Myofascial pain syndrome is a condition where repeated strain on a muscle or muscle group causes pain in the fascia, the connecting tissue that surrounds the muscles. When suffering from myofascial pain, patients develop sensitive “trigger” points on a muscle that can cause pain throughout the affected muscle group.
Some patients experience a phenomenon called “referred pain” in which discomfort caused by these tender spots is felt in a separate part of the body from the source of the problem. Myofascial pain can be so severe that it disrupts sleep and usually worsens with time due to activity and stress.
This condition is most commonly treated with medications (pain management) and physical therapy (including massage, application of hot/cold, and stretching). Doctors may also treat associated symptoms of myofascial pain, like insomnia and depression, with antidepressants or sedatives. However, if pain persists, a pain specialist may recommend a trigger point injection treatment that involves injecting trigger points with steroids or anesthesia.