Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Discover a Better Way to Manage Chronic Muscle Pain and Trigger Points

Myofascial pain syndrome is inflammation originating in soft muscle tissue. It is a chronic pain condition that causes sensitive areas in your muscles, called trigger points, to persist despite the use of at-home remedies like heat and cold therapies, over-the-counter painkillers and rest.  

Having a musculoskeletal condition may worsen myofascial pain syndrome, resulting in referred pain. This is when you experience pain in part of your body other than where the stimulus originated.

Musculoskeletal aches or stiffness from myofascial pain syndrome may appear spontaneous, but the root may be from a non-local tissue.


Factors That May Increase the Risk of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Fascia is the connective tissue between and around each of your muscles. Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a catalyst that results in persistent radiating pain throughout the fascia in your body. Fascia injuries or strains may cause referred pain throughout the musculoskeletal system, as pressure triggers inflammation.

Risk factors that may increase the odds of developing myofascial pain syndrome include:

  • Traumatic Injury: Injuries to your muscles may cause an onset of pain that leads to myofascial pain syndrome. This is because a localized trigger point can radiate persistent pain if left untreated and act as a stimulus for future aches.
  • Heightened Levels of Stress: Stress is carried within the body via muscle tension and stiffness. Consistent stress may increase your risk of developing myofascial pain syndrome as chronic pain persists in areas of tension, like the neck, back and shoulders.
  • Overuse: The overuse of certain muscles can result in a strain leading to myofascial pain syndrome. Overworked muscles may become sensitive, causing localized pain to escalate into chronic conditions if left untreated.

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome are most often experienced in the upper back, neck and shoulders. However, it is also possible to experience injuries anywhere along the spine or back region. Symptoms may include:

  • Aching pain in muscle tissue
  • Persistent pain that worsens over time
  • Throbbing pain
  • Tightness or stiffness within the muscles
  • Trigger points with localized pain
  • Posture abnormalities like hunching
  • Difficulty sleeping due to pain
  • Headaches
  • Knots in the upper back

When to See a Pain Management Doctor

You should consider seeing a medical professional if your symptoms persist or worsen. It is especially important to visit an orthopaedic specialist if you are practicing reasonable self-care methods to deal with the pain and they are not alleviating the problem.

If left untreated, myofascial pain may result in limited use of the affected muscles or the need for more serious pain management interventions in the future.

Diagnosing Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome is diagnosed through a thorough examination. Because this chronic pain isidentified by localized pain points, typical imaging methods may not be reliable for diagnosis. The evaluation process may include:

  • Ultrasounds to rule out other medical conditions
  • A physical examination to identify pain points
  • A physical examination where the doctor applies gentle pressure to identify muscle stiffness or trigger muscle twitches
  • Visual examination to evaluate posture abnormalities
  • Questions about the nature of pain you experience and its frequency
  • Questions about your activities and potential daily habits that may have led to injury

Non-Surgical Treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome

  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy aims to strengthen the muscles, which can help to reduce pain by making them more resilient to stress.
  • Acupuncture: Acupuncture is a type of relaxation therapy. As a pain management strategy, the reduction of stress can help to limit tension in the muscles causing additional pain or myofascial flare-ups.
  • Medications: Prescription medications such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants and steroids may be used to reduce pain.
  • Injections: Anesthetic and/or steroid injections can be applied to trigger points for pain management.
  • Stretching: Exercise is a great way to increase the flexibility of your muscles, reinforcing their strength and helping them better endure tension without causing additional pain.

Learn More About Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatment Options in Georgia

Are you looking for resources and support for myofascial pain syndrome? Do you have related symptoms and want to pursue an accurate diagnosis for proper care? 

At Non-Surgical Orthopaedics, we provide conservative pain management treatment plans to Marietta and Carrollton patients with persistent back and muscle pain.

To learn more about treatment options that may work for you, call 770-441-1420 to schedule an appointment.