Frequently Asked Questions for Norman Marcus Pain Institute
There are four mechanisms that can contribute to soft tissue pain
Stress may result in prolonged contraction of muscles resulting in back, neck and head pain.
- Muscle Deficiencies
Being out of shape can lead to weakness and stiffness and can produce pain by forcing muscles to work beyond their capacity.
An involuntary contraction of muscle that causes pain and prevents movement, such as, the inability to turn your neck or stand up straight.
- Structural Changes in the Muscle
[sometimes referred to as trigger points but what we refer to as Muscle Pain Amenable to Injection (MPAI)]
Small hard areas of muscle that are painful with any activity that strains the muscle but may be silent if the person is inactive. The pain may mimic a herniated disc, torn rotator cuff or impingement syndrome.
A thorough evaluation should include a muscle examination, which can identify any of these problems with a specific muscle diagnosis leading to a specific treatment plan.
Pain is generally the result of damage to the body. Pain from a broken bone or surgery is easy to understand because there is a clear episode of damage to tissue. Sometimes however the pain persists even after the usual six weeks healing time. Where is it coming from?
Many physicians believe we do not understand the mechanism of longstanding back pain and therefore the most common diagnosis used is non-specific low back pain, accounting for 70-80% of cases. Patients may have MRI’s that show some damage in the spine or in the disc but we know that many patients have the same findings of damage without any pain at all.
At our center we believe that muscle related pain is an important overlooked reason for most non-specific low back pain as well as any other persistent pain problem including neck, shoulder and limb pain in addition to such unusual pain presentations as reflex sympathetic dystrophy (complex regional pain syndrome). Muscles when accurately diagnosed and treated effectively can result in elimination of the pain. We have patented our technique to diagnose and treat pain coming from muscles and refer to our approach as the Marcus Method.