"Fibromyalgia Trigger Points"
By Tommy Hoffman, Licensed Physical Therapist
Fibromyalgia is a non-articular rheumatic disorder that affects approximately 7 million Americans, of which 70 to 90% are mostly women between the ages of 35 and 55 years of age. It often affects the large muscles of the shoulders, back and hips.
It is said that Fibromyalgia syndrome may be induced or intensified by physical or mental stress, poor sleep patterns, trauma, and exposure to dampness. Cold weather may also increase symptoms. Pain is of a chronic nature (lasting greater than 3 months), and often involves many muscles, ligaments and bones.
Fibromyalgia presents with trigger points (see article on trigger points and treatment for more about this topic) that are usually present within some 18 specified locations (9 on each side of the body). In order to be diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, you do not need to present with each and every trigger point. In the lower back it is associated with the upper region of the hip or lower portion of the back.
Prognosis for individuals with fibromyalgia is good. It is not a dangerous or life threatening condition. It does not cause deformities as is seen with rheumatoid arthritis.
Treatment for Fibromyalgia
Treatment for Fibromyalgia is often a combination of the following (this list is not conclusive and is less any medication as prescribed by your physician):
- Postural re-education.
- Relaxation techniques (see article on Yoga and your aching back).
- Local moist heat (please download our free e-Book on How to Make a hot packs).
- Gentle stretching exercises.
- Warm dry weather.
- Improved sleeping patterns.
- Massage - Massage therapy and therapeutic massage.
- Aerobic exercise.
- Strengthening exercises.
Always consult your physician before beginning any exercise program. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription.