Fibromyalgia is a chronic disorder characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain, fatigue, and multiple tender points. “Tender points” refers to tenderness that occurs in precise, localized areas, particularly in the neck, spine, shoulders, and hips. People with fibromyalgia syndrome may also experience sleep disturbances, morning stiffness, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, and other symptoms.
The cause of fibromyalgia is still unknown. There may be many factors that exacerbate this type of myofascial pain including stress, poor sleep, nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities and even sleep apnea. Really anything involved in muscular function and metabolism can be a causative factor in fibromyalgic symptoms. Given that voluntary skeletal muscles is the largest single organ of the human body and accounts for 40% or more of body mass and that there is a total 696 muscles in the human body it is know wonder a person feels so many diverse symptoms when large groups of muscles are affected.
At the Acupuncture Center of Bradenton we try to uncover the underlying causative factors and release the myofascial reaction patterns associated with fibromyalgia pain. Acupuncture is able to relax the spasming, hypertonic muscles that are so often found with pain conditions. This helps to rebalance all the affected muscles, tendons, and ligaments. In addition acupuncture has been shown to stimulate the release of endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers. This decreases pain and increases an overall feeling of well being. Anti-inflammatory and anti-stress hormones are also released which also helps in the healing process.
The diagrams below illustrate how various muscular reaction patterns can make a person feel the generalized achy feeling of fibromyagia. Acupuncture points (trigger points) are marked “X” and are very effective points to treat the associated referral pain often seen with fibromyalgic pain.