Myofascial pain disorder (MPD), or myofascial pain syndrome, is caused by the development of trigger points in the muscles of the jaw, face, and neck. Trigger points can cause pain, stiffness, and a limited range of motion in the jaw. It’s the most common type of TMJ disorder and is typically treated with physical therapy, massage therapy, and trigger point injections.
Trigger points are typically small, palpable knots or nodules within muscle tissue. When pressure is applied to these points, they can produce pain and often radiate pain to other areas of the body. There are two types of trigger points:
Symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome can be mild or severe and may be intermittent or constant. They can also be exacerbated by activities that involve the jaw, such as eating, talking, or yawning.
Some symptoms include:
If you experience these symptoms, contact our dentist in Grand Haven to schedule a TMJ consultation.
Myofascial pain syndrome can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Anyone can develop myofascial pain syndrome, regardless of age, gender, or occupation. However, certain factors may increase the risk of developing the condition:
Treatment options for myofascial pain syndrome may vary depending on its severity and the underlying causes of the condition. Common treatments include:
To diagnose MPD, a healthcare provider will typically perform a physical exam, assess the patient’s medical history and symptoms, and may order imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs. In some cases, electromyography (EMG) or other specialized tests may also help diagnose the condition.
While there’s no sure way to prevent myofascial pain disorder, several habits can help reduce the risk of developing the condition. Maintaining good posture, avoiding habits like teeth clenching or grinding, and using proper techniques when playing sports can help prevent the development of TMJ disorders. Additionally, regular exercise, a healthy diet, and maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the risk of developing MPD.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of myofascial pain in the TMJ, it’s crucial to speak with a healthcare professional to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Don’t let pain and discomfort interfere with your daily life.