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Muscle Spasms in Neck, Shoulders and Arms can be the Result of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Page 1 of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Fascia Dehydration

Muscle spasms in neck, shoulders and arms are affected by fascia which is everywhere in our body. It is the solid lubricant that allows our various organs and muscles to move against one another without creating friction.

Not only is each of our muscles surrounded in fascia but each individual muscle fiber is also encased in this organic lubricant. When a muscle contracts the fascia allow the individual fibers to slide easily over one another.

The picture below is a close up of normal human muscle fibers. You can see how they overlay each other. The fascia glistens with moisture making it easy for contractions to take place.

As we age fascia begins to dehydrate losing its water content and lubricating ability. As this happens the fascia become stickier and instead of sliding against one another the muscle fibers start to stick together. The fibers get tighter and will cause muscle spasms in necks, shoulders and arms.

They eventually form knots; which everyone has likely had at one point in time. These are called adhesions and are also a common cause of left and right side neck pain and headaches.

There is no native mechanism in the body to fix muscle adhesions. Once they occur the body is powerless to fix them on its own. Adhesions also restrict a muscle from fully contracting.

When contracting the muscle fibers need to broaden and slide over each other. The adhesions restrict this motion just like a rusty hinge will make it hard to open a gate and many times stop it from fully opening.

It is estimated that a person loses about 30% of their muscle contraction when there is an adhesion. What does this mean? It means that you are weaker. Someone can perform muscle testing on you and muscle adhesions will show up as a muscle being weak. If you were simply lazy you can exercise the muscle to get stronger. If you have an adhesion you will get stronger once you have the adhesion removed.

As adhesions develop we are not necessarily feeling pain. Imagine you have a scale from 0-10 for the tightness of a muscle with zero being as loose as possible and 10 being as tight as possible.

You will not feel pain until you are at about a level 7.

Chronic myofascial pain will be experienced from about level 8 through 10 where you constantly feel the pain and muscle spasms in neck, shoulders and arms.

From 4-7 you won’t feel pain but if someone presses on a muscle it will be tender or even painful. We have all had that experience when someone squeezes our shoulder for instance and it is tender. That sensation is the muscles beginning to tighten.

Below level 4 is where we want to be where the muscles are fairly loose and can absorb physical activity before becoming tight.

Trigger Points

Trigger points can also cause muscle spasms in necks, shoulders and arms. They develop when you have neurological tightness and adhesions from dehydration of the fascia. Once the adhesion develops a trigger point is created at the spot of the adhesion. This trigger point will refer pain to another part of the body.

The picture below shows two trigger points in the pectoralis minor muscle which typically cause chronic shoulder pain and refer pain down the arm in the red highlighted areas.

We do not yet understand exactly how a trigger point works but they do have predictable patterns.

Janet Travell discovered this referred pain phenomena and has written a couple of books that layout the possible originating trigger points for each area that is experiencing referred pain.

How do you know if you have a trigger point related problem? If the doctor or therapist is probing the area of pain and cannot stimulate the same pain sensation then it is likely a trigger point related issue.

One example would be someone experiencing pain in the front of their shoulder. The therapist will probe the shoulder area trying to reproduce the pain sensation. If they are unable to that they can then check if it may be referred pain from a trigger point.

Travell’s books will list the specific trigger points that are known to refer pain to the front of the shoulder. As the therapist probes each of those areas one will reproduce the pain sensation that the patient is experiencing.

The picture below shows two trigger points in the trapezius muscle which typically refer pain across the shoulder and up the neck to the base of the skull in the red highlighted areas.

Doctors continue to research the mechanism behind how trigger points cause muscle spasms in necks, shoulders and arms. Until this is understood we at least have the ability to pinpoint the muscle adhesion responsible for a patient’s referred pain.

The important thing to understand with Myofascial Pain Syndrome is that it is 100% fixable. Any soft tissue injury involving muscles, tendons, ligaments and connective tissue can be fixed. The hardest part is accurately diagnosing the problem. A doctor or therapist experienced in soft tissue work should be able to determine whether your pain is muscle related. If it is many of the treatments can be performed at home by you.

Educational Videos

These 3D animations with voice-over are to help you better understand your condition and the possible course of action to treat it.

The simple to use interface will allow you to see and hear the explainations of many conditions, inculding their treatments. The Amazing Spine area will explain the human spine and each vertebrea’s affect on the internal organs and nerves.

To your better health!

Now the term Spinal Stenosis refers to the narrowing of the space between the spine and the spinal cord, which is called the spinal canal. It is in this space that the nerves that supply our legs and arms work from and when this area is narrowed the nerves become compressed and inflamed.

The symptoms of Spinal Stenosis are sometimes difficult to diagnose as these can be similar to other lower back pain complaints, especially that of Sciatica. The main difference being the majority of the pain with Spinal Stenosis will be felt in the top of the front your legs, whereas in Sciatica much of the pain is felt in the buttock. Both symptoms are accompanied by lower back pain.

With Spinal Stenosis you will almost certainly find difficulty walking for any distance or standing for any length of time, without having to sit down. In fact sitting or sometimes leaning forward will be the most comfortable position for you. The reason for this being that as you sit the vertebra opens slightly releasing a certain amount of pressure from the affected nerve.

There are some severe cases of Spinal Stenosis where the nerve is compressed to such an extent that you foot may stop working, this is known as dropped foot. It is also possible to have problems with bladder or bowel control. However these instances are rare, but if you are suffering with these symptoms, urgent medical attention will be required.

So what are the reasons for the spinal canal narrowing? Well there are many reasons, but the main ones being A ruptured or degenerative disc, which has pushed into the spinal canal.

As we age the ligaments and tissues that surround the spinal area become thicker. This means that they are taking up more space, which unfortunately is in the spinal canal.

With people that suffer with Arthritis, bony tissue spurs can grow into the spinal canal. Degenerative joints and bones in the spinal area swell which again reduces the space in the spinal canal.

If Spinal Stenosis is suspected as the cause of your lower back pain, your medical advisor will arrange for you to have an MRI scan to find out why the space in the spinal canal has been reduced and then he can advise on the best course of treatment for you.

Spinal StenosisTreatment Options

Often light painkillers or muscle relaxers will be recommended, to help reduce the pain, or if the pain from the Spinal Stenosis is more severe you may be prescribed with stronger medication.

The problem with prescribed medication is that much of it has side effects and can cause nausea, or stomach ulcers, plus if taken for long period of time can become addictive.

An alternative anti-inflammatory is the excellent HealNSoothe. This is a 100% natural remedy designed especially for people with Spinal Stenosis & back pain. It works by eradicating the toxins and impurities that form around the areas of the spine, and targets the exact areas of irritation, reducing your pain and making you feel altogether better.

But that’s not all, the combination of natural ingredients act to protect and maintain the areas of the spine so that you will receive relief over a long period of time. This product really is an excellent choice for the relief of pain caused by Spinal Stenosis. If you would like more information on ‘Heal N Soothe’ you can visit their website by clicking here

Pain relief products are just the first step in your quest to end Spinal Stenosis.The next step is to introduce some light aerobic exercises into your daily or weekly routine. Just 20 minutes on a stationery bike, swimming or a cross trainer are excellent choices as these are non impact and will not cause any distress to your already fragile back.

These exercises will help relieve some of the tension in your lower back, will get the blood flowing through the muscles, plus the natural endorphins that are released into your body after exercise will act as natural pain killer.

You should also start a lower back pain exercise and stretching program. Specialist exercises that are targeted to Spinal Stenosis symptoms are proven to be the very best way for immediate and long term relief.

If you belong to a gym speak to one of the trainers and ask if they can prepare a program to strengthen the muscles in your lower back and your abdomen, and also ask them to advise some stretching exercises for your legs and back. It would also be advisable to ask them to take you through the program, to ensure that you are doing the exercises properly, as bad form can cause even further problems.

If you do not belong to a gym I can recommend the following programs that you can do in the comfort of your own home.

The first is the highly recommended Lose the Back Pain program.

This is a DVD based program that gives you the exact beneficial exercises to perform for Spinal Stenosis and many other back complaints. You can visit their website at :


The second program is a stretching program. This program comes in the form of a book and/or DVD and shows you stretches for just about every part of the body.

These are the 3 main treatments for initial and long term relief from Spinal Stenosis, but of course there are many more options, surgical and non surgical.

The bottom line for Spinal Stenosis sufferers is It is keep active, if anybody has advised bed rest, this really is bad advise and will almost certainly make matters worse.

The very best way to treat Spinal Stenosis and keep it at bay is the same advice as with most other lower back complaints – keep your weight down, introduce aerobic and lower back strength training into your weekly routine, and take extra care when lifting of moving heavy or awkward objects.

Surgical intervention is very rarely required, and can definitely be avoided if the just these simple changes to your lifestyle are made.


“Discover a Lower Back Pain Exercise Program That Will Pinpoint Your Problem; Treat the Cause, Wipe Out Your Pain and Armour Plate You’re Lower Back Against Future Occurrences – Quickly And Easily”

Lower Back Pain Exercise – is one – if not THE most important ‘self treatments’ that will benefit your lower back. – Plus… a sure-fire way to rapidly eliminate your pain.

BUT – not all exercise for lower back pain is good; in fact, if your exercise program is not specifically targeted to the cause of you back problem, you may be in danger of making things worse.

So how are you supposed to know a good exercise from a bad one?

Well one way would be to hire a qualified personal trainer/post-rehab specialist who could address your muscle imbalance and create a tailor made exercise program for you.

That said, good trainers are expensive and the best ones are usually very hard to get hold of. If you are lucky enough to find a good trainer, and can afford the fees this route would be a good choice.

An equally good choice would be an excellent exercise and stretching program called Lose The Back Pain.

The program format is an online Video (or DVD), plus a 65 page instruction manual.

You will discover through a series of pinpoint self assessment tests, and self treatment strategies Exactly what’s causing your pain What physical dysfunctions that you have and how you can start treating them.

Pain Reduction Strategies, which can have immediate effect Stretching exercises to treat your specific condition & exercises that will armour plate your back and prevent future occurrences

The Lower Back Pain Exercise Program

But that’s not all, for a limited time you will get 3, thirty minute one on one phone consultations in which you will be personally guided step-by-step through the system… ensuring you perform the assessments correctly, reviewing your assessments and photos, helping you to identify which specific dysfunctions you have, ensuring you make consistent progress and answering any questions you might have along the way!

Best of all this system is easy to understand, and only requires as little as a few minutes a day. Plus… it really does work.

Just read and listen to the 100’s of testimonials on the next page.

What’s more you can try it totally risk free for 30 days, as it comes with a 100% money back guarantee- No questions asked.

As lower back pain exercise and stretching programs go, you will not find better. This system really is comprehensive and specifically targeted to your specific problem.

It offers excellent value for money. “In fact it’s just like having your very own personal trainer in your living room” – but for the cost of just one training session!

To learn more about the ultimate lower back pain exercise program, and cure your back pain once and for all, I urge you to click here and get all the details, and please read the testimonials from 100’s of ex-sufferers

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