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Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) & Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) - Signs That Indicate It!

Dr. Meghana Patwardhan 87% (47 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma in Anesthesia, FIPM, Clinical Fellowship Training in Chronic Pain Management
Pain Management Specialist, Mumbai  •  18 years experience
Fibromyalgia Syndrome (FMS) & Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS) - Signs That Indicate It!

It is quite likely for you to mistake fibromyalgia syndrome (FMS) and myofascial pain syndrome (MPS) as the same condition because of the frequent overlap and similar symptoms. As a result, people with both conditions are diagnosed with only one and are treated for that. The major difference between PMS and FMS is that they need different treatment. The trigger points can be eliminated, and while MPS pain may exacerbate FMS, treating MPS can improve FMS.

About FMS and MPS

  1. FMS is a disorder featured by musculoskeletal pain along with sleep, fatigue and mood swings. It affects the way in which your brain processes pain signals.
  2. MPS is another chronic pain disorder in which the pain is caused in the body because of pressure on sensitive points in the muscles. It is known as referred pain.

Symptoms:
There are several symptoms of MPS which are similar to that of FMS, while there are some different symptoms as well. The common symptoms are as follows:

Here are the symptoms which are associated with MPS only and not with FMS:

  • Extreme numbness
  • Clicking or popping joints
  • Reduced range of motion in the joints
  • Blurry and double vision
  • Unusual nausea

Here are some symptoms which are observed in FMS but not in the case of MPS:

  • Fatigue
  • Panic attacks
  • Developing allergies and sensitivities
  • Feeling overwhelmed because of high sensory input levels
  • Confusion and disorientation

Diagnosis
MPS is difficult to diagnose and treat because of referred pain. The symptoms have to be recognised and the trigger points need to be identified for detecting MPS. The trigger points are found on the basis of the symptoms. Several tests like magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and tissue biopsy are used for MPS diagnosis. On the other hand, there are no tests or scans which can detect FMS in patients.

Treatment
There are several overlaps as well as major differences when it comes to the treatment procedures of MPS and FMS. The treatment methods which are used for both MPS and FMS are as follows:

  • Acupuncture
  • Physical therapy which may be in different forms
  • Tricyclic antidepressant medicine

According to studies, trigger point injections are not too effective in giving relief to fibromyalgia tender points, while non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are not useful for the treatment of FMS pain as they are meant for inflammation. It is very important for you to visit a doctor if you experience any symptoms of FMS or PMS. You require proper diagnosis so that the right treatment can be undertaken. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Pain Management Specialist.

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