Ayurvedic treatment for Myofascial Pain

Myofascial Pain

Know More on Pain

  • Definition
  • Causes
  • Symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • FAQS
  • References

Definition

Myofascial Pain Ayurvedic treatment

Myofascial pain disorder (MPS) refers to pain and swelling in the body's soft tissues or muscles. Myofascial pain is a long-term, painful condition that affects the connective tissue that cover the muscles. It is considered as a type of muscular pain (fibromyalgia) which happens at specific areas on the body.2

Myofascial pain might involve either a single muscle or an entire muscle group. In some cases, the area where you experience the pain might not be where the myofascial pain is generated. The actual location of the injury leads to the development of a trigger point, which in turn causes pain in other areas. This is known as referred pain.1

Causes

Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain might develop from a muscle injury or from excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament, or tendon. Other causes include:1

  • Injury to spinal disks
  • General tiredness
  • Repetitive movements
  • Medical conditions (including heart attackstomach irritation)
  • Lack of activity (such as a broken arm)

According to Ayurveda, there are many factors that can be involved in the chronic pain and tenderness associated with muscular pain (fibromyalgia/myofascial) conditions. These factors are not always the same for each individual. However, in general, Ayurveda views the condition resulting from two major causes:3

1) Disturbance in nervous system function (Vata dosha imbalance in ayurveda) and,

2) An accumulation of toxins and blockages (ama) in the body.

As the nervous system become less stable, toxins accumulate forming the ground for fibromyalgia. Once these imbalances reach a critical level, often a further stressful experience or event in a person’s life triggers the onset of fibromyalgia symptoms. When the individual becomes more balanced and rested, the symptoms subside but when the individual has stressful events, poor sleep, poor diet etc., the symptoms flare up again.3

Symptoms

Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain symptoms usually involve muscle pain with specific "trigger" points.1,4

Some common symptoms include:

  • Deep, aching pain in a muscle
  • Pain that persists or worsens
  • A tender knot in a muscle
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain

The pain can worsen with activity or stress.

Diagnosis

Myofascial Pain

Your doctor may perform a physical examination to understand the trigger point of your pain. This may be done by applying gentle finger pressure to the painful area and trying to locate the tense areas. You may experience a muscle jerk or a spasm during this process. You doctor may also recommend other tests to rule out other causes of muscle pain.

Management

Myofascial Pain

Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing myofascial pain through a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime.3,5

Diet Recommendations (Aahar)

Ayurveda focusses on treating the aggravation of Vata dosha and accumulation of Ama (toxins) which are the primary causes of muscle pains. Associated weak digestion, constipation, insomnia and effects of chronic stress are also tackled.3

Following is the diet suggested if you are suffering from myofascial pain:3

  • Vegetable juices and soups
  • Coconut water and coconut milk
  • Juice of carrot, cucumber, beet root
  • Cooked vegetables like squash, zucchini and pumpkin
  • Spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, asafetida, garlic, fennel and turmeric.
  • Green salad with a dressing of lemon juice and a little salt
  • Khichadi (recipe made by cooking rice and mung dal, 1:1 or 1:2 proportion)

Lifestyle changes (Vihar)

Regular yogasanas, pranayama (breathing exercises) and muscle stretching exercises are known to have positive effect on myofascial pain.5 Some recommended practises include:

  • Pranayama: Anulom Vilom and Nadi Shodhan Pranayama
  • Relaxation breathing: Shavasana
  • Yogasanas: Trikonasana, Tadasana, Vakrasana, Balasana and Vajrasana


 

 

Balasana

Vakrasana

 

 

 

 

Trikonasana

FAQS

Myofascial Pain
  1. Can Ayurveda treat foot pain?

In Ayurveda, foot care is considered very important since it is known to benefit the entire body and nervous system in a holistic manner. There are certain points in our body called marma or vital points, where our vital energies are concentrated. Feet and ankles also have these vital points, which if not taken care of, can cause problems like chronic pain in the ankles, pain and swelling in feet, etc. Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing ankle pain with a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime.

  1. What kind of diet and exercises will be helpful in reducing neck pain?

To reduce neck pain, Ayurveda suggests following diet and exercises:

  • Take lots of fruits, green vegetable salads and sprouts.
  • Good hydration will help retain neck health.
  • Avoid refined foods and junk foods.
  • Milk is an important source of Calcium and can help maintain healthy bones.
  • Vitamin C in citrus fruits will help the healing process.
  • Honey in warm water or herbal teas are good for cleansing the bowels and this will help relieve many backaches that are due to constipation.

Pranayama (breathing exercises) is a powerful way to promote relaxation and a pivotal first step towards relieving muscle tension. Slow, deep breathing & relaxation can stimulate a sense of calmness and cause reduction in pain.

Yoga Asanas are also beneficial in maintaining neck and overall health

Balasana                                       Marjaryasana                                 Bhujangasana              

  1. I have knee pain. What could be the reasons for it?

Knee pain can have different causes. Being overweight puts you at greater risk for knee problems. Overusing your knee can trigger knee problems that cause pain. If you have a history of arthritis (swelling of knee joint), it could also cause knee pain.

Medical conditions that can cause knee pain are

  • Arthritis – Rheumatoid arthritis, Osteoarthritis, Gout
  • Infection in the knees / knee joint
  • Injuries – fracture, dislocation, sprained knees etc.
  • Cancer
  1. What can I do to reduce my knee pain?

Ayurveda suggests following diet and lifestyle changes to help reduce knee pain.

Include more foods containing

  • Pulses: Black gram, green gram
  • Vegetables & spices: Onion, garlic, sesame seeds, ginger, radish, ladies finger, pumpkin
  • Fruits: pomegranate, mango, grapes
  • Oils: Ghee

Ayurveda recommends regular, slow and gentle exercises with adequate rest to knee joints. Regular Pranayama and Yoga Nidra is also recommended.

  • Avoid prolonged walking, standing, kneeling and squatting and crossed leg sitting.
  • Yoga asanas: Makarasana, Pavanamuktasana, Dhanurasana, Vakrasana
  1. I have tingling pain in the legs. Is it sciatica?

Sciatic pain most often occurs on one side of leg or hip. Symptoms of sciatica pain can vary widely as mentioned below:

  • Mild tingling
  • Dull aching that radiates from buttock to back of whole leg
  • Burning sensation
  • Inability to move leg when pain becomes severe

The pain often starts slowly and may get worse:

  • After standing or sitting
  • At night
  • When sneezing, coughing, or laughing
  1. What diet is effective in reducing the sciatica pain?

A healthy diet for controlling sciatica pain is for balancing Vata dosha and includes:

  • Grains: Rice, cooked oatmeal, whole wheat and whole grain breads (toasted)
  • Pulses: Yellow split mung beans (green skin removed), whole mung beans, red lentils and tofu
  • Vegetables: : Zucchini, asparagus, carrot, beets, sweet potatoes, cucumber, lady finger, parsley, green peas, fennel, spinach in small amounts and cooked coconut. All should be cooked well so they are soft.
  • Spices: Cumin, ginger, mustard seeds, ajwain, celery seeds, fenugreek, coriander, bay leaves, basil, saffron, hing (asafoetida), cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, anise, fennel, black pepper (in small amounts)
  • Fruits: All ripe, sweet, and juicy fruits. Sweet grapes, banana, melons, plums, cherries, mango, papaya, pomegranate, sweet pineapples, raisins, sweet oranges, dates and figs, avocado, apples and pears.
  • Oils: Ghee or organic olive oil
  • Sweeteners: Honey, jaggery, date sugar
  1. I frequently get gas pain. What food types are good for me?

Following foods are good to help relieve gas pain:

  • Grains: Whole wheat thick flat bread or chapati, millet & sorghum bhakri, unpolished rice
  • Pulses: Chickpea, Tur dal, Masoor Moong
  • Vegetables: Carrots, Radish, Lauki, potatoes, white gourd, spiny gourd, , cucumber, ajwain, guar bean, eggplant, amaranth, cabbage, spinach, coriander seeds and leaves, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, green chillies, lady finger
  • Fruits: , pears, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, oranges, unripe bananas, water chestnut, dry fruits – almonds, walnuts, peanuts, dry dates, apples, grapes etc.
  • Oils: Ghee, coconut oil in small quantities
  • Ginger, cumin, coriander should be preffered in spices.
  1. What is trigeminal neuralgia?

Trigeminal nerve (TN) pain is a nerve condition that causes a stabbing or electric-shock-like pain in parts of the face.

It usually affects one side of the face. Any vibration on your face, even from talking, brushing etc. can set it off. The condition may come and go, disappearing for days or even months. But the longer you have it, the less often it goes away. TN pain usually affects women and people above 50 years of age.

Ayurveda describes 11 types of shiro rogas (headaches), among which trigeminal nerve type of pain is called ‘Ardhavabhedaka’. It happens when aggravated doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) press on the neck and throat producing a powerful burning sensation, out of which comes excruciating pain. This pain ultimately affects the eyes, eyebrows and temples.

  1. How can Ayurveda help in relieving stomach pain?

Ayurveda describes a comprehensive approach towards managing stomach pain- the most commonly diagnosed conditions being constipation (Vibandha) and indigestion (Ajirna)

Constipation is used to indicate fewer bowel movements, hard stools, painful defection and feeling of bloating, abdominal pain or incomplete elimination.

Indigestion, on the other hand, is an abnormality that occurs in digesting food or lack of proper digestion resulting in stomach pain, burping or flatulance (abdominal gas).

Ayurveda can play a significant role in managing & preventing different stomach pains by practising a combination of corrective Ahar (diet), Vihar (exercise) and Aushadhi (Medicines) regime

Corrective Ahar for both constipation & indigestion includes:

Grains: Wheat, unpolished rice, barley

  • Pulses: Green gram, chickpeas, course corn, Toor dal, moong, masura lentils, Vegetables/Spices: Garlic, Asafetida, long pepper, sunthi (dry ginger), green leafy vegetables, cucumber, bitter gourd, pointed gourd, cabbage, dates, betel nut, turmeric
  • Fruits: High fibre fruits such as apples, pears, papaya, grapes, amala, haritaki
  • Oils: Ghee

Exercise: Regular exercise, meditation and practice of asanas purifies the blood, improves the appetite, increases the will power and makes the patient physically active. The whole alimentary canal improves and becomes regular.

Yoga Asanas: Vajrasana (after every meal), Kurmasana, Vakrasana, Katichakrasana

Pranayama: Surya anulom viloma, deep relaxation technique

  1. What is myofasial pain?

Myofascial pain disorder (MPS) refers to pain and swelling in the body's soft tissues or muscles. Myofascial pain is a long-term, painful condition that affects the connective tissue that cover the muscles. It is considered as a type of muscular pain (fibromyalgia) which happens at specific areas on the body.

Myofascial pain might involve either a single muscle or an entire muscle group. In some cases, the area where you experience the pain might not be where the myofascial pain is generated. The actual location of the injury leads to the development of a trigger point, which in turn causes pain in other areas. This is known as referred pain

References

Myofascial Pain

1. Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Cleveland Clinic Diseases & Conditions. [documents on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 30]. Available at: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases_conditions/hic_Myofascial_Pain_Syndrome

2. Chandola HC, Chakraborty A. Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome-a dilemma. Indian journal of anaesthesia. 2009 Sep 1;53(5):575.

3. Brachtl C. Fibromyalgia & Ayurveda. [document on the internet]. [Cited 2016 August 29]. Available at: http://www.jivaka.com/org/docs/paper/Brachtl%20Paper.pdf

4. Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Symptoms. Mayo Clinic Staff. [Cited 2016 August 30]. Available at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/myofascial-pain-syndrome/basics/symptoms/con-20033195

5. Sharan D, Manjula M, Urmi D, Ajeesh PS. Effect of yoga on the Myofascial Pain Syndrome of neck. International journal of yoga. 2014 Jan;7(1):54.

Disclaimer: The information on this page is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Do not use this information to diagnose or ayurvedic treatment of pain and/or myofascial pain without consulting the doctor. Consult your physician before beginning an exercise regime. "While we have products /ayurvedic medicines for pain and/or myofascial pain, you must consult an authorized physician before taking any of the products. For more information on products, visit www.dabur.com or call 1800-103-1644"