Myofascial Pain Syndrome
What is myofascial pain syndrome?
Most people have muscle pain from time to time. But myofascial pain is a kind of ongoing or longer-lasting pain that can affect the connective tissue (fascia) of a muscle or group of muscles. With myofascial pain, there are areas called trigger points. Trigger points are usually in fascia or in a tight muscle.
Myofascial pain often goes away with treatment.
What causes myofascial pain syndrome?
Experts don't know exactly what causes myofascial pain syndrome. It may start after:
What are the symptoms?
The main symptom of myofascial pain syndrome is ongoing or longer-lasting muscle pain, in areas such as the low back, neck, shoulders, and chest. You might feel the pain or the pain may get worse when you press on a trigger point. The muscle may be swollen or hard—you may hear it called a "taut band" of muscle or "knot" in the muscle. Symptoms of myofascial pain may include:
How is myofascial pain syndrome diagnosed?
To diagnose myofascial pain syndrome, your doctor will ask if you have had a recent injury, where the pain is, how long you have had the pain, what makes it better or worse, and if you have any other symptoms.
The doctor will also give you a physical exam. He or she will press on different areas to see if the pressure causes pain.
You may have tests to see if some other condition is causing your pain.
How is it treated?
Talk to your doctor about the best way to treat your pain. The main treatment may include any of the following:
Sometimes doctors prescribe certain antidepressants or muscle relaxants that help relax muscles and relieve sleep problems related to myofascial pain.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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