Targeting myofascial taut bands by ultrasound

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2013 Jul;17(7):349. doi: 10.1007/s11916-013-0349-4.


Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a frequent diagnosis in chronic pain and is characterized by tender, taut bands known as trigger points. The trigger points are painful areas in skeletal muscle that are associated with a palpable nodule within a taut band of muscle fibers. Despite the prevalence of myofascial pain syndrome, diagnosis is based on clinical criteria alone. A growing body of evidence that suggests that taut bands are readily visualized under ultrasound-guided exam, especially when results are correlated with elastography, multidimensional imaging, and physical exam findings such as local twitch response. The actual image characteristic in B mode appears to be controversial. Ultrasonography provides an objective modality to assist with diagnosis and treatment of trigger points in the future.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain / diagnostic imaging*
  • Chronic Pain / physiopathology
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques* / methods
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Muscle, Skeletal / diagnostic imaging*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiopathology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnostic imaging*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Trigger Points / diagnostic imaging*