Thursday, July 14, 2011

Are there alternative treatments for fibromyalgia?

This question is based on my original answer as fibromyalgia expert at ShareCare.

View other answered questions on my profile at

Research suggests that many, most, possibly all FM patients also have chronic myofascial pain from myofascial trigger points.

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. They shorten the affected muscle and cause dysfunction and refer pain and other symptoms, such as nerve pain if next to a nerve, in a specific pattern that is consistent among all patients. This is not new to me, evidence has shown for a while that many patients with FM also have MTrPs 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 central nervous system sensitization keeping the FM brain in wind-up.

Treatments for myofascial trigger points include some traditional therapies and alternative treatments:

•Trigger point injection
•Trigger point pressure therapy
•Self Treatment of trigger points (The value of the theracane and tennis balls)
•Active Release Therapy (preformed by some physical therapists and chiropractors)
•Trigger point massage therapy (See the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point therapists,
•Massage therapy by someone specifically trained in treatment of myofascial trigger points
•Botox injections is being used for the treatment of MTrPs and those that cause migraine. More studies are indicated for treating chronic myofascial pain (CMP/MPS). Due to the need to locate and treat the primary trigger point, not just the active TrP, may make this a less successful option. Because of the many TrPs involved in CMP with FM, it would require toxic doses to treat appropriately. And, FM patient have many sensitivities.

Chapter four, of , Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection, “ My Body is Matter and it Matters,” covers understanding and treating chronic pain, trigger point therapies, body work, different therapies, how to find the right therapist, implications of diet, and the do’s and don’ts of exercise.

Harmony and Hope, Celeste

Available at Inner Traditions Bear and Company, publisher, and all major outlets.;jsessionid=84DFDF90E93A65CE4B1D02D54D979C9E?action=displayDetail&id=3723&searchString=978-1-59477-323-5

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