Get the most useful practical applications for muscle and joint pain relief on the web.
Muscles can create an unbelievable variety of pains. It's sometimes hard to believe, but they are responsible for over 90% of our daily pains. On this website I present you the most common symptoms and how to massage the responsible muscles in order to achieve relief.
Of course, maybe your symptoms and pains don't have a muscular origin but are the result of structural damage or disease. So, it makes highly sense to double check with your doctor. But as this will be a real minority, I think more than 90% of you will find out here exactly what they need to relieve their pains.
Painotopia is dedicated to empower you to free yourself from pain in a natural and drug free way. Yes, this is possible, given someone tells you how to do it.
I know it, because I did it myself!
My name is Jan Lingen. I am a sports scientist specialized in the field of prevention and rehabilitation. Study and apply the information presented here on Painotopia and there is a big chance that you can get yourself out of pain.
In almost 100 % of the cases it is overuse and abuse of our bodies that lead to muscle and joint pain. This overuse or abuse leads to an irritation of your nervous system – which is the control station of your body –, to elevated muscle tension and trigger points.
Both, permanently elevated muscle tension and trigger points will make your muscles ache. Furthermore, the affected muscles pull harder on their corresponding joints and tendons. This disturbs your muscle joint balance – unphysiological force distribution – and eventually leads to joint pain.
Knowing this, you will understand that your main focus here will be on normalizing muscle tension and on eliminating trigger points, which you will achieve by practicing self-massage.
Click on the pain symptom that comes closest to yours in the navigation bar to your left and get video as well as written instructions on how to relieve your specific pain. I will guide you step by step through the self-massage. If you have any questions about this website or suggestions for improvement, feel free to contact me.
If you have a minute, I recommend reading the rest of this page. I have compiled some of my experiences I gained over the years from dealing with my former pains.
There are a couple of misconceptions on muscle and joint pain that you have to know about.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions about muscle and joint pain. I do not want to discredit physicians or therapists – then I would discredit myself – but you have to realize that they cannot take away your pain. Maybe temporarily, but not in the long run.
While it is true that doctors, physiotherapists, body-workers etc. can help you to relieve your pain, they cannot walk the walk for you. All they can do, is teaching and educating you. They can support you on your first steps towards a pain-free body. This is especially true when you are so badly injured that you really need physical therapy or any kind of bodywork because you cannot move yourself properly.
Therapists act like catalysts. They lower your threshold energy which is needed to initiate changes in your body that will ultimately lead to pain relief. They can show you different pathways, doors and opportunities you can take. Still, you have to walk for yourself. No one else can do that for you.
In my opinion your well being is your task, your responsibility and no one else's. If you disagree, you might find no value in this website as I really would like you to take responsibility and work on yourself.
I „just“ supply you with the information you need.
Another unfortunate misbelief is that treating – exclusively – the body part that is in pain, will bring relief or even remedy.
Most of the times, the cause for your pain is not found at the place where you experience pain. This is especially true with muscle and joint pain.
Dr. Janet Travel and her colleagues did an amazing job introducing trigger and tender points to the western medicine in the 20th century. Nothing really new – those points got discovered already earlier –, but their outstanding empirical work and findings on what muscles can trigger what pain symptoms, made trigger points known and „accessible“ to a huge – still too small – number of people.
Trigger points are little, often palpable knots in our muscles that can trigger pain symptoms in other, “seemingly” unrelated muscles and joints – they can even mimic pain in intestines –. Pretty much 99% of the whole population has trigger points in some part of their bodies – they can be “quiet” and go unrecognized for years –.
The picture below displays the pain zone of the infraspinatus muscle, which is located at the back of your shoulder blade. As you can see, trigger points in this muscle can refer pain to the front of the shoulder and even to the arm. If this muscle was responsible for arm pain for example, treatment of the affected arm would lead to nothing but frustration.
Of course, here on Painotopia I will show you where in your body trigger points can develop, what pain symptoms they can create, and how to get rid of them.
Very often people get diagnosed or diagnose themselves with conditions like arthritis, arthrosis, bursitis, tennis elbow, tendinitis, etc. while the true initiator of pain are trigger and tender points or simply too tight muscles that irritate your nervous system.
Of course, the existence of these conditions is reality but still, very often they display misdiagnosis.
Dr. Travel, who made trigger points well known, even states that most of the common daily pains – headaches, knee pain, back pain, etc. – are caused by trigger and tender points and that ignorance and/or lack of knowledge of the latter contributes to false diagnoses and failure to effectively deal with pain – especially muscle and joint pain –.
That doesn't mean at all that no one should get treated for arthritis, arthrosis, bursitis etc. but it means that it should be checked first if too tight muscle tissue and/or trigger and tender points could be the initiators of pain.
And here are the great news: Most of the times you can do that yourself.
While it is true that „strong“ and healthy muscles – elastic, not tight, hard and rigid – can take way more physical stress, it is a big misbelief that you have to strengthen them when you are in pain.
If your joints or muscles hurt, it is mostly because your muscles are too tight and pull hard on your bones, tendons and ligaments. Trying to relieving muscle and joint pain with strength training is like fighting fire with fire. Why would you want to place even more tension on a structure, when this is what initiated its pain in the first place? It just doesn't make sense and beside that, most of the times it doesn't work.
What needs to be done is to relieve muscles, to restore a normal muscle tension and eliminating trigger and tender points – which almost everyone has in their bodies due to our modern, stressful and sedentary lifestyle –. This can be achieved by training our nervous system – the control station for muscle tension –. Here on Painotopia we will do that mainly with self massage and relaxation exercises.
That is what you often hear when you visit a doctor or complain about your aches to your friends: You are just getting older. It is unavoidable that you get some aches here and there. Better you put up with it.
Well, that is an age old myth. It is true that with aging our body gets slowly but surely worn down. It is also true that muscle and joint pain is a consequence of aging, but it is NOT unavoidable. Rather it IS avoidable, and very often even reversible. It all the depends on how we spend our time, or better, what we do while aging. There is a big difference between aging while being sedentary or physically active.
The too tight muscle tissue and the trigger and tender points I mentioned above, develop as a consequence of an abuse of our body. This abuse can manifest in different forms. What all abuse has in common though, is that it displays the extremes. Both, being extremely sedentary or overly physically active – especially with the “no pain, no gain” mentality – is detrimental for muscles and joints. They dislike being hold in the same positions for long times or being used repetitively with insufficient rest and balance – both leads to excessive muscle tension and trigger and tender points –.