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Myofascial Pain Syndrome

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Male suffering neck pain due to myofascial pain syndrome

Learn more about Myofascial Pain Syndrome and how LA Pain Specialist can manage your symptoms.

Myofascial pain is a type of chronic pain affecting the connective tissue that covers the muscles. It is possible for the pain generator to be located in a different place on the body than where the pain is felt, known as referred pain.

  • Pain can be limited to one muscle or affect entire group
  • Referred pain can occur when an injury or strain creates a trigger point

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Causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome occurs when the soft tissue of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments becomes inflamed as the result of injury, overuse, or excessive strain. Common causes of myofascial pain syndrome include general fatigue, repetitive motions, injury to the muscle fibers, or an extended period of inactivity.

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Patients with myofascial pain syndrome typically experience muscle pain along with identifiable trigger points or tender areas. The trigger points produce the pain in response to stimuli, such as touch, activity, or an acute injury. There is also an association between myofascial pain syndrome and high levels of stress and anxiety. This may be because most people clench and tighten their muscles when under stress, which can lead to the development of trigger points. The chronic nature of myofascial pain syndrome can lead to depression and fatigue.

Lady suffering with back pain & inflammation due to myofascial pain syndrome
Business woman feeling neck pain with myofascial pain syndrome

Diagnosing Myofascial Pain Syndrome

While lab and imaging tests may be used to rule out other possible causes of muscle pain, myofascial pain syndrome is typically diagnosed during a physical exam. During the exam, the doctor will apply gentle pressure to a tender area in an effort to elicit a response. For example, the pressure may cause certain muscles to tense or twitch.

Treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome

The treatment of myofascial pain syndrome typically involves a combination of therapies. Over-the-counter and prescription pain relievers, antidepressants, and sedatives may help relax the muscles, reduce pain, and improve sleep. Physical therapy may be used to strengthen muscles surrounding the trigger point. The physical therapist may also use a “stretch and spray” technique in which a numbing agent is sprayed on the affected muscle and trigger point as the muscle is gently stretched.

Massage therapy may provide temporary relief by relaxing tense muscles. Heat and ultrasound therapy can reduce muscle tension and increase circulation to the affected area to promote muscle healing. In some instances, a steroid or numbing agent may be injected directly into the trigger point to help break up the muscle tension.

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Testimonials

I have a pain syndrome that makes it difficult to do daily tasks, but the specialists here are helping me explore new pain management techniques all the time.
M. N.
I have been dealing with pain ever since a car accident years ago but really didn't want to resort to surgery. Los Angeles Pain Specialist has helped me and was patient with me while finding a non-invasive option.
T. L.
I wasn't sure I would ever be able to sleep through the night again, but the doctors here have worked with me to help alleviate pain I thought I would have to live with forever.
C. M.