How does myofascial syndrome feel? 

The pain of myofascial syndrome is typically a dull ache, but can also produce a throbbing, stabbing, or burning sensation. Pain is often located in the jaw area, though any part of the body can be affected.

One-third of myofascial pain sufferers report localized pain, while two-thirds report having pain all over their bodies.

Myofascial pain can also produce a variety of other symptoms, many of which may appear unrelated.

These include:

  • numbness in the extremities
  • popping or clicking of the joints
  • limited movement of joints, particularly the jaw
  • muscle weakness (manifested in dropping things)
  • migraine or headache
  • disturbed sleep
  • balance problems
  • tinnitus and ear pain
  • double vision or blurred vision
  • problems with memory
  • unexplained nausea, dizziness, and sweating

Aggravating Factors

Symptoms are often aggravated by specific factors. Stress and anxiety contribute to muscle tension and can irritate trigger points. Changes in the weather, including sudden coldness, high humidity, or extreme dryness can also exacerbate symptoms. Physical activity can also trigger symptoms.

Causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

There are numerous proposed causes of myofascial pain:

  • Muscle and Skeletal Problems: The causes of myofascial pain dysfunction syndrome can be numerous and depend upon the individual. Generally, myofascial pain is caused by some sort of trauma to the muscles and skeleton in the body. Overworking of the muscles can cause damage to certain areas resulting in the development of a trigger point. Poor posture can also trigger myofascial pain in certain individuals. Skeletal abnormalities, such as having different sized feet, toes, or legs, can also contribute to the development of myofascial pains. Frequent exposure to cold weather may also increase the risk of developing chronic myofascial pain syndrome.
  • Chronic Fibromyalgia Pain: People with fibromyalgia may get myofascial pain syndrome as a result of their fibromyalgia pain. Compensating for pain can often cause reduced movement or an unhealthy posture, leading to the formation of trigger points. The severe pain caused by fibromyalgia also causes muscle contractions around tender points, referred to as guarding. Eventually these muscle contractions cause trigger points to form in addition to the tender points of fibromyalgia.
  • Depression Associated with Fibromyalgia: The depression associated with fibromyalgia may also cause myofascial pain to develop. At least 30% of fibromyalgia patients suffer from depression, which causes low levels of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood and pain in the body. Depression may interfere with the process of regulating pain, causing MPS.

Effects of MPS on Fibromyalgia

Having both myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia can be quite trying at times. Symptoms of MPS and fibromyalgia are very similar, making it difficult for medical professionals to properly diagnose many people.

Without proper diagnosis, a patient may not receive appropriate treatment, causing his or her symptoms to become even worse. In addition, myofascial pain can often contribute to the pain caused by fibromyalgia, making life much more difficult to enjoy.

 

Table of Contents
1. Myofascial Pain Syndrome
2. Jaw pain
 
 
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