Myofascial Pain Syndrome
If you have recently been diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome it is important to know the ins and outs of this condition. Although this is a form of chronic muscle pain it is different from similar conditions like complex regional pain syndrome or chronic regional pain syndrome. This condition affects the trigger points in your muscles causing you to have an extreme sensitivity to touch.
What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
The difference between normal muscle pain, other chronic muscle pain disorders and this one is that this disorder is persistent and can even worsen as time passes. This pain syndrome can cause headaches, neck pain, jaw pain, pelvic pain, back pain and pain in the limbs. This is because the pain from the trigger point of the muscle can spread to the affected muscle. This condition is caused by injury to your muscle fibers caused by injury or overuse.
What are the Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
There are a number of different symptoms that you may experience if you have this disorder. Chronic muscle pain that is intense and persistent is the number one symptom most people experience. You will also experience muscle and joint stiffness, tension that causes a knot in the muscle that is sensitive to touch, and you may have difficulty sleeping.
Causes of Myofacial Pain Syndrome
This disorder is directly linked to the oversensitivity of the trigger points in your muscles. There are a number of factors that may make you more susceptible to this type of chronic muscle pain condition. Muscle injury is one of the primary causes of this syndrome, but inactivity, stress, anxiety, and age can also be contributing factors. In addition to these factors, women are more likely than men to develop this disorder.
How Myofascial Pain Syndrome is Diagnosed?
If you have not yet been diagnosed with this disorder, but you are experiencing some of the symptoms like chronic muscle pain, you need to see a doctor. Your doctor will exam you and take a complete medical history. They will also ask you a series of questions relating to your signs and symptoms. During your physical exam your doctor will feel for trigger points by applying gentle pressure. They will note your response to this pressure and note any response to manipulation of any trigger points. They may also use some other diagnostic tests to rule out any other causes of your pain.
How Is It Treated?
There are two distinct treatment methods used for this disorder. They are physical therapy and trigger point injections.
During physical therapy you will perform guided stretching and exercise along with receiving therapeutic massage. Trigger point injections will be administered in your doctor's office. The injections will be made around the trigger point to relieve tension. The injections may also contain a corticosteriod to reduce any inflammation you may have.
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There are a number of things you can do to reduce the chronic muscle pain that is caused by myofascial pain syndrome. Many of the self treatment methods used for similar conditions like complex regional pain syndrome and chronic regional pain syndrome can be quite effective. Basically this entails you performing an approved exercise routine daily, learning to relax through meditation, and taking better care of yourself through diet and sleep.
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