Myofascial pain syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), also known as chronic myofascial pain (CMP), is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain in multiple myofascial trigger points ("knots") and fascial (connective tissue) constrictions. It can appear in any body part. Symptoms of a myofascial trigger point include: focal point tenderness, reproduction of pain upon trigger point palpation, hardening of the muscle upon trigger point palpation, pseudo-weakness of the involved muscle, referred pain, and limited range of motion following approximately 5 seconds of sustained trigger point pressure.[2]

Myofascial pain syndrome
Other namesChronic myofascial pain, myofascial pain and dysfunction syndrome (MPDS or MFPDS)
Differential diagnosisGiant cell arteritis, arthritis[1]

The cause is believed to be muscle tension or spasms within the affected musculature.[1] Diagnosis is based on the symptoms and possible sleep studies.[1]

Treatment may include pain medication, physical therapy, mouth guards, and occasionally benzodiazepine.[1] It is a relatively common cause of temporomandibular pain.[1]

Signs and symptoms edit

Primary symptoms include:[3]

  • Localized muscle pain
  • Trigger points that activate the pain (MTrPs)

Generally speaking, the muscular pain is steady, aching, and deep. Depending on the case and location the intensity can range from mild discomfort to excruciating and "lightning-like". Knots may be visible or felt beneath the skin. The pain does not resolve on its own, even after typical first-aid self-care such as ice, heat, and rest.[4] Electromyography (EMG) has been used to identify abnormal motor neuron activity in the affected region.[5]

A physical exam usually reveals palpable trigger points in affected muscles and taut bands corresponding to the contracted muscles. The trigger points are exquisitely tender spots on the taut bands.[6]

Causes edit

The causes of MPS are not fully documented or understood. At least one study rules out trigger points: "The theory of myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) caused by trigger points (TrPs) ... has been refuted. This is not to deny the existence of the clinical phenomena themselves, for which scientifically sound and logically plausible explanations based on known neurophysiological phenomena can be advanced."[7] Some systemic diseases, such as connective tissue disease, can cause MPS.[8] Poor posture and emotional disturbance might also instigate or contribute to MPS.[9]

Diagnosis edit

Diagnosis is generally based on the symptoms and possible sleep studies.[1]

Comparison with fibromyalgia edit

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is commonly confused with fibromyalgia (FM) as their presentation is similar. However, fibromyalgia is typically associated with fatigue, depression and cognitive dysfunction. The anatomic distribution and characteristic of the pain also differ. While the fibromyalgia pain is generalized, bilateral and typically involving muscles above and below the waist, the MPS pain affects a particular region of the body such as the mandible or the shoulders. The MTrPs found in MPS present overt palpable nodular structures within the muscle, while aside from tenderness, the trigger points in FM are indistinguishable from surrounding tissue. [5]

However, there are some challenges distinguishing these syndromes:[5]

  • Difficulty differentiating FM trigger points from myofascial trigger points
  • Poor reliability in detecting taut bands
  • MPS may become generalized over time thus mimicking FM

Treatment edit

Massage therapy using trigger-point release techniques may be effective in short-term pain relief.[10] Physical therapy involving gentle stretching and exercise may be useful for recovering full range of motion and motor coordination. Once the trigger points are gone, muscle strengthening exercise can begin, supporting long-term health of the local muscle system.[11]

Myofascial release, which involves gentle fascia manipulation and massage, may improve or remediate the condition.[12]

A systematic review concluded that dry needling for the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome in the lower back appeared to be a useful adjunct to standard therapies, but that clear recommendations could not be made because the published studies were small and of low quality.[13]

Posture evaluation and ergonomics may provide relief in the early stages of treatment.[14] Gentle, sustained stretching exercises within a comfortable range of motion have been shown to lessen symptoms. Regular, non-intense activity is also encouraged.[15]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Myofascial Pain Syndrome - Dental Disorders". Merck Manuals Professional Edition. Retrieved 27 May 2019.
  2. ^ Bennett R (June 2007). "Myofascial pain syndromes and their evaluation". Best Practice & Research. Clinical Rheumatology. 21 (3): 427–445. doi:10.1016/j.berh.2007.02.014. PMID 17602992.
  3. ^ "Myofascial Pain Syndrome". Made for this Moment. American Society of Anesthesiologists.
  4. ^ Mayo Clinic Staff (3 Dec 2009). "Myofascial pain syndrome: Symptoms". Retrieved 8 May 2011.
  5. ^ a b c Bourgaize S, Newton G, Kumbhare D, Srbely J (April 2018). "A comparison of the clinical manifestation and pathophysiology of myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia: implications for differential diagnosis and management" (PDF). The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 62 (1): 26–41. PMC 6160895. PMID 30270926.
  6. ^ Tantanatip A, Chang KV (July 2022). "Myofascial Pain Syndrome.". StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing. PMID 29763057.
  7. ^ Quintner JL, Bove GM, Cohen ML (March 2015). "A critical evaluation of the trigger point phenomenon". Rheumatology. 54 (3). Rheumatology (Oxford). 2015 Mar;54(3):392-9. doi: 10.1093/rheumatology/keu471. Epub 2014 Dec 3.: 392–399. doi:10.1093/rheumatology/keu471. PMID 25477053.
  8. ^ Gerwin R (2005). "Differential Diagnosis of Trigger Points". Journal of Musculoskeletal Pain. 12 (3): 23–8. doi:10.1300/J094v12n03_04. S2CID 71224028.[dead link]
  9. ^ Fricton JR, Kroening R, Haley D, Siegert R (December 1985). "Myofascial pain syndrome of the head and neck: a review of clinical characteristics of 164 patients". Oral Surgery, Oral Medicine, and Oral Pathology. 60 (6): 615–623. doi:10.1016/0030-4220(85)90364-0. PMID 3865133.
  10. ^ de las Peñas CF, Campo MS, Carnero JF, Page JC (Jan 2005). "Manual therapies in myofascial trigger point treatment: a systematic review". Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies. 9 (1): 27–34. doi:10.1016/j.jbmt.2003.11.001.
  11. ^ Starlanyl & Copeland 2001, p. 221.
  12. ^ Harris RE, Clauw DJ (October 2002). "The use of complementary medical therapies in the management of myofascial pain disorders". Current Pain and Headache Reports. 6 (5): 370–374. doi:10.1007/s11916-002-0078-6. PMID 12357980. S2CID 41632904.
  13. ^ Furlan AD, van Tulder MW, Cherkin DC, Tsukayama H, Lao L, Koes BW, Berman BM (January 2005). Furlan AD (ed.). "Acupuncture and dry-needling for low back pain". The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (1): CD001351. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD001351.pub2. PMID 15674876.
  14. ^ Starlanyl & Copeland 2001, p. 230.
  15. ^ Borg-Stein J, Simons DG (March 2002). "Focused review: myofascial pain". Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 83 (3 Suppl 1): S40–S47. doi:10.1053/apmr.2002.32155. PMID 11973695.

Sources edit

  • Starlanyl DJ, Copeland ME (2001). Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain: A Survival Manual (2nd ed.). Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications. ISBN 978-1-57224-238-8.

External links edit