Because many of the signs and symptoms of myofascial pain syndrome are similar to various other disorders, you may see several doctors before receiving a diagnosis.
What you can do
You're likely to start with a visit to your primary care doctor, who may refer you to a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating muscle and joint conditions (rheumatologist). You may get more from your appointment if you do these things beforehand:
- Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance to prepare for your evaluation.
- Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
- Make a list of your key medical information, including any other conditions for which you're being treated, and the names of any medications, vitamins or supplements you're taking.
- Consider questions to ask your doctor and write them down. Bring along notepaper and a pen to jot down information as your doctor addresses your questions.
For myofascial pain syndrome, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What are the possible causes of my symptoms?
- Is my condition temporary?
- Will I need treatment?
- What treatments are available?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor or health care provider is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on.
Questions your doctor might ask include:
Dec. 09, 2014
- What symptoms are you experiencing?
- Where do you feel the most intense area of pain?
- How long have you been experiencing these symptoms?
- Do your symptoms seem to come and go, or are they persistent?
- Does anything seem to make your symptoms better?
- Does anything seem to make your symptoms worse?
- Are your symptoms worse in the morning or at any particular time of the day?
- Do you perform repetitive tasks on the job or for hobbies?
- Have you had any recent injuries?
- Does your pain cause you to limit your activities?
- Frontera WR, et al. Essentials of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: Musculoskeletal Disorders, Pain, and Rehabilitation. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2008. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 14, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed Oct. 14, 2014.
- McMahon SB, et al. Wall & Melzack's Textbook of Pain. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2013. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 14, 2014.
- Kushner I. Overview of soft tissue rheumatic disorders. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 14, 2014.
- Rakel RE. Textbook of Family Medicine. 8th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed Oct. 14, 2014.
- Gerwin RD. Diagnosis of myofascial pain syndrome. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2014;25:341.
- Borg-Stein J, et al. Myofascial pain syndrome treatments. Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2014;25:357.
- AskMayoExpert. Myofascial pain. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2014.
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