My dog did last week, after a long walk he came home and laid down then winced and cried when I touched his back. A trip to an emergency vet on the Sunday confirmed that he had damaged the soft tissue around his sacrum.
This is also something that often happens to us; whether through sustained overload from postural stresses, or sudden overload through improper lifting, for example. Accumulated tension results in pain and immobility.
Trigger points in turn, develop as a result of giving a muscle more work than it is prepared to do. These are contraction knots in muscles and fascia, which are painful on compression and refer pain in a predicable pattern.
Fascia, the tough connective tissue that holds us together and envelops each and every structure in the body, becomes dry, brittle and causes pain, too. Once soft tissues are damaged, pain will be felt until healing is complete, and function is fully restored. In cases of a sudden onset of pain, rest and ice, is the answer. This worked for my dog and the rest part was instinctive.
After two to three days it is a good idea to have some good manual therapy. Massage techniques will help by relaxing the area, bringing fresh blood supply, increasing mobility and helping to aid the repair of tendons and ligaments.
Trigger point therapy will deactivate those knots that are continuing to send pain messages to the brain, and keeping muscles in a constant state of contraction, leaving you unable to stretch properly. Myofascial release can help to treat many conditions, thus restoring physical and mental well being.
Knowing this means my dog is back on his feet and ready for summer!
Dina Mistry is a Complementary Therapist here at the Yard. If you would like to see her to try some of these techniques, please click here to be directed to her page for further details of treatments offered and contact details.