Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a chronic condition characterized by the inflammation of the fascia. Fascia is the connective tissue that surrounds the muscles. Due to inflammatory changes in the fascia, the affected person feels pain during contraction of the muscles. Any pressure or sensitive points in the muscles can induce pain in some other unrelated parts of the body. Such type of pain is called referred pain. The causes of myofascial pain syndrome are repetitive movements in certain jobs or hobbies, injuries, stress, depression, or anxiety. It can be treated with anti-inflammatory medicines, antipsychotic medicines, physical or massage therapies and trigger point injections.

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Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome Hereditary?

Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome Hereditary?

The potential cause of myofascial pain syndrome is the stimulus received from the brain. This is called central sensitization. In it, the brain remains on high alert and reacts and sends signals for pain even in the mild stimulus. It is also noticed that the factors that lead to nervous, genetic and environmental triggers affect sleep and stress. These factors result in the appearance of myofascial pain syndrome.(3)

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Stress and anxiety may lead to the development of trigger points in the muscles that get induced in situations of high stress and anxiety. For example, in state fear, if someone who is a state of fear may clench the hands for a long time, that may stimulate the trigger points leading to muscle pain. Genetic factors do not cause symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome directly. Those who are genetically prone to overreaction in the stressed situation develop anxiety and depression. They are more likely to develop muscle pain in myofascial pain syndrome. Thus, myofascial pain syndrome can be a hereditary condition in an indirect way.(3) (4)

Myofascial pain syndrome is induced with a muscle injury that happens due to repetitively performing strenuous activities or sudden trauma to the muscle. Some spots may act as trigger points that may be present in the muscle or near the strained muscle. Repetitive movements and wrong posture may affect the trigger points spontaneously leading to muscle pain in myofascial pain syndrome.

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Myofascial Pain Syndrome Symptoms

The patient feels a deep pain in the muscle. He feels a tender knot in the muscle. The pain may be mild or severe. The pain causes discomfort and uneasiness that may interfere with sleep. The pain increases with an increase in stress or activity level. He may also feel tired all day. He may also struggle with depression and behavior problems. He may also complain of headaches or migraines, and memory issues. He may feel tingling or numbness sensation in the extremities. He may also have constipation or diarrhea. All the above symptoms get accelerated or worse with a change in weather, stress and physical activities.(2)

The symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome are located in the affected muscles. In some cases, the symptoms may be felt far away from the affected muscles. Such pain is named as referred pain. The muscular pain triggered due to myofascial pain syndrome is felt for a short period of time.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome Complications

Myofascial pain syndrome may cause difficulties in sleep at night and it becomes difficult for the affected person to find a comfortable sleep position to rest. He may remain awake the whole night. In severe cases, myofascial pain syndrome may cause fibromyalgia that is characterized by widespread pain.(2)

Myofascial pain syndrome is a painful condition that involves muscles and muscle fascias. Fascia is the outermost covering of the muscles. Myofascial pain syndrome affects skeletal muscles. It affects either a single muscle or group of muscles. It develops when muscle or group of muscles contract in repetition. As time passes, pain and discomfort become worse and persistent. It requires proper treatment.

Conclusion

MPS or myofascial pain syndrome is a condition of the muscle fascia that causes pain in them when subjected to long term strain. It is not a hereditary disease. If the person has a hereditary history of taking too much stress and anxiety even in less stressful situations, it may frequently induce trigger points that may result in myofascial pain syndrome.

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Sheetal DeCaria MD

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

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Last Modified On: May 24, 2019

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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