Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is the name given to pain caused by trigger points and fascia (connective tissue) adhesions in the body, usually in muscle tissue, and inflammation in the body’s soft tissues.
Myo = muscle
Fascia = the main connective tissue in the body
Release = to let go, ease pressure
Fascia is the main connective tissue in the body. Fascia surrounds every cell, muscle, bone, nerve, blood vessel in the body, creating a three-dimensional web which spreads from head to toe.
Unfortunately fascia is vulnerable to trauma from say an accident, infection, injury, surgery or repetitive movement. Such trauma causes fascia to tighten, solidify and develop restrictions. Over time these myofascial restrictions can lead to poor biomechanics, altered structural alignment, compromised blood supply and pain. Other causes of myofascial pain are injury to an intervertebral disc, general fatigue, repetitive motions, and some medical conditions.
Trigger points are areas of muscle fibres which are permanently contracted. These Trigger Points are not only painful where they are found, but may also send pain away from that spot, which is then what they call ‘referred pain’. To the touch, trigger points feel like small hard lumps of tissue, ranging in size from small grains of sand to large grapes, and everything inbetween.These areas are hyper sensitive, so they react very easily to pressure or compression, or to stretching.
Many people with Myofascial Pain are prescribed medication such as anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxants, antidepressants or even anti-epileptics. In some cases, trigger point injections are used as well as myofascial release ( I will cover this again) or surgery might be offered as a last resort.
According to history Sir William Gowers introduced the term fibrositis for a common, but idiopathic, localized form of muscular rheumatism that is now recognised as myofascial pain syndrome in 1904. And, despite the intervening years, it still constitutes the largest group of unrecognised and under treated acute and chronic pain problems. Some people (like myself) have also been told they could have Fibromyalgia, previously named ‘fibrositis’.
My recent pain problems in my neck and thoracic area is now being referred as Myofascial Pain Syndrome which they are going to treat with Acupuncture, Stretching and massage as well as increasing my medication. I will cover the treatment as I start to have them and the outcome of this and the results of my MRI.