What's The Difference Between Myofascial Pain and Fibromyalgia?

Last Editorial Review: 1/11/2018

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What is the difference between fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome? Are there different treatments for these conditions?

Doctor's response

Myofascial pain is a more localized or regional pain (along the muscle and surrounding fascia tissues) process that is associated with trigger point tenderness. A trigger point is a localized small lump (nodule) that, when pressed on, elicits a reproducible pattern of referred local pain. Sometimes "triggering" this pain also produces twitching of nearby muscles. Trigger points and myofascial pain can be treated with a variety of methods (sometimes in combination) including stretching, ultrasound, ice sprays with stretching, exercises, and injections of anesthetic.

Fibromyalgia is felt to be a more systemic process that causes tender points (local tender areas in normal-appearing tissues) in typical areas of the body and is frequently associated with a poor sleep pattern and stressful environment.

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