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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2001 Oct;5(5):412-20.

Classification, epidemiology, and natural history of myofascial pain syndrome.

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  • 1Johns Hopkins University, Department of Neurology, 7830 Old Georgetown Road, Bethesda, MD 20814-2432, USA.


Myofascial pain syndrome is a disease of muscle that produces local and referred pain. It is characterized by a motor abnormality (a taut or hard band within the muscle) and by sensory abnormalities (tenderness and referred pain). It is classified as a musculoskeletal pain syndrome that can be acute or chronic, regional or generalized. It can be a primary disorder causing local or regional pain syndromes, or a secondary disorder that occurs as a consequence of some other condition. When it becomes chronic, it tends to generalize, but it does not change to fibromyalgia. It is a treatable condition that can respond well to manual and injection techniques, but requires attention to postural, ergonomic, and structural factors, and toxic or metabolic factors that impair muscle function.

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