Quantitative Evaluation of Myofascial Tissues:
Potential Impact for Musculoskeletal Pain Research
September 16–17, 2020

Virtual Workshop Dates/Times
September 16, 2020
8:45 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. EDT

September 17, 2020
8:45 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. EDT
Workshop Hashtag
Contact Information
For registration questions please contact:
Desiree Tucker

About this Event


  • National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
  • National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB)

NIH Partners

  • National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS)
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development/National Center for Medical Rehabilitation Research (NICHD/NCMRR)
  • National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
  • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

Workshop Synopsis

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS)—pain originating from muscles and/or associated soft tissues such as fascia—is estimated to affect 30 to 85 percent of patients with musculoskeletal pain. Compared to the skeletal (bones, joints, intervertebral discs) and central nervous system (CNS) contributions to musculoskeletal pain, the myofascial components, especially the fascia component, as well as the interactions between fascia and muscles, remain mostly unknown. Importantly, many chronic musculoskeletal pain patients don’t respond to surgery (targeting the skeletal component) or develop significant side effects to opioids (targeting the CNS) or both. Therefore, there is a strong need to address the contributions of the myofascial tissues to chronic pain as they are among the last “unturned stones” of all the tissue types involved in musculoskeletal pain.

The NIH HEAL Initiative is sponsoring this workshop to pursue research and technology opportunities addressing MPS. This workshop will bring together clinical research experts in diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal painful conditions, imaging and biomechanics experts, and computational modelers to advance cutting-edge research related to the development or improvement of imaging technologies that would allow diagnosis and dynamic quantification of the pathophysiology as well as identification of biomarkers manifested in MPS. It will also present in-depth analyses of the state of science of myofascial pain, current usage of technologies (e.g., methodologies) and their limitations and challenges, potential current technologies to be adapted for myofascial pain biomarker imaging/recording, and potential emerging technologies and methodologies to be developed.

NIH HEAL Initiative Workshop on Myofascial Pain Planning Committee

Helene Langevin, M.D. (NCCIH)
Wen Chen, Ph.D. (NCCIH)
Merav Sabri, Ph.D. (NCCIH)
Guoying Liu, Ph.D. (NIBIB)
Michael Oshinsky, Ph.D. (NINDS)
Alex Tuttle, Ph.D. (NINDS)
Brooks Gross, Ph.D. (NINDS)
Chuck Washabaugh, Ph.D. (NIAMS)
Leslie Derr, Ph.D. (NIAMS)
Gayle Lester, Ph.D. (NIAMS)
Theresa Cruz, Ph.D. (NICHD/NCMRR)
Yolanda Vallejo, Ph.D. (NIDCR)
Dena Fischer, D.D.S. (NIDCR)