Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a medical term for muscle pain. It is a chronic condition affecting the connective tissues of the muscles, known as ‘Myofascia’, and the pain may affect a muscle group or a localized, single muscle.
This condition affects 30-85% of people with musculoskeletal pain. It's common among those between the ages of 27 and 50. Indeed, any adult can experience it. By reading this post and familiarizing yourself with the symptoms will help you to spot any early warning signs. In this post, your trusted source of pain management in Pembroke Pines sheds light on myofascial pain syndrome to provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this chronic condition.
What is myofascia and how does Myofascial Pain Syndrome develop?
Myofascia, or simply fascia, is like a thin sheet of film that covers the muscle fibers. Although thin, it is dense, tough, and flexible. It provides shape and support to the muscle tissues. The myofascia works dependently on the muscles as a shock absorber and it's important for posture and body balance as well.
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a condition that usually develops because of excessive strain on the muscle or a muscle group. MPS may also become persistent due to an injury in the muscle fibers, lack of muscle activity, as well as structural and systemic factors, such as when a person suffers from scoliosis, osteoarthritis, vitamin D deficiency, hypothyroidism, and iron deficiency.
What are the symptoms and impact of Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Myofascial pain syndrome usually has trigger points or tender and sensitive areas in the body. People feel these trigger points as “knots” in their body. These knots are actually patches of tight and contracted muscles that may choke the blood supply, hence a person may feel all sorts of aches and pains.
These trigger points can be too painful to touch. The pain may also spread through the rest of the body. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- An active trigger point is often sore, tight, uncomfortable and most likely associated with localized pain, which may be aggravated with continued activity. If a certain part of the body has been overused, such as athletes’ arms, or a writer's hand, then it can develop into an active trigger point.
- A latent trigger point, or a referred pain, can lead to muscle weakness and the reduction of the affected body part's range of motion. This occurs when muscle areas become sensitive and send pain signals to other body parts that may be unrelated to the painful area. An example of this is neck pain that causes weakness to the shoulders, arms and hands.
Regardless of the type of trigger points, our experts in pain management in Hollywood warn that muscle pain can be disruptive because it can lead to frequent headaches, neck pain, and lower back pain. There are people who also develop symptoms when stressed and fatigued. Aside from the body pain, someone suffering from MPS may also experience poor sleep, depression, and irritability.
Is myofascial pain syndrome permanent?
Myofascial pain syndrome is one of the most common chronic pain conditions that affect the musculoskeletal system. Unfortunately for some patients, its symptoms can persist for a long time.
The symptoms are most felt in the trigger points mentioned above. However, although it has the tendency to become chronic, myofascial pain syndrome is not necessarily permanent. Through timely and proper management, it can be treated. This is why it’s highly recommended that you seek pain management in Aventura or the surrounding areas to keep symptoms from worsening or repeating.
How bad is myofascial pain syndrome?
Judging by the name alone, myofascial pain syndrome sounds very serious and painful. However, if you’re wondering how bad it is or how bad can it get, the answer is it depends on many factors. Additionally, the level of pain can vary from person to person.
In most cases, the pain and symptoms caused by myofascial pain syndrome are not as bad as those associated with fibromyalgia. MPS is characterized by localized pain and trigger points, while fibromyalgia affects a wider area in the body.
However, if a patient’s trigger point tends to cause moderate to severe pain, and if the symptoms worsen, they could experience pretty bad muscle pain episodes that may hinder them from performing daily activities comfortably and normally.
What makes myofascial pain worse?
Myofascial pain may worsen if it is left untreated for a prolonged period of time. Additionally, you may also feel more pain if the trigger point or affected muscle is strained or stretched. Furthermore, being exposed to cold weather or temperature, having bad posture, not getting enough sleep, smoking, and getting injured, among other factors, can also trigger and worsen MPS.
When to see a doctor for pain management?
Some muscle pains are normal and expected as a result of exerting physical effort. However, if the muscle pain has grown worse and hasn't been relieved for more than 3 months, a consultation with a pain management doctor is the best way to treat or manage the condition.
Treatment of MPS may include medication to reduce the pain, alongside physical therapy to reduce the flare-ups and ease the tension in the muscles. Myofascial pain syndrome may be prevented with gentle exercises, relaxation, and staying healthy by eating right, getting enough sleep, and avoiding stress.
Learn more about our Pain Specialist in Florida
The choice of either preventive or acute treatment needs to be tailored to meet each person’s individual needs and to avoid side effects. Therefore, consulting with our pain specialists for proper diagnosis and treatment is a must. This is not the time to be patient with your pain. Consult our doctors in one of these locations:
- Pain Management Clinic Hollywood
- Pain Management Clinic Aventura
- Pain Management Clinic Pembroke Pines
To get more information on myofascial pain syndrome and pain management, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We also offer telemedicine for pain management to assist patients suffering from pain virtually. Our friendly and welcoming staff look forward to answering your questions.
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.