ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Myofascial pain – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Updated on January 30, 2014

Myofascial pain syndrome refers to a persistent painful condition. When pressure is applied on the sensitive or trigger points in the muscles, a person affected by myofascial pain syndrome will experience pain in those areas of the body that have no relation to the trigger points. Such transferred pain is known as ‘referred pain.’

Myofascial pain syndrome is generally caused due to repetitive contraction of a specific muscle. It can result from monotonous movements performed in hobbies, sports, or jobs, or from muscle tension caused by excessive stress.

Almost everyone has suffered from muscle tension pain some time or the other. However, the discomfort that accompanies myofascial pain syndrome aggravates or persists. Treatment options include trigger point injections, use of relaxation techniques, physical therapy, and intake of painkiller drugs.

Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome

Some of the signs and symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome are as follows:

  • Intense and deep pain in some muscle
  • A sensitive knot in some muscle
  • Presence of ache that persists or deteriorates
  • Extreme pain can result in sleeping difficulties

A few complications that can arise due to myofascial pain syndrome are as follows:

  • Fibromyalgia: A few studies indicate that myofascial pain syndrome can cause fibromyalgia in certain patients. Fibromyalgia is a long-lasting disorder characterized by pain throughout the body. It is also thought that with the passage of timethe brains of fibromyalgia patients become increasingly sensitive to pain signals. Myofascial pain syndrome is believed to be responsible for commencing such an abnormal process.
  • Sleep anomalies: The symptoms associated with myofascial pain syndrome can cause problems in sleeping. Patients may find it difficult to get into a desirable sleep position. Also, movements during sleep can cause a trigger point to be hit thereby awakening you.

Causes of myofascial pain syndrome

Overuse or injuries to the muscles can result in the formation of tender regions in the tight muscle fibers. Such sensitive regions are known as trigger points. These points can cause pain and strain all across the specific muscle. When such pain continues for prolonged durations or aggravates, then it is referred to as myofascial pain syndrome.

Any kind of stimulus, like pressure, can trigger the sensitive points in the muscle, thereby causing myofascial pain syndrome. A few factors that can increase the vulnerability to muscle trigger points are listed below:

  • Injury to muscles: Constant stress on a particular muscle, or some muscle injury can result in formation of trigger points. For example, an area near or inside a strained muscle may turn into a trigger point. Poor posture and repetitive movements can also increase the susceptibility to development of trigger points.
  • Anxiety and stress:Individuals who are persistently beset with anxiety and stress are at greater risk to development of trigger points in the muscles. It is hypothesized that stressed individuals are more prone to tightening their muscles which can lead to repeated strain on muscles, thereby making them more vulnerable to trigger points.

Diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome

The doctor may carry out a physical exam wherein he/she may use a finger to apply gentle pressure on the affected region and then check for tensed up spots. There are certain ways in which the doctor will touch the trigger points so as to get a particular response. For example, a specific touch may cause a muscle twitch.

Muscle pain can be caused due to a variety of reasons. Hence, the physician will order for many kinds of additional procedures and tests to eliminate the other causes.

Treatment of myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome can be treated via trigger point injections, medicines, or physical therapy.

  • The doctor may prescribe antidepressants and pain killers to alleviate the pain. Sedatives may be given to relax the affected muscles.
  • Physical therapy is devised as per the needs of the individual patient. It may include the following:
    • Massage of the affected muscles to ease the pain. The physical therapist may concentrate on specific parts of the muscle, or use long hand strokes across it to alleviate the tension.
    • Gentle stretching exercises of the affected muscle can also help relieve the pain. A numbing solution is sprayed on the skin whenever a patient experiences trigger point pain during stretching exercises.
    • Ultrasound therapy involves the use of sound waves to elevate the warmth and blood circulation in the affected muscles, thereby facilitating the healing of myofascial pain syndrome
    • Application of heat via a hot shower or a hot pack can also help reduce pain and muscle tension.
    • Different needle procedures such as acupuncture, dry needling,and/or injection of steroids or numbing agents into the trigger points can help in easing the pain. Dry needling is a process wherein just the needle is inserted in and around the trigger point.
    • Self-care measures for easing myofascial pain syndrome symptoms include a healthy diet and sufficient rest as well as engaging in varied relaxation techniques like meditation, yoga, etc.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)