It’s fairly well known that large amounts of stress can cause a variety of health problems. Stress can affect your weight, sleep, eating habits, and ability to concentrate. Another lesser known risk of stress is that it can bring about intense physical pain, known as myofascial pain syndrome.
What Is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
Most people at some point in their life have experienced muscle pain of some sort. Sometimes it’s a minor pain, other times it’s more debilitating. However, many types of muscle pains can be easily relieved at home with proper rest and stretching, and may not require doctor intervention. Myofascial pain syndrome differs in the fact that it’s a chronic pain which persists and in some cases, gets worse. It also has a unique symptom that’s called referred pain, where sensitive trigger points in your muscles can actually cause pain in seemingly unrelated parts of the body. In addition to the referred pain symptoms, myofascial pain syndrome can also manifest itself as a deep, aching pain in the muscle, persistent pain that continues to get worse, a knot in the muscle where the pain occurs, and difficulty sleeping due to the pain.
What Causes Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
The syndrome gets its name from the system which it affects, the fascial system. The fascial system is composed of the connective tissues that are found throughout the body, along muscles, bones, nerve blood vessels, and organs. Since the fascial system runs through the entire body, it’s difficult to detect exact causes of the pain through testing like CAT scans or X-rays. Stress and anxiety are a common cause of myofascial pain syndrome. This is likely due to the fact that stress can cause a person to clench and unclench their muscles repeatedly, causing strain due to the repeated muscle tension as a result of the stress. In addition to stress related causes, the pain can be brought on by an injury to the muscle. It can even result from repetitive motions and poor posture.
When Should I Visit My Doctor?
If you have been experiencing pain in your muscles that either doesn’t go away, or in some cases, worsens, NewSouth NeuroSpine can determine if you are suffering from this chronic pain syndrome. Your NS2 physician will conduct a physical exam of any pain points and muscular injuries, as well as discuss any history of injuries, pain, or any other stress related issues you might be experiencing. Depending on your individual case, we are able to offer a few different treatment options which may include exercises and physical therapy designed to ease pain in a specific area. Massages or heat may also be recommended. We are able to pair these non-invasive treatments with medications or trigger point injections when needed, depending on your individual case and how your body responds to the physical therapy.
If you’ve read through this information and find yourself identifying with the symptoms and condition described above, it’s time to book an appointment with NewSouth NeuroSpine for an exam and discussion of necessary treatment.