Pain in your neck?

You have a good chance of having myofascial pain syndrome
characterized by muscle knots or trigger points

What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial (my-oh-fass-shal) Pain

Syndrome (MPS) is a painful condition

that is characterized by localized pain,

muscle tenderness, decreased range of

motion, mood and sleep problems.

The pain in MPS most commonly

occurs in the head, neck, shoulders,

arms, legs and lower back. However, it

can occur in any muscle group.

MPS is not life-threatening and rarely worsens over time if treated properly.

Most people with MPS report feeling some pain all the time.

However, the pain intensity can vary with the time of day, physical activity,

and the presence of stressful situations. People with MPS often have

problems with their mood, namely anxiety which vary with time of day,

physical activity, and the presence of stressful situations. People with MPS

often have problems with their mood, namely anxiety and depression.

How is Myofascial Pain Syndrome diagnosed?

There is no specific laboratory test to

correctly diagnose MPS. MPS is

diagnosed by the presence of multiple

sore spots or trigger points in the muscles.

When these trigger points are touched,

pain may be felt in other parts of the body.

This is called referred pain. Additional

symptoms used to diagnose MPS include

impaired range of motion, mood

disturbance, muscle tenderness, and sleep


What are trigger points?

The pain in MPS comes from the development of trigger points in the linings

of the muscles, called myofascia. The myofascia is a film that wraps around

the muscle fibers to give them shape and support. Trigger points are

extremely sore spots that can be found throughout the body.

What causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

The exact cause of MPS is not known. Current thinking is that a number of

factors including poor posture over time, continuous pressure on

the muscle, emotional stress, surgical incisions, repetitive motions and joint

problems can trigger MPS. These factors can result in a vicious cycle of

suffering, inactivity and disability.

Who gets Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

It is not known how many people in the United States have MPS. MPS

appears to be more common in women than in men. It usually

occurs between the ages of 20-40 years old. It is more commonly found in

persons with sedentary jobs and lifestyles than in those who engage in regular

physical activity.

How is Myofascial Pain Syndrome treated?

A combination of approaches is recommended for its treatment. This is due to

its chronic nature and the physical and psychological stress factors that play a

role in its development and maintenance. The common treatments for MPS


During this procedure normal saline or

Lidocaine is injected directly into the painful trigger point to break it up and

release the tension.

During this procedure, a needle is inserted directly into

the painful trigger point to break it up and release the tension. No medicines

are injected into the muscle during this procedure.

Is the application of intense red and near infrared light

over the trigger points in the muscle. The light relaxes the tension in the muscle

leading to a reduction of pain without sensation or side effects.

Sometimes medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants like

amitriptyline (Elavil) or trazodone, are sometimes useful in helping with muscle

tightness and sleep problems commonly associated with MPS.

Limit caffeine and alcohol intake and smoking. All of

these can aggravate the trigger points. Increasing physical activity can also assist in

treating MPS.

Many people with MPS are able to decrease their pain by

learning to relax and manage stress. Skills such as slow deep breathing, meditation,

and guided imagery can help with pain management.

Learning and applying principles of correct posture

and body mechanics can help relieve stress and tension on the affected muscles.

This training is often provided through groups or classes.

Coping with Myofascial Pain Syndrome.

Most people with MPS may have had many tests and seen many health care

providers in hopes of finding an answer. This can lead to increased frustration and

fear which may increase symptoms. Sometimes family and friends, as well as

physicians, may express doubts about MPS. To a person experiencing frustrating

symptoms, disbelief from others can increase feelings of isolation, depression,

guilt, and anger.

Treatment is available to help you manage MPS.

You can feel better!

Gary Jett, MD “Advanced care for Healthy results

Neck Pain

Gary Jett, MD Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Call Us:  340-718-8282