What is myofascial pain?
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a fancy way to describe muscle pain. It refers to pain and inflammation in the body's soft tissues.
Myofascial pain is a chronic condition that affects the fascia, the connective tissue that covers the muscles.
Myofascial pain syndrome may involve either a single muscle or a muscle group. In some cases, the area where a person experiences the pain may not be where the myofascial pain generator is located. Experts believe that the actual site of the injury or the strain prompts the development of a trigger point that, in turn, causes pain in other areas. This situation is known as referred pain.
Myofascial pain may develop from a muscle injury or from excessive strain on a particular muscle or muscle group, ligament or tendon.
Other causes include:
- Injury to intervertebral disc
- General fatigue
- Repetitive motions
- Medical conditions (including heart attack, stomach irritation)
- Lack of activity (such as a broken arm in a sling)
Myofascial release therapy uses hands-on manipulation of the entire body to promote healing, release and pain relief. It is a gentle blend of stretching and massage. The therapy is based on the idea that poor posture, physical injury, illness and emotional stress can throw the body out of alignment and cause its intricate web of fascia to become tight and constricted.