Chiropractor Questions Myofascial Pain Syndrome

What is myofascial pain syndrome? How is it treated?

My aunt has been diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome. Neither of us have heard of the condition, and I wasn't there with her when the doctor explained the condition and how it affects her. What is this condition? Is it serious? How will she be treated?

18 Answers

Myofascial pain syndrome is a medical term for a condition of the muscle and/or surrounding tissues. It is kind of vague in its definition and does not suggest any specifics. Generally, myofascial pain syndrome is not serious. Commonly, it is used as the term for muscle trigger points, muscle adhesions, and muscle restrictions. It is commonly treated by chiropractic care, manual therapies, nutrition, physical therapy, or muscle injections. I would advise to call your aunt’s doctor and request them to explain their diagnosis and treatment options. It is common for family members to forget what we tell them. I appreciate when I get a follow up call because someone forgot what I said.
Treatments include: Stretching. A physical therapist/chiropractor may lead you through gentle stretching exercises to help ease the pain in your affected muscle. If you feel trigger point pain when stretching, the physical therapist may spray a numbing solution on your skin.

Posture training. Improving your posture can help relieve myofascial pain, particularly in your neck. Exercises that strengthen the muscles surrounding your trigger point will help you avoid overworking any one muscle.

Massage. A physical therapist may massage your affected muscle to help relieve your pain. The physical therapist may use long hand strokes along your muscle or place pressure on specific areas of your muscle to release tension.

Heat. Applying heat, via a hot pack or a hot shower, can help relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.

Ultrasound. This type of therapy uses sound waves to increase blood circulation and warmth, which may promote healing in muscles affected by myofascial pain syndrome. See you local chiropractor ....

It is described as: is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain.

This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension.
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The cause and mechanism of action of myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is still poorly understood. Current prevailing consensus among practitioners is that MPS is characterized by the presence of regionally distributed muscular pain associated with the manifestation of palpable regions of hypersensitivity known as a Trigger Point. Many chiropractors treat this condition with a technique called Nimmo or Trigger point therapy.
In the hussle and bustle of daily living you may experience myofascial trigger points (TP) that feels like tight knotted muscles that can occur all over the body.
When pressed by the thumb, usually requires that pain be produced to achieve full normal muscle length.
The effectiveness of stretching relieves myofascial pain.The temporary discomfort of the stretch is welcomed to give relief.
You may have to repeat the process as needed for myofascial pain relief.
During my 40 years of chiropractic practice in conjunction with treatments I would incorporate on my patients with great success a hand held device I have invented called the Triggerizer-acupressure unit which is a self healing too that everyone can use to release stressful tight knotted muscles instantly.
The Triggerizer-acupressure unit can be applied in the comfort of your own home and may repeat the process as needed for myofascial pain relief.
It is also called fibromyalgia. Many factors are involved to treating this including chiropractic, anti inflammatory diet, vitamin deficiencies, heavy metal toxins etc. We treat many patients with this and see excellent results.
Hi there!

MFP Syndrome is a condition of chronic pain and sensitive trigger points. Risk factors are stress and fibromyalgia. Massage, chiropractic, stress management and physical therapy are all great options for treatment. Dietary changes and an anti-inflammatory diet will likely also be very beneficial.


Dr. Caitlin Zietz, B.Sc., D.C.
Here is my opinion, remember I was not there for the exam nor was I there to review her history or other symptoms.

The word Myofascial can be broken down to Myo and Fascia: myo referring to muscles and fascia referring to the type of tissue connecting muscles and bones (more of less). Myofascial pain syndrome is a diagnosis referring to pain between those tissues most commonly from overuse of a muscle from repetitive activities. It is not serious as a stand alone issue, in that there are no life threatening complications from this diagnosis on its own; however, it does take some time to fix this as it is a condition that occurs over a long course of time. As far as her treatment, it really depends on the provider. Some would approach this condition with a dietetic approach to reduce general inflammation in the body; some would work on re-education of the overused muscles to reduce inflammation through improved function. Hopefully this helps!
The main component of myofascial pain syndrome is that there are trigger points in the muscles that can refer pain to other areas. If you push on these points they are usually tender or you will feel a specific pain pattern that the doctor can identify when pressure is on that point. Usually, myofsacial pain syndrome can occur with overuse of a muscle group, poor movement patterns and possibly after an old injury that did not heal well. It is not the same as fibromyalgia. Depending on the health care provider a combination of stretches, relaxation technique, trigger point injections and possibly dry needling would be used. There are probably a few other techniques as well. In terms of how serious is it I will put it like this. Will it progress to something that can destroy the muscle? No, it's not that serious. Will your aunt need additional studies like a MRI or CT scan? No, she should not for this condition. Can it make being active really uncomfortable? Yes. If it were my aunt, I would encourage her to get treated so she can enjoy moving about and doing activities more comfortably. I hope that helps.
Myofascial pain syndrome is characterized by chronic pain at various points throughout the body, usually associated with painful knots or nodules in muscles. It is not considered serious.Treatment will depend on what kind of doctor she sees. Muscle therapy, massage and chiropractic treatments are very helpful with this syndrome. Stretching exercises, myofascial release techniques are recommended to improve or remediate the condition. Regular movement is also encouraged.

Dr. Steven I. Brown, Chiropractor
Myofascial pain syndrome is a condition that can be caused by repetitive use of different muscles in the body or excess stress and anxiety causing one to tense up his or her muscles frequently. It creates sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers called "trigger points." There are many possible ways to treat this condition. Your doctor might prescribe pain relievers, antidepressants, or sedatives. He or she might also recommend physical therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, or massage. All of those disciplines can help relieve muscular pain. Lastly, a numbing agent or steroid might be injected into the sensitive areas.
Myofascial pain syndrome is diagnosed as a result of multiple areas of acute sensitivity in muscle fibers called “trigger points,” which often refer pain to other areas of the body. It is caused by inflammation and sometimes as a stress response. Trigger points are common but not normal in muscle fibers. The condition is treatable and common treatments include chiropractic adjustments to restore nerve function to the muscle, physical therapy, massage therapy, and dry needling for pain relief and resolution of the trigger points. This is not a disease, it is easily treatable, and your wife should recover fully. Key to success of treatment is finding the underlying cause of the inflammation.

Dr. Richard M. Merrion

Here is a link with a lot of information.

It sounds like it involves trigger points and it can turn into fibromyalgia. The link above left out Chiropractics, but I would want to be checked by a good Chiropractor and make use of massage therapy.

Good luck and good health,

Dr. Moon

Myofascial pain syndrome is a blanket term that covers a variety of symptoms dealing with the body. The word syndrome indicates that the origin of the root cause of pain or affliction for the individual is unknown. I would have to read your aunt's health history to see what symptoms are going on with her at present, what past injuries she has sustained, is she under stress, if she has had surgeries, any prior broken bones, been in car crashes, and more. After reviewing her narrative, I would then do a physical exam to evaluate her range of motion and to check her muscle strength and integrity. I have many approaches for this condition, it all depends on what her findings are. I use chiropractic adjustments for the betterment of circulation of the nerve pathways that are in charge of the circulatory system, GI system, and Respiratory system. One of the techniques that I use is called Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), it involves the breaking down of adhesions, scar tissue, knots, trigger points. Muscles that don't move properly can be very painful due to atrophy or deconditioning, which hampers the full range of motion of muscle capabilities. In removing adhesions from muscles, tendons, and ligaments it allows for increased blood circulation, and takes off the pressure from affected nerves that may be squeezed from scar tissue or knots. The actual substance that creates a knot is called fascia, it is between the skin and the muscles, its also around each muscle fiber and on the surface of bones. It is relatively clear in appearance and looks like saran wrap. This is what makes the muscle fibers bunch up.

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain.

This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension. We would have to examine her to see what the best treatment option would be. It will most likely be a combination of functional neurology, corrective chiropractic and some myofascial release techniques utilizing different modalities.
Myofascia (myo-muscle fascia- the membrane that defines a particular muscle or muscle group and provides the ability of one muscle to contract and slide over other muscles). Myofascial pain syndrome is considered to be chronic. This syndrome may occur after repetitive use of a muscle or muscle group, perhaps from her job (if she works) or from hobbies that use repetitive motion. Another cause can be stress resulting in muscle tension. Trigger points in the muscle cause pain signals to be generated. Many times, this pain may also be felt in (seemingly) unrelated areas of the body along myofascial plane lines These plane lines connect muscle groups together and the existing trigger points cause tension in the fascia, in turn causing the referred pain in associated areas. Pain symptoms related to myofascial pain syndrome typically remain constant or worsen over time. Relaxation techniques can help if the pain is induced by stress-related tension.

Here are some alternative care therapies that can help reduce or eliminate the pain:
            Manual trigger point therapy
            Instrument assisted soft tissue mobilization of the tissues
            Myofascial Release Technique (MFR)
            Some massage techniques

Allopathic resources include:
            Trigger point injections
            Pain medications
            Physical Therapy
Myofascial pain syndrome is simply pain that originates from inflammation of the muscles, the fascia that covers the muscles and tendons. First, the doctor needs to determine the cause of the condition and then treat it appropriately. Conservative treatments such as Chiropractic therapy, massage therapy and/or physical therapy usually work really well. If the
condition is more inflammatory, then anti-inflammatories may be taken or injected as well. FIND THE CAUSE FIRST. I hope this info helps.

Take care and be well,

Dr. Eric Miller
It is pain in the covering of the muscles also known as facia. Myofascial treatment through trained therapies is done in most chiropractic offices. Laser, Ultrasound and electrical muscle stimulation also are other modalities that help this syndrome.