Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is another name for Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP). This is a neuromuscular disorder that involves inflammation and pain in the muscles and the connective tissues of a muscle or group of muscles. This connective tissue is otherwise known as fascia.
MPS involves regions that are sore and tender. These sore, tender areas are called ‘trigger points’. These areas can be found in the fascia of the muscles. A trigger point may involve either a muscle or a group of muscles.
What Causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome
The exact source of this chronic issue is still unknown. Myofascial pain syndrome often happens after muscle stress, overstretching, strain or repetitive movements. It can also take place in account of immobility or lack of muscle movement. These conditions involve cerebrovascular accidents, also known as strokes, injury in the vertebral disc or after following a broken or injured bone.
How Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome Diagnosed
The doctor is the one who can diagnose this problem. He begins by checking for a history of a recent injury.
He will then assess the painful area, and the duration, characteristic and regularity of the pain involved.
To verify his assessment, the doctor will perform a physical exam especially on the trigger points. He will identify the trigger points based on the force applied on the regions that are afflicted with pain. He will also determine if other factors are causing your pain.
Pain Characteristics of Chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome
The distinct symptom of this ailment is a sudden long-lasting, continuous pain along the neck, shoulder, chest, lower back and hips. You may have positive tenderness after placing pressure on the trigger points. These trigger points can also get worse after activity and stress. In myofascial pain syndrome, the muscle groups involved are usually inflamed.
Aside from those that are mentioned above, other pain characteristics include a muscle that is tender to touch, limited mobility in the affected area, muscle pain that occurs after a trigger point is pressed, weakness on the muscle involved, pain that feels like stabbing or aching.
Aside from pain, myofascial pain syndrome can also be associated with other common health problems including fatigue, sleeping troubles, depression, headache and behavioral alterations.
If you have chronic myofascial pain syndrome, the best method to treat this condition is to seek your doctor’s advice. The treatment strategy may vary depending on the duration and intensity of pain.
The doctor commonly recommends anti-inflammatory and painkillers. Often, he will also give muscle relaxants and anti-depressants to eliminate pain, sleeping problems, discomfort, decreased energy and insomnia. Local anesthetics can also be injected right at the trigger spots. Trigger point needles are usually intended for chronic cases that are not relived by taking prescribed medications.
Non-invasive options like hypnosis, massage, pain management, breathing exercises and stretches can also help. They are economical, convenient and generally safe to apply.
As the symptoms of chronic myofascial pain syndrome subside, the number of activities can greatly increase. Just make sure to increase them gradually. If you will immediately increase your activates, the myofascial pain syndrome may recur.
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