Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

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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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image created by Brandi Clevinger using the stock photo from Unsplash
Many people living with #fibromyalgia may also have myofascial pain syndrome. Read more about what it is, symptoms, and treatments for it. #mps #fibromyalgia #myofascial #beingfibromom Click To Tweet

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:

Causes of MPS

Unlike fibromyalgia, the causes of Myofascial Pain Syndrome are known. They include:

  • fibromyalgia
  • 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:

  • x-rays
  • 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.

Brandi

Hi, I’m Brandi, the writer and creator of Being Fibro Mom and My Fibro Journal. Aside from my work on Being Fibro Mom, I run a group called Fibro Parenting on Facebook. I've been writing for the Fibromyalgia Magazine since 2016 and recently became the Secretary and Fibro & Families program director for International Support Fibromyalgia Network. Facebook-+-Twitter-+-Instagram

10 thoughts on “Myofascial Pain Syndrome and Fibromyalgia

  • November 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm
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    Thanks for sharing with #SmallVictoriesSundayLinkup and bringing awareness to these other symptoms resulting from fibromyalgia. Gentle hugs my friend.

    Reply
  • January 15, 2015 at 8:08 am
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    I would like to add that if you have an injury an have a hard time coming out of it there are a few extra things you can do to make yourself heal. Chiropractic manipulation. Changing your diet to a vegetarian diet. Read Dr. Dean Ornish- eat more and weigh less. This will help you loose weight so you can start to walk more. Then, start to walk more. Exercise and rest. Heating pads can be your buddy when there is a flare up. This is my personal experience talking. I also realized that all those drugs are good for a certain amount of time. You are always going to have pain ! After you start to feel a little better wean yourself off of those drugs ! Then, you can detox. If you have a flare up find alternatives to those. Holding those pressure points till they release is a good alternative. Don’t let them continue to lock up by stopping the exercise or they will take over. I found standard process has good products that helped me with the pain. Vitamin deficiencies are a major cause of pain. I found “catalyn” by standard process stopped the pain after just three days. Bovine spleen is one of the ingredients that I must be lacking so when I start to hurt I take more. I don’t need as much anymore but at first I was taking two or three pills a day. After about two months one a day. Now about one a week or two. So, for about $10. A month I feel better. I am now learning more about nutrition and I am finding that I should be on a gluten free diet. So as of last month I have started that with my son. This is to get more nutrients into my body that are not being absorbed. This is what helped me. Next step for me is taking longevity s “tangy tangerine”. I have just joined their team because I found that their aromatherapy has helped me with pain and I want to share that with others also. I am still finding what works best with my body. I sure hope this helps you too !

    Reply
    • January 15, 2015 at 12:35 pm
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      I agree with you on losing weight. I have lost over 40 pounds by changing my diet. I exclude the foods that trigger a flare and that reduced weight, flares, joint pain, and bloating. I choose not to use medicines and use the natural approach; however, everyone is different and I have no less respect for those that choose medicinal treatments.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and give recommendations to my readers! I appreciate your time and thoughts!

      Reply
  • October 30, 2016 at 4:22 pm
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    i;ve been told i have connective tissuse dieases…i;m still trying to get more and more info on this ..but i do find it has a lot of symtoms of fibromyalgia, but my droctor said its not fibromyalgia..its troubing to not be able to help yourself to explain to your dr how you feel from day to day.. no two days are the same.. i;m still trying to hang on to my job but its hard.. any help will be greatly thankful..

    Reply
    • November 2, 2016 at 3:03 pm
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      I completely understand what you are experiencing. Try to document your daily pains and thoughts so it’s easier for your doctor to understand how you’re feeling. It’s a tough diagnosis, but making sure you receive the right diagnosis is essential to your healing.

      Reply
  • November 8, 2019 at 2:50 am
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    I just found this while browsing on my hand me down I-phone 7.
    I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia in 1996 so have quite a few years experience with signs, symptoms, flares, etc. I’m 73, my daughter 39 was finally diagnosed four years ago, although we think she was dealing with it several years before that.
    Her daughter, age 8, I am positive she has it as well and I cry for her every day.
    How do I get her diagnosed and “treated “ when my daughter does not believe it!.
    I sincerely love both of them and I think my daughter is pretty much in denial about her daughter. Any suggestions?

    Reply
    • December 10, 2019 at 9:50 am
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      Hi, Jean, Thank you for reaching out to me. I apologize for the delayed response. I understand your frustration and it’s warranted in a situation such as yours. My suggestion would be to have patience with your daughter and slowly introduce her to your daily struggles in small ways. This could be done over a cup of tea/coffee and the conversation can be guided gently. If you feel any resistance from her, then you can certainly back away from it and try again later. We do have a Fibro Parenting on Facebook as well. I encourage you to join the group and get feedback from other parents in your situation. (We have parents and grandparents in our group.) Look forward to connecting wtih you in the group! 🙂

      Reply

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