Myofascial pain syndrome is a type of chronic pain that affects the connective tissue covering the muscles (called fascia). The pain can result from pressure on trigger points, or sensitive parts of your muscles. The pain can be in one muscle or a group of muscles.

Sometimes, the pain is felt in a different part of the body than the source of the pain. This is called referred pain.

A muscle injury or too much strain on a muscle, muscle group, ligament, or tendon, can cause myofascial pain. This can happen from repetitive motions in jobs or hobbies or muscle tension from stress. Lack of activity, for example, from a broken arm in a sling, can also cause myofascial pain.

Symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome

Myofascial pain syndrome usually only affects one side of the body or causes significantly more pain on one side than the other. Common symptoms are:

  • Deep, aching pain in a muscle
  • Pain that continues or gets worse
  • Tenderness
  • Spasms
  • Difficulty sleeping because of pain
  • Stiffness after inactivity
  • Activity or stress can make the pain worse