Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a chronic condition characterized by pain and tenderness in the muscles and fascia, a connective tissue that surrounds muscles and bones. It is a common cause of muscle pain that is often overlooked or misdiagnosed. MPS can cause chronic pain that can last for weeks, months, or even years. The pain can vary in intensity and location, making it difficult to diagnose and treat.

What Causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

The exact cause of MPS is unknown. It is believed to be caused by some combination of muscle strain, overuse, stress, and emotional trauma. Muscle tension or spasms caused by poor posture, work or sport activities, and repetitive motions can also lead to MPS.

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

The primary symptom of MPS is pain and tenderness in specific areas of the body, known as “trigger points”. These trigger points can be located in most muscle groups, including the head, neck, chest, arms, and legs. Other common symptoms include:

  • Stiffness
  • Limited range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Diagnosis of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Diagnosis of MPS often involves a physical exam and a medical history. Your doctor may check for tender spots on your muscles, or may ask you to perform certain activities to look for muscle spasms or weakness. In some cases, your doctor may recommend an imaging test or blood work. Treatment for MPS may include physical therapy, medications, or trigger point injections.

Treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Treatment for MPS usually involves a combination of physical therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes. Physical therapy helps strengthen the muscles, improve posture, and reduce tension in the area. This can help relieve pain and improve flexibility. Medications can include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxers, or narcotics. Trigger point injections may also be used to relieve pain. Additionally, lifestyle changes such as proper nutrition, regular exercise, relaxation techniques, and stress management can help reduce the symptoms of MPS.