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What Leads To Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Various factors are involved in the development of myofascial pain. Some are directly related while the others are indirectly related. In most of the patients, the condition results in generalized pain while in some patients along with the pain, depression and emotional stress may also occur.

What Leads To Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

What Leads To Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial pain is generally associated with the development of the trigger point.1 How and which conditions cause the development of these trigger points remains unanswered. Various factors can be outlined that increases the risk of development of a trigger point leading to myofascial pain. The trigger point causes the pain in other organs leading the situation to be more complex. Following are the various causes of myofascial pain:

Injury To Muscle Fibers. Any injury to muscle fibers or trauma may result in the development of trigger point. The taut bands are formed in the muscles and the muscles are tender to touch. Injury to muscles results in the protein degradation, sarcomere shortening and myofiber swelling resulting in a hypercontraction sate in the muscles. There is metabolic stress in the muscle fibers along with the ATP depletion.

Physical Inactivity. Obesity and physical inactivity results in the development of trigger points leading to myofascial pain. Conditions such as the broken arm in the sling also result in myofascial pain.

Repetitive Muscular Movements. Repetitive muscular movements are one of the major causes of myofascial pain. The repetitive movements may be due to habit or are seen in people doing a particular occupation.2 Repetitive motions result in the cascade of changes in the muscle physiology. Thus, the person performing repetitive motion should take rest in between the work to reduce the risk of developing myofascial points.

What Are The Contributing Factors?

Apart from the known causes of myofascial pain syndrome, various factors also contribute to the development of this condition. These factors are:

Postural Imbalances. Postural imbalances play a major role in the development of trigger point. Poor posture causes excessive stress on the muscles leading to muscle rupture. The muscle damage leads to the development of a trigger point.

Emotional Stress. Psychological stress such as anxiety and depression may worsen the symptoms of myofascial pain.

Insomnia. Insomnia, as well as sleep deprivation, aggravates the symptoms of myofascial pain. The patient with insomnia experiences increased pain.

Vitamin And Mineral Deficiency. Studies indicate that the deficiency of vitamin and minerals causes myofascial pain. A study concludes that deficiency of vitamin D and magnesium results in myofascial pain as these are important in pain management.

Spinal Degenerative Disease. People with the progressive spinal degenerative disease are at high risk of developing myofascial pain due to the reason that the neurodegenerative disease may result in the development of taut bands of myofascial pain syndrome.

Chronic Disease. Chronic diseases result in the motor endplate malfunction leading to neuronal changes. These neuronal changes, if exists for a prolonged period may result in muscular damage and fibrosis. Various medical conditions such as gastric irritation and cardio disorders may also cause myofascial pain syndrome.

Mechanical Stress. The muscular movement is frequent and repetitive due to mechanical stressors. Thee repetitive movement is the known cause for the development of trigger point. The mechanical stress is created by pressure, cold or heat.

Myofascial pain syndrome results in various symptoms. The trigger points are visible; however, the symptoms experienced by the patients in myofascial pain are similar to other muscular injuries. The trigger points are localized while the pain is generalized. The trigger point is tender to touch and the patient feels a muscle twitch when pressure is applied on the trigger point. The patients also experience fatigue and emotional distress along with behavioral disturbances.


The direct factors for developing myofascial pain syndrome include muscle injury, physical inactivity, and repetitive muscular movement. The indirect factors that aggravate the symptoms include vitamin deficiency, mechanical =stressors, chronic disease, and postural imbalances.


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Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 14, 2019

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