Do you have fibromyalgia or myofascial pain syndrome?
In their book, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Drs. Janet Travell and David Simons alert us to be sure that we have differentiated between fibromyalgia and MPS. They state that trigger points (TrPs) are present in the majority of people who suffer with fibromyalgia and that it is easier to distinguish which is the proper diagnosis while the pain is still in its acute phase. The text leaves us with a comparison between TrPs and fibromyalgia.
Clinical Features Distinguishing Myofascial Pain due to Trigger Points from Fibromyalgia:
|Myofascial Pain (TrPs)||Fibromyalgia|
|1 female : 1 male||4-9 females : 1 male|
|Local or Regional pain||Widespread, general pain|
|Focal tenderness||Widespread tenderness|
|Muscle feels tense (taut bands)||Muscle feels soft and doughy|
|Restricted range of motion||Hypermobile|
|Examine for trigger points||Examine for tender points|
|Immediate response to injection of TrPs||Delayed/poorer response to TrP injection|
|20% also have fibromyalgia||72% also have active TrPs|
Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists, though not clinical diagnosticians, may be able to provide symptomatic relief to those suffering from fibromyalgia since 72% of fibromyalgia patients have active TrPs.
British Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists are becoming more widespread in Britain, Kipp Clark based in Hampshire says, “Fibromyalgia requires specialist (and gentle) treatment. Conventional massage, manipulation and acupuncture do not release fascial restrictions responsible for fibromyalgia syndrome. At best they may offer temporary symptomatic relief, at worse they may aggravate the condition. A fibromyalgia sufferer will therefore need to find a Myofascial Release practitioner trained in the John Barnes method (older myofascial techniques are unsuitable for fibromyalgia sufferers) to effectively treat them. A Myofascial Release practitioner who has also trained in Trigger Point Therapy will be especially well qualified to effectively treat fibromyalgia. They will understand common reffered myofascial pain patterns and can better treat painful fascial ‘trigger points’.
“A long course of treatment will be required as it takes many treatments to release the large quantity of serious restrictions in a fibromyalgia sufferer’s body. It is very important for fibromyalgia sufferers to have regular, weekly treatments initially; to ensure the patient does not deteriorate between appointments allowing progress to be made! It is common for fibromyalgia sufferers to be quite sore for a few days after treatment (to have a ‘flare up’), even if they feel better immediately after treatment. It is however, essential for their recovery to break down these restrictions and they will usually feel the benefits after a few days.”
Kipp Clark-Hook Practice: 01256 766173-Alton Practice: 01420 86185