Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

Ugh. 

Having chronic pain is the worst.

However, having chronic pain and not knowing what it is can be even harder to deal with. The two leading conditions for chronic pain? Fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome.

Both of these conditions are extremely similar, so how can you tell the difference?

Myofascial pain syndrome features regional muscle tenderness, short periods of pain, trigger points, and less frequent symptoms.

Fibromyalgia features widespread muscle tenderness, chronic pain, tender points, and more frequent symptoms. [1]

To diagnose each of these conditions, doctors must perform a deep dive into the client’s medical history, a detailed clinical exam, and suss out the exact trigger points. It’s kinda crazy to think about how the subtle nuances can determine what the diagnosis will be. 

Making matters a little more complicated, those who suffer from both fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome will experience muscle pain ranging from mild to severe, fatigue, trouble sleeping, memory issues, headaches and migraines, IBS, as well as depression and/or anxiety.

Jeez, you’d think just being in constant pain would be bad enough.

And if these two conditions weren’t similar enough in their symptoms, the treatments feature major overlap. So what are they?

Myofascial Pain Syndrome Treatment Options

  • Trigger-point injections, or dry needling (JUST SAY NO TO DRY NEEDLING!!)
  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy
  • Oral medications like Advil or antidepressants
  • Topical medications like lidocaine

Fibromyalgia Treatment Options

  • Medications like antidepressants
  • Non-pharmacological strategies like physical therapy
  • Daily exercise routines
  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy like hypnosis or biofeedback

Because these two conditions are SO FREAKING SIMILAR, a misdiagnosis can be easy to come by. The good thing, though, is that because there is treatment overlap, there’s a good chance what you’re told to do will help with some of the symptoms. 

There’s no direct cause of either of these conditions, so until one is found, only the symptoms can be treated and managed. But a new theory is that tight, bound fascia is the culprit. 

So where do I come in to this painful picture?

For both myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia, I can ease those painful symptoms through massage, acupuncture and fascia work. As a massage therapist, I’m trained to fully understand the musculoskeletal system and how to best alleviate pain and relax the body. And by adding more fascia work to the treatment, which yes, will cause more pain during the treatment, but the outcome will be so beneficial you’ll thank me.

When it comes to healing the body and finding relief, I can help. 

Talk soon!

Sources

[1] www.verywellhealth.com

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