‘Trigger point (myofascial) pain’
A myofascial pain syndrome is more likely if the pain has lingered on after an injury (sometimes even quite a minor one); or if you have noticed very tender points in the muscles of one part of your body (tenderness all over the body goes against a myofascial cause). You may have found tender points that cause pain elsewhere when pressed. These ‘trigger points’ can be some way from the target area. For instance trigger points in the shoulder muscles can cause a headache in the temples; certain trigger points in the buttocks can give you low back pain. If the muscles have tightened up, you might have noticed a reduced range of motion in the joint moved by the painful muscle’s.
The essential outcome of any myofascial treatment is to desensitise the trigger points so that the muscle can stretch and relax. I usually treat myofascial pain syndromes with a combination of
osteopathy and acupuncture. Sometimes I inject trigger points to reduce their sensitivity. Relaxation techniques are sometimes important, especially when long term pain has increased a person’s stress levels.
Muscle pain: all over the body, long term
The pain of a myofascial syndrome is typically brought on by particular movements, and it tends to be confined to one part of the body. But people with fibromyalgia ache in many different places and may have noticed that several parts of their body feel very tender when touched or pressed. And the pain of fibromyalgia syndrome typically develops more gradually so its unlikely you would remember a particular time when your symptoms began. In addition, people with this kind of pain often complain of poor sleep, and experience considerable fatigue.