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Using Massage Therapy in the Treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome is a painful condition that affects the muscles and fascia, the sheath of tissue that surrounds the muscles. Myofascial pain syndrome differs from other types of pain conditions in that the pain originates in trigger points, sensitive points in the muscles that trigger sensations of pain when touched.

Trigger points can be latent or active. A latent trigger point does not cause constant pain, but is tender when touched and can be activated through muscle use. An active trigger point causes constant pain and can prevent normal muscle functioning, leading to decreased range of motion and weakness.

What Causes It?

Myofascial pain syndrome has many possible causes. It may develop from a muscle injury, repetitive strain on a muscle or muscle group, or a lack of physical activity. Research reveals that stress and anxiety can increase the risk for myofascial pain. When stressed, the body releases hormones that increase pain sensitivity and muscle tension.

How Is It Treated?

Treatment for myofascial pain typically includes pain relieving medications, trigger point injections and/or undergoing massage therapy in Toronto. Massage therapy for myofascial pain often utilizes myofascial release, a technique that focuses on resolving the pain arising from tight muscles and fascia.

What Is Myofascial Release Therapy?

During myofascial release therapy, a registered massage therapist or RMT in Toronto, like those from Sage Health and Wellness Clinic, uses light manual pressure to locate areas on the body that feel stiff and fixed instead of supple and movable. These areas, although often some distance away from the trigger points causing the pain, are believed to restrict muscle and joint movements, contributing to widespread pain.

The therapist massages and stretches these areas with light manual pressure. The aim of this is to release pressure and relieve tightness. The process is repeated several times until the tension is fully released.

What Are The Risks?

Myofascial release therapy has very few risks. Research reveals it to be an effective treatment for easing pain. However, it may not be suitable for people with arthritis, osteoporosis, deep vein thrombosis or broken bones. In rare cases, it may cause internal bleeding and difficulty moving the muscles. Otherwise, undergoing massage therapy for this particular kind of pain can bring you your much-needed relief.


Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP) (my.clevelandclinic.org)
What Is Myofascial Release and Does It Work? (healthline.com)
What is Soft Tissue Release (STR)? (gcmt.org.uk)