It often starts with some aches and pains. Odd ones, unexplained. In young children it is often first thought to be "growing pains". In older people it is blamed on stress, being over sensitive or arthritis starting to develop.
Sometimes it starts as an injury or disease and then the pain seems to get a life of its own.
Fibromyalgia and chronic pain stories have one thing in common: None of them are the same. Exactly how it started and how it presents itself is not the same in any 2 people.
The diagnosis of fibromyalgia is made by excluding a host of other definable causes of chronic musculoskeletal pain. Sometimes a number of trigger points/tender points (painful points) are tested to confirm the diagnosis.
We do however need to ask ourselves how much is in a name? Whether someone with chronic pain is officially diagnosed with fibromyalgia or not, does not make a very big difference in terms of what could be the cause or source of relief for that person.
Interesting research is being done on the topic and from time to time new understanding is added to the mechanisms behind chronic pain. However, from a medical perspective, we cannot really say that we have cracked it just yet.
What we do know is that the pain itself is not dangerous as such - not directly causing fast deterioration in the body that would lead to serious damage of muscles or joints. However, it is very real and seriously interferes with quality of life.
Pain is very important. We need pain to protect ourselves. Imagine it did not hurt if you accidently poured boiling water over your hand. You would cause serious damage with the hot water and not notice it until it was too late. Pain following an injury or an operation is also very important. Apart from the pain signals changing the biochemistry in that area for faster healing and protection against infections, you also need to not move or stress the injured area too much until it is stable again. Pain signals help us to do this automatically.
However, in chronic pain the signals are on high alert when it is not really functional. You feel a lot of pain without having an actual major injury. The pain is just as real, but there is no injury that needs to heal and the pain does not stop.
This is due to a whole combination of physiological/biochemical imbalances and mostly added to it mechanical stress by musculoskeletal imbalances.
Simply put, something in the body`s chemistry is not quite right, causing excessive pain signalling. Mostly at the same time, something in the way the muscles are balanced is not right, which causes a level of mechanical stress (similar to a minor injury).
The result of this can be pain that does not stop and interferes with every aspect of life: sleep, work, mood, relationships, ability to move, ability to sit still for a period of time, concentration and so much more.
Thankfully, relief can come from an unexpected place: Healing hands, such as osteopathy treatment, the right kind of exercise for you as an individual, fabulous food and things from food: Vitamins, minerals, herbals and all kinds of wonderful things.
Find what is out of balance and bring it back into balance.
The experience of a life without pain is so mind-blowingly wonderful, it is worth investing in. Being able to feel good, function well, think, move, be strong, be happy and full of energy is one of the greatest gifts. If you have it, treasure it and if you don`t, invest in it.
Never give up.