It is stemming from the aggravated muscles. This is called as myofascial pain syndromes. Muscles of the neck and shoulder girdle, namely; trapezius, scalene, sternocleidomastoid, levator scapulae etc can develop myofascial trigger points. These are hyperirritable tender spots in palpable tense bands of skeletal muscle that refer pain. This can be associated with degenerative disc disease in neck causing pinched nerves. Trigger points may develop after an initial injury to muscle fibers, or due to stress, tension, over work of muscles. This injury may be a noticeable traumatic event or repetitive microtrauma to the muscles. The trigger point causes pain and stress in the muscle or muscle fiber. As the stress increases, the muscles become fatigued and more susceptible to activation of additional trigger points. The treatment is following;
1) passive stretching of the affected muscle after application of sprayed vapocoolant.
2) physical therapy; simple muscle stretch, augmented muscle stretch, post-isometric relaxation.
3) deep electrotherapy; iontophoresis, phonophoresis, short wave diathermy, electrical stimulation, high voltage galvanic stimulation, biofeedback.
4) local analgesic patch / ointment / spray
5) anti-inflammatory analgesics; Ibuprofen (Motrin / Advil)
6) ischemic compression therapy; pressure on the points
8) steroid shots
10) Neck traction
Please feel free for your follow up questions.
I would be happy to assist you further, if you need any more information.
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Thank you so much. I worked in the chiropractic field for many years, and I felt like that was what was happening, but I just wanted a second opinion. It really is amazing what effect stress can have on the body and this week has just been a rough one. Thank you again!