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How Are Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome Different?

Two overlapping chronic pain conditions showing similar symptoms are myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia. If these conditions are ever confused, they could be treated as only one single condition, and the pain lingering from the other condition is not addressed; therefore, it is key to seek guidance from a pain management physician.

What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?

Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a pain condition in the musculoskeletal system. It’s known to create pain conditions with trigger points. These MPS trigger points are not the same as fibromyalgia tender points. Trigger points in MPS appear like a small lump under the skin. They are painful when pressure is applied.

Studies indicate that MPS trigger points often form where muscle tissues are damaged. Abnormally healed tissues create cell connections that form the trigger points.

How Does Fibromyalgia Relate to MPS?

Fibromyalgia and MPS are both conditions that cause pain in the musculoskeletal system. With MPS however, the pain is localized. With fibromyalgia, the pain is believed to be centralized. Treating MPS and other chronic pain early on can prevent developing fibromyalgia later.

Why A Correct Diagnosis Is Important

Myofascial pain syndrome can increase fibromyalgia pain. By treating fibromyalgia pain, myofascial pain can also be relieved. There are several therapies available to help treat the trigger points in MPS that cause pain.

Symptoms typical of MPS and Fibromyalgia are:

  • Muscle pain—ranging from mild to severe
  • Headaches
  • Unpleasant sleep
  • Balance problems
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Ear pain
  • Memory Troubles
  • Random sweating
  • Worsening symptoms under stress, physical activity, or bad weather

Symptoms Unique to MPS:

  • Nausea
  • Peripheral numbness
  • Joints clicking
  • Blurred vision

Symptoms Unique to Fibromyalgia:

  • Exhaustion & fatigue
  • Disorientation
  • Panic attacks
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Light and noise sensitivity
  • Allergies

Finding Treatment

The treatments for fibromyalgia and MPS have some similarities, and by treating MPS you can help to reduce fibromyalgia pain. However, there are treatments for MPS that can exacerbate fibromyalgia symptoms.

The first step to getting both MPS and fibromyalgia is finding a qualified physician who specializes in treating pain. Learn more about myofascial pain treatment options without surgery offered by our physicians.

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