Myofacial Pain Syndrome: Causes, symptoms, diagnosis, Treatment in Dallas & Mansfield, TX is a chronic pain disorder whereby pressure is exerted on sensitive points (trigger points) in the muscles causing pain in the muscle and some other parts of the body.
Myofascial pain syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been repetitively contracted or overuse. For example, repetitive muscular motions when doing certain jobs or activities can cause myofascial pain syndrome.
Causes of Myofacial Pain Syndrome
The sensitive areas in your muscles are called trigger points. When the trigger points are overused, or when pressure is exerted on the trigger points, it can lead to pain.
Repetitive use or overuse of the muscle is the major cause of myofascial pain syndrome.
Risk factors of Myofacial Pain Syndrome
There are certain factors that may increase your risk of myofascial pain syndrome. These include:
An acute muscle injury or continual muscle stress may increase the risk of developing myofascial pain.
Repetitive motion of the muscles such as typing on the computer can increase your risk
Poor posture such as not standing or sitting appropriately can exert pressure on the muscles.
Stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety may also increase your risk.
Trauma and injury
Trauma and injury that affect the muscles may also lead to myofascial pain syndrome.
Prolonged sitting in a position
Sitting or lying down for a long period of time may also exert pressure on the muscle which may cause myofascial pain syndrome.
Other risk factors include:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Lack of exercise or movement
- Injury to the musculoskeletal system or intervertebral disks
- Generalized fatigue
- Lack of sleep
- Intense cooling of muscles or being in a very cold place
Symptoms of Myofacial Pain Syndrome
Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome include:
- Deep aching pain in sensitive areas of the muscles
- Pain that gets worse when the muscle is stretched or strained
- Pain that gets worse or fails to improve with time
- Presence of painful knots in muscles
- Weak, stiff, and inflexible muscle
- Difficulty to sleep
Diagnosis of Myofacial Pain Syndrome
During diagnosis, your doctor may conduct a physical exam by applying gentle finger pressure to the painful area to ascertain the trigger points. Your doctor will also look for tender nodules in the taut bands of your muscles and examine them.
Your doctor will ask you to describe the pain you feel and the areas you feel the pain. Your doctor will also ask you to describe any other symptoms that you may be experiencing.
Treatments of Myofacial Pain Syndrome
The treatment options for myofascial pain syndrome include:
Certain home remedies can help relieve myofascial pain syndrome. These include:
Gently stretching the affected muscle can help relieve pain.
Improving your posture in every part of your body can help relieve myofascial pain.
Strengthening exercises can help strengthen the muscles surrounding your trigger point.
Massaging the affected muscle can help relieve your pain. Massaging the specific areas where you feel pain can help release tension and reduce pain.
Applying heat on the affected muscle can help relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.
There are several medications that can be used to relieve the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome. These include:
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen can relieve pain.
Pain relievers such a lidocaine or diclofenac patch, tramadol, COX-2 inhibitors, and tropisetron may be used to relieve pain. Be aware that most of these medications have side effects. Take them according to your doctor’s prescription and direction.
Muscle relaxants such as benzodiazepines and tizanidine may be used to reduce muscle spasms.
Anticonvulsants such as gabapentin and pregabalin may help relieve pain and reduce muscle spasms.
Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline and nortriptyline can be used to relieve myofascial pain syndrome.
Botulinum type A is a potent neurotoxin that prevents muscle contractions. When injected into the affected muscle, it may relieve pain.
Dry needling is a quick way to inactivate myofascial trigger points. This is similar to acupuncture. It involves inserting a needle directly into several places in and around the trigger point. Inserting the needle into the trigger point helps break up the muscle tension and inactivate trigger points.
Trigger point injections
Trigger point injections involve injecting saline or a local anesthetic into the tissue. It is done to inactivate myofascial trigger points.
This involves transmitting sound waves into the tissue through a sound-conducting gel applied to the skin. The sounds waves help to heat up and relax the muscles, and improve blood flow.