Myofascial Pain Syndrome


Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a chronic pain disorder in which pressure on sensitive areas of your muscles (trigger points) causes pain locally and in some cases also in unrelated parts of the body (this is also known as referred pain).

Trigger points are sensitive areas of tight muscle fibers caused by injury or overuse and can cause discomfort and strain throughout the muscle. Myofascial pain syndrome describes a condition in which this pain increases or becomes worse.


Myofascial pain syndrome usually occurs when a muscle has been used repetitively—whether motions used frequently in jobs and hobbies, or by stress related to muscle tension.


Typical signs and symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome include:

  • Deep muscle pain
  • Persistent or worsening pain
  • Tender muscle knots
  • Inability to sleep due to pain

Risk Factors

Factors that can increase the risk of MPS include:

  • Muscle injuries. In addition to common muscle injuries or continuous use, poor posture and repetitive motions may also increase muscle risk.
  • Stress/anxiety. Stress and anxiety can lead to muscle clenching and strain, which can create trigger points. Additionally, stress impacts the body’s immune response and its ability to promote self-healing

Ignored or unaddressed MPS can result in increased and spreading pain and a reduction in muscle function and range of motion.


There are currently no imaging or laboratory tests that can diagnose myofascial pain syndrome, and MPS does not exhibit itself physically through usual warning signs like redness or swelling. A physical examination of the muscles can reveal taut areas or tender spots. Applying pressure to a trigger point will cause a twitch or pain reaction at the point where the issue occurs.


Although muscle discomfort occurs commonly, pain associated with MPS persists or worsens over time.

Treatments for Myofascial pain can include physical therapy and trigger point injections, while pain medication and relaxation techniques also help provide relief and prevention.

Potentially effective treatments for myofascial pain syndrome include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Trigger point injections or dry needling of trigger points
  • Photobiomodulation (low level laser therapy)
  • Stretching
  • Massage
  • Heat
  • Correcting posture
  • Regular exercise
  • Stress reduction
  • Lifestyle medicine interventions such as wholesome diet and good sleep hygiene
  • Medications

Dr. Arti Panjwani specializes in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Lifestyle Medicine, utilizing a large tool kit of diverse methods to manage symptoms, facilitate the body’s innate healing process, and enhance health and well-being.

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Enhance Function.
Elevate Your Life.