Myofascial pain syndrome of the head and neck: a review of clinical characteristics of 164 patients

Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol. 1985 Dec;60(6):615-23. doi: 10.1016/0030-4220(85)90364-0.


Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a common but misunderstood muscular pain disorder involving pain referred from small, tender trigger points within myofascial structures in or distant from the area of pain. Misdiagnosis or inadequate management of this disorder after onset may lead to development of a complex chronic pain syndrome. A review of the clinical characteristics of 164 patients whose chief complaints led to the diagnosis of MPS revealed that these patients had (1) tenderness at points in firm bands of skeletal muscle that were consistent with past reports, (2) specific patterns of pain referral associated with each trigger point, (3) frequent emotional, postural, and behavioral contributing factors, and (4) frequent associated symptoms and concomitant diagnoses.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Facial Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / etiology
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / physiopathology*
  • Myofascial Pain Syndromes / psychology
  • Neck / physiopathology
  • Stress, Psychological / complications
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / etiology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome / psychology