Myofascial pain syndrome is benign but painful condition characterized by myofascial trigger points, which produce pain locally and often in a referred pattern. Trigger points can be described as taught muscle bands that are tender to touch and frequently produce referred pain.
Treatment of trigger points typically starts with conservative care, including medications such as anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxers, physical therapy, active release therapy, and acupuncture. If symptoms persist, trigger point injections can be an effective treatment option.
Do I need an X-ray or MRI?
Diagnosis of trigger points, or myofascial pain, is by clinical examination. There is no diagnostic studythat is sensitive or specific for trigger points.
Trigger Point Injections
The goal of trigger point injections is to break up the taut muscle bands. Injections are typically performed with a small amount of an anesthetic, which can help to reduce irritability of the muscle membranes. Injections without medications, known as “dry needling”, has also been shown to be effective as well.