Understanding and Addressing Myofascial Pain

Myofascial pain refers to pain caused by muscle irritation. The pain may be caused by pressure that is applied to sensitive spots called “trigger points” that develop deeper into the ropey taut bands that make up muscle tissue. If the pain is ongoing, the patient may have myofascial pain syndrome. This is a chronic pain condition that impacts the person’s musculoskeletal system.

Myofascial Pain Versus Fibromyalgia Pain Explained

This pain deep in the muscle tissue can resemble fibromyalgia which is another chronic pain felt in muscle tissue. However, the defining diagnostic characteristic used to diagnose myofascial pain is that pressure applied to affected trigger points causes referred pain to develop somewhere else as well.

In addition, fibromyalgia pain is typically widespread throughout the body, and pain tends to be localized in one or several linked locations. Fibromyalgia pain does not become triggered at pressure points nor does referred pain develop in another location.

Possible Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Revealed

There are some common symptoms that help healthcare providers to diagnose myofascial pain. These symptoms include:

  • Pain felt deep in ropey muscle layers
  • Localized muscle pain in a specific area
  • Pain is activated by certain trigger points
  • It is common to experience seemingly unrelated pain that is referred
  • May develop stiffness, muscle tightness causing a knot in affected region
  • Muscle fatigue and/or spasms
  • Overall body fatigue
  • Difficulties with sleep
  • Poor posture or spine alignment – hunched over, head/neck abnormal positioning
  • Unexplained headaches

Causes & Possible Risk Factors

Typically, myofascial pain develops when a muscle group is overworked and used causing muscle injury or trauma. Sometimes, psychological stress may be a causative factor.

Other risk factors include:

  • Injuries to musculoskeletal system including back/spine disc problems
  • Poor posture & standing/sitting in one position for long periods of time
  • Repetitive movements that strain a specific set of muscles – lifting heavy boxes
  • Poor posture
  • Diagnosed with emotional problems – depression or anxiety
  • Extreme fatigue and insomnia
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Overweight
  • Immobility or sedentary lifestyle
  • Other musculoskeletal issues
  • Smoking

Myofascial Release Therapy

Myofascial release therapy is often used to address myofascial pain. This is a manual massage technique that seeks to loosen-up stiff muscles and pain felt in the knotty and ropelike connective myofascial tissues that envelop and support muscle tissue. The therapist will put light pressure on those tightened knotty muscle areas combined with precise stretching of these areas to release muscle tension.

Myofascial release therapy may be beneficial for myofascial pain and is often combined with other therapies and treatments. Learn more by contacting Perth Wellness Centre, click here or call (08) 9321 1964.