Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome refers to a disorder affecting the fascia, or connective tissue that covers a muscle or muscle group. An injured muscle may form a “trigger point,” or a taut fibrous band of collagen. A trigger point is actually a “knot” felt deep in muscle tissue that causes pain in the muscle and in a related limb (so-called referred pain). Many times the muscle becomes spastic and numbness in the arm or hand may occur. Myofascial pain syndrome can be mistaken for a pinched nerve, but the treatment is different. Spasms in the muscles to the side of the neck are strongly related to myofascial pain.

Signs and symptoms (may include one or more):

  • Muscle pain and inflammation
  • Localized pain
  • Pain in limbs
  • A “knot” in the muscle
  • Severe arm spasms

Why it hurts:

  • You may feel pain from both the injured soft tissue itself and the adjacent nerve, which can radiate through the back, buttocks, and posterior thighs.

Non-surgical treatment options

  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Laser and ultrasound techniques
  • Manipulative therapy
  • Pain medication
  • Trigger point injections