What’s Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a condition characterized by the presence of trigger points within muscle tissue that cause localized pain, tenderness, and sometimes referred pain. These trigger points are tight knots or bands of muscle fibers that can be felt under the skin and can result in discomfort and restricted movement.

What Causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

The exact cause of myofascial pain syndrome is not always clear, but it can develop due to various factors, including muscle overuse, trauma, stress, poor posture, or underlying medical conditions.

What are the Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

  • The primary symptom of MPS is the presence of trigger points, which are tender, painful areas within muscles.
  • Pain from trigger points can be sharp, dull, aching, or burning, and it often increases with movement or pressure.
  • Pain may be localized to the trigger point or can radiate to other areas, causing referred pain.

Trigger Points:

  • Trigger points can develop in any muscle of the body and are often found in the neck, shoulders, upper back, and lower back.
  • Active trigger points cause pain and discomfort both at rest and during movement, while latent trigger points are only painful when pressure is applied to them.


  • Diagnosis is typically based on a physical examination and medical history.
  • The healthcare provider will locate and palpate trigger points to identify the source of pain.

Treatment Option for Myofascial Pain Syndrome:

  • Treatment aims to alleviate pain, release muscle tension, and improve mobility.
  • Options include:
    • Manual Techniques: Physical therapists may use techniques like trigger point release, massage, and stretching to release tension and alleviate pain.
    • Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxants may provide relief.
    • Injections: Trigger point injections of local anesthetics or corticosteroids can help relieve pain and relax the muscle.
    • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises and stretches can improve muscle function, flexibility, and posture.
    • Stress Management: Stress reduction techniques can help prevent the development of trigger points.


  • Maintaining good posture, practicing stress management, avoiding overuse of muscles, and engaging in regular stretching and exercise can help prevent myofascial pain syndrome.

MPS can be chronic and impact daily life, but with proper management and a comprehensive approach to treatment, many individuals can find relief from pain and improve their overall well-being. It’s important to work with healthcare professionals, such as physical therapists or pain specialists, to develop an effective treatment plan tailored to individual needs.


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