Myofascial pain syndrome is a term used for pain in muscles, with spasm and tenderness. In this condition, usually the asymmetric or focal muscles are involved.1 The exact cause of this condition is not yet known. Myofascial pain syndrome can be extremely painful condition at times.
What Is The Prognosis For Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Myofascial pain syndrome can get better with a proper and timely treatment. However, in many cases, the pain or other symptoms continue for several years. Results are best obtained with the use of multifaceted treatment approach.
Myofascial pain syndrome cannot be prevented. However, avoiding the factors that may worsen the condition is possible. Avoiding injuries, re-injuries, getting a good night’s sleep, treating depression etc. can be done to avoid worsening of myofascial pain syndrome.
Treatment Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome
- The treatment for this condition focuses on medications, injections at the site of pain and physiotherapy
- Exercise is one of the most important components of the treatment regime
- There is no particular single line of treatment. Instead, a multifaceted approach is the best shot at curing myofascial pain syndrome
Medicines generally prescribed for use in myofascial pain syndrome may include the following-
- Pain killers that are available over the counter or OTC can prove to be of help in some people
- Examples include ibuprofen, naproxen sodium etc.
- If these don’t work, your doctor may prescribe some stronger ones for you.
- However, it is advised to take these medications sparingly, as these may prove to be dangerous on long term use
- Antidepressants can help in relieving pain
- Amitriptyline may help in improving sleep and reducing pain in some people2
- Sedatives may help in removing or improving anxiety and sleep problems in people with myofascial pain syndrome
- However, a word of caution would be to use them sparingly as they can be quite habit-forming and may cause excessive sleepiness, which may hamper your work and day-to-day life
- Medication can be used temporarily or for long-term use depending upon the need of the patient.
Other Treatment Options-
Physiotherapy- a physiotherapist may come up with a treatment and exercise plan that is based on your signs and symptoms and may help you in alleviating pain. This exercise plan may be comprised of-
- Gentle stretching exercises may help you in alleviating pain
- If there is a trigger point pain at the time of stretching, the physiotherapist may numb the trigger site by spraying it with a numbing solution
- Improving the posture can greatly help in alleviating myofascial pain syndrome
- This may include strengthening of muscles around the trigger point2
- The affected muscle can be relieved of pain through a massage
- The massage may involve a long hand stretch or exerting pressure on precise areas of the muscle2
- Heat Therapy-Applying a hot pack or heat can help in alleviating pain and muscle tension2
In this therapy, ultrasound waves are used to increase the blood circulation and provide warmth, which together, may facilitate healing and a speedy recovery2
- This may include injecting a numbing agent or a steroid medicine at the site of the trigger point to help the pain
- In some people just dry needling- that is just inserting the needle in the affected muscle- can help in breaking the tension in the muscle
- Acupuncture is yet another method of dealing with this pain
Myofascial pain syndrome may get better with a prompt and an efficient treatment regimen. A multidimensional treatment approach is usually followed to treat this condition. It may get better on its own or with certain treatment methods if started on time. However, in some cases the pain may be long lasting, and a long- term treatment may be necessary.
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