Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS)

A Chronic Condition Affecting the Body's Soft Tissues

Referring to pain and inflammation of the body’s soft tissues, MPS is a clinical description of chronic muscle pain.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome Facts & Information

It most often occurs when a muscle, muscle group, ligament, or tendon is strained or injured. Pain may be localized or widespread, often in conjunction with vague symptoms like numbness, fatigue, or sleep disturbance.

Our board-certified pain management doctors can accurately diagnose if MPS is the source of your pain and help you gain relief with highly effective non-surgical treatment.

How & Why Does MPS Develop?

A tough connective tissue layer called fascia covers our muscles and spreads uninterrupted throughout our bodies. When injured, this tissue may tighten and contract putting painful pressure on nerves, muscles, bones, or organs. The area where the injury occurs is referred to as a trigger point. It may feel like a “knot” or “band” in the muscle. Often very sensitive to even light pressure, these trigger points typically generate pain not only at the site, but also in various other areas of the body (referred pain). You may experience symptoms that appear totally unrelated to the original injury.

MPS usually develops between ages 20 to 40 and is more common in women and people with sedentary lifestyles. Fortunately, the causes of MPS are well known. They include:

-Damage to musculoskeletal tissues from trauma
-Injured or herniated discs
-Heavy and incorrect lifting
-Overuse of unconditioned muscles
-Immobilization of an arm or leg such as being in a cast
-Medical conditions such as heart attack, stomach irritation, or gall bladder problems
-Previous surgeries
-Nutritional deficiencies
-Hormonal changes (PMS or menopause)
-Prolonged exposure to cold, such as sleeping in front of an air conditioning vent


-Jaw pain
-Low back pain
-Pelvic pain
-Arm and leg pain
-Depression, fatigue, anxiety, or mood disturbances


Proper diagnosis starts with an experienced pain management doctor. The type of pain that you may have with myofascial pain syndrome can be similar to the symptoms of several types of disorders. Accurately determining the correct source of your pain is critical to successful treatment – diagnostic procedures include:

-Begins with a thorough clinical evaluation
-Including a complete medical history, analysis of your symptoms, and physical examination
-Testing may include x-rays, MRI and/or CT scans, and electro-diagnosis (EMG)
-These advanced diagnostic techniques definitively pinpoint the source of pain