Myofascial pain syndrome is caused by a stimulus, such as muscle tightness, that sets off trigger points in your muscles. Factors that may increase your risk of muscle
trigger points include:
- Muscle injury. An acute muscle injury or continual muscle stress may lead to the development of trigger points. For example, a spot within or near a strained muscle may become a trigger point. Repetitive motions and poor posture also may increase your risk.
- Stress and anxiety. People who frequently experience stress and anxiety may be more likely to develop trigger points in their muscles. One theory holds that these people may be more likely to clench their muscles, a form of repeated strain that leaves muscles susceptible to trigger point
Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In this condition, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in the muscle and sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain.
This syndrome typically occurs after a muscle has been contracted repetitively. This can be caused by repetitive motions used in jobs or hobbies or by stress-related muscle tension.
The temporalis muscle is located on the sides of the skull at the temple. This muscle assists in jaw movements for chewing and talking etc. This muscle can become overworked from excessive clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth from stress. Poor neck posture can also stress the muscles of the jaw. When this happens trigger points can form. These points can refer pain into the temple, skull, and face. These trigger points can also cause tooth sensitivity and pain.
The lateral pterygoid muscle is involved in movement of the jaw. It can become become strained from chronic clenching of the jaw and grinding of the teeth. When this happened trigger points can form. This leads not only to pain and refered pain, but also dysfunctional joint mechanics. This muscle is a major player in TMJ dysfunction syndrome.
The medial pteragoyd muscle is located on the inside of the jaw. It is responsible for jaw movements during talking and chewing. This muscle becomes over loaded from poor neck posture as well as stress resulting in grinding the teeth or excessive clenching of the jaw. Trigger points in this muscle will refer deep into the jaw and the tempomandibular joint producing “tmj dysfunction syndrome.
Trigger points are hyper irritable knots found in muscle tissue. These points form in a muscle due to overload stress. Trigger points can form anywhere, in any muscle. Once formed they irritate sensory nerves and produce pain, refered pain, weakness, and stiffness. Trigger points will also mimic symptoms of other conditions such as “sciatica” or Carple tunnel syndrome. Trigger points will not go away on there own, they must be manually released with hands on techniques like trigger point massage.