple food type as soon as they enter your system. The acids in your stomach will start working on every ounce of food you ingest without fail regardless of the make up of your meal.

Trying to separate carbs, proteins and fats into individual meals over the course of the day while also trying to eat healthy is an unnecessary complication to an already complicated process. Enjoy balanced, healthy meals without worrying about the processes your body uses to get the nutrients into your system.

Food Myth Series

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Over the next few weeks we will be addressing some common food myths that, frankly, drive us a little bit crazy when we hear them. Hopefully we are able to clarify some common misconceptions regarding diet and how what you eat affects how you feel and perform.

We are always open to discussion and want to hear any food myths you have heard in your travels that made you go “What?”.

So, without further delay, food myth #1:

Eating Fats Is Unhealthy

Generations of now adults have been brainwashed into believing that fats = getting fat by the Canada Food Guide. This is simply not the case. While some fats are unhealthy, plenty more have benefits that you won’t find elsewhere. A lower calorie eating plan that includes healthy fats can help people lose more weight than a similar diet that’s low in fat, according to a study in the International Journal of Obesity. Fats make food taste better, keep you fuller and help prevent overeating.

It is true that fats have more calories per gram than proteins and carbs but those calories come with health benefits that the others don’t. Healthy fats like the ones found in salmon, olive oil, nuts and avocados are key to several healthy living goals including:

1. They are a major fuel source for your body (meaning they provides a lot of calories) and are also the main way you store energy.
2. You need fat to help you absorb certain nutrients, such as fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K) and antioxidants (like lycopene and beta-carotene).
3. Fats are important in giving your cells structure.
4. Omega-3 fats, a type of unsaturated fat, are important for optimum nerve, brain and heart function.

One type of fat you don’t need? Trans fats, an artificial kind of fat found in partially hydrogenated oils and a main ingredient in the food frying process (delicious, yes, but very unhealthy).

Source

So there you go, a quick overview of why fats are important in every healthy diet. Come back next week for more food myth-busting.

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The Best Diet For Fibromyalgia?

Anti-Inflam

Fibromyalgia (FM) and its cause remains a mystery, but most studies suggest that FM is NOT the result of a single event but rather a combination of many physical, chemical, and emotional stressors.

The question of the month regarding the BEST FM diet is intriguing since one might assume that the many causes should mean that there isn’t one dietary solution. But is that true? Could there be a “best diet” to help ease the symptoms from such a multi-faceted disorder?

Certainly, healthy eating is VERY important for ALL of us regardless of our current ailment(s). Obesity is rampant largely due to the fact that 60% of the calories consumed by the “typical” American center around eating highly inflaming food that include those rich in Sugar, Omega-6 oil, Flour, and Trans fats (“SOFT” foods, if you will!). Obesity has been cited as “an epidemic” largely due to kids and adults becoming too sedentary (watching TV, playing on electronic devices, etc.) and eating poorly.

Perhaps the BEST way to manage the pain associated with FM and to maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index, or ratio between height and weight) is to substitute ANTI-INFLAMING foods for those that inflame (or SOFT foods).

You can simplify your diet by substituting OUT “fast foods” for fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. So there you have it. It’s that simple. The problem is making up your mind to change and then actually doing it. Once these two things take place, most everyone can easily “recalibrate” their caloric intake and easily adapt.

Not only have studies shown that chronic illnesses like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes significantly benefit by following this simple dietary shift, but so does pain arising from the musculoskeletal system! This is because the human body is made up largely of chemicals, and chemical shifts are constantly taking place when it moves. If you reach for an anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen or naproxen and it helps, it’s because you ARE inflamed and the drug reduces the pain associated with that inflammation. This is an indication that an anti-inflammatory diet WILL HELP as well (but without the negative side effects)!

The list of chronic conditions that result in muscle pain not only includes FM but also obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type II diabetes. Conditions like tension-type and migraine headaches, neck and back pain, disk herniation, and tendonopathies and MANY more ALL respond WELL to making this SIMPLE change in the diet. For more information on how to “DEFLAME,” visit http://www.deflame.com! It could be a potential “lifesaver!”

Fibromyalgia Diet?

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Folks suffering with fibromyalgia (FM) commonly complain that certain foods can make their symptoms worse. How common is this? One study reported 42% of FM patients found that certain foods worsened their symptoms!

Because FM affects each person differently, there is no ONE FM diet or, “…one size fits all” when it comes to eating “right” for FM. Patients with FM usually find out by trial and error which foods work vs. those that consistently don’t. However, remembering which foods do what can be a challenge so FIRST, make a three column FOOD LOG with the following headings: BETTER, NO CHANGE, WORSE. This will allow you to QUICKLY review the list as a memory refresher.

According to Dr. Ginevra Liptan, medical director of the Frida Center for Fibromyalgia (Portland, OR) and author of Figuring Out Fibromyalgia: Current Science and the Most Effective Treatments, there are some common trends she’s observed through treating FM patients. Here are some of her recommendations:

PAY ATTENTION TO HOW FOOD MAKES YOU FEEL: It is quite common to have “sensitivities” to certain foods, but this is highly variable from person to person. Examples of problematic foods/ingredients include: MSG (commonly used in Chinese food), other preservatives, eggs, gluten, and dairy. Dr. Liptan HIGHLY recommends the food journal approach! She also recommends including a note about the type of symptoms noticed with each “WORSE” food, as symptoms can vary significantly.

ELIMINATE CERTAIN FOODS: If you suspect a certain food may be problematic, try an elimination challenge diet. That means STOP eating that food for six to eight weeks and then ADD it back into your diet and see how you feel. Remember, FM sufferers frequently have irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, and this approach can be REALLY HELPFUL! Food allergies may be part of the problem, and your doctor may refer you for a consult with an allergist and/or a dietician. They will also discuss the “anti-inflammatory diet” with you.

EAT HEALTHY: In general, your diet should emphasize fruits and vegetables and lean protein. Pre-prepare food so you have something “healthy” to reach for rather than a less healthy snack when you’re hungry and tired. Consider “pre-washed” and pre-cut up vegetables; try quinoa rather than pasta. Consume anti-fatigue foods and eat multiple small meals daily vs. one to two large meals. Protein snacks (like a hardboiled egg or oatmeal – GLUTEN FREE) help a lot! Eat breakfast and include protein. Also, GET ENOUGH SLEEP (at least seven to eight hours and be consistent)!

SUPPLEMENTS: Consider a good general multi-vitamin, calcium and magnesium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D3, and Co-Enzyme Q10. There are others, but this represents a great place to start. Remember to check any medication you may be taking with these/any suggestions before taking supplements!

If you, a friend or family member requires care for Fibromyalgia, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services!