Fibromyalgia is a disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by fatigue, sleep, memory and mood issues.
In the brains of patients with fibromyalgia syndrome the repeated nerve stimulation not only generates an increase in the level of neurotransmitters responsible for signaling pain, but also develops a hypersensibility of the brain's pain receptors making overact to pain signals.
Symptoms sometimes begin after a physical trauma, surgery, infection or significant psychological stress. In other cases, symptoms gradually accumulate over time with no single triggering event.
Women are more likely to develop fibromyalgia than are men. Many people who have fibromyalgia also have tension headaches, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety and depression.
Patients complain of: widespread pain (constant dull ache on both sides of the body and above and below the waist; fatigue (awaken tired, even though they report sleeping for long periods of time; sleep is often disrupted by pain); cognitive difficulties (“fibro fog” - inability to focus, pay attention and concentrate on mental tasks.)
Pain is highly personal, so one person’s “I hurt all over” isn’t necessarily the same as another person’s “I hurt all over.”
Although most of the population has a spot or two on their body that may be more sensitive than others, people with fibromyalgia often experience excruciating tenderness in very specific locations that are spread across their body. Tenderness is generally mirrored on both sides of the body and is located at nine specific places on the body.
The nine fibromyalgia tender points locations are as follows:
- Low cervical region: Front neck area just below the chin near the C5-C7 vertebrae
- Second rib: Front chest area below the collarbone about 2 inches from the shoulder joint
- Occiput: Back of the neck at the base of the skull
- Trapezius muscle: Back shoulder area where this large muscle drapes over the top of the shoulder
- Supraspinatus muscle: Shoulder blade area just at the top of the shoulder blade
- Lateral epicondyle: Elbow area in the inside of the arm crease
- Gluteal: Rear end at upper outer quadrant of the buttocks
- Greater trochanter: Rear hip in the back
- Knee: Knee area on the inside where the fat pad sits
These nine areas are also sometimes called fibromyalgia tender spots. Because fibromyalgia cannot be diagnosed with a lab test, counting fibromyalgia tender points and taking a detailed patient history are often the best ways to get a clear diagnosis.
Carmen Care Advanced Laser Therapy has created a comprehensive protocol for patients with fibromyalgia which includes Laser Energy Detoxification, Bella Shape, PSYCH-K and photobiomodulation with significant clinical improvement.