Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatment in Harrisburg, PA
Myofascial pain syndrome—known also as chronic myofascial pain—is a chronic medical condition that affects both the muscles and the fascia (connective tissue that covers muscles). It can occur from a single trauma to a muscle or muscle group, or it can occur from repetitive use over a period of time. In certain instances, pain may be felt in other areas of the body that did not directly experience trauma or overuse, and this is due to the development of trigger points which cause referred pain.
Those who suffer from myofascial pain can attest to the discomfort and debility it causes, often inhibiting them from leading an active lifestyle. Auspiciously, myofascial pain syndrome can be managed with effective medical treatment. To schedule a consultation with a pain specialist in Harrisburg that concentrates on myofascial pain syndrome treatment, call (724) 915-1049 or contact Dr. Emma McGowan online.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
Often confused with fibromyalgia , myofascial pain syndrome is a separate medical condition. Myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia can coincide, creating a complex, painful medical diagnosis. However, fibromyalgia is characterized by the development of tender points—sensitive spots on the body which experience localized pain when pressure is applied—on both the right and left sides of the body in nine different locations. In contrast, chronic myofascial pain develops due to trigger points—tight and tender hard knots which you can sometimes feel under your skin, that, when triggered, send pain to other areas of the body—resulting from trauma or overuse.
Unfortunately, due to the overlap in symptoms and the mainstream knowledge of fibromyalgia as a medical condition, chronic myofascial pain can go undiagnosed. This creates a problem because the two conditions do not require the same treatment.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome Causes
The cause of myofascial pain can vary, and often is debated in the health community, it is believed that chronic myofascial pain and the development of trigger points are due to muscle overuse. Other potential origins of your myofascial pain include:
- Injury or trauma to the muscle, muscle group, ligament or tendon
- Immobilization (such as an arm or leg casting) or inactivity
- Prolonged exposure to the cold
- Chronic stress
Myofascial Pain Syndrome Symptoms
While everyone experiences muscle pain on occasion, myofascial pain syndrome is associated with persistent pain that fails to improve regardless of self-care measures (massage, rest, etc.). This pain often begins in one to several areas of the body in the form of trigger points, and when aggravated, can radiate to other parts of the body (referred pain).
Additional myofascial pain syndrome symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms
- Sleep disturbances
- Diminished mood
Myofascial Pain Treatment
If you experience prolonged muscle pain, it is important to meet with a healthcare provider so you do no suffer any longer. Your healthcare provider will conduct a physical examination and review your medical history, reviewing previous trauma which may implicate myofascial pain is to blame for your discomfort. He or she may look to identify certain trigger points and distinguish between active trigger points (trigger points that are tender and cause you to experience pain) and latent trigger points (inactive trigger points which can lay dormant until they are aggravated).
If you experience myofascial pain syndrome, there are several treatment options which may be used alone or in combination to alleviate your discomfort. These treatments include:
- Physical therapy which focuses on incorporating stretching, strengthening and cardiovascular exercises into your everyday life
- Trigger point injections
- Massage therapy
- Dry Needling
- Posture training
- Chiropractic care
- Lifestyle modifications such as tobacco cessation, curbing caffeine intake and practicing relaxation techniques to reduce stress levels
Adhering to a healthier lifestyle can help prevent episodes of chronic myofascial pain syndrome; you can improve your overall health by getting regular exercise, maintaining a healthy body weight, eat a well-balanced diet and reducing the amount of stress in your life.
Chronic pain can significantly impact your quality of life and inhibit social and work activities. Fortunately, there is a pain specialist in Harrisburg that is equipped to handle your chronic pain and provide comprehensive myofascial pain treatment. Schedule your consultation today; call (724) 915-1049 or contact Dr. Emma McGowan online.
Medical Wellness Associates
Jeannette, PA 15644
8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Tue: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Wed: 8:00 am - 7:30 pm
Thu: 8:00 am - 5:30 pm
Fri: 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sat: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm