Exercise of Myofascial Pain Syndrome
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) is essentially defined as a painful musculoskeletal condition, characterized by the development of Myofascial trigger points (TrPs). These points are locally tender when active and refer pain through specific patterns to other areas of the body.
This disorder generally develops in the skeletal muscles and the membranes which cover them. Patients have specific areas of deep tenderness in the muscles, known as trigger points.
These trigger points might occur as a result of trauma, a repetitive motion injury, prolonged improper posture or a disease such as arthritis. When pressed upon, a trigger point causes pain that is felt elsewhere in the body, known as referred pain.
MPS and Exercises
Exercise is considered to be one of the most significant treatment methods for relief from the symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
When performed rigorously and with proper caution, an exercise regimen can improve sleep patterns, strengthen the muscles and finally take some pressure off the isolated areas of chronic tightness.
Research indicates that apart from medications and minimally invasive techniques, a set of planned exercises and a regular exercise regimen can be of great help for relief from the symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
However, experts suggest that when performed too rigorously, exercises can also aggravate the symptoms and make the person feel all the more worse. Thus, it is important to maintain a balance when planning your exercise regimen and also take proper medical consultation.
Aim of Exercises
The exercise regimen followed for the Myofascial Pain Syndrome is basically aimed at designing the muscles that clench the jaws.
For maximum benefit, these exercises should be followed in a fixed and regular routine, as far as possible.
The Underlying Principle
There is a specific logic that forms a basis of all the exercises performed for the Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
It is based on the fact that there are two groups of muscles surrounding each joint. When one side is shortening and contracting, the brain switches off the muscles on the other side of the joint. Around the jaw muscles in spasm, there are those that clench the jaw or close the mouth.
By brining into action the muscles which open the mouth isometrically, the clenchers are switched off.
There are a vast series of exercises that can be carried out for relief from the symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome.
In this section, we explain each one of them briefly, along with the main instructions for each.
This exercise will make you try to open your mouth against the resistance of the fist.
- Stand straight in front of a mirror
- Place your right fist (left, if left-handed) underneath the chin
- Try to gently open your mouth against the resistance of the fist
The test of the accuracy of this exercise is that it should not result in any significant movement of the jaw.
- In continuation of the above, now place your fist on the right side of your chin
- Attempt to move your jaw towards your fist which is pressing in the opposite direction
The test of this exercise is that the joint should rotate as a hinge and no clicking should take place
- Touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth
- Guide your tongue as far back as it can go
- Keep the tongue in that position and gently try to open your mouth
- Avoid the movement of your lower jaw throughout this exercise
If you’ve managed to do this exercise accurately, then you should feel the muscles tighten under the chin.
For the above exercises to have the maximum possible effects, it is important that you follow the below listed set of guidelines.
- Repeat all the exercises at least eight times a day.
- Do all the exercises at a fixed time of the day, as far as possible.
- After you do one set of exercises at a given time in the day, follow it up with massage. Using your fingertips with a gentle pressure, massage the temples and move down over the side of the face to the sides of the jaws.