Maybe you feel it when you get out of bed in the morning. It might get progressively worse as the day goes on. It may even be sparked by a certain movement.
Having a sore muscle is a pain.
We’ve all likely felt it at some point in our lives. The pain and discomfort associated with an overused, misused, or underused muscle can put a real damper on your day. And since a sore muscle usually doesn’t go away on its own, you have to do something about it.
Can a chiropractor help with sore muscles or is there something else you should be doing to get rid of muscle pain?
Here we will cover the benefits of visiting a chiropractor for muscle pain and what your visit might look like.
Table of Contents
- What Causes Muscle Pain? 3 Common Culprits
- Can a Chiropractor Help With Muscle Pain?
- 8 Ways a Chiropractor Can Help With Muscle Pain
- When Should You See a Chiropractor for Muscle Pain?
- Find Out More About How a Chiropractor Can Help With Muscle Pain at Cascade Spine & Injury Center
What Causes Muscle Pain? 3 Common Culprits
While some muscle pain is temporary, like the healing of muscle tissue after a difficult workout, other types of muscle pain may be more severe and have permanent effects.
#1: Postural Issues
If you’re someone who properly holds your body upright — whether sitting, standing, or lying down — your joints are correctly aligned and you’re said to have “good” posture. However, if you’re someone who does these things with poor posture, it can eventually lead to long-lasting muscle pain from the misalignment of your joints.
Improper postural mechanisms may cause problems in the following ways:
- Under-used supporting muscles may begin to waste away. These muscles often become short when not used, which can compact the bones of the vertebrae.
- Both slow and fast twitch muscles are over and under-used, as fast twitch muscles begin to overcompensate for the lack of static muscle use. This causes muscle fatigue for both types of muscles.
- Muscle fatigue and pain set in as the nervous system receives poor or incomplete information from your muscles.
How do you know if you’re suffering from poor posture?
You might have:
- Rounded shoulders
- Bent knees when walking or standing
- Back pain
- Muscle soreness throughout your body
- Muscle fatigue
- A head that leans forward or backward
- Frequent headaches
Muscle pain and sore muscles are common when a person has experienced an injury. Most often, muscle soreness results from three types of injuries:
- Sports injuries – It’s easy to pull a muscle or experience soreness when engaging in physical activity, especially if it’s cold outside or your body isn’t properly warmed up before you begin. If joints are hyperextending or muscles are put under extensive tension, strained muscles may occur.
- Vehicular injuries – Most often, people experience muscle pain from car accidents because their body is unexpectedly and forcefully put into a position or place it should not be. You might experience a neck strain, spinal misalignment, herniated discs, or pulled muscles as a result.
- Workplace accidents – These often occur as a result of falling or lifting heavy objects, as the rib cage and upper back can be affected by twisting unnaturally.
But muscle soreness can be a result of nearly any type of injury. Other common causes include:
- Abdominal strains
- Broken bones
- Traumatic injuries
- Myofascial pain syndrome
- Back strains and sprains
When the body experiences stress, muscles naturally tense up. It’s a reflex action that the body takes to guard against pain or injury.
Sudden onset stress, also known as acute stress, causes the muscles to tense up all at once, releasing only when the stress passes. Situations like walking into your first day at a new job, standing up to give a speech, or sitting down for an exam may cause this type of muscle tension.
Chronic stress, on the other hand, causes the muscles to remain in a constant state of guardedness, staying tense and tight for extended periods. Situations like financial issues, big life changes, or trouble at work may cause this type of stress.
Chronic stress can trigger adverse reactions and ultimately result in stress-related disorders and constant muscle pain.
Finding ways to relieve your stress can reduce your chances of experiencing stress-induced muscle pain.
You might consider doing stress-relieving activities such as:
- Breathing techniques
- Relaxation techniques
Can a Chiropractor Help With Muscle Pain?
Yes, of course! Chiropractors treat many conditions that affect the musculoskeletal and nervous systems and can help with muscle pain through a variety of treatments and modalities.
The tools and techniques used by chiropractors may help to:
- Loosen tight muscles
- Reduce inflammation
- Relieve pain
Because muscle pain or dysfunction might be a direct result of misalignment of the skeletal system, chiropractic adjustments can be an effective form of relief from muscle pain as they help to relax the deep layers of muscle tissue.
At Cascade Spine & Injury Center, we specialize in finding and treating pain at the source. We offer a multidisciplinary clinic so patients can obtain all the necessary treatments in one spot.
Whether your muscle pain requires massage therapy, strength training, chiropractic care, or something else, we’ve got you covered.
Not only will we work to get you back to feeling like your best self as soon as we can, but we’ll help you to strengthen your muscles to prevent future pain or injuries, too.
For more information or to book your consultation, contact our clinic in Portland, OR, today.
8 Ways a Chiropractor Can Help With Muscle Pain
During an adjustment, your chiropractor positions you in various ways to treat the affected areas. You may begin lying facedown on a chiropractic table, then on each side of your body, and finally face up, depending on the standard practices of your chiropractor and where your muscle soreness is focused.
Using their hands, your chiropractor applies controlled, sudden force to the joints, pushing them past the normal range of motion. This may cause a pop or crack as the joint moves.
Adjustments are a critical component of muscle care. Muscles, joints, the nervous system, and your spine are all connected and affect the way you function and recover from injuries, which is why visiting a chiropractor for muscle pain is important.
Your musculoskeletal and nervous systems also have a huge effect on your overall health.
Muscle therapy will relieve tension in the soft tissue, which makes it easier for a chiropractor to make adjustments. Conversely, chiropractic care supports muscle therapy by providing relief and support to misaligned joints.
#2: Massage Therapy
Massage therapy involves the manipulation of soft tissues in your body, including:
- Connective tissues
A massage therapist treats the tight or tender muscles by using their hands, forearms, and elbows to rub, knead, tap, or stroke the soft tissue and work out the areas causing pain. They’ll apply varying degrees of pressure as necessary.
Massage therapy is effective in reducing muscle pain as part of an integrative treatment plan or on its own.
Acupuncture is widely used for pain and muscle soreness. It involves the stimulation of certain points of the body to trigger nerve signaling and affect the corresponding organs of specific acupoints.
An acupuncturist may place needles to help focus on other aspects of healing, but they can also place needles directly into tight muscles or trigger points to help them relax.
Acupuncture can be used to complement chiropractic care and massage therapy, or it can effectively be used on its own, depending on the muscle pain.
#4: Muscle Energy Techniques
Muscle energy techniques (MET) can be especially helpful when the cause of the pain is the muscles themselves. As muscles spasm, the fibers are caught in a state of contraction and limited range of motion.
Muscle energy techniques promote healing by helping the muscles:
- Become stronger
- Improve range of movement
METs could include things like trigger point work or various forms of stretching.
Trigger Point Work
When a muscle is injured, a “myofascial trigger point” may form.
A trigger point is a particular muscle that remains in a state of contraction. It can cause stiffness, chronic pain, and referred pain (distant pain felt when pressure is applied to a trigger point).
Because trigger points don’t allow the natural and effective contraction of a muscle, they block the purified blood flow and begin to choke the muscle, causing it to starve from lack of oxygen.
Chiropractors use many techniques to treat myofascial pain. Where pain exists, there will always be some degree of spasm, which is a protective mechanism. By applying high pressure to a trigger point through deep tissue massage and the use of fingers to pick up muscle fibers in a pincer grip, the pain should begin to fade.
The pain you feel may not be the primary problem, but a chiropractor can diagnose and treat the trigger point that’s causing the pain.
#5: Muscle Relaxation Techniques
Your chiropractor may recommend progressive muscle relaxation (PMR) as a complementary exercise you can do at home to assist in the relief of muscle pain. It does not require any special equipment — all you need is 15–20 minutes to focus and a quiet spot.
The technique involves tensing and relaxing certain muscle groups, one at a time, for about 5 seconds each.
Here’s how to do progressive muscle relaxation:
- Start by lying down, relaxing your body, and taking five deep and slow breaths.
- Lift your toes upward, hold, then let go.
- Pull your toes downward, hold, then let go.
- Tense your calf muscles, hold, then let go.
- Move your knees toward each other, hold, then let go.
- Squeeze your thigh muscles, hold, then let go.
- Clench your hands, hold, then let go.
- Tense your arms, hold, and let go.
- Squeeze your buttocks, pause, then let go.
- Contract your abdominal muscles, pause, then let go.
- Inhale and tighten your chest, then hold and exhale as you let go.
- Raise your shoulders to your ears, pause, and let go.
- Purse your lips together, pause, and release.
- Open your mouth wide, hold, then let go.
- Close your eyes tightly, pause, and release.
- Lift your eyebrows, pause, and release.
If not already doing so, your chiropractor may also recommend adding massage therapy to your treatment plan as a highly effective way to temporarily relieve muscle pain or relieve it long-term if treatments are done regularly.
#6: Interferential Current
Interferential current therapy (ICT) is a type of electrical muscle stimulation used to treat chronic pain, like muscle pain.
ICT sends small amounts of electrical stimulation to damaged muscle tissue in the body to help:
- Boost the natural process for responding to pain
- Increase blood flow
- Increase the production of hormones that promote healing
The different frequencies allow the current to travel deep into the muscle tissue or nerves to target treatment and provide relief, ultimately promoting faster healing.
Interferential current therapy can be used as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to help treat many conditions, including muscle pain.
#7: Intersegmental Traction
Intersegmental traction therapy uses a table with rollers under the surface that gently lift the body and open the facet joints along the spine. The table can be used to increase blood flow to the ligaments, discs, and muscles throughout the spinal column.
The purpose of Intersegmental traction is to promote the circulation of vital nutrients by moving the discs, stretching the muscles, and improving the stability of the back.
Not every exercise is a good choice for helping relieve muscle pain and soreness.
Visiting a chiropractor can help you determine which ones will best help your specific muscle pain.
Some exercises for muscle pain can help provide relief at the moment, while others help build your strength and prevent pain in the future.
Your chiropractor may work through exercises with you in their office, or they might prescribe stretching exercises for you to do at home to help break down any build-up of lactic acid and boost blood flow to the affected area.
The exercises will be specific to your area of pain, so visit a professional chiropractor for the best help.
When Should You See a Chiropractor for Muscle Pain?
As with many things in life, the sooner you visit a chiropractor for muscle pain, the better.
It’s unlikely that muscles will heal themselves. Although they may feel better when not in use, the pain is likely to start up again as you try to use those muscles. Without proper treatment, you may experience recurring injuries or have constant pain and weakness in the muscles while doing simple everyday activities.
At Cascade Spine & Injury Center, our team is experienced and equipped with the right tools and knowledge to help heal your muscle pain as fast as possible. It is our goal to treat you most effectively so that you can get back to living a normal, pain-free life.
If you’re wondering, “Can chiropractors help muscle pain?” think no further and contact our clinic today.
How Many Chiropractic Visits are Typically Needed To Treat Muscle Pain?
We can’t tell you for sure how many visits it’ll take to treat your muscle pain — that answer will depend on the reason for the muscle pain and its severity.
We can tell you that to effectively and safely treat muscle pain, it most often takes a series of visits.
At Cascade Spine & Injury Center, we offer consultations to help assess your injury and construct what we think will be the best treatment plan for your healing. From there, we can estimate how many visits your treatment might take.
We have professionals that cover all different modalities on site. So if your muscle pain treatment requires massage therapy, acupuncture, chiropractic care, or something else, you can get it all in one location to save you the time and hassle.
Find Out More About How a Chiropractor Can Help With Muscle Pain at Cascade Spine & Injury Center
If you are dealing with muscle pain of any kind, you don’t have to suffer silently. The team at Cascade Spine & Injury Center is here to help relieve your pain and get you on the road to a quick recovery.
Our multidisciplinary clinic specializes in many treatments to help patients overcome a variety of ailments. At our one-stop shop, you can receive:
- Chiropractic care
- Massage therapy
- Therapeutic rehabilitation
- And more
Don’t wait another minute to find relief. Contact Cascade Spine & Injury Center today to book your first appointment.
The content in this blog should not be used in place of direct medical advice/treatment and is solely for informational purposes.