When your acute myofascial pain lasts over the long-term, you are now said to have chronic myofascial pain syndrome. The fact that the pain lasts over 3 to 6 months makes it chronic pain. The fact that you have a set of symptoms that are commonly together in certain medical conditions makes it a syndrome.
Chronic myofascial pain syndrome is a long-term problem that is directly affecting the actual covering of the muscles known as fascia. The fascia is a continuous, connective tissue that covers, separates and organizes your bones, joints and muscles.
Causes of Fascial Tissue Injury
Because the fascia extends throughout your body, anything that affects it can cause pain in other parts of your body. Things that can injure your fascia are
- Repetitious movement
A very common myofascial injury is strains. Over time, the repeated strains can cause the fascia to shrink or become hard and sticky. Thus, the pain begins. In addition to the pain, the hardened fascia limits movement.
Chronic Myofascial Pain Is Not Fibromyalgia
Chronic myofascial pain syndrome is commonly and mistakenly interchanged with fibromyalgia. To differentiate this type of pain problem with other disorders, you have to know its distinguishing characteristic, which are ‘trigger points’.
Trigger points are localized pain spots or centers. These points are painful knots or contractures located in any type of muscle tissue. At times, these trigger points may become a referred kind of chronic pain.
A referred type of pain is a situation where the pain sensation is initially caused by an underlying condition in a part of the body but it is felt on other areas of the body. Because of the body-wide nature of fascia, referred pain is another common characteristic of this syndrome.
Other Factors of Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Factors that induce chronic myofascial pain syndrome may include:
- Psychological as well as physical stress
- Muscle mass injury
- Sedentary way of life
- Lack of muscle exercise
- Muscle tension
- Other underlying illnesses
In addition, if you are feeling anxious and all stressed out, you will unknowingly increase your pain sensitivity and that can result in chronic muscle pain.
More Characteristic Symptoms of Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome
In addition to the other common characteristics of chronic myofascial pain syndrome, there may be some muscle mass tenderness, particularly on the shoulders and trapezius.
Continuing with the characteristic symptoms, there may be:
- Changes in behavior
- Sleep disturbances
- Feelings of exhaustion
- Persistent and increasing chronic pain and exhaustion
Chronic myofascial pain syndrome appears to be specific as well as localized. It can also be seen as headaches or even pain felt within the neck, hip, and leg. The lower limb pain that is experienced is usually mistaken as sciatica.
The pain related to this chronic situation is felt as deep, aching as well as throbbing pain.
Overview of Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatments
The therapy regimen for chronic myofascial pain syndrome includes trigger point injections where local anesthesia is directly injected at the trigger areas. You may also be prescribed medications such as NSAIDs for pain, anti-depressants for behavior changes and sedative drugs for your sleeping disruptions.
Aside from all the medications, other effective remedies include physical therapy, stretching exercises, trigger point therapy and massage.
If you want to exercise, remember to concentrate on a program that permits mild stretching and slow paced movements. Simple and uncomplicated exercises like walking, running and swimming may also aid in relieving pain, improving muscle tone as well as reducing your overall pain threshold.
You are also able to relieve chronic myofascial pain syndrome just by self-care, preventing stress, carrying out regular exercise routines, adequate rest and a well-balanced diet.
Consider meditation, socializing and engaging in relaxing hobbies. These not only can make you happy but they will also be proven to ease tension and reduce pain level and sensitivity. Lifestyle changes you can make yourself, combined with the help of medical professionals may result in some awesome relief in chronic myofascial pain syndrome.
Click here to return to myofascial-pain-syndrome.org homepage.