Knowing the Differences Between Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain

Differences Between Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain

Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain are syndromes that are closely related but have a few differences that are worth discussing. Knowing the two syndromes and their respective symptoms can help aid in the healing process. Knowing the differences between the two syndromes will also help you know what to expect in the course of the syndrome and how to best go about treating the symptoms.

Fibromyalgia is a syndrome that affects mostly women. It is non-joint rheumatism that has widespread pain and fatigue associated with it. Muscular aching and stiffness are common symptoms of this condition as well as what are termed trigger points. Trigger points in fibromyalgia are located in the neck, back and extremities and are tender when touched or pressed. Sleep disturbance is another main symptom of Fibromyalgia and contributes to the fatigue that accompanies this syndrome.

There are other symptoms of Fibromyalgia that include:

• irritable bowel syndrome, • back pain, headaches, • pelvic pain, • muscle spasms • twitching and tingling • and others.

Knowing these symptoms is important because there are ways to relieve them.

Fibromyalgia affects everyone differently. Some people have symptoms that come and go and are mild to moderate in intensity, while others are so affected that they are disabled by the condition. Although there is no known cure for fibromyalgia, there are many natural treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome is defined by the presence of trigger points located in the muscle with perceived pain aggravated when pressed. A twitch response may be seen as well. Like fibromyalgia, Myofascial Pain Syndrome is most common in women. It is usually diagnosed between the ages of 40 and 50.

Myofascial Pain Syndrome may also include other syndromes such as tmj or temporomandibular joint syndrome, low back pain, tension headaches, and others. It is a common cause of musculoskeletal pain.

So what are the differences between fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome? In the pain arena, fibromyalgia is involves many regions while myofascial pain is localized. Fibromyalgia seems to come on gradually and may worsen as time goes by, whereas myofascial pain can come on suddenly or chronically. With fibromyalgia the trigger points are more widespread and greater than 11, but myofascial pain syndrome trigger points are localized. Fibromyalgia is and can be a long lasting condition to the point of disability and myofascial pain syndrome is generally mild with temporary disability.

Knowing these differences will provide you with the tools you need to make educated decisions in your treatment plan. There are many ways to help you through your symptoms and back on the road to optimal health. The old adage “knowledge is power” certainly applies to your health. Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome sufferers can lead healthy, happy, active lives.

Copyright (c) 2007 Hailey Harris