How a Knotted Muscle in Your Neck Can Make Your Tooth Hurt, and Other Myofascial Mysteries

It’s a sudden ache or pain in your lower back, your arm, or your tooth. The doctor or dentist examines you, but there’s no apparent cause! What’s going on? Myofascial pain affects an estimated 85% of the general population at some point during their lives. However, many medical professionals aren’t trained to spot the symptoms.

At Metro Pain and Vein Centers, with locations across New York and New Jersey, our team of experienced pain management professionals can correctly identify myofascial pain syndrome and help you overcome the triggers that cause you to have pain. We can also treat your immediate and chronic pain using a variety of techniques to make you more comfortable.

Myofascial pain syndrome basics

Myofascial pain syndrome, or MFP, is caused by hypersensitive bands within your muscles that create trigger points. When a muscle knots up, it can cause referred pain in an area of the body far away from that particular muscle, setting off a pain response in a nerve located elsewhere.

Most people with myofascial pain can have difficulty getting a diagnosis. That’s because not all doctors will think to search for and stimulate trigger nerves to see if they can get a “jump response” from the affected area of the body. At Metro Pain and Vein Clinics, our physicians and staff are familiar with trigger points and reactions, and can often quickly identify the muscle responsible for the referred pain.

Common points for referred myofascial pain

The most common areas for referred myofascial pain include:

Your head

Sudden or stubborn head pain with no other apparent cause could be caused by myofascial triggers, often in the neck or upper back, producing a migraine or tension-type headache.

Your neck

Pain in the neck can also be caused by myofascial trigger referral. Any pressure on the trigger, no matter its location, can generate instant neck pain. 

Your lower back

If you have lower back pain but no degeneration of the spine and no injury, it could be myofascial pain syndrome. A muscle group distant from your back could trigger a painful nerve response. 

Your teeth

Up to 25% of facial and tooth pain is thought to be caused by myofascial pain syndrome. In most cases, once the trigger is addressed, the phantom pain in the tooth disappears. 

Myofascial pain can also manifest in your arms or legs, or even in your upper chest. If you think your pain could be caused by myofascial triggers, especially if you feel knotted muscles or can trigger a pain response by pressing on that knot, contact us for a consultation. You can call any of our eleven locations in New York or New Jersey, or request an appointment online.

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