What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome and What Are Its Symptoms?
Defined as regional musculoskeletal pain, myofascial pain syndrome is a disease that occurs due to acute or chronic trauma of skeletal muscles. Approximately 75-80% of patients who applied to pain centers were diagnosed with myofascial pain syndrome. It is also described as one of the most common causes of muscle pain. The majority of people with chronic pain have myofascial pain syndrome and can be seen in almost any age group. Myofascial pain syndrome is often confused with other diseases. Myofascial pain syndrome, often seen in the neck, back, waist, hips, shoulders, arms, and legs, is confused with sciatic pain as well as the neck and lumbar hernia. Myofascial pain syndrome can be seen in every part of the body where there is muscle tissue (face, head, scalp, etc.).
Severe recurrent pain in myofascial pain syndrome is in question. Often, the patient’s examination may be difficult due to severe pain. After a strong morphine-like drug injection, short-term relief is observed in the patient. However, with the loss of the effect of the drug, pain occurs again. Unlike inflammatory joint rheumatism, myofascial pain syndrome does not cause joint damage or deformity. Myofascial pain syndrome, which occurs as a functional working defect in muscle tissue, does not create permanent structural disorder. However, in cases of prolonged and untreated myofascial pain syndrome, signs of the destruction of the muscle structure at the micro-level are observed.
What Causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
There are many factors that play an effective role in the formation of myofascial pain syndrome. We can say that there are chronic injuries caused by acute injuries or microtraumas caused by sudden loading of cases. In addition, genetic factors, fatigue, and stress are among the main causes. Myofascial pain syndrome can also occur as a result of postural disorders during sitting, standing and sleeping. These postural disorders may be structural or related to one’s profession. At the same time, myofascial pain syndrome is more common in people who speak the phone between the head and shoulder, secretaries who hold their shoulders in a good position to press the keys while typing a typewriter, the housewives who are constantly in bad position while doing housework, and porters carrying heavy goods on their backs.
Another cause of myofascial pain syndrome is vitamin and mineral deficiency. Especially B1, B6, B12, folic acid deficiency, mineral deficiency, calcium deficiency, and iron deficiency anemia play an effective role in the formation of myofascial pain syndrome.
What are the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome?
In myofascial pain syndrome, which can be seen in almost any age group, symptoms in the form of pain, spasm, stinging, numbness, tingling, withdrawal and compression are observed in one or more muscle groups. If these pains are seen in the neck and back region, they are added in cases such as sweating and chills. Myofascial pain syndrome usually occurs in the neck, back, legs, waist, hips, shoulders, and arms. The pain can reach blunt or painful pain as well as a sharp stabbing pain in the blade. Pain in myofascial pain syndrome may be accompanied by limitation of movement, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, dizziness, and depression.
Symptoms According to the Region of Complaint
- Neck pain
- Back pain
- Pain in the knees
- Pain in the elbows
- Pain in the bones
- Pain and stinging in the chest
- Pain and stinging that prevent walking
- Movement difficulties affecting the whole body
- Pain and numbness that radiates from the neck to arm
- Feeling numb with pain radiating from the waist and hip to the leg
Symptoms According to the Character of the Complaint
- Tense feeling
- Tingling sensation
- Mobility restriction
- Tense feeling
- Short-term color change in hands and feet
- Swelling and edema
- Chilling and sweating for no reason
Symptoms according to the Frequency and Duration of the Complaint
- Increased or decreased pain with continuity
Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatment
Various treatment methods can be applied to the myofascial pain syndrome. Various treatments can be applied such as physical therapy, drug therapy, and injection therapy for myofascial pain syndrome. The main goal in the treatment of myofascial pain syndrome is to minimize pain. In addition to minimizing pain, it is aimed to create sufficient muscle strength, to provide proper posture and a full range of motion of the affected muscle-related joint.
In myofascial pain syndrome, the most appropriate physical therapy program is prepared for the patient. This program should be created by considering the posture style specifically for the patient. In physical therapy applied, methods such as massage, electrical stimulation (TENS), interference, laser, and cold-hot compress can be used. Another treatment for myofascial pain syndrome is local injection therapy. Effective results can be obtained with local anesthetics, steroid injections or dry needle techniques applied to trigger points. These applications can be repeated several times in the form of sessions.