Distinguishing Between Myofascial and Fibromyalgia Pain

Distinguishing Between Myofascial and Fibromyalgia Pain

Myofascial pain syndrome refers to a disorder where pressure on trigger points in the muscles causes severe pain. This pain is called ‘referred pain’ and usually occurs in the neck, shoulders, buttocks, hips, and back. Many people who endure this pain often mistake it for fibromyalgia symptoms. American Spine specializes in treating various cases of chronic pain and properly discerns conditions for proper treatment.

Fascia is a connective soft tissue that surrounds the muscles, joint capsules, nerves, and other tissues. The tissue has the ability to stretch but becomes restricted when injuries, stress, inflammation, or poor posture compromise it’s capability. When this happens, trigger points, sensitive points in the muscles, are developed in affected areas.

A dismal, aching pain of the muscles is associated when the trigger points become stressed. The tissue is tender, and hard around these points, and when are very painful when pressed. This pain may even radiate to other points of the body.

Fibromyalgia is a disorder in which an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain causes serious pain. Fibromyalgia intensifies the pain and manipulates the processing of pain signals in the brain. Even though the pain starts in one region, patients typically feel pain throughout their entire body. Trigger points may multiply around the neck, back, elbows, and knees.

Though these two disorders sound very similar, they are different. Myofascial pain syndrome is extremely common for patients who have fibromyalgia. Treatment such as injection therapy, deep tissue massage, myofascial release therapy, and physical therapy can be used to treat symptoms of myofascial. Central sensitization of fibromyalgia is typically applied to trigger points. By aggressively treating the trigger points, chronic pain will subside and signals sent to the spinal cord and brain will be rehabilitated.

Because these two conditions are so closely related, research efforts are trying to treat both of them together. Some studies suggest that increased levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, or decreased nerve excitability will reduce pain.

American Spine offers the finest and most successful treatment options for patients suffering with chronic pain. Pain management plans are created under the patient’s consent and severity of the condition. If you suffer from fibromyalgia or myofascial pain, call and schedule an appointment with American Spine today!

At American Spine, we are dedicated to treating conditions of the spine and chronic pain. Offering the latest in minimally invasive spine surgery and other effective treatment options, American Spine is the leading pain physician group of California. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call us at (951)-734-PAIN (7246)

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only, and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.

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