One doctor says you have fibromyalgia. Another says you have myofascial pain syndrome. The third doctor you consulted is skeptical about whether fibromyalgia even exists as a physical disorder. You're so frustrated you don't know where to turn.
Consider scheduling an appointment at a pain institute where a variety of practitioners are available to help. These facilities typically have medical or osteopathic doctors working alongside physical therapists and complementary practitioners such as chiropractors and massage therapists. They can help you determine which condition you have and the best course of action.
The cause of fibromyalgia has not yet been determined. The distinguishing symptom involves pain in the muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints throughout the body. The person also experiences tenderness when specific muscle points are probed. Fatigue is another classic symptom.
About Myofascial Pain Syndrome
As with fibromyalgia, the medical community is not yet sure what causes myofascial pain syndrome. The patient feels pain at specific points on the fascia, or the connective tissue covering the muscles. The pain tends to be severe when those areas are probed, leading the patient to cry out or jump. This is different than the pain with fibromyalgia. In addition, putting pressure on those points sometimes causes pain in other parts of the body.
People with this condition sometimes develop muscle knots that can actually be felt when pressing on the skin.
Doctors can't diagnose these conditions with blood tests or other concrete diagnostic tools. Instead, they look for the most definitive symptoms, but both disorders can cause many other symptoms as well. With either condition, for instance, you might experience:
- gastrointestinal problems
- muscle weakness and stiffness
Benefits of Combination Therapy
At a pain institute, you benefit from having access to different forms of treatment so you can learn which ones help you the most. These therapies might include:
- prescription pain medication and muscle relaxants
- physical therapy to reduce pain and ease stiffness
- massage to decrease pain and help affected areas heal
- deep-heat ultrasound therapy to boost circulation and increase warmth in the muscles, both of which enhance healing
- strategies for helpful diet changes provided by a naturopath or dietitian
- acupuncture for pain relief
The process of diagnosing these conditions can be a frustrating process, as you've discovered. It can be frustrating for doctors as well. At this time, concentrate more on your health and on feeling better than on a specific diagnosis. Many types of therapy are useful for both conditions and should help you experience substantial improvement. Don't hesitate to seek treatment from the practitioners at a pain management institute. Talk to people like http://illinoispain.com for more information.Share