What is Myofascial Pain?

Chronic myofascial pain (CMP) is a pain characterized by trigger points in the musculature causing pain in distinct areas of the body. Pain symptoms of CMP can be severe and debilitating. While much of the underlying mechanics of myofascial pain is not clearly understood, research suggests that symptoms are derived from the existence of trigger points within muscles, which are activated by injury or repetitive strain to muscles. It is generally understood that while one trigger point may be responsible for an experience of myofascial pain, it is more commonly a network of several trigger points that contribute to pain in a given region.

The defining clinical definition of myofascial pain is an active pain trigger point, experienced as a focused point of tenderness within a muscle. Pain associated with myofascial pain is usually experienced as dull aching of a muscle and the associated muscle group. Referred pain, or pain experienced at a site adjacent or not near the originating trigger point, is also common.