The condition of myofascial pain syndrome is considered a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on trigger- or sensitive- points on your body result in pain in areas of your body that seem to be unrelated. This is known as referred pain.
Typically, this condition occurs after a particular muscle has been contracted repeatedly- which can be the result of repeated motions related to particular hobbies/jobs or by muscle tension that is related to stress.
While it’s true that nearly everyone has probably experienced muscle tension at some point in their lives, the discomfort associated with the condition of myofascial pain syndrome will persist- or even worsen.
Some of the options for treatment include trigger point injections and physical therapy- as well as relaxation techniques or medications for pain.
Signs and Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Some of the most common signs and symptoms of the condition of myofascial pain syndrome include the following:
- Tender knot in a particular muscle
- Insomnia due to pain
- Pain that persists or worsens
- Deep, aching muscle pain
If you are suffering from muscle pain that won’t go away, you should make an appointment to see your physician as soon as possible. Sure, it’s true that nearly everyone will experience some muscle pain from time to time.
However, if the muscle pain is persistent despite getting adequate rest, massage, and other self-care techniques, it’s time to visit your physician.
Causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome
After you experience an injury or overuse of a muscle, you may develop some tight muscle fibers, which are sensitive.
These are known as trigger points and can result in both strain and pain throughout the muscle. If this pain is persistent, physicians refer to it as myofascial pain syndrome.
This condition of myofascial pain syndrome is the result of a particular stimuli that causes the trigger points in your muscles to be set off. Some of the factors that increase your risk of muscle trigger points includes the following:
Injury: an acute injury or continual stress to the muscles can result in the development of these trigger points. For example, an area near- or within- a particular strained muscle could become a trigger point. In addition, poor posture and/or repetitive motions could cause an increased risk.
Stress/anxiety: individuals who are frequently stressed or anxious could be at a greater risk for developing trigger points in their muscles.
This is possibly due to the fact that they often clench their muscles, which is a form of repetitive strain that causes muscles to be more likely to develop trigger points.
Complications Related to Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Some of the most common complications associated with the condition of myofascial pain syndrome include the following:
Difficulty sleeping: some of the symptoms of this condition can make it much more difficult for you to fall asleep or stay asleep.
You are likely to have a difficult time finding a comfortable position and if you happen to move during the night, you may hit one of your trigger points, causing you to wake up.
Fibromyalgia: there is some research indicating that the condition of myofascial pain syndrome could possibly develop into the condition of fibromyalgia.
This is a chronic condition that is characterized by widespread pain. Researchers believe that individuals with the condition of fibro will become more sensitive to pain signals over time.
There are some physicians that do believe that the condition of myofascial pain syndrome could play a vital role in beginning the condition of fibro.
When to See Your Physician
Due to the fact that many of the symptoms of the condition of myofascial pain syndrome are so similar to many others, you will most likely need to see several physicians before you can actually receive a diagnosis.
You will most likely start by visiting your primary care physician. Then, he or she may refer you to a specialist who is more knowledgeable regarding joint and muscle conditions, known as a rheumatologist. You will gain more from your visit if you do a little bit of homework ahead of time.
- When you make the appointment, make it a point to ask if there is anything that you must do ahead of time to prepare for your appointment.
- Take the time to jot down any- and all- of the symptoms you are experiencing (even if they seem to be unrelated).
- Write down all of your medical information, including other conditions you have been diagnosed with as well as any medications, supplements, or vitamins you are taking.
- Write down any questions you have- and don’t be shy about asking them. If you need clarification when you are talking, ask. Make sure to bring your pen and notebook so you can jot down the information that your physician gives you.
Questions to Ask Your Physician
Some of the basic questions to ask your physician include the following:
- What are some of the possible causes of the signs and symptoms I have?
- Is this a temporary condition or possibly a permanent one?
- Am I going to need treatment or will it resolve on its own?
- What treatment options do I have?
- Do you have any information I can take with me and review at home?
What to Expect from Your Physician
Keep in mind that your physician will likely be asking you a few questions as well. One way to use your appointment time wisely is to be prepared to answer them. Some of these questions include the following:
- What are your signs and symptoms?
- Where is your pain the most intense?
- How long have these symptoms been present?
- Are your symptoms persistent, or do they come and go?
- Is there anything that makes them better? Is there anything that makes them worse?
- Is there any particular time of the day where symptoms are better or worse?
- Do you have a job or hobbies that require repetitive tasks?
- Have you experienced any injuries recently?
- Do your symptoms cause you to limit activities?
If you are experiencing any of the signs and symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome, it’s best to see your physician to find out what is going on.
After all, these symptoms are common with many different conditions- some even life-threatening.