Recent studies have clarified the nature of myofascial trigger points (MTrPs). In an MTrP region, multiple hyperirritable loci can be found. The sensory components of the MTrP locus are sensitized nociceptors that are responsible for pain, referred pain, and local twitch responses. The motor components are dysfunctional endplates that are responsible for taut band formation as a result of excessive acetylcholine (ACh) leakage. The concentrations of pain- and inflammation-related substances are increased in the MTrP region. It has been hypothesized that excessive ACh release, sarcomere shortening, and release of sensitizing substances are three essential features that relate to one another in a positive feedback cycle. This MTrP circuit is the connection among spinal sensory (dorsal horn) neurons responsible for the MTrP phenomena. Recent studies suggest that measurement of biochemicals associated with pain and inflammation in the MTrP region, the sonographic study of MTrPs, and the magnetic resonance elastography for taut band image are potential tools for the diagnosis of MTrPs. Many methods have been used to treat myofascial pain, including laser therapy, shockwave therapy, and botulinum toxin type A injection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Neurology
- Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine