Myofascial trigger point pain

Alpha Omegan. 2013 Spring-Summer;106(1-2):14-22.


Myofascial trigger point pain is an extremely prevalent cause of persistent pain disorders in all parts of the body, not just the head, neck, and face. Features include deep aching pain in any structure, referred from focally tender points in taut bands of skeletal muscle (the trigger points). Diagnosis depends on accurate palpation with 2-4 kg/cm2 of pressure for 10 to 20 seconds over the suspected trigger point to allow the referred pain pattern to develop. In the head and neck region, cervical muscle trigger points (key trigger points) often incite and perpetuate trigger points (satellite trigger points) and referred pain from masticatory muscles. Management requires identification and control of as many perpetuating factors as possible (posture, body mechanics, psychological stress or depression, poor sleep or nutrition). Trigger point therapies such as spray and stretch or trigger point injections are best used as adjunctive therapy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Facial Pain / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Headache / diagnosis
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Masseter Muscle / physiopathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / diagnosis*
  • Neck Muscles / physiopathology
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Referred / physiopathology
  • Temporal Muscle / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / diagnosis*
  • Tinnitus / diagnosis
  • Trigger Points / physiopathology*
  • Whiplash Injuries / complications