Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder wherein stressed or injured muscles form sensitive trigger points. These points are sensitive to touch, shorten muscle fibres, and cause referred pain. Repetitive motions from jobs, hobbies, or activities or stress-related muscle tension can cause myofascial pain syndrome.
Common complaints from patients include deep, aching pain in a muscle that persists or worsens, tender knots, and disrupted sleep from the pain. Symptoms can last six months or longer. Some experts estimate a lifetime prevalence affecting up to 85 per cent of the population.
Myofascial Pain Syndrome Physical Therapy
Presently, there are no conclusive guidelines for treating myofascial pain syndrome. Conservative treatments include physical therapy such as stretching, improving posture, massage, and heat. Pain relievers, either over-the-counter or prescribed, antidepressants, and sedatives may be used.
More invasive methods include injecting numbing agents or steroids into a trigger point. Dry needling and acupuncture can also help.
Practitioners and patients looking for a non-invasive and drug-free treatment option for myofascial pain syndrome can use shockwave therapy. Using acoustic pressure waves on the affected area, shockwave therapy stimulates the body’s natural healing process by boosting metabolism and circulation.
A recently published study compared using shockwave therapy to repeated injection of 1 per cent lidocaine for treating myofascial trigger points in the upper trapezius muscle. One group of thirty patients received three weekly injections of 2 ml of 1 per cent lidocaine. A second group of thirty patients received three weekly sessions of shockwave therapy.
Researchers used a visual analogue scale to test pain as the primary outcome measurement. Secondary measurements included muscle elasticity index, pressure pain threshold, and neck disability index. Researchers evaluated patients at baseline, fifteen to thirty minutes after the first treatment, before the second treatment, and one week after the final treatment session.
While the lidocaine group performed better after the first evaluation, by the final evaluation researchers found both groups had improved significantly with no observable difference. Nonetheless, researchers concluded that shockwave was the better overall choice because it’s non-invasive and doesn’t have the same disadvantages as lidocaine injections—shockwave doesn’t cause potential bacterial and viral contamination of the treated muscle and is not myotoxic.
The Storz MASTERPULS® MP50, MP100, and MP200 offer practitioners nine different transmitter heads to target stubborn myofascial trigger points all over the body. These transmitter points are also ideal for plantar fasciitis and enthesopathies. Shockwave Canada is the country’s exclusive distributor of Storz shockwave devices, the industry’s leader for over thirty years.
To learn more call 1 (888) 741-SHOC(7462) or visit our website.