Myofascial Pain

I have seen this term in a number of replies about unexplained pain. Even before my PMR diagnosis,five years ago, I had pain in the lower back, especially when I walked. It was a lot better when I was put on 20mg of pred but by the time I was down to 7.5, I was again finding walking trying. Now I am down almost to 3 and have been having twinges in my back. On Sunday, three days ago, I had a good and painless walk in the grounds of a stately home but when i bent to look at something in the shop, something twinged really badly and hasn't gone away. It has spread down the back of my leg and the doctor doesn't think it's sciatica. He found a trigger point on my lumbar area that made the pain in my leg worse and said he thought it was muscular. My question is: could this be myofascial pain? I can hardly walk without a stick at the moment. Although I can sit and sleep comfortably, walking is painful and slow.

24 Replies

  • I think I might have had that. In any case, whatever my physiotherapist did (including "dry needling"), plus my lying with painful hip on a very hot hot water bottle overnight for a few nights (as hot as I could stand without hurting myself) it got much better. My physiotherapist said when I first went to see her the muscles down either side of my spine were like bricks, and this kind of tension can cause compression in the spine (even to the point of fracture in vulnerable people). I was completely unaware of that tension, only aware of pain in other places, especially when walking, or when lying on my side.

  • Thanks for your reply. I will try the hot water bottle. The GP has referred me to a physio but the appointment will probably take weeks to come through. As long as I keep still, I don't feel the pain and luckily I don't roll around when I'm asleep.

  • Ouch, Annodomini! This sounds like something that could be sorted with 2 or 3 Bowen treatments if you've got a good therapist locally. One of the members of my support group described similar pain and Bowen proved completely successful for him.

  • off to my Bowen this morning I am on 5mg and been having a few problems tiredness and walking i am going down on my right leg so i am unbalanced and limping most of the time, also back pain.

    i sometimes wake up with a headache which sometime turns in to migraine !

    any thought would be helpful

    i have had Bowen before and found it very helpful

  • Kay, the tiredness can be quite common around doses below 7.5mg or so due to your adrenals trying to kick back in and catch up with their natural steroid (cortisol) supply having been suppressed by the long-term, higher dose artificial steroid, Pred. Whilst they are adjusting there can be a shortfall of steroid in our bodies leading to symptoms such as you are experiencing, hence the need to further slow down future reductions, if necessary remaining on the 5mg dose for a few months, or even increasing back up slightly if things don't improve. Never worry about having to stay on these low doses for as long as it needs - there is very little risk of side effects at this stage. I was advised to remain on the 5mg dose for some 5-6 months having returned there following a flare - it did me no harm at all, on the contrary it enabled me to reduce very successfully to zero Pred and remission from that point, albeit at a snail's pace.

    I do hope your Bowen therapy is helping with the pain - a therapist talking to members of our support group advised that if there is no relief after three sessions, then Bowen is not likely to work so no point in throwing any more money at it.

  • Thanks that explains what i having been feeling rotten. trouble is it stops you from doing anything!!

    poor dog only get a short walk when i start out to do a long one

    Still back from Bowen feeling tired off for nap


  • Hi Celtic , Because I have had PMR for a long time it took me about 6 sessions to notice any Benefit to my pain level lovely Therapist advised me on each session. As we know we are All different and suffer differently by what we hear at the meetings. I believe that it does help me get out a bit more than I did . Hope you and Mike are doing OK trish29

  • We make the 3 sessions comment as much because there has been some dispute as to the value of Bowen - despite the large numbers of us who have benefited from it. You are quite right - and even if you notice a difference after the first 3 sessions it may be you need occasional sessions for a very long time. But when it comes to pampering - isn't it lovely to have something that is as nice as a massage but so gentle?

  • Hi Kay60 I hope your Bowen Therapy worked for you yesterday,i have been having my Bowen Therapy for nearly a year now and one of the things that it has helped has been my headaches/migraines which seems to come from the base of my neck. I believe that some of my unbearable pain in upper arms and shoulders and legs is Myofacial pain and I have had a horrible 13 year Rollercoaster ride with body only reacts to rest and that isn't always possible but I do try to rest when I can. I have also found that the Bowen Treatment has helped my lower spine but I am still unable to walk without my Walker to support me. I wish you well and pain free trish29

  • many thanks i did have my bowen yesterday went home and slept for 1 hour really soundly feeling little better today


  • Look up dry needling while you wait for your appointment and ask about it. I myself had never heard of it before. Now that I know more about it I'm glad my physio is experienced in it. What it does is work on those trigger points to kind of reset the electrical signals which are causing the unconscious tension. Seems to have worked for me, although I expect I'll likely need the occasional redo as time goes by.

  • Is that anything like acupuncture? I've had that in the past with satisfactory results.

  • The only similarity is using very fine needles. It does not heed any theories about energy meridians in the body as in acupuncture, but directly addresses "trigger points" whatever they may be. I can tell you that sometimes it feels like a finger has been pushed right into my flesh, a very weird sensation, and evidently some sort of electrical discharge has taken place!

  • Thanks, Heron. When my GP prodded me he found the trigger point though he didn't call it that. I would like to be able to walk upright. At the moment I find it possible to walk if I'm almost bent double!

  • A neighbour of mine, older than me so I suppose she may be close to 80, was getting very stooped. I don't know whether she is doing other things as well, but the last time I saw her she was holding walking poles and standing quite straight. I asked her if the poles had been helping her and she said yes. I believe she is not able to do Nordic walking quite "correctly" but she can use the two sticks to walk and they have gradually enabled her to straighten up. She was using them while attending a reception after a funeral, so uses them while standing as well as walking. It is quite a remarkable change in her posture.

  • I have seen a lot of older people using walking poles rather than walking sticks/canes - you stand more upright because of their length and that has to be a good thing.

  • The poles need to be adjusted carefully for one's height.

  • I'll go to Decathlon and see what I can find there.

  • Hi

    Please be careful with hot water bottle

    General rule of thumb is if muscle heat is fine however if bone heat will relax and could do more damage then good .

    Best Wishes


  • Rose54, can you give me a reference for this potential harm to bones? Please and thanks.

  • Hi

    If you have pain for example say slipped disk ,heat will cause relaxation and could end up with it slipping more out of place .


  • There is an explanatory article in the PMR & GCA North East Newsletter, placed on their website lasy Monday, available to read and/or download, no jargon.

    The article is entitled PMR Add on's.

  • A really good explanation, Sambucca. I have been researching physios in my locality and have found one that mentions Bowen therapy in her web site. I will be investigating further. Thanks for telling me about the article.

  • I now have an appointment to see the Bowen therapist. Thanks for all advice. I will report back on progress.

You may also like...