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Condition. Myofascial Pain Syndrome

By Editorial Team (A)
November 26, 2021
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Myofascial pain syndrome is a disorder typically caused by repetitive motions or by stress-related muscle tension. It is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by referred pain. Referred pain is pain that occurs in one part of your body when pressure is applied to a “trigger point” somewhere else on the body.

Almost everyone has occasional pain in their muscles due to tension. Still, the pain of myofascial pain syndrome does not improve. Moreover, it can intensify. Treatment for the condition usually includes injections in the trigger points and physical therapy. Relaxation techniques and pain medications can also be beneficial.

Prevalence

Myofascial pain syndrome is more common in women than in men, occurring up to three times more often in females. It is the most common type of pain for which people are treated at chronic pain centers.

Myofascial pain syndrome causes

Muscles that have been overused or injured can form sensitive areas where the fibers are very tight. These areas of sensitivity in the muscles are known as trigger points. Trigger points in the muscle can lead to pain and strain in the entire muscle. When the pain does not resolve and intensifies, the doctor may diagnose myofascial pain syndrome.

Risk factors

A stimulus can cause myofascial pain syndrome. For example, it can be muscle tightness that sets off trigger points in your muscles. In addition, certain factors may increase the risk of developing trigger points in the muscles, including:

  • Injury to the muscles: Acute or chronic muscle injury can cause trigger points to develop. Chronic muscle injuries occur with poor posture habits or with repetitive motions. An area in a muscle that is injured in an acute accident may lead to a trigger point. 
  • Anxiety and stress:  People who are frequently tense and anxious may be more likely to develop trigger points, increasing their risk of myofascial pain syndrome. It could be that they hold their muscles tight and tense, allowing the trigger points to develop due to muscle strain.

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