Fibromyalgia Pain


Fibromyalgia Pain

Whether you are experiencing painful tender points, deep muscle pain, chronic headaches, unending back pain, or neck pain, you know how fibromyalgia feels. People with fibromyalgia experience pain in ways no one else can fully understand.
Please bear with the following information as it is a complex subject which results in a complex discussion.

What Is Pain?

Pain is an uncomfortable feeling in your body that warns you something is wrong. While this feeling is the body’s way of alerting your brain that there is a problem, after it goes on for weeks or even months, pain becomes a part of your very existence. At that point, not only is pain a symptom that something is wrong, but pain becomes the disease itself.

What Is Fibromyalgia-Related Pain?

Fibromyalgia-related pain is pain that causes you to ache/hurt all over. You may have painful “trigger points,” places on your body that hurt no matter what medication you take. Your muscles may feel like they have been overworked or pulled even though you haven’t exercised. Sometimes, your muscles will twitch. Other times they will burn or ache with deep stabbing pain. Some patients with fibromyalgia have pain and achiness around the joints in their neck, shoulders, back, and hips. This kind of pain makes it difficult to sleep or exercise.

How Does the Brain Perceive Pain?

There are roughly 20 different kinds of nerve endings in your skin that tell you if something is hot, cold, or painful. These nerve endings convert mechanical, thermal, or chemical energy into electrical signals that convey information to the brain and spinal cord – also known as the central nervous system or CNS. These signals travel to areas of your CNS where you perceive the stimuli as the painful sensations you actually feel sensations such as searing, burning, pounding, or throbbing.

Research suggests that the pain associated with fibromyalgia is caused by a “glitch” in the way the body processes pain. This glitch results in a hypersensitivity to stimuli that normally are not painful. According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), research has shown that people with fibromyalgia have reduced blood flow to parts of the brain that normally help the body deal with pain.

Is Fibromyalgia Pain Acute or Chronic?

Acute pain comes on suddenly and can be severe. For instance, think about how suddenly your back can ache after you’ve bent down to lift a heavy package or a child. Yet, in more than 80% of cases, acute pain goes away in about two weeks. It runs its course and disappears as the problem is relieved. If your pain from a strained muscle lasts only a few days or weeks, it is considered acute.Chronic pain is pain that lasts much longer than someone would normally expect based on the original problem or injury. When pain becomes chronic, our bodies react in several ways. Chronic pain may be associated with abnormalities in brain hormones, low energy, mood disorders, muscle pain, and impaired mental and physical performance. As neurochemical changes in your body increase your sensitivity to pain, the chronic pain worsens. You begin to have pain in other parts of the body that do not normally hurt.

Fibromyalgia Pain – WebMD


Types of Fibromyalgia Pain

Types of Pain

The first three types of fibromyalgia pain are medically defined:

  • Hyperalgesia
  • Allodynia
  • Painful Paresthesia


“Hyper” means excess and “algesia” means pain. Hyperalgesia is the medical term for pain amplification in FMS. Our brains appear to take normal pain signals and “turn up the volume,” making them more severe than they would normally be.  Most of the drugs used for managing FMS pain are aimed, at least in part, at reducing hyperalgesia.


Is your skin painful to the touch? A symptom that perplexes a lot of us is allodynia. That’s what it’s called when mild pressure from clothing or gentle massage causes pain.

A lot people describe allodynia as similar to a bad sunburn.

Allodynia is a fairly rare type of pain — other than FMS, it’s only associated with a handful of conditions, including neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia (shingles) and migraine.

Allodynia is believed to be a hypersensitive reaction that may result from the central sensitization associated with FMS. The pain signals originate with specialized nerves, called nociceptors, that sense information about things like temperature and painful stimuli right from the skin.

Painful Paresthesia

Paresthesias are odd nerve sensations that can feel like crawling, tingling, burning, itching or numbness. Sometimes, these sensations can be painful. Paresthsias are also associated with peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy drugs, multiple sclerosis and migraine.

Many common FMS treatments can help alleviate paresthesia-related pain, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

Some people also have good luck with vitamin B12, capsaicin cream, massage and acupuncture.

Other Catagories
Other Fibromyalgia Pain Catagories

These are definitely worth a mention as they are very accurate. Please take a moment to read them as they can very well help you to describe the different pains we experience. You also may consider to subscribe to Adrienne Dwello‘s letters and bookmark her website. She is a wealth of information and completely understands firbromyalgia.

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Living With Someone Who Has Fibromyalgia/CFS


“Living With Someone Who Has Fibromyalgia or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Bridging the Gap Between Your Old Life & Your New One”

Living with someone who has fibromyalgia (FMS) or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS or ME/CFS) is a tough job, whether that person is completely disabled, 50% functional, or goes through occasional flares. In all likelihood, having a chronically ill person in your household will impact your life.

You can, however, take steps to make things easier for yourself. Do you feel guilty for even wanting that? You’re not alone — a lot of people in your situation feel like they should be worried about the sick person and not themselves. My husband has struggled with that, and we’ve both had to learn that it’s OK for him to be frustrated with the situation. Your first step is to accept that living with someone who has fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome doesn’t mean you forfeit your right to feelings of your own.

But let’s be completely honest here: Those of us with FMS or ME/CFS can be difficult people to deal with at times. When you’re feeling especially burdened by housework, financial matters, and caretaking, a sharp tongue or blank stare doesn’t help matters at all. You may not be able to discuss your feelings with the sick person in your life as she might not be in a place to accept that your feelings are directed at the situation and not at her. It’s a good idea to find support from other places to get you through this.

Feeling the Loss of “How Things Were”

Both you and your loved one will have to come to terms with changes in your life. FMS and ME/CFS are chronic conditions, which means your life is not likely to ever be what it was before. That’s a tough thing to accept, and you’ll each need to reach acceptance in your own way and in your own time.

Essentially, you need to grieve for what you’ve lost. The stages of grief are:

Denial – A refusal to accept what is happening.
Anger – Feeling like it’s not fair or being angry in general.
Bargaining – Promising something such as being a better person if the situation goes away.
Depression – Giving up, not caring what happens.
Acceptance – Coming to terms with the situation and being ready to move forward.

Where are you in the grief process? Identify it now, and look at what the next stages are likely to bring. If you feel like you’ve been stuck in one stage, find someone to talk to about it. If you feel like you need a professional counselor to help you, don’t be ashamed of that and talk to your doctor. If you become clinically depressed or simply cannot accept your new situation, you won’t be doing any good for yourself or for the sick person in your life.

Managing Your Expectations — Three Steps

Part of accepting the situation is managing your expectations. For example, my husband and I used to go for bike rides, do some hiking, maybe take a canoe out on the river. He’s had to change his expectations about how we will spend our time together. I also left my career and my income behind and hoped that I’d be able to find something I could do from home. That meant he had to change expectations about our financial future as well.

Step #1

The first step toward managing your expectations is to take an honest look at your situation and ask yourself, “What do I know about the circumstances?” Taking a little time to learn about and understand the condition will help you deal with the reality it creates.

Step #2

Second, take a long-term look at things. Think, “If things stay just as they are now for a year or longer, how will that impact me, my family, and the person who is sick?” This can be an overwhelming question, when you consider financial, emotional, social and emotional issues. Approach them one at a time and try to stay logical.

Once you’ve identified what is likely to change, allow yourself to grieve for the things that have to fall by the wayside (at least for now) and let them go. Then focus on the areas where you foresee big problems and work toward realistic solutions.

Step #3

Don’t feel like you’re alone in finding solutions. Involve your sick loved one as much as possible, call on friends, family, doctors, clergy, social services, your insurance company and anyone else who may be able to help you find ways to get through this.

Moving On With Your Life

Once you’ve gone through the stages of grief and the steps outlined above for changing your expectations, you’ll likely be better equipped to move forward with your life and to be supportive of the sick person in your life. On behalf of that person, I thank you for taking the time to care.

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