Musculoskeletal symptoms arising from disturbances in soft tissue, without arthritis, are extremely common. These soft tissue disorders may be divided into several broad categories:
- Regional myofascial pain disorder
- Structural disorders
- Neurovascular entrapment disorders
- Complex regional pain syndromes
- Generalized pain disorders
Many of these disorders occur in the absence of systemic disease and some are a consequence of chronic repetitive low grade trauma and overuse. Many are self-limiting and respond to conservative measures.
SOFT TISSUE RHEUMATIC DISORDERS
This topic will provide a brief overview of soft tissue rheumatic disorders. More detailed discussion of these disorders is presented separately (see appropriate topic reviews).
Regional myofascial pain — Regional myofascial pain has been defined as "hyperirritable spots, usually within a taut band of skeletal muscle or in the muscle's fascia that is painful on compression and can give rise to characteristic referred pain, tenderness, and autonomic phenomena" . (See "Differential diagnosis of fibromyalgia", section on 'Myofascial pain syndromes'.)