Recover from Myofascial Pain Syndrome and its side-effects such as sensitive spots, other known as trigger points with the latest non-surgical treatment options including trigger point injections, physical therapy, and Ultrasound therapy. Our doctors are experts in pain management who can pinpoint the source of your pain and prescribe a personalized, time-tested treatment plan that works. Visit our pain treatment clinic and meet our physicians to get the neck pain relief you need in the safe, reassuring hands of the best doctors in New York.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic condition, which affects the musculoskeletal system. Most people will suffer from muscle pain at one point in their life, however, this pain typically goes away on its own after a couple of weeks.
However, there are cases where this pain doesn’t go away and develops into a chronic condition. Some people suffer from myofascial pain syndrome and have sensitive spots, other known as trigger points. Such areas can develop within the taut, which are the ropey bands of the muscles. When pressure is applied to such trigger points, referred pain occurs, which means that pain is experienced in a different area of the body.
One of the biggest risk factors for degenerative disc disease is age. The discs begin to shrink down as we get older and lose their cushioning property and shock-absorbing function. It is estimated that almost all adults over 60 years old suffer from some type of disc degeneration, but not all cases lead to pain.
What are the causes and risk factors of myofascial pain syndrome?
There are cases of myofascial pain syndrome which are caused by muscle overuse, muscle injuries, or by psychological stress. Trigger points can occur due to repetitive actions, such as lifting heavy objects, working at a desk all day, and similar.
Risk factors for myofascial pain syndrome include:
- poor posture
- sitting for a long time in an improper position
- serious lack of movement or exercise
- generalized fatigue lack of sleep
- hormonal changes
- nutritional deficiencies
- emotional issues
- inflammation conditions
- intense cooling of muscles
What are the symptoms of myofascial pain?
Common symptoms of MPS include:
- mood or sleep issues
- weak, stiff inflexible muscles
- reduced range of motion
- pain that worsens once the affected muscle is strained or stretched
- deep pain in localized areas of muscles
- myofascial back pain
- muscle pain which fails to improve with time or worsens
- painful knots in muscles
- intense localized pain or referred pain
What does diagnosing myofascial pain syndrome look like?
To diagnose myofascial pain, your doctor will first need to do a physical exam and evaluate whether there are myofascial trigger points. Once pressing a trigger point, your doctor will look for a twitch in the muscle, other known as a jump sign.
There are no tests or imaging techniques, which can show whether myofascial pain is present or not. Your doctor will need to rely on your description of the symptoms, as well as the physical exam. You must speak to your doctor about how you’re feeling, past injuries, and past surgeries.
Trigger points can be active, which are typically the cause of muscular pain. They can lead to referred pain, they are tender and they can lead to a twitch when pressed on. Latent trigger points don’t lead to pain when touched. However, they can get active once there is stress or trauma present. Another type of myofascial trigger point is a painful area of the muscle, which gets active when stress is put on another muscle. A satellite myofascial point is a painful area, which gets active as it’s located near another trigger point.
Myofascial pain syndrome treatment
Myofascial pain relief can include a multipronged treatment plan. There are a lot of people who need to combine medications with other myofascial pain treatment options, to get relief from muscle pain and muscle stiffness.
Medications. Some medications can specifically help to ease the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome, such as:
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
- muscle relaxants
- tricyclic antidepressant
- Botox injections (Botulinum type A can prevent muscle contractions and therefore provide relief from pain)
Dry needling. Dry needling is another quick option of inactivating trigger points of myofascial pain syndrome. To do so, your doctor will insert a needle into the trigger point, move it around, poke it in and then poke it out. It can be a painful thing, however, it is believed to be a very effective way of reducing pain. Some clinicians use smaller and less painful needles, which are acupuncture needles.
Trigger point injections. Trigger point injections, just as dry needles, are injected into the tissue, however in this case a solution is used. In most cases, this solution is a local anesthetic or saline. The procedure causes much less discomfort and the effects are similar to dry needling. Trigger point injections can also use steroids, which also effective in managing myofascial pain.
Ultrasound therapy. Ultrasound therapy is also used to help heat up and relax muscles, improve blood flow, and remove scar tissue. This treatment can reduce stiffness and increase the mobility of the muscles, although it might not be as effective in relieving pain.
Massage treatments. There are different types of massage treatments, which can also help to relax myofascial trigger points. Some possible massage treatments used in such cases include:
- passive rhythmic release
- active rhythmic release
- trigger point pressure release
While all conservative treatment options are very effective, it is important that you also take some steps at home to reduce pain and to improve the quality of life. Some of these home care options include choosing a better chair at work, which can improve the posture, try adjusting the height of the computer, so that it falls in the natural eye line, trying a new mattress, adjusting the sleeping position, practicing yoga, pilates or other stretching techniques, using a personal vibrating device or a personal massager, using an ice pack right after a muscle injury, taking a hot bath or practicing mindfulness to manage pain.
Dr. Raval is very kind and explains everything in layman’s terms, which is super helpful. Thanks so much, guys! 🙂
Dr. Raval was extremely professional, thorough, and kind. He explained everything he was doing as he did it and really helped to put my mind at ease. He also recommended a physical therapist for further treatment. Great doctor, great visit. Highly recommended.
Can myofascial pain syndrome lead to complications?
Myofascial pain syndrome can affect the quality of life, as it might prevent you from being able to participate in physical activities, which you might enjoy. All this can lead to isolation and depression. Myofascial pain syndrome can impact mobility. It is also important that you seek treatment as soon as you notice symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome, as this is very important.
What is the outlook of myofascial pain syndrome?
Myofascial pain syndrome can be a very challenging issue to live with. You must find a way that can help you to manage pain. There is no single solution, which works best for everyone, so it is important to remain patient until you find what helps you. Working together with a medical team can assist you in finding the right treatment path.
Do you have any questions about Myofascial Pain Syndrome? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the top pain management doctor in Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, Dr. Raval? Please call our office for a consultation and indicate which location you want to visit.
The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive treatment advice. It is essential to consult a best-in-class pain management specialist in New York regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your pain doctor to schedule a consultation.
Dr. Raj Raval, M.D.
- Board Certified
- Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
Education & training
- SUNY Downstate PMR Residency
- Rutgers University Fellowship