As insidious as Fibromyalgia Syndrome is, it can be compounded by an additional syndrome that tends to follow on its heels called Fibromyalgia Myofascial Pain Syndrome. Thirty percent of patients who have Fibromyalgia also have this syndrome. Many people without Fibromyalgia also get Fibromyalgia Myofascial Pain Syndrome at least once in their lives, but only about fourteen percent of individuals have it at a chronic level.
Fascia is the web surrounding bones, tissues, organs and blood vessels, and is what is affected with this syndrome. These tissues degenerate, which cause trigger points, especially around the areas where the fascia and muscle connect. The most painful areas with Fibromyalgia Myofascial Pain Syndrome are in the face and jaw.
Like Fibromyalgia, Fibromyalgia Myofascial Pain Syndrome is mysterious in origin. There are many theories about it, some of which are similar to Fibromyalgia in general. One similar symptom is that it is stress related. When a person is in a stressful situation on a constant basis it leads to tight muscles and a reduced ability to repair those muscles.
Another similar cause is depression, which causes a decrease in serotonin, which affects muscle relaxation and repair. When an individual has been depressed for a longer period of time, the body is less able to produce serotonin and tissue repair is hindered.
One theory that is different than Fibromyalgia is that Fibromyalgia Myofascial Pain Syndrome is caused by extreme weather conditions. When a person is subjected to extreme heat or cold it affects that way the body repairs itself, which is thought to lead to the painful syndrome.
Fibromyalgia Myofascial Pain Syndrome has some specific symptoms that are different from Fibromyalgia Syndrome symptoms which require additional treatment. Beyond the widespread pain, which is more focused in the face and jaw area, as well as trigger points where the fascia and muscle connect, there can also be numbness, twitching and popping or clicking in muscles that affect everyday functioning. There may also be muscle weakness and limited movement which can hinder activity, as well as vision impairment, nausea, ear pain and dizziness.
Each of these symptoms requires its own specialized treatment in order to allow the individual to function and enjoy life. Moderate exercise is found to help some of the symptoms as it releases endorphins and increases serotonin levels which numb pain and increase the body’s capacity for tissue repair. Pain is the most debilitating symptom of Fibromyalgia Myofascial Pain Syndrome and as such, is the most commonly focused on in treatment.