It wasn't until 1990 that the American College of Rheumatology defined Fibromyalgia as a syndrome.
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain disorder characterized by widespread pain, fatigue and sleep disturbances! Fibromyalgia presents with an ever-changing set of symptoms that cause chronic pain in muscles and joints. Fibromyalgia is not caused by inflammation.
This affects roughly 4 million US adults or about 2% of the population. Women are twice as likely to have fibromyalgia as men.
In the next section we will go deeper into each of the symptoms!
Points of Tenderness
Until recently, positive palpation for 11 of 18 tender points in specific locations of the body were in the primary diagnostic tool for fibromyalgia.
Tender points can be soft and quite mushy on palpitation, and typically produce pain when little pressure is applied.
Clients with fibromyalgia, there is a predictable pattern of tender points. These points are bilateral, in all quadrants of the body, very specific.
The locations of the tender points are:
The back of the neck, where the base of the skull and neck meet
Forearms, near the crease of each elbow, below the crease and towards the outer side of the arm
Front of the neck located well above the collarbone, on either side of the larynx
Where the buttock muscles curve to joint the thighs
At the very top of the buttocks, right at the bottom of the lower back
On the inside of each knee pad
Where tendons and muscles meet as the back muscles connect to the shoulder blades in the upper back
Just above the upper back, halfway between the edge of the shoulder and the bottom of the neck
On either side of the sternum. a few inches below the collarbone (near the second rib)
Symptoms can vary person to person and day to day, as well as within a day for a person.
People with fibromyalgia do not experience pain the way other people do. Their pain is not due to an inflammatory condition, but rather their central nervous sisters is hypersensitive to pain messages.
Delayed reactions to physical exertion or stressful events
Unexplained weight gain or loss
Cravings for carbohydrates or chocolate
Headaches & migraines
Vision changes (worsening)
Cognitive/ Neurological Symptoms
Difficulty speaking known words/language
Poor balance & coordination
Parenthesis in the upper limbs (ringing & burning)
Loss of ability to distinguish colors
Short-term memory impairment
Confusion or Mental Fog (Fibro-Fog)
Staring into space before brain "kicks in"
Inability to recognize familiar surroundings
Sensitivity to odors
Sensitivity to pressure changes, temperature & humidity
Sensitivity to light
Sensitivity to light
Night driving difficulties
Light and/or broken sleep patterns with unrefreshing sleep
Sleep starts (falling sensation)
Twitchy muscles at night
Abdominal & Digestive Symptoms
Bloating & nausea
Irritable bowel syndrome
Muscle & Tissue Symptoms
Pain that ranges from mild to severe and may move around the body
Fibrocystic (lumpy, tender) breasts
Sinus & Allergy Symptoms
Post nasal drip
Mold & yeast sensitivity
Shortness of breath
Earaches & itchy ears
Ringing ears (tinnitus)
Tendency to cry easily
Mitral valve prolapse
Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia, postural orthostatic tachycardia)
Pain that mimics heart attack, frequently from costochondritis
Skin, Hair & Nail Symptoms
Pronounced nail ridges
Nails that curve under
Bruising or scarring easily
Hair loss (temporary)
Tissue overgrowth (non-cancerous tumors called lipomas, ingrown hairs, heavy and splitting cuticles, adhesions)
Loss of libido
Massage & Fibromyalgia
Direct touch are not appropriate for people with acute pain or flares up!
During flares up or pain reflexology or craniosacral therapy is the best option!
Massage helps reduce the pain levels, increase circulation of blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to cells, increase sleep at night , improves mood