Understanding Chronic Myofascial Pain: Exploring the Mystery Behind Persistent Muscle Pain

Living with chronic myofascial pain can be like living in a maze- constantly going in circles but never getting anywhere. It affects not only physical well-being but also the overall quality of life and state of mind. Let’s dive into the elements of chronic myofascial pain, exploring its causes, symptoms, and potential treatments.

What is Chronic Myofascial Pain?

Chronic myofascial pain is a disorder characterized by persistent pain in the muscles and the connective tissue called fascia. Unlike acute pain, which is typically a response to injury or trauma, chronic myofascial pain is an ongoing issue that can persist for months or even years.

Causes and Triggers

While the exact causes is complex and can vary from person to person, understanding the histological processes that result in a chronic tissue disorder helps us build a pathway to successful management.

  1. Muscle Overuse or Strain: Repetitive motions or prolonged muscle contractions can lead to the development of myofascial trigger points, resulting in chronic pain.
  2. Injury or Trauma: Previous injuries, surgeries, car accidents, work or home accidents can result in the formation of trigger points in the affected muscles.
  3. Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress can manifest physically, leading to muscle tension and the development of trigger points.
  4. Poor Posture: Maintaining improper posture can strain muscles and contribute to myofascial pain. [1]

Each of these becomes a trigger to cause the body to affect a repair that goes wrong- instead of repaired tissue you basically have scarred tissue. A grasp of the parameters and circumstances that lead to this as a problem and the parameters that could arrive at improvement are essential to our success.


Recognizing the Symptoms

Identifying chronic myofascial pain involves recognizing its characteristic symptoms which can often be hard to diagnose. These may include:

  • Localized Pain: Persistent pain in specific muscle groups, sometimes described as a deep ache or tightness.
  • Trigger Points: One of many terms which point to persistent, palpable disorder in the tissue to be distinguished from spasm, inflammation per se or swelling/edema. These lesions are at the heart of the pain that comes with the disorder.
  • Limited Range of Motion: Difficulty in moving affected areas due to pain and stiffness.
  • Referred Pain: Pain that goes from trigger points to other areas of the body- to be distinguished from radicular pain.

Diagnosing Chronic Myofascial Pain

Diagnosing can be challenging, as it often mimics other conditions. Healthcare professionals may rely on a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic tools like electromyography (EMG) to pinpoint trigger points and assess muscle function.

Tactile discernment of myofascial lesions is relied on most by the providers that care for the condition, a condition which commonly eludes more technical diagnostic efforts.

Treatment Approaches

Managing chronic myofascial pain requires a comprehensive approach. Some commonly employed treatments include:

  1. Chiropractic care: Finding a chiropractor that works on tissues as well as joints is a good starting point for conservative care.
  2. Massage Therapy: Manual manipulation of muscles to release tension and alleviate trigger points.
  3. Medications: Medical intervention has proven necessary and effective for recalcitrant cases.
  4. Trigger Point Injections: Medications can be injected directly into trigger points to alleviate pain and inflammation.
  5. Physical Rehab/Self Care: Targeted exercises and stretches to improve muscle flexibility and reduce trigger point sensitivity.
  6. Physical Modalities: Therapeutics to support necessary recuperation.

Seeking Professional Support

It’s crucial to consult with a physician, such as Dr. Seals at Grovetown Chiropractic if you think you are suffering from this. He can provide a personalized diagnosis and recommend an appropriate treatment plan tailored to your specific needs.

Chronic myofascial pain is a multifaceted condition that requires a holistic approach to management. By understanding its causes, recognizing symptoms, and exploring various treatment options, individuals can take proactive steps toward alleviating pain and improving their overall well-being.

Remember, the information provided on the blog or newsletter is for general informational purposes and should not be considered as medical advice. Always consult with a healthcare professional for personalized guidance based on your specific situation.


Donaid Seals


[1] Myofascial pain – causes & treatment: Made for this moment. Made For This Moment | Anesthesia, Pain Management & Surgery. (n.d.). https://www.asahq.org/madeforthismoment/pain-management/types-of-pain/myofascial-pain-syndrome/#:~:text=Myofascial%20pain%20syndrome%20is%20a,with%20trigger%20points%20in%20muscles.