Myofascial Pain in Athletes Follow-up
- Author: Auri Bruno-Petrina, MD, PhD; Chief Editor: Sherwin SW Ho, MD more...
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The athlete should avoid strenuous activity during sports, and they should always use stretching techniques prior to competitions or practice.
The single muscle MPSs usually are acute and follow an episode of muscle overload. In some cases, the pain persists and spreads to other, usually synergistic, muscles. This is referred to as a chronic regional myofascial syndrome.
Many perpetuating factors encourage transformation to a more widespread muscle pain problem. Mechanical factors include postural stress, muscle imbalances, and skeletal asymmetries. These can put additional stress on surrounding muscles, leading to spread of dysfunction and pain. Systemic perpetuating factors purportedly include anything jeopardizing the energy supply to muscle (ie, anemia, endocrine imbalances, low thyroid function, vitamin deficiencies).
Chronic regional myofascial syndromes are conceptually close to the malignant, metastasizing fibromyalgia referred to by Bennett.
Patients should avoid the mechanical and systemic factors mentioned in Complications.
The ultimate goal is to educate patients and (1) to provide them with the means to manage their own muscle pain disorder, (2) to eliminate their dependence on healthcare providers, (3) to eliminate contributing factors, providing prolonged stretch of the affected muscle, and aerobic exercises.
On performing a task, the patient must learn to keep the muscles mobilized, and not held fixed in a contracted position. Muscle fibers need to alternately contract and relax to provide blood flow and replenish their energy supply.
For excellent patient education resources, see eMedicineHealth's patient education article Chronic Pain.
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|Region||Practice||Number Studied||Prevalence of Myofascial Pain, %|
|General||Pain medical center||96||93|
|General||Comprehensive pain center||283||85|
|Craniofacial||Head and neck pain clinic||164||55|
|Angina pectoris, atypical||Pectoralis major|
|Appendicitis||Lower rectus abdominis|
|Atypical facial neuralgia||Masseter, temporalis, sternal division of the sternocleidomastoid, upper trapezius|
|Atypical migraine||Sternocleidomastoid, temporalis, posterior cervical|
|Back pain, middle||Upper rectus abdominis, thoracic paraspinals|
|Back pain, low||Lower rectus abdominis, thoracolumbar paraspinals|
|Bicipital tendinitis||Long head of the biceps brachii|
|Chronic abdominal wall pain||Abdominal muscles|
|Dysmenorrhea||Lower rectus abdominis|
|Earache, enigmatic||Deep masseter|
|Epicondylitis||Wrist extensors, supinator, triceps brachii|
|Myofascial pain dysfunction||Masticatory muscles|
|Occipital headache||Posterior cervicals|
|Post-therapeutic neuralgia||Serratus anterior, intercostals|
|Radiculopathy, C6||Pectoralis minor, scalenes|
|Scapulocostal syndrome||Scalenes, middle trapezius, levator scapulae|
|Subacromial bursitis||Middle deltoid|
|Temporomandibular joint disorder||Masseter, lateral pterygoid|
|Tennis elbow||Finger extensors, supinator|
|Tension headache||Sternocleidomastoid, masticatory, posterior cervicals, suboccipital, upper trapezius|
|Thoracic outlet syndrome||Scalenes, subscapularis, pectoralis minor and major, latissimus dorsi, teres major|
|Feature||Myofascial Pain (TrPs)||Fibromyalgia|
|Pain||Local or regional||Widespread, general|
|Muscle||Feels tense (taut bands)||Feels soft and doughy|
|Motion||Restricted range of motion||Hypermobility|
|Examination||Examine for TrPs||Examine for tender points|