What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial pain syndrome is an uncomfortable pain condition that occurs in your muscles. Myofascial pain can occur from a muscle injury or from excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament, or tendon. You can find more information below.

What is myofascial pain syndrome?

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure builds up on tender points (trigger points) in your muscles, sometimes causing pain in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referral pain .

Myofascial pain syndrome typically occurs after a muscle contracts repeatedly. This can be caused by repetitive movements at work or hobbies, or by stress-related muscle tension .

While almost everyone experiences muscle tension pain, the discomfort associated with this syndrome persists or worsens. Treatment options include physical therapy and trigger point injections. Pain medications and relaxation techniques can also help.

Causes of myofascial pain syndrome

Sensitive areas of sensitive muscle fibers can form in your muscles after injury or overuse. These sensitive areas are called trigger points. A trigger point in a muscle can cause tension and pain throughout the muscle. When this pain persists and gets worse, doctors call it myofascial pain syndrome.

Who is at risk?

Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a stimulus, such as muscle tension, that raises trigger points in your muscles. Factors that can increase your risk of muscle trigger points include:

  • Muscle injury: Acute muscle injury or sustained muscle stress can lead to the development of trigger points. For example, a point in or near a strained muscle could be a trigger point. Repetitive movements and poor posture can also increase your risk.
  • Stress and anxiety: People who experience frequent stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles. One theory is that these people may be more likely to tighten their muscles, a type of repeated strain that leaves the muscles susceptible to trigger points.
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Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome

Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome may include:

  • Deep, aching pain in the muscle
  • persistent or worsening pain
  • Knotting sensation in the muscle
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain

When should you see a doctor?

If you are experiencing muscle pain that does not go away, it is useful to consult your doctor. Almost everyone experiences muscle pain from time to time. However, if your muscle pain persists despite rest, massage and similar self-care measures, you should see your doctor.

Diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome

During the physical examination, your doctor may apply light finger pressure to the painful area and feel the tight areas. One of the reasons for pressing the trigger point is that you have certain reactions in this situation. For example, you may experience a muscle twitch.

There are many possible causes of muscle pain. Your doctor may also recommend other tests and procedures to rule out other causes of muscle pain.

Myofascial pain syndrome treatment

Treatment of myofascial pain syndrome typically includes medications, trigger point injections, or physical therapy. It is considered an important component of the exercise treatment program.

You should discuss your options and treatment preferences with your doctor. You may need to try more than one approach to find the appropriate treatment for your pain.


Medications used for myofascial pain syndrome include:

  • Pain relievers: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium may help some people, or your doctor may prescribe stronger pain relievers. Some are available in patches that you place on your skin.
  • Antidepressants: Many types of antidepressants can help relieve pain. For some people with myofascial pain syndrome, amitriptyline reduces pain and improves sleep.
  • Sedative: Clonazepam helps treat anxiety and sleep disturbance that sometimes occurs with myofascial pain syndrome. It should be used with caution because it can induce drowsiness and be habit-forming.
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Remember, your doctor will decide which medicine to take and how.

Needle procedures

Injecting a narcotic or steroid into a trigger point can help relieve pain. In some people, the act of inserting the needle into the trigger point helps break the muscle tension.

This technique, called dry needling, involves inserting a needle into several places in and around the trigger point. Also, acupuncture appears to be helpful for some people with myofascial pain syndrome.


In the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome, a physical therapist can devise a plan to help relieve your pain based on your symptoms. Physical therapy to relieve myofascial pain syndrome may include:

  • Stretching: A physical therapist may ask you to do gentle stretching exercises to help relieve pain in your affected muscle. If you experience trigger point pain while stretching, the physical therapist may spray a solution on your skin.
  • Posture training: Improving your posture can help relieve myofascial pain, especially in your neck. Exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding your trigger point will help you avoid overworking any of the muscles.
  • Massage: A physical therapist may massage your affected muscle to relieve your pain. The physical therapist may use long strokes along the muscle or apply pressure to specific areas of your muscle to relieve tension.
  • Warmth: Applying heat through a hot pack or a hot shower can help relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.
  • Ultrasound: This type of therapy uses sound waves to increase blood circulation and temperature, which can promote healing in muscles affected by myofascial pain syndrome.

What is good for myofascial pain syndrome?

If you have myofascial pain syndrome, you should take care of yourself. Self-care measures and exercise to keep your body healthy can make it easier for you to concentrate on coping with your pain.

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Here are some things that are good for myofascial pain symptom:

  • Exercise: Exercise that is not too heavy can help you deal with pain better. When your pain allows, take action. You can ask your doctor or physiotherapist about appropriate exercises.
  • Relax: If you are stressed and nervous, you may experience more pain. Find ways to relax. Meditation or talking to friends can help.
  • Take care of your body: Eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables. Get enough sleep to rest. Pay attention to your body to cope with your pain.

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