Self-treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is typically defined as a chronic local or regional musculoskeletal disorder, involving a single muscle or a muscle group.
The pain associated with MPS most commonly occurs in the head, neck, shoulders, arms, legs and lower back. Such pain of the Myofascial Pain Syndrome might be of a burning, stabbing, aching or nagging quality. Such pain arises from trigger points that develop throughout the affected area.
Self Treatment – The Basics
The basis for the self-care regimen for treatment of the Myofascial Pain Syndrome lies in the fact that there is no specific single line of treatment recommended for Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
The core aim of self-treatment in this condition is aimed at the following two objectives:
Managing the symptoms Improving quality of life
There are a vast series of measures that can be adopted for relief from the symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome. In this section we have discussed each one of these in detail.
1) Overall lifestyle adaptation
To cope with the stress associated with the Myofascial Pain Syndrome, it is most important to make a general adaptation in your overall lifestyle. The trigger points associated with the Myofascial Pain Syndrome develop over time and result from a series of factors that can very well be avoided with certain specific measures. Here we list the main steps you can take:
Develop and maintain a healthy sleep pattern Maintain a healthy diet Avoid smoking Reduce intake of alcohol
2) Avoid Fatigue
A majority of symptoms associated with the Myofascial Pain Syndrome develop due to fatigue and allied causes. The main reasons that contribute to excessive fatigue are:
Overexertion Repetitive actions Improper techniques of work Inadequate and disturbed sleep
It is important that an individual with Myofascial Pain Syndrome or prone to recurrence of the symptoms of the same maintains a balance in the amount of activity he or she does. He can make use of the numerous pacing techniques available.
In addition, avoid repetitive actions which might stress out some specific muscles more than the rest. Insufficient amount of sleep and non-restorative sleep are other major causes of excessive fatigue that should be avoided as a self-care measure for avoiding this disorder.
3) Postural Management
It is important that a patient suffering from Myofascial Pain Syndrome or likely to develop the symptoms of the same learns to maintain an accurate posture at all the times. Improper posture is one of the leading causes for the development of the Myofascial Pain Syndrome. People who do not sit, stand, walk and sleep in the right posture are more likely to develop the symptoms.
The trigger points and other sensitive areas in the condition of Myofascial Pain Syndrome respond very well to massage. The trigger points are basically defined by tightness in the muscle. The tightness is eased very well with self-massage using a variety of tools.
There are a vast series of tools available in the market for the same. These include sticks and widgets, rollers and thumpers, balls and wooden thumbs and many more.
5) Warm baths
The key to self-care in Myofascial Pain Syndrome is to learn to relax and soothe yourself. Warm baths taken in pleasant surroundings often help to ease a lot of mental stress and takes off the pressure from your muscles as well.
6) Avoid stress
Stress should be avoided under all circumstances for a healthy life. It is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, observe good work habits and consciously try to maintain a relaxed disposition to avoid being affected by stress.
Self-medication should generally be taken in consultation with the healthcare provider. However, there are certain NSAIDs and other painkillers that can be taken by the patient himself to get relief from immediate symptoms of pain.
It is also helpful to plan and maintain a regular regimen for exercise. Exercise improves the general flexibility in the body and provides adequate strengthening to the muscles and the overall musculoskeletal system. There are a series of exercises that can be taken up. The patients of Myofascial Pain Syndrome can also take professional help from a physiotherapist for the same.