The word “myofascial” comes from “myo,” meaning muscle tissue, and “fascia,” the connective tissue in and surrounding the muscles. When a trigger point within the muscle is activated, the muscle fibers contract. The resulting sensation from trigger point activation may take the form of referred pain, or pain in an area other than the point of origin. For example, a trigger in the trapezius muscle, which helps raise the shoulder, can shoot pain up the shoulder to the neck and head and can be experienced as a headache.
While the exact cause of myofascial pain is unknown, there are some working theories that may explain the symptoms of the disease. Muscle injury or repetitive strain may be an underlying cause, which activate myofascial trigger points. Psychological stressors and physical strain may also increase muscle tension along fibers referred to as the taut band, a hardened ropelike stretch of muscle fibers in which triggers are present. Myofascial pain may also originate from postural stressors, such as poor body posture at a desk, held for prolonged periods.
Myofacial trigger point injections are used to treat this condition.
Use of a long a acting local anesthetic is injected into painful contracted points in a muscle, ie spasm. These trigger points are common in the both the neck and the low back, but can
occur in any muscle.