Myofascial pain refers to pain in the muscle (“myo”) and the fascia (the thin, white connective tissue that’s wrapped around every muscle). Myofascial pain is often caused by trigger points.
Trigger points are painful “knots” in your muscles that can be very sensitive to touch/pressure. Sometimes you can feel these knots when you rub your muscles. They may form after acute trauma or by repetitive microtrauma, leading to stress on muscle fibers which causes the fibers to be stuck in a contracted state.
Trigger points commonly affect the neck and shoulders, back, and hips. They cause localized pain as well as decreased range of motion and referred pain. For example, trigger points affecting your trapezius muscle may cause tension headaches. A trigger point affecting the piriformis muscle in your buttocks can cause pressure on your sciatic nerve and pain or numbness in your buttock and down the back of your leg.