Practice Yoga To Boost Your Flexibility And Help Relieve Joint Problems
Yoga helps with balance, postural alignment, and increasing muscle strength all of which take pressure off joints, says Amy Eberhardt, MPH, a certified yoga teacher at NYU Langone Healths Integrative Health Services in New York City. Yoga also helps with relaxation and stress reduction, which helps us let go of clenching and holding tension in the joints, and this can lead to less pain and more flexibility.
Eberhardt points to a review published in the journal Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America, which detailed research on how yoga can help relieve joint pain. The review noted that moving through yoga poses warms the muscles by increasing blood flow, whereas holding poses builds strength and balance by engaging the muscles. For these reasons, yoga can help protect against falls as well, according to the review.
If youre new to yoga, know that you have all different types of the practice available to you. A faster-paced hatha or vinyasa class may not be a good fit for you, and if so, thats okay. There is a movement now in the yoga world toward adaptive, therapeutic, and restorative yoga, and many options are now available for people who are older or have medical conditions or are differently abled, Eberhardt says.
When in doubt, keep in mind that yoga is about self-compassion, not competition, Eberhardt adds. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and remember that while you may stretch deeply, yoga doesnt hurt. So if it hurts, it is not yoga.
What Are The Risk Factors For Thyroid Nodules
Risk factors for developing thyroid nodules include:
- Family history. Having parents or siblings who have had thyroid nodules or thyroid or other endocrine cancers increases your chance of developing nodules.
- Age: The chance of developing nodules increases as you get older.
- Gender: Women are more likely than men to develop thyroid nodules.
- Radiation exposure: A history of radiation exposure to the head and neck increases your risk of developing nodules.
Risk factors for developing cancerous thyroid nodules include:
- Family history of thyroid cancer
- A nodule that is hard or is stuck to a nearby structure
- Male gender
Whats The Difference Between Myofascial Pain Syndrome And Fibromyalgia
Myofascial pain and fibromyalgia pain feel similar. Both have trigger points that emit pain. However, while myofascial pain is contained in one specific area , fibromyalgia pain is felt throughout the entire body. A patient with fibromyalgia has more trigger points, general pain, worse fatigue and sleep issues, headaches, an irritable bowel, a sensation of swelling and sometimes a burning, prickling or tingling feeling. Some researchers believe that myofascial pain syndrome can transition into fibromyalgia.
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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- Do I have myofascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia?
- What medications will help with my myofascial pain syndrome?
- How did I get myofascial pain syndrome?
- Am I at risk for other pain conditions?
- Whats my treatment plan?
- Should I see a pain management specialist?
- What can I do to make myself feel better?
- How soon should I return to see you?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Everyone experiences pain during their lifetime. But when that pain is unbearable or long-lasting, thats when you need to consult your healthcare provider. Fortunately, most pain including myofascial pain can be reduced or eliminated with the right treatment! See your healthcare provider as soon as possible for evaluation and treatment.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 07/06/2020.
What Happens When A Person Experiences Myofascial Pain Syndrome How Does It Start
Myofascial pain is a common syndrome. If you have myofascial pain syndrome, you may feel pain and tenderness in muscles in a certain area of your body. This pain and tenderness is often related to one or more trigger points. To the touch, trigger points feel like small bumps, nodules or knots in your muscle.
If you could look at a trigger point under a microscope, youd see that it lies within a taut band, which is a tight strand of muscle that feels like a cord or tendon. The trigger point itself the knot is actually many nearby segments of muscle fibers that are stuck in the contracted state.
When muscle fibers are stuck in contraction, blood flow stops. If blood flow to the area stops, that area of muscle is not getting the oxygen it needs. Waste materials also build up in these fibers. This irritates the trigger point, which reacts by sending out a pain signal. Your brain responds by telling you not to use that muscle. Lack of use actually causes the muscle to tighten, become weak and it causes a loss in your range of motion. Muscles around the affected muscle have to work harder to do the work of the affected muscle. Trigger points can develop in these muscles too and add to the localized pain you feel.
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Questions Your Healthcare Provider May Ask To Diagnose Myofascial Pain Syndrome:
Your healthcare provider may order a few tests to rule out other conditions and ask you questions about your pain, including:
- Where do you feel the pain?
- How would you describe your pain?
- How often do you experience pain?
- What makes your pain better?
- What makes your pain worse?
- Have you had any recent injuries?
- Do your symptoms get better at certain times during the day?
- What does your work day look like ?
Your healthcare provider may check your gait and your posture to see if there is a balance of muscle use and look for signs of muscle weakness. You may also be asked about other health problems that can contribute to myofascial pain syndrome including how much and how well you sleep and if you feel stressed, anxious or depressed.
Frozen Shoulder More Common In People With Endocrine Disorders
Thyroid disease is a type of endocrine disorder. These disorders happen when a gland produces too much or too little of an endocrine hormone. As a result, people experience hormone imbalances that can affect everything from their weight to their energy levels.
Though its not clear why, frozen shoulder is more common in individuals who have endocrine problems, including thyroid disease. Researchers believe that this connection may be the result of inflammation in the body.
The shoulder is made up of bones, ligaments and tendons that are wrapped in a capsule of connective tissue. When this capsule becomes inflamed, it contracts and causes scar tissue to form. Inflammation is a classic symptom of thyroid disease and may be the reason why the shoulder freezes up.
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Treatment For Thyroid Related Pain In Joints
Proper and timely treatment for thyroid-related conditions can help reduce joint pain or similar conditions. Hormone replacement therapy is one of the most common treatments where the regulation of the thyroid hormone level can help resolve muscle aches and joint pain. Epsom salts can also be used to relieve and relax joint pain.
Checking all your vitamins levels, like D, B12, ferritin, and iron can also prove to be beneficial. Low levels of any of these vitamins can lead to fatigue among many other symptoms, like joint pain and muscle weakness.
If medical treatments are not working well enough for you, it might be helpful to consider some other treatments like:
- Massage: A full body or targeted massage can help stimulate blood circulation and ease muscle pain.
- Warm shower/bath: Heat naturally relaxes the muscles of the body and is useful for treating temporary muscle tension and cramps.
- Light exercise: Although it is difficult to move when the thyroid gland is not functioning optimally , exercising lightly can help relieve cramps and pain.
- Rest: This is the most obvious way to remedy joint pains. Relaxing helps the muscles rest and cope up with joint pains.
- Magnesium: Unknown to many people joint and muscle pain can be relieved by upping your magnesium levels. But, you must first ask your doctor to check your magnesium levels before you take this step.
Hyperthyroidism And Frozen Shoulder
It is not uncommon for frozen shoulder to occur in patients with hyperthyroidism . Again, it is not clear what specifically causes this but it could be linked when an inflammatory process is stimulated by the production of cytokines. This is something which happens both in hyperthyroidism and frozen shoulder.
Cytokines are cell signalling proteins. The word comes from a combination of two Greek words cyto which means cell and kinos which means communication.
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What Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a pain condition that affects your muscles and fascia. Myo means muscle and fascial means fascia. Your fascia is the thin, white connective tissue that is wrapped around every muscle.
Heres an easy visual: If your body was an orange, your skin would be the outside orange peel, your muscles would be the fleshy orange fruit itself and the thin white membrane surrounding each orange segment would be the fascia. Fascia surrounds every level of muscle tissue muscle fibers, single muscles and muscle groups.
Muscle pain isn’t picky it can strike anyone at any time in their life. Everyone from the mother carrying her child and the roofer laying shingles to the best friend helping lift boxes during a move can experience muscle pain. Unfortunately, for some people, this pain can be unbearable and it sticks around long after it should have faded. If you experience muscle pain that won’t go away for a long period of time, it could be myofascial pain.
Hypothyroidism And Frozen Shoulder
It is still not clearly understood what prompts the thickening of this connective tissue but we do know that there is a link between an underactive thyroid – like Hashimotos – and frozen shoulder
We also know that high levels of serum TSH are found both in hypothyroidism and in patients with a severe case of frozen shoulder
Several studies have been done on this. In one 401 shoulders were examined from 93 patients with frozen shoulder and 151 patients without frozen shoulder. There were a couple of interesting findings:
- There was significantly more diagnosed hypothyroidism in those with frozen shoulder
- The more severe the frozen shoulder the higher the TSH levels. This was particularly noticeable where patients had two frozen shoulders
If you would like to a more detailed account of this study please click here
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How Is Subacute Thyroiditis Treated
If youre diagnosed with subacute thyroiditis, your doctor will give you medications to help reduce the pain and control inflammation. In some cases, this is the only treatment required for subacute thyroiditis. Possible medications include:
- Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs . Medications like aspirin and ibuprofen work by reducing inflammation. As a result, you will experience less pain. Acetaminophen is not as effective because it doesnt reduce the inflammation thyroiditis causes.
- Corticosteroids. Corticosteroids are used when NSAIDs arent enough to reduce swelling. Prednisone is a common corticosteroid used to treat subacute thyroiditis. Your doctor may prescribe 15 to 30 milligrams per day to start, and then slowly decrease the dosage over three to four weeks.
- Beta-blockers. Your doctor may prescribe beta-blockers if hyperthyroidism is present in the early stages. These medications lower blood pressure and pulse rate to relieve certain symptoms, including anxiety and an irregular heartbeat.
Treatment for hyperthyroidism is important at the beginning of the disease. However, it will not be helpful once your condition progresses into the second phase. During the later stages of the disease, youll develop hypothyroidism. Youll probably need to take hormones such as levothyroxine to replace the ones that your body isnt producing.
How Are Goiters And Thyroid Nodules Diagnosed
Goiters and thyroid nodules are often found by families and doctors by looking at and touching the neck. Lab tests and a thyroid ultrasound can give doctors a good idea of whats going on. If a thyroid nodule is found, extra testing is sometimes needed.
A fine-needle biopsy might be done to see whether a nodule is cancerous. During the biopsy, the doctor inserts a thin needle through the skin into the thyroid nodule . Through the needle, the doctor takes a sample of tissue or some fluid from a cyst. The tissue or fluid is then sent to a lab. In some cases, the nodule might have to be surgically removed for more a detailed examination.
Some thyroid nodules make too much hormone and so another test, a thyroid scan, might be done. For this test, a person swallows a pill containing a small amount of radioactive iodine or another radioactive substance. The thyroid absorbs the radioactive substance. Then a special camera measures where the radioactive substance is taken up by the thyroid gland. This gives the doctor a better picture of the location, size, and type of thyroid nodule.
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But What If Its Thyroid Cancer
A cancer diagnosis is always worrisome, but even if a nodule turns out to be thyroid cancer, you still have plenty of reasons to be hopeful.
Thyroid cancer is one of the most treatable kinds of cancer. Surgery to remove the gland typically addresses the problem, and recurrences or spread of the cancer cells are both uncommon. People who undergo thyroid gland surgery may need to take thyroid hormone afterward to keep their body chemistry in balance.
Whether its benign or not, a bothersome thyroid nodule can often be successfully managed. Choosing an experienced specialist can mean more options to help personalize your treatment and achieve better results.
What Is The Cervical Spine
The cervical spine is the neck region of your spinal column. It’s made up of seven small, highly mobile bones, and their associated ligaments, muscles, and shock-absorbing discs.
Anything that aggravates or comes into contact with your spinal nerve roots can lead to radiculopathy, and that includes several common conditions in which growths or abnormalities cause something to invade the space of the nerve root.
- Herniated disc: The shock-absorbing discs between vertebrae can become damaged and may develop a bulge and/or leak fluid.
- Synovial cyst: These lumps are caused by a buildup of joint fluid that forms a sac.
- Bone spur: An extra bit of bone forms in response to damage or chronic inflammation.
- Cervical spondylosis : This condition involves the formation of bone spurs in the neck.
- Spinal stenosis: An advanced stage of spinal arthritis, stenosis occurs when the spaces in the spine become narrowed, usually due to excess bone growth.
- Degenerative disc disease : Discs between vertebrae erode and fray over time, which may cause a herniated disc. In cases of severe degeneration, bone-on-bone contact can cause bone spurs in the joint.
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How Is Thyroid Pain Treated
To treat thyroid pain, youll need to treat the thyroid condition. Thyroid cancers are usually very treatable and can usually be taken care of with surgery alone. In fact, this surgery is regularly done on an outpatient basis.
If you have acute thyroiditis, it can be treated with antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory medicine, CEENTA ENT doctorMichael Sicard, MD, said. Surgery is sometimes required to remove the infected part of the thyroid, too. Chronic thyroiditis will need lifelong thyroid treatments.
If you have thyroid pain, dont hesitate to see a doctor. Theyll work to ensure your thyroid is healthy and help ease your discomfort.
This blog is forinformational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consultyour physician. Dr. Sicard practices in our Matthews office. Do you need to make an appointment with an ear, nose, and throat doctor? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
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Improving Gut Health May Improve Thyroid Conditions
Theres some encouraging preliminary evidence to suggest that improving your gut can help you improve your thyroid health. Improving the balance of your gut microbiome has been shown in some studies to promote optimal thyroid hormone levels and improve thyroid symptoms. For example:
- In a clinical trial, 8 weeks of probiotic supplementation improved thyroid hormone levels and symptoms compared to a placebo. [8
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How Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treated
If you have myofascial pain syndrome, treatment will be more successful if you see your healthcare provider early after symptoms develop before trigger points are established. Many treatments are available and your medical professional will likely use a combination of the following to manage your pain and restore affected muscles:
- Physical therapy .
- Dry needling .
- Wet needling / trigger point injections .
- Spray and stretch .
- Low-level light therapy / cold laser .
- Ultrasound .
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation .
- Acupuncture and relaxation therapies, including biofeedback and cognitive behavioral therapy .
Prescription medication options may include:
- Pain-killing medications .
- Sedatives to improve the quality of your sleep.
Treatments you can do at home include:
- Heat . Some people benefit from cold/ice packs.
- Exercise. Specifically weight-bearing exercises , stretching exercises and aerobic exercises .
- Over-the-counter pain killers or NSAIDs . Dont take these drugs if you are taking analgesics or NSAIDs prescribed by your healthcare provider.
- Relaxation techniques, including yoga , breathing exercises and meditation.
- Dietary changes .
- Soaking in warm water.
The duration of myofascial pain syndrome varies from person to person. With treatment, it may go away after a day or a few weeks, but it can take longer for some. How fast your myofascial pain syndrome resolves depends on a number of factors, including: