... don't understand the difference between fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome. Everything I read, it seems like I feel I have fibromyalgia but my rheumatologist says I have myofascial pain syndrome. And can you actually have both?
From the mayo clinic it says "Myofascial pain syndrome is a chronic pain disorder. In myofascial pain syndrome, pressure on sensitive points in your muscles (trigger points) causes pain in seemingly unrelated parts of your body. This is called referred pain." This may be the one main difference? Also, fibro has several other symptoms like rls, difficulty concentrating, finding the right words, GI issues, etc... myofadcial pain seems to affect muscles only. I have fibro too & have wondered the same thing since they're very similar.
They are similar, but different and it is because of that fact that most doctors and even patients don't clearly understand that they are two different diagnosis.
Fibromyalgia is generally diagnosed when up to 11 tender spots on the body illicit pain from the patient. With Chronic Myofascial Pain the trigger spots are actually the myofasical muscle in a knot. When the constriction happens it can either be the exact source of pain or sometimes brings referred pain. There are charts and books that help the patient learn these patterns. The knot also constricts nerves and blood flow and of course pain. The problem gets even more complicated when you go to physical therapy and because you have a diagnosis of fibromyalgia the physical therapist wants to strengthen your weak muscles. However, if you have ever had a charlie horse did you get up and run down the street or did you grab your leg and rub it and stretch it? You cannot exersize a muscle that is in a knot.
When you have both conditions it is called the "double whammy" The physician or physical therapist has to first get the knots out through manual manipulation or through dry needling before any exersize can be done. Yes, a needle. It is much like accupunture only on a specific muscle rather than along meridian lines. Some pain management offices will give trigger point injections which contain a steroid and an anesthetic to numb the contraction. If you think this diagnosis fits there are a few other things you will need. Some tennis and/or raquet balls, small bouncy balls for your feet. You use these balls to apply pressure to the trigger points and sometimes you can release them yourself if you can't find anybody to help you. Also some biofreeze and a really good large heating pad. I hope this helps you and others understand the difference. I encourage you both to join this support group, if you haven't already. Also check out this book at your local library or purchase used through amazon. "Fibromyalgia & Chronic Myofascial Pain" A survivor manual by Devin Starlanyl & Mary Ellen Copeland. It really is a survivor manual.
Ok, this is what I was told. My dr told me I had myo. It is that joint pain that jumps around. One day my elbow would hurt then my knee the next day but it seemed like it was just in my joints and the connective tissues that hold my joints together. Then my pain seemed to change and it was more of an all over ache so I told this to my dr and he told me that I now have FM! Now when the pressure in our air goes up or down fast that causes me to have flair ups of both FM and myo! This is kind of funny because I thought it was the myo that eventually turned into FM. I don't know where I heard or read about it but now since you asked the same question I have been asking for years just maybe someone can tell us just how they work together! I also have ddd and djd with osteoarthritis ( thanks to my family)! I think its all related in some way. My dr also says I have chronic pain syndrome too! What is the difference between it all? I'll keep watching and maybe we will both find out! Nanimal
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