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Myofascial Pain Syndrome In Neck



October 30, 2018
Samantha Milano
Physical Therapy and Increasing Mobility, Physical Therapy

Do you have a pain in your neck? Do you feel a knot of stiff muscle that causes pain to radiate to your upper back, shoulders and neck when you touch it? You may have myofascial pain syndrome. This is a painful condition that results from a trigger point found near the neck.

Understanding trigger points

Trigger points are those spots in your muscles that are tender to the touch. People often use the term knots to describe them. The easiest way to describe them is a bundle of muscle that is contracted and twitches when touched.

Trigger points often occur as a result of mechanical injuries such as stress or strains on the muscles. A neck trigger point, for example, can occur as a result of a sports-related injury or whiplash caused in a car accident. Trigger points can also result from repetitive day-to-day activities that can affect your health over time such as poor posture when sitting or straining your neck while working at your computer.

Trigger points are not to be confused with fibromyalgia, which are localized tender spots. Trigger points result in referred pain or pain that spreads to other parts of the body.

Treating myofascial pain syndrome in the neck

Diagnosing and treating trigger points can be complex. This is because the pain does not occur where the trigger point is located. Jaw pain or toothaches can actually be a result of a trigger point located in the neck region.

There are different ways to treat trigger points in the neck. These range from home remedies to injections administered by a doctor. However, myofascial massage therapy administered by a licensed physical therapist is proving to be one of the most effective long term techniques for pain relief.