Myofascial pain is a chronic pain syndrome which affects the muscles and the sheath that covers them (called as fascia). This condition can affect either a single muscle or can affect a group of muscles. The unique feature of this condition is the presence of points which are tender and result in twitching when touched.
The key difference between fibromyalagia and myofascial pain is that the first can result in generalized body pain while the latter is associated with pain along specific trigger points.
These trigger points are classified as active or latent. Active trigger points are generally sore and affect the ability of the muscles to function optimally. Latent trigger points don’t cause pain during routine activities, but become tender when the affected muscle in strained, injured or fatigued.
Causes Of Myofascial Pain
The causes associated with this condition are not clearly understood, however certain high risk factors have been identified,
- Mechanical factors like poor posture, overuse of the muscle or stress can trigger myofascial pain.
- Poor exercising techniques can result in strain of muscles and can cause myofascial pain.
- Anxiety, depression and stress are other factors that are linked with the development of this condition.
- Direct trauma to the muscle or exposures to cold are also considered to be important contributing factors.
Myofascial Pain Symptoms
The condition affects both males and females equally and is common in individuals between the age group of 30 to 60 years. Some of the common symptoms of the condition include,
- Pain which may range from moderate to severe and associated with reduced functionality of the affected muscle.
- Tingling and numbness can also be common features.
- Pressure on trigger points may lead to muscle twitching in a predictable and specific pattern.
Though the diagnosis of the condition is primarily based on physical examination, blood tests may be performed as this condition may be associated with vitamin D deficiency or hypothyroidism.
Home Remedies To Relieve Myofascial Pain
While contemporary medicine suggests that use of NSAIDs can be helpful in the treatment of myofascial pain, there are a wide range of home remedies and natural treatment options that one can benefit from.
- Physical therapy comprising of a simple stretching, muscle strengthening and postural exercises may prove very beneficial.
- Massaging the body with aromatherapy essential oils like clove and lavender are considered to be very useful. Massaging helps relive cramps and spasms and loosens the tight muscles.
- Homeopathy has profound benefit in the management of myofascial pain. Homeopathic drugs namely Rhuta and Rhus Tox are very effective when taken in low dosage and repeated over multiple times in the day.
- Vitamin D deficiency or hypothyroidism is often linked with this condition, hence treating these deficiencies is an important part of the treatment regimen. Get adequate exposure to the early morning sun, to help the body synthesis its own vitamin D. Vitamin D supplements may also benefit in the management of the condition. Ensure that your diet is rich in iodine. Use iodized salt and increase the intake of seafood like prawns, fish, seaweeds, etc.
- Ensure that your diet is rich in fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, nuts and grains. Avoid processed and refined food. Reduce the intake of alcohol, as it can trigger myofascial pain.