When muscle pain does not go away, and may even continue to increase, a chronic pain cycle can occur. We become more prone to injury as our flexibility diminishes. Our muscles experience weakness and fatigue, while pulling excessively on bones and joints, and compressing nerves.
Chronic Pain Cycle
The shortened muscles will continue to draw energy from the body such as ATP, Atch, oxygen and protein. An increased level of fatigue is felt throught the body as energy is depleted.
Metabolic wastes are produced as a result in the form of lactic acid, hyluronic acid, carbonic acid and uric acid. These toxic wastes become trapped in the tissue and, as proper tissue metabolism decreases, vital nutrients and oxygen cannot be delivered to the tissue cells. Frequent and longer-lasting illness may occur.
With increased toxin levels and decreased oxygen and nutrients, tissues become ischemic. Trigger points can develop and cause referral pain. The shortened muscle fibers will also pull excessively on their attachments, causing joint pain and decreased range of motion.
Chronic muscle contractions will cause increased fascial build up around the area of high demand, mainly around the joints. Muscle will lose their elasticity, thus increasing the chance for injury. If a muscle fiber rips, the body will add more calcium to the tendinous attachments of the muscles. Unfortunately, this can create a weakness in the muscle due to decreased elasticity and increased fibrotic tissue.
As muscle contractions add more pressure to vital areas, nerves may become irritated, compressed or entrapped. This produces increased muscle contractions and the cycle begins again.