Muscle strain

Book Review: Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley

If I could make only one recommendation to individuals living with chronic pain, it would be to read the book Explain Pain by David Butler and Lorimer Moseley.

Directed at both clinicians who work with chronic pain patients and patients who live with chronic pain, Explain Pain shows how the discoveries of modern pain science can be put to practical use. Written in understandable language with a touch of lighthearted humor, Butler and Moseley take a complex subject and make it possible for the average person to understand and use. One client remarked that she thought it would be hard to read and was delighted that she did not find it difficult at all. 

Got Back Pain? Call Us!

Got back pain? Call us!

Low back pain is one of the leading causes of disability in the United States. Everyone knows someone who suffers from back pain and most Americans will suffer from it some time in their life.  In spite of its prevalence, successful treatment of low back pain remains elusive. No one has consistently good statistics in the treatment of low back pain.


What can we offer you?

We cannot promise results. However, we can promise this:

Reader Question: Sprained Ankle and Sports Massage

A reader asks,

I sprained my ankle several times over the years, the worst being about 12 years ago going down a step and landing on the outside of my foot with ankle turned in. It still bothers me with tenderness and discomfort from side of my leg above the ankle, radiating up to behind the knee. I am considering sports massage for relief.

A good sports massage therapist or one trained in injury rehabilitation might be able to help you out. When an ankle is sprained, not only the ligaments of the joints are affected. The muscles of the lower leg may be strained and continue to cause pain and weakness long after the initial injury has healed.  I have often found trigger points or tender areas in the muscles of the side of the lower leg - the peroneals - or the muscle in the front along the shin - the tibialis anterior - that may linger for years after an ankle sprain. Sometimes the muscle in the lower calf - the soleus - may be involved. Often, when these muscles are treated and the trigger points addressed, the persistent pain and weakness will begin to clear up.

Back Pain: Part II Muscle Strain

Perhaps the easiest type of back pain to resolve is simple muscle strain from overuse. Most of us have experienced this at some point in our life. We may have spent too much time working in the yard on a nice day when we haven't been accustomed to the activity. Perhaps we've been sitting too long at the computer, in meetings, or on a long car ride. Fatigue and overuse take their toll and we find ourselves feeling stiff with a dull, nagging ache.

Such a simple strain can respond well to rest and perhaps modest use of non-prescription pain relievers. It often will resolve itself in a day or two, although the symptoms may linger for longer periods. If this common back ache will pass with time and rest, why use massage therapy?

Massage Therapy and Back Pain: Part I

Mark asks, "Can you explain how massage helps each of the different types of back injuries: spinal (disc), nerve, and muscle (or tendon)?

Are there injuries where rest or exercise is the better treatment?"

That's an excellent question and a complex one. I'll try to answer as concisely yet thoroughly as I can, but the short answer is this: back pain can be a complicated problem and there is no short and easy answer to the question. However, in most cases I've encountered, massage therapy can be a helpful addition to other treatments, such as rest or exercise, and promote faster and more thorough recovery.