Myofascial pain syndrome is a common disease affecting the muscles and associated soft tissue. Patients with myofascial pain and dysfunction present with one or more trigger points that can be stimulated by pressure or nothing at all. It is estimated that anywhere between 30 to 85 per cent of patients with musculoskeletal pain suffer from myofascial pain and dysfunction, usually impacting people aged 27 to 50.

Myofascial pain and dysfunction are often misdiagnosed because it’s hidden in other diagnoses like headaches or pain associated with the neck and shoulder, pelvis, limbs, or nerves. Trigger points often develop in the following muscles:

  • Sternocleidomastoid
  • Trapezius
  • Levator scapulae
  • Infraspinatus
  • Rhomboids

The causes of myofascial pain and dysfunction are a matter of debate. Factors like muscle injuries, pinched nerves, and emotional stress can all play a role. In addition to pain, patients may also complain of a reduced range of motion.

Treating Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction

There are many treatment modalities for myofascial pain and dysfunction. Patients may be prescribed pain killers, antidepressants, and sedatives. Physical therapy involving stretching, posture training, and massage are also common. Finally, some patients may have a steroid injected into the trigger point.

Shockwave therapy has also emerged as a clinically proven, drug-free, and non-invasive treatment modality. Using acoustic soundwaves, shockwave therapy targets an affected area by enhancing metabolism and circulation, stimulating the cells responsible for healing damaged tissue and bone.

Clinical Data for Shockwave Therapy

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials published in the American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation assessed the effectiveness of shockwave therapy on pain intensity and neck disability for patients with myofascial pain and dysfunction in the neck and shoulder.

Researchers included 11 randomized controlled trials in their study, including a total of 505 participants with 231 in shockwave groups and 274 in control groups. The sample size ranged from 20 to 70 participants per study, and their mean age ranged from approximately 33 to 63 years.

Researchers concluded that shockwave therapy was “superior to other treatments in terms of alleviating the pain intensity and pressure pain threshold of patients” with myofascial pain and dysfunction in the neck and shoulder. Researchers highlighted, in particular, the “significant improvement in pain relief.”

Treating Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction With Shockwave Therapy

Shockwave therapy is an effective treatment modality for many musculoskeletal conditions including soft tissue disorders, tendinopathies, and more. Shockwave Canada is the exclusive distributor of Storz Medical devices, the industry leader in shockwave technology. Our devices will expand the scope of your practice, making you more competitive.

Call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit our website to learn more about this groundbreaking technology.