Myofascial Pain

After reading about this affliction on this forum, I realised that I was probably suffering from it. GP agreed that the pain was muscular but all routes to pain relief seem to be closed to me because I don't get on well with opiates; and NSAIDs are out of the question while I'm still on steroids (3mg) and I also have a reflux problem. So I am stuck with Paracetamol. I found a Bowen therapist locally and had my first treatment yesterday, but I feel it could be quite a long haul. When I looked up myofascial pain on line, all references seemed to call it 'chronic' which has made me feel utterly disheartened. Does it inevitably become chronic?

14 Replies

  • I do hope the Bowen therapist works for you. If you do not get relief in three sessions I should give up. It seems it works for some and not others, possibly depending on the problem. In my case sadly it did not work.

  • Thanks, piglette. The therapist said that if it didn't help after three sessions, I should give it up. I will probably resort to the local health trust physios as they, at least, are free!

  • My surgery have given up offering free physio and they are really cutting back on xrays for people it seems. In fact you are lucky to even get pain relief from them nowadays. We are desperately short of doctors and currently every single one is a locum as the four we have seem to have disappeared on holiday.

  • Anno, no definitely not chronic as in you will have it for ever - you won't, it is all part and parcel of PMR and will improve although it might take a while as, once in remission, our muscles will take time to recover and get stronger after both the onslaught of PMR and the steroids themselves.

    Have you tried drinking squeezed lemon juice in warm water for the acid reflux by the way, especially before a main meal (don't worry about the acid, it turns alkaline in the stomach); also good quality Manuka honey (UMF guaranteed)?

  • If it isn't dealt with, probably. However mine is all but gone after some fairly heroic therapy! And Bowen. Mine was possibly an early sign of PMR, they certainly fed off each other.

    Pilates, yoga, aquaaerobics, Bowen and an osteopath kept it under control while I was in the UK but that all stopped when I moved here to Italy (too expensive or simply not available). Eventually my entire lower back tightened and I couldn't walk for more than about 15 minutes without severe low back pain. A local orthopaedic specialist told me it was wear and tear, I'd have to live with it. I had a major flare of PMR and then tripped and fell. That resulted in a really awful episode of sacroiliacitis which resulted in admission to hospital when I was totally immobilised. Their first line therapy resulted in a severe drug reaction (iv diazepam triggered atrial fibrillation) and I was handed over to the pain clinic for the longer approach where I had cortisone and muscle relaxant injections into my back muscles to relax them and a technique called needling was also used together with manual mobilisation of the MPS trigger points. It took some months but it is hardly a problem now. I have the occasional Bowen session and the option is to go back to the pain specialist - albeit it now privately as she is now a GP with a specialist field.

    I notice an immediate change with Bowen, not 100% but enough to know something has changed - however, one lady says she needed several session before there was a result but, like me, she enjoys it as a relaxation therapy much like massage. She also had a long history.

  • In retrospect, I now believe I may have had MPS for at least as long as I've had PMR. For about a month before my PMR diagnosis, I'd had lower back pain when I walked. A couple of weeks on 20mg of pred saw off that pain, although it recurred at about 7.5mg, though not so acutely. The pain I've had for a fortnight now goes right down past my knee, only on the right side, otherwise I'd be on wheels! Today I have a bi-annual appointment with my rheumy so will probably discuss it with her.

  • Ditto! Almost identical to my story - it improved at 15mg, returned below 10mg, every single time. Dealing with it separately allowed me to reduce well below 10mg for the first time in 4 years.

  • Saw my rheumy today. She claimed not to have heard of Bowen so I said that if it didn't work after 3 treatments, I would make an appointment with the Health Trust physios. She was pleased with my pred reduction to 3mg and reminded me about the 10% rule, so you could say that she is much more enlightened than some consultants one hears about on this forum. She confirmed that my bloods were positive for Sjogren's Syndrome but luckiiy it's not an acute form - mainly dry eyes and mouth. Not a bad morning by and large - until I discovered I had a puncture and was stuck in Sainsbury's car park waiting for the AA, with the temperature in the 30s!

  • There is an informative article in the Summer Newsletter which you can read by following this link.

    As it is a PDF you can download it. Page 11 Some Add-ons to PMR is the title. Myfascial Pain is one of the Add-Ons. It is written by PMRpro.

  • Thank you very much. It describes my symptoms accurately. I've had one Bowen session so far and am having another this week. Fingers crossed that it works for me.

  • I've had a lot of problems with myofascial pain syndrome since being diagnosed with PMR 2 yrs ago. Mostly affects me in neck, back of skull, shoulders, upper arms, thoracic muscles, and left calf. After going through every kind of doctor and treatment, not knowing what the problem was, I suspected it may be myofascial after reading on this forum that it can go along with PMR. I talked to my chiropractor about that & he suggested I try his massage therapist who specializes in myofascial therapy, since nothing else was working long term. Best referral I've ever had. After 3 sessions with him, all the pain I'd had for a year, started to dissipate. It took a while to get things settled down, but I had a huge improvement. I still go once in awhile because muscles will start to get kinked up again, but by doing some maintenance appointments, I'm doing relatively well.

  • It is great if you can find a therapist who "does" myofascial therapy - but they are a bit thin on the ground!

  • I feel really lucky that he appeared in my life, because he's been a life-saver for me.

  • I found my therapist by chance when I looked on the net for physios in our town and there she was - physio and Bowen therapist. I have just had my second session and feel a bit easier about walking, though can still get a nasty shock if I move the wrong way. Going away tomorrow to house/cat/chickens sit while the family go camping without me.

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