Described below is one of the many approaches I've tried or considered trying for healing my chronic myofascial pain:
BOTTOM LINE: Help to temporarily moderate symptoms, but don't permanently or completely eliminate my pain.
Around a year and a half after I initially ruptured the disc in my neck, and after I had tried pain killers, traditional physical therapy (PT), trigger point (TrP) injections, and traditional myofascial release PT, I was still suffering with unbearable levels of daily pain. My doctor then prescribed Lidocaine patches that adhere to your skin so that numbing medicine can soak into your body. These actually provided me with a little relief.
They didn't fully cure my pain, but while I wore the patches, one of my pain sensations—that of my skin being ripped off my upper back—calmed down slightly. However, I didn't like the idea of administering numbing medicine to my body every day for the rest of my life. Plus, they require a doctor's prescription and cost over $3 per patch. If I used them everyday for forty years, it would cost me $43,800.
Upon the suggestion of the first myofascial release therapist I saw, I also tried over-the-counter heat patches. These worked as well as the medicine-infused Lidocaine patches, but they didn't require a prescription and were a little cheaper. I wore them every day for months. They did not cure me nor make my pain diminish beyond the times I was wearing them, but they did provide some slight relief (and I still occasionally wear them when my pain spikes).
I also sometimes lie on an electric heating pad, but because it isn't portable, I prefer the heat patches. However, if I need to lie down to rest my neck anyway, the heating pad gives me a little added pain relief.