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Myofascial Syndrome – Definition, Symptoms and Treatment

Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju
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Sandeep Dhanyamraju MD
Medically reviewed by Sandeep Dhanyamraju

Myofascial syndrome is a common and often debilitating condition. It affects the body’s  muscles and connective tissues. It is characterized by:

  • Development of painful trigger points or knots in the muscle tissue
  • And surrounding fascia

Up to 85% of people have myofascial pain at some point in their lives. It makes it the primary cause of musculoskeletal discomfort.

Symptoms of myofascial syndrome can vary in severity and location. Some individuals experience mild discomfort, and others have severe pain. Other symptoms can include numbness, tingling, or weakness in the affected area.

Fortunately, there are several treatment options available for myofascial pain, including:

  • Physical therapy;
  • Massage;
  • Trigger point injections;
  • And medication. 

These treatments aim to reduce pain and inflammation. They also improve muscle function and range of motion and prevent the recurrence of trigger points.

In this article, we will delve deeper into myofascial syndrome, including its definition, causes, symptoms, and available treatment options. By better understanding this condition, individuals can take steps to prevent its development, manage its symptoms effectively, and maintain optimal muscle and fascia health.

What Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial pain is a condition that affects the muscles and fascia of the body. Fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that surrounds:

  • Muscles
  • Bones
  • And organs

It helps support and protect the body. The muscles and fascia work together to allow movement and provide stability to the body.

Myofascial pain is a common condition affecting people of all ages and backgrounds. But it is more often typical in women than in men.

Myofascial pain can:

  • Occur in any part of the body where there is muscle tissue;
  • Range in severity from mild to severe. 

It can be a chronic condition for some individuals. And it can significantly impact their daily activities and quality of life.

Living with myofascial pain syndrome symptoms can be challenging, as it can:

  • Interfere with daily activities;
  • And affect emotional well-being. 

It is important to note that myofascial pain differs from other types of pain, such as:

  • Nerve pain;
  • Or joint pain. 

This is because myofascial pain is due to:

  • Trigger points in the muscle tissue;
  • While nerve pain is due to damage or dysfunction in the nervous system;
  • And joint pain is through damage or inflammation in the joints.

While the myofascial syndrome can be a challenging condition to live with, it is possible to:

  • Manage symptoms for pain relief;
  • And improve overall function with proper treatment and care. 

But with the right care and treatment, individuals with this syndrome can live a full and active life.

myofascial pain syndrome symptoms

What Are The Symptoms Of Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

The most common symptoms of the myofascial syndrome include:

  • Pain
  • Muscle tightness
  • Restricted range of motion
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Numbness or tingling
  • And referred pain

Here is a more detailed list of myofascial pain syndrome symptoms:

  1. Pain. Pain is the most common symptom of this syndrome. The pain is typically a deep, aching sensation in a specific body area. The pain can be constant or intermittent and worsen with activity or stress.
  2. Muscle tightness. Individuals with myofascial syndrome often experience muscle tightness in the affected area. The tightness is like a knot or a muscle tension band. It can cause discomfort and limit the range of motion.
  3. Restricted range of motion. This syndrome can cause a restricted range of motion in the affected area. It makes it difficult to perform certain movements. The myofascial pain can be especially noticeable in the neck, shoulders, and back.
  4. Fatigue. Muscle tension and pain can cause individuals to feel exhausted. And it is especially after periods of activity.
  5. Headaches. It is characterizable by a dull, aching pain. It radiates from the neck or shoulders to the head.
  6. Numbness or tingling. In some cases, this syndrome can cause numbness or tingling in the affected area. It results from nerve compression or irritation caused by the trigger points.
  7. Referred pain. Trigger points can cause referred pain. It is a pain in a different part of the body. For example, a trigger point in the shoulder can cause myofascial pain in the neck or arm.

All symptoms of myofascial syndrome vary. It depends on the condition’s location and severity. In some cases, individuals experience multiple symptoms. And in other cases, symptoms are mild or intermittent.

What Causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial pain syndrome can occur as a result of various factors, including:

  • Muscle Injury
  • Muscle overuse
  • Stress 
  • Poor posture
  • Medical conditions
  • Trauma
  • And other factors 

Here is a more detailed description of these common causes:

1.Muscle overuse. Overusing a muscle, such as repeatedly performing the same movement or holding a position for an extended period, can cause myofascial pain syndrome. This is particularly common in athletes and individuals who engage in repetitive physical activities.

2. Muscle injury. Muscle injuries, such as strains or sprains, can also lead to the syndrome’s development. The injury can cause trigger points to form in the affected muscle. It can cause referred pain and other symptoms.

3. Stress. Stress can cause muscle tension and trigger points. The myofascial syndrome can cause pain in:

– neck;


– and back. 

4. Poor posture. Poor posture can lead to muscle imbalances and increased tension. It can contribute to the syndrome’s development. This is particularly common in individuals who spend long periods:

– sitting;

– or standing in a fixed position.

5. Medical conditions. Certain medical conditions can also increase the risk of the syndrome developing. For example, it can be fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. These conditions cause muscle pain and tension. It contributes to trigger point formation.

6. Trauma. Trauma, such as a car accident or a fall, can also lead to myofascial syndrome. The trauma causes muscle injuries and trigger points to form, resulting in:
– referred pain;

– and other symptoms.

The causes of the myofascial syndrome can vary. They depend on the individual and the affected area. In some cases, multiple factors can contribute to the development of the condition.

Can Myofascial Syndrome Cause Other Health Problems?

The condition itself does not typically cause other health problems. The pain and discomfort associated with myofascial syndrome can lead to a number of related issues:

  • Chronic pain from this syndrome can lead to decreased physical activity and exercise. 
  • It can result in weight gain, decreased cardiovascular health, poor sleep, etc. 
  • The stress and anxiety associated with chronic have a negative impact on mental health. It leads to conditions such as depression and anxiety.

In some cases, the syndrome can also cause underlying medical conditions, such as:

  • Fibromyalgia;
  • Or autoimmune disorders.

It results in a range of additional health problems.

myofascial pain treatment

Can Myofascial Syndrome Be Cured?

There is no definitive cure for myofascial syndrome. But it can be effectively managed through a combination of treatments such as:

  • Physical therapy
  • Medications
  • Trigger point injections
  • Message therapy
  • Self-care techniques

Myofascial pain treatment typically involves a multi-faceted approach. It includes a combination of therapies to:

  • Address the underlying cause of the condition;
  • And alleviate symptoms. 

You should seek medical evaluation and treatment. The most effective treatment plan will depend on:

  • Individual;
  • And their symptom severity.

Early detection and treatment help prevent the condition from:

  • Progressing;
  • And causing further complications.

Let’s consider these treatment methods in more detail:

1. Physical therapy. Physical therapy is a key component of myofascial pain treatment. It helps relieve muscle tension and improve the range of motion. Physical therapists can develop a personalized treatment plan that includes:

– exercises;

– stretches;

– and other techniques.

They help manage pain and improve function.

2. Massage therapy. This therapy involves applying pressure to the affected muscles to:

– release tension;

– and alleviate pain.

3. Trigger point injections. It includes:

– the injection of a local anesthetic;

– or anti-inflammatory medication directly into the trigger point.

4. Medications. Over-the-counter myofascial pain relievers include:
– acetaminophen;

– and ibuprofen.

They can manage pain and inflammation. Medications, such as muscle relaxants and antidepressants, can also help in some cases.

But people should take these medications just at the doctor’s prescription.

5. Self-care techniques. These techniques can be available at home. They consist of:

– heat and cold therapy;

– stretching;

– and relaxation.

Individuals with myofascial pain can live full and active lives with the right care and support. 

Can Myofascial Pain Syndrome Be Prevented?

It is not always possible to prevent myofascial pain syndrome. But individuals can take steps to reduce their risk of developing the condition or prevent it from worsening. These steps include:

  • Practicing good posture
  • Exercising regularly
  • Managing stress
  • And treating underlying conditions

Here are some detailed ways to prevent myofascial pain syndrome symptoms:

  1. Practice good posture. Poor posture can put undue stress on the muscles and lead to the development of trigger points. By maintaining good posture, individuals can help prevent the development of this syndrome.
  2. Exercise regularly. It can help:
    – keep muscles strong and flexible;

– reduce the risk of muscle strain and developing myofascial syndrome trigger points. 

It is important to gradually:

– increase exercise intensity;

– and engage in activities appropriate for one’s fitness level.

  1. Take breaks and stretch. If sitting or standing for long periods, it is important to:

– take frequent breaks;

– and stretch to prevent muscle tension from building up. 

This is particularly important for individuals who work:

– at a desk;

– or in a job that requires prolonged standing.

  1. Manage stress. Do meditation, yoga, or deep breathing. 
  2. Maintain a healthy weight. Excess weight can put extra strain on the muscles and increase:

– the risk of muscle strain;

– and the development of trigger points.

  1. Treat underlying conditions. Certain conditions can increase the risk of developing myofascial pain syndrome symptoms. They are:

– arthritis;

– fibromyalgia;

– or nerve damage. 

It is important to note these preventive measures can not be effective for everyone. Some individuals can develop the condition despite their best efforts to prevent it. 

Additionally, if an individual already has myofascial pain syndrome, these measures can not be enough to prevent the condition from worsening.

Don’t Delay! Book an Appointment with LoneStar Neurology!

Myofascial pain syndrome is a common condition. It can cause significant discomfort and limit daily activities. While the exact causes of the myofascial condition are not always clear, various treatment options are available for pain relief and improving the quality of life for those affected by it. 

By working closely with healthcare providers and adopting preventative measures, individuals can:

  • Reduce their risk of developing;
  • Or worsening myofascial pain syndrome.

If you are experiencing symptoms of this syndrome, contact Lone Star Neurology Clinic today! Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists for diagnosis and myofascial pain treatment.


  • Can MRI detect myofascial pain?

While MRI can detect structural abnormalities, it cannot diagnose myofascial pain syndrome reliably. Since it primarily affects soft tissues that cannot be visible on an MRI.

  • What triggers myofascial pain syndrome?

Myofascial pain syndrome triggers can be due to a variety of factors, including:

  • muscle overuse;
  • injury, stress;
  • poor posture;
  • and even emotional trauma.
  • Is myofascial pain syndrome neurological?

Myofascial pain syndrome is not typically a neurological condition. It affects soft tissues rather than the nervous system.

  • What is the role of nutrition in managing myofascial syndrome?

There is no specific diet for managing myofascial syndrome. But maintaining a healthy and balanced diet help to reduce inflammation and support wellness.

  • Is Myofascial Syndrome hereditary?

There can be a genetic component to the myofascial syndrome. But it is not typically a hereditary condition.

  • How long does it take to recover from Myofascial Syndrome?

It can vary depending on the severity of symptoms and the effectiveness of treatment. But with proper care, many people can:

  •  manage their symptoms;
  •  and return to normal activities within a few months.
  • What is the difference between Myofascial Syndrome and Fibromyalgia?

Myofascial syndrome and fibromyalgia share some similarities. But fibromyalgia is a broader condition. It involves widespread pain and other symptoms. And myofascial syndrome is typically localized to specific trigger points.

  • What is the difference between myofascial syndrome and myositis?

Myofascial syndrome and myositis are both conditions that can cause muscle pain and weakness. But myositis involves inflammation of the muscle tissue. And it can have more severe symptoms.

  • How to diagnose Myofascial Syndrome?

It can be achievable through a physical exam. It involves:

  • identifying trigger points;
  • assessing pain levels;
  • as well as ruling out other possible causes of symptoms.

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Edward Medina
Edward Medina
15:34 30 Jun 22
Just such an amazing staff that makes you feel like part of their family. I’ve been going there for over 5 years now... and each visit I get the very best care and treatments that I have ever received in the 20+ years that I’ve been dealing with severe debilitating migraines. Since i started seeing them the number of my migraines has dropped from 15-20 a month to 2-3 every 3 month. I highly recommend them …they will change your life!read more
Daneisha Johnson
Daneisha Johnson
22:20 19 May 22
Dr. Askari was very kind and explained everything so I could understand. The other staff were nice as well. I would... have gave 5 stars but I was a little taken aback when I checked in and had to pay 600.00 upfront. I think that should have been discussed in a appointment confirmation call or email just so I could have been more
Jean Cooper
Jean Cooper
16:54 29 Apr 22
I love the office staff they are friendly and very helpful. Dr. JODIE is very caring and understanding to your needs... and wants to help you. I will go back. would recommend Dr. Dr. Jodie to other Patients in a heart beat. The team works well more
Linda M
Linda M
19:40 02 Apr 22
I was obviously stressed, needing to see a neurologist. The staff was so patient and Dr. Ansari was so kind. At one... point he told me to relax, we have time, when I was relaying my history of my condition. That helped ease my stress. I have seen 3 other neurologists and he was the only one who performed any assessment tests on my cognitive and physical skills. At one point I couldn't complete two assessments and got upset and cried. I was told, it's OK. That's why you're here. I was truly impressed, and super pleased with the whole experience!read more
Leslie Durham
Leslie Durham
15:05 01 Apr 22
I've been coming here for about 5 years. The staff are ALWAYS friendly and knowledgeable. The Doctors are the absolute... best!! Jodie Moore is always in such a great mood which is a plus when you are already stressed. Highly recommendedread more
Monica Del Bosque
Monica Del Bosque
14:13 25 Mar 22
Since my first post my thoughts have changed here. It's unfortunate. My doctor and PA were great, but the office staff... is horrible. They never call you back when they say they will, they misinform you, they cause you too much stress wondering what's going on, they don't keep you posted. They never answer the phone. At this point I've left four messages in the last week, and I have sent three messages. Twice from their portal and one direct email. No response. My appointment is on Monday morning at 8:30am, no confirmation on my insurance and what's going on. What the heck is going on, this is ridiculous!I've given up... the stress her office staff has put me through is just not worth it. You can do so much better, please clean house, either change out your office staff, or find a way for them to be more efficient please. You have to do something. This is not how you want to run your practice. It leaves a very bad impression on your more
Ron Buckholz
Ron Buckholz
23:32 23 Mar 22
I was actually pleasantly surprised with this visit! It took me a long time to get the appointment scheduled because no... one answers your phones EVER! After a month, I finally got in, and your staff was warm, friendly, and I was totally impressed! I feel like you will take care of my needs!read more
Steve Nabavi
Steve Nabavi
16:28 16 Mar 22
It was a nice visit. Happy staff doing all they can do to comfort the patients in a very calming environment. You ask... me they are earned a big gold star on the fridge. My only complaint they didn't give me any more
Katie Lewis
Katie Lewis
16:10 10 Feb 22
Had very positive appointments with Jodie and Dr. Sheth for my migraine care. Jodie was so fast with the injections and... has so much valuable info. I started to feel light headed during checkout and the staff was SO helpful—giving me a chair, water, and taking me into a private room until I felt better. Highly recommend this practice for migraine patients, they know what they’re doing!!read more
Joshua Martinez
Joshua Martinez
16:02 10 Dec 21
I was scheduled to be checked and just want to say that the staff was fantastic. They were kind and helpful. I was... asked many questions related to what was going on and not once did I feel as though I was being brushed off. The front desk staff was especially great in assisting me. I'm scheduled to go back for a mri and am glad that I'll be going more
Isabel Ivy
Isabel Ivy
21:42 03 Nov 21
I had such a good experience with Lone Star Neurology, Brent my MRI Tech was so awesome and made sure I was very... comfortable during the appointment. He gave me ear plugs, a pillow, leg support and blanket, easiest MRI ever lol 🤣 My 72 hour EEG nurse Amanda was also so awesome. She made sure I was take care of over the 3 days and took her time with the electrodes to make sure it was comfortable for me! Paige was also a huge help in answering all my questions when it came to my test results, and letting me know her honest opinions about how I should go forth with my more
Leslie Luce
Leslie Luce
17:37 20 Oct 21
The professionalism and want to help attitude of this office was present from the moment I contacted them. The follow... up and follow through as well as their willingness to find a way to schedule my dad was above and beyond. We visited two offices in the same day with the same experience. I am appreciative of this—we spend a lot of time with doctors and this was top notch start to more
robert Parker
robert Parker
16:38 16 Apr 21
I love going to this office. The staff is friendly and helpful. The doctor is great. I am getting the best... neurological tests and treatment I have ever had. The only reason I did not give them a 5 star rating is because it is impossible to reach a live person at the office to reschedule appointments. Every time I have tried to get through to the office it says all people are busy and I am sent to a voicemail. If they could get their phone answering fixed, I would give them a strong 5 more
MaryAnn Hornbaker
MaryAnn Hornbaker
00:26 25 Feb 21
Dr. Harney is an excellent Dr. I found him friendly , personable and thorough. I evidently am an unusual case. ... Therefore he spent a Hugh amount of time educating me. He even gave me literature to further explain my condition and how to follow up. This is something you rarely get from your doctors. So I am more than please with my doctor and his more
Roger Arguello
Roger Arguello
03:05 29 Jan 21
Always courteous, professional. The staff is very friendly and always work with you to find the best appointment time.... The care team has been great. Always taking the time to listen to your concerns and to find the best more
Margaret Rowland
Margaret Rowland
01:12 27 Jan 21
I have been a patient at Lone Star Neurology for several years. Now both my adult daughters also are patients there. I... love Jodie. She is always so prompt whether it is a teleamed call are a visit in the office. She takes the time to explain everything to me and answers all my questions. I am so blessed to have Jodie as my more
Susan Miller
Susan Miller
03:01 13 Jan 21
My husband had an accident 5 years ago and Lone Star Neurology has been such a blessing to us with my husbands care.... Jodie Moore is his provider and she is amazing! Jodie is very knowledgeable, caring, and thorough. She takes her time with you, making sure your needs are met and she is happy to answer any questions you may have. Lone Star Neurology’s patients are very lucky to have Jodie providing their care. Thank you Lone Star Neurology and especially Jodie for everything you have done for us. Jodie, you are the best!read more
Windalyn C
Windalyn C
01:32 09 Jan 21
Jodie is wonderful. She is very caring and knowledgeable. I have been to over a dozen neurologists, and none were able... to help me as much as they have here. Thanks!read more
Katie Kordel
Katie Kordel
00:40 09 Jan 21
Jodi Moore, nurse practitioner, is amazing. I have suffered from frequent, debilitating headaches for almost 20 years.... She has provided the best proactive and responsive care I have ever received. My quality of life has been greatly improved by her caring approach and tenacity in finding more
Ellie Natsis
Ellie Natsis
15:41 07 Jan 21
I have had the best experience at this neurologist's office! For over a year I have been receiving iv treatments here... each month and my nurse, Bobbie is beyond wonderful!! She's so attentive, knowledgeable, caring, and detail oriented. She makes an otherwise uncomfortable experience much more pleasant and definitely puts me at ease! She also helps me with my insurance,ordering this specialty medication and dealing with the ordering process which is no easy feat.Needless to say, she goes above a beyond in every way and I'm so grateful to this office and to Bobbie for all they do for me!read more
Matt Morris
Matt Morris
15:39 07 Jan 21
Let me start by saying that I have been coming here for years. Due to my autoimmune disease, I am in this office... once every three weeks for multiple hours at a time. The office is very clean and the staff very friendly. My only complaint would be there communication via phone. They aren't the best at responding if you leave a voicemail and expect a call back. I understand that this is prob just due to the sheer number of alls they receive daily. What I can say I like the best about the office are the people. Bobby who handles my infusions is great. I never have any issues with her setting up my infusions. She is very quick to reply to messages sent via text and if she were to leave then my whole opinion of the office may change. I also enjoy people like Matt, Lauren, and Jodi. I appreciate all that they do for me and without this team I'm not sure I would be as happy as I am to visit the office as frequently as I have to. Please ensure that these folks are recognized as they are what makes my visit to this office so tolerable :).read more
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