Muscle Pain (cont.)
In this Article
- Introduction to myofascial pain
- What causes myofascial pain?
- What are the symptoms of myofascial pain?
- How is myofascial pain diagnosed?
- How is myofascial pain treated?
- Find a local Rheumatologist in your town
How is myofascial pain diagnosed?
Trigger points can be identified by pain that results when pressure is applied to an area of a person's body. In the diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome, four types of trigger points can be distinguished:
- An active trigger point is an area of extreme tenderness that usually lies within the skeletal muscle and which is associated with a local or regional pain.
- A latent trigger point is a dormant (inactive) area that has the potential to act like a trigger point.
- A secondary trigger point is a highly irritable spot in a muscle that can become active due to a trigger point and muscular overload in another muscle.
- A satellite myofascial point is a highly irritable spot in a muscle that becomes inactive because the muscle is in the region of another trigger pain.
How is myofascial pain treated?
- Physical therapy
- "Stretch and spray" technique: This treatment involves spraying the muscle and trigger point with a coolant and then slowly stretching the muscle.
- Massage therapy
- Trigger point injection
In some chronic cases of myofascial pain, combinations of physical therapy, trigger point injections, and massage are needed. In select cases, medication is used to treat other conditions that often occur with myofascial pain, such as insomnia and depression.
Reviewed by the doctors at The Cleveland Clinic Neuroscience Center.
Edited by Ephraim K Brenman, DO, on March 1, 2007.
Portions of this page © The Cleveland Clinic 2000-2005
Last Editorial Review: 3/1/2007
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