Muscles can acquire molecular-level binding between the actin and myosin fibers with frequent repetitive motions, with inflammatory injury, under repetitive stresses, with aberrant neural firing, with microscopic tears, and/or with electrolyte fluctuations, which can lead to symptoms such as stiffness, cramps, nodules, knots, bands, fibrosis, and adaptive muscle shortening over time. The detailed electrophysiology is described in this video, with the first part of the video describing the physics and mathematics and the second part (from minutes 20-27) describing some physiologic applications. Additional fascial injuries are also possible from many other mechanisms, such as Morel-Lavallée lesions after traumatic injuries.
Interestingly, these myofascial pathologies and neuromuscular adaptations can sometimes cause the development of taut bands and trigger points, which are discrete, focal, sensitive locations in the neuromuscular bundle that can cause significant local and referred pain and irritation (such as a cramping, burning, or fraying sensations, which must be differentiated from other pathologies such as neuropathy, tendinopathy, etc.). This is where myofascial therapies can be of great benefit, such as myofascial release, deep tissue percussive massage therapy, scraping, gua sha, cupping, dry needling (acupuncture), wet needling (prolotherapy), shockwave therapy, PRF injections, as well as prescription pharmaceutical transdermal compounding creams with a customized combination of muscle relaxants, numbing agents, anti-inflammatory agents, and peptides that can be concentrated on the local site. We can also add various analgesics and neuropathy medications in the compounding cream for those people who have neuropathic pain, and we can work on tendon and nerve glide release therapies. These therapies help to repair myofascial injuries and restore balanced nerve functions, neuromuscular tone, muscle recovery, muscle function, muscle strength, muscle mobility, perfusion, and lymphatic flow.
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