Myofascial Pain Syndrome – Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment!

Myofascial Pain Syndrome - Symptoms, Diagnosis

It is a painful condition that affects the covering of muscles and tissues called fascia that surrounds the muscles. These tissues contract or harden, putting painful pressure on nerves, muscles, bones, and organs. The area where the injury occurs is called the point of induction. It feels like a lump or bulge in the muscles.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome – Painful Condition That Affects The Covering Of Muscles!

MPS usually develops between the ages of 20 and 40 and is most common in women and individuals with a sedentary lifestyle (that involves sitting or very little activity). It is also called chronic myofascial pain. Myofascial PAIN syndrome is similar to fibromyalgia syndrome and is sometimes referred to as regional fibromyalgia.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome Symptoms Diagnosis and Treatment

Common Symptoms Of This Syndrome

Symptoms vary from person to person with myofascial pain syndrome. Sometimes the pain comes on suddenly, and this is called a “flare-up” of symptoms. Sometimes it is chronic, painful back pain. Common symptoms of MPS include:

  • Deep pain in the local areas of the muscles.
  • Pain becomes worse when the affected muscle is stretched or stiffened.
  • Muscle pain that gets worse or fails to become good over time.
  • The presence of painful knots in the muscles that, when pressed, produce severe local or sensory pain.
  • Muscles that are weak, strong, inflexible, or reduced range of motion.
  • Attitude or sleep pattern disturbances.
  • Headaches and fatigue are also other symptoms of it which are mostly not prominent in many cases.

Reasons For Myofascial Pain Syndrome 

Some of the main reasons for having Myofascial Pain Syndrome are as follows.

  • Traumatic injury to muscle and bone tissue.
  • Overuse of muscles.
  • Lifting excess weight with improper body posture.
  • Immobility caused by a cast (tied with plaster of Paris).
  • Fibromyalgia.
  • Medical conditions.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.
  • Being exposed to cold and cold for a long time, for example sleeping in front of an air-conditioning system.
  • Hormonal imbalance or changes.

Stress and mental pain worsen the discomfort of myofascial pain, but they are rarely the root cause of the problem.

Diagnosis Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial Pain Syndrome is usually a neglected and overlooked condition. It could be a mistake as a problem with your nerves, bones, ligaments, or muscles – but it is not. It’s a problem with your muscles.

No tests – no imaging tests, laboratory/blood work tests, electromyography, or muscle biopsy can diagnose myofascial pain syndrome. In addition, there are no obvious symptoms, such as redness, swelling, or unusual muscle warmth.

The best way your healthcare provider can use to diagnose the disease is to physically examine your muscles feel strong muscle bands and find specific areas of sensitivity. Finding and applying pressure to the trigger area will result in pain, which can be felt in a nearby area or an area a short distance away (referred pain).

Mainly there are four types of trigger points:

  • An active trigger point is usually within the muscle and pressure on it leads to local or regional pain.
  • A latent trigger point has the ability to be active, but it does not.
  • The secondary trigger point is located in the muscle other than the one holding the active trigger point.
  • The satellite trigger point of the muscle is the one that ends up being inactive because it is scattered over the surface of another trigger point.

Treatment Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome 

If you have myofascial pain syndrome, treatment will be most effective if you see your healthcare provider immediately after the symptoms appear – before the first points are established. Many medications are available and your medical professional will probably use a combination of the following to control your pain and restore the affected muscles:

  • Physical therapy (strengthening, stretching, and relaxing muscles).
  • Dry needle (pushing small needles into the trigger area to reduce congestion, increase blood flow and relieve pain).
  • Injectable/trigger point injections (using the needle to inject lidocaine [or another anesthetic] into the trigger area to relieve pain).
  • “Spray and stretch” (spray the start area with coolant, and then slowly, stretch the muscles by hand).
  • Low-level light treatment / cold laser (using lasers to stimulate the release of pain-relieving chemicals).
  • Ultrasound (using sound waves to enter muscle).
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS treatment; pads attached to your skin where low-voltage electrical signals are sent).
  • Acupuncture and relaxation medications, which include biofeedback and behavioral therapy (also good for improving sleep and reducing anxiety).

Medical options may include:

  • Analgesics.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
  • Muscle relaxants.
  • Drugs.
  • Antidepressants.

Home remedies include:

  • Heat (as in the heating pad). Many people do prefer going for cold/ice packs as it benefits them.
  • Exercise. In particular weight-bearing exercises (strengthening muscles), stretching exercises (stretching muscles), and aerobic exercises (getting more oxygen in the muscles).
  • Over-the-counter painkillers (such as acetaminophen) or NSAIDs (such as ibuprofen or naproxen). It’s strictly not advisable to consume the above medications if you are already consuming analgesics or NSAIDs prescribed by your doctor.
  • Relaxation techniques include yoga (stretching and relaxing muscles and reducing stress), breathing and meditation exercises.
  • Dietary changes (avoid foods that are known to cause inflammation).
  • Immersion in warm water.
  • Massage.

The time till which myofascial pain syndrome stays in your body depends from individual to individual. With treatment, it may last a day or a few weeks, but it may take longer for some. How quickly myofascial pain syndrome resolves depends on several factors, including:

  • Your general health.
  • Food.
  • Price and quality of sleep.
  • How carefully do you listen to the recommendations of your healthcare provider?

Prevention Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome 

Several factors can put you at greater risk for developing myofascial pain syndrome. Managing these risk factors may not prevent you from getting the disease, but it may help to reduce the severity of the condition.

Many prevention tips to follow are also pain management strategies:

  • Maintain proper sleep hygiene.
  • Reduce your stress.
  • Exercise.
  • Avoid preventable muscle injuries. (e.g., is the shoulder bag/bag you are carrying too heavy and you are digging muscles in your shoulder?).
  • Practice relaxation techniques.
  • Eat a healthy diet, such as a Mediterranean diet.
PainPathways Magazine

PainPathways Magazine

PainPathways is the first, only and ultimate pain magazine. First published in spring 2008, PainPathways is the culmination of the vision of Richard L. Rauck, MD, to provide a shared resource for people living with and caring for others in pain. This quarterly resource not only provides in-depth information on current treatments, therapies and research studies but also connects people who live with pain, both personally and professionally.

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