Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:
BOTTOM LINE: Somewhat helpful; psychologically positive.
At first my pain was too acute for me to even think of exercising. I couldn't keep my head up long enough to prepare dinner, or even to sit and eat a meal. But once I finally got my pain down slightly (over a year into my pain and after several trigger point injections), and I read that moderate aerobic exercise helped patients reduce their myofascial pain symptoms, I was determined to try.
I started riding a recumbent stationary bicycle at my local community center. I'd lie down to rest my neck in between the taxing activities of driving there (eight minutes) and pedaling the bicycle on zero resistance for ten minutes. I ultimately increased my pedaling to forty-five minutes with moderate resistance. The increase in blood flow and modest aerobic workout I was getting seemed to slightly reduce my pain, but only temporarily. The physical activity was at least a small psychological boost to the extremely depressing situation of being so incapacitated for so long.
I eventually got an outdoor hybrid bike with shock absorbers and found I could tolerate moderate biking outdoors up to about thirty minutes. And according to Dr. Sarno (see Reading about mindbody link), once you accept that there is not any structural problem, you can do any activity, albeit slow to start. To date, I can bike some, but biking for too long still flares up my symptoms.