Myofascial pain: diagnosis and management

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2004 Dec;8(6):463-7. doi: 10.1007/s11916-004-0068-y.


Clinical understanding and management of myofascial pain is overlooked frequently when dealing with pain. Myofascial pain is defined as pain or autonomic phenomena referred from active trigger points, with associated dysfunction. The trigger point is a focus of hyperirritability in the muscle that, when compressed, is locally tender and, if sensitized, gives rise to referred pain and tenderness. The pain quality is dull or achy and associated with autonomic changes. Myofascial pain is poorly understood, which results too often in underdiagnosis and poor management. The pathogenesis likely has a central mechanism with peripheral clinical manifestations. The therapy for myofascial pain requires enhancing central inhibition through pharmacology or behavioral techniques and simultaneously reducing peripheral inputs through physical therapies including exercises and trigger point-specific therapy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Analgesics / therapeutic use
  • Clinical Laboratory Techniques
  • Humans
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / epidemiology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / therapy*


  • Analgesics