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Dr. John S. McDonald | Dental-Related Muscle Pain | Mouth Muscle Pain | Cincinnati, Ohio
Pain of muscular origin is termed myofascial pain or myofascial pain dysfunction (MPD). It is the most frequently encountered type of chronic facial, head and neck pain. It is also the most frequent underlying cause of temporomandibular pain and dysfunction (TMD), with as many as 90% of cases of TMD being attributed to it.

MPD is basically characterized as pain or tenderness, and the dysfunction arising from it, caused by tender muscle (myofascial) trigger points arising within the belly of the muscle. It is often of sudden onset with trigger points causing local and/or referred pain.

The sine qua non of MPD is a tender muscle trigger point. Trigger points may be active or latent. Active trigger points produce pain or other abnormal sensory symptoms and may produce or reproduce the patients' complaint of pain or dysfunction and may refer pain to a distant site, or sites. Latent trigger points present with tenderness on palpation, but to a lesser extent, and do not refer pain to a distant site. Significant motor dysfunction may arise from either active or latent trigger points.

A variety of treatment modalities, singly or in combination, may be employed in treating MPD pain with the breadth of therapies involved tailored to the individual patient needs.
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