• Tips for Distinguishing Between Muscle and Joint Pain

    Muscle and joint pain are both very common. You may be more likely to experience them frequently if you’re a professional or amateur athlete, or if your occupation requires repetitive or strenuous movements. When you visit a sports medicine specialist, such as a physiatrist, for muscle or joint pain, you’ll be asked to describe your symptoms in as much detail as possible. This helps your provider determine whether your symptoms are caused by muscle or joint pain.

    Causes of Muscle and Joint Pain

    One of the ways to distinguish between muscle and joint pain is to identify the underlying cause. The potential causes can overlap. For example, both muscle and joint pain may be caused by a sports injury. Other possible causes of muscle pain include the following:

    • Over-activity or excessive exertion
    • Muscle tension or stress
    • Infections, including influenza

    Chronic medical conditions that can cause muscle pain include:

    • Fibromyalgia
    • Lyme disease
    • Lupus
    • Chronic fatigue syndrome

    Joint pain can also be the result of acute or chronic medical problems. Some of the possible causes of joint pain include:

    • Arthritis
    • Soft tissue injury (including ankle sprains)
    • Bursitis
    • Lupus
    • Cartilage damage
    • Broken bones
    • Joint dislocation
    • Fibromyalgia
    • Complex regional pain syndrome

    Signs and Symptoms of Muscle and Joint Pain

    Muscle and joint pain may feel achy or sharp, and it can range in severity from mild to debilitating. Muscle pain can also feel like a burning or cramping sensation. Aside from pain, other symptoms you may experience in the joints include:

    • Loss of range of motion, flexibility, and strength
    • Joint weakness
    • Joint stiffness
    • A grating sensation
    • An audible popping or clicking sound with movement

    Other symptoms you may experience with muscle pain include:

    • Muscle weakness
    • Muscle tenderness
    • Muscle spasms

    Along with understanding the specific types of symptoms you have, it can be helpful for the healthcare provider to know when they developed. Let your provider know how you injured yourself, if you were previously diagnosed with a related medical condition, and whether you’ve already tried treatments for pain relief.

    If you have muscle or joint pain, you need rapid relief that lasts. Call Manhattan Total Health at (888) 614-9257 to request an appointment at our locations in Gramercy, Midtown, Wall Street, Grand Central, or the West Side. We offer complete sports medicine services in New York, NY, including chiropractic care, physical therapy, and acupuncture.

  • Should You Exercise if You’re in Pain

    Exercise is often uncomfortable. That comes with the territory when you’re pushing yourself to be your best. However, there is a difference between feeling uncomfortable and being in pain. How do you know when you should push through the discomfort of a tough workout and when you need to stop and see a sports medicine specialist? Here is what you need to know.

    Mild burning is your muscles working.

    It’s normal to feel some mild burning pain when you’re working out. As your push your muscles, lactic acid and the addition stress on them cause a mild burning sensation that is indicative of the pressure that they’re under. This pressure is a good thing, since it is a sign that you’re effectively targeting your muscles with your exercise technique. This kind of burning should stop when the activity stops. If it doesn’t, then you should cease exercising until you consult with a physical therapist or sports medicine specialist.

    Joint pain is not a normal part of exercise.

    There is no kind of exercise that should induce joint pain. If you feel joint pain during your workout, you should stop your activity immediately. In some instances, joint pain may improve after resting for a few days, but it can also indicate a serious issue that could get worse with increased activity. If you’re experiencing joint pain, seek treatment before returning to your usual workout.

    Sudden, intense pain could indicate an injury.

    If you experience a sudden, intense pain when you are exercising, you could have a muscle or ligament tear, a sprain, or a fracture. In each case, the injury will become more severe with increased activity. Stop exercising in the case of an intense pain that hits suddenly, so you can pinpoint the cause and reduce the risk of exacerbating the injury.

    Manhattan Total Health has physical therapists, sports medicine specialists, and physiatrists in New York, NY to help you stay active and healthy. If you’re dealing with pain during or after exercise, call us today at (888) 614-9257.

  • Should You Consider Trigger Point Therapy?

    Do you suffer from acute or chronic pain? One possible treatment option may be trigger point therapy, a form of massage therapy. You might also hear it referred to as myofascial trigger point therapy or neuromuscular therapy. The goal of this pain management technique is to locate and release trigger points, which are like “knots” in the muscle. Trigger points are very tense areas of muscle fibers that may form in response to an injury.

    Understanding Trigger Point Therapy

    All trigger points are found in the skeletal muscle. They can cause pain in their immediate area, as well as referred pain in other areas. In addition to pain, trigger points can restrict movement and result in muscle weakness. A massage therapist can find these trigger points and apply gentle, steady pressure combined with movement to release them. The application of firm pressure perpendicular to the muscle will often result in a local twitch response, which is the temporary and visible or palpable contraction of the muscle. The local twitch response tells the massage therapist that he or she has found the right spot to release the trigger point.

    Identifying the Conditions Trigger Point Therapy Can Help

    Trigger point therapy is known to benefit patients with a wide range of painful conditions. It might be right for you if you suffer from any of the following:

    • Acute or chronic low back pain
    • Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain or disorder
    • Headache
    • Migraines
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Tinnitus
    • Sciatica
    • Osteoarthritis

    Trigger point therapy can also benefit patients with sports injuries. It may help relieve pain to the extent that patients can actively participate in physical therapy.

    Learning What to Expect from Trigger Point Therapy

    If you decide to give trigger point therapy a try, the therapist can explain what to expect. Sometimes, the therapist will only use manual techniques to manipulate the knots in the muscle. Other therapists may use a dry needling technique, which involves the insertion of a needle into the trigger point.

    The talented massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors at Manhattan Total Health look forward to helping you achieve your health goals. You can call (888) 614-9257 to request an appointment for medical massage therapy in New York, NY. We welcome patients with acute and chronic injuries, and those who are seeking injury prevention care.

  • Tips for Reducing the Risk of Tennis Injuries

    Tennis is a fantastic full-body workout, but it does exert considerable stress on your joints and soft tissues. Physical therapists recommend doing a thorough stretching routine before and after you play. You can see a sample stretching routine when you watch the accompanying video.

    This tennis expert demonstrates lower body and upper body stretches. He starts with giant steps, which involves touching the knees to the hands while walking. You’ll also see him demonstrate standing and running butt kicks, the Frankenstein walk, the Djokovic tilt, and multiple upper body stretches with a resistance band.

    If you do sustain an injury or you’d like to work with a physical therapist on an injury prevention plan, you can contact Manhattan Total Health at (888) 614-9257. Our physical therapists in New York, NY, have extensive experience working with patients with tennis-related injuries.