There are several theories about why Fibromyalgia occurs and the best approach for treatment. Significant evidence exists for central sensitization in fibromyalgia, however the cause of this process in fibromyalgia-and how it relates to other known abnormalities in fibromyalgia-remains unclear for the most part.
Many beleive that fascia and fibromyalgia have a common thread in dysfunction due to various common symptoms and how pain “feels” viscerally.
We know that the fascia system is the body’s protective barrier , the connective tissue and the primal web that supports responses like “fight or flight”. Therefore, when stress is high, our immune system ends up running on auto pilot and/or we when we experience trauma in our lives, its no wonder our central nervous system can switch into permanent “fight or flight” mode and our body ultimately begins to suffer because of it.
Fascia is like a web that surrounds the bones, tissues, organs, and blood vessels throughout the body , from scalp to toes, head to feet. When the body has a heightened sense of immanent danger or risk of further stress, we constantly try to protect ourselves from further stress; therefore, its no wonder we don’t feel well, we don’t digest food as well, we experience a disruption in our sleep patterns ,we experience extremely tense muscles, have a hard time concentrating , and much more. We are distracted from optimal wellness and the feeling of equilibrium .
Recently, I have been looking at the similarities in myofascial pain syndrom (MPS) and certain autoimmune “dis-orders” or “dis-eases” as the medical community likes to classify, like fibromyaligia. Symptoms of MPS and fibromyalgia are very similar, making it difficult for medical professionals to properly diagnose many people.
So what are the common signs? The most common sign of myofascial pain is the presence of palpable trigger points in your muscles and around trigger points. Trigger points are areas of extreme tenderness and sensitivity, and usually form in bands of muscle underneath your skin. They are similar to the tender points caused by fibromyalgia. Often, pain is felt in an area distinct
from the trigger point that is actually affected – this is called referred pain. As we have observed before, bio mechanical breakdowns are much the same. The referral pain or trigger point is usually not the cause of the actual injury – it’s just the breaking point where energy is locked and tends to break down.
So what does this pain feel like? The pain of myofascial syndrome is typically a dull ache, but can also produce a visceral reaction of throbbing, stabbing, or burning sensation around a given area. Inflammation and dysfunction of the fascia may lead to understanding the common threads found in fibromyalgia, and how we approach treatment. Expanding our knowledge in this area could significantly expand treatment options to include manual therapies directed at the fascia such as massage therapy, fascial stretch therapy, rolfing, foam rolling and transformational biomechanics.
Chris Frederick, the Director of sports and orthopedic rehabilitation at the Stretch to Win Center™, and CEO of The Stretch To Win Institute for Fascial Stretch Therapy™ Training” explains “t’s best to find a Functional Medicine/Naturopath who treats a lot of patients with this problem so that you become part of a team of professionals that helps your client. In my experience, this has resulted in dramatic improvement such that the client can tolerate stretching & other exercise much more.”
Over the course of the few weeks we will look at different options for helping combat myofascial pain and the symptoms of fibromyalgia.
Sources: Chris Frederick: Stretch to Win Institute http://www.stretchtowin.com