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what is the difference

yasminayyasmina Posts: 166
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:43 AM in Fibromyalgia
between fibro and myofascial pain? I was diagnosed on Wed. with myofascial pain syndrome, but brain fog kept me from asking about fibro. When the pain management doc touched me in all the trigger points I felt pain or tenderness everywhere. There wasn't a spot that was pain-free.

I'm sure this has been addressed before, but I did a search and couldn't come up with anything definitive.

Pain mgment doc gave me a TENS unit and prescribed water therapy.



  • Title of previous post was "what's the difference".

    don't know why it came up as it did
  • Some characters placed in the title will cause different actions. I took the apostrophe out and replaced the title for you.

    Sorry to hear that you are having so many pain issues. I don't have any experience with fibro, so I can't comment on your question. I'm sure someone will be along soon to chime in.

    Best wishes

  • At least as I understand it, if you had to choose to have one over the other, you would prefer myofascial pain syndrome (MPS). It is more treatable, and can be viewed as a temporary condition. I think fibromyalgia is much more difficult to recover from and tends to be a lifelong thing.

    This is what I understand the difference to be:

    Probably the most important difference is that in fibro the patient must meet very specific requirements which include having painful tender points ABOVE and BELOW the waist on BOTH SIDES of the body. There are TENDER POINTS all over the body in specific locations.

    Fibro is a condition where the brain and spinal cord process pain signals "differently" from the norm. The pain is symmetrical -- if it hurts at the left shoulder, there must be a corresponding point on the right shoulder that also is painful.

    Myofascial pain syndrome is a pain disorder that is usually found in distinct, isolated parts of the body,usually on one side of the body, in a specific location. Most often (but not always)it is found in the neck and upper back. Fibro pain is more generalized....

    I think of the fascia as a big net that encompasses all the muscles, bones, organs, blood vessels and soft tissues in the body, holding them in place. Technically, it is connective tissue.

    MPS is a chronic form of muscle pain that is known for having TRIGGER POINTS. Trigger points are a sensitive point in a muscle...often feeling like a knot.

    The interesting think about trigger points is that they can cause pain in other areas..."referred pain." Painful trigger points can cause pain such as neck pain, low back pain, jaw pain, pelvic pain, pain in arms and legs and headaches. Trigger points respond to treatments like massage, acupuncture, etc.

    There are things you can do yourself to treat trigger points. They sell a variety of massage products that mimic a massage therapist's fingers or elbow. Some people are able to use a tennis ball and the floor or a wall to press on a painful trigger point. Sometimes a far-infrared heating pad is used to "warm up" the area, then it can be more responsive to massage.

    I'm sure there are other technical differences that I am not aware of, but this is how I understand the difference. Hope this helps!


  • hi karen
    sorry you couldn't find what you were looking for few are older post that i search thru when i was first diagnosed with fibromyalgia..i didn't want to explain or discuss in chat at time you ask..due to fact that many do not believe fibromyalgia exsists..and didn't feel like goin thru the doubts in chat..
    so i'm sorry didn't answer you then..i was diagnosed with fibro back in oct by neuro and rheumo docs..
    after 100's of test bld work up many exams..and i had never heard of this evil syndrome(as they call it).
    FIBROMYALGIA is widespread pain syndrome along with extreme fatigue and muslce tenderness(not inflamation
    the list is very long..nausa,depression,insomnia and mood changes..
    myofa pain condition is of muscles that occurs when trigger points causes reduced function -soft tissue..
    tender points in fibro are 18 i have 11 and they are distinct points..
    treatment are diff..myofa treatment is improving your posturual alignmet..
    fibro treatment is multible of things.
    i hope helped i also now of few websites but can't post so let me know and i will pm you with further info
    i wish you the best and pray you dont have fibro it is forever and hell

    neck,bone spurs pain started 04, back issues and fusion l4,l5 06~hardware removed.
    good few yrs. 09 pain sharp, numbness feet,legs, diagnosed fibro, neurop. legs.lung issues.
    daily goal do good thing for someone.
  • Yasmina,

    It sounds like you have more myofascial pain syndrome, and it sounds exactly like what I have experienced! I am working to find a specific conclusion on this, as one dr. has told me fibromyalgia but she seems mis-informed on the diagnosis. One thing that has helped me greatly with my trigger points (they are so bad in my IT bands on my thighs, hips and glutes that it causes numbness on the right side and sometimes mimics sciatica), is the Theracane, its $30 and has a manual, it shows you how to self massage your own tight points and I do notice when I work on mine, my pain level is decreased quite a bit. There is also a great book on it:

    trigger point therapy workbook, a lifesaver! best of luck.
  • Why would you say some dont believe in fibro? Of course its real and everyone knows its real, Only probllem is many times its blamed on fibro when drs cant explain the pain,

    I learned years back when someone i knew had suffered from it for years, The persons husband brought her up to the mayo clinic same time when my dad was doing all the pre op for his liver trasplant , She was seeking beter treatment for the fibro she suffered from and wanted to confirm thats what it was,

    Mayo confirmed it but treatment was prety much the same as was givin here in the chicago land area,

    But dr,s many times confuse the symptoms when person has multiple symptoms they cant explain and sometimes they say its fibro before tesring all thats needed to confirm its fibro ,

    I am sure by now you seen enough dr,s to confirm you have it,

    And having back surgery does not help i am sure when the left over pain from previous back surgery also puts the nerves in to over drive to worsen the condition,

    I believe if a person already had fibro before there back surgery then its no question is fibro, But if person started to have these symptoms after back surgery then its simply the pain from the surgery itself thats puting the nerves in to over drive,

    This is my opinion because i have many symptoms that also with fibro but i am failed back surgery and no way ever had or have fibro,

    Any time a person has severe pain the body reacts in many diferent ways. Our body is a bundle of nerves thats all connected and all send signal to the brain and the brain sends signals all over the body responding to the stress of the pain,

    Flexicore ADR 2004 resulting nerve damage l4l5 Fusion 2006 same level, 2009 hardware removal with lami !
    2012 scs implant ,
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