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Myofascial pain syndrome: a bogus construct 

Myofascial pain syndrome: a bogus construct
Chapter:
Myofascial pain syndrome: a bogus construct
Author(s):

John Quintner

and Milton Cohen

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199674107.003.0014
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date: 30 March 2020

Patients present complaining of pain felt within soft tissues, usually voluntary muscles, in which regions of tenderness and firmness can be detected. Palpation of these regions, termed ‘trigger points’, is reported to reproduce the pain of which they complain. The face validity of this assertion is compelling and has generated a widely but uncritically accepted clinical model, that of ‘myofascial pain’ (MP). Allied to this is a therapeutic industry that claims success for treatment directed to ‘trigger points’. This chapter does not seek to deny the phenomena of muscle pain and tenderness in the absence of an obvious or discernible source of local nociception. Rather, an examination of the tenets of MP syndrome as an explanation for those phenomena finds that it lacks both scientifically valid evidence and logically consistent argument. A replacement for the bogus construct of MPS is necessary, to advance knowledge and enhance patient care.

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