Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How does fibromyalgia affect my musculoskeletal system?

This was such a good question asked of me as Share Care fibromyalgia expert, I just had to blog here for my fellow bloggers and followers.

Times are changing, but we aren't quite there yet. The preliminary diagnostic criterion intends to do away with the tender point model, which has become the hallmark for diagnosing FM.

Fibromyalgia is a central sensitization problem thought to be brought on by a dysfunction of the HPA (hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal) axis and other central nervous system (CNS) disruptions. The criteria considers the effects CNS sensitization, and comorbid conditions, migraine, IBS, irritable bladder, cognitive deficit, RLS, disordered sleep etc.

However, it does not address the co morbidity of chronic myofascial pain, a peripheral nerve to muscle disease that causes myofascial trigger points (MTrPs). Trigger points are knotted up muscle fibers in a taut (tight) band of muscle. They are EASILY felt unless behind bone or other muscles, or the band of muscle affected is too tight. It is an objective piece of evidence to indicate the presence of FM when other comorbid conditions are present, research suggests possibly all FM patients have them. This is not new to me, but many patients with FM and is why myofascial pain is included in our book, Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN and Jeff Miller, PhD. These MTrPs are peripheral pain generators that lend to sensitization, and keep the FM brain in wind-up.

M = Myofascial
TrP = Trigger point, synonymous with
MTrP = Myofascial trigger point
FM = Fibromyalgia
CMP = Chronic myofascial pain

Doctors that diagnose FM need comprehensive, non-confusing guidelines to diagnose & provide helpful treatments. Exercising a muscle riddled with MTrPs, will only make the pain and dysfunction worse, leading both the patient and the physician down a road of misguided conception.

A similar article, Letter to the Editor, from me will be published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Pain Management.

“Initially we struggle to accept, backsliding from time to time, but we maintain forward momentum, coping, defining and defending our new life.”

In healing,
Celeste Cooper, RN / Author, Freelancer, Advocate

Think adversity?-See opportunity!

~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~ • ~

Learn more about Celeste’s books here. Subscribe to posts by using the information in the upper right hand corner or use the share buttons to share with others.


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