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Archive for the ‘The Basics’ Category

Fibromyalgia and PMS

In my daily perusal of Fibromyalgia blogs and blog items, I came across someone relating Fibromyalgia symptoms to PMS. I’m, well, floored. In the more than 10 years I’ve had Fibro, I’ve heard people say a lot of things about the condition — often jerks thinking it’s not real or that’s it is a psychological condition instead of a physical one — but this one is a first.

So, let’s just clear this up. Fibromyalgia can intensify the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, but that’s hardly a main component of the condition. However, it does exemplify a key part of FM: pain is often amplified. The example I often give people when first explaining my condition is that when you (a non-FM person) have an intense workout at the gym, you’re sore and fatigued the next day. When I do the same thing, I’m down for three days. So, yes, PMS can be worse, but to connect PMS to Fibro is idiotic. Particularly as there are men who suffer from Fibro, too.

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The locations of the 18 Fibromyalgia trigger points.

The locations of the 18 Fibromyalgia trigger points.

While anyone suffering from chronic pain may connect with this blog, the heart of Fibro Spot is living with Fibromyalgia. One of the cornerstones of the syndrome is having a standardized collection of tender points on the body. To be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia a patient must exhibit tenderness at a minimum of 11 out of the 18 points, sometimes called trigger points. However, outside of the doctor’s office these areas of focused aching and pain are generally referred to as “Fibro spots.”

The spots on each of my forearms tend to flare up after a full day of typing at work (particularly on rainy days), and I find myself explaining to others – mostly my husband – that it’s not that my muscle is sore or tired, but that the nickel-sized Fibro spot is flaring up. It was much worse during high school on days of intense note-taking.

By telling people these trigger points are fibro spots, it can help make it clear that this pain isn’t the same as overworking a muscle. It is part of the overall condition that each Fibromyalgia sufferer deals with daily.

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