What is Myofascial Pain?
Myofascial pain is localized musculoskeletal pain. Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS), is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain caused by multiple trigger points and fascial constrictions.
Characteristic features of a myofascial trigger point include focal point tenderness, reproduction of pain upon trigger point palpation, hardening of the muscle upon trigger point palpation, pseudo-weakness of the involved muscle.
Myofascial pain can occur in discreet, isolated areas of the body and may cause a variety of localized symptoms. The muscular pain is typically constant, achy, and deep. The intensity can range from mild discomfort to excruciating and “lightning-like” nodules, or what feels like knots may be visible or felt beneath the skin. Oftentimes the pain does not resolve on its own, even after typical first-aid self care remedies such as ice, heat, and rest.
What is Fascia?
A fascia is a sheath, a sheet, or any other dissectible aggregations of connective tissue that forms beneath the skin to attach, enclose, and separate muscles and other internal organs. The fascial system consists of the three‐dimensional continuum of soft, collagen containing, loose and dense fibrous connective tissues that permeate the body.
It incorporates elements such as adipose tissue, adventitiae and neurovascular sheaths, aponeuroses, deep and superficial fasciae, epineurium, joint capsules, ligaments, membranes, meninges, myofascial expansions, periostea, retinacula, septa, tendons, visceral fasciae, and all the intramuscular and intermuscular connective tissues including endomysium/perimysium/epimysium.
The fascial system surrounds, interweaves between, and interpenetrates all organs, muscles, bones, and nerve fibers, endowing the body with a functional structure, and providing an environment that enables all body systems to operate in an integrated manner.
The National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists (NAMTPT), has provided a tool that allows you to check your symptoms to see where your myofascial pain might be originating from. Please keep in mind that this is simply a tool, and is not a substitute for examination and diagnosis by a physician or professional Myofascial Pain Specialist.