What to Know about Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Jun 25, 2019
Referred pain

It pays to be well-informed about your personal health, as awareness and understanding can go a long way in ensuring you live a long and happy life surrounded by people who love you. At urgent medical centers in Suffolk County, NY, doctors are confronted with a wide variety of cases and situations, and they must rely on their expansive medical knowledge to point patients in the right direction and treat them to the best of their abilities. For patients who come in with chronic pain in their muscles, it’s possible they are suffering from myofascial pain syndrome. This chronic pain disorder happens when pressure on your trigger points, or sensitive points in your muscles, results in muscle pain and referred pain in other seemingly unrelated areas of your body. Specialists recommend you learn more about myofascial pain syndrome in case it affects you or someone you care about.

Signs and Symptoms

Myofascial pain syndrome typically develops after the repeated contractions of a muscle, such as repetitive motions from particular sports, jobs, or hobbies, as well as by stress-related muscle tension. Although muscle tension pain to some degree is normal and to be expected at some time or another, the discomfort from myofascial pain syndrome persists and gets worse over time. Some of the most common signs and symptoms to be on the lookout for include deep, aching muscle pain that worsens and won’t go away; tender knots in a muscle; and interrupted and difficult sleep due to muscle pain. While these symptoms may sound very uncomfortable, there is pain relief available, including medications, relaxation techniques, physical therapy, and trigger point injections.

When to Visit a Doctor 

If you’ve been dealing with prolonged muscle pain as best you can, but it hasn’t been getting better or going away, then it may be time for you to visit your local medical care center. A trusted doctor can help you distinguish from regular muscle pain and persistent, chronic pain. If rest, relaxation, massage, and other self-care attempts don’t relieve your muscle pain, you should make an appointment. Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by the formation of sensitive spots in tight muscle fibers following injuries or overuse. These sensitive areas, referred to as trigger points, cause pain and strain throughout your muscle. If this pain is persistent and continues to get worse, your doctor may diagnose you with myofascial pain syndrome.

Trigger point injection

Risk Factors and Complications

Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a stimulus such as muscle tightness that sets off trigger points within your muscles. Risk factors that may affect you include muscle injury and stress and anxiety. If you’ve suffered an acute muscle injury or continual muscle stress, whether it through athletics, your occupation, or an accident, you may have trigger points develop. Your strained muscle may have trigger points, and if you have very repetitive motions and poor posture, your risk will likely rise.

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who struggle with frequent stress and anxiety, you also may be more at risk for trigger points in your muscles. That’s because you’re probably more likely to clench your muscles, which can lead to strain and trigger points when repeated often.

It also pays to be aware of a couple complications associated with myofascial pain syndrome, so you have a better idea of what you’re dealing with:

  • Sleep problems. Staff at your local medical center will tell you that the ongoing symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome may make it hard to get enough sleep at night. You may struggle to get comfortable, and any movements could mean you strike a trigger point and wake up.
  • Fibromyalgia. Another thing you will learn at medical centers is that research has linked myofascial pain syndrome to fibromyalgia in some patients. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain condition that can affect the whole body. Many doctors and scientists believe those with fibromyalgia may become more sensitive to pain signals as time passes, and myofascial pain syndrome may have a role in beginning this process.

If you’re experiencing ongoing muscle pain, make an appointment to see a trusted doctor at Peconic Bay Medical Center today!