You’ve been struggling with a dull ache in a certain area of your body, or perhaps you’re having painful flare-ups there. Whether a mild but constant background ache or an intense, debilitating sensation, localized musculoskeletal pain with no apparent injury often stems from myofascial pain.
In fact, of the nearly 52 million adults in the United States who report chronic pain (pain that lasts for three months or more), myofascial pain likely accounts for a significant percentage — up to 85% of the general population will develop myofascial pain syndrome at some point.
In this month’s blog post, the extensive team of pain management experts here at Commonwealth Pain & Spine wants to shed some light on myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) so that you can better identify whether the condition might be the source of your ongoing discomfort.
To kick off this discussion, let’s start with uncovering what we mean when referring to myofascial pain. The term comes from myo, which relates to muscles, and fascia, which refers to the tissue surrounding your muscles.
If you’ve ever handled raw meat, such as chicken or steak, you may have noticed a thin, white covering (called silver skin) that can be difficult to peel away. This is a great example of fascia — which may be thin, but it’s very tough.
Humans have fascia throughout their muscles — it surrounds whole muscle groups and individual muscle fibers.
The pain you experience with MPS coincides with inflammation in your fascia and muscles. In most cases, myofascial pain develops in specific areas, though tender trigger points can cause referred pain in seemingly unrelated areas.
The leading symptom of MPS is pain, which can be sharp and come on suddenly or start as a subtle nuisance that builds to a constant ache. And we already mentioned painful trigger points, which are knots in your muscles that can be very tender to the touch.
Beyond pain, you might also experience fatigue, weakness, stiffness, and loss of range of motion.
There are many different ways in which you can develop myofascial pain syndrome, including:
As you can see, any condition or event that strains these connective tissues can lead to inflammation and MPS.
The good news is that we offer several different solutions that can bring you much-needed relief from MPS, such as:
To determine which option is best for your myofascial pain, we invite you to schedule an appointment at one of our 21 locations in Kentucky, Indiana, and Illinois.