Many people with fibromyalgia may also have Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS). Continue reading for more about symptoms, causes, and treatments of MPS. We will also see the relation between Myofascial Pain Syndrome and fibromyalgia.
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What is Myofascial Pain Syndrome?
It is a chronic pain disorder that affects the fascia (the connective tissue that covers the muscles). MPS causes pain when certain areas of the muscle (trigger points) experience any type of pressure. It also refers to the pain and inflammation of the soft tissues.
Symptoms of MPS
The symptoms of Myofascial Pain Syndrome can mimic other disorders, but the main symptoms include:
- muscle pain with tender or trigger points
- jaw pain
- low back pain
- pelvic pain
- arm and leg pain
- tender muscle knot
- mood disturbances
Causes of MPS
Unlike fibromyalgia, the causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome are known. They include:
- injury to invertebrate disks
- previous surgeries
- medical condition
- lack of movement
Diagnosis of MPS
Receiving a thorough medical evaluation by your physician is the first step in receiving a proper diagnosis. Myofascial Pain Symptom is similar to other pain disorders, so a thorough examination is required. Other tests may include:
- MRI or CAT scans
- electro-diagnosis (EMG)
Treatment of MPS
The treatment of Myofascial Pain Syndrome is similar to fibromyalgia. Treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- trigger point injections
- pain medicine
- relaxation techniques
- massage therapy
Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia
Now that we have discussed what MPS exactly is, let’s see how it’s connected to fibromyalgia.
According to Dr. Liptan, “Fibromyalgia pain stems from inflamed and stuck fascia…This tension creates pain, reduces the range of motion, and can cause bizarre, seemingly unrelated symptoms when fascia entraps nerves…In a condition such as fibromyalgia, the chronic activation of the fight-or-flight mode leaves the fascia in a constricted, tense state, which leads to pain and dysfunction.”
In other words, the muscle pain we are feeling is most likely myofascial pain. Fascia runs all over the body so this would explain the all-over body pains from sore and tense muscles.
Read more from Dr. Liptan on Myofascial Release Therapy for Fibromyalgia.
Myofascial Release Approach
More from Dr. Liptan:
“Manual therapies that gently unstick these tight areas of fascia, such as the John F. Barnes Myofascial Release Approach (MFR) can be hugely helpful in reducing fibromyalgia pain…MFR involves applying gentle, sustained pressure into these connective tissue restrictions to eliminate pain and restore motion. By going slowly and waiting for the body’s natural rhythm, the fascia responds by elongating, rehydrating, and reorganizing.”
She goes on to say, “MFR is a hands-on treatment performed on the skin with no oils or creams. The gentle tension between the therapist’s hands and the patient’s skin is what allows access to the fascia in a way that the gliding effect of the traditional massage cannot achieve. By following the unique lines of tension in each patient’s body, the MFR therapist can reach deeply into the tissues and uncover significant restrictions.”
Many massage therapy places are starting to offer MFR and so are some chiropractic offices. Check with your local massage and chiropractor offices to see if there are trained personnel in MFR therapy.