The 7 Different Types of Fibromyalgia Pain
The pain never ends.
It’s like a silent shadow that’s constantly looming over your shoulders.
It’s like a screaming typhoon that shatters everything that crosses its path.
It’s like roaring thunder that clenches your heart.
It’s like something straight out of your worst nightmare.
It’s like an earthquake that shakes every bone in your body.
It’s always there. Watching you. Trying to break your spirits. Hoping to steal away all the happiness from your life and leaving you lying flat on the ground.
All of the things mentioned above perfectly describe what it’s like living with Fibromyalgia, a condition where the pain takes over your body completely.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world. Stare this monster straight in its eyes and beat it at its own game! I have said it before and I’ll say it again…before you defeat an enemy, you have to first understand them. We should be treating Fibromyalgia and other disorders/diseases the same way. Which is why, in this blog post, I will shed light on what Fibromyalgia actually is and the seven different types of pain that accompany this condition. Hopefully, by the end of it, you will be equipped with the knowledge to tackle it in a much better way! Let’s begin.
The Fibromyalgia syndrome is identified with constant aching of the muscles and soft tissues. The condition is usually accompanied by other symptoms like fatigue, trouble falling asleep, headaches, urinary problems, etc. Apart from the overall pain, those suffering from Fibromyalgia also feel tender points.
There is still no single concrete reason why Fibromyalgia occurs. In some cases, the symptoms start to appear after a trauma while at other times, there is no apparent cause. The seven types of pain a Fibromyalgia patient can experience are discussed below.
1. Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain refers to discomfort caused by the pinching of veins, either as a result of tight muscles or compressed joints. Patients with Fibromyalgia have much more sensitive veins so they are more prone to neuropathic pain. In addition, they can also experience small fibre neuropathy, which can result in overall weakness, digestive problems, etc.
2. Central Sensitisation
In the simplest of terms, central sensitisation is also referred to as “brain pain” because it is accompanied by difficulty in concentration, as well as being extremely sensitive to light, odours, and sound. Central sensitisation is actually a condition of the nervous system which results in the body reacting sensitively to otherwise normal, everyday triggers. Persistent and prolonged hyper-reactivity ultimately leads to a lower threshold for pain. The condition is not just limited to pain – a person suffering from central sensitisation also experiences hypersensitivity to touch.
3. Myofascial Pain
Myofascial pain refers to chronic pain of the soft tissues. This results from persistent tightness around muscles, which leads to a tender knot being formed in the belly of the said muscles. The pain may be anything from persistent dull aches to sharp, burning pain that leaves the area sore. It is very similar to the widespread dull ache you feel during the flu. Excessive stress and strenuous activity can worsen myofascial pain. An FM patient suffers from shortened muscles which then pull on the tendons (ropy muscles attached to your bones). This could even lead to tendinitis, a condition in which it is hard to pinpoint the exact source of the pain.
Allodynia is a pain that occurs on top of the skin due to hypersensitivity. Even a light touch to the skin can trigger the pain. It is a nerve condition that prompts the body to feel pain to non-painful stimuli. The condition has three different types:
- Tactile Allodynia – In this type of allodynia, the pain occurs after a light touch.
- Mechanical Allodynia– A condition in which pain occurs following a slight movement across/over the skin.
- Thermal Allodynia– In this, pain is felt from slightly cold or hot sensations.
Hyperalgesia is linked with the crippling, excessive pain that comes with Fibromyalgia. This results from the pain responses reaching the brain and being amplified, resulting in the patient feeling daily aches to a significant extent.
Paresthesia is a numbing, prickling type of pain, identified by tingly nerves. It is usually felt on the arms and legs but can also affect other areas. It is almost painless and causes general discomfort, and is the result of a compromised nervous system.
7. Migraines and Headaches
Lastly, patients with Fibromyalgia also suffer from occasional migraines and other forms of headaches. On some days, a patient might feel completely alright but on other days, they are unable to function properly and go about their daily lives because of the severity of the pain. These headaches could even lead to mental disorders like anxiety and depression.
Important Thing to Remember…
Don’t let this condition affect who you are. You are not defined by your condition. You are not your disease. You are not your problems. You are capable of doing so much more. You are a brave warrior that can take on any challenge that life throws at you. So, don’t lose hope and keep on fighting. Start by changing your lifestyle and learn to befriend pain. You have to start seeing Fibromyalgia like any other challenge that stands in your way to the life you have always wanted to live. And most importantly, change your deep-seated behaviours towards pain. Trust me – life will start to feel a whole lot better. I wish you the best of luck!