Fibromyalgia Action UK

The differences between Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) and Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS or MP)

The differences between Fibromyalgia (FM or FMS) and Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS or MP)

Hi everyone,

As I read many posts lately about different experiences with tension in muscles, knots plus Tender and Trigger Points I'd thought I might explain what I know on the subject including providing some of the many relevant articles online) I expect there are many other informative posts which may be able to be found via the search facility. :)

Many people with Fibro also have MPS also including myself and there are differences in the symptoms in relation to pain and treatments for both conditions. It is reported that some consider MPS as an illness/condition in it's own right while others feel it is a subtype of FMS (as mentioned in this article below). The debate continues.....

I thought I'd post a few links to articles that may be of interest to further explain the two conditions;

Fibromyalgia and Myofascial Pain Syndrome-A Dilemma

H C Chandola and Arunangshu Chakraborty 2009 in Indian Journal for Anaethesia

This link below, states that MPS is separate condition to Fibro. It is reported online that MPS commonly occurs with Fibro, however the exact percentage ratios of prevalence of MPS alongside Fibro are unknown at this time.

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Myofascial Pain

(2015) Jennifer E Finley - this can be found on Medscape .com

Jennifer explains that "MP can cause local or referred pain, tightness, tenderness, popping and clicking, stiffness and limitation of movement, autonomic phenomena, local twitch response (LTR) in the affected muscle, and muscle weakness without atrophy. Trigger points (TrPs), which cause referred pain in characteristic areas for specific muscles, restricted range of motion.

Although MP and fibromyalgia have some overlapping features, they are separate entities; fibromyalgia is a widespread pain problem, not a regional condition caused by specific TrPs"

It is important to mention, (as you may know or read in these links) that Trigger Points (TrP's) are usually associated with MPS and Tender Points are found in Fibromyalgia, both present with differences in areas of pain and pain perception alongside muscle inflammation of MPS not found in FMS.

More about the two conditions including Trigger and Tender points can be found via link below:

Tender Point vs. Trigger Point

- Are They the Same Thing? (July 2016) Adrienne Dellwo - can be found on verywell .com

Do you think you may have both conditions? I would be interested how many live with both conditions here in the community, like myself?

I hope this has been of interest and obvious I am not a Dr so anything I have written is from my personal knowledge or from what I have read online. It does not replace the information you received from qualified Health Professionals.

I look forward to your comments

Emma :)

6 Replies

Thank you Mdaisy , this has me bamboozled as I can relate to the symptoms of both FMS and MPS? I have never been diagnosed with MPS and it has never been mentioned to me by my Consultant.

Thank you for such an interesting post my friend.

Ken :)


Yes that has also got me thinking....Once I can get my brain together I shall re read and maybe find some thoughts..interesting though....



Thanks for this Emma , very interesting, I have often thought I have MPS but I've never mentioned it to the GP. I have been referred to rheumatology so will definitely mention it there. I have one knot in particular in my leg that bothers me a lot. The heat treatments mentioned make sense , my hot water bottle is the first thing I reach for , I would love to try the waon therapy and ultrasound especially as these don't include drugs. Hope you are as well as possible today and enjoy the weekend. Take care X

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I think I have both as my muscles do go hated and stiff specially in my legs and arms apart from other pain My feet are always completely numb ! can't feel my feet 👹👹👺👺👺👿👿

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Blimey I liked up MPS looks like Iv had it. Ha Ha xx


Both conditions seem so similar - perhaps we all have both - I am sure I have. Also apply heat on various areas - it helps but I cant go out with hotties strapped all over. There are heat pads which can be applied without being obvious but to use them all the time could cost a fortune. Save them for something I really like doing - but using them in the summer is hell. Hope you are having the best day possible.

X Helen


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