Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Overview

Myofascial Pain Syndrome is caused by injury or damage to the fascia, the soft, stretchy connective tissue that surrounds muscles, organs and other structures inside the body. The syndrome causes chronic pain in muscles throughout the body, especially in the neck and jaw.

Causes

Doctors aren’t sure what causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome – triggers can vary depending on the individual patient. The syndrome can develop after muscles are injured or overworked, because of skeletal abnormalities, or in conjunction with other disorders such as fibromyalgia or depression.

Trigger Points

People who suffer from this syndrome often develop painful bumps under the skin called trigger points. These small, tight knots can form at the point where the fascia comes into contact with muscle tissue. Trigger points can be felt beneath the skin, and, when pressed, cause pain and twitching in the underlying muscle.

Symptoms

Myofascial pain ranges from mild to severe, from dull, throbbing aches to stabbing or burning sensations. The pain may be felt in specific trigger points, or it may be felt throughout the body.

Other Symptoms

Associated symptoms can include popping sounds or limited range of movement in joints, numbness, headaches, weakness, problems with memory, balance, vision, hearing, and many others.

Treatment

Myofascial Pain Syndrome can be treated with physical therapy, massage and stretching of the affected muscles, trigger point injections, and medications