Differentiating pain conditions might be difficult. When does a strain occur, when does a ligament problem, when does a nerve problem, and when does tissue damage occur? When does a long-term injury turn into a chronic issue? Then there is psychosomatic pain. Due to overlapping symptoms or a misinterpretation of criteria, some illnesses frequently need clarification.
For instance, fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome are both marked by widespread, persistent muscle discomfort and signs of exhaustion. Both involve muscle pain, they are sometimes confused with one another or incorrectly grouped as a single illness. Understanding the distinctions between fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome is important for effective therapy and long-term pain management.
WHAT IS MYOFASCIAL PAIN SYNDROME(MPS)?
Myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) is a standard set of symptoms associated with severe regional muscular pain but is not a recognized medical diagnosis. Myofascial pain is regional but has the potential to be extensive, for instance, the neck and back may be the primary sites of the pain, but the referred muscle discomfort may radiate down the arm or into the head. Myofascial pain syndrome cases typically involve tight or knotted muscles, which a physical examination can find.
MPS trigger points
Trigger points created due to trauma are one reason people have myofascial pain syndrome. It is believed that specific muscles become overworked and begins to knot physically due to persistent inflammation.
Trigger points, which are tiny, hard knots you may occasionally feel under your skin, are used to identify myofascial pain syndrome. A tight band of muscle is what a trigger point is. When poked, the knot usually doesn’t hurt, but it hurts another part of the body (referred to as pain).
When tissue is wounded and, for some reason, doesn’t mend properly, trigger points frequently develop. Studies do, however, indicate that some people experience anomalies where the nerve cells and muscle cells link as a result of muscular injury.
Myofascial pain syndrome typically starts as a common overuse injury or tissue inflammation. Myofascial pain originates in the muscle itself, unlike frequent ligament pain syndromes such as patellar knee pain or tennis elbow. Two such examples are the back and neck. Most of the myofascial pain syndrome symptoms are connected to the trigger point and surroundings and the repeated discomfort, myofascial pain syndrome can worsen tension, anxiety, and sleep problems, which hinders recovery and slows healing.
Trigger-point injections, often known as dry needling, are the primary treatment for MPS. In order to loosen up the tight muscular bands, a doctor uses a trigger point injection, inserting a needle either directly into the trigger point or into numerous locations around it. A painkiller, such as lidocaine, may also be administered intravenously by the doctor.
In addition to trigger point injection, further possible MPS treatments include :
- Physical Therapy
- Oral Medications
- Topical Medications
WHAT IS FIBROMYALGIA?
Despite the fact that fibromyalgia (MF), a systemic health issue, also causes muscle discomfort, The physical symptoms of fibromyalgia include widespread fatigue and muscle pain across the body, as well as restlessness, sleeplessness, sadness, anxiety, mood changes, and a generalized increase in pain threshold, or hyperalgesia. Physical activity is more difficult for those with fibromyalgia because their pain is not localized to a certain area, muscle, or body part.
Along with other specific pain problems, fibromyalgia frequently co-occurs with temporomandibular joint dysfunction (severe facial and jaw pain). In contrast to fibromyalgia, which typically develops after a physical injury, myofascial pain syndrome can start at any time. Even everyday stress or a severe experience can set it off. Another potential trigger is a physical injury or an overuse injury.
Tender points in FM
The tender points associated with FM are different from the trigger points associated with MPS in that they reflect incredibly sensitive muscle regions that pain when touched lightly. Additionally, unlike MPS trigger points, FM tender points do not refer to pain.
For FM treatment, a multidisciplinary approach is advised, incorporating both pharmaceutical and non-pharmacological methods.
- Medications According to research, NSAIDs are useless at treating FM pain, and trigger-point injections are poor at reducing fibromyalgia tender spots. Antidepressants like Elavil (amitriptyline) or Cymbalta (duloxetine) may be given for MPS. Fibromyalgia can also be managed with the anticonvulsant Lyrica (pregabalin).
- Non-Pharmaceutical Approaches Physical therapy and acupuncture may be used in the FM patient’s treatment regimen, similar to MPS. More precisely, it has been found that adopting an exercise plan (such as biking, jogging, or swimming) will lessen muscle pain in people with FM.
While there are some similarities between fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome, they are unquestionably two different diseases. Consult with our experts at Specialty Care Clinics for precise diagnosis and treatment strategy that relieves your pain. Contact us at (469) 545-9983.