Myofascial Pain Syndrome

If you’ve ever had an issue inside your mouth, you’re probably aware of the varying degrees of pain that comes with it. Sometimes it feels like your head is exploding just from a toothache and tenderness. We are committed to helping you correct whatever problem is going on inside your mouth and also help you manage any pain associated with it. This includes Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS). This pain is activated when pressure is applied on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points), sometimes in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This type of pain is called referred pain. We take pride in educating patients about how to prevent future oral problems. If you are experiencing pain like this in your mouth, contact us for a visit right away.

MPS commonly occurs in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). The pain is caused by tension, fatigue, or spasms in the jaw muscles. Signs and symptoms that you may be experiencing MPS include:

-Muscle pain that increasingly gets worse and does not improve over time

-A deep, aching pain or an intensely tender knot in a muscle

-Reduced range of motions due to muscles that are stiff or weak

-Pain that worsens when the affected muscle is stretched or strained

-Difficulty sleeping due to the muscle pain

MPS is usually triggered by bruxism, a condition where a person clenches or grinds their teeth during sleep. Nightguards are a great way to prevent bruxism and ultimately the jaw soreness that is felt in the morning. MPS is not limited to just the jaw muscles, it can occur anywhere in the body including the back and neck muscles.

Other causes of MPS include:

-Nutritional deficiencies


-Poor posture or sitting too long in awkward positions



-Hormonal changes

-Lack of sleep

-Lack of exercise or movement

-Other conditions that cause inflammation

-Depression, stress, and/or anxiety

-An injury to your musculoskeletal system or intervertebral disks

-Intense cooling of muscles

There is a wide range of MPS treatments available, including:

-Splint guard, mouthguard, or nightguard

-Over the counter NSAIDs

-Mild analgesics

-Physical therapy modalities

-Anxiolytic before bed

-Muscle relaxants


-Tricyclic antidepressants

-Botox injections

-Dry needling

-Trigger point injections

-Ultrasound therapy

-Massage therapy

-Spray and stretch technique

-Improving your ergonomics at work

-Stretching often; yoga or pilates classes are great for stretching

-Taking a hot bath

-Practicing mindfulness

-Using ice or heat to soothe pain

-Adjusting your sleeping position or buying a more comfortable mattress

-Using a traction device

-Seeing a mental health professional to manage your stress, depression, and/or anxiety

-Wearing a back brace while lifting in the gym

-Using a massager to ease pain

-Exercising everyday to get your muscles moving

Are you suffering from MPS? Reach out to our office and we will get you started on a treatment plan that is right for you!

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