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Myofascial Pain

Common Diagnoses with Possible Muscular Components

No, you aren't crazy and it isn't "all in your head."

Many conditions and common diagnoses have muscular components. These are extremely common but rarely considered. Nevertheless, check all symptoms with your physician. Good differential diagnosis is critical!

For example, several muscles (pectoralis major, sternalis, and scalenes) can produce angina-like chest pain. However, angina-like chest pain is not Nature's way of telling you to see a myofascial therapist; it is Nature's way of telling you to get to the Emergency Room immediately!

If there are no symptoms of heart disease, check muscles.
Before you're on your third or sixth mammogram with no reason found for chest pain and a referral for psychiatric counseling, check muscles.
When the mysterious tooth pain won't go away, check muscles.
Before you agree to exploratory surgery for pelvic pain and a referral for more psychiatric counseling when nothing is found, check muscles.

Below is a short list of possibilities. Do they seem impossible? Many of these seemingly far-fetched relationships are due to simple entrapments of nerves, blood vessels and lymph drainage.

Is it MS? or is it a trapped peroneal nerve that makes it impossible to left your toes?

Check both -- but check muscles!

Common Diagnoses Possible Muscular Origins
Achilles Tendonitis Gastrocnemius, Soleus
Atypical Facial Neuralgia Sternocleidomastoid (sternal division), Facial muscles
Arthritis, of Hip Tensor fascia lata, Vastus lateralis
Arthritis, of Knee Rectus femoris, Vastus medialis / lateralis
Arthritis, of Shoulder lnfraspinatus, Deltoid
Back Pain, Lower Quadratus lumborum, Thoracolumbar paraspinals, Gluteus (maximus / medius), Rectus abdominis, Iliopsoas
Back Pain, Upper Scalenes, Levator scapulae, Rhomboids, Latissimus dorsi, Serratus posterior superior, Thoracic paraspinals
Bursitis, shoulder (Subdeltoid) Infraspinatus, Deltoid, Supraspinatus, Trapezius
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Scalenes, Pectoralis minor, Subscapularis, Ligament of Struthers, Pronator teres. (Nerve entrapment by actual carpal tunnel is rare!)
Bursitis, hip (trochanteric) Gastrocnemius, Vastus lateralis, Tensor fascia lata, Quadratus lumborum
Duodenal ulcer Rectus abdominus
Earache (drum normal) Deep masseter
Sternocleidomastoid (clavicular division)
Groin Pain Adductors, iliopsoas
Frozen Shoulder Subscapularis
Headache (Tension and Migraine) Sternocleidomastoid, Upper trapezius, Posterior cervicals, Splenii, Temporalis.
See also Head and Neck Pain
Heel Spur Soleus, Quadratus plantae
Jaw Pain, TMJ Dysfunction Lateral pterygoid, Masseter, Temporalis
Meralgia Paresthetica Tensor fasciae latae, Sartorius
Neuralgia, Occipital Splenii, Multifidus, Semispinalis, Suboccipitals
Plantar Fascitis Gastrocnemius, Soleus
Pelvic Pain Coccygeus, Levator ani
Sciatica Posterior gluteus minimus, Piriformis
Sexual Dysfunction Piriformis, Adductors
Stiff Neck, Acute Levator scapulae, Sternocleidomastoid, Upper Trapezius
Tennis Elbow (Epicondylitis) Supinator, Wrist Extensors, Triceps brachii
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome Scalenes, Pectoralis Minor See also Head and Neck Pain
Tooth Pain Temporalis (upper teeth), Masseter (upper and lower molars), Digastric (lower incisors)

Myofascial Overview & Resources

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