The characteristics of myofascial pain in 121 patients

Shunji Shiiba, Eiji Sakamoto, Kazumi Sakamoto, Hifumi Aridome, Eriko Ootaku, Ayumi Kobayashi, Yoshiko Shirono, Yoshihiro Matsumoto, Mitsuhiro Yoshida, Osamu Nakanishi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We evaluated 121 patients with Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) who visited our hospital over a period of two years between July 1999 and June 2001. Factors considered in our analysis included: age of the patients, gender, locus of perceived pain, time elapsed between hospital visit and onset of symptoms, relationship between the degree of perceived pain and the depressive or anxiety state. The results of our study are as follows: 1. Gender: 85.1% of all MPS cases examined were female. 2. Age: Fifty-one years or older patients accounted for 57.9% of all MPS cases examined. 3. Patients having referred pain as their chief complaint accounted for 54.5% of all MPS patients. In most of those cases (49.6%), the location of perceived pain was in the teeth. The causal muscles of referred pain were determined to be the masseter muscle (46.7%) and the temporal muscle (30.0%), in descending order. 4. Patients who visited our hospital more than three months later after the onset of symptoms accounted for 63.6% of all MPS cases examined. 5. Patients who received any treatment during previous visits to other hospitals accounted for 52.9% of all MPS cases examined. 6. The causal muscles of MPS were determined to be the masseter muscle, the temporal muscle, the trapezius muscle, and the sternocleidomastoid muscle, in descending order. 7. Many of the MPS patients were in a state of depression with high state and trait anxiety. A positive correlation was found between a patient's degree of reported pain and the coexistence of a depressive or anxiety state. MPS is a difficult disease to diagnose and treat, since it can induce referred pain. Patients with MPS can easily develop anxiety and go into depression, requiring some patients to undergo psychosomatic or psychiatric treatment. Dentists need to understand the characteristics of MPS of the head and neck in order to provide adequate diagnosis and treatment for these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)416-421
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Japanese Dental Society of Anesthesiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Dentistry
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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