Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Why do I feel so stiff? Why do my muscles ache? Why does my pain go on and on?
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is a form of myalgia that is characterized by local areas of muscle hardness that are painful on palpation and sometimes felt at a distance (referred pain).
The central component of the syndrome is the trigger point.
The trigger point is a small, painful, area of abnormal muscle which is the source of the muscular dysfunction (contracted muscle fibers or intensely contracted sarcomeres).
The trigger point always lies in a taut band of hard muscle fibers.
Stimulating the trigger point mechanically or with activity produces pain with identifiable pathophysiological changes:
The concentrations of several substances are measurably elevated in the area of the active trigger point, namely substance P, CGRP, bradykinin, and assorted cytokines This indicates that there is a chemical inflammatory response.
The pH of the trigger point milieu is low, about pH 5.
The trigger point is hypoxic, ischemic and acidic.
The trigger point has a specific electromyographic feature of persistent, low-amplitude, high frequency discharges.
The trigger point can be visualized by ultrasonography.
Central connections of the trigger point are of interest because trigger point tenderness is most certainly associated with central sensitization and hypersensitivity.
Read more on tests and treatment in the book “Scientific Osteopathic Approach To Patients With Low Back Pain.”