Myofascial pain syndrome is a term used for a chronic pain disorder. A pain in the muscle and sometimes in a different part of body, that is caused when certain “trigger points” are pressed, is a characteristic of this condition.

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Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome A Serious Condition?

Myofascial pain syndrome may affect the quality of life. You may have to forgo of your special sports or physical activities that you so used to enjoy earlier. This, in turn, can cause depression and anxiety in some. You may feel isolated. This condition can also affect your mobility; beginning a treatment regimen as soon as you see the first signs of the condition, may help in resolving the problem quickly. Talking with family, friends and support groups may help you mentally and emotionally.(1)

Symptoms Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

The common symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome may include the following-

  • A deep pain that is characteristically in the asymmetrical areas of muscles
  • A pain in localised muscle areas
  • A worsening pain when the affected muscle is stretched or strained
  • A muscle pain that does not improve over time or keeps worsening
  • Painful knots formation in muscles. These knots can cause an intense pain which is referred or localised, when pressed
  • Muscles becoming stiff, inflexible or weak
  • Sleep problems
  • Depression, anxiety, feeling of isolation(1)

It is advisable to consult your doctor if you are suffering from a muscle pain that does not go away. Usually, the muscle pain subsides with rest, massage and other self-care measures. If it doesn’t, it is time to consult your doctor.

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Causes Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Injuries, repeated injuries or overuse of muscles can lead to a formation of sensitive areas in the muscles. These are known as the trigger points. These trigger points can cause pain throughout the muscle and sometimes even at a referred site. If this pain does not go away, is persistent and keeps worsening over time, it is known as myofascial pain syndrome.(2)

Risk Factors For Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome results from a stimulus. This stimulus can activate trigger points in the muscles. Some of the risk factors that may create this stimulus may be-

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Muscle injury or reinjury-

  • An acute trauma or a continual trauma may cause the development of trigger points
  • Poor or wrong posture and repeated motions can also cause development of trigger points

Stress, Depression And Anxiety-

Those who suffer a lot from stress and anxiety may develop trigger points more likely than those who not. A reason for this might be that these people tend to clench their muscles repeatedly out of stress and anxiety, causing repetitive motion and thereby forming trigger points.

Complications Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

A few complications are associated with myofascial pain syndrome-

Fibromyalgia- There is some research suggesting that myofascial pain syndrome may lead to fibromyalgia in some people. Fibromyalgia is a term used for a chronic pain condition that characterises widespread pain. Doctors and scientists believe that the brains of people suffering from fibromyalgia become more sensitive to signal of pain over time. Myofascial pain syndrome might be a starting point for fibromyalgia, according to some researchers.(2)

Sleeping Problems Or Troubled Sleep- The pain and other signs and symptoms in myofascial pain syndrome cause a difficulty in sleeping in many people. This may be due to inability to find a comfortable sleeping position, or because when you move at night you may set off a trigger point, causing pain and other symptoms.

Conclusion

Myofascial pain syndrome can hamper the quality of your life. Developing this condition may mean that you may have to give up on your favourite sport or physical activity. It may also hamper your daily life. Apart from this, sleeping difficulties and development of fibromyalgia are other complications to be thought of.

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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