Fibromyalgia syndrome is known to the medical community for more than 30 years. However, it’s still challenging to diagnose it because the types of fibromyalgia pain vary among individuals. Moreover, there’s no particular test to confirm its presence.
Fibromyalgia is a health condition characterized by joint, skin, and muscle chronic pain. People suffering from this condition tend to experience overwhelming symptoms of pain in the head and all over the body. Although the illness is chronic, the attacks appear and disappear.
Table Of Contents
8 main types of fibromyalgia pain
Hyperalgesia is a medical term referring to increased pain felt as a result of fibromyalgia. This condition is not fully understood by scientists since they consider patients’ brains highly sensitive to the symptoms caused by fibromyalgia pain.
Studies have been conducted to investigate muscle sensitivity in people with fibromyalgia. The findings confirmed that a slight touch would trigger an overreactive response from the tissues around the affected muscles. This is suspected to be due to the signals sent by the nerve endings in the muscles, which made the tissues more alert.
The brain of a person with fibromyalgia interprets pain signals, and this interpretation varies depending on the individual. Also, these interpretations of the pain signals may be wrong and significantly amplified.
This explains why people with fibromyalgia often experience severe pain caused by aching joints, nerves, and muscles. As a result, patients rely more on mobility exercises, physical treatment, and other custom training activities.
Therefore, it is imperative to understand the practices recommended for people with fibromyalgia to help alleviate pain and enhance mobility and circulation.
2. Neuropathic Pain
Neuropathic pain is one of the types of fibromyalgia pain. In fact, many people with fibromyalgia often experience it, and it is characterized by feelings of tingling, crawling, itching, numbness, or burning in their legs and arms. The condition may become severe, causing extreme pain, though some patients still have typical strength and reflexes.
Several steps can be employed to remedy the effects of neuropathic pain, such as medication.
In this case, physical treatments with acupuncture are commonly used to alleviate the resulting pain.
Still, prescribed medicines may aid in relieving the pain, such as using capsaicin cream, a painkiller manufactured from pepper.
Other remedies are skin rubbings using creams containing lidocaine.
It is vital to determine the symptoms arising from neuropathic pain to prescribe the relevant help.
This may call for creating awareness regarding the condition and guiding suspected patients through the steps of identifying and dealing with the conditions earlier on.
3. Muscle Pain
Muscle pain is often associated with fibromyalgia, characterized by persistent diffuse pain in the soft tissues and body muscles. The pains are mostly considered tenderness, deep pains, chafing, or stiffness in the neck, shoulders, arms, and legs.
Muscle pain is one of the most common types of fibromyalgia pain, and, more specifically, people with this condition will experience;
- Pain on the lower back, which spreads to the buttocks, and even the legs
- Tightness and pain on the neck, spreading to the back areas of the shoulders
- Pain felt in the areas around the shoulders
- Severe pain felt on the chest and breastbone, often feeling similar to heart attacks
Muscle pain usually varies with individuals and may spread to several other body parts, such as the hands and arms.
To alleviate this pain, several exercises and medication programs have been recommended. For instance, certain drugs have been recommended by the Food and Drug Administration, such as the antidepressants Cymbalta duloxetine and Savella milnacipran, as well as the anti-seizure Lyrica pregabalin.
Similarly, physical therapy may help relieve the pain, such as daily 30-minute light exercises. Exercises such as walking, swimming, and yoga also help loosen the joints and muscles, aiding in maintaining body flexibility.
It is common for people with fibromyalgia to experience severe headaches. Although this may be misconstrued as a mere symptom, it becomes a chronic health misfunctioning when headaches are too frequent and disorienting. These headaches are primarily experienced in the neck region, often linked to stress and migraines.
Studies have shown that nearly half of people with migraines and tension headaches actually have fibromyalgia. Tension headaches usually cause a tightening and dull sensation in the head.
Although they may not be disabling, these feelings are nagging and uncomfortable. In comparison, migraines are usually more painful, accompanied by sound and light sensitivity.
Fibromyalgia headaches are mostly linked to three factors, including:
- Poor quality of sleep, primarily caused by the pain experienced at night
- Overreactive nerves are responsible for sending pain signals in the brain
- Mental anxiety occurs when poor sleep and chronic pain exceed the brain’s capacity. In this case, an anti-anxiety blanket can be an effective natural remedy to be calmer.
These factors highlight the fundamental contribution of brain sensitivity as a factor underpinning fibromyalgia.
This narrative signifies the brain’s powerful capability to interpret the signals. Subsequently, future medication considerations should consider the brain’s sensitivity factor in developing medical remedies for muscle pain caused by fibromyalgia.
Such interventions may comprise recommending staying hydrated, sticking to wholesome diets, and getting enough sleep.
To get a better quality of sleep you may try to use a weighted blanket for fibromyalgia. These weighted blankets for pain relief are very popular in the fibro community as they are very comforting and can help improve sleep and reduce pain.
Also, severe headaches may be managed by engaging in regular exercises, starting gradually, and proceeding to establish a regular routine that does not exacerbate the pain.
5. Stomach Pain
Irritable bowel syndrome is a common phenomenon in people who have fibromyalgia. This health condition is characterized by gas in the stomach and abdominal cramps. Also, the patient may experience diarrhea, constipation, uneven stools, nausea, or needing to toil constantly.
Another condition commonly linked to fibromyalgia is acid reflux, a digestive disorder where gastric acid back and into the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach.
That’s why abdominal pain is one of the types of fibromyalgia pain to watch out for.
For this reason, doctors recommend sticking to the diet appropriate to fibromyalgia and heeding the dietary advice.
The best fibromyalgia diet comprises cucumber, broccoli, carrots, parsley, parsnip, and butternut pumpkin. Other foods that might help improve fibromyalgia symptoms are lentils, cabbage, onions, fennel, beans, peas, Jerusalem artichoke, and brussels sprout.
6. Pelvic Pain
Pelvic pain could be a symptom resulting from fibromyalgia, but it may become an independent health complication when it is frequent and bothering.
This pain is often experienced in the region around the pelvic floor, causing other related pelvic conditions.
The most common condition caused by pelvic pain is hypertonia, a pelvic floor dysfunction. The disease is characterized by tightness in the pelvic muscles, creating tension on other organs supporting the pelvic floor.
This results in further complications such as bladder pain, as well as difficulties in bowel movement. People experiencing this type of fibromyalgia pain also have tender muscles, causing pain that may last months or years.
Several treatments have been recommended for people experiencing pelvic pain caused by fibromyalgia. However, bear in mind that these treatment plans must be tailored to reflect the pain timeline.
Patients can get relief from certain trigger point injections, though these are often given in succession. The injections are accompanied by further physical therapy sessions targeting the pelvic floor and other relevant treatments.
7. Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) Pain
Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) can be affected by severe pain resulting from fibromyalgia. These jaw joints connect the jaw to the skull on both sides of the face. The pain in these regions is often dull and unceasing ache affecting the temple, ear, eyes, neck, or lower jaw.
This type of fibromyalgia pain is also characterized by stiffness due to muscle tension that limits movement ability.
TMJ pain is not accompanied by inflammation like inflammatory arthritis. This becomes one way of distinguishing the TMJ disorder from systemic lupus or rheumatic arthritis.
The common symptoms arising from TMJ pain are popping or clicking sounds, as well as facial and muscle pain around the neck and head. These symptoms are the most common indicators of TMJ pain. However, they are often misinterpreted as being caused by migraines or severe headaches.
The pains caused by migraines and headaches usually result from TMJ disorder, also known as misaligned jaws.
The other signs are back and neck shoulder, a ringing sensation in your ear, dizziness or vertigo, numbness or tingling in your fingers, and stuffiness or ear pain.
The most common treatment for TMJ pain is the use of anti-inflammatories, painkillers, muscle relaxants, and tricyclic antidepressants, which when taken in small doses can help for this type of fibromyalgia pain.
Patients may relieve TMJ pain by taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen. If the pain persists, it is advisable to use appropriate muscle relaxants or FMS pain drugs approved by FDA.
Allodynia is a health condition characterized by the skin’s hypersensitivity to touch and pain, where the patient feels pain even with the slightest touch. Also, pain is felt when the skin is brushed against clothing such as bra straps or waistbands.
Tactile allodynia in particular is one of the common types of fibromyalgia pain and symptoms.
This condition is believed to be caused by central sensitization when the spinal cord, nerves, and brain overreact to sensations.
Nociceptors, the specialized nerves in the body, sense information such as temperature through your skin. These sensations trigger an immediate reaction, which explains why people jerk off hands-on touching hot surfaces or objects.
However, these nerve cells may become over-sensitive, interpreting such signals as pain.
The skin will constantly feel a sunburning sensation in people with allodynia.
Allodynia may range from mild experiences to severe and debilitating conditions, affecting certain areas of the body or the entire body.
These experiences may come in two main forms: mechanical allodynia linked to physical stimuli and thermal allodynia due to temperature changes.
The common symptoms of allodynia are:
- Burning pain when the skin brushes against clothing such as socks, bra straps, waistbands, or other constricting clothing
- Pain due to stitches on clothing or tags in the shirts
- Pain caused by rubbing against some objects
- Pain on grabbing cold objects from the freezer or refrigerator
- Pain when out in the extreme cold
Allodynia may be caused by several underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, migraines, and shingles.
In the case of fibromyalgia, the nociceptors will misinterpret certain information and send the signals to the brain, which will believe the sensations are painful.
Many treatment approaches have been developed for allodynia, including tricyclic anti-depressants and SNRIs such as Effexor venlafaxine and Cymbalta duloxetine.
Others are seizure drugs, particularly Neurontin gabapentin and Lyrica pregabalin, as well as topical lidocaine.
Also, some people relieve themselves of allodynia pain using certain pain creams such as BioFreeze, Aspercreme, Tiger Balm, and capsaicin, which contains patches and ointments.
Please consult your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis and find the appropriate treatment for you.
It is important to understand the steps necessary in managing fibromyalgia pain as part of a critical self-care approach.
Besides treatment and medication, the following tips may help manage this condition:
- Managing stress. You need to limit or avoid emotional stress and overexertion when suffering from fibromyalgia. It is vital to rest in between daily chores without changing your routine entirely.
- Improving sleep. Get good quality sleep to minimize the chances of fatigue, which contributes to fibromyalgia. A weighted blanket for fibromyalgia can help improve sleep thanks to its therapeutic effects. Additionally, weighted blankets can also offer some level of natural pain relief for fibromyalgia, reduce stress and calm down anxiety.
- Regular exercising. Develop a plan for a gradual but progressive exercising routine, such as swimming, biking, walking, or water aerobics. You can also perform stretches, as well as relation and posture exercises.
- Pacing yourself. Balance the pace of your daily activities, including exercises. Avoid overdoing or self-limiting to certain activities.
- Healthy living. Stick to a healthy diet, avoid tobacco products, and limit caffeine consumption.
Finally, not many people know that there is a connection between menopause and fibromyalgia which can make fibro symptoms worse. In this case, it is advised to visit your doctor.
Fibromyalgia causes joint, skin, and muscle pain and increases the sensitivity of the patient’s nervous system to pain.
The several types of fibromyalgia pain are commonly caused by a misfunctioning nervous system due to the increased sensitivity and wrong interpretation of signals sent to the brain.
A number of medications have been approved by the FDA to remedy or treat fibromyalgia.
However, this condition can also be remedied with simple remedies, such as sleeping with a weighted blanket and having regular exercises to help loosen the muscles and joints for body flexibility.
Patients can also manage this condition by adopting appropriate lifestyle adjustments, such as ensuring sufficient sleep, managing stress, pacing, and sticking to a healthy diet by avoiding tobacco and limiting caffeine consumption.