Myofascial trigger points are the main symptom with myofascial pain syndrome or MPS. MPS is a condition in which pain and inflammation occur in the connective tissue of a muscle or group of muscles. This connective tissue is known as fascia.
This condition involves areas that are considered as tender points or trigger points, which are commonly found in the areas of your body that are abundant in muscles. A myofascial trigger point may involve either a single muscle or a muscle group. When pressed, these spots in the muscles lead to, or trigger, excruciating pain. These points can also cause your muscles to feel frail and tired.
Here is a short video that explains what a trigger point is:
The problem of myofascial trigger points is growing. Currently there are about 44 million Americans who suffer from this problem. This is actually considered one of the leading causes of disability in the working age population.
The exact cause of myofascial pain syndrome is unknown. Myofascial pain may occur after muscle straining, overstretching or repetition of rapid movements.
Immobility and lack of muscle activity are also common risk factors that are associated with this condition.
Aside from pain and inflammation, there are also other symptoms that are associated with myofascial trigger points, such as jaw pain, lower back pain, torticollis, and tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Depending on where it is located, the pain can also mimic symptoms of sciatica, arthritis, tennis elbow and angina.
You have a few treatment options to help treat this syndrome. The most popular forms of therapy are trigger point injection and trigger point therapy. A lot of people have already been helped by these techniques.
Myofascial Trigger Points Therapy
This type of therapy works by releasing the pain that you feel. Myofascial trigger points therapy directly targets the muscles and fascia where these tender points are located.
The therapists carefully find these areas within the muscles. Though you will feel pain with this technique, with the use of their fingers, the therapists will apply special compression techniques, friction stretches and strokes that will make the trigger points release the tension away. The release of these trigger points may lead to an abrupt decrease or total elimination of muscle pain.
Although trigger point therapy has a reputation of a “no pain, no gain” procedure, the pain that is actually felt is a good type of pain. It is considered minimal compared to the debilitating pain that you feel in myofascial pain syndrome.
Trigger point therapy is not necessarily used as a stand-alone treatment. It can also be used with a number of massage therapies.
Myofascial Trigger Points Injection
Myofascial trigger points injection is one of the best choices in treating myofascial pain syndrome. Most people do not even respond to other treatments anymore, except for trigger point injections.
This method is used to treat the muscle groups, especially those in the neck, back and extremities that are affected by myofascial pain.
This trigger point injection procedure is done by a licensed healthcare professional. A small needle is inserted into the trigger points. The injection generally contains local anesthesia, but there are also times when corticosteroid is also incorporated.
The medication tends to make the trigger points inactive, leading to pain elimination. This short course treatment can result in sustained relief.
As more studies are being completed on what is causing this syndrome, more treatments should be discovered. In the meantime, release therapy and injections are what is currently available for treatment of myofascial trigger points.
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