Fibromyalgia trigger points, also known as fibromyalgia knots, are hard and rope-like knots that usually develop in the muscles. They can occur anywhere in the body from the neck to shoulder to arms to back to legs. Fibromyalgia trigger points can aggravate fibromyalgia pain and symptoms significantly.
Identification of Fibromyalgia Trigger Points
Trigger points are like hard lumps in one’s muscle. They are often painful especially with pressure exerted directly on the knots. Without pressure exerted directly on the knots, they can cause referred pain in the surrounding muscles. Most patients get knots on their legs, arms and knees, although it can appear almost anywhere. They can also come in groups or in most cases, as a single knot only.
Trigger points should not be confused with tender points, they are not the same. Trigger points are key symptom of Myofascial Pain Syndrome (MPS), a common condition which co-exists in fibromyalgia patients. Tender points, on the other hand, are unique to fibromyalgia and exhibit different characteristics.
Cause of Fibromyalgia Trigger Points
Fibromyalgia trigger points are often a result of lactic acid buildup in the muscles. Another cause could be a dysfunctional healing response common in fibromyalgia patients. Some medical experts found that the dysfunction of the connective tissues in fibromyalgia is what causes the knots. This is also known as the fascia inflammation and can lead to overall sensitization or pain in the body.
Treatment and Prevention of Fibromyalgia Trigger points
There are various approaches to treating fibromyalgia trigger points:
- Gentle massage and heat compress can help to soothe and release the fibromyalgia knots. Massotherapy can also help.
- Certain muscle relaxers like Zanaflex and Soma help to alleviate tension and pain.
- Lyrica, a pain medication developed specifically for Massotherapy, can help to alleviate the discomfort associated with trigger points. Unfortunately, this medication cannot fix the knots.
- Over the counter medications made of enzymes are capable of digesting proteins that cause pain and inflammation. The enzymes proved to be effective, especially for those who are sensitive to other medications.
Although there has been no proven cure for fibromyalgia knots, there are steps for prevention. Drinking lots of water can help to flush out toxins that trigger the symptoms. Taking fiber supplements can also help in flushing out the harmful toxins. Regular exercises help in keeping the lymph system moving and prevent overall pain.