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Myofascial Pain (Trigger Points)

Myofascial pain refers to soft tissue pain usually arising from trauma, repetitive activities, or poor posture. It is usually associated with muscle spasm and is most often seen in the region of the neck. Patients may complain of neck pain, pain across the top of the shoulders, sleep difficulties and, occasionally, headaches.

The treatment consists of stretching exercises, mild medications, ice, massage, and sometimes,dry needle trigger point injections into the superficial muscle belly. The soft tissue pain can persist, but will usually improve with aggressive treatment and the passage of time.

Since this process involving soft tissue does not usually effect the bones or joints, the initial treatment is conservative and does not involve surgery. Myofascial pain syndrome is a benign process, and if treated aggressively can be successfully managed with excellent outcomes. Utilizing non-surgical treatment protocols, patients respond sooner with decreased pain and improved function.

by John Chaffey last review Nov 2012