Sunday, September 9, 2012

MPS or Fibromyalgia

Do U have chronic Myofascial pain Syndrome or Fibromyalgia or BOTH?

I will briefly explain the difference!

Trigger points are characterized by painful cramping in muscle and connective tissue, the cramping becoming so severe that the tissue becomes bound in hard clumps or muscular knots. These knots often ache and radiate pain on a continual basis. Trigger points may exhibit increased pain when touched and this tenderness can lead to confusion with Fibromyalgia tender points, but unlike the tender point a trigger point will exhibit the hard muscular knotting.  Trigger points often radiate pain beyond the immediate location of the muscular knots.

If U have Trigger points U have -- chronic Myofascial Pain Syndrome or MPS

Tender points are more characterized by their extreme tenderness and the lack of muscular knotting. Tender point pain also tends to remain more focused to the specific location with the aching or radiating to other body areas being less prevalent.
Tender points occur in 18 specific locations throughout the body. They occur in symmetry on opposite sides of the body. 

If U have 11 out of 18 Tender points U have -- Fibromyalgia
I have both and it is hard to deal with the sensitivity I have to touch.  My body is in pain on its own but when touched in any way it is intensified.  I have the knots throughout my body and they do hurt. DR's have a hard time diagnosing between these two conditions because of the similarities.

Key differences between these two chronic pain syndromes:

1. MPS has more localized or regional pain versus the diffuse pain of fibromyalgia.

2. MPS patients have "trigger points" which can cause pain at a distant location when pressed, whereas fibromyalgia patients suffer from "tender points".

3. MPS has a better prognosis, as the pain often resolves with treatment or the rectification of the offending stimulus (such as the ergonomically incorrect office desk); the pain of fibromyalgia has a much higher chance of being chronic.

Fibromyalia is diagnosed by only tender points. U must have 11-18 tender points in order to get a diagnosis plus other issues as well.

MPS is often present in the fibromyalgia patient, but not all MPS patients also suffer from fibromyalgia.


As there is no cure for fibromyalgia, so there is no cure for MPS. The goals of treatment should obviously include pain relief and improvement/restoration of mobility and functionality. It is important to identify any other accompanying conditions, and give treatment to these also. 

Education on how to best manage chronic pain, so that life can be lived as normally as possible.

Just because there is no cure for MPS, do not think there is no treatment. Treatments include physical therapy and stretching exercises, massage therapy, trigger point-injections, and medications such as anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxants, anti-depressants, and anti-seizure meds.

<3 Cindy

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