Medically speaking, only some of the types of pain I speak of here have names and definitions. But just as the Eskimos have several words to snow, I think we should have several ways of naming, defining and categorizing our pain. I have created some of my own categories, based on my experience and conversations with other fibromites.
I hope that the understanding of medical terms will help us communicate better with doctors, while my categories will help you understand your illness and let you know that you are not alone.
Types of pain
The first three types of fibromyalgia pain are medically defined:
The following four types are of my own creation, which is obvious by their names. Do not use these terms in a doctor’s office (unless you want them to see you as crazy), but these labels can help you know the peculiarities, triggers, patterns, etc. from her body:
Voodoo wrist knife
First, our medically defined types of pain.
“Hyper” means excess and “algesia” means pain. Hyperalgesia is the medical term for pain amplification in FMS. Our brains seem to take normal pain signals and “turn up the volume,” making them more severe than they normally would be.
And when your brain says the pain is severe, guess what: it actually becomes severe.
Most medications used to control FMS pain are aimed, at least in part, at reducing hyperalgesia.
Is your skin painful to the touch? A symptom that perplexes many of us is allodynia. This is what is called when light pressure of clothes or a gentle massage causes pain.
Many people describe allodynia as something similar to a sunburn.
Allodynia is a fairly rare type of pain, apart from FMS, it is only associated with a handful of conditions, including neuropathy, postherpetic neuralgia (shingles) and migraine.
It is believed that allodynia is a hypersensitivity reaction that may be the result of central sensitization associated with FMS. The pain signals originate with specialized nerves, called nociceptors, that detect information about things like temperature and painful stimuli directly from the skin.
Paresthesias are sensations of strange nerves that may feel like crawling, tingling, burning, itching or numbness. Sometimes, these sensations can be painful. Paresthesias are also associated with peripheral neuropathy, chemotherapy drugs, multiple sclerosis, and migraine.
Many common FMS treatments can help relieve pain related to paresthesia, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs). Some people also have good luck with vitamin B12, capsaicin cream, massage and acupuncture.
My own categories of pain
Again, the following categories are not medically recognized: they are things that came up to fill a gap in the way we classify different types of pain.
They are meant to help you track symptoms, measure the effectiveness of treatments and let you know that you are not crazy.
Voodoo doll knife
Sometimes, out of nowhere, I will receive an intense throbbing pain that seems to pierce my body. I also described this as a chimney poke in the ribs or impaled with a spear.
For me, voodoo wrist pain is often the early warning system of my body. He tells me that I have to stop what I am doing and rest. Other times, I have no idea why it hits.
I usually have this pain in my chest or abdomen, but some people say they have it in other parts of the body.
It can be so intense that it can bend me and make it hurt to breathe. Usually, it disappears like after a few minutes.
I have no idea how to prevent this type of pain, unless I pass the rhythm. (If I could find that darned doll …)
This is one of those things that reminds you that FMS simply does not make much sense. Many of us suffer pain that migrates around the body, sometimes moving between certain places, sometimes hitting new areas.
If you also have myofascial pain syndrome, it can be especially difficult to distinguish wandering random pain from referred pain caused by trigger points.
On July 4, when I was young, I was hanging from a flare for too long and some sparks hit my hand. They caused small punctures of pain almost identical to the sensations that I now receive with regulAR, The pain of the flare burner makes me jump, and scratching the painful areas triggers tactile allodynia. These sensations usually last a few seconds. I have no idea what triggers them or how to prevent them. Agitated nerves Most people will not understand why I call this a type of pain, but I’m sure most fibroids will get it. Certain things tend to make me nervous, nervous and shocked. My whole body hurts and sometimes it gives me nausea, dizziness and anxiety. The things that make my nerves tremble usually involve a sensory or emotional overload, such as: certain sounds (repetitive, loud, shrill, grating) visual chaos (crowds) , flashing lights, busy patterns) stressful situations (busy traffic, confrontations, confusion or disorientation induced by fiber cement) When my nerves tremble, I try to get out of the situation as quickly as possible and relax, preferably in a quiet place. Living in pain It is difficult to live with pain, especially when it is unpredictable. The more you know about your pain and its triggers, the better you can handle it. Finding the right set of treatments takes time and experimentation, but many of us do find significant relief.