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Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Pain in muscles or soft tissue areas of the body. Often associated with inflammation. Considered to be a chronic condition stemming from the fascia or covering tissue over muscles, either individual muscles or in groups. Accompanied frequently by “trigger points” or areas of significant focal tenderness. Pain as well can be “referred” from a trigger point to other areas.

The evolution of myofascial pain can start from a specific muscle, bone or other soft tissue strain or injury. Medical conditions or trauma that leads to disuse can also result in muscle irritation and heightened sensitivity. Symptoms of 1 or many tender/trigger points can worsen with continued strain. Depression can occur as with other chronic maladies.

Diagnosis is made by medical personnel with the understanding of the body’s muscle relationships. There are different types of trigger points which can be found and identified on exam. NSAIDS have been suggested early on with limited success. Directed physical therapy is often then initiated along with trials of spraying and stretching the muscle of concern. Massage can help and if more conservative measures do not work, then trigger point injections can be tried. Medications often recommended for the accompanying depression have been tried as have specific nerve pain medicines. These have had variable beneficial results on numerous studies.

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