“I have an aching pain running from my neck down my arm and sometimes it feels numb. Advil has not helped it. Do you think it is a disc problem in my neck? ” Janet asked. Janet could move her head in all directions without any pain. Tests for a disc problem showed she did not have a disc pinching a nerve.

This time of year we see an up-tick in cases like Janet’s. The pains can be anywhere actually. Sometimes just in the shoulders, sometimes in the back, sometimes running from the neck up to the head, and sometimes going down into the hips or thighs like sciatica. Part of our job as chiropractors is to figure out if the pain is coming from a pinched nerve, a joint, a hurt muscle or an internal organ. Janet’s problem turned out
to be pain from a muscle caused by a trigger point. Trigger points can cause pain to radiate to other parts of the body, can cause muscle spasms, and can feel just like a pinched nerve.

Trigger points are an insidious but common cause of pains in the winter. When muscles that have been injured recently or even in the ancient past get chilled, they can start hurting again. The pain ranges from a cold achy pain to arthritis like pain to stiffness and even numbness and tingling.

So while you may think a brief run out to the mail box or between your car and a store without a coat is safe, it could cause unnecessary suffering. Trigger points are irritated by cold, caffeine, nicotine and stress. Unfortunately, many medical doctors are unaware of trigger points. They may prescribe analgesics for your pain. However, trigger points rarely respond to medications. Trigger points are treated by muscle work, and some therapies like ultrasound and the specialized Graston work that we offer. We will examine you to determine if trigger points are the cause of your problem and then offer treatments and self help tips to resolve the problem. If you are suffering pains that are not responding to medication, give us a call at 978-535-6155.