MPS, TMS & C.E.M.&.N.T.:
Neuromuscular Pain and Myofascial Pain Disorders …

What are the Differences Between:
Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS),
Tension Myoneural Syndrome (TMS), and
Chronic, Excess Muscle & Nerve Tension (C.E.M.&.N.T.)?

Although within the same general category of evaluative processes, there are significant philosophical and clinical differences in these three terms.

STANDARD DEFINITIONS for various Neuromuscular Pain and Myofascial Pain Disorders:

MPS … Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) also known as Chronic Myofascial Pain (CMP):

From the Mayo Clinic:

Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In myofascial pain syndrome, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain.

From Wikipedia:

 … is a syndrome characterized by chronic pain caused by multiple trigger points and fascial constrictions. Characteristic features of a myofascial trigger point include: focal point tenderness, reproduction of pain upon trigger point palpation, hardening of the muscle upon trigger point palpation, pseudo-weakness of the involved muscle, referred pain, and limited range of motion following approximately 5 seconds of sustained trigger point pressure.

Tension Myoneural Syndrome formerly known as Tension Myositis Syndrome:

From Wikipedia:

[TMS] … is a name given by John E. Sarno to a condition he describes as characterized by psychogenic musculoskeletal and nerve symptoms, most notably back pain.

(Psychogenic refers to a condition: “…originating from or caused by state of mind; having a psychological rather than a physiological cause”.)

Further describing TMS, Wikipedia states:

According to Sarno, TMS is a condition in which unconscious emotional issues (primarily rage) initiate a process that causes physical pain and other symptoms. His theory suggests that the unconscious mind uses the autonomic nervous system to decreases blood flow to muscles, nerves or tendons, resulting in oxygen deprivation, experienced as pain in the affected tissues. Sarno theorizes that because patients often report that back pain seems to move around, up and down the spine, or from side to side, that this implies the pain may not be caused by a physical deformity or injury.

Sarno states that the underlying cause of the pain is the mind’s defense mechanism against unconscious mental stress and emotions such as anger, anxiety and narcissistic rage. The conscious mind is distracted by the physical pain, as the psychological repression process keeps the anger/rage contained in the unconscious and thereby prevented from entering conscious awareness. Sarno believes that when patients recognize that the symptoms are only a distraction, the symptoms then serve no purpose, and they go away. TMS can be considered a psychosomatic condition and has been referred to as a “distraction pain syndrome”.

Chronic, Excess Muscle & Nerve Tension & Stress:

As described by David Scott Lynn:


David Scott Lynn (DSL)

Beginning at 13 years of age, DSL's been involved with alternative philosophies & practices most of his life. Becoming a yoga teacher in 1976, then a hands-on bodyworker in 1981, he developed a unique & highly effective form of Yoga / Bodywork / Whole Health Fitness & Therapeutics. … David wrote the chapters on a wholistic philosophy & physiology of bodywork & stretching for the textbook Structural Balancing, published by McGraw-Hill, Inc. in 2010. … He is the author of Simple Steps to Let-Go Yoga, available at: … Several other e-books and e-courses are soon forthcoming at … David consults with Kyle C. Wright on massage school development at the Schools of Advanced Bodywork at

Latest posts by David Scott Lynn (DSL) (see all)