Fascia, which covers the outer surface of the muscle and refers to a membrane made of fibrous tissue, surrounds and protects the outside of the muscle, determines the direction and angle of the muscle’s movement, and maintains its appearance along with other skeletal structures. Myofascial pain syndrome is a long-lasting state of tension that causes the muscles to tense and contract, resulting in active trigger points that are palpable like hard nodules or bands, resulting in pain or autonomic symptoms.
The main cause of myofascial pain syndrome is that it is caused by sudden stress on the muscle or excessive tension in the muscle. It is known that the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome appear due to the occurrence of pain trigger points in the fascia, tissue damage, and abnormal calcium concentration in muscle cells. It has also been known that certain repetitive and incorrect movements, postures, and activities can also affect the development of the muscle by excessively contracting the muscle, resulting in impaired local blood circulation.
This myofascial pain syndrome is reported to have a high incidence rate in occupational workers who work long hours in a rigid and fixed posture or in housewives who do childcare and housework. Now, let’s learn about the main symptoms that appear when myofascial pain syndrome occurs, and various information about treatment and prevention.
Main symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome
It is known that myofascial pain syndrome appears in a variety of ways depending on the location of the affected muscle. When you press on the area where the trigger point is located, you feel severe pain and the pain spreads to a distant site. Pain occurs in the neck, shoulder, back, and chest, as well as lower back pain, pelvic pain, and lower extremity pain. In addition, it can affect the normal operation of the autonomic nervous system, causing symptoms such as crawling, tingling, numbness, dizziness, and nasal congestion.
It is known that myofascial pain syndrome is relieved by resting and resting for a certain period of time if the symptoms are not severe or if they occur in a temporary form. However, if the pain persists for a long time, the pain becomes chronic, making treatment more difficult. In addition, such sustained pain can cause various problems such as sleep disturbance and depression, and as various habits that aggravate symptoms overlap, it can cause shoulder-related diseases or neck discs. Therefore, it is important to diagnose and receive treatment at an early stage when various symptoms suspected as early symptoms occur. In addition, it can be said that improving bad habits that cause exacerbation of pain is just as important as treatment.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatment and Prevention
1. Diagnosis and treatment
Since myofascial pain syndrome is often not shown in imaging tests such as CT or MRI, it is necessary to identify the trigger points that appear in the clinically related area. After that, depending on the diagnosis result, medications such as anti-inflammatory analgesics, muscle relaxants, and sedatives are administered, as well as local massage and exercise therapy. In addition, cold treatment using temperature difference, various treatment methods such as packs and heat lamps, and physical therapy such as ultrasonic treatment using mechanical stimulation, electric treatment, and low-energy laser treatment can be performed. And if the symptoms do not improve with these various treatments, or if the pain is too severe to carry out daily life, injection therapy can be performed by injecting a small amount of local anesthetic into the muscle to help the muscle relax.
2. Steady Stretching
In order to prevent and chronic myofascial pain syndrome, it is important to continue stretching, which repeatedly relaxes and releases stiff muscles. It is known that good effects can be obtained if you practice 10 times, 10 seconds at a time, and at least 3 times a day for the muscles of the affected area. In particular, if you repeat the same thing or stay in a bad posture, symptoms aggravate and recur easily, so it is important not to stay in one position for too long while working and to stretch regularly during work to relieve the tension in the stiff muscles. In addition, when you press the painful area, it is important to massage the most painful area with your thumb for about 10 seconds and then release it, as it is important to relieve symptoms.
3. Proper Stress Control
Excessive emotional stress is known to be the main cause of exacerbating the symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome, so it is very important to properly relieve and control stress through sufficient rest and hobbies.
In addition, moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and warm massage and poultice on the painful area help to improve blood circulation and are known to help relieve symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome.