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Myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia share similar treatments

Lana Bandoim's picture

Do you suffer from myofascial pain syndrome or fibromyalgia? These two conditions share similar symptoms and treatments you need to know.


Both myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia are chronic conditions that are characterized by pain, and their symptoms overlap. This often complicates the diagnosis and creates confusion, but it can actually simplify treatment plans. Whether you have one of these medical conditions or both, you will way to pay attention to the following treatments.

Myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia connections

The term myofascial can be broken down to muscle and fascia, and fascia means the connective tissue that is around your muscles. The Mayo Clinic explains that myofascial pain syndrome is a medical condition that refers to pain in the muscles and connective tissues. Fibromyalgia is a disorder that is defined by widespread muscular and other pain.

Trigger points are one of the main connections between myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia. They are specific, sensitive spots in the muscles or connective tissues that create pain, and patients who have one or both of these conditions suffer from them. In addition, both myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia are associated with fatigue, insomnia, headaches, memory issues and balance problems.

Treatment 1: Trigger point injections

Trigger point injections are one of the common treatments for myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia. Research reveals that these injections are considered an effective option that provides relief from the pain. This is usually an outpatient procedure that requires a medical professional to insert a small needle into the trigger point. The injections can include corticosteroids, anesthetics or saline solutions. However, a dry-needle injection is also an option.

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Treatment 2: Over-the-counter medications

Over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are frequently used by both myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia patients. Although the pain relief they provide may be temporary, many patients prefer to use them instead of prescription medications. Aleve, Motrin, Advil and others are popular, but you should consult a doctor for the best option in your case.

Treatment 3: Exercise or physical therapy

Since myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia are both characterized by pain, exercise may not seem like a preferred choice. However, research shows that even simple walking can reduce the symptoms associated with these disorders. Physical therapy is another option that can help you through stretching, massage and posture training.

Treatment 4: Hot or cold packs

Heating pads, hot packs, warm baths and other heat sources can improve circulation to promote internal healing and provide pain relief. They can also facilitate stretching and relieve soreness. On the other hand, some patients prefer cold packs, and cryotherapy treatments are an option because they can numb the painful areas while limiting inflammation.

Whether you suffer from myofascial pain syndrome, fibromyalgia or have overlapping medical problems, it is important to investigate multiple treatment options to find the right one. You may find relief from trigger point injections, over-the-counter medications, exercise or physical therapy, and hot or cold packs.