Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder caused by trigger points in muscles and the surrounding connective tissue, resulting in pain and stiffness.

The basics

Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a chronic pain disorder that affects muscles and connective tissues. It is characterized by tender trigger points that cause pain throughout the body.

MPS can affect anyone, but it is more common in women and people who have experienced trauma. Treatment options include medication, physical therapy, and self-care techniques, but more severe cases may benefit from trigger point injections. It is important for individuals with MPS to work closely with a pain management specialist to develop a personalized treatment plan. With proper care, many people with MPS can manage their pain and improve their quality of life.

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Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) can present differently in each individual, ranging from mild symptoms to severe and debilitating pain. Common MPS symptoms include:

  • Localized or widespread muscle pain
  • Tender nodules or knots in the muscle, known as trigger points
  • Stiffness and limited range of motion
  • Fatigue
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Numbness or tingling in affected areas
  • Anxiety, depression, or mood changes

Factors such as stress, physical activity, and poor posture can exacerbate MPS symptoms. If you experience persistent muscle pain or other MPS symptoms, it's crucial to seek medical attention. A pain management specialist can diagnose MPS and develop a personalized treatment plan to manage your symptoms, ultimately improving your quality of life.

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Therapies & treatments

Trigger Point Injections

Injection of a local anesthetic or a combination of anesthetic and steroid directly into the trigger point can provide relief by reducing inflammation and pain.

Manual Therapy

Techniques such as myofascial release and trigger point therapy can help to alleviate pain and tension in affected muscles and connective tissues.

Dry Needling

A technique that involves inserting thin needles into trigger points to stimulate the muscle and relieve pain.

Physical Therapy

Exercise programs designed to improve posture, flexibility, and strength can help to reduce pain and prevent future flare-ups.


The insertion of fine needles at specific points along the body can help to reduce pain and improve muscle function in individuals with myofascial pain syndrome.

Ultrasound Therapy

Use of high-frequency sound waves to penetrate deep into the tissues and promote healing and pain relief.


Certain medications such as muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), and topical creams may be prescribed to alleviate pain and improve function. A pain specialist can assist you in formulating a personalised medication strategy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT can help individuals with myofascial pain syndrome learn coping mechanisms for managing pain, reduce anxiety and depression associated with chronic pain, and improve overall quality of life.

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Self-care strategies

Stress Management

Managing stress can help reduce muscle tension and prevent the development of myofascial trigger points. Techniques such as mindfulness meditation, deep breathing, or progressive muscle relaxation can be helpful in managing stress.


Regular stretching can help relieve muscle tension and prevent the development of trigger points. Focus on stretching the muscles in your neck, shoulders, back, and hips.

Heat and Cold Therapy

Alternating between heat and cold therapy can help reduce muscle pain and promote relaxation. Use a heating pad or warm towel for 20-30 minutes followed by an ice pack for 10-15 minutes.


Maintaining good posture and using ergonomic equipment such as a supportive chair or keyboard can help reduce muscle strain and prevent trigger points from forming. An occupational therapist can assist you in sourcing the right ergonomic equipment for your body and movement patterns.


Low-impact exercise such as walking, swimming, or yoga can help promote flexibility, strength, and relaxation, all of which can help prevent myofascial pain.


Staying hydrated can help prevent muscle tension and stiffness by ensuring that your muscles have the proper nutrients and oxygen to function properly.


Regular massage can help reduce muscle tension and promote relaxation, preventing the development of trigger points.

Sleep Hygiene

Getting enough sleep and practicing good sleep hygiene can help reduce muscle tension and prevent the development of trigger points. Establish a regular sleep routine, avoid stimulating activities before bed, and create a comfortable sleep environment.


Eating a healthy and balanced diet can help promote muscle health and reduce inflammation, which can contribute to myofascial pain. Incorporate anti-inflammatory foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your diet, and avoid processed foods and sugary drinks.


Prioritizing self-care activities such as taking a warm bath, practicing yoga, or engaging in a creative hobby can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, preventing the development of trigger points.

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Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)

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