Myofascial Pain

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Houston Methodist offers personalized care and the most advanced therapies to treat myofascial pain (pain of the muscle fascia). Our board-certified experts are among the most experienced in Texas.

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic condition that affects the outer lining (fascia) of your muscles, causing deep, aching pain in seemingly unrelated areas of the body. It differs from common muscle tension pain because it persists and often gets worse despite treatment.

If you have lingering muscle pain, it may be time to see a specialist. Houston Methodist’s myofascial pain experts combine decades of advanced training with leading-edge research innovations. We can create a personalized, integrative pain management plan to help restore your quality of life.

Diagnosing & Treating Myofascial Pain

How is myofascial pain diagnosed?

While there are no specific tests to diagnose myofascial pain, our experts can precisely determine your diagnosis based on your medical history and symptoms. Patients with myofascial pain syndrome often report symptoms such as:


  • Deep, aching or throbbing muscle pain not related to a specific injury or illness 
  • Fatigue  
  • Headaches 
  • Muscle weakness 
  • Reduced range of motion 
  • Referred pain in other areas of the body 
  • Sleep problems 
  • Stress, depression or anxiety 
  • Tender or sore muscles 
  • Trigger points — small, painful knots in the muscles


Based on your symptoms, we assess the strength and range of motion of the affected muscle(s). We might also apply gentle pressure to trigger points to gauge your physical responses. 

The causes of myofascial pain are often unclear. We do know that certain symptoms of myofascial pain can be caused by:


  • Poor posture 
  • Muscle strain or repetitive muscle-use injury, usually related to work 
  • Stress-related tension 
  • Working or living in a cold environment 


Your specialist may request additional testing or imaging to rule out other potential medical issues that could be causing your symptoms. From there, we will customize a treatment plan to manage your symptoms, restore your energy and improve your quality of life. 

What treatments are available?

Many patients find relief from specific, gentle exercise and physical therapy to strengthen surrounding muscles in support of the affected fascia. A nutritious diet can also support myofascial health and healing. Practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation can help relieve stress-related muscle tension that compounds myofascial pain. 

Additional treatment options can include: 


  • Acupuncture and massage therapy  
  • Anesthetic or steroid injections to relax the affected muscles  
  • BOTOX® injections to numb the affected area 
  • Medications to relieve pain or improve sleep 
  • Topical creams with lidocaine or capsaicin 

What if I need advanced care or a second opinion?

Living with myofascial pain can be stressful and isolating. Getting a precise diagnosis is the key to reducing symptoms and keeping you active. Houston Methodist’s compassionate team of pain specialists and therapists can help you find the answers and care plan to improve your quality of life. 

Understanding Chronic Pain

Struggling with chronic pain? Explore suggestions for dealing with debilitating symptoms. 

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