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 can cause pain spread to other parts of your body. This is called referred pain. Trigger points can also cause stiffness and weakness.
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.
While nearly everyone has experienced muscle tension pain, the discomfort associated with myofascial pain syndrome persists or worsens. Treatment options include massage therapy, dry needling, and physical therapy. relaxation techniques such as meditation also can help.
One of the most common causes or low back pain is trigger points in the quadratus lumborum muscle or Q.L. for short. This muscle is located in the lower back and is responsible for trunk and pelvic movement and stabilization. This muscle often harbors trigger points that form from prolonged sitting or bending. Pain from trigger points in this muscle will cause pain in the low back, sacrum, and into the hip.
One of the often overlooked muscles affected by poor rounded shoulder posture is the latissimus dorsi muscle. They are the largest muscles in the back and function primary to adduct the arm and to assist in medially rotating the arm. Chronic strain causes trigger points to build up in the muscle tissue causing pain, referred pain, stiffness and weakness. Trigger points in the lats refer pain into the back, shoulder, and down the arm into the fingers.
The erector spinae muscles are a group of muscles the travel the length of your spine. They are responsible for spinal movement and stabilization. These muscles often become overloaded with poor posture of the spine. As a result trigger points often form. These points can cause pain to be felt anywhere along the spine and back. Some of these points can even refer pain into the front abdomen as well
One of the most common forms of pain I see in my practice is neck and shoulder pain. Many people have jobs that require the muscles of the neck and upper back to work overtime to keep proper neck posture. Sitting in front of a computer all day or being stuck in a car or truck for example will eventually cause these muscles to become strained and develop trigger points. These trigger points will then cause pain, referred pain, stiffness and weakness. Neck and upper back trigger points will refer pain into the neck and head.
The Abdominal muscles what people think of as your six pack muscles. They are mostly responsible for flexing the spine and postural stability. These muscles are often tight in people with poor posture with a rounded spine. This causes trigger points to developed. Trigger points in the abs cause pain to be felt in the abdomen, but also frequently in the back. Trigger points in the upper abdominals refer pain into the mid back, and points in the lower abdominals produce lower back pain.
“Muscle is an orphan organ. No medical specialty claims it. As a consequence, no medical specialty is concerned with promoting funded research into the muscular causes of pain, and medical students and physical therapists rarely receive adequate primary training in how to recognize and treat myofascial trigger points.”
— David G.Simons, MD pioneer in myofascial pain and trigger points and aerospace physician