About Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)
Every muscle in your body is surrounded by fascia, thin connective tissue that allows the muscle to expand and contract. When this fascia loses elasticity, fibers in the underlying muscles can become stuck in a contracted state, forming sensitive trigger points. Trigger points can be categorized by the conditions under which they cause pain. An active trigger point produces pain spontaneously, while a latent trigger point is only painful when pressure is applied.
As myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) and fibromyalgia both involve chronic pain, the two conditions are often confused. MPS is distinguished by the presence of discrete trigger points, while fibromyalgia is associated with a broader range of symptoms in addition to pain.
Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome are broadly related to muscle pain.
Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome may include:
- Muscle pain or tenderness centered on a trigger point
- Muscle weakness
- Reduced range of motion in the affected muscle
- Pressure on a trigger point may cause pain in an unrelated part of the body (known as referred pain)
Risk Factors for Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Anybody can develop myofascial pain syndrome due to injury or strain, but certain risk factors make the condition more likely to occur.
Risk factors for myofascial pain syndrome may include:
- Personal history: Individuals more prone to injury due to repeated muscle use are more likely to develop chronic myofascial pain. Stress is also linked to myofascial pain syndrome
Treating Myofascial Pain Syndrome at UT Health Austin
Myofascial pain syndrome treatment starts with a thorough evaluation of all factors that may be contributing to your condition to address your pain at the source. Throughout your treatment, your provider will follow up with you regularly. The details of your treatment plan and the frequency of clinician follow-up may vary based on the severity of your condition.
Care Team Approach
At UT Health Austin, we take a multidisciplinary approach to your care. A tailored exercise program that might incorporate the expertise of physical therapists provides the foundation of treatment for patients with fibromyalgia. At the same time, a personalized approach to diagnosis and treatment might also incorporate assistance from additional practitioners. These can include rheumatologists, neurologists, psychiatrists, social workers, pharmacists, and others working together to help you get back to the things in your life that matter most to you.
We collaborate with our colleagues at the Dell Medical School and The University of Texas at Austin to utilize the latest research, diagnostic, and treatment techniques, allowing us to identify new therapies to improve treatment outcomes. We are committed to communicating and coordinating your care with referring physicians and other partners in the community to ensure that we provide comprehensive, whole-person care.