Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is characterised by chronic pain and tender muscle trigger points confined to one or two areas such as the shoulder and neck or chest wall. Referred pain to other body areas is common from the triggers points. More women are affected and it may be associated with fatigue and sleep disturbance. MPS may be related to fibromyalgia with more generalised symptoms.
MPS is not thought to be an inflammatory or degenerative condition and recent evidence suggests that the problem is one of an altered pain threshold, with more pain reported for a given amount of painful stimuli.
Diagnosis is with history, examination. Investigations such as blood tests or MRI scans may be required to exclude other causes.
Treatment is through a multimodal approach and may include specialist medication, acupuncture, exercise and lifestyle changes, trigger injections and psychological therapies.