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Can Myofascial Pain Syndrome Turn Into Fibromyalgia?

Both Myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia are the conditions associated with the muscular system. Studies indicate that in some conditions myofascial pain syndrome may progress to fibromyalgia. This is because of the reason that both the condition and overlapping characteristics. Also, in some patients, both the conditions may be present simultaneously. When simultaneously present, one condition worsens the symptoms of another condition resulting in increased pain and fatigue. The patient may have depression and anxiety.

Can Myofascial Pain Syndrome Turn Into Fibromyalgia?

The myofascial syndrome is the condition in which the trigger point develops in the muscles. These trigger points are localized while their action is generalized. The organ affected due to a particular trigger point may be far away from the trigger point. The patient feels twitching of muscles while pressing the trigger point. Fibromyalgia is the condition in which the perception of the brain in receiving the pain signals gets altered leading to a reduction in the pain threshold. Thus, the patient feels more pain in fibromyalgia as compared to myofascial pain. Further, the concept of referred pain is more pronounced in myofascial pain due to its localized presence.

Some studies suggest that myofascial pain may develop into fibromyalgia1. Myofascial pain is caused due to the muscular injury or trauma, repetitive motion of a particular muscle and due to physical inactivity. Fibromyalgia is the condition which alters the brain functioning during perception of pain. Repetitive bombardment of the pain signals through the muscular receptors to the brain may lead to increased sensitivity of the brain for feeling pain. Further, the pathophysiology and symptoms experienced by the patients suffering from fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome are almost similar.

In myofascial pain syndrome, the trigger point is developed on the muscle fibers, while a similar point is developed in patients with fibromyalgia. However, the trigger point of myofascial pain is visible from outside. Both the conditions have increased incidences because of poor postures, vitamin deficiency, underlying chronic disease, and insomnia or sleep deprivation. Thus, it can be said that these two conditions are closely related to one another.

Both conditions have almost similar symptoms. Patients with either of the condition feel pain, fatigue, weakness and both the condition significantly reduce the quality of life of the patient. Both myofascial pain syndrome and fibromyalgia have depression and other psychological disturbances. Further, both the diseases are associated with muscle injuries and affect the connective tissue associated with these muscles. Because of the above, some doctors believe that myofascial pain syndrome may be the starting point of developing fibromyalgia2. Myofascial pain syndrome, if not treated may progress to fibromyalgia. Both conditions can be effectively managed through various treatment options. In both the conditions, massage therapy and exercise play an important role. Although both the condition characteristically differs from each other many features of these conditions are overlapping3.

Some doctors suggest that myofascial pain syndrome and Fibromyalgia can coexist. Fibromyalgia is characterized by the presence of tender points while myofascial pain syndrome has trigger points. Research indicates that when both the condition occurs simultaneously in patients, the effect of one condition may worsen the symptoms of another condition. In such a scenario, the quality of life of the patient is significantly reduced.

Not all the myofascial pain syndrome condition progresses to fibromyalgia and the former are just the complication of latter, and both conditions may develop on their own. With proper treatment of myofascial fibers, complications including fibromyalgia can be prevented.


Myofascial pain syndrome has various complications. One complication is fibromyalgia. Not all the myofascial condition results in fibromyalgia, however, patients without treatment are at higher risk of developing the complications. This is because both the conditions have similar target organs and the symptoms of both conditions are similar. Repetitive muscular contractions result in myofascial pain syndrome, and may also alter the perception of the brain towards pain, leading to fibromyalgia.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 22, 2019

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