BACKGROUND OF HYPOTHESIS
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is the most common musculoskeletal pain disorder of the head and neck area. In the past, several theories were put forth to explain its origin and nature, but none proved complete.
Myofascial pain responds to changing psychological states, and stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, anger, depression and chronic pain are direct contributional factors. Myofascial pain syndrome may be considered as a psychosomatic disorder. There are numerous accepted palliative approaches, but of all, relaxation techniques stand out and initiate healing at the base level.
In this article, the connection between mental factors, MPS and meditation are highlighted. Recent literature has shed light on the fundamental role of free radicals in the emergence of myofascial pain. The accumulating free radicals disrupt mitochondrial integrity and function, leading to sustenance and progression of MPS.
Meditation on the other hand was shown to reduce free radical load and can result in clinical improvement. 'Mindfulness' is the working principle behind the effect of all meditations, and I emphasize that it can serve as a potential tool to reverse the neuro-architectural, neurobiological and cellular changes that occur in MPS.
The findings described in this paper were drawn from studies on myofascial pain, fibromyalgia, similar chronic pain models and most importantly from self-experience (experimentation). Till date, no hypothesis is available connecting MPS and meditation. Mechanisms linking MPS and meditation were identified, and this paper can ignite novel research in this direction.
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Source: Panta P. The Possible Role of Meditation in Myofascial Pain Syndrome: A New Hypothesis. Indian J Palliat Care. 2017 Apr-Jun;23(2):180-187. doi: 10.4103/0973-1075.204239.