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Most people have muscle pain from time to time. Chronic myofascial pain is an ongoing or longer-lasting pain that can affect the connective tissue (fascia) of a muscle or group of muscles.
The source of myofascial pain is called a “trigger point.” Trigger points are usually in fascia or a tight muscle. The cause of this pain is unknown.
Myofascial Pain Symptoms
The primary symptom of chronic myofascial pain is ongoing or longer-lasting muscle pain, in areas such as the low back, neck, shoulders, and chest. You might feel the pain, or the pain may get worse when you press on a trigger point. The muscle may be swollen or hard (“knot”).
Symptoms of myofascial pain may include:
- A muscle that is sensitive or tender when touched
- Muscle pain that occurs when pressure is applied to a trigger point
- Pain that feels like aching, burning, stinging, or stabbing
- Reduced range of motion in the affected area
- Perceived weakness in the affected muscle
Treatment Options for Myofascial Pain
Myofascial pain often goes away with conservative treatment, including:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Cooling spray
- Massage therapy
- Physical therapy
- Trigger point anesthetic shots (injections)
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
Your doctor may also recommend nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or aspirin, for pain. Antidepressants or muscle relaxants can help relax muscles and relieve sleep problems related to myofascial pain. Acupuncture may also be an effective treatment.
Why Choose Weill Cornell Medicine for Myofascial Pain?
The physicians at Weill Cornell Medicine Division of Pain Management use the latest research, the most advanced equipment, and innovative therapies to diagnose pain and develop customized pain management plans for each patient.
Weill Cornell Medicine also offers clinical trials, giving patients access to treatments that may not be widely available. Learn more about Pain Management's current clinical trials.
We work closely with a broad team of specialists to provide the highest quality care. Our team includes experts in myofascial pain. We help many patients live with less pain and less severe symptoms.
Contact us today to schedule a consultation.