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Myofascial Pain Syndrome - Chronic Myofascial Pain

Published: 2011-05-23 - Updated: 2022-03-26
Author: Thomas C. Weiss | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)

Synopsis: Information regarding Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) or Chronic myofascial pain (CMP) a condition characterized by chronic and sometimes severe pain. MPS is often discussed alongside fibromyalgia. However, these two conditions are not the same, and neither is one exclusive of the other; patients may have either condition, or both. The primary difference between the two conditions is the pain's pattern. The pain of myofascial pain syndrome centers around sensitive points in your muscles called trigger points. Myofascial pain caused by trigger points has been linked to many types of pain, including headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, low back pain, pelvic pain, and arm and leg pain. The trigger points can be painful when touched. And the pain can spread throughout the affected muscle.

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Main Digest

Myofascial pain syndrome is associated primarily with "trigger points", localized and sometimes extremely painful lumps or nodules in any of the body's muscles or connective tissue known as fascia. The precise cause of MPS is not fully understood and is undergoing research in several medical fields but there are some systemic disorders, such as connective tissue disease, that can cause MPS. There may be postural, emotional, and behavioral contributing factors.

Other Pain: Acute and Chronic Publications (67)

MPS is often discussed alongside fibromyalgia. However, these two conditions are not the same, and neither is one exclusive of the other; patients may have either condition, or both. The primary difference between the two conditions is the pain's pattern. By accepted definition, fibromyalgia is associated with generalized pain, occurring above and below the waist and on both sides of the body. In contrast, MPS pain is localized, and may be detected by observing the myofascial trigger points in one or more specific area.

Neither MPS nor fibromyalgia is thought to be an inflammatory or degenerative condition, and the best evidence suggests that the problem is one of an altered pain threshold, with more pain reported for a given amount of painful stimuli. This altered pain threshold can be manifest as increased muscle tenderness, especially in the certain areas, e.g., the trapezius muscle. These syndromes tend to occur more often in women than in men, and the pain may be associated with fatigue and sleep disturbances.

The pain of myofascial pain syndrome centers around sensitive points in your muscles called trigger points. Myofascial pain caused by trigger points has been linked to many types of pain, including headaches, jaw pain, neck pain, low back pain, pelvic pain, and arm and leg pain. The trigger points can be painful when touched. And the pain can spread throughout the affected muscle.

In some cases, the area where a person experiences the pain may not be where the myofascial pain generator is located. This situation is known as referred pain.

Types of Trigger Points

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain symptoms usually involve muscle pain with specific "trigger" or "tender" points. The pain can be made worse with activity or stress. In addition to the local or regional pain associated with myofascial pain syndrome, people with the disorder also can suffer from depression, fatigue and behavioral disturbances. Other symptoms include referred pain, restricted movement, and sleep disturbances.

Causes of Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain may develop from a muscle injury or from excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament or tendon. Other causes include:

Treatment

Treatment options include physical therapy, trigger point injections or medications. Using Trigger Point release techniques may be effective in short-term pain relief.

Physical therapy involving gentle stretching and exercise is useful for recovering full range of motion and coordination.

Once the trigger points are gone, muscle strengthening exercise can begin, supporting long-term health of the local muscle system.

Complementary therapy called myofascial release, using gentle fascia manipulation and massage, is believed by some to be beneficial and pain-relieving.

Drug categories used in the treatment of myofascial pain include antidepressants (primarily SNRIs), calcium channel blockers such as Pregabalin (Lyrica), and musculoskeletal relaxants such as Baclofen.

Author Credentials:

Thomas C. Weiss is a researcher and editor for Disabled World. Thomas attended college and university courses earning a Masters, Bachelors and two Associate degrees, as well as pursing Disability Studies. As a Nursing Assistant Thomas has assisted people from a variety of racial, religious, gender, class, and age groups by providing care for people with all forms of disabilities from Multiple Sclerosis to Parkinson's; para and quadriplegia to Spina Bifida.

Disabled World is an independent disability community established in 2004 to provide disability news and information to people with disabilities, seniors, their family and/or carers. See our homepage for informative news, reviews, sports, stories and how-tos. You can also connect with us on Twitter and Facebook or learn more about Disabled World on our about us page.

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Disabled World provides general information only. The materials presented are never meant to substitute for professional medical care by a qualified practitioner, nor should they be construed as such. Financial support is derived from advertisements or referral programs, where indicated. Any 3rd party offering or advertising does not constitute an endorsement.


Cite This Page (APA): Thomas C. Weiss. (2011, May 23). Myofascial Pain Syndrome - Chronic Myofascial Pain. Disabled World. Retrieved May 28, 2022 from www.disabled-world.com/health/pain/myofascial-pain.php