Writing about pain is like trying to describe a song. You know the effects, but it is pretty hard to talk about. The fibromyalgia pain I was having a few months ago is quite different from what I experience now. The drug Lyrica took away the day time pain, but I was left with pain that would wake me up in the middle of the night to an agonizing degree. Fibo pain seems to come from within the muscle in a pervasive way that is different from just a knocking your knee against the coffee table. The night time pain was either all-over muscle pain, or pain only in my shoulders and chest, or in just my legs. I kept the drug tramadol and a water bottle on the bedside table and reached for it when I was awakened by this debilitating pain. I also tried taking a tramadol tablet before I went to bed in a pre-emptive attempt to kick it out before it started. Sometimes that worked, and I could get a night of uninterrupted sleep. Gradually over two or three months the pain subsided to the point where today it is only periodic. I don’t have an explanation for this but am grateful for it.
Yesterday New England was hit by a big snow storm, hopefully the last of the season. I had to clean a foot of snow off my car, and whereas I did not have to pick up a shovel, the act of brushing heavy snow irritated my left shoulder. I experienced a minor muscle injury there last summer, and it does not take much to irritate it. This morning at 2am I woke up with severe pain in this shoulder that migrated to the adjoining chest muscles. Severe pain has hit me in these muscles other times recently, and I have concluded that fibromyalgia pain will attack vulnerable areas in your body, such as a previous injury. Vulnerable also means that inflammation resides there. Inflammation causes pain, and fibromyalgia is intimately connected to inflammation.
The causes of inflammation are numerous, including emotional stress, physical stress or injury, and specific food items. Conversely, one might imagine that reducing these inflammatories can reduce pain. It is not easy to reduce stress or to change one’s diet, but it is desirable to reach toward those goals. I admit to not always taking my own advice, especially when it comes to food, but when I do comply with this advice, I feel better with less pain. I have already blogged about inflammatory foods, so I won’t go into that now. Please read those posts to refresh your memory.
Treating muscle injury through physical therapy and massage therapy could help reduce fibro pain, especially where it attacks those previously injured areas. I had a massage about a month ago, and I felt so good when finished, that I will do that again soon. My massage therapist is licensed in numerous types of massage, and we decided together that Swedish massage would be appropriate for me. I was able to let her know how much pressure was good or too much. I told her about my shoulder, and she concentrated a lighter touch there. Good therapists will welcome a fibromyalgia patient because they can learn more about this illness and how they can assist in pain management. Massage will rid the body of toxins, stimulate the muscles, and reduce mental and physical stress, all of which are good for the fibro patient, and for anyone for that matter. I recommend it as another element in your health arsenal and for the good effects you can get from this fabulous therapy.