Contributed by: Healthians Team
Muscle aches and pains can strike anyone at any time in their life. It generally resolves in a few days, but unfortunately, for some people, this pain can become chronic and unbearable; significantly affecting the quality of life and productivity.
If the pain persists despite rest, massage and similar self-care measures, it needs further evaluation for the diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). It refers to persistent pain and inflammation in the body’s soft tissues. The condition affects the connective tissue that covers the muscles.
Let’s explore some frequently asked questions about this condition.
FAQ #1: What is the prevalence of myofascial pain syndrome?
About 85% of people experience myofascial pain at some point in their lives. Despite such a high prevalence of this disorder, it is frequently underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed, or even neglected. And the reason is that it’s buried in other conditions like headache, neck and shoulder pain, pelvic pain, limb pain, or nerve pain syndrome.
FAQ #2: What are the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome?
The symptoms of MPS may include:
- Deep, aching pain in a muscle
- Persisting pain that worsens with time
- A tender knot in a muscle
- Mood or sleep disturbances
- Muscles that are weak, stiff, and have reduced range of motion
- Difficulty sleeping
FAQ #3: Where are the trigger points for myofascial pain?
In people with myofascial pain syndrome (MPS), sensitive spots are known as myofascial trigger points (MTrP). The trigger points resemble nodules and knots in the affected muscle and radiate pain when they are strained or stretched.
FAQ #4: What factors affect myofascial pain syndrome?
The factors that can trigger and worsen MPS include:
- Being exposed to cold weather or temperature
- Bad posture
- Muscle injury
- Repetitive motions
- Muscle tightness
- Stress-related muscle tension
- Poor sleep patterns
- Stressful life situations
FAQ #5: What muscles are affected by myofascial pain syndrome?
Myofascial pain can develop in any muscle in the body. However, the most commonly affected muscles are those in the cervical spine, shoulders and upper back.
FAQ #6: How is MPS diagnosed?
There are no laboratory tests that can indicate the presence of MPS. Your doctor will rely on you to describe your symptoms and the location where you’re experiencing pain. Based on the physical and symptomatic evaluation, the presence of MPS is identified.
FAQ #7: Does myofascial pain ever go away or is it permanent?
Pain from myofascial pain syndrome is ongoing, persistent pain. The pain and discomfort associated with Myofascial pain syndrome increase with time and turn into a chronic pain condition affecting the musculoskeletal system.
FAQ #8: What vitamin deficiency causes myofascial pain?
Nutritional deficiencies that can bring the onset of myofascial pain include:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin B6
- Folic Acid
- Malic Acid
FAQ #9: Can myofascial pain last for months?
Most symptoms of myofascial pain typically resolve on their own after a few weeks. Some people, however, develop chronic MPS which lasts for at least 6 months.
FAQ #10: Can emotional stress cause myofascial pain?
Various studies indicate that stress and anxiety can trigger myofascial pain syndrome. This is likely owing to the fact that stress can drive a person to continuously clench and unclench their muscles, generating strain as a result of the recurrent muscle tension.
FAQ #11: Is myofascial pain and fibromyalgia the same?
While myofascial pain syndrome mostly affects the muscles, fibromyalgia affects the entire body and includes symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal problems, exhaustion, and mood swings.
FAQ #12: What causes myofascial knots?
Muscle knots are frequently caused by a repetitive motion irritating a muscle. Additionally, when a muscle is in an unnatural position for an extended period of time, it might knot up.
FAQ #13: Is heat or ice better effective for myofascial pain?
Yes, both heat and ice can help alleviate the pain and reduce inflammation. Use an ice pack to minimise inflammation if pain flares up shortly after an exercise. If you have achy stiffness that lasts for a long time or if you wake up with sore muscles, try using a heating pad to assist relieve muscle tension.
FAQ #14: Is exercise good for myofascial pain?
Exercise is often regarded as one of the most effective treatments for easing tightness and alleviating the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome. Based on the available evidence, aerobic exercises are often effective to help ease the pain in the affected muscle.
FAQ #15: Is myofascial pain syndrome a neurological disorder?
Muscles in numerous regions of the body might be affected by myofascial pain syndrome. In MPS, there are usually no neurologic impairments. However, it is believed that the brains of people with fibromyalgia become more sensitive to pain signals over time.
FAQ #16: Can myofascial pain cause headaches?
Localised persistent pain is frequently caused by myofascial pain. Myofascial trigger points in the cervical area can transfer pain to the head and face, contributing to cervicogenic headache. Cervical myofascial pain is a therapeutic component of headache therapy when appropriately diagnosed.
FAQ #17: Can myofascial pain syndrome be cured?
Given that there is no single treatment for this condition, myofascial pain syndrome requires a multipronged treatment plan. A combination of medications with other therapies can be effective at providing relief. Likewise, lifestyle adjustments can also help relieve muscle stiffness and pain.
FAQ #18: How can symptoms of myofascial pain be reduced?
- Gentle stretching exercises
- Improving your posture
- Heat & ice packs
- Relaxation techniques
- Staying well hydrated
- Getting more and better sleep
FAQ #19: Can Ayurveda help in treating myofascial pain disorder?
Ayurveda can help manage myofascial pain through a combination of remedial and preventative techniques, and herbal therapeutic ingredients that include:
Myofascial pain syndrome can be life-altering for some people. You may be unable to engage in physical activities that you once enjoyed. This may result in despair and social isolation as your mobility gets harmed by aggravated MPS. Seeking treatment as soon as symptoms appear, joining a support group, and chatting with friends and family can all be beneficial.