Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder that involves the musculoskeletal system. This condition exhibits a deep localised pain in the muscles, that is usually asymmetric or focal. There may be a referred pain in a different part of the body as well. The exact cause of this condition is not yet known. Myofascial pain syndrome can be extremely painful at times.

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Best Treatment For Myofascial Pain Syndrome

The treatment of myofascial pain syndrome is more of a multifaceted approach. Not one single treatment can give completely promising results. The doctor needs to evaluate the condition of the patient and determine what is the best course of treatment for him.

Most times, the experts suggest finding out the underlying cause of the condition and treat that cause first.

There are various treatment methods available out there for treating myofascial pain syndrome. These largely comprise of medications, injections at site of trigger points and physiotherapy.

According to researches and studies, giving injections at the trigger points and dry needling (just inserting a needle at the trigger points or tense muscles) are an important part of the treatment regimen. However, their efficacy lies in using them properly, cautiously and in combination with other therapies like myofascial release.

Ultrasound therapy, wherein the sound waves are used to create warmth and treat, and laser therapy are promising therapies these days.(1)

The treatment regimen of myofascial pain syndrome is a multidimensional one. Medications combined with other suitable therapies is the most practiced way of treating myofascial pain syndrome. The treatment regimen may include the following therapies, in single or in combination-

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Medicines-

Medicines can help alleviate the signs and symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome. These may include-

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NSAIDs-

  • An acronym for non -steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, these can help in relieving pain and swelling and these are available over the counter
  • Examples are ibuprofen, acetaminophen etc.

Analgesics-

  • These are pain killers or pain relievers
  • These help in alleviating the pain associated with myofascial pain syndrome
  • Examples are diclofenac sodium, tramadol, lidocaine etc.

Muscle Relaxants-

  • These medicines can help in reducing muscle spasms
  • Examples are tizanidine, benzodiazepines etc.

Anticonvulsants-

  • These also help in reducing muscle spasms and relieve pain
  • Examples are gabapentin, pregabalin etc.

Antidepressants-

These help in reducing chronic pain, nerve pain and fibromyalgia, all of which are associated with myofascial pain syndrome

Injections-

These injections contain botulinum type A, which is considered to be having pain relief effects and also stops muscle contractions(3)

Dry Needling-

  • In this procedure, just a needle is inserted in the trigger points several times
  • It may be a bit painful, but is considered to be one of the most effective ways of treating the condition
  • Acupuncture needles are used by some physicians, which are considered to be less painful than hypodermic needles

Injections-

  • This method is similar to dry needling, but a solution is injected at the trigger points instead of poking just a dry needle
  • The solution injected may help in relieving pain and the procedure is less uncomfortable than only dry needling

Ultrasound-

  • This method uses sound waves to heat up the muscles and relax them
  • This method also improves blood circulation and may remove scar tissue
  • This method is highly useful in reducing stiffness and helps especially when done before stretching

Massage Therapy-

  • Massage therapy may improve blood circulation, warm up the muscles, reduce stiffness, and alleviate pain
  • There are different types of massage procedures

Spraying And Stretching-

  • Many therapists prefer spraying the affected muscle with a numbing spray before stretching
  • This helps in easy stretching without afflicting much pain and helps in reducing stiffness(3)

Conclusion

There is no single best treatment for myofascial pain syndrome. The treatment focuses on a multidimensional approach and usually involves a combination of more than one suitable treatment methods.

References:  

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 27, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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