Myofascial pain syndrome: Symptoms and treatment

Myofascial pain syndrome: Symptoms and treatment

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a painful condition characterized by pain in any part of the body and painful muscle tension with localized hardening – trigger points. The source of this pain is the muscles and fascia – the connective tissue that covers the muscles.

People with this pain often see a rheumatologist, neurologist, or orthopedic surgeon who specializes in pain management. However, the diagnosis is often missed because myofascial pain is a poorly understood phenomenon.

Trigger points, like myofascial pain, can be localized in any muscle. Their onset does not depend on race or sex, but the risk of formation increases with age.

The main way to classify myofascial syndrome is by the location of the disease. Thus, the disease occurs:

  • Facial;

  • Cervical;

  • Lumbar;

  • Pelvic;

  • Thoracic;

  • Occurs in the abdomen.

The presence of trigger points unites myofascial syndromes in different parts of the body. These painful areas cause the patient severe pain when compressed. In addition, the sensation of muscle functionality is disturbed, and pain is transmitted to other parts of the body. Another manifestation of the syndrome is muscle spasms.

The classic symptoms of myofascial pain are:

  • The appearance of trigger points that create referred (radiating) pain in certain characteristics of each muscle;

  • Stiffness and restriction of movements in the part of the body where myofascial pain occurred;

  • Muscle contractions, visible or palpable;

  • Overload of untrained muscles – this often happens during outdoor training;

  • Sudden movements;

  • Excessive physical exertion;

  • Internal diseases such as hepatitis and pyelonephritis;

  • Emotional stress.

Other causes of myofascial syndrome may include prolonged static muscle tension and stereotypical movements, especially in cold temperatures. These factors include frequent twisting and twisting of the torso, repetitive and strenuous physical work, prolonged sitting at a desk or long car rides.

Pain therapy

Complex therapy is needed to treat myofascial syndrome. It includes both manual therapy and physiotherapy methods. 

The selection of drugs and treatment methods is carried out by clinical group doctors on an strictly individual basis. In addition, therapeutic physical education, gymnastics and swimming, which relieve muscle pain, are recommended.

Therapy is aimed at eliminating the cause of the hardening, relieving pain and increasing the range of motion.

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can relieve pain. 

  • Local or systemic drugs are used.

  • Use muscle relaxants to relieve muscle tension.

  • Antidepressants are prescribed for impaired mental state and sleep disturbance.

The main thing is not to self-medicate and not to prescribe therapy, but to consult a specialist about any type of treatment and physical activity.