Treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Approximately 44 million Americans suffer from myofascial pain. If your doctor diagnosed you with myofascial pain syndrome, you might be wondering what your treatment options are—or what your diagnosis even means. That’s why our Texas pain specialists in San Antonio are here to answer frequently asked questions about this misunderstood syndrome and tell you about your options for finding relief.
What Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder, in which pressure on “trigger points” in the muscles leads to muscle pain. It can also cause pain in other parts of the body seemingly unrelated to the affected tissue; this phenomenon is called “referred pain.” Sufferers of this condition usually require some muscle pain treatment or other chronic pain management.
The exact cause of this condition is unknown. However, this syndrome often arises after muscles are injured or overused, resulting in the formation of tight muscle fibers, or “trigger points,” that cause pain throughout the muscle.
What Are the Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome may include:
- Deep, aching muscle pain that persists or worsens over time
- Knots that feel tender to the touch
- Back muscle pain
- Trouble sleeping because of pain
- Mood disturbances
How Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome Different from Fibromyalgia?
Myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia are both associated with muscle pain and fatigue. However, fibromyalgia is associated with widespread muscle pain, while myofascial pain syndrome is localized to specific groups of muscles. Furthermore, fibromyalgia is not associated with trigger points; people with fibromyalgia do not experience referred pain.
What Are the Difficulties Treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Providing effective muscle pain treatment or effective chronic pain management in patients with myofascial pain syndrome can be difficult for several reasons. Many doctors lack adequate training in this diagnosis and this type of pain, which medicine is only recently beginning to understand—and even specialists disagree on the condition’s diagnostic criteria. Furthermore, myofascial pain affects every patient differently.
What Are My Options for Treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Popular treatments for this type of chronic pain include:
- Dry needling: With this popular treatment method, a clinician inserts small needles into the skin to stimulate twitching in the center of the trigger point.
- Physical therapy: This popular treatment works by helping you strengthen muscles and work on stiff areas, allowing you to move better and helping to alleviate pain.
- Massage therapy: One of the oldest treatments for dealing with pain, massage involves pressing or rubbing affected muscles and tissues. There are dozens of types of massage used for muscle pain treatment, and experimenting with different styles can help chronic pain sufferers find one that works best for their pain.
- Trigger point injection: A medical professional injects trigger points with local anesthetics or corticosteroids to alleviate pain.
- “Stretch and spray” treatment: In this treatment, the muscle is sprayed with a coolant and then slowly stretched.
If you believe one of the above treatments could help with your pain, get in touch with a pain specialist today.
Suffering from Myofascial Pain in San Antonio?
Schedule an Appointment with a Specialist at the Offices of Dr. Raul Martinez
If you’re tired of dealing with chronic pain and are looking for relief, we want to help. Here at the offices of Dr. Raul Martinez, we offer all patients a personalized treatment plan based on their unique pain, utilizing the most current treatment options. We specialize in both surgical and non-surgical treatments and will tailor your treatment to your needs.
We believe that even though pain is inevitable, suffering is optional. If you’re ready to learn how we can help you get your life back on track, contact us today to schedule an appointment.