PT and Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Finding Effective Treatment for Myofascial Pain Syndrome
One of the lesser-known disorders that causes debilitating discomfort and fatigue is myofascial pain syndrome, or MPS. It is somewhat similar to fibromyalgia, as the patient feels pain at trigger points and in muscles at various places in the body. The term myofascial refers to the connective tissue covering the muscles, which is medically known as fascia.
About Trigger Points
Trigger points are exceptionally sensitive areas of the muscles that may feel achy in general and especially uncomfortable when someone presses directly on them. People commonly refer to them as knots.
A person with MPS also experiences muscle discomfort in other areas that seem unrelated to the trigger points. Doctors call this referred pain.
Patients with this disorder may experience sudden muscle spasms at times with even more intense discomfort.
The condition is referred to as a syndrome because it is diagnosed through a group of symptoms associated with MPS. As of yet, there is no definitive diagnostic procedure like a blood test or imaging technique that can verify a patient has the disorder.
Treatment for MPS
A doctor may treat the knots with injections of a local anesthetic, or a combination of an anesthetic and a corticosteroid. This allows the muscle to relax.
Physical therapy can be very effective for these patients, and massage therapy is recommended as well.
Medication for Related Issues
Certain factors that aggravate MPS symptoms create a vicious cycle. Lack of sleep, for instance, can worsen symptoms, while chronic pain can easily disrupt sleep. Stress and depression make the patient feel worse physically, while the condition itself causes stress and emotional strain.
The doctor may prescribe pain relief medication or muscle relaxants that have sedating effects. The patient takes these before bedtime. Antidepressant medication may be helpful as well, as many of these drugs also are pain relievers. The patient then benefits both from mood improvement and reduced physical discomfort.
Seeking Help From a Therapist
Patients dealing with these debilitating symptoms are strongly encouraged to seek treatment at an integrated health center or a pain management clinic. Receiving a combination of conventional and complementary therapies tends to have the best results.