Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
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:
- 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?
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- Langford CA, et al. Myofascial pain syndrome. In: 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 Nov. 10, 2011.
- Colburn KK. Bursitis, tendinitis, myofascial pain and fibromyalgia. In: Bope ET, et al. Conn's Current Therapy. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2011. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?eid=4-u1.0-B978-1-4377-0986-5..C2009-0-38984-9--TOP&isbn=978-1-4377-0986-5&about=true&uniqId=236797353-5. Accessed Nov. 10, 2011.
- Annaswamy TM, et al. Emerging concepts in the treatment of myofascial pain: A review of medications, modalities and needle-based interventions. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. 2011;3:940.
- Bonakdar RA. Myofascial pain syndrome. In: Rakel D. Integrative Medicine. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-2/0/1494/0.html. Accessed Nov. 10, 2011.