REVIEW – December 2020

Myofascial pain

Authors: Oksana Ivask, Diana Schmidt

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Myofascial pain (MP) is a common condition the symptoms of which are associated with triggerpoint formation in skeletal muscles. Many factors such as muscle trauma, overload and parafunctions, as well as depression, anxiety and sleep disorders, are involved in the etiology of this complex disorder. MP as a diagnosis is frequently overlooked because it is complicated by development of referred pain, which can divert attention from the initial source of the disorder. The most important criteria for diagnosing MP are presence of palpable nodules in taut bands of muscle fibres, hypersensitive point and referred pain. Patient education about the nature of MP and its risk factors, as well as engagement in active training and exercise serve as the foundation of MP management. Pharmacotherapy, needle therapy and massage can be combined with the above therapies to address primary complaints and comorbid symptoms. The role of low-level laser therapy in the management of MP is also being increasingly studied.