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Posts Tagged ‘trigger points’

While Fibromyalgia patients all have at least 11 trigger points of centralized pain, body aches and stiffness, we all experience symptoms to varying degrees. Some can be predisposed to anxiety, IBS or migraines. (The latter used to be a significant challenge for me, but I learned to keep it at bay via Biofeedback.) So, it’s not too surprising to hear that researchers are looking to define the subgroups within Fibromyalgia.

To begin to determine classification criteria, researchers are using the Fibromyalgia Impact Questionnaire. The short quiz asks about daily tasks inhibited by FM and levels of pain, fatigue and stiffness.

Thus far, two groups have been identified:

Type I: Lowest levels of depression, anxiety and morning tiredness
Type II: Elevated levels of pain, fatigue, morning tiredness, stiffness, anxiety and depression

Though, I wonder about the overall effectiveness of the questionnaire. I have really progressed in coping with my FM in the 10 years I’ve had the condition; yet, according to the test I’m well into the “severe” section. That said, in the last few months I have definitely been a part of the Type II subgroup – especially the pain levels and stiffness.

Has anyone else tried this questionnaire? How accurate did you think your results were?

It should be noted, others have been attempting to identify Fibro subgroups for a few years now by testing pressure-pain thresholds and genetics.

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There are times where getting a massage makes an immense difference in my Fibro pain, other times it just makes it worse. I discovered this video showing massage techniques that help people with Fibromyalgia. I suggest getting a loved one to watch it, and then convincing them to employ a technique or two when trigger points are acting up.

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Rain, rain go away!

Rain, rain go away!

A bout of food poisoning has hit me like a truck this week. While I’m now keeping down regular food, my Fibro has gone haywire. It’s raining in North Texas, to boot (weather changes can affect Fibromyalgia symptoms). It’s so frustrating to not be able to perform normal daily tasks when things like these hit. My muscles are so tired and pain is radiating throughout. At work today I found my forearms in agony after only a couple hours at my computer. I may not have carpal tunnel, but I tell you, the Fibro spots on my forearms flare up like you wouldn’t believe. I wonder if there is any new medication that could keep this from happening. I would try it in a heartbeat right now.

I’m in the process of working out all the details to start a new (incredibly awesome) job, and I’m hopeful that by the time we’re ready to go this latest flare up will have calmed. I suppose I should check the 10-day forecast.

(Note: Thank you for letting me complain. It’s work the arm ache, I swear.)

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Take it and you'll fly to Europe to enjoy your pain-free life.

Lyrica: Take it and you'll fly to Europe to fully enjoy your new, pain-free life.

The most recent commercial for Lyrica, the medication for neuropathic pain approved for Fibromyalgia treatment, has an older woman grabbing her shoulder when talking about her Fibro pain (see the video). I don’t know about you, but my shoulder sure isn’t my main point of pain…and is a good four or five inches from the nearest trigger point. While Fibro patients’ symptoms may vary, since when are shoulders a big part of the problem? Forearms, sure. Knees, oh hell yes. Neck, yep. Shoulders, uh, I guess when everything else is amped up, they hurt but nothing compared to those areas with trigger points.

Someone should let Pfizer know that being consistent with a condition’s symptoms in the commercial would help. That, and maybe throwing in a younger woman from time to time. The blog Bee’s Eclectic Life brings up a litany of other problems with the Lyrica advertising, for those of you wanting to delve further.

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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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