Diagnosis of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am. 2014 May;25(2):341-55. doi: 10.1016/j.pmr.2014.01.011. Epub 2014 Mar 18.


Myofascial pain is one of the most common causes of pain. The diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is made by muscle palpation. The source of the pain in MPS is the myofascial trigger point, a very localized region of tender, contracted muscle that is readily identified by palpation. The trigger point has well-described electrophysiologic properties and is associated with a derangement of the local biochemical milieu of the muscle. A proper diagnosis of MPS includes evaluation of muscle as a cause of pain, and assessment of associated conditions that have an impact on MPS.

Keywords: Active trigger points; Diagnosis; Latent trigger points; Muscle; Myofascial pain; Referred pain; Trigger points.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Comorbidity
  • Electromyography / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Medical History Taking / methods
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Palpation / methods*
  • Physical Examination / methods
  • Prognosis
  • Risk Assessment
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Trigger Points
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler / methods