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Treatment of Myofascial Pain

myosfascial pain syndrome

It is believed that myosfascial pain is due to various factors, like direct injury, muscle fatigue due to repetitive overuse, poor posture, sedentary lifestyles, and stress. At some point, a simple pain brought about by the activation of so-called “trigger points” within the muscles may become worse. This may result in continuous pain brought about by muscle tension, altered muscle posture, and behavior that would reinforce pain. Chronic myofascial pain may greatly manifest if the affected individual fails to seek proper treatment.

Seeking immediate treatment at the first signs of myofascial pain is extremely important in order for the doctor to assess and find the right treatments. Although there is no evidence that would favor the use of one treatment option over the other, it is still important to discuss with the doctor the preferred treatments to alleviate myofascial pain. Basically, treatment plans are often multifaceted and comprehensive, which would mean the use of more than one type of treatment. Apart from educating the patient as to what to expect in the approach to treatment, taking medication, receiving injections on potential trigger points, and/or getting pain relief through physical therapy are some of the other sound options. Generally, the treatment can be dependent on the patient’s level of health or severity of the injury, as well as the existence of other factors like poor posture, workplace ergonomics, and mechanical problems.

Medications

Pain relief is a critical part of a treatment strategy. This would greatly help a patient with myofascial pain cope with the ongoing pain of the condition. Medication for myofascial pain can be administered either temporarily or on a long term, depending on the doctor’s assessments. Oftentimes, they are administered in trials to help determine the best medicine for the patient.

  • Pain relievers. These include over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen, as well as stronger pain relievers that would help alleviate pain. Some pain relievers are taken orally, while some are available in patches that are placed on the affected area.
  • Antidepressants. These pain relievers don’t only ease muscle pain, but also help the patient sleep soundly. These include amitriptyline, nortriptyline and cymbalta.
  • Muscle relaxant. Medications of this kind help in relaxing the muscles affected by localized and referred pain. These include cyclobenzaprine and tizanidine, all of which help aid sleep.

Trigger Point Injection

Myofascial pain can also be treated with the use of needles, wherein a numbing agent such as lidocaine is injected on a trigger point. Doing so can also help alleviate pain. Other trigger point injections involve inserting a needle into several places on and around the trigger point, which is also known as dry needling. Acupuncture is also an alternative way to treat myofascial pain. The relief of pain brought by injecting needles can be even more addressed with physical therapy.

Physical Therapy

A therapy plan is devised depending on the patient’s signs and symptoms related to myofascial pain syndrome.

  • Stretching
    Doing stretching exercises would help ease the pain on the affected area. If the patient experiences pain from the trigger point while doing stretches, a numbing solution is sprayed on the skin.
  • Massage
    Physical manipulation by the trained physical therapist can help alleviate the pain associated with the disorder. Massage movements can be done in long strokes over the area where the trigger point is, applying enough pressure to relax the tensioned muscles.
  • Heat
    Applying a hot pack over the affected area, or taking a hot shower, can help relieve muscle tension, as well as reduce pain.
  • Ultrasound
    The use of this method helps in increasing the blood circulation and warmth, which then heals the muscles affected with myofascial pain.

The likelihood of the individual with myofascial pain improving from the disorder may vary based on his or her overall physical fitness and health, compliance with self-care and at-home treatment, any abnormalities in the skeletal system, coping mechanism against anxiety or stress, diet, sleep, and other medical conditions.

Meanwhile, anyone from Los Angeles or Santa Monica who believes has one or two symptoms of myofascial pain must immediately consult with an expert medical professional from a Los Angeles pain clinic.